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June 22, 2004

Together Again Like 9/12?

In yesterday's Bleat (in the off chance that you haven't read it yet), James Lileks suggests that post-9/11 unity mightn't be reprised in the event of another attack:

Why, I even remember back to the end of 2001, when the general mood seemed to favor bold action to forestall future catastrophe. If we hadn't deposed Saddam, and Bush had won a second term, and there had been a terrorist attack in 05, [Stephen Hayes's] book would be the Democrat's brief for impeachment. BUSH KNEW and did nothing.

And it's not going to get better. I don't think the next attack will bring us together like 9/11. Last time a small portion of the nation went straight to blaming us for enflaming poor Mo Atta and his motley crew; the last three years have seen that poison spread and flourish, and blaming America for the ravings of medieval theocrats is now a legitimate argument in polite society. I'd almost venture to say that a third of the country would conclude that a radiological device exploded in Manhattan would be Bush's fault, because he made the "evil doers" (roll eyes) super-extra-fancy-grade-AA mad.

For the last few weeks I've had this gnawing belief that bin Laden got lucky by attacking during Bush's term. Conventional wisdom says the opposite, because Bush fought back. But he's the enemy now. I ask my Democrat friends what they’d rather see happen – Bush reelected and bin Laden caught, or Bush defeated and bin Laden still in the wind. They're all honest: they'd rather see Bush defeated.

Posted by Justin Katz at June 22, 2004 11:18 AM
Liberalism vs. Conservatism

It was the Republicans who chose, in 2002, to make terrorism a partisan issue for the fall campaign.

Posted by: Joel Thomas at June 25, 2004 12:11 AM

Huh? That's not how I remember it, although if one takes fighting terrorism to be the single greatest threat to our nation, at this time (and did, particularly, a year after 9/11), then the Democrats deserve blame for taking positions such as to be distinct from the anti-terrorism party.

Posted by: Justin Katz at June 25, 2004 10:09 PM