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Jewish World Review Oct. 3, 2002 / 27 Tishrei, 5763

Dick Morris

Dick Morris
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Consumer Reports

Dem suicide: Let's count the ways | How many ways have the Democrats, circa 2002, developed to commit suicide? It took Bill and Hillary Clinton two years of diligent effort to blow their chances of reelecting a Democratic majority in 1994. For all of 1993 and 1994, they labored hard to develop a tax package and a program of healthcare reform which would destroy their party's chances in the mid-term elections. Now, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (S.D.), Al Gore, Clinton, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and even Jimmy Carter have joined forces to destroy their party's prospects in just a few short weeks.

Why on earth did Carter and Clinton decide, last month, to challenge President Bush to explain his policy on Iraq to the American people? What were they thinking? When the Democrats followed their lead like lemmings over a cliff, did they leave their brains behind? What induced the party to stand in the way of the 10-ton Mack truck Bush was driving, building up national momentum for a strike against Iraq?

After a year of skillfully hugging Bush on terror and saying, "Me too," when Bush acted decisively to attack the Talliban, the Democrats suddenly decided to throw the terror issue into the partisan mix for the 2002 election. It is the dumbest mistake they have made in eight years.

Like most errors Democrats and Republicans make, it comes from listening too hard to their own extremists who comprise their much honored "political base." These relics from the Vietnam War reflexively oppose military action even when the case for intervention is obvious and clear, as it is in Iraq.

They have not learned the lesson of Sept. 11 that America is not secure behind its ocean, and that the likes of Saddam must be stopped before they acquire terrifying weapons.

Now, to compound the error, the Democrats are holding firm to their policy of insisting that the staff of the new Homeland Security Department be governed by civil service rules and protections. If the Democrats' policy on Iraq is beholden to the party's minuscule peace wing, their views on the Homeland Security Department are governed by their labor allies who would drag the party down to defeat rather than show some inkling of common sense.

What a time for labor to assert a defense of bureaucracy and civil service rules? Imagine the myopia to demand these procedures at a time when the nation is under attack! It is breathtaking in its misreading of the American voter.

For those of limited imagination, here's what the GOP negative ad will sound like: Operator (in a tired nasal voice): "Homeland Security, may we help you?"

Woman phoning in a tip: "The people in the house next door are hiding bombs in their basement. I think they are planning to do something. They come from some Mideastern country."

Operator: "Hold the line please, I will switch you to Bombs and Demolition."

Woman: "Hello, some young Arab men just moved into the house next door and I have seen them carrying weapons in and out at all hours of the night. I'm worried they may try to hijack a plane."

Operator: "Hold the line. I'll transfer you to Hijacking."

Announcer: "Sound crazy? But that's what the Democrats want to do to Bush's Homeland Security Agency. They want union rules and civil service rules to stop the president from shuffling the employees to where they are needed."

Operator: "Suspicious Aliens, may we help you?"

Announcer: "President Bush says give him the flexibility to transfer manpower to where it is needed to meet threats as they arise. The Democrats want the same old bureaucratic rules to run the show."

Operator: "Nuclear Power Plant Protection, hold the line a moment."

Announcer: "No more bureaucrats. No more business as usual. Just Homeland Security. For our homeland."

Unless the Democrats want this ad or worse showing up in swing districts and states next week, they had better get some sense and rein in their union proclivities and give Bush what he wants on Homeland Security.

Can the Democrats eradicate the dovish stench their Iraq positioning is leaving in voters' nostrils? Not likely. Certainly not before November.

If Bush delivers a prime-time speech to the nation, simulcast on all the networks, making the case for an attack on Saddam Hussein, the Democrats' chances in November will decline even further. And they will have nobody but themselves to blame. What are these guys using for brains?

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JWR contributor Dick Morris is the author of, among others, "Power Plays: Top 20 Winning and Losing Strategies of History's Great Political Leaders" Comment by clicking here.


09/30/02: The Dems just can't stop themselves
09/26/02: The perils of polling
09/19/02: W. boxed in the U.N.
09/19/02: Welfare reform: Keep on keeping on
09/12/02: Are Dems insane on Iraq?
09/09/02: Twin shadows of Election '02
09/05/02: GOP should triangulate
08/28/02: Trust the military
08/22/02: It's not the economy, stupid
08/09/02: As America unites, Gore goes divisive
08/01/02: Bush must focus on big picture
07/23/02: Election 2002: Advantage Dems
07/19/02: Rudy for SEC tough cop
07/17/02: The investor strike
07/15/02: Door open for drug testing students --- go for it, GOP!
07/12/02: Dubya looking out for No. 1?
07/03/02: The DNA war for Bush's soul
06/21/02: Why are conservatives winning?
06/19/02: Learning to love the feds
06/14/02: Hey, journalists and Dems: Dubya is doing just fine
06/12/02: It's terrorism, stupid!
06/10/02: Sanctions are a potent weapon
06/04/02: Al Qaeda's more dangerous new front
05/31/02: Why '04 looks tough for liberal Dems
05/24/02: Democratic self-destruction
05/22/02: The Clinton failures
05/15/02: Pataki positioned to win
05/08/02: A wakeup-call for American Jewry
05/03/02: Give Bush back his focus
05/01/02: Immigration fault li(n)es
04/25/02: It's the war, stupid
04/17/02: Bush goes small bore
04/12/02: Bush must be a gentle partisan
04/10/02: In defense of polling
04/08/02: Focus on Iraq, not the Palestinians
04/01/02: Only Internet will bring real campaign finance reform
03/27/02: Where W's drawn a line in the sand
03/22/02: Enron scandal will not trigger a wave of economic populism
03/20/02: Term-limited --- by war
03/15/02: Europe doesn't have a clue
03/11/02: Bush popularity = GOP win?
03/01/02: Will America be forced to chase its tail in its war on terrorism?
02/27/02: The Arafat/Saddam equilibrium must be destroyed
02/21/02: Campaign finance reform won't hurt GOPers
02/13/02: Dodd scurries for cover
02/11/02: U.S. 'unilateralism'? The Europeans don't have a case
02/06/02: WAR: What women want
02/01/02: They all talk in the end
01/30/01: The odd couple: Chris Dodd and Arthur Andersen
01/22/01: His father's son? Bush better get an 'Act II' fast!
01/18/01: Dubya & the 'vision thing'
01/14/01: The Rumsfeld Doctrine 01/03/01: A President Gore would have been a disaster
01/03/02: Clinton's priority: Political correctness over fighting terror
12/27/01: Terror network grew out of Clinton's inaction, despite warnings
12/24/01: Call 'em back, George
12/18/01: What Bush did right
12/13/01: Libs worry too much
12/11/01: "Open Sesame": Feinstein's proposed bill allows 100,000 non-immigrant students from anti-American countries to our shores
12/07/01: The non-partisan president
12/05/01: Both parties are phony on stimulus debate
11/29/01: When terrorists can enter legally, it's time to change the laws
11/21/01: Go for the jugular!
11/16/01: You are all incumbents
11/14/01: Clinton's failure to mobilize America to confront foreign terror after the 1993 attack led directly to 9-11 disaster
11/12/01: To the generals: Don't worry about losing support
11/08/01: The death of the white liberal
11/07/01: Our leaders are being transformed in a way unprecedented in post-World War II history

© 2001, Dick Morris