Bush League continues to exploit fear of terrorism
I thought one of the most interesting and revealing moments during last night's State of the Union address was this little vignette:
BUSH: Key provisions of the Patriot Act are set to expire next year.
BUSH: [smirks] The terrorist threat will not expire on that schedule.
[REPUBLICANS stand and cheer]
What's interesting is that the Democrats applauded the sunset of the onerous Patriot Act; whereas the Republicans, with the smug approval of their commander in chief, gave the terrorist threat a standing ovation. What's revealing is that the Republicans considered this a winning exchange. It seems that in their playbook, terrorism and civil liberties--like so many other serious matters--are just two more divisive topics to be exploited for political gain.
One could reasonably ask why such cynical ploys are in the GOP playbook. But the greater question is why there's a playbook at all. Rather than a contentious game of one-upmanship and "playing to the base," shouldn't politics be a serious search for solutions that work for everyone?