Tuesday, December 28, 2004

I keep hearing that the Democrats need to overcome their traditional weakness on defense. So, how old is this tradition?

It certainly wasn't around in the early '60s, when Kennedy was campaigning as the hawk (on the fictional "missile gap", to his lasting discredit) -- and went on to taunt the Communists from the top of the Berlin Wall, nearly go to nuclear war with them in the Cuban Missile crisis, and significantly escalate the goings-on in Vietnam. Before that, Truman and Korea; before that, Roosevelt winning World War II. In that instance, right up to Pearl Harbor, the Republicans were the party of isolation.

Now, it's not like the Republicans' only martial triumph of recent decades is Gulf War I. There's Reagan's splendid victory over Grenada. He even won the Cold War, by being the guy in the White House when the USSR collapsed of its own weight. (Pay no attention to yesterday's announcement of the first ever joint Russian-Chinese military exercises in the corner. It is of no signficance). But over the past hundred years or so, the Democratic record of "strong defense" is at least equal to the Republicans. The party is only as weak on this issue as it chooses to let the Republicans make it. Which, as for other issues, seems to be pretty damn weak...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's Vietnam. That damned war will never let us go.


2:18 AM  
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1:41 AM  

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