'Morning Joe' Peeps Perplexed OBL Pop-Ups Help GOP

Darn it, when will Osama Bin Laden's jack-in-the-box moments start hurting Republicans, as they should? That was the prevailing sentiment on today's "Morning Joe." At 6:40 a.m. EDT, reacting to the news that OBL is planning to release a new video to mark the sixth anniversary of 9-11, Host Joe Scarborough expressed his perplexity to NBC News political director Chuck Todd.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Hey Chuck, we see Osama Bin Laden is appearing again, coming to a computer somewhere near you soon. Of course Republicans wish he would show up two days before the election cause the guy certainly helped George Bush beat John Kerry back in 2004. But how does the re-emergence of Osama Bin Laden impact this race? Do we assume that it's going to help the Republican party again like it did in 2004?

CHUCK TODD: I don't know. You keep wondering when is the double-edged part of this sword [going to] show up? Does him popping up on TV screens serve as a reminder, you know on Iraq, the public might think that Iraq is a diversion, and hey you Bush took his eye off of the ball. This guy is still out there. But let's see if it is him. I guess he's using Hair Club for Men now, Just for Men [earlier Joe had joked that OBL was using "For Terrorists Only."] . . . Where do you get hair color in the mountains of Pakistan? I didn't realize you could do that. Knee jerk, it seems to still help Republicans, even Hillary Clinton said that. She probably shouldn't have done that, but she did say that. But at some point, the more Osama pops up, it's may end up eventually hurting the Republicans.
View video here.

SCARBOROUGH: Well, you would think that it would. But I think I agree with Hillary Clinton. Right now for some reason it still seems to help Republicans, which is just fascinating. You'd think it would bring up Tora Bora and would make everybody say "why are we in Iraq?"
Matthew Felling of CBSNews.com's "Public Eye", who's been a panelist this week, joined the chorus.
MATTHEW FELLING: What happened to that "wanted dead or alive" thing in 2001?
SCARBOROUGH: Exactly. Who knows?

Why do Americans look to Republicans to deal with terrorism? Might it have anything to do with the fact that, with Pres. Bush in the White House, there have been no major terrorist attacks in the U.S. since 9-11 despite the fact that our country surely remains #1 on the terrorists' target list?

Could it be we sense that Democrats, in their heart of hearts, don't take the threat of terrorism seriously? That when al-Qaeda bombed the World Trade Center in 1993, Bill Clinton never bothered to drop by and treated a terror attack as a police matter? That, even to this day, one of the leading Dem presidential candidates denies that there even is such a thing as the war on terror?

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.