The silliest—and most predictable—political spin from the UK airline plot is the newest version of the "Bush bounce." Once again we're told that the foiling of a terrorist act is going to redound to the benefit of the president, the Republicans, and the whole neoconservative family. But this week there's a new twist: It's going to murder (no pun intended) the Democrats, who have just declared themselves anti-war for now and for ever. The Democrats just benched Joe Lieberman, the party's most stalwart supporter of the Iraq war (and stalwart basher of Democrats who opposed the war). And we all know Iraq war = war on terrorism = freedom and America. It's the transitive property; look it up. Here's the shrillest example of the phenomenon, from Jules Crittenden in the Boston Herald.
All those security moms who thought they could go back to being soccer moms Security moms once more. They cast their feel-good votes Tuesday to express their distaste for violence. But that portion of the electorate that allowed itself to be briefly distracted by the bright shiny object Lamont was dangling in front of them—easy peace, all glittery and yours for the asking—are waking up from their gauzy dream this morning and remembering what Joe Lieberman stands for. Their security.
Imagine for a second people who think "Joe Lieberman stands for their security." Do they think Danny DeVito was the hero in "Twins"?
Daniel Henninger provides a counterblaste from the Wall Street Journal, the paper where Lieberman placed an angry editorial that inspired Lamont to run, that has more of the same.
Yes, we know; they support the war on terror but are merely against George Bush's war in Iraq. How does that work?
Last week before the Lamont victory, 12 members of the congressional Democratic leadership sent President Bush a letter urging that he start a phased pullout from Iraq, euphemized as a "redeployment," starting before the end of this year. But it is becoming increasingly fantastic to argue that Iraq, with its apparently limitless supply of suicide bombers, hasn't much to do with the terror threats manifest elsewhere.
Henninger might be releasing a national security secret here—the mind control abilities of Iraqi terrorists. So powerful are they that they pushed a gang of Pakistanis to plot a terrorist attack. What hath Saddam Hussein wrought?
Leaving aside the ghoulishness of praying for political bounces whenever terrorists are busted, this is all incredibly self-deluding. I like the way Steve Sailer put it: "What other possible solution is there for preventing fanatical Muslims from killing people in Britain and America than conquering the secularist regime in a country that didn't have anything to do with these plots?"
The foiling of a terrorist attack three and a half years after we supposedly trapped terrorists on Iraq's flypaper map should inspire some hard thinking about the success of that strategy. But it isn't. It's getting harder and harder to escape the conclusion that neoconservatives and Republican partisans care more about smashing the Democrats than protecting anyone from terrorist attacks.