My Photo

« Richard Holbrooke On The Guns Of August | Main | I Should Know Better Than To Read David Brooks... »

August 10, 2006

Comments

I'm curious: I'm pretty much convinced that 1) there was a real threat, that 2) it was stymied (for the most part, there might be a few stragglers left over who could do some damage) by the British police et al., and that 3) none of what we're seeing (e.g. the post-facto terror alerts) has anything whatsoever to do with any domestic political considerations in either country. [Yet.] Are there significant voices, either by number or by position, on the left who don't hold to these three propositions? I don't mean random blog commenters -- I've seen a few of those wittering on at Washington Monthly, f'rex, but that doesn't really count -- I mean actual concrete contributions to the left blogosphere contesting any of that basic framework.

If not, what is it about this particular incident that seems to have (some of) the right blogosphere entering the wacko-crazy-land that doesn't have the left blogosphere doing likewise? It seems fertile enough ground and -- in re my comment on the other thread -- while I believe there are significant differences between the two political cliques, I didn't think they'd be that significant...

comments like May's serve no good purpose

wrong, Andrew. They serve the purpose of demonizing the opposing party, so that the party in power can keep its power. With the President's approval ratings so low, party activists like May and Redstate (btw, ewww) have no choice but to be relentlessly negative.

of course, we can expect that if the Democrats take either the House or Senate, we will see a whiplash inducing 180 degree turn, and an insistence on bi-partisanship.

Francis,

I maintain that they serve no good purpose.

Andrew: WYMM?

WYMM

?

It'w worth noting that May's position is not just that of some fringy writer, but the mainstream meme of the Republican party. The same drivel was trotted out for Lamont's primary victory, and will continue non-stop through November. Its all they have left to try to hold onto the electorate.

It's also worth noting that the related observation should be made -- the Republicans have been manipulating the terror conflict for five years for political benefit; May's outburst is not something new.

And now that we are five years in, it seems clear that they are better at using the conflict for political purposes than actually fighting the conflict.

There is no comparable rhetoric on the left to this mainstream diatribe on the right.

Andrew: will you marry me?

(When this was first directed at me, I was assured that it was meant as a gesture rather like, oh, melodramatically clasping one's hand to one's chest and saying: be still, my heart!, and not as an actual threat to anyone's happy home life.)

Anarch, there's plenty of people who would back 1 and 2 but not 3. http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20060810/pl_afp/britainattacksairline_060810185330>Agence France Press for one.

I don't see how anyone can pretend that none of "what we're seeing" is driven by domestic political considerations. Everything the administration does is driven on some level by domestic political considerations. That isn't to say the terror alert shouldn't be at red, but Bush and Tony Snow have already tied the bombings to the Lamont victory and used it as an excuse to bash Democrats.

I'm afraid to say, that May fella has me pegged. I've always felt we should have greeted them with flowers and, maybe, a casserole or something. You know, "Do unto others" and all that jazz.

I think that if I was a Democrat running for office my response would be "Terrorism is best fought through good police work, not unnecessary and distracting wars. Do Americans really want their safety to be in the hands of the administration that handled Katrina?"
Then I'd say something about the need for bipartisan support for legal and Constitutional police work and intelligence gathering efforts.

hilzoy,

I see. Well, thank goodness my wife doesn't read here, nonetheless; she gets somewhat territorial. ;)

Besides, a husband ought to at least be able to pretend he's on the same intellectual plane as his wife. I'm already the intellectual runt of the litter in my family. :)

lily,

You don't think that asking for bipartisan support in the very next line after attacking the Republicans like that wouldn't ring just a touch hollow? Besides, since the Bush administration is a lame duck, that kind of line doesn't help much, if at all, outside the kinds of voters you've already got sewn up.

I'm looking forward to DaveC showing up and explaining to Andrew that he's a cowardly Democrat who hates America, for saying these things. And as such Andrew has no credibility on national security.

What the heck, I've already been called a Republican. How much worse can it get?

Andrew, I guess I'm so angry and frightened that the only thing I can think about is how important it is to achieve some some balance in our government, some antidote to the Bush administration through the upcoming election. The Republicans are promoting the view that Democrats are weak on security. Well I think we need to point out that they are incompetent on security. They aren't a lame duck administration yet. They are still in charge of our security and still trying to control the narrative of this election.
Bipartisanship isn't possible now because it takes two to play that game and their team dosn't want to play that way, but I (the imaginary politician) could say that Democrats would be willing to be bipartisan if they were willing to be.

How much worse can it get?

Loser-defeatist.
Cylon.
B5 Hater.

"I think that if I was a Democrat running for office my response would be 'Terrorism is best fought through good police work, not unnecessary and distracting wars.'"

You're saying that you opposed the invasion of Afghanistan, the overthrow of the Taliban, and that we should withdraw our forces there?

Ugh,

Well played. :)

lily,

I sympathize with the frustration. Imagine living in my world, where no matter who wins you know they'll be firmly against what you like. ;)

How much worse can it get?

Loser-defeatist.
Cylon.
B5 Hater.

Green.

Purple.

Green!

Purple!

GREEN!

Who takes Purple is Purple, follows Purple Leader.

Who takes Green is Green, follows Green Leader.

Who knew JMS was making a snide comment about U.S. politics?

Who knew JMS was making a snide comment about U.S. politics?

I thought it was fairly obvious at the time that he was making a snide comment about all politics.

I've always found it amusing how things that are perfectly obvious to one observer go wholly unnoticed by another.

I've always found it amusing how things that are perfectly obvious to one observer go wholly unnoticed by another.

Well yes, that's obviously true.

Well yes, that's obviously true.

LOL.

"I thought it was fairly obvious at the time that he was making a snide comment about all politics."

Not necessarily politics; in fact, I think it was far more directed at aspects of humans that are less, or not at all, a matter of choice: ethnicity, what religion you are born into, skin color, tribe, and so on.

"Everything the administration does is driven on some level by domestic political considerations."

I see nothing intrinsically wrong in melding politics, partisan politics, and pork with foreign relations, national security and defense. There is nothing wrong with wanting the Hummers built in your district, if your district can do the job. Or even it can do the job only 80% as well, civilian control of the military will add inefficencies but that is an acceptable price to pay. The military serves the politicians who serve the people.

Lincoln to somebody:"Just get me a victory before the election." If that cost lives, but got Lincoln re-elected, it may have been worth it. His opponents were also free to call him on it.
...
If this topic is in any way connected to the Executive Power questions, the best thing I have read this week was by Lawrence Tribe guesting over at Jack Balkin's:

ABA Signing Statements Report

Shorter Tribe:Signing Statements in principle OK Fine;in substance & practice impeachable offenses. E.g., saying certain provisions of McCain encroach on Executive Power OK, tho perhaps in error;actually torturing very bad.

FWIW:anytime I sum up the content of a many thousand word piece in two sentences, assume it is a mischaracterization.

"Secret initiatives to monitor terrorist groups and suspects, trace their finances, interrogate captured combatants thoroughly and detain combatants as long as necessary" is, of course, code for illegal wiretapping, torture policies, and secret prisons. So it's worthwhile to point out that, as far as we know, the British don't have any of those.

You're saying that you opposed the invasion of Afghanistan, the overthrow of the Taliban, and that we should withdraw our forces there?

How exactly has the war in Afghanistan minimized the terrorist threat? Hint: if you really want to do something about terrorism, you have to turn around Pakistan, amongst other things, but that's not going to happen, because US foreign policy towards this country has for some reason always been guided by breathtaking stupidity (cf. Steve Coll 2001).

Well as far as wiretapping, that which causes much consternation in the US tends to be just legal in the UK.

Oops and I didn't address enough of your quote. The "Secret Initiatives to monitor terrorist groups and suspects and trace their finances" are much more likely to be legal there too.

Even Better:
Who is for aggressive and secret initiatives to monitor terrorist groups and suspects, trace their finances, interrogate captured combatants thoroughly and detain combatants as long as necessary 'without invading a sovereign nation?'

Even Better:
Who is for aggressive and secret initiatives to monitor terrorist groups and suspects, trace their finances, interrogate captured combatants thoroughly and detain combatants as long as necessary 'without invading a sovereign nation?'

Clifford May is a pathological liar. To wit, in 2004 he stated that FDR waited until after WWII to have the commission investigate what happened at Pearl Harbor.

Aside from the fact that the commission was established in December 1941, let's have a show of hands: who among us did not know that FDR died before VE Day?

Like most liars, he can't even keep his own lies straight. He's not even worthy of our contempt.

The comments to this entry are closed.