According to the latest Republican spin, an Al Qaeda attack will help Republicans – except when it helps Democrats. Throughout the past five or six years, there were numerous occasions when Republicans either promoted or invented threats in order to bolster their campaign prospects or blunt good news for Democrats. The theory being that the elevated fear factor would induce voters to cling to the perceived security of hard-line right-wingers like Bush, and now, McCain. Keith Olbermann has documented this tactic in his ongoing series, “The Nexus of Politics and Terror.” [Video below]
However, when asked at a campaign event in Pennsylvania whether Al-Qaeda might step up its attacks to hurt his campaign, John McCain said:
“Yes, I worry about it. And I know they pay attention, because of the intercepts we have of their communications.”
Al Qaeda may be paying attention, but the press certainly is not. No one bothered to ask McCain why he thought such attacks would hurt his campaign. Why is he presuming that a more dangerous Iraq would be detrimental to Republicans; particularly in light of the historical exploitation of fear for which his party is well known. After years of selling Republicans as the party that will protect us from terrorists, all of a sudden Republicans are afraid that more terrorism will accrue to the benefit of Democrats.
Actually, McCain may be delivery a generous compliment. Perhaps he is finally admitting that escalating violence in Iraq would spur the American people to support Democrats because Democrats are trusted more with national security matters. He may have just realized that the public rates Democrats higher than Republicans with regard to managing the war in Iraq. Isn’t it wonderful that McCain now concedes the superiority of Democrats?
It’s too bad, however, that the media lets McCain get away with such blatant fear-mongering. The suggestion that Al Qaeda would increase violence in order to hurt McCain implies that Al Qaeda is rooting for Democrats. But that unconscionable falsehood is only trotted out when Republican strategists think they can use it to tarnish their opponents. Then, after having done so, the same strategists fabricate threats of increased violence to tarnish their opponents from the opposite direction. The logic just doesn’t gel. If Republicans really believe that increased violence by Al Qaeda will help Democrats, how can they also believe that the increased violence will help Republicans? Obviously, they don’t believe any of it. It is political gamesmanship of the most most cynical order. It would be nice if they got called on it by some enterprising and honest reporter.
The Nexus of Politics and Terror: