Normally I'm reluctant to accuse someone of being a fearmonger. I think some liberals and antiwar types go too far in asserting that any mention of terrorism by a politician or candidate is a case of fearmongering, i.e. an attempt to scare people into voting for your side. The fact is, there are terrorist organizations out there that consider the U.S. to be their enemy and want to attack the country. Sensible people can admit this and then discuss why this should be the case and whether the U.S. actually has some responsibility for the situation. But I get the impression from some liberals that they would rather ignore terrorism altogether, simply because they think the "politics of fear" favor Republicans and conservatives.
Having said all that, I believe I can say with confidence that Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticutt is a fearmonger. He doesn't merely exploit the politics of fear; he embodies it. He told CBS today that the best reason to vote for Senator McCain for President is that the country is likely to be attacked in 2009. Liberman deduces this from the coincidence of terrorist attacks on New York City in 1993, the first year of Bill Clinton's term, and in 2001, the first year of George W. Bush's. From these examples, he concludes that terrorists try to "test" new Presidents early in their terms.
By all accounts, Lieberman remains a liberal on most domestic issues, so much so that McCain finds it impossible to do what he'd really like and nominate his pal as his running mate, because conservatives would abandon him once and for all if he did. Yet today Lieberman basically said that domestic issues are completely irrelevant to the 2008 campaign. By endorsing McCain for President in the first place, which he did while the Republican primaries were still being contested, Lieberman had said it already. The only purpose he can imagine for a President over the next four years is to fight Muslims. He prefers McCain over Senator Obama, with whom he's presumably in greater agreement on nearly every other issue, because he's more confident that McCain will answer more terror with more war. That makes Lieberman not only a fearmonger, but also a warmonger -- and one who is touted as a future Secretary of Defense in a McCain administration.
But maybe the rest of the warmongers will find that having a guy like this on their side is like wielding a double-edged sword. If Liberman is right about the timing and purpose of terrorist attacks, after all, he rather completely disproves the Republican argument that their vigilance and tough tactics have shielded the country from attack ever since 11 September 2001. Based on Lieberman's analysis, it would seem that Bush passed whatever test bin Laden had set up for him, so no further attacks were necessary. Therefore all of Bush's bold new security policies were pointless, and inconvenienced only law-abiding Americans. This isn't exactly what McCain is saying, so maybe Lieberman should whisper in his ear again.