Friday, March 21, 2003
I can only hope this is accurate.
Democrats are in a no-win situation come elections, if the Republicans can keep the issue of national security on the burner. To satisfy their base, Democrats must move to the left and be anti-war; however, a majority of the American people support the current war and will probably look dimly upon Democrats critical of the President's handling of foreign policy and security issues.
The problem the Democrats face is not unlike the problems they faced in the Cold War. From 1952 through 1991, Democrats only won three presidential elections, and none of which were of landsilde proportions. JFK barely won in 1960; Johnson pulled a decent victory over a divided Republican party in 1964, and Carter barely squeezed a victory out over Gerald Ford, despite having Watergate, the fall of Saigon, poor economic conditions, and Ford's recent pardon of Richard Nixon working in his favor. Americans see the Democrats as largely weak on defense and national security. Democrats had hoped Clinton's elections marked a time when foreign policy and particularly national security were not as important as economic security and handouts. Unfortunately for them, they appear to have been wrong.
This is not to say George W. Bush will have an easy election in 2004. Frankly, expect the Democrats to continue blocking measures that could restore the economy and to then harp on how poorly the economy is doing. The old Clinton slogan, 'its the economy, stupid' is likely to make a comeback.
But it may not help, if foreign policy remains a primary issue. Reagan's election in 1984 is proof of that.
Or so I keep telling myself.