Sunday, August 08, 2004


Over at Majikthise, in response to Kevin Drum and Philosoraptor's anger over a few liberals criticizing the administration's terror alert, an excellent point is made:

I disagree that liberals acted irresponsibly. There were good reasons to question the sincerity of the terror alert. First, the evidence they presented was weak. When challenged they fleshed it out, still falling short of a rationale for a upping the terror threat. Criticizing a terror threat has both risks and benefits. Liberals know that if they don't criticize suspicious terror threats, the Bush administration will be tempted to politicize future alerts. A loyal but vigorous opposition imposes costs on the terror threat, deterring the administration from issuing dubious threats in the future. By contrast, liberal self-censorship would give the Republicans a unfair advantage in a brutal election year. This administration hasn't earned the benefit of the doubt. When their claims don't stand up to scrutiny, we have an obligation to say so. The public has a right to know when large segments of the population have ceased to believe the most solemn pronouncements of the Commander in Chief. If we all conceal our doubts for some greater good, we will perpetuate the false impressionthat we trust Bush and perpetuate the myth that he can still govern effectively. This administration has so thoroughly betrayed our trust by politicizing everything from pre-war intelligence to AIDS prevention that it can no longer exact our trust. It has undermined its own efficacy and it is our duty to say so.

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