There are bits from Reid and Kerry too, but as usual it’s Teddy who provides the pull-quote for the day’s events:

“Five years after 9-11, it is clear that our misguided policies are making America more hated in the world and making the war on terrorism harder to win,” Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts said.

We’ve reached the point where either you see instantly what’s wrong with that statement or you don’t, and if you don’t, nothing I’m going to say will change your mind. So I won’t try; maybe Ace or Goldstein will muster the energy later. I will say, though, that the nutroots are sure to be in full screech about Liebs having “politicized the war” today, with all the stupidity that entails, and at least this makes it nice and easy to pitch a tu quoque back at them.

I meant to do a nutroots terror-reaction round-up earlier but got sidetracked as usual, so here are the links in case you missed them elsewhere. Think of their culpability as a continuum. On the least damning end are the comment sections and bulletin boards. Both sides have their share of lurking cranks, and that’s where you’ll find them. There’s nothing especially noteworthy about cranks acting crankish, but we note it anyway because it’s a convenient way to score points and supposedly proves how the other side talks to each other when they think no one’s looking. Essentially, it’s the same cherry-picking the lefties do with the LGF comments section, but from right to left. Fun, though, as a gotcha. See, e.g., K-Lo on DU, Confederate Yankee on the Carpetbagger Report, and some moron looking for attention at Goldstein’s site.

In the middle of the continuum are dKos diarists and online polls. Also extremely crankish, but slightly more significant than the foregoing — in the diarists’ case because they’re posting up top, with the endorsement of the site’s owner, not skulking down below under a thousand comments, and in the polls’ case because they reflect some vague sense of (admittedly easily manipulable) consensus. See, e.g., Goldstein on “punditron” calling the plot just desserts for Tony Blair, “BooMan23” questioning the timing, and a dKos poll indicating the view that the plot was legitimate and not a fabrication of the Bushitler … by a margin of 50-49. And that’s after LGF freeped it earlier.

Finally, we come to the other end of the continuum: the machers. The A-listers. The Townhouse mailing list. The alpha males and females who, more than anyone else, shape nutroots opinion. Are they holding the line of sanity or have they too embraced the logic that blinding oneself to the seriousness of the threat is tantamount to not being afraid of it? See, e.g., Mary Katharine Ham on John Aravosis, Seixon on (among others) sweet Jane Hamsher, and the biggest macher of them all, Michael Moore, who’s got the really hot story of the day.

Left unmentioned by everyone, though (well, except Seixon), is my old pal Josh Marshall. Have we forgotten already his sage words in Time magazine?

[In early July] there was another report of a foiled plot, this one a far more serious-sounding scheme to blow up the Holland Tunnel, which connects New Jersey to Manhattan. Sensing their credibility might be running thin, FBI officials as well as members of media started referring to these plotters as the “real deal” plotters, presumably to distinguish them from whack jobs in Miami. These guys too, it turned out, hadn’t done much more than talk in an Internet chat room about blowing something up. And their plan to flood downtown New York City with sea water from a demolished tunnel would have been complicated a bit by the fact that, unlike New Orleans, Manhattan is well above sea level.

The “tell” in this case was the date. The FBI got wind of this plot last summer and arrests were made back in April. So why did we hear about them on July 7, the anniversary of the London bombings? I believe the question answers itself. The story was leaked to pump up the anniversary of the London subway bombings on July 7, 2005, and remind people that if it could happen in London it could happen here. The dozens if not hundreds of law enforcement folks who worked on thwarting this embryonic plot were not part of some political scheme. But whoever chose July 7 to leak the story clearly was. With the mid-term election less than four months away, for some people, that’s a helpful message.

Nothing but penny-ante “embryonic” conspiracies hyped to the rafters by an administration eager to keep the sheeple afraid. And we could expect more of them as the election drew closer and the Rethuglicans grew more desperate. That’s what he was selling. In Time magazine.

Today’s headline in the Times of London: “Was This Al Qaeda’s Big One?”

Whatever. As long as no one’s “politicizing the war.” Except Joe Lieberman, I mean.

As a special reward for people who read this all the way through, here’s video of Neal Boortz tearing Air America mouth-breather Randi “Gunshot” Rhodes a new one on Larry King. Enjoy.

Update: Sweet Jane, the sequel, from Ace.