Via Adam Serwer, here is Rep. Eric Cantor commenting on the failed Times Square bombing and the administration’s response:

Cantor complained that the public “goes on heightened alert” after such incidents for “hours and days rather than permanently” and that Obama aides “tend to give these warnings due attention only in limited spurts.”

Does anyone else find this incredibly disturbing? Eric Cantor, House Minority Whip and rising star in conservative politics, is bothered by the Obama administration’s unwillingness to fan the public’s unease and create an atmosphere of perpetual fear around terrorist attacks. Now, given that the GOP has long since crossed the Rubicon when it comes to demagoguing terrorism for political gain, it isn’t a huge surprise to see Cantor pining for the days of nebulous “terror alert”, or John McCain (and friends) attacking the administration for adhering to Constitutional procedure. Still, it’s incredibly frightening to me that one of the two major political parties in the United States is all but committed to a world where Americans live in constant fear of terrorism, simple accusations of terrorism are grounds for torture and indefinite detention, and terrorist suspects can be tried and executed without anything approaching due process.

Of course, these measures — along with draconian immigration laws — are all but embraced by the supposedly freedom-loving Tea Party movement. I look forward to tonight, when I can watch another “special” where some media outlet uncritically defers to Tea Partiers’ claims of oppression and opposition to government “tyranny.”

Jamelle Bouie

Jamelle Bouie

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