The Fear IV

Over at Michael Berube Online:

“Following the release of a new psychological study that indicates voters prefer George Bush over John Kerry only when they are asked to think about death, Director of Homeland Security Tom Ridge has raised the terror alert level to ‘black,’ the White House revealed today.

The new level– ‘higher and worser’ than red, according to President Bush– suggests that a terrorist attack is only minutes away and will involve either flesh-eating bacteria or gradual disembowelment. However, Ridge stressed in a press conference today that the threat was ‘nonspecific.’ ‘All we know is that they’re coming for you and your infant child, perhaps as we speak,’ Ridge said. ‘The information is highly reliable, and is absolutely not based on intelligence that is three or four years old, like our last warning. Therefore we are asking Americans to go about their business as usual, but to remain in a state of gut-wrenching fear at all times.’

The new terror alert reflects a dramatic shift in administration policy over the past week, as high-ranking cabinet officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, reported that the Bush campaign had jettisoned plans to present the GOP as the party of “hope” and “optimism” in the 2004 elections. Instead, officials say, Republicans now prefer to be seen as the party of death.

[. . .] “Hope? Screw hope. Optimism? Optimism can go fuck itself. Check out this passage from the CNN story,” said one official: …”

Go read the rest.