Tuesday, September 05, 2006

# Posted 9:18 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

WHAT NO ONE DARED SAY IN 2004: If memory serves, both Bush and Cheney made a very careful effort not to insist during the 2004 campaign that they were responsible for preventing any further attacks on US territory after 9/11. (If you recall otherwise, please weigh in below.)

Now, I don't think Bush and Cheney were just being humble. Instead, they recognized that if they took credit for the absence of further attacks, only to have Al Qaeda hit us again before election day, the embarrassment might be enough to cost them a close election.

Today, things are different. On Face the Nation, Mitch McConnell said:

It's demonstrable that we haven't been attacked again here in the last five years. I hope the American people don't believe that's an accident, some quirk--some quirk of fate. It's been
because we've been on offense, going after the terrorists where they are, and fighting in places like Baghdad so we don't have them in places like Washington and New York.
I think McConnell can take the risk of making that assertion, because there is no single target for the voters' anger if Al Qaeda does hit us again before the upcoming election.

In contrast, how long can Democrats go on insisting that the danger of terrorist attack is greater than ever?

Although none of my interactions with DHS persuade me that it has the situation well in hand, history may remember George Bush as a homeland security president if we make it two more years without an attack.
(9) opinions -- Add your opinion

The Maryland and D.C. snipers were in fact disciples of binLaden, with posters of him up in their home... It's hard to say that wasn't another terrorist attack.
You guys in England better be careful. The media makes it sound like you are a hotbed of terrorism.


Posted by the Lemming Herder from Don’t Be A Lemming!
By that logic, I guess Bill Clinton was the "Homeland Security" President too. After all, no foreign terrorist attacked us on US soil for eight years after the WTC bombing in 1993. Was it an accident that Al Qaeda never hit us during Clinton's Presidency?
Ah, Elrod. It seems your partisan sensitivities may have led you past my point about the relationship between history and memory.

Justified or not, presidents get remembered for what they accomplish. Do you disagree?

Thus, Clinton will be remembered as the president of the Roaring '90s. Presumably, however, you reject that accolade, since it suggests that Clinton might also be responsible for the unseen growth of Al Qaeda and its later consequences?
Correction: "what they accomplish" should read "what happens while they are in office".

The former suggests causality.
"Justified or not, presidents get remembered for what they accomplish."

Presidential accomplishment is a reasonable line of questioning. So what has Bush accomplished?

Afghanistan and Iraq are at best unfinished business. Tax cuts are a policy, not an accomplishment.

Bush has a Republican House and Senate. Looking at his Wiki, six years in, and he seems like a timeserver.
"Was it an accident that Al Qaeda never hit us during Clinton's Presidency?"

No, not an accident. They were in preparation mode for the attack on the homeland while testing us by attacking outside the homeland.
"Tax cuts are a policy, not an accomplishment." I think he had a policy of appointing constructionist judges, too. So I suppose putting Roberts and Alito on the SC didn't accomplish anything, either. Bush certainly accomplished very little, if we're allowed to arbitrarily redefine accomplishments as something else.

Bush certainly accomplished very little, if we're allowed to arbitrarily redefine accomplishments as something else.

I will concede that Bush's accomplishments have been solid. half a trillion dollars spent or to be spent in Iraq, nearly 3000 American lives.

To David -- Bush will be remembered for Iraq. His position in history will be judged almost exclusively bu the net result there -- whether positive or negative (unfortunately, the latter looks far more likely right now).
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