New York Times
September 9, 2004
There are some things a presidential campaign should steer clear of, through
innate good taste, prudence or just a sensible fear of a voter backlash. We'd
have thought that both the Kerry and Bush camps would instinctively know that it
would be appalling to suggest that terrorists were rooting for one side or
another in this race. But Vice President Dick Cheney seemed to breach that
unspoken barrier this week in Des Moines. If
At the very best, Mr. Cheney was speaking loosely and carelessly about the area in this campaign that deserves the most careful and serious discussion. It sounds to us more likely that he stepped across a line that the Bush campaign team had flirted with throughout its convention, telling his audience that re-electing the president would be the only way to stay safe from another attack.
There is a danger that we'll be hit again no matter who is elected president
this November, as
Immigration and homeland security strategies are policy fights, fair game for a political campaign. What's totally unacceptable is to tell the American people that the mere act of voting for your opponent opens the door to a terrorist attack. For Mr. Cheney to suggest that is flat wrong. There was a time in this country when elected officials knew how to separate the position from the person. The American people, we're sure, would like to return to it.