Josh Marshall questions the timing -- in Time magazine

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.


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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