It’s been announced that President Bush’s itinerary won’t include an appearance at “Ground Zero” next month when the Republicans convene in New York. This can’t be what Karl Rove envisioned when he pushed for New York, a solid Democratic electoral state, to host the GOP convention.
“Ground Zero” was the site of President Bush’s finest moment, when in the traumatic aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 atrocities — amid firefighters and rescue workers, atop a pile of rubble with megaphone in hand — he rallied America in its darkest domestic hour.
But “Ground Zero” has expanded its symbolism. The “war on terrorism” is now shorthand for the mismanaged occupation of Iraq, which doesn’t conjure up much of anything positive to non neo-cons. A return to “Ground Zero” would now be an ironic reminder of “Mission Diverted”: How America converted the 9/11 moral high ground into a global sinkhole of resentment.