The Bush administration has consistently claimed that the government must expand their power and restrict the rights of citizens in order to maintain security and prevent terrorist attacks. They have aimed for warrantless wiretaps, indefinite detention and torture of so-called "enemy combatants", spying on peaceful activist groups, suppression of non-violent protests, etc. I bet they would even love to control the mass media, although they appear to be compensating using the "fair and balanced" FOX News, a news network that blatantly displays its bias in favor of the conservative right.
So it's ironic when there is a bomb attack in China, a police state of the sort that the Bush administration can only achieve in their dreams. Even with an oppressive level of control over the populace, China still hasn't been able to prevent terrorist attacks on their soil. Is a significant erosion of civil rights worth the prevention of a few terrorist attacks? Given that a nation much more like a genuine police state still suffers from plenty of terrorist attacks, I'm somewhat dubious whether expanded government power at the price of civil rights would actually help prevent any terrorist attacks at all. Some might even be able to make the case that it would actually motivate more terrorism.
I've got to agree with Obama that Republicans have been less than effective with terrorism. I find it very ironic when Republicans say that they're the ones with the proper mindset while Democrats are naive about terrorism.
I have got to wonder just exactly what the Bush administration has accomplished concerning terrorism. In fact, I wonder if the administration has accomplished anything positive at all. The two positive things that they've managed is the ousting of Saddam Hussein and the capture of lower-level participants in the 9/11 terror attack. However, the former is eclipsed by the terrorism that is rampant in Iraq, while the latter is shadowed by the fact that the key figure, Osama bin Laden, is still at large.
The administration has managed many negative accomplishments, though. They have managed to achieve record federal budget deficit and debt. They've cultivated a culture of ignoring civil rights. They're eroding freedom of religion by funding faith-based initiatives with little to no accountability. They invaded Iraq, willfully ignoring evidence that contradicted their justification from weapons of mass destruction, and caused enormous loss of life and resources that is still ongoing today. And they still have not managed to pacify the Taliban, a group much closer to Al Qaeda than Sadam Hussein ever was. The economy itself is in a severe downturn, partly due to the zeal the administration has shown in preventing the oversight of corporations and the finance sector.
The administration's track record with terrorism itself is rather dismal. They don't have a clue to the anthrax attacks despite the passage of seven years. They failed to stop other terrorist attacks such as the Beltway sniper or bombings such as the one at a San Diego courthouse. In fact, they seemed to have made the situation worse.
While I don't know if the Democrats will be any better, I simply cannot give any credence to the idea that Republicans are any good against terrorism. They've been good at politically taking advantage of terrorism, but there is no indication at all that their partisan policies actually help fight terrorism.