This Might Be the Most Inappropriate 9/11 Reference of All Time

The U.S. House of Representatives. Not heroes.
The U.S. House of Representatives. Not heroes.

Over the weekend, Texas House member John Culberson (Republican, obviously) made what might be the most offensive reference to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 that we’ve ever heard. And really, we’ve heard a lot! From the bizarre #neverforget tweets that chain restaurants like Red Lobster or Applebee’s feel are appropriate to send, to that horrible Jeep commercial from 2001 where an SUV drove all over the Statue of Liberty to the dulcet  saccharine tones of Enrique Iglesias assuring us that he could be our hero. Baby. Or maybe the Jeep could be our hero? And heroically drive all over the face of one of the symbols of American freedom? I don’t know really, but it seemed we had heard it all. However, all of those crass consumer-driven messages have now been trumped by what Rep. Culberson said this weekend as he and fellow House Republicans gleefully prepared to take the government hostage.

What did he say exactly? Well, as the GOP began acting like a full-fledged rabid dog in its fight to deliver a death bite to Obama’s Affordable Health, “Rep. Culberson essentially compared the fight against Obamacare to the tackling of 9/11 attackers by passengers on flight United 93.” Culberson gleefully recounted later, “I said, like 9/11, ‘Let’s roll!’” That’s right! Culberson compared dying at the hands of terrorists to being a Republican working toward keeping health insurance out of the hands of millions of Americans. And so in this analogy, I guess, Obama and the congressional Democrats are the terrorists, and Republicans are the men on United flight 93 who heroically banded together to disrupt the hijackers, thus immediately sacrificing their lives rather than have the plane reach its intended target.

It would be nice to think that Culberson and his ilk are ashamed at this type of analogy, but then Republicans have always been rather gleeful about co-opting 9/11 to promote themselves. And so fine, it’s not too surprising. But this particular fight that Republicans are “rolling” toward? Well, it’s a fight inwhich they intend to delay enacting legislation designed to assist millions of Americans in getting much-needed healthcare. And they are doing it by threatening to shut the government down, which will have effects that include some government employees—including many members of our armed forces—having their salaries suspended (although, don’t worry about Rep. Culberson! members of Congress will still get paid). Which, you know, it seems to us that if the Republicans want to make a 9/11 analogy about Americans being held hostage, well, they’ve got it completely backwards. It’s not Obama and the Democrats who are the terrorists, it’s the Republicans.

Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen


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