Saturday, August 19, 2006

Desperately Seeking Affirmation

But I'm telling you: Katrina still looms large in the public imagination, even if it doesn't dominate the nightmares of political consultants or the rants of political bloggers.

Frank Rich (via Raw Story):

"The results are in for the White House's latest effort to exploit terrorism for political gain: The era of Americans' fearing fear itself is over," writes Rich.

"In each poll released since the foiling of the trans-Atlantic terror plot -- Gallup, Newsweek, CBS, Zogby, Pew -- George W. Bush's approval rating remains stuck in the 30s, just as it has been with little letup in the year since Katrina stripped the last remaining fig leaf of credibility from his presidency," Rich writes.
As Rich is quoted saying about the "liquid bomb" plot:

What makes the foiled London-Pakistan plot seem more of a serious threat -- though not so serious it disrupted Tony Blair's vacation -- is that the British vouched for it, not Attorney General Gonzales and his Keystone Kops. This didn't stop Michael Chertoff from grabbing credit in his promotional sprint through last Sunday's talk shows. "It was as if we had an opportunity to stop 9/11 before it actually was carried out," he said, insinuating himself into that royal we. But no matter how persistent his invocation of 9/11, our secretary of homeland security is too discredited to impress a public that has been plenty disillusioned since Karl Rove first exhibited the flag-draped remains of a World Trade Center victim in a 2004 campaign commercial. We look at Chertoff and still see the man who couldn't figure out what was happening in New Orleans when the catastrophe was being broadcast in real time on television.
The emphasis is all mine.

Of course, now Scotland Yard has only 4 days left to make a case against 23 suspects, or release them. The case has raised more questions than answers, but the suggestion that "mass murder on an unbelievable scale" was "imminent" was most certainly exaggerated.

Turn out the lights; the party's over.

Update: NTodd has Rich's column in its entirety.

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