Saturday, August 26, 2006

Hoping for an Attack

Russell Shaw at the Huffington Post is hoping for an October surprise - one by terrorists. He figures that a major terrorist attack just before the election would give the election to the Democrats. He goes so far as to compare innocents killed in an attack like this to the American soldiers killed in WWII.
But on the other hand, I remind myself that without the ultimate sacrifice paid by 400,000 U.S. soldiers in World War II, tyranny could well have an iron grip on the world, and even on this nation.
[...] What if another terror attack just before this fall's elections could save many thousand-times the lives lost?
He then engages in some strange math. He assumes that the new Democratic majority will pass everything they've talked about and it will all work extraordinarily well. He also puts the current administration in the worst possible light. His list of lives saved includes:

Block the next Supreme Court appointment, one which would surely result in the overturning of Roe and the death of hundreds if not thousands of women from abortion-prohibiting states at the hands of back-alley abortionists;

Be in a position to elevate the party's chances for a regime change in 2008. A regime change that would:

Save hundreds of thousands of American lives by enacting universal health care;

Save untold numbers of lives by pushing for cleaner air standards that would greatly reduce heart and lung diseases;

More enthusiastically address the need for mass transit, the greater availability of which would surely cut highway deaths;

Enact meaningful gun control legislation that would reduce crime and cut fatalities by thousands a year;

Fund stem cell research that could result in cures saving millions of lives;

Boost the minimum wage, helping to cut down on poverty which helps spawn violent crime and the deaths that spring from those acts;

Be less inclined to launch foolish wars, absence of which would save thousands of soldiers' lives- and quite likely moderate the likelihood of further terror acts.

Even assuming that any of this passed, his numbers are off. Universal Health Coverage ends up applying cost/benefit ratios to medical care with the result that health care is leveled instead of improved. Air and water standards across the board are as high or higher than during the Clinton administration and there is little evidence that tighter regulation will result in measurable benefits. Justifying mass transit in order to cut highway deaths is a major stretch. Gun control is at best neutral. At worst, it increases crime. Stem cell research might result in major cures or it may not but it has been oversold. Current proposals for boosting the minimum wage fall short of curing poverty and will boost chronic unemployment.

Then there is the question of "foolish wars". As of 9/11/6 President Bush had not engaged in any wars, foolish or otherwise. The wars we engaged in under Clinton didn't moderate the terrorists one bit.

This is one more example of Bush Derangement Syndrome. Shaw has convinced himself that Bush is worse than the terrorists so it would be better for them to succeed if it causes Bush to fail.


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