Life must have gotten pretty sad in rightwingland if we if we now have columnists like Stu Bykofsky praying in the Philadelphia Daily News for another 9/11, the ultimate deus ex machina, to rescue conservatism in time for 2008. You would expect sensible folks on The Right to distance themselves from the batshit crazy idea that America needs \more smoking ground zeroes (for example), but that has happened less than you would think. Drudge, Mike Gallagher and FOX’s John Gibson all seem to think that Byofsky has a point.
Somebody might want to ask whether anybody in government feels roughly the same as Bykofsky does. To get some sense of the playing field in 2008, consider that the GOP has put forward such a slate of numbskulls and miscreants that prominent conservatives now debate which Democratic candidate they prefer (hint: not John Edwards). It’s perfectly natural for anyone staring into the abyss to daydream about magical rescue scenarios. And let’s be honest, the terror attacks on 9/11 worked out pretty well for the Republican party. What are the odds that people who apply political calculus to every single other decision (including, not least, terrorism policy) blind themselves about that particular point?
Or you could also ask whether Bykofsky even has his politics right. Gaming the scenario out a bit, he clearly thinks that another mass casualty attack would rally the population back around the happy unity time that some of us remember as Republican hegemony. Maybe, but I think Atrios has it closer to the mark:
So if a massive terrorist attack happened, it wouldn’t be a vindication of what they’ve been doing, it would be proof that they failed to do what George Bush claims is his most important job.
Indeed, people would probably come to the obvious conclusion that president Bush promised to make us safer and failed. The problem is that it might not matter. Remember that decisiveness and steely determination that Republicans thought could never, ever have a negative side? Surprise. No new opprobrium will ever convince Bush to step down or even change course. Instead, as always, he will deal with the crisis by proposing a battery of new draconian powers for himself. Imagining a pariah president demanding ludicrous new enabling laws would be pretty funny except, judging by their maestro performance on last week’s FISA bill, ask yourself how confident you are that Democrats won’t pass them.
John just IM’d me: what would happen if Ward Churchill had said terrorist attacks on the US would be a good thing?
I think that the actual Ward Churchill answers John’s question succinctly. Blogosphere right would throw a yearlong tantrum over the issue and would go on calling Democrats “the party of Stu Bykofsky” into perpetuity, conveniently ignoring the fact that virtually nobody defended or cared about what Stu Bykofsky had to say.
Wait, that isn’t true. Stu Bykofsky seems to have something like plurality support on the right. Even the totally mainstream, totally balanced newscasters at FOX like his point enough to promote it themselves. I guess that you can’t really compare the two scenarios after all.