Leave a Message at the Beep (Part 2)

When John Kerry missed the intelligence briefing this week in order to do a Larry King interview and attend a fundraiser, lots of pundits questioned whether there should have been a briefing at all. In case you haven’t pieced it all together, liberals blame George Bush and Tom Ridge when

  1. Ridge announces a terror alert and raises the level above “Yellow – Elevated;”
  2. Ridge announces a terror alert and leave the color where it is;
  3. Ridge doesn’t announce a terror alert and gasp! We have all this terror going on around us.

Yesterday, the pundits complained under #2:

He couldn’t say where.

He couldn’t say when.

He couldn’t say who.

He couldn’t say how.

So why did Tom Ridge even bother coming out before the microphones and cameras yesterday, stirring up public anxiety about a pre-election terror attack?

Tom Daschle, the Democratic Senate Minority Leader, usually plays politics with announcements like this, and since JohnJohn Kerry missed the briefing this week, I expected Daschle to claim it was a waste of time and unnecessary. You know, to help a fellow Dem out. Instead:

“It is absolutely essential for the U.S. Senate to turn its attention to what we can do to make America safe,” Daschle said.

Of particular concern are the nation’s borders and ports, Daschle said, and there are security issues unresolved as the homeland security appropriations are “hung up” in the Senate.

Asked if the timing of the terror concerns might be aimed at stealing political thunder from the announcement of John Edwards as the democratic vice presidential candidate, Daschle replied, “The report is so sobering and so serious that I cannot bring myself to believe anyone in this administration would use this for political purposes.”

Of course, he said this in his home state of South Dakota which is a whole lot more conservative than he is. When he gets to Washington, he might blame the whole thing on Bush again. Gadzooks, Daschle, don’t stop playing politics with terror alerts now, I was just starting to figure you out.

Story lead from Wizbang.