Why Dems Lose, Reason # 32

This is something I’ve written about at length before — somehow, since about 1950, the Republicans have claimed the mantle of being the “tough” and “effective” party on matters of crime and national security even though there is absolutely nothing in the historical record to show that the nation has been any more or less secure or crime free under Republican Administrations than Democratic ones.Yet this doesn’t seem to sink into voters.

Peter Beinert (yeah, I know, it’s Peter Beinert) writes that Dems are in trouble because the “security moms” are back, possibly alarmed by the thought that ISIS is smuggling Ebola-infested Guatemalan babies across the border. So, naturally, when people are afraid they turn to Republicans because … why, exactly?

Steve M. writes,

Look, I understand that President Obama failed to anticipate the rise of ISIS and failed to prevent the beheading of two Americans, but George W. Bush failed to prevent 9/11, and these “security moms” responded by voting for his party in 2002 and 2004.

As a New Yorker, I’m familiar with the domestic version of this. If you’re a liberal mayor — David Dinkins or Bill de Blasio — the public’s reaction to a crime wave or a horrific crime on your watch is to blame you. If you’re a conservative mayor — Rudy Giuliani or the all-but-Republican Ed Koch — the reaction is to rally around you, because you’re “tough on crime.” A horrible crime on a tough mayor’s watch is considered further evidence that we need precisely the tough guy’s policies.

The 9/11 issue is a particular sticking point with me, and not just because I was an eyewitness to what happened to the WTC. I still don’t think the American people are aware that the Clinton Administration really had been sizing up al Qaeda and taking steps to beef up security, and that as soon as the Bushies took over in 2001 they dismissed all that. They not only brushed off the recommendations of a Senate commission that predicted a major terrorist attack on U.S. soil, they actually stopped the Senate from acting on the recommendations. They downgraded the threat of a Qaeda. They adamantly ignored all the hair-on-fire warnings being given them by U.S. intelligence as well as the intelligence services of several other nations.

When these facts began to come out in 2002 it fueled trutherism, but the truthers continue to ignore several other obvious facts, including the fact that the attacks caught the Bushies absolutely flat-footed. It’s been well documented that after  President Bush left the elementary school, Air Force One spent the next two hours circling Florida while Dubya and Dick argued about what to do next (press were on board; some media actually reported on it). If they had known it was going to happen they would have been prepared with chest-thumping theater, instead of needing three days to pull something together. And if the Bushies had picked a target, no way would they have picked towers full of their people, the captains of finance. They would have found a bunch of regular working stiffs to be martyrs.

I say that if there were a God, any time somebody actually says “Bush kept us safe” a giant hand would reach out of the sky and smack them.

Let us also pause to reflect on Beirut 1983 and Benghazi 2012, and the very different ways Congress dealt with these foreign disasters.

Of course, it’s the same thing with the economy. Everybody Knows Republicans are better for the economy, except history says otherwise. That history guy is either really stupid or knows something the rest of America doesn’t.

Gary Hart wrote,

Reason and facts are sacrificed to opinion and myth. Demonstrable falsehoods are circulated and recycled as fact. Narrow minded opinion refuses to be subjected to thought and analysis. Too many now subject events to a prefabricated set of interpretations, usually provided by a biased media source. The myth is more comfortable than the often difficult search for truth.

It also doesn’t help us that it’s considered “smart” to assume “both parties are just as bad.” The Dems largely are a pack of mutts who get themselves outmaneuvered  way too often, and many of them owe their careers to being Repubican Lite. But no, on the whole, both parties are not just as bad.

20 thoughts on “Why Dems Lose, Reason # 32

  1. Republicans play the political games well. But can’t govern.

    Democrats can govern. But they can’t play the political games well.

    And so, people vote for the better politicians rather than the ones who could help them and their families.

  2. Oh, and you’re right about 9/11.

    If the Bush/Cheney misadministration had planned something like that, they would have struck some large plant/factory when the owner and managers were at some off-site meeting, and not the Twin Towers.

    Wait a second.
    Those two couldn’t plan a one-car funeral procession without cocking it up!

    So, maybe they were stunned when the planes his the Twin Towers instead of some massive factory!

    Just kidding! 😉

    • gulag — one of my other arguments against trutherism is that if the Bushies had been behind it, those towers would still be standing.

  3. And don’t forget the tremendous power that GGGG (God, Guns, Gays, and Gynecology) has to make folks vote against their own best interests!

  4. Why does the Democratic Party so consistently fail to speak up effectively? I know the right bumperstickers successfully, but the Democrats could do a superior job by focusing on a few (3 or 4) basic facts on a topic and getting 10 good sentences hammered down and repeated consistently. They fail us on this simple mission quite consistently. Why? I know facts do not persuade true believers, but those are not people we are going to change anyway. Why not at least be effective with the swing and leaning voters? I know, I know — Why don’t I win the lottery? Why am I not a better person? Why have I not won the Nobel Prize, or at least a Pulitzer? And why am I disgusted with Alison Lundergan Grimes and Kay Hagan for not using Obamacare to slaughter their opponents? All these hard questions. Why don’t I go get a shower and accomplish something? I think I will, now you mention it.

  5. I still think one of our biggest problems is Americas horrible media and that one of the Republicans biggest victories has been to convince a majority of the American public that the media is liberal.

  6. Somewhat on topic…

    any time somebody actually says “Bush kept us safe” a giant hand would reach out of the sky and smack them.

    One of my all time favorite cartoons on dearly departed BartCop’s site was a picture of W, smirking, with the caption: “I F$CKED YOU ALL, BUT THANKS FOR BLAMING THE BLACK GUY”.

  7. “because the “security moms” are back”

    Security Moms, that is about as fucking ignorant as the “war on terror”. Why are the security moms so afraid of ragheads in a distant land but don’t seem alarmed about overweight white men with very small appendages walking around target with semi-automatic assault rifles?

  8. Maha,

    You left out the back half of the story….. Bush stopped looking for bin Laden, he actually dismantled the office that was hunting bin Laden. Obama was sworn into office, reopened that office, restarted the hunt and had OBL whacked Godfather style.

    • Sluggo — Yes, Bush stopped looking for bin Laden, and we don’t know exactly why. His intelligence people probably suspected bin Laden was in Pakistan, and they might have decided staying on Pakistan’s good side was more important than bin Laden. Or maybe the frat boy president just lost interest.

  9. Reading comments from some respondents to the recent poll on how Obama is handling “terror,” you see there is not an original thought among them. The respondents tend to respond using, in many cases verbatim, the right wing spin they heard on Fox, Rush or from Graham and others.

    If Bush kept us safe, even though the worst attack on US soil occurred on his watch, then Obama is keeping us safer, with no attacks and having gotten bin Laden. But it seems the conventional wisdom keeps the average person from coming up with even that simple deduction.

    If dems would just consistently make some points, and push back…oh well.

  10. Regarding the Bush administration attitude towards terrorism prior to 9/11, I recall that a Bush official, perhaps Ashcroft, reportedly downplayed the threat. He dismissively referred to WTO protesters and ecoterrorists, as if the threat of Islamic terrorism didn’t even exist.

    However, either my memory has let me down or my google skills are inadequate, because I can’t find it on the internets.

  11. csm …The comments on that recent poll about how Obama is handling ‘terror” are probably posted by means of copy and paste from an army of paid minions. Remember the Jimmy-Jeff incident? A big part of the Repug’s war machine is paid for saturation postings of social media sites designed to create the illusion that public sentiment leans toward the Repug’s point of view.
    I wouldn’t put it past any Crossroads operative to utilize a make money in your spare time by working at home scheme by providing financially desperate people a means to post pre-scripted messages at a penny apiece. It’s a perfect scheme to serve to Repug’s agenda.. All contract work with no liability and no overhead. And whoever buys into the scheme has to work their fingers to the bone at their own expense while generating an income at below a minimum wage guarantee. A typical Repug win -lose situation.
    To verify my hypothesis go to any news story on Yahoo and check the comments section..

  12. maha,
    Or, the bin Laden family was close friends of the Bush’s.

    Papa Bush was meeting with a bin Laden as the terrorists attacked.

    And W did, after all, let all of their family members fly home, while no one in the USA could fly ANYWHERE!
    They flew home, without being asked about any information.

    And, certainly, no waterboarding – not that that was ever necessary.

  13. The D’s are better than the R’s, but that’s a low bar to clear. I compare the parties to Tony and Carmella Soprano. The R’s are the Tony party; guilty as hell, but good at being bad. The D’s are the Carmella party; complicit as hell, and bad at being good.

  14. Still waiting for some word on the anthrax attacks.a major terror event that faded away so quickly. As I recall, it was “state sponsored” because of the anthrax spore type and the aerosol agent ( most likely microbaloons available at fiberglass shops) were unique. I’m too tired to go on a lengthy rant, so there we are. All she wants to do is dance…..

  15. Congress is still pushing on Benghazi! Seriously! Everybody else in America stopped thinking about it after the Obama/Romney debate.

  16. I’m still waiting to hear some explanation as to the lack of a NORAD response on 9/11. I can see how the first two attacks were unexpected and happened too fast to get the jets in the air but I sure don’t see how the Pentagon attack took place. Maybe I’ve just missed it.
    As a child of the fifties, I still remember “duck and cover” and feeling comforted that our skies were being patrolled and we were being kept safe from the bad guys. So when the bad guys finally came, where were the jets?

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