I used to say that it would have to be something unthinkable.
Now, I'm not planning on it. I'm not even expecting it. It's just that I have passed another ideological Rubicon in this strange crusade to power of the Neocons and the Bush administration.
First of all, go read this:
This is an article that, regretfully, I have to trust to foreign news services to give the treatment I believe it deserves. Please pay special attention to the last few paragraphs, reproduced below:
No US presidential election has ever been postponed.
Abraham Lincoln was urged by some aides to suspend the election of 1864 - during the US Civil War - but despite the expectation that he would lose, he refused.
"The election is a necessity," Lincoln said. "We cannot have a free government without elections; and if the rebellion could force us to forgo, or postpone, a national election, it might fairly claim to have already conquered us."
All I can think of to say, in the face of the overwhelming stupidity of this move on the part of the Motherlan...er, Homeland Security department, and through them, the Bush administration, is...no.
In the first, most simple and tactical place - you've lost. The very fact that this has leaked to the media has ceded the initiative. As well stand on rooftops and scream the obvious: "We're frightened of you, and we're ruthless opportunists!" Just making these requests indicates that the possibility has occurred to those in charge; ergo, a free insight into their reactions to attacks by others on the U.S. at that sensitive time. Bravo, boys, hand over the battleplan.
There remains the possibility that this is what they might term a 'clever ploy' and that there will later be a press release of frantic spin, something along the lines of "Yes, we were daring them to make a move during the day of highest alert in order that we might engage."
This doesn't indicate strength. It indicates that not only have you not defeated or even significantly slowed the adversary, but that you don't even know where to look for them and hence must clumsily lay ambuscades - ambuscades not around a dry hole, but around your crown in fact. The election, the act and the event, is the Democracy (O much-invoked name) of the United States of America. If a civil war could not rattle it, then how can this? Can this, truly, be worse than that conflict? I think not. We remain strong, free, prosperous despite the best efforts of the current Presidential administration.
If one was truly worried that Al-Qaeda could produce a disruption equivalent in scale to a full-scale civil war - nay, surpassing that - then perhaps planning is in order - but quietly, secretly, behind the scenes, and NOT planning to give away the store. Planning to ensure that the election comes off no matter what happens - defying hell or high water. Such defiance is what gives this country strength! Defiance of adversity, not craven cowering in bureaucratic delay, ESPECIALLY when said delay threatens the very ideas on which the country is built.
What, then, would you do? When would you consider that the line had been crossed? Suppose, for argument's sake, the election is delayed. Do you, personally, feel that a wrong has been done you? Are you a voter? If so, WHY NOT? They have moved to steal your franchise in the name of the Unseen Enemy.
The Germans have a word for this. Putsch.
Do NOT let this happen here.