Democrats like to complain when people say they can’t be trusted with national security, as if it’s some “straw man” (their new favorite buzzword) spun up by Karl Rove and the White House.
It’s not what Republicans say that makes people wary. It’s what the Democrats say on their own.
Here is Peter Beinart, a Democrat I do trust, in the New Republic:
A CBS poll in late August found that 53 percent of Democrats wanted the United States to either increase troop levels in Iraq or hold them steady, versus 37 percent who wanted to decrease the number. By last week, that figure had reversed itself. In a late October Washington Post/ABC News poll, 54 percent of Democrats said the “U.S. should withdraw forces from Iraq to avoid casualties,” while only 40 percent wanted to keep them there.
Thank heaven for that 40 percent. But more than half want to run away.
What a complete and utter disaster that would be. Nothing we could do, and I mean nothing, would ratchet up more terror attacks than surrendering to them. The Democrats would have blood on their hands. The Baathists and Islamists would wage a devastating civil war in Iraq. If the left doesn’t like war, they shouldn’t go and kickstart a pointless and evil one into action.
I want to trust my old party to do the right thing, to hang in there, to not give in to fear, to support a good cause and help democratize Iraq. But I can’t. Some Democrats get it. But it’s a minority faction now.