The Moose weighs in on the donkey's attempt at a hawkish stance.
While the Moose was roaming for the past few days, he noticed that the Congressional donkeys issued a "real security" plan. It contains some commendable elements that are worthy of a party attempting to flex its national security muscles.
However, as Fred Hiatt points out in the Washington Post, the document reflects a party that is without a world vision other than a critique of the incumbent. Hiatt,
"The Democrats do indeed attack the failures and promise an end to incompetence. But they also reveal a different world view, one that is far more cramped and inward-looking. While reassuring voters that they will keep "foreign interests" out of "our national security infrastructure" -- including "mass transit" -- the Democrats do not find space to mention democracy even once...
"Throughout the plan, in fact, there is no discussion of values, of liberty or generosity, of free markets or foreign aid -- of any purpose for American leadership larger than self-protection. The pollsters may be satisfied, but John F. Kennedy would not recognize his party."
The difficulty for the donkey is that, all protestations to the contrary, it is becoming branded as the anti-war party. To one degree or another, the Democrats are increasingly united in their opposition to the war.
Setting Iraq aside, it is not even clear if many Democrats believe that we are engaged in a global struggle against Jihadism. Their loathing of Bush blinds many Democrats from seeing the very real threat to freedom from radical Islam. And even moderate Democrats are silent or even embracing the notion of censuring the President for directing the NSA to listen in on enemy communications. Will the American people really believe that this is the party of strength?
Of course, at the moment, the American people have soured on Iraq. And the Democrats' opposition may profit them handsomely in November.
Despite short-term political gains, the party may pay a stiff price in the long term. Over three decades ago, Democrats opposed another unpopular war and the party has still not recovered from the perception that it is weak on defense and will cut and run.
The anti-war Democratic left is emboldened. They are attempting to purge one of the party's foremost national security leaders - Joe Lieberman. Undoubtedly, his opponent will be awash in Hollywood and blogosphere money. The internet is aflame.
Should lefties realize their goal, they will take a giant step in branding the party as soft on national security and unwelcome to hawks. And no "real security" document will be able to counteract the damage inflicted on the donkey. --