Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Terror Advantage

Charlie Black, a prominent McCain campaign advisor, recently acknowledged that a terrorist attack on the United States would benefit Republican efforts to hold onto the White House this fall.

An adviser to Sen. John McCain apologized Monday for saying a terrorist attack on the United States would be "a big advantage" for the Republican presidential candidate....

In a Fortune interview, posted on the magazine's Web site Monday, Black said the Arizona senator demonstrated his fluency in foreign policy and security matters following the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in December.
Bhutto's killing was an "unfortunate event," he said, but McCain's "knowledge and ability to talk about it reemphasized that this is the guy who's ready to be commander-in-chief. And it helped us."
Asked if McCain would stand to benefit from a terrorist attack on U.S. soil, Black answered, "Certainly it would be a big advantage to him."

One has to wonder then, in light of this, as to the real reason why the Bush administration has failed so miserably at capturing Osama bin Laden. If, as Charlie Black says, it would boost Republicans’ electoral prospects to have another terrorist attack, or even the threat of a terrorist attack, then it would seem to be awfully convenient to still have the No. 1 international terrorist on the loose as the election is underway.

It has been noted that “fighting terrorism” is the only remaining issue where polls show that Republicans still have an advantage over their Democratic adversaries. Do you think that might have raised some concerns high up in the administration that if bin Laden were to be captured and/or killed that it would become that more difficult to make “terrorism” a top concern for voters?

I’m reminded of these lyrics from Weird Al Yankovic’s Star Wars parody song “Yoda”:

I know Darth Vader’s really got you annoyed
But remember, if you kill him, then you’ll be unemployed

Personally, I like to believe that the Bush administration isn’t really that twisted. It is much nicer to just continue believing that their failure to capture or kill bin Laden is due to their gross incompetence.

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