Krugman joins in:
Bear in mind that by the time the terror alert controversy arose in 2004, we had already seen two tax cuts sold on massively, easily documented false pretenses; a war launched with constant innuendo about a Saddam-Osama link that was clearly false, and with claims about WMDs that were clearly shaky from the beginning and had proved to be entirely without foundation. We’d also seen vast, well-documented dishonesty and politicization on environmental policy. Oh, and Abu Ghraib was already public knowledge.
Given all that, it made complete sense to distrust anything the Bush administration said. That wasn’t reflexive, it was rational.
And anyway, who were these reflexively anti-Bushists? Howard Dean? Read what he actually said at the time, and it looks totally sensible (and prescient). Me? I think my columns from that period look pretty sound in the light of hindsight. Bloggers like Atrios or Kos? Again, if you read their archives what’s striking is how sane they come off compared with the “serious” voices of the time.
I'd also like to ask, I think Atrios did this already, why Ambinder seems not to have noticed that Ridge pretty much admitted politics were used in the terror-alert system a few years ago -- but he like most of the media ignored it then. I guess, because somehow, Ridge had become a DFHer.