Election Delay Backlash
The blogosphere is, once again, a couple days ahead of the curve:
Washington Times – A loud ‘no’ to delaying the election
A suggestion that terrorism might delay the November election raised loud cries of “no” yesterday from both Republicans and Democrats. The chairman of the House committee that oversees federal election law said devising a plan to postpone the Nov. 2 presidential election in case of a terrorist attack creates “serious and complex” constitutional problems. “In the aftermath of September 11, we need to prepare for contingency plans for various situations,” said Rep. Bob Ney, Ohio Republican and chairman of the Committee on House Administration, “but I have very serious concerns about giving one federal official or even a particular federal body the power to postpone or cancel a national election. Such a proposal would involve very serious and complex issues, many of which I do not think are even yet known. I would, however, be extremely hesitant to endorse such a proposal, especially at this early juncture.”
Well, better early than late. As we saw in 2000, trying to change the rules of elections after the election is much more problematic.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California, Democrat criticized any effort to postpone the election. “The Department of Homeland Security should not instill fear or inject uncertainty into the election,” she said. “If Bush administration officials have any evidence that would warrant considering postponing the election, they should immediately share it with the Congress. Otherwise, they should disavow this fear-mongering. Instead of focusing on changing the date of the election, the Department of Homeland Security should focus on reducing the risk of an attack.”
Brilliant. Absolutely f*ing brilliant.
This is contingency planning. Trying to think ahead. “What if?” scenarios.
Al Qaeda doesn’t share their plans with the Bush administration. The evidence that something might happen is that 1) there have been numerous terrorist attacks on U.S. soil by jihadists; 2) some jihadists are still alive; 3) Spain.
As to the proper role of DHS, I’d note that Israel–which is the approximate size of Teresa Heinz Kerry’s summer home–can’t manage to stop every terrorist attack despite markedly higher security levels and the best security forces on the planet. The United States is just a wee bit larger and more open. You do the math.