I have just finished reading Michele Catalano's morning ramble. No worries, Michele, everyting tied together quite well, despite the time crunch.
I keep getting an image in my head when I get to pondering the political goings-on.
Fade in: Interior, Roman Classical chamber, very late Roman Empire. Many men in togas sitting around debating noisily. One man (Emperor) in purple robes rises from a throne. Crowd stills.
Emperor: The information that the Vandals have crossed the Alps is insufficient to prove the fact. In addition, the raising of additional legions would only serve to increase the influence of General Flavius. Therefore, no further legions shall be raised.
Point made, I hope. That was cent #1.
Cent #2 is right close to #1. This habit much of the blogosphere and Big Media have of immediately casting any event in terms of Whom Does This Help or Hurt is narrowing our vision down so much that true threats are sneaking past. Allegations of timing for effect immediately take matters past Does this Help or Hurt the Country and straight to Does this Help/Hurt Rep/Dem?
Lord knows, I'm just as guilty. The first time I ever read the name Osama bin Ladin was when Clinton hit the Afghan training camps and the Sudanese aspirin factory with cruise missiles. Recall this was about the same time as Monica's testimony before Ken Starr. My first thought was, "Out of what second-rate James Bond script did they pull this guy out of?" The only thing a person needed to say to make a sly comment about it was "Wag the Dog". After 9/11, I recall my attitude back then and feel a stab of shame. What if I and everyone else had looked past the convenient political timing and saw OBL and al Qaida for what it really was. I won't say that 9/11 wouldn't have happened, but maybe things might have been different.