Friday, March 19, 2004

David Brooks: Spain "crazy" to hold elections. 

In his most recent opinion column, neocon mouthpiece David Brooks says that the success of the Socialists in Spain's recent elections is exactly what Al Qaeda wanted. Fine. He's entitled to his opinion, and there are plenty of people arguing both sides of the issue.

What I find disturbing about his column is the second sentence, where Brook slips in the observation that, "Spain was crazy to go ahead with an election a mere three days after the Madrid massacre."

Whoa, what's going on here! Brooks appears to be suggesting that postponing scheduled democratic elections is an acceptable response to a terrorist attack. This strikes me as a very dangerous idea. Would the decision to postpone elections be made by the party in power? That's an easy way to win a tight race. When and under what conditions would the rescheduled elections be held? Are elections OK for some colors of security alerts but not for others? Would the people who decided to postpone the election be the same people who determine the security alert level? Maybe the judicial branch could just tell us when we're allowed to vote again...

It will be interesting to see if any other conservative commentators mention the idea of postponing elections, or if Brooks is on his own on this one. As far as I'm concerned, the terrorists can claim victory when one of their attacks leads us to put democracy on hold.
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