Hillary Clinton has exposed another Democratic taboo. She said that a hypothetical new terrorist attack against the U.S. would help the GOP in the 2008 elections, even if the GOP doesn't necessarily deserve it, and she - as a former GOP hottie - is the best Democrat to deal with these issues.
Video 1: Hillary vs Rudy, kid edition. The fat feminists will do literally everything to achieve their goals. ;-)
The second-class Democratic presidential candidates together with their blogging allies got very nervous about her "fascinating" revelation. ;-) They say it's tasteless. They say that Hillary is just like the GOP because she thinks that terrorism is a legitimate political issue that may be used in debates and campaigns.
Well, exactly. That's exactly her point and her advantage. Indeed, terrorism is a legitimate political question. How it could not be? Most of the GOP candidates know it and Hillary knows it, too. The very fact that various likes of Dodd and Edwards deny that terrorism is a legitimate political issue and a part of the U.S. president's job is the reason why they're not the right people for this job, at least in this particular respect.
I think that what Hillary says must be pretty much obvious to anyone who is willing to answer similar questions rationally. A terrorist attack or even a threat of it would help the GOP because the Republicans consider defense to have a more privileged role among the government's tasks while the Democrats usually deny that it is a topic that must be followed in detail. Many of them even think that the terrorist threat is just a temporary reflection of an unpopular U.S. president. Moreover, if Rudy Giuliani - the former mayor of the New York City - remains the GOP frontrunner, it is completely obvious that a terrorist attack would help him tremendously.
There hasn't been a major terrorist attack since 9/11 and the GOP says that it is due to their policies. Surely it is partially true. They're proud about this particular success but nevertheless, it is still true that in the battle against the Democrats, the absence of threats and attacks doesn't help the GOP much.
Is Hillary attracting a terrorist attack by her words? No way. Quite on the contrary. It is also a message for the terrorists themselves: if you realize another terrorist attack, you will pay because the GOP will keep the White House and they will show you much harder fists than what the average Democrats are willing to do. Do you remember how the terrorists convinced Spanish voters to vote for socialists who eventually withdrew all their troops from the Muslim world? Hillary correctly says that this strategy won't work in the U.S.
Is it immoral to talk about similar threats? I don't think that it's immoral. Many people think that talking about catastrophic global warming is not immoral, so I hope that comments about future terrorist attacks can't be immoral either, especially because they're much more likely. Another terrorist attack is a conceivable event that shouldn't be a completely shocking surprise for the U.S. president.
What has happened on 9/11 was very sad. My reactions were intense and I believe that many other people also feel that we may have overreacted. It was a very frustrating event but certainly not an event that could permanently cripple America or the whole Western civilization. Fortunately or unfortunately, 9/11 is exactly the type of job that the U.S. president must expect which is why the U.S. presidential candidates should talk about their opinions about these matters. If someone says that it is tasteless to even consider these possibilities, it doesn't look like he has thought about these questions much.
At the same moment, we should realize that it is pretty likely - I would say that it is more likely than 50% - that there won't be any significant terrorist attack before the elections. No doubt, the attitude of every candidate to the question of terrorism includes a bet. If you say that it is not an important issue and there will be a terrorist attack, you will lose. If you say that it is more important question than how it will look like next year, you may also lose.
And that's the memo.