May 26, 2006

What to Do About the Democrats' Image Problems on Security?

Jonathan Zasloff has this post which raises a few key points. One (just for Morris) is that one party often implements the other party's program, and that voters might prefer one party's policies and still vote for the other party. But the big point is that the public (maybe) isn't sure about Democrats' instincts even if they prefer their policies. So the Democrats need to hit Bush hard on security:

But I think that attacking Bush on energy dependency and obsequiousness toward the Saudis is the way to start. The general idea is to outflank the Republicans on what is erroneously called "the right." The protest over the Dubai port deal was a prime example of this. Attack them on port security. Attack on body armor. Attack on the Bush administration's fecklessness on securing loose nukes. Over and over again. A few more, and there might not be a problem.

I agree with this (as a political matter) and am still completely flumoxed by the Democrats inability to play the Saudi issue better in the last campaign, not to mention the host of security proposals that they proposed and the White House blocked in the wake of 9/11 (from much tougher port security to better protecting airliners). And a lot of those could play even better in that they dove-tail into the "Party of the Rich/Special Interest/Big Corporate Interests, not American Interests" attacks that could be waged on the GOP (yeah sure they like security - as long as it doesn't inconvenience their fat cat donors who make hundreds of millions while you can't afford to drive your kids to soccer practice any more). As to why Democrats can't seem to manage this - maybe the problem is the messenger - both in the sense of their candidates and in how the media covers security (generally the presumption, regardless of the pundit or network, is that the Democrat side is the weak, concilatory side). Maybe nominating someone like Wesley Clark in '08 would help. But you'd think there must be a way the Democrats can win on security issues, especially now.

Posted by armand at May 26, 2006 11:29 AM | TrackBack | Posted to Politics

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