The Next Attack

According to the new WaPo poll, Bush still leads Kerry on the handling of terrorism by double digits.

If (and, some would say, when) another attack happens or is attempted before the election like in Spain, what will happen?

For those who think it will help Kerry, my gut tells me it won’t. First, there is the “rally” effect where voters will rally around the President. Then, there is the inevitable liberal attack, however subtle, that will offend voters. Then, there is the response — which is how the candidates will be judged. Republicans will start hitting Kerry with his rube goldbergian quotes about the response being primarily “law enforcement.”** Meanwhile, everyone else will want hell unleashed — and that is what Bush will deliver.

So, I suppose the leftists should actually discover God and start praying that the terrorists do not strike.

** For some reason, maybe credibility, I think Republicans are more able to play politics with national security than the Dems. Maybe it is because Republicans are perceived to have demostrated their credibility on the issue and the Democrats have not. The same goes with Defense. When the GOP plays politics on the issue, it almost always comes off as “pro-troops.” When the Dems do it, even if it is “pro-troops,” it generally is perceived as contrived and blatantly political. Again, this all probably goes back to some sort of Vietnam psychology.

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Erick Erickson

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