On the Glenn Beck show several weeks back, speaking about his frustrations at current American policy on Islamic terrorism, Michael Scheuer made what was arguably the stupidest public statement of his life:
“The only chance we have as a country right now is for Osama bin Laden to deploy and detonate a major weapon in the United States.”
Dr. Thomas Schelling is a Nobel Laureate economist and foreign policy expert and a leading advocate that the United States needs to commit to dealing seriously with global warming. He is a scholar and thinker the depths of which Paul Krugman dreams of emulating.
Last month, The Atlantic interviewed Dr. Schelling, and among many erudite and insightful statements he said this about his frustrations at current American inaction on climate change:
I sometimes wish that we could have, over the next five or ten years, a lot of horrid things happening -- you know, like tornadoes in the Midwest and so forth -- that would get people very concerned about climate change. But I don't think that's going to happen.
This is what one of our local bloggers wrote about Michael Scheuer's statement:
First, if you agree with this statement, nodding your head thinking another attack that kills untold millions this time instead of only 3,000 eight years ago will surely make Americans scared enough to embrace the neocon way again, then you hate America. Rooting for millions of Americans to die to prove a political point is precisely the definition of hating America.
Nor could the Heritage Foundation wait to jump on Dr Schelling:
And what better way is there to get people excited about global warming than to hope they perish in Katrina-like natural disasters?
It should not require a grammarian to point out the parallel logic of Mr. Scheuer's and Dr. Schelling's statements.
Both are expressing their frustration with government inaction.
Both throw up their hands and say, Something truly terrible is going to have to happen to us before we get it.
Both maladroitly place themselves in the position of wishing that we could have ... a lot of horrid things happening in order to make a point.
I do not believe that either man wishes a nuclear explosion or a series of tornadoes and hurricanes to kill their fellow citizens.
But we have reached the point--both in American in general and in Delaware in specific--where gotcha politics and the need to stir up your base have become more important than the requirement to allow your political opponents to make a mistake.