Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The Dems and 9/11 - Rove Was Right

After the President gave his address on Tuesday night, Dems of the likes of Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), and others bristled. They were perturbed that the President made several references to 9/11 during his speech about Iraq. And the reasons they offered weren't all that clear. But real reason why they objected is.

9/11 is an issue that does not work for the liberal Democrats. It brings national security to the forefront, thereby strangling their ambitions to retake Congress and the White House. They should have and could have won 2004, and same would have been easy. An economy that wasn't yet roaring, a war that wasn't producing tangible results, and a media that talked both down in order to pave the way for John Kerry to win the election all spelled trouble for Bush. But John Kerry and the Democrats, along with the rest of the left took such a radical and illogical position against the war on terror that Americans could not and ultimately did not take them seriously. From the Michael Moore and MoveOn.org conspiracy hysteria to accusing the President of being a liar, to accusations that he was AWOL from his military service in the early 1970s, and back again to say that Saddam had nothing to do with supporting terror, the Democrats lost credibility on the issue of national security. And they've never really regained it.

9/11 brings back the relevance to ordinary Americans of the war on terror. As I heard Hugh Hewitt mention last night, it would be like Roosevelt taking flack for justifying all the sacrifices and difficulties of the war effort on Pearl Harbor. It's the same thing.

So here's the situation. We were attacked. They attacked civilians on our own turf. They destroyed part of a city. They attacked our government. We weren't asking for it. So now, we are at war. Once again, WE ARE AT WAR. If you disagree with any of this, you're not getting it.

But some of the Dems certainly do get it. To the point that they don't want to hear about 9/11. They know that their response to it, after the initial obligatory displays of unity, has been driven by rabid partisanship. They also know that their national security history has been pretty poor since the 1970s. So they fear 9/11, and demonize the president for wrapping himself in that "bloody shirt". But they forget that despite the peace of the cocktail parties in Georgetown, we are still at war. Remembering that might help them retain even the smallest iota of credibility.

ADDENDUM

I'm not the only one who thinks this way. Check out RealClearPolitics which has quite a number of articles about the Democrats' political (as opposed to the feigned moral) opposition to the President's reminding us of 9/11. Powerline cuts to the chase with this post that recognizes that at one time, these same Dems saw a very strong linkage between Iraq and terrorists when they put their votes to a resolution that unequivocally made that connection. The resolution, which was indeed "bipartisan" seems to have been quickly enough abandoned in time for a presidential election. It's not Bush who has broken the bipartisanship or who has maintained the nasty tone in Washington. It's the Democrats. They backed off of their own position to find one more politically convenient.

But it wasn't convenient enough. As I said, voters are beginning to thing that the Dems can't be taken seriously anymore. Powerline reports on a Democratic poll which shows that while the Republicans have shown some slippage in their voter satisfaction which sits at 43%, the Dems have been hit significantly harder at 38%. As John Hinderaker notes, this was a likely voters poll, which makes the stats even more miserable for the Dems. Worse yet, Clinton Pollster Stanley Greenberg explains the development this way:
Greenberg told the Christian Science Monitor he attributes the slippage to
voters' perceptions that Democrats have "no core set of convictions or point of
view."
I don't know how to say it better.

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