Friday, February 8, 2008

"Probably" Bush's last year in office

This is slightly stale, but as noted below, I have just come across some old (but new to me) information that I thought I'd share: on the morning of the most recent State of the Union Address, the Washington Post, in its front page story, noted that this would be the Preznit's "seventh and probably final" SOTU (emphasis added). This was picked up by TPM.

WaPo later clarified that this phraseology was used because the president may give SOTU addresses more frequently than once per year, and therefore it is possible that there could be another prior to the end of Bush's term. Ok, fair enough.

But surfing around last night I came across this item. Apparently Newsweek reported back in July 2004 that the Bush administration had formally asked the DOJ to look into the possibility of postponing the 2004 elections "in the event of a terrorist attack on or about that day". This was apparently in response to one of the announcements occurring frequently during that time period where Tom Ridge got on teevee and warned us all that we could die at any moment.

According to the story:
Ridge warned Thursday that al Qaeda terrorists were planning a large-scale attack on the United States "in an effort to disrupt the democratic process." Ridge said he had no specific or credible information about threats to the political conventions.
These events seem to have set off alarm in some quarters. You know, among those unhinged segments of the populace (usually confined to Dirty Fucking Hippies) that are "alarmists" and tend to freak out when they hear the government speaking of elections, and the electorate's right to vote, as things that can be delayed or postponed or or suspended. All for your own safety and security, you understand. After all, we know that the most precious right a person can have is "the right to be kept alive".

So... in response to these alarmists (which included a wide swath of congresspeople), the administration quickly downplayed the whole thing (but didn't, conspicuously, say that they wouldn't continue to look into the matter) as simply a misunderstanding.

So. Not wanting to be labeled an alarmist myself, I would just suggest that people keep this in mind when this November rolls around. Along with the following facts: (1) George W. Bush is not a candidate in this particular election, and (2) those items of "chatter" and "credible threats" which we often hear about -- but never their actual substance -- are quite difficult for the public (or Congress, for that matter) to subject to any objective kind of analysis.

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