We either fight them there, or we fight them in the supermarkets and streets here

Sunday, August 27, 2006 at 06:42 PM

In case you missed it, the Republican right has made a slight alteration to their mantra that "fighting the terrorists in Iraq is better than fighting them here."  Much as they are trying to shift from "stay the course" to "adapt to win," they are now explicitly trying to get the public to think that withdrawing from Iraq will prompt the terrorists to, as Rep. Curt Weldon said on CNN:

We either fight them there, or we fight them in the supermarkets and streets here.

The Detroit Free Press reports the story this way:

In the thick of an election campaign, President George W. Bush has revived and retooled his argument that the United States must fight terrorists overseas or face them at home. Despite the unpopularity of the Iraq war, some Republican candidates are borrowing his line.

"We leave before the mission is done, the terrorists will follow us here," Bush warned at a news conference this week.

Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa., locked in a tight Philadelphia-area re-election race, went a step further: "We either fight them there, or we fight them in the supermarkets and streets here," he said Wednesday in an interview with CNN.

Bush is not on the ballot this midterm election year. But control of the GOP-led Congress is. So the elections could determine the fate of what's left of Bush's second-term agenda.

The fight-them-there theme has been part of Bush's national security stump speech since 2003. But the follow-us-here part is a relatively new twist.

Noting polls that show growing opposition to the Iraq war, Bush and other Republicans have been stressing links between Iraq and the broader war against terrorism -- a connection Democrats generally dismiss....

Talk about attempting to stir up some fear.  Just get the jumpy mid-American folks to start imagining terrorists dressed in that odd Arabic garb planting roadside bombs between their suburban houses and the giant Wal-Mart or Costco just down the road.  My God, you'd have to buy your own Hummer and pay to have it retrofitted with armored underplating!!!

Why would the terrorists do this?  How could they?  Hey, don't ask so many damn questions you overintellectualizing Commie traitor!

Note, however, the recent Time Magazine poll indicating that 49% of respondents felt that the Bush Administration is using the threat of terrorism for political reasons (versus 45% who disagreed), and that a growing number of Republicans, especially ones involved in tight reelection races, are distancing themselves from that theory.