What it all means
publius has a good run down of 11-M, the Spanish election and Americans reaction to same. His thinking pretty much mirrors my own: the Spanish rebelled against Aznar's government because the apparent deception about the perpetrators of 11-M just fed into a growing sense of frustration with that government on a whole range of issues. In other words, it's a classic "straw that broke the camel's back" situation.
People will put up with a lot of shit from their government because they want to believe that it is doing the right thing by them. But there comes a time when the shit piles so high that the people just say "fuck it" and the whole thing comes crashing down in a matter of days.
Once again, this is a harbinger for the Bush administration. The Bushies have been running an administration based on deception and intimidation from even before Dubya was sworn into office. At a subconscious level even some Bush supporters understand this. All they are waiting for is that key event, that 11-M, to push them over the edge.
When the house of Bush starts to collapse my advice would be to get out of the way because it will be spectacular in its fall.
Let me more clear. I think that everyone agrees that al Qaeda (and terrorism more generally) presents a serious threat and that it must be dealt with. The real debate, however, in both America and the world is about tactics. In other words, everyone agrees that we must fight terrorism, but people disagree on how we should go about it fighting it. As for Bush, people aren’t disagreeing with his goal of eliminating terrorism. They’re disagreeing about whether Bush’s tactics (specifically, the war on Iraq) are helping or hurting the cause.
I think this is spot on. With the added comment that the debate is not advanced at all when certain advocates of certain tactics assume that anyone disagrees with them on those tactics must want al Qaeda to win. It's that kind of rhetoric that is poisoning political dialog in this country. There is, of course, similar radical talk on the other side. But only on the right are the radicals allowed to set public policy. The left at least keeps their radicals out of the spotlight and away from positions of power.