OK. this post is just beyond the pale.
The backstory: Kelley Ferguson is a stupid idiot who faked a terrorist threat in order to get out of a cruise with her parents. Missed her boyfriend. Totally stupid.
But how do you get from there to blaming Bush? “And many people, wavering between fear of the unknown and the all too casual attittude eminating from the White House, can treat a terrorist attack as a prank.”
I don’t think Bush is doing a good job setting the national mood on terrorism. The aftereffects of Gulf War II are going to matter; people can’t help but notice the lack of WMDs in Iraq and the recent Al Qaeda bombings will erode trust. Bush said that regime change would reduce terrorist threats, and that clearly hasn’t happened.
A digression: the last wave of Al Qaeda attacks came while we were debating the wisdom of war on Iraq. I said at the time that I suspected Osama wanted the US attacking Iraq. I think recent events make that even more likely; psychologically, he’s demonstrating that all that US effort (which was encouraged by the October 2002 incidents) didn’t stop him. And, come to think of it, the chances that Iraq will be run by Islamic extremists are somewhat higher (not a lot, but a little) than they were before the war — Osama’s gotten rid of his rival Saddam at very little cost to himself. Nice work. Sigh.
Back to the point. Bush is not doing a good job of anything except making us feel tough. However, you can’t bloody well blame Kelley Ferguson on that. She has parents, does she not? They are presumably not deaf and dumb; presumably they have occasional communications with their daughter, if she’s going on a cruise with them.
So how about we stop pointing fingers at the Administration, and start taking some responsibility for our own actions? Her parents fucked up. They did a bad job raising her. It is not OK to — permit the metaphor — make jokes about guns when you’re boarding a plane. I learned that lesson as a kid, and I learned it while Reagan was President. Somehow my parents managed to shield me from the awful consequences of a Republican President and taught me some common sense, miracle of miracles.
Blaming Bush for bad parenting is inane, and it speaks to one of the sadder tropes of the left wing in this country. Personal relationships have far more of an effect on children and our morals than what the government says, and individuals are not helpless. We do ourselves a disservice when we pretend otherwise, particularly when it’s for partisan reasons.