The bad news -- if there is bad news in this -- is the targeting of Times Square. Let me tell you a story. Right after 9/11, I asked Jack Valenti, the late Jack Valenti, then chairman of the motion picture association, if he worried that someone might target Universal Studios as a symbol of Western decadence. He said, no, what worries me is six backpack bombs in six cineplexes around the country on a Saturday night. That would put huge economic damage on the movie industry. The question is, have they begun to figure that out?
TAPPER: Shelby, the ideology of Islamism still seems to be powerful even if the quality, the candidates of terrorists that the Pakistani Taliban and others are getting are not as good. The ideology seems just as strong. This guy lived, Faisal Shahzad, who we should say is innocent until proven guilty, but he's lived in the United States and had not a bad life here.
STEELE: Right, right. No, I think the ideology is the -- is the story. It's -- there's a larger clash, I think in the world, between the third world, people who were formally oppressed and so forth, who coming into freedom experience that as shame and came in, really, into a sort of confrontation with their own inferiority, their sense of inferiority. And I think jihadism is an ideology that compensates for a sense of inferiority.
And that's really its appeal. It has no real religious connection. These are not particularly religious people. But they're people who, as they -- as they sort of move into modernity, fail or having a rough time making that kind of transition, and so therefore there's this wonderful ideology based in the idea of killing people, of death, you know, if I put on the gun on the table now, I'm the most powerful man in the -- in the room. I'm not inferior anymore.
And it's that -- sort of the grandiosity of administering death randomly is extremely attractive to people who -- who had this inner sense that I'm just never going to make that -- that move into modernity.
TAPPER: John, I want to play some sound for you from House Minority Leader John Boehner talking on Thursday about this attempted attack.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOEHNER: Yes, we've been lucky, but luck is not an effective strategy for fighting the terrorist threat. This is a nation at war. And stopping at nothing to confront and defeating the terrorist threat, this is how we best protect the American people and set an example for the rest of the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: You heard the attorney general. There was some luck at stake here. How do you see Republicans responding to this?
PODESTA: Well, you know, Widair (ph) said let's take advantage of it, the Republican pollster. I think you see John Boehner there. Nobody can even pause for a second to give credit to the New York City police, to the -- to the FBI, to the customs bureau for what was really a rapid roll-up of this guy, pulling him off the plane and putting him into custody, getting now him to talk.
So I think that they're almost -- they're on the verge of rooting for failure here, because I think they want to damage Obama so badly. And I think that that's tragic for the country.