Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Democrats Announce National Security Plan

Democrats have apparently decided to try to run at least partly on national security issues and have come up with a plan. The highlights? Capture Bin Laden. Get out of Iraq. Specifics on both are a little hazy.

I wonder if this is a good strategy. We all know that national security is the Democrats' bum knee. Trying to stand on it is risky business. But what domestic concerns can they run on? The economy is fine, or at least perceived to be fine. The healthcare crisis isn't making it to the front page. The Dems already won the Social Security battle. Immigration is a mixed bag.

The Democrats could run on fiscal responsibility and reducing the size and reach of the federal government. But that's just not in their DNA. So they're left with national security, an issue over which a lot of Americans are truly frustrated. But when push comes to shove, will enough people trust the Democrats on national security to vote for them in November?

Hard to know this far out. But consider me skeptical.


Blogger griftdrift said...

I remain skeptical as well but if they pivot to the slightly more nebulous "trust" it might work.

Do you trust the Republicans to secure our ports after the UAE deal?

Do you trust the Republicans to secure our borders after their own Homeland Security Dept showed that radioactive material can be smuggled across?

Do you trust the Republicans to execute the war on terror to its end with Osama still at large after 5 years?

Bold statements that could come back to haunt them if they win and then have to run again in 2012. But I believe it's the time for aggressive not defensive strategy.

12:23 PM  
Blogger Alan Stewart Carl said...


Yep, it could work. As I said, there really isn't a domestic issue available to base a national campaign on, so either Dems continue to look rudderless or they bite the bullet and tackle the national security issue. It's risky but could come with real rewards if they somehow manage to pull it off.

12:56 PM  
Blogger Tom Strong said...

The domestic concern to run on is our dependence on ME oil, and the looming energy crisis. A recent poll - Gallup, I think - showed Americans to be as concerned about this as they are about Iraq.

But I disagree that the Dems shouldn't run on security. They have to run on security - if anything, this is too little, too late.

12:12 PM  
Blogger Alan Stewart Carl said...


Actually, I wasn't arguing that Dems shouldn't run on national security. I'm just recognizing that it's not their strongest suit.

As for oil, I've been arguing for years that a major campaign could be based on solving our energy needs. I did not know it was so top-of-the mind among Americans or I would have listed it here.

12:56 PM  
Blogger Tom Strong said...

I don't think anyone knew, until recently. But given all the press and the rising price of oil, I guess it's not that surprising.

Looking over their proposals, I have to admit they seem pretty pathetic. No substantive differences from the current Republican agenda, just different talking points.

Clark has some good ideas, and I'm glad they're listening to him. But they're not listening closely enough.

2:08 PM  

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