A Dark Chapter in American History
By Brad Friedman on 8/1/2004, 4:08pm PT  

I had planned a review of the various failed strategies of the Bush-Cheney Campaign, and a look at what is left for them to try. I hope to do just that before leaving town shortly.

But by way of a preview, Atrios hit upon the lynchpin of a very dark and dangerous truth. There is only one way for Bush-Cheney right now to eke out a win (short of Kerry imploding of his own volition). In the attempt to do so, I'm sad to say, they'll be manipulating and preying upon the fears of the American people between now and November in every subtle, and sometimes not-so-subtle, way possible.

Here's a perfect example of their only "hope". And it's a dark, cynical, and dangerous one indeed...

Playing Politics With Terror Alerts

Ridge, today:

But we must understand that the kind of information available to us today is the result of the president's leadership in the war against terror, the reports that have led to this alert are the result of offensive intelligence and military operations overseas, as well as strong partnerships with our allies around the world, such as Pakistan.

Today's "terror alert", coming as it did earlier enough to make it onto the Sunday News Programs after a universally lauded DNC Convention, along with the announced arrest in Pakistan last Thursday (on the morning of Kerry's big speech) of one of the African Embassy bombers who had been captured the previous Sunday (but the announcement waited as requested until "'twenty-six, twenty-seven, or twenty-eight July'--the first three days of the Democratic National Convention in Boston") shows that the Bush Leaguers are not ashamed in the least to play this card. Ridge's phrasing above demonstrates that clearly.

This is not the stuff of conspiracy theorists. This is the stuff of subtle, shrewd and cynical manipulation of the very real fears of the American people.

While such tactics should be out of bounds at all times --- and from both parties in this country --- Bush-Cheney has such a dreadful "record of achievement" to draw from, and their other hopes of dividing and conquering have amounted to little more than $100 million down the drain, this sort of insidiously subtle parasitism may well be the only prayer they have left. Clearly they are not above the moral dishonesty required to exploit such a cynical tactic for all they can.