A friend of mine read yesterday's post and said, "So, like, are you saying that the Bush administration is behind the bombing plot exposed in Britain?" What a crazy question, thought I. Then I re-read my deathless prose. Oh. My. Gosh.
All right. Here's the message I meant to convey.
For months (years?), pundits and punditas have predicted that there would be a Really Big Security Scare sometime close to the 2006 mid-term election. Real or manufactured. Bound to happen. And when it did, the Rove machine would kick into high gear. Red alert. Sky is falling. Bush rising up before us, reminding us that we are in immense danger, BUT that we are safer than ever before, and that we must continue to wage war on terrorism aggressively. And sure as evolution generated little green apples, that's what happened yesterday.
The really scary thing was how many of us read the headlines, heard the breaking news, and our first thought, individually and collectively, was, "Oh, jeez, here we go again." Enter the Republicans, stage right.
We've been whip-sawed so many times over the past five years by neocon alarmists that it's getting harder and harder to scare us. For years, the boy-king has cried wolf. Cried "war on terrorism." Cried "stay the course, stay the course, stay the course." Some day they're bound to be right, the chicken, ummmm, littles. There will be a terrorist plot that plays itself out. A self-fulfilling prophecy, really. The Bush administration has created the absolutely perfect climate for catastrophe. Their dangerous, ill-conceived policies have put our country in harm's way and have destabilized multiple other nations in the process. But you already know all that.
Was the plot real? Sounds like it was. Did the Republican administration engineer it? Unlikely. They're greedy but they're not completely stupid, far as we know. Did Republicans finesse the timing of the bust? (pause) Probably not. Did Rove and Company have a detailed plan in place for how to cash in immediately on a terrorist event? Absolutely. For a while, it looked as though they were going to have to stage a Dr. Strangelove moment featuring Joe Lieberman riding a missile to Baghdad. But they got lucky. And now the unraveling Britain plot is being co-opted as a Republican tool for flim-flamming the American people yet again.
Republicans seem to be shameless. Their callous opportunism is simply breathtaking. For example, according to Daily Kos, Rudy Giuiliani sent out a letter within hours of the busted terrorist plot in Britain. He's using it as a Republican fundraising tool. Don't believe me? Here's an excerpt of Rudy's letter, addressed to Dear XXX:
. . . I learned the virtue of strong Republican leadership when I had the honor of serving President Ronald Reagan in his Justice Department. His optimism helped inspire our nation as he led us to victory over communism.
Today, President Bush faces a similar challenge. In the middle of a war on terror, we need to remain focused on furthering Republican ideas more than ever before. We can't turn back now.
This coming election could mark a crucial turning point in American history.
Only with the financial commitment of patriotic Americans like you can the RNC provide the candidate assistance, campaign programs, registration drives and voter outreach that are absolutely essential for electing Republicans across the nation.
That's why I am emailing to ask you for a favor: will you click here to make a contribution of $500, $250, $100, $50, $35 or $25 to show your strong commitment to our Party and our principles?
Recent history has proven that the GOP is the Party of solutions. The Republican Party has taken on terrorism, cut taxes, and grown the economy.
Now is not the time to turn our backs on the War on Terror, to soften our stand on security, or to cripple the economy with ill-advised tax hikes. We need Republican leadership setting the agenda in Congress and working with President Bush to keep America strong and moving forward . . . .
This is your chance to take a stand for your Party and your principles. Thank you for all you have done and continue to do for the Republican Party!
There you have it.
Here's the deal. We are a nation bitterly and dangerously divided. United States is an iffy concept lately. In addition to driving wedges among the American people, The Great Uniter has complete shattered Americans' trust in the presidency. How do you weight thousands of body bags against one blue dress? George has torpedoed the world's respect for the United States. He's had lots of help, of course. And he and his band of reckless warriors are becoming increasingly desperate as election day looms with Republican numbers tanking.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Republicans and Democrats are lobbing word bombs and laying ambushes for each other. The casualties are mounting, though most are politically rather than physically lethal. It is an altogether uncivil war.
We're in a world of hurt, nationally and globally. We've got trouble on every front with no end in sight. Are we safer, are we better off than we were five years ago? You tell me.