Saturday, March 06, 2004

Why the democrats are seen as weak on national security 

When I asked Kos readers why democrats in general are perceived as weak on national security, and why Kerry is no exception, they gave me a lot to think about. DHinMI has a nice historical summary:
It all goes back to Communism, which the Repubs, beging early with Richard Nixon in 1946, used to beat up Democrats. Anti-communism got conflated with protecting our nation('s precious fluids), and Democrats were painted as soft on Communism (because a world with Communists was seen as more desireable than a post-nuclear world without Communists or anyone else). Democrats were far more likely to oppose Vietnam than Republicans, Democrats opposed the staggering Defense Dept budgets under Reagan and Bush I, etc.
Love the Dr. Strangelove reference! PhillyDerek explains why the "libertarian hawk" crowd still favor Bush over Kerry despite their social views:
From what I have gathered of the Reynolds/Andrew Sullivan/McCain perspective (libertarians who aren't social conservatives), they applaud Bush's willingness to take the fight to the enemy without waiting for the hypocritical French or the Russians to sign on. They feel a war was started on 9/11, and that we need a leader who shares that mentality....

These "libertarian hawks" feel that all Kerry has offered is vague wishy-washiness on the virtues of multilateralism and the UN.
And Ihlin chalks it up to bad PR:
The Democrats never go on the OFFENSE about the fact that they are seen as "soft on defense." they just accept the fucking polls and never try to mount a PR offense against it. it's always "um, let's just talk about Social Security instead!"

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