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Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Disagreeing With Honest People

Is always a more pleasant task than disagreeing with dishonest ones. So I'm a little less fearful of disagreeing publicly with Rick Moran. Rick's a very intelligent and well-spoken individual, but we all throw up a brick every now and then on the basketball court of blogging.

You have to read his entire post. I can wait.

Okay, where does Rick go off the rails? In my opinion it's on this line:

And in this respect, there are very troubling indications that the President has gone too far in trying to secure the nation from a terrorist attack.

To which I reply, that he can only think that because there hasn't been another one. Suppose there had been 200 killed in a March 2004 train bombing in Chicago, not Madrid. Suppose there had been 55 killed in subway and bus bombings in New York City in July of last year, not in London.

This brings up something I was thinking about in another context earlier today. A lot of people claim that Ross Perot was the reason Bill Clinton won the presidency in 1992. I don't know about that; there are after all quite a few variables in the equation. One big reason for Ronald Reagan's victory in 1980, was that the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan had convinced a great deal of people that communism was a serious threat. The Republicans were tough on communism, while the Democrats were perceived as (and were, after the 1960s) soft on communism.

But in 1989 and 1990 the Soviet empire crumbled, and while the Chinese communists managed to stay in power the perceived inevitable onslaught of communism evaporated overnight. And while it was a great victory for the Republicans (and the Democrats before about 1968), it also took the tough on communism argument largely off the board.

And that's about where Bush is on terrorism. The irony of there not being any terrorist attacks on American soil in about 52 months is that being tough on terrorism moves a little more to the back burner. And civil rights may move more to the front; remember that some of the holdouts on the Patriot Act renewal were libertarian-oriented.

I disagree with Rick strongly on this, and ask him to consider where his personal freedoms have been abridged. He does cite a couple of cases, but I'm running late on something else and will have to look them up later.
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