Jonathan Alter on Countdown
last night Tuesday night (via Steve Benen, who also criticizes Alter):
“I think [Republicans are] in a place now where they just want to hurt Obama.
“And what they don’t get — I wish they would look into their souls a little bit — is that if they convey over and over again that the president of the United States is weak, what does that do? It emboldens the terrorists, and I don’t say that lightly.
I understand that Senate obstructionism may get in the way of Obama’s ability to conduct foreign policy. But emboldening terrorists? Osama bin Laden wakes up one morning, sees Richard Shelby has put a hold on 70 nominees and says “now is the day that we strike”? There’s absolutely no evidence that Al Qaeda thinks in these terms at all.
It’s not just that “shut up, the terrorists are listening” is essentially anti-free speech and anti-democratic, it’s that it doesn’t make any sense as a strategy.
It was dumb when Congressional Democrats were attacked in this way and it’s dumb when Congressional Republicans are attacked this way.