In light of nine percent official unemployment and as much as 25 percent defacto unemployment, the Democrats have deflected attention away from our domestic ills and embraced the Politics of Fear as their own. Hope and change didn't work out all that well, so they have co-opted the tried and true panic button of the right to make fear of terror trump fear of job loss, fear of going hungry because of crazily rising food prices, fear of going homeless because of the continued foreclosure crisis and scandal, fear of getting sick because that much vaunted health care reform has somehow lost its luster now that more of us are uninsured and underinsured and jobless and broke than ever before.
They are milking the Bin Laden assassination for all it's worth. It took a week of suspense for the president to give his exclusive interview to Sixty Minutes. Dribs and drabs and thrilling details emerge daily. Today The New York Times is breathlessly reporting that we almost got into a war with Pakistan over it! We were ready to fight our way out, guns blazing.
Meanwhile, the terror level has risen to a new high and our politicians have sunk to a new low in the scuzzy art of fear-mongering. Take my own senior senator from the State of New York, Mr. "I never met a camera I didn't like" Chuck Schumer, for example. Now he wants to establish a "no ride" passenger list for trains, since some of the senile ramblings of Osama contained explosive trainspotting fantasies. So, Schumer apparently believes that terrorists who blow up trains via cell phone remote control or do it the old fashioned way and boobytrap the tracks, will then get on those very same trains to take a leisurely ride.
|Conductor Chuck: "Papers Please!"|
Actually, he doesn't really believe that. He is not a stupid man. But he and his wealthy Wall Street buddies want to make us so afraid of "the Other" that we forget all about how Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley and Bank of America are still robbing us blind, and that none of the real terrorists -- the ones who gamble away the wealth of a nation with impunity -- get any unwanted attention. The Democrats are using the very same tactics perfected by the Republicans. Why not just call a spade a spade and rename Homeland Security The Ministry of Fear? Because that's what it is. Our bloated security state does nothing to keep us safe, as has been well documented in the cases of the Underpants and Times Square bombers. It's usually regular citizens who thwart the bad guys. The so-called terrorists our spy agencies actually "catch" are usually the victims of FBI provocateurship.
The Fear Crusade in the wake of the assassination appears to be working. In New York City yesterday, the bomb squad blew out the windows of a van left idling outside a hospital because it contained some suspicious looking foam tubes. It turned out the driver was a windshield installer who had rushed into the emergency room for treatment of a severe asthma attack, and the tubes were just tools of his trade.
On a New York to California flight Sunday, a Yemeni man pounding on the doors of the plane's cockpit was tackled to the ground by passengers. It turned out he thought he was banging on the restroom door because he had to go, really bad. In another instance, a pilot refused to take off because an Iman headed for a conference on Islamophobia was on board. The cleric was kicked off the flight.
Of course, these events make for great pictures and must-see TV. The Patriot Act is coming up for review, and it needs some PR to keep moving. Paranoia is a great way to help us all feel connected. Forget about the class war here at home and feel as one with Lloyd Blankfein as we battle the evil menace from over there.
|And Now He's a Sank Engine|