[media id=7172] Bill O'Reilly was harping on his recent favorite theme -- that Obama needs to keep America a torturing nation in order to keep us saf
January 23, 2009

Bill O'Reilly was harping on his recent favorite theme -- that Obama needs to keep America a torturing nation in order to keep us safe from imminent terrorist attack -- with Laura Ingraham last night, and she chimed in thus:

Ingraham: We want to understand here, Bill, if America is safer today or less safe than she was on January 19. And I think any objective review of what's being done -- and you're right, he promised to do these things and he's doing them -- shutting down the military tribunals temporarily, a 120-day pause, closing Gitmo by 2010, and doing away with [scare quotes] "harsh interrogation methods" -- I think you can make a pretty compelling case that we're less safe today. And Barack Obama apparently is willing to roll the dice on that. Because he made these promises and -- he campaigned on them.

This particularly ugly meme is rapidly gaining favor on the right. It was recently advanced in the Washington Post by George W. Bush's ex-speechwriter, Marc Thiessen, who opined:

President Obama has inherited a set of tools that successfully protected the country for 2,688 days -- and he cannot dismantle those tools without risking catastrophic consequences. On Tuesday, George W. Bush told a cheering crowd in Midland, Tex., that his administration had left office without another terrorist attack. When Barack Obama returns to Chicago at the end of his time in office, will he be able to say the same?

Today, as Steve Benen notes, Thiessen went even farther over the top at The Corner in proclaiming Barack Obama "the most dangerous man ever to occupy the Oval Office." Hysterical and silly doesn't begin to cover it.

As Jason Zengerle adroitly observed, "You almost get the sense guys like Thiessen are hoping for an attack so that they can blame Obama when it happens."

Indeed, claims like these actually invite domestic terrorist attacks, since they announce to terrorist organizations that Obama will be especially politically vulnerable to divisive right-wing attacks if they pull off another major event; Obama won't have Bush's right-wing Mulligan. This in turn will further motivate them to pull off such an event. It makes America a much more inviting target to strategic-oriented terrorists like Al Qaeda (which, since 9/11, has been largely content to focus on its own back yard).

Once again, Conservative ideology is more important to right-wingers than our national well-being. That seems to be a recurring theme these days.

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