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EJ Dionne: The politics of Ebola

EJ Dionne: The politics of Ebola

Seth Moulton, an Iraq maestro and Democratic congressional candidate on Massachusetts’s North Shore, has finished something with small fashion in domestic campaigning: He was held underplaying his quarrel record.

You review that right: An review by a Boston Globe found that, distinct politicians who go to good lengths to smoke adult their troops backgrounds, Moulton, as a paper’s Walter Robinson wrote, “chose not to publicly divulge that he was twice flashy for intrepidity until pulpy by a Globe.”

It took Robinson’s stating to learn that Moulton had won a Bronze Star and a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal for bravery during a battles for control of Najaf and Nasiriyah.

In a write interview, Moulton pronounced his hostility reflected a “healthy disrespect” among his comrades-in-arms for braggadocio about citations.

“The relations few of us who unequivocally were on a front lines don’t like to speak about it and don’t like to gloat about it,” he said. “I saw a lot of drastic kids who were on a front lines . . . and didn’t get a approval they deserved.”

Moulton’s story is a lovely change of gait in a midterm choosing debate brief on displays of possibly bravery or reticence. Voters are unfortunate with both parties and there is no pushing issue, so a play-all-the-angles proceed takes whatever story is winning a news cycle and tries to spin it into a wedge.

Nowhere has this settlement been clearer than in a arise of open worries about Ebola and a bid by Republicans to spin fear into a shutting argument.

It is normal for a celebration that doesn’t control a White House to be vicious of how a obligatory has rubbed a crisis. And President Obama himself, according to a New York Times, was frustrated with aspects of a government’s doing of a episode, one reason he called on Ron Klain, a Washington veteran, to coordinate a response.

But it’s something else again to stoke alarm and to set adult an impractical process approach as a exam of “toughness.” (Yes, those selection outlines are dictated to communicate a cynicism involved.) Thus did many Republicans call for a transport ban from a countries influenced by Ebola, even yet there are no approach flights from them to a United States. This lifted a awaiting of education joining flights from European cities, and a administration argued that a anathema would inspire people to distortion about their transport history, creation screening for a illness most harder.

Now, Republicans have sensitively conceded how cryptic a transport anathema would be. So they are rallying to a new tough-sounding backup position, job for a cessation of visas for travelers from a influenced countries. Trying to answer mystic politics with unsentimental measures, a administration announced Tuesday that travelers from Ebola-zone countries would be compulsory to enter a United States by one of 5 airports versed for screening.

To inspect a approach all this has played out in a congressional competition between Moulton and Republican Rich Tisei is to see how last-minute debate pressures can pull even independent-minded possibilities to find ways of gaining a slight corner or avoiding domestic damage.

Tisei is one of a few socially assuage Republicans on a list this fall. Openly gay, Tisei got married in a summer of 2013, and he boycotted a state Republican convention this year to criticism a party’s regressive platform. Yet like other Republicans, he jumped on a idea of “banning flights” from countries where a illness is distracted and of “quarantining people before they come into a country.”

For his part, Moulton, after primarily facing a moody ban, sought to find center belligerent by dogmatic that, “until we can get people scrupulously screened, we might need to close those flights down.” But in a interview, he reiterated his perspective that “we can’t fake that we’re going to win this quarrel simply by shutting ourselves off from a rest of a world.” He also permitted Obama’s latest pierce on screening. And on Wednesday, Tisei’s spokesman, Charlie Szold, pronounced his claimant did not wish a moody anathema to force any stop of assist to fight a illness in a influenced countries.

One would like to wish that Ebola posturing will not be wilful in possibly a Moulton-Tisei competition or in a incomparable campaign. There are signs that a emanate is vanishing as existence catches adult with a pandering. In a meantime, Moulton, who knows what bravery means, could usefully move a GI’s “healthy disrespect” to a ways a country’s politics creates problem-solving harder.

Read some-more from E.J. Dionne’s archive, follow him on Twitter or subscribe to his updates on Facebook.

Read some-more on this subject:

Charles Krauthammer: Ebola vs. polite liberties

Richard Besser: Fight fear of Ebola with a facts

Michael Gerson: Ebola hurdles America’s ability to adapt

Dana Milbank: The nasty politicization of Ebola

The Post’s View: Ebola can’t be fought by sealing off a United States

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