TERROR PLOT: NO OPPORTUNITY WASTED FOR POLITICAL GAIN. President George W. Bush could have moved to reassure the American people, in his statement from Green Bay, that their well-being is first and foremost in the minds of public officials -- that the government will leave no stone unturned in its quest to maintain the safety of American citizens. Instead, the president decided to play politics.

The first public words out of the mouth of the president regarding a plot that his spokesman said was "a direct threat to the United States" was that the plot constituted a "stark reminder" that the nation is "at war with Islamic fascists." This, of course, is the rationale used by the administration for its invasion of Iraq. (Note Matt's reference to the "fly paper" strategy.)

It also comes the day after, as mentioned on MSNBC by Andrea Mitchell, a "well-coordinated" political attack by Vice President Dick Cheney on Democrats in the wake of the Lieberman defeat. From Reuters:

Echoing a frequent Republican theme, U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney said Democrats were purging Lieberman from the party over his outspoken advocacy for the war and displaying their "pre-9/11 mindset" and inability to protect Americans.

He said Lieberman's defeat showed "the direction the party appears to be heading when they in fact purge a man like Joe Lieberman, who just six years ago was their nominee for vice president," over his support for the war on terrorism.

"What is particularly disturbing about it is from the standpoint of our adversaries ... They clearly are betting on the proposition that ultimately they can break the will of the American people in terms of our ability to stay in the fight and complete the task," Cheney said in a conference call with reporters while on vacation in Wyoming.

To what won't these guys stoop?

--Adele M. Stan