First: I note that Obama has already begun to frame this appropriately. He has noted that it is Republican policies that have left us vulnerable to another terrorist attack, 6.5 years after 9/11. He has further noted that it is the Republican Iraq fiasco that continues to drain resources from Afghanistan and the hunt for bin Laden.
Second: Just how do Republicans come to the conclusion that another terrorist attack on U.S. soil would be to their advantage? Wouldn't such an attack reveal their failure to protect us?
Finally: The unspoken story behind Black's gaffe is the simple truth that Republicans view the world through a political prism - what would this event mean for my Party and my Candidate... without even pretending to consider the larger ramifications. What ought any sane U.S. citizen say when asked about a terrorist attack on U.S. soil? "It would be a tragedy, and we as a country would respond with all deliberate force!" ... To reflexively respond to such a question in terms of politics - what would it mean for McCain in the election - is simply incredible!
[Okay - I lied. The previous comment was not "finally".]
When bin Laden released an audio tape prior to the 2004 elections it was hailed as a boon for W.
Doesn't bin Laden's freedom to release audio tapes whenever he chooses reveal the failure of W's policies?
Sen Obama is on the right track. Use the continuing threat of terrorism as an argument against the Republicans! If W's policies had worked, we'd not be discussing future terrorist attacks on U.S. soil.
[I believe I just dug myself into a rhetorical hole: suggesting that Republicans respond to question about terrorist attack in terms of politics, and then turning around and advocating that Dems respond to similar question by citing the failure of Republican policy. What follows is my attempt to dig myself out.]
Q: How would a terrorist attack on U.S. soil influence the U.S. election?Did that work?
Dem response: If there were a terrorist attack on U.S. soil between now and the election, it would be a tragedy. We, as a country, would respond by rallying around our President, and do everything in our power to effect justice.
BUT, the very fact that we are still entertaining such a question is a stunning indictment of Republican leadership: now, today, six-and-a-half years after 9/11, bin Laden is still at large, the Taliban is resurgent in Afghanistan, and we still fear attack by extremists. Isn't it time to try something other than failed Republican policies?
[Digression: long-time readers of this blog will recall that I'm betting on a "terrorist" attack on U.S. soil on Halloween. The attack I'm betting on will have been orchestrated by Cheney and carried out by Hezbollah - under Cheney's direction. W will use the attack to declare martial law, adjourn Congress, and cancel the elections... thus attaining Rove's "permanent Republican majority" by fiat! Yes, I am delusional.]
Stop the madness!