Josh Marshall questions the timing — in Time magazine

posted at 7:31 pm on July 13, 2006 by Allahpundit

His debut, no less.

This makes three bloggers writing for Time now: Marshall, Wonkette, and of course St. Andrew.

St. Andrew being the “conservative.”

Remember when WaPo hired Ben Domenech and the left wet its pants for days over the fact that they hadn’t hired a left-wing blogger to balance him out? When does Time sign Captain Ed or Josh Trevino to balance out Marshall?

Or can it really be that Sullivan is the “balance”?

Anyway. “I’m a respectable columnist,” says JM. “I don’t want to draw rolled eyes. But think about it.”

And then he thinks about it:

[N]ot long after the champagne corks stopped popping at Bush campaign headquarters, terror alerts seemed to go out of style. The color codes became yesterday’s news. With the exception of one warning about mass-transit facilities in response to the London bombing on July 7, 2005, that was pretty much it until this summer. I live in lower Manhattan and my wife works in a building overlooking Ground Zero. So I want to know when something’s really up and not worry that I’m getting bamboozled to amp the President’s approval rating.

Can I prove any of this was politically motivated? Of course not. But that’s the magic of the terror-alert song and dance. There’s no way to know. All the key facts are veiled in secrecy, as they must be. So it’s impossible to know from the outside whether it’s on the level or not. But with another election looming, it seems we’re about to get a bunch of new chances to wonder.

In other words, the fact that he can’t prove his theory isn’t a strike against it, it’s a point in its favor — evidence of how fiendishly clever it all is. Has the Truther mentality ever been expressed so neatly?

There’s a massive government cover-up surrounding the spaceship being held at Area 51. You know how you can tell?

There’s no evidence of a spaceship being held at Area 51.

Airtight.

Mind you, this is the column he chose to introduce himself to Time’s readers.

The truly amazing thing is that he bases his argument on the assumption that terror alerts/arrests necessarily benefit the right. Which, we can all agree, is a fair assumption, but which also underscores how hopelessly compromised the left is on national security. If, five years after 9/11, the mere possibility of terrorism is enough to send voters scurrying for the tender embrace of the GOP, then Marshall has bigger things to worry about than what color Chertoff’s thermometer is this month.

There’s also the small matter of how he dismisses the terror plots in Miami and New York as so much nonsense ginned up to keep the sheep voting Republican, as well as how he glosses over the considerable distinction between raising the terror alert (which hasn’t happened in ages) and making terror arrests. I’m kind of tired, though, and I trust you guys to work it out for yourselves.

I don’t want to draw rolled eyes. But think about it.

Update: Rob at Say Anything thinks about it, and questions the logic.


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“Has the Truther mentality ever been expressed so neatly?”

Has the Truther mentality ever been expressed by so respected a blogger? In so reputable a magazine?

Maybe we haven’t even seen real moonbatery yet…

Alex K on July 13, 2006 at 7:47 PM

Wait a minute–is this Joshua Michael Mellencamp Boutros-Boutros Furtwangler Roscoe Laphroaig Marshall we’re talking about here?

I’m sure he’ll have all the details on this for you very soon–he just can’t tell you about it now…

see-dubya on July 13, 2006 at 7:54 PM

“If, five years after 9/11, the mere possibility of terrorism is enough to send voters scurrying for the tender embrace of the GOP, then Marshall has bigger things to worry about than what color Chertoff’s thermometer is this month.”

Great point. The left should be blasé about terror alerts. It’s a bipartisan issue, right? We’re all together when it comes to security, yes?

By “blasé” I mean on the political level, of course. Ironically, the left is freaked about them on the political level but blasé about them on the existential level…the latter feeding the former…

Hey, what if there was an alien in Area 51? Which party would benefit there? I’m thinking the Dems would be outraged we didn’t inform the UN or something…

Alex K on July 13, 2006 at 7:54 PM

Can I prove Josh Marshall has sex with purple chickens? Of course not. There’s no way to know. All the key facts are veiled in secrecy, as they must be. So it’s impossible to know from the outside whether it’s on the level or not.

Therefore, I must conclude Marshall has sex with purple chickens.

JammieWearingFool on July 13, 2006 at 7:56 PM

“I’m sure he’ll have all the details on this for you very soon–he just can’t tell you about it now…”

Heh. Remember when Kos was going to unveil some sort of secret plan to make the DLC “radioactive”? He was like counting down the weeks for some reason and then Katrina hit. Did he ever get back to it? YearlyKos seemed to be a different direction. But I still hold out some desperate hope that he’ll get back to it… I was so looking forward…

Alex K on July 13, 2006 at 7:58 PM

Everyone he talks to, agrees with him. He must be right?

d1carter on July 13, 2006 at 8:05 PM

There’s also the small matter of how he dismisses the terror plots in Miami and New York as so much nonsense ginned up to keep the sheep voting Republican….

This sort of dismissiveness is one of the supports for my conjecture that Bush’s advisors are telling him that the renewed, vigorous use of executive power must await a new occasion. Given the widespread skepticism, continued vigorous use of the executive power invites fear that could lead to the Right’s loss of more than just the use of a part of the executive power. But I repeat that the strategy opposite to easing up is workable, too, and may be the one the Administration is really enacting: a new intelligence agency in deep, deep cover, an intelligence agency the existence of which is known only by its necessity.

Kralizec on July 13, 2006 at 8:34 PM

andrew sullivan is against government intrusion into private lives, is for balanced budgets, low taxes, cuts in entitlements, welfare reform, more military manpower, privately run healthcare, free speech, religious liberty, and gun rights. He’s against affirmative action, federally-funded abortion and embryonic stem-cell research, protectionism, hate crime laws, the Medicare prescription drug program, and pork barrel spending. Yet because he thinks this president is incompetent, he’s not a conservative. Hahahaha. You people are abso-friggin-lutely nuts.

sgtjivanelli on July 13, 2006 at 10:30 PM

TIME: Not on our side.

Dr. Charles G. Waugh on July 13, 2006 at 11:52 PM

Come on…the “draw rolled eys” comment is being used way too much! Get a thesaurus.

Acts20:24 on July 14, 2006 at 12:08 AM

andrew sullivan is against government intrusion into private lives, is for balanced budgets, low taxes, cuts in entitlements, welfare reform, more military manpower, privately run healthcare, free speech, religious liberty, and gun rights. He’s against affirmative action, federally-funded abortion and embryonic stem-cell research, protectionism, hate crime laws, the Medicare prescription drug program, and pork barrel spending. Yet because he thinks this president is incompetent, he’s not a conservative. Hahahaha. You people are abso-friggin-lutely nuts.

sgtjivanelli on July 13, 2006 at 10:30 PM

…another “not a conservative”: Mort Zuckerman on TV the other night calling the Bush presidency “a disaster”.

The die hard Bushies are more and more reminding me of the villagers in “The Emperor’s New Clothes”. Will be interesting to hear the apologia for the administration’s call yesterday for restraint from Israel. Oh the mental acrobatics…

honora on July 14, 2006 at 9:26 AM

That’s me. Die-hard Bushie.

Sullivan’s policies certainly are conservative. I just think it’s “funny” that the blogger the mainstream media so often turns to for conservative analysis happens not only to loathe Bush, but to devote roughly 98% of his posts bashing … his fellow conservatives!

It’d be like Fox having a debate on the Iraq war between conservative Richard Perle and “liberal” Christopher Hitchens.

And honora? The administration always calls for restraint from Israel. It’s entirely pro forma.

Allahpundit on July 14, 2006 at 9:35 AM

Fair and Balanced? Nothing like keeping your cards close to the vest.

Just as long as he bashes Bush, we miss the message, and wallow in hatred enjoyed by the left.

Or is the message the same?

Kini on July 14, 2006 at 12:51 PM

AP: I guess I find it alarming that many on the far right and far left have long since left rationality behind: if Bush did it, a priori it is completely correct/completely wrong. New sbj: is this mess meaningful to the Final Days/Armageddon crowd? Can never keep the portents of the end of the world straight….and me with dry cleaning to pick up.

honora on July 14, 2006 at 1:08 PM

I guess I find it alarming that many on the far right and far left have long since left rationality behind: if Bush did it, a priori it is completely correct/completely wrong.

I agree completely. My problem with Sullivan (well, one of my problems with Sullivan) is that he’s straying ever further towards the latter position lately.

Allahpundit on July 14, 2006 at 1:27 PM