Monday, February 27, 2006

National Security

I wanted to write a follow up on Kyle's post on Bush's pathetic approval ratings, and bring back a story from a couple weeks ago.

The one strong suit Bush has held on to, through all his ups and downs as president, is the public's approval ratings of his job "protecting the homeland," a traditional GOP strength. We as Democrats have always had to jump through hoops to explain why we are not unpatriotic/traitors, and even Democrats who lost three limbs in combat have been successfully compared to Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, causing them to lose re-election. I don't think any of us need a reminder to what happened to another war hero named John Kerry.

So it should have suprised no one when a month ago, Karl Rove set the tone for the 2006 midterm elections, calling on Republicans to focus heavily on national security in their attempts to save Nov '06 from being a total disaster. The reaction from some Democrats, however, was quite surprising. It appears that some within our party still insist on fighting elections on domestic issues, thinking that people will honestly put their social security check before the lives of them and their children. In a post 9/11 world, if people do not trust you to protect our country, they will not vote for you- and rightly so! What we need to realize, as Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) points out, is that not only is this a issue we need to fight on, its one we can and should win. It is not only in our best interest for political reasons, but for the safety of our country that we need to be the one's shaping our national security and foreign policy.

Not only can we win it, but the fight is looking increasingly easier. Quoting from the same article Kyle just did, only 43% of Americans approve of the way Bush is conducting the war on terror. 43% approval, on their "strongest issue"? Is that's not a political opportunity, I don't know what is. Only 30% approve of the way the Iraq war is going, and only 30% approve of the Bush administration's plan to give control of our nation's ports to a company owned by the United Arab Emirates, where two of the 9/11 hijackers came from. But none of this will ever matter unless Democrats finally stand up and stop being so afraid of talking about protecting our country. If we lay out a comprehensive and forward-thinking plan about how to secure our country, not only will we win big in November '06, but we will deserve it. So to Bush, Rove, and the rest of the GOP, I would simply say, bring it on.


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