Weak on the merits, but how can you not love an ad that preempts lefty cries of “fearmongering” with footage from the most ludicrously fearmongering political ad the Democrats ever ran? I understand that the public’s concerned about bringing hardcore jihadi zombies to the U.S. — clearly, this spot is smart politics — but now that The One’s decided to hedge his moralizing about constitutional values with indefinite detention without trial for the worst Gitmo prisoners, I’m not sure what the fear is. Supermax already holds Al Qaeda bigwigs, and presumably trials in U.S. courts will be reserved only for detainees against whom the DOJ has airtight cases to minimize the risk of acquittal. The real worry, in my opinion, isn’t that someone dangerous will go loose but (a) that defendants will use their courtroom access to the media in the U.S. to grandstand and propagandize for jihadism and (b) that closing Gitmo will represent a concession to demagogues who’ve labored in bad faith for years to paint it as some sort of gulag, the better to smear Bush as a quasi-Stalin. Bob Gates acknowledged just this morning that it’s “one of the finest prisons in the world,” before quickly adding that we have to close it anyway to erase the “taint” on America’s reputation.
If Obama was the international superhero the media tells us he is, you’d think he’d use some of his powers of persuasion to remove the “taint” by defending Gitmo and explaining why it’s necessary. That wouldn’t be very Change-y, though, would it? Exit question: Isn’t the real problem here that he’s unwilling to order the building of a new prison in the United States lest the state where it’s located turn on him in the next election?