WASHINGTON, D.C. — When the United States recently observed the 14th anniversary of the September 11th, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was overheard telling reporters that “we must never forget that day” and “we all learned to remain ever vigilant against attacks both abroad and sadly here at home.” McConnell told reporters that he and his fellow Congressional Republicans had “all sorts of reminders planned” for the anniversary aimed at “helping Americans remember every bit of 9/11 and what it meant it to us as a nation.” McConnell said they had planned several social media posts, op-eds in local newspapers, and many Republicans would be taking part in local ceremonies and tributary functions, all as McConnell puts it, “in an effort to never, ever, ever forget a single aspect of the tragedy that was 9/11.”
When asked what McConnell and company were planning to do to honor and celebrate the 9/11 first responders — police and fire fighters who rushed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon to try and rescue any survivors as well as initially to attempt to put out the fires that would eventually bring the Twin Towers down — for the anniversary of the attacks, McConnell scratched his head. “Wait, what are we doing for who now? This is about the attacks on 9/11,” McConnell said after a moment.
At a rememberance prayer breakfast held at a church in the New Hampshire town his campaign was visiting, Sen. Ted Cruz told attendees he was “so grateful to be among so many who know we should never forget a single fragment, a single aspect of that day.” However, when asked later if that meant he’d be voting for the 9/11 first responders health care bill that comedian Jon Stewart personally went to Washington, D.C. to lobby for, Cruz drew a blank stare. The Texas Republican then told everyone, “I’m sorry, I don’t have any recollection of who you’re talking about.”
“The attacks on September 11th should serve a constant reminder,” Sen. John McCain told an Arizona crowd, “that we must always be ready to go to war. Sweet, sweet, glorious war. Because,” McCain told his audience, “we must remember the sacrifices made that day, the lives lost. We must never forget a single detail of that day.” Later, a reporter asked McCain if he’d be supporting the Zadroga Act, to which McCain asked, “Who’s that for, again?” Then, when he was reminded it was a bill to give 9/11 responders health care, McCain said, “Who are those people again?”
Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters that she “definitely feels like [she] should remember the first responders” but that she was “late for a fundraiser and would talk to [us] more about it when [she got] back from depositing the donor checks.”
Senator Lindsey Graham, when asked about the Zadroga Act, told reporters that he wasn’t “familiar” with the act and that he “isn’t even familiar with the term ‘first responder'” or “9/11.” Graham told reporters that “[he is] just a country boy living his dream in the big city, makin’ laws and paintin’ the town red, white and blue” and that he “doesn’t have time to familiarize himself with every bill that comes across [his] desk.” Graham also said he “literally [doesn’t] have a clue” who “these first responders y’all keep talking about” are.
“Look,” McConnell said as he was walking into his office, “even if I knew who these first responders are, the fact is that we’re Republicans. We don’t pass bills anymore, unless of course they could take health care away from women, or well, just about everyone. So why on Earth would anyone think we’d lift a finger to help the people who risked their lives on 9/11 trying to save people? That’s just silly talk. We have a spending problem, and we won’t get out of it by spending more money taking care of people who literally fit the description of ‘hero,’ will we?”