Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Hawkish Donkey

The Moose notes an opportunity for the Democrats.

If some Democrats have a modicum of imagination, they would move to the President's right on national security. Of course, that would require to take on some of the those on the left flank. But, if a donkey is ever to occupy the Oval Office in the foreseeable future, he or she must be perceived as being as tough or tougher than the Republicans on national security.

In short, Americans must feel that when a potential Democratic President wakes up in the morning he/she has the first thought on his/her mind of how to kill our nation's enemies and defend the homeland. Global warming, health care, tax policy and good jobs are all important issues. But, the American people look to government to defend them first and foremost. That is why the surveillance issue is such a loser for the Democrats. Here is how it is framed - Republicans may be overly aggressive on the side of fighting terrorists while Democrats are overly sensitive to the concerns of the ACLU. Who do you think wins this debate?

And the Democrats cannot continue to worship at the altar of multilateralism. As the Moose pointed out a couple of weeks ago, it was refreshing for Senator Clinton to denounce the "outsourcing" of Iranian policy.

Today's Washington Post has an editorial that should be must reading for Democrats titled "Retreating on the Offensive." The editorial notes,

"The most striking change in Mr. Bush's message, and apparent ambitions, concerns the spread of nuclear weapons to rogue states. Four years ago the world was abuzz over the president's identification of an "axis of evil" composed of Iraq, Iran and North Korea, and his determination that they not acquire deadly weapons. Today Iran and North Korea pose greater threats than they did in 2002; yet Mr. Bush failed to mention North Korea's nuclear weapons in his speech, while assigning responsibility for stopping Iran's bomb program to "the nations of the world." We're all for multilateralism, and for the construction of U.S.-led coalitions against rogue regimes; we acknowledge that there's no obvious answer to either challenge. Yet it's impossible not to worry that in a time of testing -- and as midterm elections approach -- Mr. Bush is decrying retreat while quietly packing his bags."

The President has presented the Democrats with an opening on national security. Rather than continuing to move to the President's left, the donkey should get in touch with his inner-JFK and seize the opportunity to present a hawkish critique of Bush foreign policy.
-- Posted at 8:16 AM | Link to this post | Email this post