When spending $3 trillion dollars, invading two Muslim countries and imprisoning kidnapped innocents in black sites isn't enough, what can the Liebermans, McCains, Giulianis and Pete Kings say? Let the Chicken-Little Caucus speak for themselves.
It's 3:14 pm on a sunny June 8, 2010 and Ali Morzi, an un-employed and under-educated 27 year-old American Muslim whose family is back in Yemen, is so convinced that America is at war with Islam that he snaps and lobs a toy grenade in Grand Central Station at a group of visiting Florida schoolchildren while screaming "Allah is great!" He's immediately apprehended by a retired cop rushing to catch the 3:17 to Larchmont.
Alerted by an astute staffer with friends in the NYPD, Sen. Joe Lieberman is first out with an email statement at 3:21."Thank God no one died, but America will not endure this constant threat from home-grown haters," says the jowly Independent and chair of the Senate Homeland Committee. "Terrorism is not only the number one threat in America today, it's the number one threat ev-er."
Senator John McCain, now tied in his Arizona Republican primary with former Congressman J. D. Hayworth, is told by Lieberman's office of the attack. His press office puts out a statement at 3:44."Since we're at war and since Mr. Morzi has chosen sides, why would we grant him the prerogatives of our side? Miranda rights are for innocent Americans, not admitted terrorists."
Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, though on a golfing trip to Florida, has his office send out an alert that he's available at Donald Ross Road and A-1A at 4:20 to discuss what is being called on Fox News "The "Grenade at Grand Central." "I'm a lawyer trained to ask questions. Remember Ft. Hood, the Xmas Day attack, now Times Square? Why is this now at least the third, fourth, eighth terrorist attack since President Obama was elected, which is three or four or eight more than all of George W. Bush's eight years combined, except for about 30 minutes on September 11? Why hasn't Homeland Security been able to stop such a person from just walking into Grand Central Station without any questions being asked?"
A reporter from the New York Observer asks the former mayor, "Exactly how many people died in Bush's first year from terrorist attacks as compared to Obama's first year -- and how would Bernard Kerik have handled this differently as the Secretary of Homeland Security?" The Mayor laughs and responds heatedly, "That's not the issue -- there were a greater number of attacks under Obama, most of which happened following his speech in Cairo, right?"
It's now 4:25 in Washington and, though they are Republican colleagues, Representatives Pete King and Pete Hoekstra have gotten into a shoving match on the House steps while a CNN camerawoman looks on in astonishment. Later, the CNN assignment desk admits to confusion over which Pete they had called for a stand-up, Pete King, ranking at the House Security Committee or Pete Hoekstra, ranking Republican at the House Intelligence Committee. The camerawomen flips a coin and King goes first.
"Look, it would be irresponsible to speculate about Mr. Morzi, but early reports that he has family in Yemen could mean that that government, though a nominal ally, should be told to install more metal detectors at airports or suffer sanctions -- or worse."
Hoekstra sees King and raises him. "While not all Arabs are terrorist, nearly all terrorists are Arabs, not counting Timothy McVeigh, arrested militiamen and those shooting at abortion docs. How many more attacks and near-deaths will it take for America to wake up? While we shouldn't ever racially profile, we should require all young, male travelers from Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia to prove their loyalty to America by taking a written exam a year before being considered for admission to this country."
At 5:39 former House Speaker Newt Gingrich goes on Fox News to say,"the only reason Lincoln didn't consider waterboarding in1863 was that it hadn't yet been invented. But since he once wrote of the Civil War that 'sometimes you have to sacrifice a limb to save the body,' certainly our first Illinois President would have approved enhanced interrogation if it could
possibly have stopped Mr. Morzi from buying a real grendade and killing thousands. His act disqualifies him from all our God-given rights, except Second Amendment rights."
At about the same moment, Sarah Palin interrupts a book signing in Oregon to tweet, "Worrying about BP's spill is like crying over spilt milk. Terrorism wurse than pollution."
There's now only 2o minutes before the major weekly news shows tape their broadcasts -- and Lieberman is downcast on learning that King's and Hoekstra's proposals on sanctions against Yemen and a written test for Arab visitors appear to be the leads. Though his office has booked him on Larry King that night, he realizes that 9p is probably too late. He calmly but decisively dictates the following to a young aide:
"No one respects our history of laws more than I, having been Connecticut's attorney general. But today's near tragic attack indicates that automatically revoking citizenship of suspected terrorists will not deter suicide bombers in our cities. So given the Biblical injunction of an eye for an eye, we need to have a debate about whether those who engage in terrorism and beheadings should suffer them in return, after a secret trial in a U. S. Military Court; those convicted will, however, be given the choice between beheading and electrocution. I'll be introducing bi-partisan legislation tomorrow with 20 Republicans, a Democrat from Nebraska, and me, an Independent."
The Senator, again, drives the debate. AP's lead is "Homeland Chair Lieberman Suggests Beheadings as Answer to Terrorism." Limbaugh and Hannity pick up the eye-for-an-eye logic and ask whether Senate Democrats will filibuster even allowing the Senate to debate the idea on the floor. They talk for hours as if a toy grenade was a real one inflicting hundreds of deaths.
Fox News throughout the night and next day runs the headline, "Do Obama's terrorism policies endanger your families?" As anchors explain that they're only asking the question, they invite the audience to text back yes or no.
Giuliani calls Lieberman. "Joe, you've done something that may be unpopular but will seen as right. We've got to stay on the offensive in this war on Islamofacism, which started on September 11th. I may be America's Mayor. But you're America's Senator."