Why must good be seen as bad?
No liberals were harmed in the writing of this column
It is a beautiful early fall afternoon in the Rocky Mountains. Enjoying a cold Bud Light, you and a group of friends are cheering as the CU Buffs whoop it up against the Washington State Cougars live in Seattle on HDTV.
In the middle of a long pass play, just before the receiver either drops or makes the catch, Peter Jennings interrupts with an emergency announcement: “Osama bin Laden has been captured by American forces in a rat-filled cave near the Pakistan border …”
It is Sept. 11, 2004.
At this point, there will be two types of people in this world: A) Happy. B) Unhappy.
Which type are you?
It will be a wonderful day for those who love freedom and hate terrorism, which should be each of us on the planet. But alas, we regretfully know that such a nirvana will never be reached as long as religious fanaticism exists.
So for many, the very first thought upon hearing those words will be, “All right! Way to go, W!” But for others, it will be, “Why that son of a …,” also in reference, of course, to President Bush.
These will be the same type of sad ignorant souls who claimed Bush Sr. paid the Iranians to keep holding onto the American hostages until after he and Reagan defeated Carter in November of 1980, where in tribute to his peanut-brained competition Reagan coined the term “October surprise.”
The 2004 elections crop of nutcase conspirators theorize that Osama has already been captured and is hidden away in a super double-secret location (perhaps Chirac’s bribery closet) in order to be brought out and paraded for all the world to witness just prior to the November election. This wildly implausible theory seems to be based on absolutely no evidence whatsoever other than the fact that some people really, really hate President Bush and are afraid it might actually happen, thus propelling him to victory seven weeks later.
Dick Morris, whom I will never forgive for single-handedly propelling Clinton to another term in 1996, nevertheless developed a brilliant two-pronged theory as to why presidents lose second-term elections: 1) for not doing what they promised; and 2) for doing what they promised.
Dazzling pseudo-Zen tautology, to say the least.
But this brings to light the problem of President Bush selling himself as a wartime president, and you can’t fight a war without an enemy. If Osama is captured or killed before the election, Bush stands a chance of suffering the “Churchill Effect,” as the country turns off the terrorism button (albeit only temporarily) and reopens the door to the Bush administration’s Achilles’ heal – domestic concerns (Churchill was soundly defeated barely eight weeks after Germany surrendered).
If Osama is still a no-show by election time, then Bush will have failed his promised primary goal, thus allowing even more of this asinine punditry from nutcases who actually think they can blame all terrorism on one man – either bin Laden or Bush.
Either way, Bush’s election goose could be cooked. Quite the quagmire for those shallow enough to admit to even having so much as a brief thought concerning their pigeonholing answer to my original question as a Type A or B.
The fact that anyone (and there appears to be quite a few of you otherwise rational people out there) is actually buying into these ridiculous conspiratorial concepts is an indication of just how much the tunnel-vision Bush hatred is clouding their thinking.
You might as well believe that Osama has been kept in one of Dick Cheney’s secret undisclosed locations along with the man behind the grassy knoll who secretly sired JFK Junior and is solely responsible for his son cheating on HIS also-dead wife who was cheating on him with Princess Diana’s secret Calvin Klein ex-boyfriend that wrote the book explaining why Jimmy Hoffa’s son was Deep Throat and Jimmy himself was actually the man behind the grassy knoll.
Some of you complained constantly for nine months that we couldn’t catch Saddam. Now that we have the scum in our possession, you complain it was a waste of time and that he deserves to be treated better. If Osama had been captured, you’d be complaining that we put too much emphasis on capturing one man and not enough on weakening Al-Qaida. Yet since he is not captured, you whine about why not.
Talk about not being able to win for all the losing.
Whether Bush wins or loses, or Osama becomes a convict or a martyr, as an American I just want the SOB caught because he is the leader of an organization that declared war on my country and killed thousands of our innocent civilians.
I don’t care what the date is, but if indeed there is a September, October or early November “surprise,” my fear is it will interrupt a lot more than beer buddies watching a college football game, and will probably come courtesy of Al-Qaida.
Richard Carnes of Edwards writes a weekly column for the Daily. He can be reached at email@example.com