After years of demanding the closure of the Guantánamo Bay detention facility, said The Miami Herald in an editorial, congressional Democrats suddenly have "weak knees." They stripped a war-funding bill of the money President Obama needs to make good on his pledge to close Gitmo. "Lawmakers should quit playing politics" and "close a prison that has become an ugly symbol of everything that that went wrong with the war on terror."
The Senate Democrats who overwhelmingly balked at closing Guantánamo are merely acknowledging the obvious, said Jennifer Rubin in Commentary. It's "nuts" to close the facility at the U.S. Naval base in Cuba if it means transferring the terrorists being held there to U.S. soil. Obama promised to shut down the base before he had "a clue what to do with these people," and now he's paying the price.
The "Democratic no-go" on closing Guantánamo has greater significance than that, said Victor Davis Hanson in National Review. It's an admission that Guantánamo, like other Bush administration counterterrorism policies, played a part in "keeping us safe the last eight years." All the Democrats' "self-righteous outbursts" slandering Bush "turned out to be solely about politics, nothing more."
The Democrats who retreated on Guantánamo are just cowards, said Carl M. Cannon in Politics Daily. They started distancing themselves from Obama's plan after Republicans produced a "fear-mongering ad" essentially accusing Democrats of trying to let terrorists out of Guantánamo and into American neighborhoods. "This debate really isn't about national security." It's a game of political chicken, and the Democrats flinched.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The mystery behind China's aggressive push into space
- Yes, Republicans can impeach President Obama
- What religious traditionalists can teach us about sex
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- Why all drugs should be legal. (Yes, even heroin.)
- The 6 best low-cost smartphones
- The 5 best and worst states for a well-lived life
- 7 ideas from ancient thinkers that will improve your modern life
- Why Texas' abortion rates aren't falling as quickly as everyone expected
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
Subscribe to the Week