[UPDATED: 7/14/08] The PACRs have responded to the criticisms, and we have responded to them. See here.
[UPDATED: 7/11/08] The college Republican's have as of now added Labor Day, Veterans Day, and Pearl harbor Day to their calendar. They have not removed 9/11 Day. The Google cache is still displaying the old version, available here.
I know, Republicans looking to exploit 9/11 for political game is a "Dog bites man" story, but as this time it's the PA College Republicans, on our own turf, I thought was worth highlighting.
Last week the PA CR's unveiled their new website, and naturally I checked it out. Nothing particularly exciting, though I was disappointed that their chapter list contained only email contacts, not blogs or websites that would undoubtedly have been pretty funny.
It was when I checked out the events calendar, however, that I noticed something I found disturbing. On September 11th of this year, the PA CRs are planning a "9/11 Remembrance Day." This immediately struck me as inappropriate: the victims of 9/11 are rightly remembered and honored in ceremonies both public and private every year, but we should all keep politics out of those memorials.
After 9/11, the combination of horror, sadness, and anger made for a very difficult time. Republicans decided to exploit those emotions to divide us by our politics, and tried very hard to make "Republicanism" synonymous with "patriotism."
8 years later and we've come a long way. The abject failures of Republican policies at home and abroad have laid bare the cynicism of the Bush/Rove (and now McCain) politics. All that Republicans have left is trying to recapture their high water mark, when Americans' anger and sorrow made them give Bush the benefit of the doubt.
I noticed that the PA CRs aren't planning on celebrating Veterans Day, or Pearl Harbor Day, or (unsurprisingly) Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The singular importance of 9/11 betrays their political motivations.
Here at the Drexel Democrats, we understand that there are some things that aren't appropriate to affix our groups name and agenda to. Memorial services are one of them. That the Pennsylvania College Republicans think that attaching their regressive agenda to a memorial to the victims of 9/11 speaks volumes about their organization.