The Democrats' National Security Blues
Throughout the election, many of us were obsessing about the Democrats' lack of credibility on national security issues. Therefore, Jeffrey Goldberg's article in this week's New Yorker, which looks back on how this issue haunted the Kerry campaign (and Democrats in general), is fairly engaging. If nothing else, Goldberg gives us some revealing quotes from Democratic Senators with the most "credibility" (make of that what you will) on national security. For example, here's Kerry describing the infamous Osama Surprise:
We met in his Capitol Hill office. In the reception area stood a model, under glass, of the Swift boat that he commanded in Vietnam. Kerry appeared drawn and pale, but he was animated in defense of his campaign. “The bottom line is that, if you look at the data, the appearance of the Osama bin Laden tape had a profound impact. The fact is, we flatlined on that day. I presented stronger arguments, but there was a visceral unwillingness to change Commander-in-Chief five days after the bin Laden tape.”
As CYA as Kerry sounds in this quote, I do think there's a great deal of truth in this argument. But it's a moot point by now. Goldberg also asks Joe Lieberman for his two shekels on this issue, and Holy Joe doesn't disappoint:
Lieberman is a study in the dangers of steroidal muscularity, becoming an outlier in his own party. (He has edged to the right as his running mate in the 2000 election, Al Gore, has moved leftward.) His fate was sealed with a kiss, planted on his cheek by Bush, just after the President delivered his State of the Union address. "That may have been the last straw for some of the people in Connecticut, the blogger types," Lieberman told me. But he is unapologetic about his defense of Bush’s Iraq policy, saying, “Bottom line, I think Bush has it right.” When I asked if he was becoming a neoconservative, Lieberman smiled and said, “No, but some of my best friends are neocons."
I'm not surprised that Lieberman is now railing against "the blogger types" (evidently, he and Marshall Wittmann really did have a "mind meld") but it still sounds pretty damn pathetic coming from the mouth of a U.S. Senator.
Anyway, Goldberg's article is definitely worth a read, as this issue will be discussed ad infinitum between now and 2008.