August 12, 2006


Arrests Bolster G.O.P. Bid to Claim Security as Issue (ADAM NAGOURNEY, 8/12/056, NY Times)

The developments played neatly into the White House-led effort, after Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, Democrat of Connecticut, lost on Tuesday to an antiwar primary challenger, to remind voters of the threats facing the nation and to cast Democrats as timid on national defense.

The arrests were announced less than 24 hours after Vice President Dick Cheney and other Republican officials suggested that Mr. Lieberman’s defeat reflected the world view of a Democratic Party that was not prepared to lead the nation in such dangerous times.

Mr. Cheney, who a spokesman said had been kept abreast of the investigation, suggested in his remarks Wednesday that the outcome of a Democratic primary in Connecticut could embolden “Al Qaeda types.” [...]

On Capitol Hill and in states where Republicans are facing tough re-election battles, party officials applauded the arrests by the British authorities as evidence of the administration’s policies in fighting terrorism, and suggested that Americans might take a cue from the tougher antiterrorism statutes Britain has enacted. In line with their efforts to keep the election from being a referendum on Mr. Bush and instead make it a choice between two distinct approaches to national security and other issues, they used the arrests to portray Democrats as weak. [...]

In a sign of how the terrorism issue was roiling American politics, Mr. Lieberman echoed Mr. Cheney as he attacked his primary opponent, Ned Lamont, for his opposition to the war. He said Mr. Lamont’s desire to withdraw troops from Iraq would result in victory for Islamic extremists.

At the very least, the arrests in Britain were viewed by both parties as something of an August surprise, the kind of event that can change the story line of a campaign.

Isn't the point that Democrats are surprised that aggressive surveillance reveals such plots before they occur?

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 12, 2006 10:41 AM

"Isn't the point that Democrats are surprised that aggressive surveillance reveals such plots before they occur?" Oh, they traced the money transfers too.

Posted by: ic at August 12, 2006 11:29 AM

Oh, I don't think they're surprised at all. They'd be doing exactly the same things as Bush if they were in power. In fact they'd probably be less concerned with preserving civil liberties than Bush.

But in opposition all they care about is regaining power. Thus Bush's efforts to prevent terrorist tactics are win/win for them -- or rather they are try to make them win/win.

If Bush acts to preempt attacks they scream and whine about civil liberties. If Bush then acts less pro-actively in response either to the Dem criticism in re civil liberties, or active court intervention that prevents him from doing what needs to be done, and an attack happens, then the Dems blame it on Bush.

This is why the Dems and their allies in the press and academia are so reviled, and why that poll the other day showed that Republicans will crawl through broken glass to vote this November.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at August 12, 2006 11:52 AM

Shouldn't the articles' headline be "Arrests Bolster G.O.P. Bid to Claim Security is an Issue"? It's already well known that the Dems don't think it's an issue, so why would they be wanting to claim it?

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at August 12, 2006 4:10 PM