Sunday, April 09, 2006

LIBERAL OASIS APPLAUDS Howard Dean (DNC Chair) and Nancy Pelosi (House Minority Leader) for their swift and hard-hitting responses to the news that Pres. Bush authorized Scooter Libby to leak classified information to the media. The gist: Pres. Bush has consistently played politics with national security and thus can no longer be trusted to keep Americans safe.

But criticizing the Bush administration for its mistakes and failures is only the first step. Democrats have to take the next step:

Against a backdrop of a failing Iraq policy, such messages -- connecting misused classified info to bad policy -- help pierce the myth that Republicans are inherently stronger on foreign policy and national security.

But ... once that myth is pierced Dems should be ready to articulate an alternative foreign policy vision and strategy.

Otherwise, we will not be able to alter the foreign policy debate.

For example, if Dems can successfully argue that we shouldn't trust what the Bushies say about Iran, then the following question will still be: what would you do about Iran?

If the Dem response is akin to what Republicans say, that would undercut the message that Republicans are taking us down a bad road. Dems eventually have to offer a different road.

Some may worry that saying too much gives the GOP a target, an opening to move focus away from their failings.

But that's a necessary political risk to take, if we are to build support for a diplomatic approach to stopping nuclear proliferation.

Take a second look at that next to last paragraph. That seems to me to be the key to what's wrong with the Democrats. It's why they fell all over themselves trying to distance themselves from Russ Feingold's censure resolution.

But no matter how hard the Democrats hammer away at Pres. Bush's disastrous decisions, they will not be able to loosen the Republicans' death grip on Congress and the White House until they come up with a truly different and new approach.

Such a simple, obvious truth, but up to now Democrats have not been able to grasp it.

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