…from Molly Ivins:

AUSTIN, Texas — Living proof that the Democrats haven’t gotten any smarter since the last time they ran a candidate for president. Much huffing (and a huffy Democrat is a terrifying sight) over the fact that George W. Bush used images of 9-11 and of the firefighters at Ground Zero to tout his candidacy in his first campaign ad. How crass, said the D’s. Exploiting a national tragedy for political purposes — oh, how tacky.

Dammit, the problem is not that the ad is in bad taste, the problem is that Bush screwed the firefighters in a famous case of his favorite bait-and-switch tactic, and now he has the chutzpah to exploit them anyway and that, my friends, is gall. Bait, switch and then claim credit anyway.

For those of you who have forgotten what happened (apparently including the entire Bush campaign) shortly after the 9-11 attacks, President Bush promised a $3.5 billion aid package to provide equipment and training in dealing with such attacks to local police and fire departments. For over 18 months, no money appeared, and when money finally did appear, it was nowhere near the promised levels (hey, he had to cut those taxes on the richest 1 percent of Americans).

Furthermore, the New York City firefighters who worked Ground Zero were specifically screwed. They were promised $90 million to monitor the long-term health effects of breathing in all that ash for months while they cleaned up. The money was to have been included in the overall post 9-11 aid package for New York City, but it got shifted to another bill that Bush rejected the following August. About half the workers screened before the money ran out suffered from respiratory problems.

More. (Hat-tip: reader Liz S.)