To My Colleague Karen Hanretty, Regarding Firefighters and Rudy

I was born and raised in New York, and if you remember the story of the three brothers who were firemen, who ran into the burning building to save each other, they were my
neighbors down the street.

Here is why the firefighters are putting out the Rudy ad now: They are genuinely indignant, angry that he campaigns as the hero of Sept. 11 when they know he mishandled security before 9/11 and key problems post-9/11. 

I grew up in a conservative Catholic community where I played football and baseball with those who came from families of firefighters and police. They are often second- and even third-generation firefighters and police and I would venture that a majority of them are moderate to conservative Republicans.

I know this is hard for the Washington pundit class of partisans to understand, but these folks are not politicians and they do not make clever tactical decisions. Their union leaders would never do anything that violated the majority view of their membership, which is also more Republican than Democratic.

You may not like what they do, Rudy may not like what they do, but they do it because they believe it and feel strongly about it. They sincerely believe that if Rudy had addressed major problems that they and others had raised dating from the first World Trade Center attack, well before Sept. 11, 2001, especially those involving communications, fewer of their brothers and sisters would be dead.

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