And down it crashed.
Not the nation's electrical grid -- not yet anyway -- but rather legislation intended to protect it and other vital U.S. infrastructure from cyber attacks by hackers or terrorists.
Republican senators, along with a handful of Democrats, voted to keep the Cybersecurity Act from reaching a vote, imploding its chance of passage this year. The bill had been a top priority of the Obama administration.
It's more evidence of the prime directive of the
In this case, they've really got their priorities backwards. They are putting loyalty to political party and lobbyists first, and loyalty to their country and its security second.
For years, cyber terrorism experts have warned about the potential for an attack to the nation's electrical grids, nuclear power plants, water supply, dams and transportation systems. Luckily, no such attacks have come to fruition.
Nevertheless, we've gotten some hints of what could happen if cyber security is not addressed. If Wikileaks' exploits at purloining and posting highly sensitive and secret information aren't a convincing enough argument for better security measures, consider the recent headlines out of
That country, racked for years by a substandard electrical grid for its massive population, ground to a halt when its system imploded. According to some reports, a mitigating factor was that many Indians are used to power interruptions. Now imagine what might happen if
Efforts to pass mandatory security measures began in 2009, and from the start such proposals invited the opposition of various interested parties. Civil liberties organizations and groups such as the
Business interests were wary as well. Many elements of the nation's infrastructure are privately owned (think your local utility companies and telecommunications firms). Those companies were not thrilled with the idea of the government forcing them to share information on security threats and breaches, and at the possibility of more bureaucratic policies to follow.
All are legitimate concerns. But they are trumped by national security. One might expect, or at least hope, that leaders from both parties would recognize this compelling national interest and find a way to work out differences. In fact, the sponsors of the bill, Sens.
But that was not enough. The
That about sums it up.
Here's the problem:
Doing nothing to protect our nation from cyber attacks is not an option. I hesitate to invoke doomsday scenarios here, but fate is being tempted with such blindly partisan maneuvers.
So the Republicans have denied the president a "victory." Bully for them! But once the election is over, they had better grow up and get down the business of protecting America.
If the nation is ever hobbled by a major attack to its infrastructure, they will rue the day they played politics with national security.
Read the latest political news.
- US National Debate is a Disgrace
- Romney Lauds Israel's Socialized, Federally Controlled Health Care System
- A Solution to the Problem of Roaring Mouths Saying Nothing
- What Should Come First, Partisan Advantage or National Security?
- How Mitt Romney Got His
- Mitt Romney: Put up or Shut Up
- Is Obama's Best Hope The Inadequacy of His Rival?
- Mitt Romney's Foreign Folly
- Mitt Romney: An Innocent Abroad
- Mitt Romney: Showing off the GOP
- 2012 Elections: 100 Days is a Long Time
- Truth Meets the Gaffe Factory
- The Election, the Presidency and Foreign Policy
- Tax Cut Kabuki
- De-Bushing Mitt Romney
- Texas GOP Wages War on Thinking
- Time to Listen to the Other America
- President Obama: You're No Bill Clinton
- What's Behind Hatred of Obama?
- Cleaning Up Campaign Finance
- Supreme Court, Inc.
- His So-called 'Post-Racial' Presidency
- The Terrible Economy and the Anti-Election of 2012
- Marching Toward Greater Inequality
- The Rich Grabbing Bigger Slices of Pie
- Turning College Students into a Commodity
- My Quest for 'Commonsense' Gun Laws
- Gun Lobby Fires Up Obama Fear
- One Nation, Under the Gun
- The Persistent Threat to Soft Targets
- Romney Opens Mouth, Only to Make a Joke of Himself
- Green Scissors for Congress
- The Truth About Obama's Tax Proposal (And The Lies Some are Telling About It)
- Mitt Romney Stays Mum on Tax Avoidance
- Condi Rice Rumor Reveals Divisions in Romney Camp and on the Right
- The African-American Swing State
- Mitt Romney's Tour Starts in Wrong Place
- Teen Assailed for Outgrowing Conservatism
What Should Come First, Partisan Advantage or National Security? | Politics
(c) 2012 Tribune Media Services, Inc.