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Democrats MUST Be More Credible on National Security

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liberalpragmatist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 05:52 PM
Original message
Democrats MUST Be More Credible on National Security
Edited on Sun Nov-14-04 06:00 PM by liberalpragmatist
It's obvious now once the post-election polls have been more thoroughly scrutinized that we still have a national security gap. It's true that we need to start selling our policies more effectively by making explicit moral-values-based appeals (fairness, respect, community). But we should also recognize that perhaps the one single thing that lost Kerry this race was the fact that people still have an intrinsic inability to trust the Democratic Party on issues of national security. The idea that Kerry was "weak" because of his multilateralism was a powerful one and ultimately hurt Kerry.

To his credit, Kerry made some clear progress on this issue. In hindsight, it should have started much earlier, back in the spring during the Abu Ghraib scandal. Kerry's instincts were to campaign heavily on national security and foreign policy (that was his forte) but Shrum and Cahill insisted he talk about his biography during that time, not Iraq and national security.

Still, there's a lot of work that needs to be done. That's partly why I'm open to the possibility of a Kerry candidacy in '08, though much depends on how he uses the next 4 years. Regardless of who our '08 candidate is (and there are a lot of great candidates), we must be credible on national security and make a much more effective case that the war in Iraq has hurt american national security and that arrogance does not make us safer.

ON EDIT: Some people seem to have misunderstood. I am scared that Bush has won because I believe he has no ability to keep us safe. His strategy is making us LESS safe and making the world a far more dangerous place. The problem is that most Americans aren't seeing it, unfortunately. Had Kerry been able to convince just a few more of them that he could keep us safer, I think we would have won. But it's difficult to change people's 40-year old impressions in a few months. We still have work to do.
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NC_Nurse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 05:55 PM
Response to Original message
1. I disagree.
I think we were every bit as credible.

Did you read the "polling the Peckerwoods" thread earlier? Those are the BS issues we lost on - Repubs are just better at the down and dirty rumor mill and bigot baiting, IMO.
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BlueEyedSon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 05:56 PM
Response to Original message
2. And if you know the facts (and I assume you do) how could
republicans be LESS credible?

It's the stupidity, stupid!

Even after the final report of Charles Duelfer to Congress saying that Iraq did not have a significant WMD program, 72% of Bush supporters continue to believe that Iraq had actual WMD (47%) or a major program for developing them (25%). Fifty-six percent assume that most experts believe Iraq had actual WMD and 57% also assume, incorrectly, that Duelfer concluded Iraq had at least a major WMD program. Kerry supporters hold opposite beliefs on all these points.

Similarly, 75% of Bush supporters continue to believe that Iraq was providing substantial support to al Qaeda, and 63% believe that clear evidence of this support has been found. Sixty percent of Bush supporters assume that this is also the conclusion of most experts, and 55% assume, incorrectly, that this was the conclusion of the 9/11 Commission. Here again, large majorities of Kerry supporters have exactly opposite perceptions.

Source: http://www.pipa.org/OnlineReports/Pres_Election_04/html...
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journalist3072 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 05:56 PM
Response to Original message
3. Natl Security
The Democrats are credible on national security. We know how to fight and win wars.

With respect to national security, people allowed their fears to be played to, and they allowed themselves to be mentally absused. Randi Rhodes from Air America Radio had the best analogy when Dick Cheney kept saying that if Americans didn't make the right decision, we would likely be attacked again.

Randi said it was like an abusive husband saying "no one else will have you. Only I care about you." And she was right.

In some respects, I think the Democratic party underestimated those comments from Cheney. I know I did. I gave the American public too much credit. I said to myself, the American people won't fall for that garbage.
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Sleepysage Donating Member (148 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 05:57 PM
Response to Original message
4. History needs to smack the US upside the head....
People will continue to regard multilateralism as "quaint" until the limits of our military power are absolutely undeniable. Sure, one would have thought 9/11, itself, should have done that, but it hasn't.

We're drunk with power, real and perceived. Until we get that hangover, we'll never learn, IMO.
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teryang Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 06:18 PM
Response to Original message
5. A lot of veterans are indoctrinated
Edited on Sun Nov-14-04 06:24 PM by teryang
They think that Republicans help veterans. The exact opposite is true. They have been shortchanging veterans for decades. I heard republicans in high VA offices refer to veterans as scumbags and parasites all the time. Principi presides over this. They have got the veterans organizations, the veterans and a lot of career armed forces personnel completely fooled.

Anyone who doesn't realize that Kerry is conservative as hell on national security issues is dumber than a box of rocks. People I know fell for this crap. (Including a reservist on the hook to go to Iraq.) He said he would take better care of veterans and he meant it. But he got a chilly reception.

Once people are indoctrinated or become ideological a two by four can't straighten them unless they are fairly intelligent and better educated. My secretary is changing her stripes. Why? Because she's entering her third year of college. My colleague changed his vote to Kerry. Why? Because he saw Farenheit 911, and it confirmed some serious misgivings he already had about bushco.

But military people I thought were going to turn around, didn't. Don't get me wrong, I know there are a lot out there. I'm talking about the military conditioning process that you have to outgrow.
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