Security Democrats (2)

Jane Harman is my Congresswoman; I’ve had issues with her beginning with a tetchy dialog we had as she was exploring running for the first time. I’ve publicly complained about the fact that she’s the consummate Washington insider, and more, that when she decided to run for the seat again she simply shoved aside well-qualified local candidates.

But you know, it’s past time for me to get over it.

She (along with Gary Hart, Bob Graham and some others in the Democratic policy circle) has founded a national-security PAC – ‘Secure US.’ the stated goal is:

…to invigorate policy development and strengthen the voice of Democrats on critical national security issues facing the United States of America.

Looking at a study on the site, some interesting data pops up, which suggests several intersting things (note the contradiction to the CAP proposals below).

Americans want an activist approach that prevents terrorist acts, not one that merely responds to them. While voters hold our gallant first responders in high esteem, Democratic focus on them may inadvertently undercut our message. By making first responders “our piece” of the war on terror, Democrats may be inadvertently suggesting that we are more interested in responding to the aftermath of an attack than in preventing one. Moreover, by focusing the dialogue on budgets and spending, Democrats lead voters to believe homeland security is just another pork barrel program. Voters are less interested in the amount being spent than in what is being purchased and how that will enhance their security.

and

Below is a broad outline of the conclusions we reached as a result of this research:

* The threats posed by terrorist and rogue countries (especially in the context of WMD) were deemed most serious by our groups

* Participants increasingly viewing national security through the prism of the war in Iraq and not only through the September 11th lens

* Participants clearly identified several steps the government has taken to improve security, from increased awareness to airport security to intelligence gathering, but many expressed skepticism about the efficacy of these efforts, with few of our participants able to articulate America’s current anti-terror strategy

* Americans are looking for a strong, intelligent leader when it comes to national security – one who can clearly articulate his or her vision

* Many focus group participants viewed Democrats as indecisive, a party of protest, and without a plan to address national security, while they viewed Republicans as stronger, but also unrealistic and arrogant

* The contrast between perceptions of Democrats and Republicans comes clear when participants are asked to define major differences between the two parties on national security – Republicans were generally viewed as strong and aggressive, while Democrats were viewed as more laid back and willing to negotiate

* Immigration emerged as a major theme in thinking about national security, with participants reasoning that if poorly educated job seekers could easily get into the country, sophisticated terrorists could have an easy time of it

* Beyond immigration, participants were divided over whether the U.S. should take a more diplomatic or a more independent approach

This is useful information for all sides of the national security debate.

First, because it will, hopefully lead the Democrats to get over the “we have great policies, we just can’t explain them to anyone” problam they have today. No, you don’t.

Even Arianna agrees with this:

There are many disturbing aspects to this story — including why, as Atrios and Matt Stoller have pointed out, any sentient Democrat would talk to Nagourney. But hands down the most disturbing takeaway is the fact that Democrats are still iffy about the importance of taking on Bush and the GOP on national security. Are there really Democrats — as Evan Bayh suggests — still “arguing that the party should focus only on domestic issues and run away from national security, since that has been the strong suit for this White House since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11″? Say it isn’t so! (Did someone let Bob Shrum and Stan Greenberg back into the building?)

I’ve said it again and again and again — and I guess I’ll have to keep saying it: the Democrats will never become the majority party until they can convince the American people that they can keep the country safer than the Republicans. All together now: It’s the national security, stupid! And if I sound like a broken record, so should the Democrats.

Now while I agree with Arianna’s diagnosis, her prescription is I believe, deeply misguided and wrong:

Again, at the risk of turning blue in the face, let me help them out: they should follow Jack Murtha’s lead and, as he’s done in letters to Congress and to the president, show how Bush’s imperial adventure in Iraq has had devastating consequences on the real battle at hand — keeping us safe and secure.

The evidence is everywhere: neglected ports and railways. Underfunded first responders. A tripling of terror attacks worldwide. Poor and failing grades from the 9/11 Commission. Osama still on the loose. Iraq as a breeding ground for a new generation of terrorists. Al-Qaeda making a comeback in Afghanistan. Depleted troops. Shaky allies. Emboldened enemies.

But at least it’s a position that can be debated. I think it would flunk the test presented by the focus group families above, but it’s better than the ‘two-positions-a-week’ I think we’re seeing now.

And to the readers from the right who are rubbing their hands at the Democrat’s disarry, I suggest not so damn fast. We (you and I) probably agree that we’re in the opening stages of a long war.

What we do in the next year or two will have profound impacts on how long a war, and how painful and costly a war. If – as a nation – we’re paralyzed and divided, we won’t do much. If you believe we’re at war, you have an obligation – a duty – to work to build a national consensus on this. You won’t do it standing aside and letting half the country stagger from position to position as it’s torn between the Jane Harmans and the Cindy Sheehans.

87 thoughts on “Security Democrats (2)”

  1. So are Hart & Co. going to articulate a national security “vision” that’s any different from Huffington’s? i.e., talking as if we’re supposed to call the Marines home to guard Boston harbor?

    I seriously doubt it, because their national security thinking is limited by the need to do exactly the opposite of whatever Republicans are doing. That’s because national security is conceived (LIKE EVERYTHING ELSE) as nothing more than an “issue” that Democrats need to “win”.

    How about starting with a vision for international security: Take a firm stance against the political assault on Israel, and stop treating Iraq like South Vietnam. But that would mean getting the Lieberman treatment from the New Ownership.

  2. A.L.,

    I think you are looking at another group of “Mogadishu Democrats”:http://www.windsofchange.net/archives/003737.php/.

    I’ll repeat here what I told Joe Katzman then when he found a similar group of Democrats in August 2003:

    bq. The fundamental issue here is that the Democratic Party is no longer a broad based American political party. It hasn’t been one since it purged its conservative hawks (read Jacksonians) and liberal anti-communists (Read Neo-cons) in the 1980’s.

    bq. It is a series of political factions that are dedicated to domestic government-client relationships. Anything that is outside the reality of domestic government-client patronage is a Republican plot to steal money/political manna from Democrats.

    bq. That is why the party is threatened with extinction.

    Tom Holsinger also had several posts on that thread that apply here:

    bq. …Public opinion of the Democratic Party as a whole is such that it no longer matters, in presidential politics, what the positions and statements of individual candidates are. The Democratic Party as a whole is just not trusted, and with good reason.

    bq. I repeat my comments elsewhere on the subject: *the Democratic Party’s survival depends on it having a civil war on the issue in which the factions which aren’t afraid to show their patriotism in public throw out the leftist anti-American factions.* That saved the Party in 1948-49, and is necessary again.

    bq. Either people like Armed Liberal will either do it or they won’t, and they are running out of time.

    bq. Leiberman’s recent statements are merely those of a desperate loser. He would have had credibility had he said in March and April what he is saying now. Now it is too late for him to be credible. He had his chance and blew it.

    bq. *Patriotic Democrats are doing that over and over. They are far more concerned about the possibility of looking bad personally, and not concerned enough about the good of their party, let alone doing what is right just because it’s right.* Too much “me”, and not enough “us”.

    A.L., your party never had that civl war. The Left conducted its purges and there is no place left in the Democratic party for Patriotic Americans. Democratic Rep. John Murtha’s call for U.S. withdrawal from Iraq mande that clear.

    Now we need only await the Democrats joining the Whigs and Federalists in the dust bin of history.

  3. Nice lead in Armed Liberal.

    Point one. Get rid of Bob Graham. I’ll never forget him at the podium running for Dem. nominee telling us all 6 trilion was in the bank, now there’s a 7 trillion dollar debt, and what did GWB do with the 13 trillion dollars. He dropped out shortly after that. I now see a big dumb fat epileptic when he takes stage. National Security is at risk with him on the scene.

    “What we do in the next year or two will have profound impacts on how long a war, and how painful and costly a war. ”

    Not to mention how painful and costly it might be if we don’t do enough. Which of course, is the WORST possible thing.
    Pain and costs mean nearly NOTHING compared to a domestic terror nuke. If the democrats would SUPPORT MASSIVELY Iraq *and* HOMELAND SECURITY, that would really be wonderful.
    THAT is a winning policy for the democrats. They won’t adopt it EVER, however, it’s too late. They LIED. Now they’re stuck with their lie.

    “If – as a nation – we’re paralyzed and divided, we won’t do much.”

    Oh, we’re doing too much according to the left. I understand your idea, and agree, but division might be the least of the problem. I hope I’m wrong. I’ve got a real sick feeling I’m not, though.

    ” If you believe we’re at war, you have an obligation – a duty – to work to build a national consensus on this.”

    I really love your idea and felt inspired by it, but I can’t help wonder, why you have to say ” If you believe we’re at war “.
    I’m not trying to be critical other than to make a point. The very fact that you have to phrase it that way shows how often you’ve heard people say we’re not at war or something like that, from the left, no doubt. That’s a real problem. Or the right has to say we are, because they hear the “it’s all a fake fear campaign by GWB”, or whatever.

    That is a HUGE image problem for the democrats. With all the roundtable feelgood groupthink test sessions, you’d think someone would tell them that. I think half of them think we aren’t at war.

    I think they play the GWB is ruling you with fear card, THEN, they have to try to defend their hawk bonafides, or their HS complaints.

    Once they cry it’s all a fear game from GWB, they have nothing left to stand on for proving they will defend us. If the main party members aren’t doing it, they had better call their crackerbox crews under their wings and get some order.

    Seriously, if someone has to ask if others think we are at war, they CANNOT be put into a position of power for our defense.

    “While voters hold our gallant first responders in high esteem, Democratic focus on them may inadvertently undercut our message. By making first responders “our piece” of the war on terror, Democrats may be inadvertently suggesting that we are more interested in responding to the aftermath of an attack than in preventing one.”

    Well, exactly, and you are. That way, GWB can be made to look like he’s not defending us well, and you can play up the need for the Bush failed aftermath crew. We KNOW you thought THAT over and DECIDED it would be a GREAT policy and a super way to ATTACK Bush. Now you’re having seconds thoughts about the “backlash”.
    (BTW – It’s “Democrat’s focus”, NOT “Democratic”, and that error is becoming endemic.)

    If you’d focus on port security and borders and detection on US soil ( oh that last one is a SORE SPOT- and a PROBLEM for democrats ), why then you could do it legitimately, but add in the HS whine, and you’ve blown it.

    “Below is a broad outline of the conclusions we reached as a result of this research:

    * The threats posed by terrorist and rogue countries (especially in the context of WMD) were deemed most serious by our groups

    Dear God, do you really have to announce it ? THAT IS A PROBLEM, IF YOU DON’T GET IT, YOU WILL NEVER GAIN CREDIBILITY ON SECURITY OR MILITARY.
    I see your next bullet point is related to the first, and your partisan ATTITUDE is bleeding you again.

    * Participants increasingly viewing national security through the prism of the war in Iraq and not only through the September 11th lens

    Oh boy, how much money did they spend for that ” group therapy” conclusion. DEAR GOD, HELP US.
    Now, to analyze this crap above, we have to realize the democrats have been whining that Iraq had nothing to do with 911 and has nothing to do with the WOT.
    So, when their little “get together and share” group let’s them know they are “viewing Iraq as part of the WOT increasingly” the democrats consider that some sort of frightening “shift” they have to adjust for.
    SHOULDN’T THEY BE EMBARRASSED BY PUBLISHING THIS “FINDINGS LIST” !!!!
    Gosh, if they don’t consider this LIST a problem with showing EXACTLY HOW GOOFY and WEAK they plan to handle defense, well, they don’t, but that’s the point.

    *”identified several steps the government has taken to improve security….but many expressed skepticism about the efficacy of these efforts, with few of our participants able to articulate America’s current anti-terror strategy

    That’s just a political hack statement.Many expressed skepticism ( since we haven’t been hit of course) , and then ” the dummies you collected didn’t articulate well enough to your liking on our US strategy” (ROFLMAO)
    Golly, you just proved there’s no strategy or plan from GWB. Do you feel better now ?

    Jeezus, I think they faked this and never had a family focus group.

    Gosh this is really making me hate the “democrats” more. It’s SO STUPID.

    * Americans are looking for a strong, intelligent leader when it comes to national security – one who can clearly articulate his or her vision

    No kidding? That rules out John Kerry. What the @#$% were you guys thinking then ?

    Try Leiberman. Oh wait, that’s right, he’s a traitor oreo and maybe should leave the Democrat party.
    NEVERMIND. ( Nice slip in of the word intelligent, think anyone noticed that ? Think anyone noticed your complaint about Bush’s speaking ability ? Was “her” referring to Hillary, your feminazi dream ? Did you have a consultant word your family focus study results, or did the sensitivity training kick in ?)

    * The contrast between perceptions of Democrats and Republicans ….

    Here’s a TIP for you democrats. Perceptions are TRUTHS in this case. You WON’T be CHANGING that perception until you change the TRUTH about your attitudes and policies ! Unfortunately, many of the rest of us think we are ALL going to take a really, really painful strike before you democrats CHANGE YOUR MINDS.

    * Beyond immigration, participants were divided over whether the U.S. should take a more diplomatic or a more independent approach

    Oh, between democrats and republicans ? Between illegal immigrants and US citizens ?
    Good God help us.

    ” This is useful information for all sides of the national security debate. ”

    I’d have said the same thing. It’s usefully painful.

    “First, because it will, hopefully lead the Democrats to get over the “we have great policies, we just can’t explain them to anyone” problam they have today. No, you don’t. ”

    APPLAUSE !!!!! Thank you so much ! Now, what you just did, THAT can really help solve the problem. Call her ! Call Jane !

    Here below, is the democrats war power as hawks:
    ” Bush’s imperial adventure in Iraq has had devastating consequences on the real battle at hand — keeping us safe and secure.
    The evidence is everywhere: neglected ports and railways. Underfunded first responders. A tripling of terror attacks worldwide. Poor and failing grades from the 9/11 Commission. Osama still on the loose. Iraq as a breeding ground for a new generation of terrorists. Al-Qaeda making a comeback in Afghanistan. Depleted troops. Shaky allies. Emboldened enemies.”

    First, I would remind Airheadiana that 20,000 terrorists were trained on Clinton’s watch in Afghanistan. Bush is KILLING THEM THERE and in IRAQ. Some from Syria, Yemen, and Iran are DYING in Iraq.

    As far as the evidence being everywhere, look up to the SKY you BONEHEAD, and tell me what tower has fallen lately ?

    See, that’s the PROBLEM. We haven’t been attacked here again. All the whining and blabbering will result in one retort from ALL Americans, “Well, then why is it working ?”
    Even the blue believers KNOW THIS.

  4. Silicondoc –

    You ask “I really love your idea and felt inspired by it, but I can’t help wonder, why you have to say ” If you believe we’re at war “.”

    ..well, because some of us (including me) believe we are, and some of us don’t. Those of us who do need to convince those who don’t or, I believe, some Bad Things are going to happen – at which point they’ll be convinced, but it will be too late.

    Namecalling and outright dismissal haven’t traditionally been good tools for convincing anyone. Either our side needs to engage and win the battle of ideas within the country, or we need to get prepared to get badly bruised in the real battles outside it.

    A.L.

  5. “That is why the party is threatened with extinction. ”

    “Now we need only await the Democrats joining the Whigs and Federalists in the dust bin of history.

    Unfortunately, those are massive overstatements.
    I agree with tone of everything else.

    What I fear, is there are way too many anti-American and red lovers and Vietnam boohooers and succor clients all over the place here.

    A purge will happen only if there is a seriously disastrous attack on American soil that is obviously NOT a “Bush plot”.
    Then, and only then, can I envision a purge.
    Until then, I consider it a very DANGEROUS situation.
    I noted one of the Bush Administration appointees, the now former administrative head of *Government Procurement at OMB* was caught having doctored his application to remove his ties to terror organizations, and was quietly removed from his massively important position of possibly compromised national security.
    That having been a republican mistake,I *shudder* to think how many enemies are coddled and positioned by the Democrats and the left wing bureaucracy of Washington, as a show of multicultural sensitivity, lack of racism, and the “know there are good Muslims” reverse talking points we’ve heard so often.

    Even the idea of a recurring McCarthyism must spur on this open and personally exculpatory behavior that can be worn as a badge of honor and anti-racism and tolerance shield far and wide. To even imagine the enemy isn’t aware of that also disqualifies anyones bonafides for a position in national security.

  6. What I fear, is there are way too many anti-American and red lovers and Vietnam boohooers and succor clients all over the place here.

    Oh yeah AL, they’re reaching out all right. (red lovers???).

    Perhaps you should remind them that more than just democrats, they have to convince at least half the electorate that they are right and everyone else is a commie or “succor client”.

    You guys seem to think, despite massive evidence to the contrary, that you already have accomplished this.

    And your hubris in response to what is in reality, a wake up call from a friend, doesn’t bode well for your future.

  7. “..well, because some of us (including me) believe we are”

    Yes, I was already keenly aware of that.

    “Those of us who do need to convince those who don’t or…”

    Yes, but we’re way past that point. There is no more convincing to be done. Noone gets turned at this late a date without some tremendous revealing event.

    On a finer note, people like you should do what you can within your party to push a harder line in any subtle or effective way. I really believe it is up to people in the Democrat party to push slowly and whittle whatever they can out of it.
    Certainly some progress, even if not large, can be made. From within means there’s a loss less chance of outright rejection based on suspicion.

    We can’t turn anyone now though, can we? Some people are convinced otherwise ( I guess, but I really don’t get it, “not at war” )and others will play politics with it. How can anyone change either, although the latter type seems perhaps reachable every now and then.

  8. “(red lovers???).”

    Yes, red lovers. The new progressive that says communism has never been correctly implemented, and that it will actually come with the collapse of capitalism. They further tell me this is the actual textual claim of Karl Marx’s works. They voted for John Kerry, because they hate Goerge Bush. There are plenty of them, and flow out of the University system like water.

    “Perhaps you should remind them that more than just democrats, they have to convince at least half the electorate that they are right and everyone else is a commie or “succor client”.

    Well, that is incorrect, but I’m not surprised. First of all, more than half the voters already made that choice in ’04, secondly, noone needs to be convinced that everyone else are those things, because: 1. I never said everyone else, I said way too many 2. It doesn’t matter what everyone thinks that is already a majority going forward in control, that don’t have the red baited mind problem and the hatred for the US and it’s foreign policy that mimmicks Osama’s last tape.
    Few aren’t aware of the problem.

    ” You guys seem to think, despite massive evidence to the contrary, that you already have accomplished this. ”

    I think you are a disruptive troll.

    I see your only comments on the entire matter have been ATTACKS.

    I will now END conversation with you in this thread, mr. TROLL.

  9. I think that’s spot on Silicondoc, if you think that 4 1/2 years after 9/11 and Afganistan, 3 years after Iraq, 2 years after Madrid, 1 year after London, that we aren’t at war, you’re completely and totally unreachable; Your version of reality is fundamentally at odds with most people in the US, including I think the majority of those voting Democrat.

  10. Wow, Tollhouse & Silicondoc, what a bunch of quitters you guys are.

    Look, it’s going to be damn hard to resolve this internal conflict. On the other hand, it’s easy to kick back, put up your feet, toss harsh words over the fence and wait for the next 9/11.

    More is expected of you, and history isn’t going to look kindly on people who had a chance to make an impact but chose not to because it meant they had to put aside some measure of self-righteousness and reach out to their fellow citizens – and chose not to.

    You say the Democrats are beyond reaching. That’s certainly true if you don’t try, and if your version of reaching is redbaiting.

    We (you & I) probably have a lot of disagreements on domestic and social policy. But we agree they we’re facing a potential (and increasingly likely) war. I’m happy to put my disagreements aside, because I want to win the war and I acknowledge that it takes common purpose to do so.

    What about you?

    A.L.

  11. Yes, red lovers. The new progressive that says communism has never been correctly implemented, and that it will actually come with the collapse of capitalism.

    LOL! And these progressive movers and shakers exist only in your rather paranoid mind.

    further tell me this is the actual textual claim of Karl Marx’s works.

    Take my advice, stop listening to them. And if they tell you it’s OK to park in a handicap spot because it’s part of the “war on the reds” don’t listen to them.

    It doesn’t matter what everyone thinks that is already a majority going forward in control, that don’t have the red baited mind problem and the hatred for the US and it’s foreign policy that mimmicks Osama’s last tape.

    That’s it. Everybody out of the pool, and take your Ridelin.

    I think you are a disruptive troll.

    I see your only comments on the entire matter have been ATTACKS.

    Yeah, I wouldn’t go down that road either if I was you. And I get the feeling you take any interaction with reality as an attack. I’d guess it’s all part of your need for persecution.

  12. A.L.,

    Davebo shares the same problem that SamAm did on the “Mogadishu Democrats” thread Joe Katzman put up three years ago.

    He cannot go anywhere near the concept of “threat elimination” as the primary American National security goal and his fanatic insistence that Iraq is a disaster not to be repeated is merely a symptom of that problem.

    This is what Tom Holsinger said on the subject in his post #40 from August 2003.

    bq. What is really at issue here, and what I’ve been slamming SamAm about, is *the Democrats’ unspoken but implied disagreement with the premises of the Bush administration’s grand strategy as fully ennunciated in the NSS. Democrats oppose the concept of our being pro-active.* *They want us to be reactive only – to let terrorists attack us at home over and over, and respond only to each attack individually.*

    bq. But the Democrats won’t say that openly. I am deliberately forcing their, and SamAm’s, hidden agenda out where we can all see it and denounce it properly. Furthermore this is why the Democratic party is in danger of extinction. *The underlying premise of their adversion to our proactive policy is that 9/11 didn’t happen.*

    bq. They just don’t get it, never will and deserve to join the Federalists in extinction.

    bq. Here is the opening sentence of my Strategy Page article titled Grand Strategy For America’s War on Terror. It was published before the NSS was published, based on Bush’s West Point speech, because I understood the latter’s implications quite well. The NSS published the next month showed I was right.

    bq. “The only feasible means of protecting America’s homeland from foreign terrorist attack is to eliminate all terrorist-supporting states. We opposed some foreign terrorism before 9/11, but weren’t at “war” with terrorism in general. 9/11 forced us to recognize that most foreign terrorists and their state sponsors cooperate to a greater or lesser degree, and that our security requires rooting out what has grown into a connected system of world terrorism and the state sponsors of its disparate parts.”

    bq. That article was published before Jim Dunnigan gave me an archive, and so has scrolled off. Here is the whole thing, published on June 14, 2002. Note that the events in its final paragraphs will cause the Democrats to throw up their hands in horror, and that Trent is quite correct that the Saudis only recently realized what we’ve planned for their Shiite majority oil provinces.

    bq. “GRAND STRATEGY FOR AMERICA’S WAR ON TERROR – Objectives and Priorities

    bq. The only feasible means of protecting America’s homeland from foreign terrorist attack is to eliminate all terrorist-supporting states. We opposed some foreign terrorism before 9/11, but weren’t at “war” with terrorism in general. 9/11 forced us to recognize that most foreign terrorists and their state sponsors cooperate to a greater or lesser degree, and that our security requires rooting out what has grown into a connected system of world terrorism and the state sponsors of its disparate parts.

    bq. President Bush indicated in a recent speech that all governments which continue to use terrorism as instruments of state policy, if only to deflect their own people’s anger away from themselves towards us, will be forcibly replaced. He did not, however, mention what will happen when replacing a government won’t improve the situation, which will usually be the case with failed/failing states.

    bq. Their fate will be extinction. I.e., failed and failing states which have served as terrorist sanctuaries will be conquered and occupied by a friendly country (us if necessary) with the means and ruthlessness to root out terrorist infrastructure.

    bq. This is a fundamental change in the post World War II order. Borders will change and whole countries cease to exist. The world will be rearranged to further our domestic security, and we will act pre-emptively rather than waiting for attack. These are logical and necessary implications of America’s new policy, i.e., we’ll get there eventually despite claiming the contrary now. Great events and major policy changes by Great Powers are dynamic instead of static. They create new environments which foster further changes.

    bq. Elimination of terrorist states appears to be our middle-term goal. President Bush’s long-term goals identified in the same speech show no change in America’s overall objective since 1945 – slow integration of the world into a web of successful, prosperous, democratic societies. Getting there now seems to require, however, that America operate as an empire in areas which potentially threaten our homeland.

    bq. Our short-term goal must be protection of the homeland from terrorist weapons of mass destruction (WMD) because, among other things, such attack might so enrage the American people that they would require the immediate nuclear annihilation of active and likely threats. That might create a far more dangerous world in the long run, and would at least markedly impede America’s long-term goals.

    bq. We must rely on internal and foreign intelligence services to protect against WMD improvised from our domestic resources, as on 9/11. Protection from WMD produced elsewhere requires recognizing and prioritizing the potential threats. The WMD of foreign origin which most threaten our homeland are of two types. One is biological – most likely anthrax of Iraqi origin (those who still deny that have bright futures in today’s FBI – many already work there), but possibly smallpox too. The second is nuclear, including radiological devices as well as weapons.

    bq. The two most likely foreign nuclear devices/weapons which terrorists could use here are fizzly xSoviet tactical nukes used as radiological devices, and Pakistani nuclear weapons. Al Qaeda likely has the former. It, or its successors, will probably get the latter. It is highly likely that any terrorist nuke detonated anywhere in the next ten years will be of Pakistani origin.

    bq. The extent of Iraq’s biological weapons threat cannot be known until after its conquest, but Iraqi intelligence agents with quasi-mythical abilities, using anthrax spores of the quality used last fall, could theoretically kill several million Americans. A Pakistani nuke in terrorist hands could kill 80,000 – 100,000 Americans, while a fizzly xSoviet nuke might kill several thousand.

    bq. This huge disparity in potential harm dictates the magnitude and order of action. Iraq’s immediate conquest has the highest priority. Elimination of Pakistan’s nuclear threat need not take a military form. We should, however, immediately start formulating strategies towards that end.

    bq. Threat elimination next in priority starts with terrorist-supporting states possessing chemical weapons – Iran, Syria-Lebanon and Libya. Iran’s regime might not last the year even if we do nothing, and will almost certainly be overthrown by its pro-American people when we conquer Iraq. Libya recently offered a billion dollars compensation for the Lockerbie bombing to buy its way off this list. Syria’s regime continues to support Lebanese terrorists so it must be destroyed, possibly with Turkish and/or Israeli proxies.

    bq. Then we must eliminate Saudi Arabia’s regime as it is the chief source of Islamic terrorist funding. That might not be enough, though, as Saudi culture has an Islamic extremist base of several centuries’ standing. Elimination of Saudi terrorist funding will likely require that its people be denied the physical means, i.e., the U.S. will control Saudi oil-producing areas and use the revenue to fund America’s new empire.”

  13. For all the self confidence on the right, nobody (except Bush) seems to be paying attention to the fact that Americans are trending isolationist. A recebt “pew poll”:http://people-press.org/reports/display.php3?PageID=1016 found that 42% of Americans say the United States should “mind its own business internationally and let other countries get along the best they can on their own.”

    In other words, 42% of Americans are out of step with conventional wisdom here at Winds. I think its a mistake to believe that the average American reacts to riots over cartoons in Europe (or bombings for that matter) by concluding that America needs to be more engaged internationally.

    Its easy for me to imagine *either* party engaging a more neo-isolationist stance, coupled with either protectionism or immigration controls, *and winning.* Those are the stakes.

  14. I’m not quitting I’m merely moving on. This argument should have been settled four years ago. I thought it had been but alas.

  15. *sigh*

    It’s easy to call libs ‘red-lovers’, and totally inept on this issue. I do not deny that Democratic politicians are inept at the GWOT, but then again so are the republicans.

    For all the hoopla, the basic needs to prepare for (and against) a terroristic attack HAVE NOT HAPPENED.

    1) The border is not secure
    2) Only some of the nations ports have radiological detection equipment
    3) Not enough coast guard to carefully watch incoming frigates
    4) FBI still does not have a functional system to upload/track criminals
    5) Still do not have enough middle-eastern language specialists
    6) CIA is still playing it safe, and needs to recruit agents to gather information in other countries
    7) Intelligence agencies are STILL not sharing data
    8) Homeland Security & Fema are stuffed with pork, but not actually accomplishing anything
    9) Nations first responders are still undertrained and underequipped
    10) Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical storage facilities woefully underprotected

    Am I missing anything?

    To give Bush credit, he does actually appear to be working on the ‘detecting terrorists’ problem, although I strongly disagree with using presidential power without some sort of Judicial watch committee.

    I have heard of neither Congress or Senate bills talk about these issues. Republicans have attached themselves to strong on terror merely through the war in Iraq, but I have not heard of any preparation plan domestically.

    These things need to get done quickly, effeciently, and effectively; and democrats could make their stance alot stronger by creating bills to solve these problems.

  16. AL — I am very negative on the possibility of reform for three reasons:

    1. The media bubble ala Arianna, NYT, WaPo, and Hollywood re-inforces the views, values, and calculations of Democratic leaders in what Mickey Kaus called the “bubble.” Ala “I don’t see how Reagan was re-elected. No one I know voted for him” Pauline Kael.

    Hard to see that you’re losing ordinary Americans if you don’t know any of them.

    2. The Folk Marxism of the Democratic Party, Media, Academia, and Hollywood etc works to undercut any rational appreciation of military policy. When you view the Bush admin as “Imperialist” instead of just wrong/ineffective in protecting America compared to your alternative that’s a HUGE RED FLAG (sorry) that your worldview is Folk Marxist. Instead of the traditional economic classes struggling, Folk Marxism has various “oppressed” and “oppressor” classes that have various caste ranks. We cannot EVER kill third world people (ala Clinton’s Mogadishu Democrats) in defense of this nation because we are “the White Oppressor Class” and they are the “third world victim class.”

    This Folk Marxism is the deeply held religious beliefs of the Dem Party, Academia, and the Media which form the foundation of the Party now. What you are asking for is people to willingly commit heresy and that will just not do.

    3. The most important factor though is money. Kos, Moveon, Code Pink (Murtha and Dean were there for the MONEY) are the money people who control the party. As Moveon said they paid for it and they’ll do what they want. You cannot EVER have a rational security policy with Code Pink and Kos and Moveon running the Party which they do.

    Seriously, HOWARD DEAN as the Moveon’s man in the DNC? Ed Begley Jr’s suggestion to fight bin Laden with Bike Paths is all the Democrats have to offer.

    What is needed is extinction or such a massive loss electorally that the Folk Marxists and money people are so discredited that a new beginning is possible. Only when the Party is dead or almost completely dead will you have such a renewal.

    PD Shaw — I agree with your assessment of isolationism, with one caveat. The “to hell with them” attitude of pre-emptive massive bombing or nuclear strikes to eliminate regimes/countries is also growing larger. I could see a Republican isolationist candidate promising a closed borders solution, exclusion of Muslims, and the enunciated policy of nuclear retaliation ala Chirac but “plus” in response to any terrorist attack against the US. Cartoon Jihad has helped cement US domestic attitudes towards all Muslims as fanatic murderous savages who are our implacable enemies. Whoever offers a policy predicated on “to hell with them” by deterring and/or destroying them through massive strength can re-arrange US politics. For reasons above that’s far more likely in the Republican Party and it could very well sweep the Democrats who are the party of weak appeasers in public opinion (to the existential savage threat of Muslim fanatics) into electoral oblivion.

  17. A.L.,

    Thanks for posting on the developing debate over national security strategies in the Democratic Party and left-of-center blogs/think-tanks. We need to know about the alternatives under discussion and the trends in the debate. Some of the ideas will be useful, most will not be. But the key point is that the debate has begun.

    We don’t know where this debate is going to end up. However, any serious discussion of national strategy inevitably leads to an acknowledgement that our nation faces real enemies. Just as inevitably, a serious discussion leads to an analysis of how we can defeat those enemies. Hopefully, this will be the beginning of the national consensus that provides long-term support for the War on Militant Islam.

    Building that consensus across party lines is very important. War is always an act of collective will. We can fight a limited war with the active support of a large minority and the passive support/acquiescence of a majority of the population. However, we can’t fight a large war without the active support of a majority of the population and we will lose even a limited war if the majority of the population becomes hostile.

  18. He cannot go anywhere near the concept of “threat elimination” as the primary American National security goal and his fanatic insistence that Iraq is a disaster not to be repeated is merely a symptom of that problem.

    I’m frankly amazed that you would mention threat elimination and Iraq in the same sentence!

    But whatever, let me clear up a few things for you.

    I’m all for eliminating credible threats against the US be they from countries or organizations operating without official sanction by a country or countries.

    I am not for eliminating every threat you or others percieve as existing. And that would include Iraq.

    And in this stance I’m with the majority of Americans.

    The fact that Tom chose to incredulously assign motives to “all democrats” while admitting that practically no democrats are espousing said motives is fairly irrelevant in my opinion.

    In other words, lets deal with the democrats positions on national security as stated, not with what Tom or you would like to believe are their positions though you can’t support the fact.

    The fact is this administration, and by association the GOP at large, has lost an enormous amount of credibility on the subject of threat evaluation and corrective action. You guys seem to be good at stomping your feet and ignoring this fact, but it’s a fact none the less.

    Going forward, the trend line for this sentiment doesn’t look good. But regardless this administration is tasked with protecting America for the next 3 years. So rather than huffing and puffing about Commies and Islamoenablers, something that to it’s credit, this administration hasn’t engaged in to a great deal, you should be thinking of ways to increase the admins credibility.

  19. One last thing

    Kos, Moveon, Code Pink (Murtha and Dean were there for the MONEY) are the money people who control the party.

    This is political ignorance on a scale that’s hard to even describe.

    In fact, it’s pure fantasy.

  20. AL-

    bq. You say the Democrats are beyond reaching. That’s certainly true if you don’t try, and if your version of reaching is redbaiting.

    Well, on the one hand, I have to admit that your comment #10 pretty well answers my question about to what extent you actually disagree with people who say “the Democrats are on the other side”.

    On the other hand, I think the predominant tone of the comments on this thread speaks pretty much for itself. Far from having your work cut out for you trying to talk Democrats over to your national security views, I think you’re gonna be pretty much tied up here forever trying to convince pro-war people that the Democratic half of the country isn’t incurably insane.

  21. BTW, whatever happened to Democrats for National Security? As far as I can tell from google it didn’t make it into 2004. Hopefully Harman’s group will do better. The danger there will be that it becomes a vehicle for defense industry campaign contributions with no ideas at all.

  22. Newsflash Chris – nothing AL could say or do will convince serious supporters of American national security that the Democratic Party is trustworthy.

    On the other hand, there may be quite a number of things the Democratic Party could do that would have this salutary effect. For some mysterious reason, however, the Party’s convincing campaign led by Dean, Pelosi, Murtha, Kennedy, McKinney, Moran, Conyers, Bonior, Murray, et. al. hasn’t been working very well lately.

    I wonder why that might be….?

  23. One last thing

    Kos, Moveon, Code Pink (Murtha and Dean were there for the MONEY) are the money people who control the party.

    This is political ignorance on a scale that’s hard to even describe.

    In fact, it’s pure fantasy.

    This will be proved or disproved with the next presidential election. Who do you think the Democratic nominee will be?

  24. bq. Newsflash Chris – nothing AL could say or do will convince serious supporters of American national security that the Democratic Party is trustworthy.

    Oh, don’t mind me, Joe, I’m just waiting for you to finish beating up your straw man. Done now? Shall we continue?

    bq. On the other hand, there may be quite a number of things the Democratic Party could do that would have this salutary effect. For some mysterious reason, however, the Party’s convincing campaign led by Dean, Pelosi, Murtha, Kennedy, McKinney, Moran, Conyers, Bonior, Murray, et. al. hasn’t been working very well lately.

    Whoops, weren’t quite done, were you? I say, it certainly is easier conditioning people to hate at the mere mention of their political opponents than to actually make coherent arguments against them, isn’t it? And how clever of you to have figured that out!

    As for the minimal actual content of your comment, it entirely depends on “hasn’t been working very well lately”. If you judge by polls on the American people as a whole, they’re doing a pretty decent job recently at convincing people they’re better than Bush. If you judge by the people who visit your site, then no, it hasn’t… but given how hard those guys upthread have been working to prove that they’re irrational partisan nutjobs (as have you yourself!), I think I can live with that tradeoff.

  25. Personally I think the US is going to be condemned to having only one credible party with the other party getting a signifigant percentage of the vote as a protest/balance vote until the Armed Liberals of the US create a new, more centrist, party and cause a replay of the Republican party replacing the Whigs as one of the two major parties.

    StargazerA5

  26. Chris, have you seen “this”:http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?i=w060206&s=groopman020706 (free registration required)…

    “HOW LIBERALS PLAY INTO KARL ROVE’S HANDS.”

    “The point is bigger than just one gathering at a liberal organization. In the years since September 11, many liberals seem to have concluded that you’re not really opposing Bush’s means unless you also scorn his stated ends. That’s too bad. Liberals have no chance of winning the national security debate if they dismiss its premises. I think most liberals recognize this, but some are so disgusted with the current administration that they feel compelled to oppose–and to mock–anything with Bush’s name on it. And any Democrats, like Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden, who oppose the Bush administration yet decline to scoff at the notion that America ought to stand for the spread of human freedom are liable to be labeled weak, neoconservative, or traitorous to their own cause.

    This only stifles the possibility of a serious liberal alternative to Bush’s policies. As long as Democrats are required by their base to ridicule Bush’s ends rather than his means, they will have lost the debate over foreign policy before it even starts. Indeed, despite the unpopularity of the Iraq war, recent polling shows that Americans still trust Republicans more than Democrats on national security. ”

    …I’ll put it up as a post soon.

    A.L.

  27. Davebo — “the curious affair of the dog in the nighttime” is the Democrats failure to offer a real alternative to Bush’s policy. A more effective alternative would be:

    1. Iraq gobbled up resources that won’t let us deal with the real threat. Iran.
    2. Vote Democratic and we will build up resources, take out Iran.
    3. We are the far more ruthless party in confronting threats, able to do war “Right” the FDR Way. Short, intense, total victory.

    Instead we get Code Pink, Moveon, Kos, etc. having guys like Jack Murtha accepting awards from them. Remember Code Pink, the guys who sent $650K to terrorists in Fallujah who were fighting Marines? Murtha is NOT a political fool, the only reason he’s doing this (imagine the Republican campaign commercials with Murtha posing for that picture with Code Pink) is because that’s where the money and power are.

    You CANNOT have ANY rational security discussions when leading politicians in your Party (Dean, Murtha) show up at Code Pink shilling for bucks.

    Far from negative trendlines look optimistic for Republicans and disastrous for Dems (soley because of Democratic INSANITY). Bush discloses a foiled plot against LA and Dems … carp and deny the threat instead of seizing the moment to offer an even “harder” response. The real danger is that we will verge into appearing weak by Dem politicians calling for: a. “negotiations” with bin Laden; b. unilateral withdrawal from Iraq and presumably Afghanistan; c. Cartoon Jihad where Muslims impose censorship and Sharia on the US Press and others. This weakness has real consequences beyond politics but also inside politics which means Dems are not responsive to terrorist threats.

    WHAT do the Dems offer to make us safe other than platitudes? WHERE are they prepared to out-tough Bush and start making examples of hostile threats to the US?

    Yes indeed Kos, Moveon, and Code Pink are the money-controllers. WHY do you think Howard Dean is DNC chair? The ELECTED people all hate him (including Harry Reid, most of the Governors, and most of the House Dems). Heck Howlin Howie is even allegedly digging up dirt on Harry Reid with Abramoff, and criticized Reid’s dealings with Abramoff. Moveon has publicly boasted (as Marc Cooper that raging righty has written) they got Dean-o elected DNC Chair. I say my point is proven beyond any doubt. Kerry, Boxer, Kennedy, Feingold all blog at Daily Kos.

    Yes, blogging at the fever swamps of the Democratic Party. Why? Because that’s where the money is.

    The bigger issue is … WHO in the Dem Party actually HAS Military expertise? Wes Clark. That’s it. That’s the ENTIRE experience of the Party in military affairs.

    The best hope for Dems is a wipe-out of extinction level proportions in 06 and a small coterie of “security dems” like Lieberman, Gephardt, Zell Miller, etc drafting Norman Schwarzkopf in 08 and offering a “harder” alternative to Bush’s policies, promising FDR ruthlessness.

  28. “Wow, Tollhouse & Silicondoc, what a bunch of quitters you guys are.”

    That should help the troll understand how his side reaches out as well.

    “Look, it’s going to be damn hard to resolve this internal conflict. ”

    No it isn’t. The democrats have lost on their errant spew of lies. They can continue, and if they lose again, so be it.

    “On the other hand, it’s easy to kick back, put up your feet, toss harsh words over the fence and wait for the next 9/11. ”

    Well, that’s another false characterization. Did you reply to the content or is this avoidance? Do you intend on molding Cindy Sheehan’s mind to renew its stance ?
    LOL – Good luck.

    “More is expected of you, and history isn’t going to look kindly on people who had a chance to make an impact but chose not to…”

    Well, whining about it doesn’t help, does it. Let me ask you, how many have you converted? I’ve worked on them in chat for probably 500 hours on this very topic. Can you say you’ve put as much time in ? I certainly HIGHLY DOUBT IT.

    ” because it meant they had to put aside some measure of self-righteousness and reach out to their fellow citizens – and chose not to.”

    Thank you MR. HIGH AND MIGHTY JUDGMENTAL PERSON WHO HAS NO IDEA WHAT HE IS TALKING ABOUT.

    Are you through with your foolish rhetoric yet?

    How would you like the argument to be delivered, with grey poupon ?

    “You say the Democrats are beyond reaching. That’s certainly true ….”

    Yes, let’s stop right there. When you convert a few, let me know.

    Wait, I see there’s some confusion about.

    “We (you & I) probably have a lot of disagreements on domestic and social policy. But we agree they we’re facing a potential (and increasingly likely) war.”

    Umm, excuse me ? A “potential( and increasingly likely) war” ?

    I thought you expressed your belief that we are in one. I suppose you flip flopped ?

    ” I’m happy to put my disagreements aside, because I want to win the war and I acknowledge that it takes common purpose to do so.”

    Oh I see, you don’t really agree, but you’ll put aside wether or not we’re in a war in order to claim the republicans need you democrats to fight it. Well, they don’t. Or maybe you’re saying the possible disagreements on domestic issues are something you won’t allow yourself to play politics with concerning the war?

    We hear the Republicans have total power. Of course that is false, but in fact I we’ve been doing just fine so far.

    When the democrats finally slap the far left loons hard enough instead of pandering like fools to them, or letting them assume the mantle of the minority, let me know as well.

    Now, since neither of you addresssed the various issues at hand except to play a ” you won’t help” game, what do you expect ?

    Do you expect others to come to “your” conclusions in order that the republicans can start acting like democrats?

    You want nicey nicey ? That’s it isn’t it ?

    While your democrats play with soldiers deaths like counting hanging chads, you want nicey nicey.

    GOOD LUCK.

    No, this is about the democrats starting to act like they USED to. Like Truman, JFK, and LBJ.

    Instead Michael Moore and Cindy Sheehan are the acting mental force structure.

    PERHAPS, that is what the democrats have become.

    I sure hope that helped. I don’t expect the ” process of conversion ” to be a pleasant affair.

    Believe me, we’re already holding back our real opinion of it all, I certainly am.

    How do you reach a traitor ? There, is that helpful ?

    How many have you converted AL ?

    I’d say I’ve converted a half dozen in 3 years in chat, that got help from other places as well, and other chatters. Those conversion weren’t just on the war issue, but on politics and party in general.

    I’ve been told by a few, ” I listened and saw that you told the truth and let us make up our own mind, while the other side just made things up and attacked. ”

    In the end, perhaps there isn’t much else to do but continue to let the democrats tell dozens of whoppers for politcal purposes, and anyone who has an inlkings of an open mind will figure it out for themselves.

    I did.

  29. silicondoc, I’d be laughing my ass off if the issues weren’t so serious. Joe and others here (as have I) have challenged the Left as a ‘politics of therapy’ in which achieving a state of personal self-satisfaction is more important than actually accomplishing things.

    Your comment is a reminder that the Left are not alone in that practice. It’s just peachy that you’re so self-satisfied, but let me rent you a clue: the nation is sliding toward gridlock on these critical issues, and instead of persuading, you’re standing in a corner of the park screaming at passersby as they avert their eyes and change direction so they can walk a little further away from you.

    Cindy Sheehan and the politics of adolescence that she represents are driving people away from the Democrats; have you foregotten how the frothing at the mouth accustions of ‘TREASON’ drove people away from the right? Or did the election of 1964 slip your mind?

    You’re either willing to step to the plate and play – and try and build consensus with people who disagree with you – or you’re going to keep patting yourself on the back for the six souls you’ve saved while a dozen readers here look at your posts and slowly back away – back to join the folks who are pushing back against the things we have to do to win.

    Is there a war today? No not yet, and that means that it isn’t certain. There is a tree of possibilities, and in my kmind, most of the high-liklihood ones do lead to war. But it’s not certain yet, and if it can be prevented – if we can win without killion hundreds of thousands if not tens of millions – we have a moral obligation to.

    So I’m glad you believe that hysterical rage thing is working for you; I’ll suggest taking a breath, reading some history, and joining the rest of us as we roll up our sleeves and try and sort out this mess.

    A.L.

  30. “Am I missing anything?

    To give Bush credit, he does actually appear to be working on the ‘detecting terrorists’ problem, although I strongly disagree with using presidential power without some sort of Judicial watch committee. ”

    Well, this could be the thing that plugs all the other holes. In fact if the domestic terrorists are discovered and picked up, there won’t be an attack. This TRUMPS all other defense. PERIOD.

    I see just how UNCOOPERATIVE the democrats have been in that area.

    “I have heard of neither Congress or Senate bills talk about these issues. ”

    Well, they have. How many border bills have republicans had slammed to the dirt by the opposition ? Is is 5 now post 911 ?
    Finally, we have a 700 mile fence system going forward.

    “Republicans have attached themselves to strong on terror merely through the war in Iraq, but I have not heard of any preparation plan domestically.”

    Yes, we know the idea is around that there is no plan. You obviously are listening to the ” Bush has no plan people”, instead of checking the actual work of congress. You haven’t heard of it because you aren’t checking or listening to those telling it. Believe me it’s going on, and the hitch is always “money” and “politics”.

    “These things need to get done quickly, effeciently, and effectively; and democrats could make their stance alot stronger by creating bills to solve these problems.”

    Absolutely agree with that 100%. Problem is on the left there’s already a gigantic more than twofold BLOCK to it.
    1. Profiling is racism ( demos say)
    2. Picking up, incarcerating, Gitmo’ing or any and all the above is ” BUSH” taking away our rights.

    NOW WITH THAT OPENLY PUBLIC ATTITUDE FROM THE HIGHEST POINTS IN THE DEMOCRAT PARTY, WHAT THE HECK DO YOU THINK THEY WILL DO BUT BLOCK EVERYTHING THEY CAN ?

    ( Ok, perhaps in private they vote differently on occassion, and actually support the WOT, RARE occassion.)

    Instead they will publicly cry Bush isn’t doing enough ( as you basically just did), then in committee and in the monetary deliverance, they will stop, restrict, attack, and cry racism and intolerance and loss of rights, as loudly and as carpingly as they can.

    WE ALL SEE IT EVERY SINGLE #$% @#$% DAY.

    Want that to change ? IMO the democrats have to win the power in the elections, and therefore will have to bear the “responsibility” of the defense of the USA. As it stands now, they claim it’s all on republicans, its all the republicans fault, and they’re turning us into a police state.

    Those DEMOCRATS in the CONGRESS, not some “fantasy” people one of the prior lefties laughed don’t exist.

    Do I need to name them for the present democrat whom can’t spell Ritalin?

  31. Another “problem” with math.

    “For all the self confidence on the right, nobody (except Bush) seems to be paying attention to the fact that Americans are trending isolationist. A recebt pew poll found that 42% of Americans say the United States should “mind its own business internationally and let other countries get along the best they can on their own.”

    So, that leaves 58% that say we should intervene. Is 58 more than 42 ?

    (Let’s assume the 51 percent voted in republicans are all for it, and the 49 percent democrats trend against it. That still leaves 7% of the democrats that have bailed your ship and gone the other way.Sure that’s rough justice, but at least it’s an analysis instead of a simple math lie. By the way, that’s great that 7% of democrats actually sign on to the WOT. )

    LOL – Well, you argued something totally stupid, what do you expect?

    “In other words, 42% of Americans are out of step with conventional wisdom here at Winds.

    In other words that is a minority.

    So, it’s TRENDING that way.

    If you’d like to make your point, would you PLEASE provide the former LOWER percentage “out of step” with Winds and the approzimate date of that lower percentage?

    That of course, would make it a TREND.

  32. ” from Armed Liberal on February 10, 2006 05:21 AM
    silicondoc, I’d be laughing my ass off if the issues weren’t so serious.

    Whine about the process some more AL. Keep whining your yapper till it makes you feel good.
    You’re a worse troll than your first friend who chimed in now.

    I see you hope that what everyone on the right in here pretty much agrees on just isn’t true. Moveon, Sheehan, Sorros, you name it.

    Murtha calling for exit, then pretending hanging around the fringes is different than pullout. In DIRECT OPPOSITION to the ENTIRE ELITE US COMMANDER STRUCTURE IN IRAQ.

    Well, disarmed liberal, what the HELL is that ?
    You guys supported Mr. Murtha over the entire- the entire – every single commander in Iraq.
    IT’S RATHER UNBELIEVABLE AL, BUT IT HAPPENED.

    If you guys HAD a point where someone could actually TALK to you without seeing the totally insane stuff like Murtha above actually being supported as your platform, well then, there wouldn’t be such terrible problems, would there?

    I see several others feel quite the same about the RED FLAG problem the democrats in general exhibit.

    I’ll be glad to take the heat.

    I noticed in my first couple of posts, all the analysis was forgotten in favor of focusing on “reb baiting”.

    So far that’s the democrats argument here. Stop red baiting.

    “Be nice”. Be nice> Be nice.

    Well, what the hell ?

    At least it gives you guys withoput a leg to stand on a pretend diversion as you leave aside the substance of the entire matter.
    For THAT reason, perhaps it should cease, but then enough POINTS and DISCOURSE have been included to make it obvious that a choice was made to ignore the rest.

    I have, and a few other have stated their even LESS hopeful view that the demorats can actually put together a security policy that isn’t percieve as weaker than the republicans, and isn’t outright insufficent.

    Stop pretending I haven’t already made a dozen points why that is so.

    You can certainly keep it going though, because your last post to me was one big fat redux of the former.

    I certainly DON’T appreciate your belittling of my efforts in voice chat that have been succesful, right AFTER you complained like a jerk that giving up wasn’t the way, and that help to those not on board should be delivered.

    So, once again, put downs are the way you’ve proceeded so far. Your friend helped set that tone. Then when I defend my efforts you call them empty, you belittle the accomplishemnts, while NOT answering for yourself.

    HAVE YOU CONVERTED ANYONE ?

    I guess not.

    So all we have left there mr unarmed liberal, is the usual lefty crybaby version of supposition from you, and I’m really NOT surprised.

    AL whine ” You’re driving them away when they see how you act and type in here, instead of converting .”

    Well AL, there are quite a few more posts I’ve made than just this thread. I’m sure if they really care to get a round view they will see the plentiful amount of analysis and correct ideation all over.

    For starters they can check my first response and if they like critique my criticisms of the talking point bullets I found so irritating.

    I wonder if that will ever happen. I do suspect though that if anyone is reachable they will find my points made entirely credible, and that alone will push them in the right direction.

    If the democrats stay stuck on Iraq, and then have the peace 60’s love antivietnam hippy crew with them ( which they do), it’s probably going to be beneficial for some conversions to be down in the fray and talk their language. Perhaps that’s why I’ve become such a focus.

  33. Chris, this thread is on Democrats defense of the USA policy. You added a slew of polling at WaPo to claim it’s just fine.

    “As for the minimal actual content of your comment, it entirely depends on “hasn’t been working very well lately”. If you judge by polls on the American people as a whole, they’re doing a pretty decent job recently at convincing people they’re better than Bush. ”

    I went and looked, Chris. Let’s see how the “security split” comes out, shall we ?

    US campaign against terrorism 52 up , 45 down.
    Strong leader 52 up , 48 down.
    Trusted in crisis 53 up, 47 down.

    17. Do you think the war with Iraq has or has not contributed to the long-term security of the United States? 53 YES , 45 no.

    WELL ?

    Gee, if there is something in there showing us the democrats have a larger total in the area of defense than the last election split, let me know.

    Were you trying to say “domestic issues” are a winner for democrats, and use that to refute Joe’s position on democrats and defense ?

    That’s cheating !

    So, whom is telling like it is ?

  34. “This only stifles the possibility of a serious liberal alternative to Bush’s policies. As long as Democrats are required by their base to ridicule Bush’s ends rather than his means, they will have lost the debate over foreign policy before it even starts. Indeed, despite the unpopularity of the Iraq war, recent polling shows that Americans still trust Republicans more than Democrats on national security. ”

    …I’ll put it up as a post soon.

    A.L.”

    Thank you AL. That post made me think about how much the democrats are being evaluated on their political position, or are actually forming their position around political considerations.

    How much is that happening ?

    I’m afraid on the other hand that their position is actually what it is, instead of being there for a political reason.
    I know that sounded vague, but many Americans have that impression it seems to me.
    It’s not that hard to figure that after 35+ years of anti-vietnam, we have a whole new generation of adults who were raised by their parents with that “attitude”, and they certainly are in the democrat party.

    It’s bad, it’s so bad, I have to say I hope it’s just politics, which of course is a terrible thing as well if it is.

    I suppose the best scenario would be my whole perception is wrong, wrong, wrong on this, and the democrat hawks are waiting in the wings.

  35. My, what a civilized debate :,) I think we got the wrong parties in the room if we’re looking for a rapprochement…

    Look, I know A.L. well enough to give him full credit for deeply believing we’re in the middle of a war, and wanting to get his home party onside on the issue. He’s of course completely wrong-headed on income redistribution and other things, but as a fairly recent R convert (probably RINO to some here), I can meet him on the security issue.

    But, Marc, I think you’re off base on how those of us not inside the Dems should and will interpret the study you’ve cited. Yes, from your point of view, there’s a ray of hope that some portion of the party in between Lieberman and the Koskids is starting to wake up and comes to grips. Hope springs anew that you won’t be reduced to breaking bread only with Zell and Joe, and can pursue your other causes in renewed solidarity.

    For those of not in the D party, this study doesn’t look that way at all. Ummm, focus groups so the citizens can tell the center of the Dem party that we’re at war? That doesn’t undermine the impression that your party cares more about winning power than winning the war – it reinforces it. For all the fault I can find with Bush and the Rs, they believe we’re in a fight in deadly earnest, as I know you do. Stand outside for a moment and look inward. You may see hope. I see Mogadishu. It would have been better for your party if they kept this study to themselves. Maybe the same for any shadow QDR that doesn’t start with: Win The War.

    Your evidence doesn’t support your peroration, your call for consensus and what I interpret as assistance in getting the Dems onside. That doesn’t mean it’s not a worthy request. What would you? Is there any useful aid that can come from outside the party, to reduce or eliminate the period in the wilderness?

  36. bq. This only stifles the possibility of a serious liberal alternative to Bush’s policies. As long as Democrats are required by their base to ridicule Bush’s ends rather than his means, they will have lost the debate over foreign policy before it even starts. Indeed, despite the unpopularity of the Iraq war, recent polling shows that Americans still trust Republicans more than Democrats on national security.

    For pete’s sake, AL… I’m genuinely torn here. I truly don’t know what’s more obnoxious: Silicondoc et al’s rabid hatred of the left, Joe’s focused but no less bitter barbs towards Democrats, or the fact that you’re parroting tripe like the TNR piece.

    So, let me get this straight: the writer goes to an event broadcast on Air America – an event specifically designed to entertain liberals and distract them from the suckitude that is Bush, an event where I’ll wager there was more than a little alcohol being poured, an event specifically designed to make fun of the fact that (as the writer freely admits) Bush has turned phrases like “terror” and “weapons of mass destruction” into cruel jokes – and from this, the writer concludes that liberals _really do_ “scorn” Bush’s “stated ends”… which is presumably stuff like “freedom”, “fighting tyranny,” “protecting America”, etc.

    Forgive the lapse in behavior, but this pretty clearly calls for a very specific technical term:

    *Bullshit.*

    And here I’ll repeat my point yet again, AL: if you really believe that liberals – even a sizable minority of liberals – honestly do scorn the concepts of freedom, fighting tyranny and protecting the country, (as opposed to the dysfunctional agenda Bush advocates when he says those terms) then you’re gonna be so repulsive to the great majority of Democrats who know better that your stated goal of “reform” (aka “Support the Iraq war!”) will be DOA. And I’ll ask again why you’d want to hang out with such people, if you think that’s the case.

    And silicondoc, I have no desire to get into a comment war with you, so I’ll just point out that your post gives new meaning to the idea of selective cherry picking, and leave you with the following points:

    Democrats preferred 47 to 40 in handling the situation in Iraq.
    Democrats lose 46 to 41 in handling the war on terrorism… but it was a dead heat 42 to 42 a few months ago, and it’s much, much better than the 25 to 61 margins they were seeing after the ’02 elections.
    Democrats preferred 51 to 37 in in coping with the main problems the nation faces over the next few years.

    And last, but not least:

    If the US House election of 2006 were held today, would you lean towards the Democratic candidate or Republican candidate?
    Among all voters, 55 to 36 in favor of the Democrats.
    Among registered voters, 54 to 38 in favor of the Democrats.

    I hereby jump up on the table and wave my arms while yelling “It’s way too damn early for the Democrats to get cocky!” However, the conventional wisdom around Winds of Change that the Democrats are terminally out of touch with the American people is complete nonsense.

  37. Chris, far be it from me to want to the Democrats to change. No, no, absolutely keep on doing what you’ve been doing, and keeping the same folks front and center. The country will see the light and trust you oh, any day now. You just have to try harder, and not hold back. Apres BusHitleRetarDespoTheocrat, le deluge…

    And don’t listen to that “Armed Liberal” guy or the Karl Rove stooges in “Secure US” – they’re dangerous.

  38. to Silicondoc:

    Fine *tell me* what bills have passed that I may not have heard of? The patriot act was what, 4 years ago? Do you have any more recent indications that republicans have done anything to protect us? Anything that solves any of those problems?

    2) Racial profiling doesn’t work, which is why even Israel (which has the best security in the world) doesn’t use it. For more information check “here”:http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2005/08/22/racial_profiling/

    I’m completely willing to admit that laws have passed that I don’t know about; let me know.

  39. bq. Chris, far be it from me to want to the Democrats to change. No, no, absolutely keep on doing what you’ve been doing, and keeping the same folks front and center. The country will see the light and trust you oh, any day now. You just have to try harder, and not hold back. Apres BusHitleRetarDespoTheocrat, le deluge…

    Joe, piece of advice: if someone brings up a piece of evidence that contradicts what you’ve been saying, then in general it’s better to make a rational argument showing that said evidence does not invalidate your hypothesis.

    Instead, you’ve merely restated your earlier hypothesis, giving no indication that you even read what I wrote. You’ve also tried to impugn my character by attempting to tie me to some vicious rhetoric that I’ve never even come close to uttering. (Nor have the vast majority of Democrats, btw, but that’s probably too subtle a distinction for you to make.)

    Rather than respond in kind by, say, comparing you to the worst of Little Green Footballs (I know the comparison’s not apt) I’ll just end this here, thanks.

  40. Ah Yes, Joe bemoans the lack of substance by others.

    And a good point was made. Effectively what Joe, AL, and the more, shall we say, frothy commenters are saying is that anyone who feels the Iraq war was a mistake is weak on defense.

    But they can’t frame it quite like that because of the mountain of evidence to the contrary.

    And now, we have the famous type. Errr.. did I say Iraq? I meant Iran. With some chest thumping and snark tossed in to cover the nervous laugh.

    So here’s my two cents worth. Can america trust it’s security to those who, despite all the evidence otherwise, continue to insist that the occupation of Iraq was a swell idea?

  41. I just noticed this, though Trent has ably represented me by proxy through quoting posts I had long forgotten about.

    Chris is correct here: “I think you’re gonna be pretty much tied up here forever trying to convince pro-war people that the Democratic half of the country isn’t incurably insane.”

    Democratic behavior has been such that Republicans and pro-war independents simply will not reach out to Democrats on war issues. The burden is on Democrats to demonstrate their good faith by deeds, and no deed short of winning an intra-party civil war with the left can do that. Once the Democrats have thrown out their anti-American factions, as they did in 1948-49, we can talk.

    But right now it is quite obvious that the Democrats’ anti-American factions are far, far, more powerful than they were in the late 1940’s. IMO it is more likely they will dominate until we’re nuked at home, at which point the Democratic party will quickly die like the Federalists.

    In the meantime watch the GOP march up the Mississippi. It looks more and more as though the Democrats are hanging on in Wisconsin and some other states only due to votes bused in from Chicago. Once the GOP dominates the Midwest (other than Illinois, whose state GOP is a distant second to California’s in circular firing squads), the Democrats will be bi-coastal only. Once that happens it won’t matter anymore even if the Democrats have this civil war.

  42. And Karl is entirely correct here:

    “Hopefully Harman’s group will do better. The danger there will be that it becomes a vehicle for defense industry campaign contributions with no ideas at all.”

    This one is just about money. DOD is spending a lot more due to the war and these people want some.

    “Don’t forget to send the money.”

  43. _If you’d like to make your point, would you PLEASE provide the former LOWER percentage “out of step” with Winds and the approzimate date of that lower percentage?_

    If you follow the link, you would see that Americans holding isolationist views rose from 30% in 2002 to 42% in 2005. Also, 42% is the highest in the poll’s history (going back to 1964 when it was 18%). I don’t have the pre-1964 data to support it, but I would argue that Americans have become more isolationist in the wake of 9/11 than at any time since before Pearl Harbor.

    _So, that leaves 58% that say we should intervene. Is 58 more than 42?_

    I don’t know what “intervene” refers to; this was a poll of the public’s general attitudes toward foreign policy. The remaining 58% of Americans could fall within any number of groupings, ranging from “some American engagement with foreign countries is necessary from time to time” to “America needs to exercise hegemonic power though all available diplomatic, economic and military means” to “I don’t know.”

    42% is a significant political grouping even if its not a majority. You can build coalitions around 42% with some other group. I suggested a few ways: (a) adopting a moderate isolationist position or (b) melding together other popular positions, such as immigration or protectionism.

    And when I mentioned “conventional wisdom” at Winds, I meant that I believe that despite all of the differences between posters and commentors, left and right, these disputes are among people in the 58% of that poll.

  44. Davebo –

    What? The issue isn’t that I’m saying that people opposed to the war in Iraq are automatically “weak on defense”; it’s that outside of some relatively marginal groups, no one at the core of the Democratic apparatus has a consistent, workable, better idea on how to deal with the Islamist movement and it’s adherents.

    Beefing up port security and tossing Israel to the wolves doesn’t qualify – alone – as such a policy (and I’ll point out that tossing Israel to the wolves is pretty much a guarantee that nukes will be used in the Middle East in our lifetimes). What’s the plan?

    Here’s what I’ve consistently heard: Targeted assasinations. Great, tell that one to the folsk who protested El Salvador (or to the Italian judicial system). A strong homeland defense. Great, spy on Americans, make airport security pervasive (every stadium, train station, shopping mall), throttle back the flow of good into the country. Good policy? You make the call.

    Engage the UN? Well, Claudia Rosett just discovered why they were so ineffective in dealing with Saddam.

    Help me out here. What serious plan, other than hope or surrender could make it as a part of a Democratic platform today?

    A.L.

    What’s the plan?

  45. A.L.,

    The Democrats will have no credibility on national security while their focus is on how awful Republicans are as opposed to:

    America’s enemies should be destroyed.

    We should kill them.

    Until Democrats spend more energy attacking America’s enemies than they do attacking Republicans for fighting America’s enemies, they won’t be taken seriously on national security.

    And the longer the Democratic party fails to distinguish itself from its anti-American factions, the more strongly it will be equated with its anti-American factions.

    You guys are letting your enemies define you by not fighting them.

  46. A.L.,

    I wrote the following about the Democratic Party in the summer of 2003 in a piece on Winds titled Going Off the Cliff — Democrats in 2004 http://www.windsofchange.net/archives/003808.php

    It started with a comment I clipped from a Todd Lindberg op-ed comparing Democratic Centerists to Goldwaterites:

    bq. …which Tod Lindberg touches on at the end of his column.

    bq. “The progressive wing of the Democratic Party would rather be right than be president, as the noted American non-president Henry Clay said in 1850. Not, by the way, that the party’s left thinks this is necessarily the electoral outcome that will result — only that it is willing to take the risk. There is nothing the least bit crazy about this. Reshaping the Democratic Party as a resolutely progressive party is the real task at hand. It will take how long it takes.

    bq. And what about the centrist Democrats? How can they possibly be said to have an interest in a left-wing nominee? Well, put it this way: They, too, are engaged in a long-term project, namely, the creation of a Democratic Party that is moderate across a sufficiently broad range of subjects to get elected nationally and therefore to have the White House and the executive branch at the service of a (moderately) progressive agenda. If you think Mr. Bush looks pretty formidable for 2004, then you are at some level already playing for the recriminations following a Democratic loss. A Democratic nominee running far to the left and losing buttresses the centrist case going forward.

    bq. The condition of the Democratic debate this year reminds me of the condition of the Republican debate on the eve of the 1964 convention at San Francisco’s Cow Palace. True, Barry Goldwater went on to lose the general election in an epic landslide. But the modern conservative movement considers his nomination its first great victory.

    Lindberg is right to choose the role of Goldwater in remaking the Republican Party. He is wrong in casting centrist Democrats as Goldwaterites. *That role belongs to the Dean-istas because they have a candidate and the pro-war Democratic centrists don’t.*

    American political party factions without candidates in their party either die or walk to other political parties. An example of this happened in the 1980s when the Democrats national security wing, the “Scoop Jackson Democrats,” became today’s Republican Neo-Cons. *The reason that happened is because the rest of the Democratic Party made Reagan-hate and Pro-Soviet anti-anti-communism a political litmus test for Democratic Party membership in 1984.*

    In 2004 the Democrats are making Bush-hate and anti-war opposition another litmus test for the party. *Those, like Armed Liberal, who fail that test will be treated no differently than Richard Perle, the Neo-Con “Prince of Darkness”* and still a registered Democrat.

    All I can say to Armed Liberal and other pro-war Democrats is you are going to have no home in the Democratic Party so Welcome to the Republican (AKA Dark) Side of the Force.

    Mwa ha ha ha…! (Key in the Star Wars Imperial March theme music)

  47. A.L.,

    In the two and a half years between when I wrote the following and you posted this thread:

    Daniel Drezner and Oxblog have both mentioned Donna Brazile’s recent comments and commitments to a stronger Democratic Party national security wing in a WSJ op-ed titled “What Would Scoop Do? Fellow Democrats, get serious about defense or get used to losing.” Both bloggers also mentioned this web site: http://www.demsfornatsec.org/

    I think the following paragraphs from the Brazile’s column bear further reading:

    bq. “Democrats have yet to fully comprehend the new reality of the post-Sept. 11 world. While most Americans viewed the war in Iraq through the prism of the Twin Towers attacks, many prominent Democrats still seem not to grasp the profound sense of insecurity that so many people feel in our country. This unease is especially pronounced among women, who have been a cornerstone of our party’s strength and without whom we cannot hope to win back the White House or Congress. *The American people agree with us on many vital issues –but they believe that we Democrats are weak and indecisive when it comes to standing up to dictators and terrorists, and when it comes to the primary responsibility of government: defending the nation.* No matter how compelling our positions on the economy, health care, Social Security, the environment and privacy, *if voters continue to see us as feckless and effete they will not listen to our message next year and they will re-elect Mr. Bush.*

    bq. As we prepare to mount our challenge in 2004, Democrats need to return to the muscular national security principles of Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy and the other Democrats who understood that only by confronting threats abroad could our party achieve its other great mission of expanding equality, opportunity and progress here at home.”

    Unfortunately it takes more than a sharp web site to build a competent national security cadre. It takes time, interest, career opportunities and money. Brazil’s comments and commitments to a stronger Democratic national security wing are for 2008, not 2004.

    Democrats as a party are dominated by a hard left faction that has about 15% of the primary vote and over 50% of the money in the party. This ruling faction is nothing so much as a cross between 1940’s Trotskites and “Jeffersonians” as described by Walter Russel Mead. They are the mind children of the people President Truman ran out of the Democratic Party in 1948. They came back to power in 1972-74 with the McGovern primary victory and the aftermath of Watergate. They make up the vast majority of Democratic political activists today.

    This dominant Democratic faction is opposed to nationalism, any nationalism, most especially American nationalism and the ordered liberty that arises from it. The Democratic Party’s devotion to senseless forms of both domestic multi-culturalism and foreign policy multilateralism can be seen as a political allergic reaction to American nationalism. There can be no “American Exceptionalism” in any sense of the word for them. This worldview cannot acknowledge either federalism or anything political outside the USA, as Michael Totten recently noted about his fellow liberals.

    Today’s “Democratic liberals” are big central government statists who are functional isolationists. As such, a political party run by them can provide neither national security nor long term economic prosperity, with that faction’s devotion to a multi-cultural/anti-nationalist/anti-American, isolationist, and centralized regulatory state.

    The Democratic Party will only cure this problem when they have a 1948 Truman style presidential candidate purge of the Democratic leftists. To give it credit, the Democratic Leadership Council is trying to pick this fight. The problem is that it isn’t the DLC’s place to do that. That fight must be done by the Democratic nominee after he has secured his position and before the Democratic National Convention.

    The easiest way for that nominee to pick that fight is to answer Donna Brazile’s “What Would Scoop Do?” question, by naming Richard Perle as his Secretary of State choice before the convention ballots are taken.

    Last I read, Perle is still a registered Democrat. If Perle was really guarantee that he would be supported by the Democratic Presidential nominee. That the Democratic nominee had seriously “gone over to the dark side.” Perle would take the job. This would drive the Democratic activist base insane and they would walk out of the party…which is the point of the exercise.

    Perle as the Democratic face on national security combined with the activist walk out would go a very long way towards rehabilitating the Democratic Party’s national security credibility with the American people. Unfortunately, none of the current Democratic field will do this.

    The earliest either Tom Holsinger — who inspired me to write this– or I see that happening is the 2012 Presidential election cycle. I really see 2016 as the most likely year, if the Democrats do it at all.

    This is why Democrats are Dead and Damned *LOSERS* in 2004.

    I was right then and nothing has changed since, save for the two of us getting older, and grayer, A.L.

  48. A.L.,

    The public feels that Republicans consider foreigners to be America’s worst enemies, while Democrats are perceived as considering Republicans to be America’s worst enemies.

    Because Democratic office-holders and opinion-makers will not openly fight their party’s nutballs, they let the nutballs define the Democratic party.

    President Clinton avoided this problem with his public attack on Sistah Souljah.

    Nothing like that has happened since.

    Either enough Democrats like you take on your nutballs and win, or all of you will be losers. Keep that up for long enough and Trent will be quite correct about your party’s fate.

    Republicans have no duty whatever to reach out to you guys. You must prove yourselves first, and there is only one way to do that.

    “Patriotic Democrats are doing that over and over. They are far more concerned about the possibility of looking bad personally, and not concerned enough about the good of their party, let alone doing what is right just because it’s right. Too much “me”, and not enough “us”.

  49. Tom, if the stakes were simply electoral power, you’d be right.

    But I believe – and I’m pretty sure you believe – the stakes are higher than that.

    So no, I don’t agree that the sighted have no obligation to lead the blind – even though the blind may not feel like being led. The war that comes will be as hard on you as it is on Cindy Sheehan; harder because you saw it coming and couldn’t divert or prevent it.

    A.L.

  50. A.L.,

    There is no evidence that your faction can speak for any significant group of Democrats, let alone deliver your party. You are a minority of a minority and shrinking all the time because you won’t fight.

    No one but you guys can keep your party from going into the night.

    “If not here, where? If not now, when?”

  51. bq. What? The issue isn’t that I’m saying that people opposed to the war in Iraq are automatically “weak on defense”; it’s that outside of some relatively marginal groups, no one at the core of the Democratic apparatus has a consistent, workable, better idea on how to deal with the Islamist movement and it’s adherents.

    bq. Beefing up port security and tossing Israel to the wolves doesn’t qualify – alone – as such a policy (and I’ll point out that tossing Israel to the wolves is pretty much a guarantee that nukes will be used in the Middle East in our lifetimes). What’s the plan?

    bq. Here’s what I’ve consistently heard: Targeted assasinations. Great, tell that one to the folsk who protested El Salvador (or to the Italian judicial system). A strong homeland defense. Great, spy on Americans, make airport security pervasive (every stadium, train station, shopping mall), throttle back the flow of good into the country. Good policy? You make the call.

    Wow, that’s a huge field of straw men, AL. Good lord, I don’t think Joe could have done a better job himself at taking reasonable ideas (“strong homeland defense” means getting DoHS to a point where Katrinas don’t happen) and turning them into… well, exactly the kind of jaundiced view you’ve outlined above. (How, exactly, did you get the idea that the Democrats would “spy on Americans” and “throttle back the flow of good into the country” _more_ than the Bush administration already has? Do you have any idea how many fewer foriegn grad studens we’re taking in these days?)

    I’ll also point out that, absent a president in the White House or an extremely powerful legislative leader like Newt Gingrich, parties generally _don’t_ offer coherent, focused ideas on _any_ problem. It’s just not the nature of the system. That doesn’t mean that workable policy isn’t turned out once they get power back, it just means that the minority party is pretty much constrained to be reactive, rather than proactive.

    I’ll also just bite the bullet here and point out that, as much as Americans would love to answer 9/11 with an equally big show of force against anyone and everyone who looks at us cross-eyed, the best approach to the “decades long conflict” you’ve consistantly assured us we’re in might actually be a low-key, consistent, competent response that keeps our big guns at the ready for genuinely critical situations like what’s currently happening in Iran. It’s not emotionally satisfying, and you don’t get big PR moments, but I’ll take quiet competence over a brash, half-assed approach any day.

  52. Chris,

    My response was a message in and of itself. I think your beliefs are not particularly subject to argument via anything I might say, and parallel delusions the Democrats have been telling themselves for some time now. The fact that the list of very prominent elected Democrats who are branding your party by their consistent actions received a dismissal in response told me all I needed to know. Hence the response you got.

    I believe time will prove which of us is right. So keep on keeping on and then we’ll see, won’t we.

  53. Chris,

    The situation you speak of concerns peacetime behavior, not wartime. War is different – major American political parties have no choice but to take positions on America’s wars even when they are out of power, and that position can only be for the war, or against it.

    Democrats are against it. Claims that 9/11 was a one-off and that Iraq is not part of the war on terror have zero credibility with the general public – only Democratic activists and lefties believe that and, as the activists are dominant in fund-raising absent corpororate contributions, no Democratic office-holder can disagree with them on the war.

    So it’s over for you guys. You won’t regain national power before we’re nuked at home, and then your party will die. The only question is how many of the rest of us will die too because of the Democratic party’s irresponsible behavior.

  54. Democrats are NOT against the war on terror.

    Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 and was not part of the war on terrorism 3 years ago, but now it is. Democrats recognize this. The American public also recognizes this.

    Clearly you have a hard time distinguishing one “war” from another. Hard to see through all that red hatred, I guess.

    “So it’s over for you guys. You won’t regain national power before we’re nuked at home, and then your party will die. The only question is how many of the rest of us will die too because of the Democratic party’s irresponsible behavior.”

    So this is what it comes down to for war lovers like yourself…hoping for a nuke on US soil to prove your point about Democrats being “irresponsible”. And it will be their own fault, even!

    Go find a deserted island to live on where you can shoot guns at trees all day, little man. Sociopaths like yourself are a danger to the civilized humans on this planet.

  55. Stiggy,

    Do you agree with the following?

    America’s enemies should be destroyed.

    We should kill them.

    This is a “Yes” or “No” question.

  56. AL,

    The bottom line here is that America is in the beginning stages of a multi-generational war. This is a war that we cannot win unless we can achieve national unity. So we have to figure out how to achieve national unity.

    The problem we have is that there are two fundamental divides in this country.

    The first and most obvious is the divide between Democrats and Republicans. The second is the divide within the Democrats between its hard-core, Marxist, anti-American base and the patriotic, but quasi-socialist “right”. It is absolutely essential that we resolve both of these divides.

    Of these two divides, the one within the Democratic party is the most important. There is no common ground between the left of the Democratic party and the rest of the country. But there is between the right of the party and the rest of the country.

    The reason the Democrats are incapable of crafting a coherent national security policy is that the differences between the two wings are irreoncilable. I think the divide between the wings of the Democratic party will have to be resolved before we can achieve national unity. Once it is, national unity will fall into place naturally.

    The problem is that the nation is so evenly divided that the Democrats are tantalizingly close to power. Our elections are for all practical purposes within the margin of error of our voting system. Being so close enables the Democrats to defer their inevitable showdown. The Democrat’s hope is that they can gain power and resolve their internal conflict while already in power.

    So the way to achieve national unity is to force a showdown between the two wings of the Democratic party. I see two ways this can happen. The first is a landslide electoral defeat against the Democrats. The second is for the Democrats to gain power and then be forced to craft a governing policy. While they are out of power, the Democrats have the luxury of opposing everything without direct consequence, and they are able to maintain plausible deniability of the anti-Americanism of their far left base.

    Given how evenly divided the country is, I don’t see a landslide against the Democrats any time soon. I fully expect that no matter who wins in the 2006 election cycle, the vote will be closely split. Especially given the corruption in the Republican party. And by Republican corruption, I’m referring more to their abandonment of small government principles more than the Abramoff scandal. The Republicans don’t deserve to win. So the only way that I see out of the electoral quagmire that we’re in is for the Democrats to be forced to govern.

    I think whoever wins the 2006 election cycle will lose in 2008. I’d rather see a Democratic electoral victory in 2006 than in 2008 when the Presidency is up for grabs. So despite the fact that I despise the Democrats, I may vote for them in this election cycle because I don’t think their internal conflict can withstand the pressure of governing.

    Only when the Democratic coalition breaks will we be able achieve national unity.

  57. Wow, tough one.

    Both individuals and states have the right, and obligation (in the latter case) to defend themselves using lethal force if necessary.

    My problem with the newly media-empowered sociopaths who have aligned themselves with Bush for the moment (you seem to fall into this dubious group) is that they want to reserve the right to judge who is our “enemy”.

    From your comments, you seem to think other Americans (i.e., Democrats) are enemies. Do you agree with this (it’s a “yes” or “no” question)?

  58. Tens of millions of people now live in emerging democracies and Stiggy wants to call people who support it “sociopaths”. Once again, Stiggy, your comments reveal much about you but beyond that your contribution is nil.

  59. RobRob

    That you don’t also regard Nuke ‘em Tom’s twisted comments as sociopathic reveals that you belong in this group as well.

    No surprise, though.

  60. Uh, Nuke ‘em, what point was that?

    And are you afraid to answer my question? At least I had the courtesy of answering yours. Then again, I usually try to behave in a civilized manner toward others.

    Am I your “enemy”, Nuke ‘em? Will I be more to blame than Bush if terrorists detonate a bomb on US soil?

  61. bq. Am I your “enemy”, Nuke ‘em? Will I be more to blame than Bush if terrorists detonate a bomb on US soil?

    I’m with Stiggy on this one. Not only are Tom’s answers generally clueless about current support among the general public for the Iraq war, but the idea that the public will blame _Democrats_ if a second major attack happens is ludicrous.

    Look, the Democrats have been out of power for over five years now – they haven’t been the ones in charge of setting homeland security policy, they haven’t been the ones in charge of managing our defense apparatus. They haven’t been the ones deciding who we should invade, and when, and how, and for good or ill, they haven’t been able to stop _any_ of Bush’s initiatives, aside from Social Security reform. You might as well try to blame Clinton for the federal government’s Katrina response.

    Beating up on Democrats may play beautifully here in your insulated little world, but, as your circular logic increasingly demonstrates, every day this place gets smaller, and every day it gets further and further away from reality.

  62. Another gem from Nuke ‘em:

    “Because Democratic office-holders and opinion-makers will not openly fight their party’s nutballs, they let the nutballs define the Democratic party.”

    I’ll put our “nutballs” up against yours anytime, Nuke ‘em (try not to get too excited, tough-guy, I’m straight…sorry).

    Exhibit A: “ANN COULTER”:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/max-blumenthal/ann-coulter-at-cpac-on-r_b_15434.html?view=print

    “Friday, February 10, the rock star of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) was none other than Ann Coulter. Before an overflow crowd of at least 1000 young right-wing activists, Coulter took her brand of performance art to new heights. Afterwards, I caught up with Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist to ask him about Coulter’s characterization of Muslims as “ragheads.” Before I reveal his indignant response, here is a sampling of Coulter’s most memorable lines.

    Coulter on Muslims:
    “I think our motto should be post-9-11, ‘raghead talks tough, raghead faces consequences.'” (This declaration prompted a boisterous ovation.)

    Coulter on killing Bill Clinton:

    (Responding to a question from a Catholic University student about her biggest moral or ethical dilemma) “There was one time I had a shot at Clinton. I thought ‘Ann, that’s not going to help your career.'”

    Coulter on moderate Republicans:

    “There is more dissent on a slave plantation then amongst moderates in the Republican party.”

    Coulter on the Holocaust:

    “Iran is soliciting cartoons on the Holocaust. So far, only Ted Rall, Garry Trudeau, and the NY Times have made submissions.”

    Coulter on the Supreme Court:

    “If we find out someone [referring to a terrorist] is going to attack the Supreme Court next week, can’t we tell Roberts, Alito, Thomas and Scalito?”

    “Conservative commentator Ann Coulter, speaking at a traditionally black college, joked that Justice John Paul Stevens should be poisoned.”:http://www.cnn.com/2006/LAW/01/27/coulter.stevens.ap/index.html

    “The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) held its annual get-together in Washington this weekend. This was not just some random, fringe event. Speakers included Vice President Dick Cheney, Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman, 2008 presidential hopeful Sen. George Allen, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, and Newt Gingrich. This event was comprised of the heart and soul of the Republican Party”

    “After Coulter’s speech, I approached Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist in the CPAC exhibitor’s hall. I asked him what he thought of Coulter’s characterization 15 minutes earlier of Muslims as “ragheads.” HIs reply? -I wasn’t there so I better not comment.”

    Exhibit B: BILL O’REILLY

    “Fox host reportedly said it was OK for terrorists to target the city.”:http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10004302/

    I can’t think of a single prominent Republican who has denounced these vile statements.
    —–
    Seems like YOUR SIDE is the one populated by sociopaths and American-haters, Tommy boy.

    But in your strange world, “Americans” are more offended by Howard Dean calling out Bush for his endless string of lies, or a civil rights activist and minister excercising his right of free speech in front of the president (OH MY GOD! How dare that boy make those inappropriate remarks in front of our Great Wartime King and Leader! He’s helping the terrorists!).

    Yeah right. You must think your fellow Americans are very, very stupid.

    Still waiting for your reply, BTW, Nuke ‘em. But I see you’d rather play Cut and Run. Typical of your side’s approach to real conflict, and an excellent example of why your views are antithetical to National Security.

  63. HA,

    A.L.’s national security Democrats lack a leader because there are so few national security Democrats. They do not form anything close to even a moderately significant faction.

    “The second is the divide within the Democrats between its hard-core, Marxist, anti-American base and the patriotic, but quasi-socialist “right”.

    And there are not many more “patriotic” Democrats of any sort.

    As Trent put it once, the Democrats are allergic to public displays of patriotism just as they are allergic to public displays of religious faith. The only recent exceptions I am aware of occurred at the 2004 Democratic national convention, and those two were so contradictory to the rest of the convention it was ludicrous.

  64. Stiggy, you appear to be the one here introducing off-topic irrelevancies to support your name calling.

    Consider the amount of irrational hatred it takes to delude yourself that such is a contribution to the debate.

  65. “Much anger this one has. The Dark Side he has crossed.”

    “The public feels that Republicans consider foreigners to be America’s worst enemies, while Democrats are perceived as considering Republicans to be America’s worst enemies.”

  66. Congratualtions everyone!

    The system has played out the debate. Dems hate Rep.; Lib’s hate conservatives; all partisan + incompetent politicians stay in power; and nothing is every accomplished.

    Look, I think a two party system is just a poor idea (for reasons why, cherry pick from the last 20 posts). But if we’re going to have one, we absolutely have to force our parties (and ourselves) to treat our opponents with a certain amount of dignity.

    For f**k’s sake, both parties have serious, serious issues right now. It’s easy to poke at the other guy (and yes, the dems are particularly poor at PR right now). But problems are not being solved. Period.

    The democrats are not providing answers or assistance…. they deserve to get pushed around for that.

    Republicans now own all three branches of goverment, for all your whining about good for nothing dems, you have total control. If we’re not safe, it’s going to be your fault. If another attack happens, all that money spent on useless beurocracy will come back to haunt you.

  67. “Democrats preferred 47 to 40 in handling the situation in Iraq.

    Really ? Is that all made up, like the rest of the crap not on defense you included ?

    When democrats said pullout and hangout and the vote was 403-3 NO, were they voting AGAINST their democrat constituents?

    I thought the democrats preferred not handling Iraq. Is that a dailykos poll ?
    LOL
    Man alive. I sure want to see that poll result put into action.

    Finally, I could care less who gains or regains the mantle of control in DC.

    This nation has always been tremendous no matter which party has been in power, or what mix it has been.

    My concern is much more with the truth, because if there is anything that can strengthen the USA no matter what, it is that more than any party or player who doesn’t deliver it.

    If you were honest you’d say you are sick of the lies coming from the left as well.

    I did see the same thing reversed when Clinton was in office. I certainly have talked about that.

    Isn’t that what AL’s post is all about anyway, the blatant lie the democrats have going on their side concerning “a war”.

    Well, don’t expect me to play around. The blunt truth is plenty good, and works just fine.

    Here, I’ll help you two out again. The democrats will change their tune as soon as:

    1. We have a huge attack that is clearly not ” a Bush insider job ”
    ( If you think that’s funny, you two don’t get out enough )
    2. The democrats regain power and actually have to deal with the situation as the responsible party.

    There may be other things I haven’t thought of that could change the tune of the democrats, so if someone knows what they are, I’d sure like to hear them.

    I certianly don’t believe blogging and going over the 10,000 points I’ve already made 3 dozens times each since 911 is going to help change the democrats national political position.

    Hell, I’m realistic about it. Every republican in here as far as I can tell completely agrees.

    What else can we do but be frustrated ?

    That leaves the argument that the democrats are in alignment with the general public, but then again ’04 doesn’t seem to have proven that, in fact it did quite the opposite.

    Why is it that the general public cannot trust the democrats on this war ? Is it just because they aren’t in power ? Boy, let’s hope so, because that is much worse than the alternate.

    I’ll tell you what Chris, it sure as heck seems to me that Bin Ladens speeches ply right into the democrats claimed stance, save the capturing of Bin Laden.

    If the answer is it’s all politics, that tells us plenty as well about democrats, and that is NOT telling us something good.

  68. “I’m completely willing to admit that laws have passed that I don’t know about; let me know.”

    “I have heard of neither Congress or Senate bills talk about these issues. Republicans have attached themselves to strong on terror merely through the war in Iraq, but I have not heard of any preparation plan domestically.”

    Lol – Well I’m sorry you’re so out of touch.

    1. Border fencing
    2. Border guard increases
    3. border tehcnology rolled out , including unmanned vehicles
    4. TSA
    5. INS legislative reforms
    6. FBI changes including legislative action for hiring new workers and changes to integrate overseas work
    7. You mentioned the a bit of port work ( detectors). Congress also wrote legislation for cooperation on the other end of flights and seafaring vessels.
    8. Homeland Security and it’s attendant legislative changes
    9. Changes to Norad operations, and response procedures
    10.Changes to the immigration laws ( 18 special nations restricted )
    11. Changes to banking laws- in order that money can be traced. International cooperation and updates to shares and treaties
    12. import/ export law changes
    13. legislation on stock and bonds, and the qualifiers for purchasing

    I’ll stop there but there are dozens of congressional bills and riders that have gone through on these things.

    Perhaps you don’t “hear” about them because they aren’t a scandal for the Bush administration and so the press would rather whine that “not enough or nothing is done yet”.
    ( Yes, full implementation takes time, even after bills pass congress. They don’t just instantly happen. )

    Whenever the press reports on some failure going on ( borders, detectors, HS equipment, illegals running rampant on release – etc etc etc ) you can be certain the congress passed the law changes, and the press goes around picking apart the terrible results, just like you did.

    Doesn’t mean there hasn’t been legislation. There has. It’s always money first, rather the fight over it.

    The Illegal Border Crossers Reporting Act of 2005
    Domestic Preparedness Act of 2005
    United Nations Management, Personnel, and Policy Reform Act of 2005
    Terrorist Penalties Enhancement Act of 2005
    Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005
    Agroterrorism Prevention Act of 2005
    Border Security Enforcement and Detention Act of 2005
    Cargo Theft Prevention Act
    REAL ID Act of 2005
    Early Warning And Rapid Notification Act of 2005

    To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to bar the admission, and facilitate the removal, of alien terrorists and their supporters and fundraisers

    REAL GUEST Act of 2005
    Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act
    Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act
    Personal Data Privacy and Security Act of 2005

    To amend section 5202 of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 to provide for assured funding for more Border Patrol agents.

    Trust and Verify Cargo Shippers Act of 2005

    Passport Services Enhancement Act of 2005

  69. #66 RobRob

    You just can’t help yourself, can you? I would have more sympathy for people like you if you didn’t think you had the right to lord over the rest of us on the basis of your superior view of the world and self-deluded belief that you are the only ones capable of “protecting” us from evil.

    Here’s a little insight for you. Let’s see if it penetrates the shell of hate and ignorance that surrounds you.

    Nuke ‘em (and run) Tom raised the issue I addressed in my last post. In my response, which does not attempt to be nice or pull punches (I see no reason to grant this particular individual these courtesies) I provided factual evidence refuting his ludicrous and deeply deluded claim that the “Left” tolerates their radical fringe elements but not the right. The exact opposite is true.

    I don’t hate you or Nuke ‘em, Robrob, lets get that straight. Your side is the side of Hatred and exclusion. You are neither conservative nor republicans…you are war loving loyalists who are pushing a cause that is leading us all into darkness.

    Sadness and despair describe my feelings much better than hatred.

    These mark the last words I will ever exchange with you; I prefer to converse with humans, not robots.

  70. Silicondoc-

    bq. “Democrats preferred 47 to 40 in handling the situation in Iraq.”

    bq. Really ? Is that all made up, like the rest of the crap not on defense you included ? When democrats said pullout and hangout and the vote was 403-3 NO, were they voting AGAINST their democrat constituents? I thought the democrats preferred not handling Iraq. Is that a dailykos poll ?

    The numbers are from the same Washington Post poll I quoted earlier, and which you cherry-picked and accused me of misrepresenting. People can read it and draq their own conclusions – I’m done here.

  71. Stiggy,

    Your infantile repetitions of a lie about Tom Holsinger marks you as an energy creature.

    The only person on the thread talking about nuking and running from Iran is *you.*

    Chris,

    I take it you missed the non-partisan Pew poll results I posted up thread.

    In case you missed it:

    http://people-press.org/reports/display.php3?ReportID=269

    bq. Public Remains Divided Over Iraq

    bq. A narrow majority of Americans (51%) say the original decision to use force in Iraq was right, up from 45% a month ago. But at the same time the proportion saying we will definitely or probably fail in establishing a stable government in Iraq also edged up from 34% to 39%. Overall views of how things are going in Iraq remained level with 13% saying things are going very well, 38% fairly well, 29% not too well and 17% not at all well. And the public remains divided about evenly over whether we should keep troops in Iraq until the situation has stabilized (50%) or bring U.S. troops home as soon as possible (46%).

  72. Trent-

    bq. Chris, I take it you missed the non-partisan Pew poll results I posted up thread.

    I didn’t miss it, but I didn’t mention it because it doesn’t substantially contradict anything I said, or anything that was in the poll I cited.

    Bottom line is, the country _is_ divided on Iraq about evenly. The idea that the Democrats, as a party that’s not completely gung-ho on the Iraq war, are somehow out of touch with mainstream America is simply false, based on the evidence that both you and I have presented.

  73. Chris,

    The subject is not Iraq, but the public’s perception of the Democrats ability to protect the nation from foreign enemies, and how Democrats can favorably move this perception. I repeat Armed Liberal’s quotes above:

    “* Americans are looking for a strong, intelligent leader when it comes to national security – one who can clearly articulate his or her vision

    * Many focus group participants viewed Democrats as indecisive, a party of protest, and without a plan to address national security, while they viewed Republicans as stronger, but also unrealistic and arrogant

    * The contrast between perceptions of Democrats and Republicans comes clear when participants are asked to define major differences between the two parties on national security – Republicans were generally viewed as strong and aggressive, while Democrats were viewed as more laid back and willing to negotiate.”

    [Arianna Huffington]“I’ve said it again and again and again — and I guess I’ll have to keep saying it: the Democrats will never become the majority party until they can convince the American people that they can keep the country safer than the Republicans. All together now: It’s the national security, stupid! And if I sound like a broken record, so should the Democrats.”

    The Democratic party is in a titanic hole here, one it dug for itself, and I don’t think it can get out.

  74. Final point, Chris.

    Your position looks like (correct me if I err) “the Democratic party’s image on national security is not in a world of hurt with the public, and there is no real need to change the status quo in that regard.” This is independent of whether and how such a change might be possible.

    I feel that the Democratic mainstream’s opinions on national security lie somewhere between yours and Stiggy’s, and that opinions like Armed Liberal’s form a small and rapidly shrinking minority within the Democratic party – certainly one incapable of influencing both its actual national security policy (such as any party entirely out of power in wartime can have) AND the public’s perception of the Democratic party on national security.

  75. I hate to let Nuke ‘em attempt to define what I believe, so let me be clear.

    My position is that we should focus ALL our effort on capturing or killing bin Laden and eradicating al Qaeda and other known terrorist organizations that have openly threatened the US.

    Iraq was a mistake and the President et al. lied to us in order to justify the invasion.

    Now Iraq IS a threat to America and must be dealth with, regardless of the previous statement. But it is important to point out that the people who are currently in charge of defending us are responsible for this.

    It is Republicans who do not properly understand the terrorist threat. For just one recent example of this, Bush’s 2007 budget actually decreases funding for the “Centers for Disease Control.”:http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=37362

    And Bush vacationing while Katrina struck LA, and reading my Pet Goat while 3000 Americans were dying a horrible death in the twin towers.

    If “Katrina” were a terrorist attack, Bush would have been up in Air Force one hiding like a chicken hawk and plotting a way to take political advantage of the situation.

    A concern about the health and safety of American citizens is CLEARLY not on the top of this elitist rich man’s agenda.

    Yeah, Dems are “unserious” about National Security, riiiiight. The only way you can substantiate this ridiculous claim when all evidence points to the incompetence and untrustworthiness of Bush is to keep repeating it ad nauseum.

    Regard this posting as my effort to turm my vomitus into something productive.

  76. Yes, Stiggy, only you should be able to “get away” with redefining others’ beliefs and when that doesn’t work, accuse them of mental illness.

    As for your listing of your “beliefs” above, much of it is just repetition of myths and silly cheap shots. This last post of yours clearly establishes that you are not serious about national security.

  77. bq. The subject is not Iraq, but the public’s perception of the Democrats ability to protect the nation from foreign enemies, and how Democrats can favorably move this perception.

    Tom, you said in comment #54:

    bq. Democrats are against [the war]. Claims that 9/11 was a one-off and that Iraq is not part of the war on terror have zero credibility with the general public – only Democratic activists and lefties believe that and, as the activists are dominant in fund-raising absent corpororate contributions, no Democratic office-holder can disagree with them on the war.

    So, considering you spent so much time and energy trying to show how little credibility Democrats have with the public, in part because of their stance on Iraq, I don’t think I’m particularly out of line referencing polls on current public opinion which show you to be dead wrong.

    bq. Your position looks like (correct me if I err) “the Democratic party’s image on national security is not in a world of hurt with the public, and there is no real need to change the status quo in that regard.” This is independent of whether and how such a change might be possible.

    Actually, I’m mostly just speaking out against posts by you, Joe, Jim Rockford, Silicondoc – pretty much everybody who posts on WoC, actually – that grossly misrepresent both the views of the Democrats and the views of the public. Case in point, you again, from comment #48:

    bq. The public feels that Republicans consider foreigners to be America’s worst enemies, while Democrats are perceived as considering Republicans to be America’s worst enemies.

    Now, it does seem clear to me that the war on terror is, for good or ill, no longer the singularly overriding concern for most Americans that it is for the people on this blog. Furthermore, the idea that the Bush approach is the right approach to the WoT has also been increasingly discredited, and as such, Democrats will probably pick up some seats in the next election, even sticking with their current security policies.

    That doesn’t mean Democrats can’t, or shouldn’t, advance a better foreign policy than they have been, and how to do so is probably a debate worth having. But that recognition shouldn’t be an excuse for guys like you to trash the party, and it surely shouldn’t be an excuse for Armed Liberal to try and argue that Democrats could win if only they’d basically become dittoheads for the Republican foreign policy, a la Lieberman.

    (I should probably stop to note there that AL would surely argue that the Democrats should be advocates for a _better_ version of the Republican foreign policy, but that’s not a terribly meaningful distinction for most Democrats.)

    bq. I feel that the Democratic mainstream’s opinions on national security lie somewhere between yours and Stiggy’s, and that opinions like Armed Liberal’s form a small and rapidly shrinking minority within the Democratic party – certainly one incapable of influencing both its actual national security policy (such as any party entirely out of power in wartime can have) AND the public’s perception of the Democratic party on national security.

    Tom, I don’t think I can be more clear than I have been that I think your perceptions of the Democratic party, and what the public thinks about the Democratic party, aren’t worth a tinker’s damn.

    That said, yes, we are in agreement that Armed Liberal’s quixotic mission to “change” the Democratic party is doomed. You apparently think it’s because there aren’t any grownups left in the party, I think it’s partially because AL spends the majority of time arguing this out with guys like you who have no influence on (or goodwill towards) the Democratic party, and partially because the past 3 – 5 years have provided increasing real-world evidence to move Democrats (and neutrals) even farther away from the policies AL advocates.

    It’s a shame, because I sincerely believe AL’s trying to do the right thing on this one… he’s just fighting the wrong fight in the wrong place at the right time.

  78. Folks, I’ve been offline this weekend (reading this on my Treo at the In ‘n Out in Lancaster en route home), and I’m pretty disappointed in the sour tone and thin substance of the comments on this important issue.

    I’m not going to close comments – yet – because I’m partly responsible, and I’d like to see a good discussion break out on this.

    A.L.

  79. Chris,

    I’m still trying to understand what your perception is of Democratic standing in the public’s eye on national security. I’d appreciate your brief elaboration on certain points:

    1) Do you believe the public has a significantly adverse opinion of the Democratic party (nationally) on national security issues:

    (a) overall?

    (b) relative to the Republican party?

    2) If the answer to either (a) or (b) is yes;

    (d) Do you believe the Democratic party nationally can do anything to change this given that it is entirely out of power?

    (e) If your answer to (d) is yes, do you believe such is feasible enough to be worth the effort? Note – a (c) is thrashed by the board software.

    My impression is that your answer would be “no” to both (a) and (b).

    A.L. – the problem was Stiggy. Everyone else behaved properly.

  80. Tom-

    You do love your yes/no logic, don’t you? Advice for the future: investigate grays and in-between states.

    The Democrats are not, and have not been for many decades, the go-to guys when it comes to national security as far as the public’s concerned. That said, while their disadvantage relative to the Republicans was extremely severe post-9/11, I believe the lousy Republican performance over the past few years has evened things out to the point where the Republican advantage in national security is either very slight, or nonexistent. I base this on both polls I’ve seen and personal experience. (Hell, even pro-war blogs are slagging Bush these days.)

    I believe the Democratic party can and is doing stuff to alleviate this issue – one part of which is a big uptick in Iraq war vets running as Democrats against Republican incumbents. But again, I think all this is separate from the discussion you want to have ( _Democrats are DOOMED!_ ) and the discussion AL wants to have ( _Democrats should be like me and support the Iraq war!_ )

    And, AL, of course the conversation’s sour: it’s composed entirely of guys like Tom & Joe, who do so love slagging the Democrats, and guys like me, who get our kicks coming over here and butting heads with them.

    So my simple and honest question to you is: what kind of things do you _want_ us to be talking about, realistically? Am I supposed to admit a deep and terrible emptiness coming from the foreign policy part of the Democratic party? Is Joe supposed to say, “Yeah, I’m sure the Democrats can turn it around if we all pitch in!”

    What, exactly, do you want to see happening here?

  81. #82

    AL

    The problem here is clearly people like Tom and Robin and Joe, who like to make broad negative assertions about Dems and then run away instead of defending themselves when challenged.

    Tom, for example, is the one that wrote this:

    “So it’s over for you guys. You won’t regain national power before we’re nuked at home, and then your party will die. The only question is how many of the rest of us will die too because of the Democratic party’s irresponsible behavior.”

    I entered here to challenge this stupidity. I see I hurt Tom’s delicate sensibilities here in the sharp tone of my reply. Too damn bad.

    Tom ran from the challenge, and Robrob is taking pot shots from afar while the whole mess transpires.

    What a crew you’ve gotten yourself mixed up in here.

  82. Chris,

    Thank you. The reason I was going for yes/no was my concern that requesting anything longer would be ignored. I much appreciate your longer response – I was hoping for something like that.

    Please stick around.

  83. alright silicondoc,

    It took me a little while, but I’ve looked up all these bills and learned a bit about them all.

    First things’ first:
    1) I have heard about some of them. However, a large number of these are still in committee. This means that they have probably not met with broad debate and are still changing as we speak. So it’s not a surprise that I wouldn’t have heard from them, since they may change drastically in the coming months.

    2) Many of these bills primary function is to gain information that is reported back to congress. 4 years later, I would hope these things would already be past this point.

    3) Many of these bills merely strengten the punishment for terrorists. Necessary yes, but does not solve the problem. Death penalties do not scare people willing to die for their beleifs.

    4)National ID is going to take at least 5 years to be functional. A good idea nonetheless.

    Finally, many of these laws are good ideas, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be implemented (or functional as intended). Furthermore, many of them are sponsored by democrats…. I thought you were implying that democrats don’t help in the war on terror?

    Still, more needs to be done. #1 on my priority would be radiological detectors at ports, and chemical/nuclear plant safety. (and borders, which has already been covered).

  84. Chris,

    I believe the Democratic party can and is doing stuff to alleviate this issue – one part of which is a big uptick in Iraq war vets running as Democrats against Republican incumbents.

    Well, the most prominent of that rare breed of anti-war Iraq vets just got the rug pulled out from under him:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/14/politics/14ohio.html?ex=1297573200&en=b43bc2c63e9bf9bd&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss

    I think this doesn’t bode well for the Democrats search for anti-war vets. Paul Hackett just got a taste of the moral and intellectual corruption of the Democrats. He won’t be the last.

    The experience of anti-war vets with the Democratic party will be an exercise in disillusionment. It’s inevitable that a few vets will get it wrong on Iraq. They may even think they have common ground with the Democrats on national security because of this. But as they gain a greater understanding of the agenda of the extreme left-wing that has hijacked the Democratic party, they will become disgusted.

    The relationship between serious anti-Iraq vets and the Democratic party will be brief. The serious ones will quickly depart and leave only the anti-American nuts behind to accelerate the Democrats continuing decline.

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