We dislike being so indelicate. Some Democrats are so very well-mannered. However, this is an important learning moment.
The Senator from Connecticut is sure to object to our lack of finesse, our tastelessness.
Handsome Johnny from McMansion, and the Governor from New Mexico, will sniff at us for being so vulgar as to discuss political calculation.
The nutroots will rush for appropriate quotes from Foucault, Dawkins and Derrida. They will dust off their Lakoff to lecture about their “memes” and their “frames” – concepts they have no real-world knowledge of.
While the Big Blogs and others conjoin with “memes” and “frames” and other such rot let’s discuss the concept of pissing in the well.
“Pissing in the well” is also known as “spitting in the punchbowl”, “poisoning the wellwater”, and other, much more graphic, verbiage. The reason to “poison the well” is so that water cannot be drawn from it. The person who poisons the well does so because they will derive some advantage from doing so. In most cases the person who poisons the well has a hidden supply of water and by poisoning the well deprives an opponent from having water. Sometimes the idea is to merely deprive use of the wellwater.
An associated concept is that of a blind person in a fight with a sighted person who shoots out the lightbulb in order to even the chances of winning the fight.
Yesterday, Hillary upset the Big Blog memers and framers when she said
“It’s a horrible prospect to ask yourself, ‘What if? What if?’ But if certain things happen between now and the election, particularly with respect to terrorism, that will automatically give the Republicans an advantage again, no matter how badly they have mishandled it, no matter how much more dangerous they have made the world. So I think I’m the best of the Democrats to deal with that as well.”
Was Hillary right? (1) Is Hillary the best person to deal with potential terror threats or attacks? (2) Will Ripublicans have an automatic advantage “again, no matter how badly they have mishandled it, no matter how much more dangerous they have made the world?”
The first question is easy to answer: Yes, Hillary is the best person to deal with potential terror threats or attacks. As we pointed out yesterday Hillary is viewed by Americans and the world as “tough” not weak. Terrorists and enemies of the United States remember Hillary’s clear warning as a deterrent “If we are attacked, and we can determine who is behind that attack, and if there are nations that supported or gave material aid to those who attacked us, I believe we should quickly respond” Edwards and Obama have signaled confusion and have “stumbled on a few occasions, particularly on how to respond to any new terrorist attacks.”
What about the contention by Hillary that has given Big Blogs, PINOs and Naderites the vapors: Will Ripublicans have an automatic advantage “again, no matter how badly they have mishandled it, no matter how much more dangerous they have made the world?”
Hillary opponents, whether out of desperate opportunism or genuine disagreement, argue first that we should not discuss such a topic in the context of domestic politics and/or that the Ripublicans and Bush are so very very discredited that Americans will actually think rationally in case of a terrorist threat or worse, an actual terrorist attack in the United States, just before the elections.
Will Americans react rationally in the face of fear by putting the blame where it belongs – on Bush and Ripublicans?
Many on the Big Blogs, PINOs and Hillary opponents have forgotten the many “terror alerts” before the 2004 elections. They forget the massive television coverage and the gripping fear many Americans FELT. Fear trumps rationality at least in the short run and only a Democratic candidate who prepares for such an eventuality can beat fearmongering revolving around terror threats, let alone an actual terror strike, close to an election.
Here is what Kerry said about the in retrospect bland Bin Laden video which came out just before the 2004 election:
“US Democratic Senator John Kerry says a video message from Osama Bin Laden sealed his defeat in a presidential race dominated by the 9/11 attacks.
Mr Kerry told NBC TV his opinion poll lead over President George W Bush fell away after the tape was broadcast.
He said national security was the decisive issue in the November 2004 poll, won eventually by President Bush.
Osama Bin Laden’s video, shown days before the vote, urged Americans to back neither Mr Bush nor Mr Kerry.
“I believe that 9/11 was the central deciding issue in this race,” he said.
He said the impact of Bin Laden’s message was evident by the dent in his ratings that followed its appearance.
“We were rising in the polls up until the last day when the tape appeared. We flat-lined the day the tape appeared and went down on Monday
We wish that Kerry would have talked about the many “terror alerts” well before the 2004 election. We wish that Kerry had prepared the American people for the fear they would feel in case of a Bin Laden tape just before the election. We wish that Kerry has “pissed in the well” so that Ripublicans could not have used fear and “national security” arguments against him. We are sure Kerry wishes he had spoken out clearly and repeatedly about fear and terror threats and alerts.
Polls show the Democrats have closed the “national security” gap between Ripublicans and Democrats. Democrats cannot allow that national security gap to return. Democrats cannot hide from the “terror” issue nor from Ripublican exploitation of fear. Hillary is taking the fear out of the issue by talking about it.
We have nothing to fear but fear itself.