I have to admit that, politically, I am completely neutral on this Portgate issue. So they're from the UAE. So what? I have no idea from which country the owners of our local convenience stores hail, but I can guarantee you that most of them are ESL types, if you get my drift. Even my local Subway has taken on a decidedly Middle Eastern atmosphere this past year. I have no problem patronizing their businesses because they seem like genuinely nice people, and I really don't think they're going to hide an IED in my cold cut special.
I think the President's largest problem here is that the entire affair smacks of just the sort of secrecy for which the Democrats continually accuse him. Did it never once occur to this administration, after four years of post-9/11 sensitivities, that folks might just get the wrong impression about this deal?
Even President Bush knows that, in politics, perception is reality where the voters are concerned. Now, granted, Bush will not be running for office in 2008, but I can't see him being terribly excited about handing the Oval Office over to the Dems simply because he forgot this simple truth.
For as much as the administration attempts to convince everyone that this is not a matter of [trumpet fanfare: ] National Security, they seem genuinely surprised that normal citizens seem to perceive it as precisely that. But, hey, it's been more than four years. We haven't gone above "Yellow" alert for, what, months now. How could we possibly be squeamish about turning six major ports over to a country that recognized the Taliban as a legitimate government?
Well, Mr. President, I'm sure this whole thing will (if you'll pardon the phrase) blow over soon. In the meantime, [fanfare again: ] National Security or not, you might just want to consider opening a dialog with your constituents. Might save you some trouble later on.
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