But the main reason I wont be tuning in Air America is that radio is my least favorite news source; its the pushiest of Push Media. Perhaps if I spent more time in my car . . .
A government that had decided to treat its citizens as adults would have, in due course, explained that while the clear and present threat of Al Qaeda would be met by appropriate responses including military, intelligence, and law-enforcement measures, terrorism itself is a permanent feature of modern civilization that can only be minimized at best. A government that regarded its citizens as children would proclaim a state of war, both promising eventual victory and demanding exigent loyalty, while instituting restrictions on civil liberties that would last as long as a single terrorist remained at large. Before the first tower fell, I had no doubt which course the Bush Administration would take.
As much as anyone, Donald Rumsfeld was the public face and voice of the U.S. governments paternalism, assuring Americans that swift and just retribution was being dealt to evil-doers while reminding them that war isnt an ice cream social. If John Ashcroft has been our guilt-invoking mother, claiming that only terrorists and traffickers in drugs and pornography need fear increased surveillance, then Rumsfeld has been our hickory-switch-bearing father, intoning that that the War on Terror hurts him more than it hurts us.
Critics and supporters all agree that the single most important (if not only) argument for voting for George W. Bush this November is that national security is "Job One" and that Bush has demonstrated his superior proficiency at this task. Today, Rumsfeld testified in his Plain-Spoken manner that, given the limitations of intelligence-gathering and the resourcefulness of terrorists, there wasnt much that could have been done to prevent 9/11, and we will likely be attacked again.
But never mind that. Just remember that, as Lileks said, if John Kerry is elected, then the terrorists will have won.
Spain Is The New France
As handy an analogy as Munich is, it doesnt really apply (if indeed it ever did). As Krauthammer points out, no one could seriously believe that ejecting Aznars party would reduce Spains risk of attack from Al Qaeda. The corrolary of this principle is that no one should seriously believe that re-electing the Popular Party would increase Al Qaedas desire to attack Spain; everything we know about Al Qaeda suggests that we are simply props in their internal fantasy, and modifying our policies in the hope that we can deter or discomfit Al Qaeda is to engage in psychological shadow boxing with an invisible shadow. Might it then be more plausible to assume that the Spanish voters were motivated by factors other than how their nation figures in the dramatic narratives of either Osama bin Laden or George W. Bush? Particularly when you consider the reports the Socialists were gaining on the PP prior to 11-M, and that Spaniards themselves stated that a chief motive for their rejection of the PP was that they didnt appreciate being deceived on the eve of an election. This is what really alarms Bushs supporters: the refusal by an elecorate to see everything through the lens of the "war on terror."
Kevin Drum asks: how does it serve Bush-supporters interests to breezily generalize this single electoral result into a trend threatening to alienate all of Bushs European allies? Perhaps the recent Wonkette-driven Punking of the Bush re-election site unintentionally (?) handed Rove the campaigns new theme: "Bush-Cheney '04: Thrown Out of More European Countries Than the Visigoths."
(Attributions of responsibility to Oliver Kahn are probably premature at this point.)