Ever notice how right-wingers seem to positively relish the prospect of Americans being attacked by terrorists? Mainly it's because they love to wrap themselves in the bloody flag of these national tragedies and claim them for their own, almost purely as a way to proclaim themselves more patriotic than everyone else.
That, and as G.W. Bush and Rudy Giuliani can tell you, it gives you long-lasting cover for pushing the rest of your agenda, and something to blame for all your problems.
Adam Shah at Media Matters observes the latest iteration from the wingnutosphere:
The right-wing media is in full freak-out mode over President Obama's reported statement that, while "[w]e'll do everything we can to prevent" another terror attack, but that if one comes "we can absorb" it. But no response may be able to match that of Warner Todd Huston, who says in a post on Jim Hoft's Gateway Pundit blog that "somehow I can't escape the feeling that this flippancy comes from Obama's envy that George W. Bush got a 'big event' to make his presidency."
Huston later adds:
I can just see him, green with envy that Bush got that big moment. If ONLY Hussein could get a big attack of his own, why THEN he'd show the world what a great president he could be! If only we could "absorb" a big one like 9/11, eh Barrack [sic]? And we'd take it.... and take it....
It's funny how conservatives see these tragedies as big political jackpots, isn't it? Because, hey -- for them, it was. Remember George W. Bush's little "joke," circa 2002?
"You know, I was campaigning in Chicago and somebody asked me, is there ever any time where the budget might have to go into deficit? I said only if we were at war or had a national emergency or were in recession. Little did I realize we'd get the trifecta." —President George W. Bush, Charlotte, North Carolina, Feb. 27, 2002
Of course, it was also noteworthy that this joke was a complete lie:
Bush's story, moreover, is fundamentally false as a purely chronological matter: Bush was already facing the certainty of deficit spending at the end of the summer of 2001, well before the attacks of Sept. 11. Some $4 trillion worth of budget surplus vanished over the spring and summer that year, and budget experts sounded the alarm about looming deficits then. The Congressional Budget Office warned Bush on Aug. 29 that Social Security funds would be needed to balance the books, forcing him to abandon a campaign promise not to use the retirement fund for other government spending.
Indeed, that is just what Bush proceeded to do in his actual budget, presented in January. According to the CBO, Bush’s budget plan would drain every dollar of the $527 billion surplus from the Social Security Trust Fund for the next two fiscal years even while creating a deficit. It would continue to raid the fund for varying amounts each year through 2012. Even with the fund’s help, the federal budget is expected to be in deficits through at least 2005.
Most economists peg the source of these nagging deficits on Bush's tax-cut plan, the deepest portions of which loom ahead. The administration sternly denies this. Yet it’s clear that while Sept. 11 may have deepened and broadened the budget-deficit problem, the administration was faced with chronic budget deficits no matter what.
I'm also reminded of Michael Scheuer's ardent wish from early in the Obama administration:
Scheuer: The only chance we have as a country right now is for Osama bin Laden to deploy and detonate a major weapon in the United States. Because it's going to take a grass-roots, bottom-up pressure. Because these politicians prize their office, prize the praise of the media and the Europeans. It's an absurd situation again. Only Osama can execute an attack which will force Americans to demand that their government protect them effectively, consistently, and with as much violence as necessary.
One can only imagine Scheuer's disappointment -- as well as Glenn Beck's -- that we haven't suffered such a tragedy.
After all -- contrary to Huston's fantasy -- such a political benefit would never apply to Obama, because the Republican Rules would be in effect here: No matter what a Democratic president does, any pretext will suffice for impeachment.
The fact we haven't had a significant terrorist attack is probably the only thing keeping them from trying to initiate impeachment proceedings against Obama. (Just as they certainly would have, had we had President Gore in 2001 as the voters intended.) And if they win in November, you can count on that happening anyway.