Sunday, September 17, 2006

Bloomberg thinks terrorism overblown

Via Minipundit, I discover that according to this Rolling Stone profile New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg thinks the threat of terrorism is overblown:
Nowhere is Bloomberg's independent streak more evident than in the way he handles the dicey political territory of terrorism. Say the threat is dire, and you look like a fear-monger; say it's overblown, and you look naive. Bloomberg, who has seen the intelligence reports and has dispatched NYPD officers to London, Afghanistan and the Middle East to investigate the jihadist threat, doesn't hesitate. Americans, he tells me, are "too freaked out" about the threat of another attack. "There is a much greater risk from lifestyles that hurt you - smoking, walking across the street without looking both ways, not putting bars in the window if you've got kids and you live above the first floor, those kinds of things."
Amen. I'm glad to hear a nationally prominent politician saying something like this. Apparently, he's "secretly" (guffaw guffaw) contemplating an idependent bid for the presidency in 2008. I don't know much about Bloomberg, but the fact that he's a Republican of course turns me off. (Apparently he became a Republican partially to avoid a crowded Democratic primary field.) He does support marriage equality, which is good, but not terribly surprising for a mayor of New York City.

If he does run, I'll at least take a look. But his backing of Lieberman and raising money for Bush and other national Republicans are enormous strikes against him in my book. Anyone who supports the national Republican party these days is part of the problem. Yes, there are individual Republicans who are good people and have good ideas. But the Republican leadership is corrupt, vile, wingnut-pandering and enormously destructive to this country. Any good ideas Lincoln Chafee might have put forward don't counterbalance the incredible damage the leadership that he supports has caused. (I feel like screaming that until it sinks deep into the conventional wisdom.)

It'll be interesting to see what happens if Bloomberg does run. Will he hold on to his marriage equality and terrorism-is-overblown positions when trying to run in a national race? If he does, I'll give him a good deal of respect despite his association with Bush. But he's got a lot of work to do to dig himself out of that Bush-supporting hole he's in.

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