The wimp la­bel

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

“If the as­cen­dant Democrats can pro­ject­na­tional-se­cu­ri­tys­trength­over thenex­t18­months,th­ey­can­win­back the White House in 2008. But if they can’t do that — if they fail to con­vince swingvot­er­sthatthey­havethes­marts andthe­mox­i­eto­keep­Amer­i­c­as­afe— they will surely lose yet again,” Philadel­phi­aIn­quir­erpo­lit­i­cal­an­a­lyst Dick Polman writes.

“It’s that sim­ple. The Democrats’ big­gest chal­lenge, as they pre­pare to take power on Capi­tol Hill, is to erad­i­cateth­ewim­pla­belthat,fair­ly­ornot, has­doggedthem­sincethe‘70s.They have to show they can pro­tect us bet­ter than the GOP. They have to make them­selves im­per­vi­ous to Repub­li­can ridicule, the kind that Ge­orge W. Bush’sfa­therem­ployedin1988,when he­said­ofMichaelDukakis,“Iwouldn’t be sur­prised if he thought a ‘naval ex­er­cise’ was some­thing you find in Jane Fonda’s work­out book.”

“Democrats do have an un­par­al­leled op­por­tu­nity to ef­fec­tu­ate this im­age over­haul. Swing vot­ers are clearly pre­pared to lis­ten, hav­ing just de­ci­sively re­buked Pres­i­dent Bush andtheGOP­fortheirdis­as­trous­mis­man­age­ment of the Iraq war. Th­ese vot­ers did not en­dorse a Demo­cratic na­tion­alse­cu­ri­tyvi­sion­be­causenone was of­fered. But they es­sen­tially in­vited the Democrats to ex­plain how they would bet­ter han­dle Iraq, Iran, North Korea, the cri­sis of an over­stretched­mil­i­taryandthe­waron­ter­ror­ism in gen­eral.”

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