Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Will They Protect the Nation?

Alan Dershowitz warns Democrats that they will fare poorly in 2008 if they fail to set forth a strong national security policy:

Hundreds of thousands of Americans may watch Michael Moore's movies or cheer Cindy Sheehan's demonstrations, but tens of millions want the Moores and Sheehans of our nation as far away as possible from influencing national security policy. That is why Rudy Giuliani seems to be doing surprisingly well among many segments of the electorate, ranging from centrist Democrats to Republicans and even some on the religious right.

Democrats today have the same potential problem that they faced unsuccessfully in 2004. They lack a coherent national security policy, including a policy for how they will deal with international terrorism. All they really have is an anti-Bush policy. While the unpopularity of the current administration provides them with some hope, they are taking an enormous risk -- as they did in 2004 -- if they fail to set forth their own program for protecting the nation.

They also continue to face another potential obstacle -- American success. One is reminded of the presidential election in 1864, when, on the eve of Sherman's successful overtaking of Atlanta, the Democrats adopted at their convention a peace platform that was an embarrassment within a week. It remains unclear how much progress is being made in Iraq, and in no event would one expect any victories there to be as dramatic as Atlanta, but the Democrats make a mistake if they again let themselves get in a position where good news for the United States is bad for their electability.

None of this is to say that anti-war Democrats must renounce their anti-war views, but, if they wish to be credible, they must find a way to be strong on national security, even if they oppose the present conflict in Iraq.


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