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EarlG ADMIN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 11:03 PM
Original message
The Grand Strategy
You've got to hand it to the Republicans - they know how to think strategically. They've just fired the opening shots of their 2006 election campaign, and if we do what we usually do - run around like headless chickens and only figure out what they've done to us after the elections - then we're going to throw away every electoral advantage that's been handed to us over the past two years.

The GOP is in the crapper. They control the House and Senate yet have still managed to produce the most do-nothing Congress in decades (oh, they've done stuff alright, but not for the average American). Iraq is a giant loser. The voters are mad. One year ago it could have been reliably said that the Republican party would easily regain control of Congress this November. Now they're fighting for their political lives.

So what's the remedy for this situation? Well, they have one last ace up their sleeve which has worked before, and they're betting their shirts that it'll work again. They're going to play the terrorism card.

Terrorism is bad for everyone - everyone, that is, except the GOP. As the Plaid Adder noted today:

Doesn't it bother anyone else to see that every time something either blows up or almost blows up, the Bush administration lackeys get out there and say, "Hey, fabulous, this is really going to boost our approval ratings"? Wouldn't you rather have someone in power who did not see terrorism as a political godsend? Wouldn't you maybe trust a guy more whose whole political survival didn't depend on things like this happening? Who, you know, didn't think terrorism had an upside?

Oh, it has an upside for the GOP alright, and that's why a sequence of events has just been set into motion which, if we're not careful, will leave us scratching our heads and wondering what the hell happened on November 8th. While we've been patting ourselves on the back for a job well done in Connecticut, the GOP has been putting their plan into action.

Karl Rove has a habit of telling everybody what he's going to do months before he does it, and, remarkably, we still never see it coming. On January 20th, he gave a speech to the Republican National Committee. From the New York Times:

Mr. Rove offered a lacerating attack on Democrats that other Republicans said was a road map for how the party would deal with a tough electoral environment. Mr. Rove sharply criticized Democrats for their opposition to tax cuts and Mr. Bush's Supreme Court nominations, but he left little doubt that once again - as has been the case in both national elections since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks - that he was intent on making national security the pre-eminent issue in 2006.

Earlier this year we saw the manifestation of the GOP's "cut and run" assault, with Republicans standing together on Iraq and painting Democrats as cowards for wanting to withdraw. But this was a red herring - Rove never had any intention of allowing the Democrats to make Iraq an issue this fall. Last week, Ken Mehlman released Republican candidates from their "unity on Iraq" position. According to the Washington Times:

Republican candidates can disagree with President Bush on the Iraq war and not face retaliation from the White House or the party's national campaign committees, the chairman of the Republican National Committee said.

Republicans plan to campaign this fall on a disciplined message centered on the importance of the war on terror, but that overall strategy does not discourage candidates from taking an independent position on the war in Iraq, if it suits the candidate's views and local election situation, Ken Mehlman said.

This gave Republican candidates the political freedom to criticize Bush on Iraq, which could prove advantageous in local elections. Not that this would make a lot of difference, because Ken Mehlman knew what was coming next.

Tuesday brought us the Connecticut primary election, and the GOP knew that a victory for Lamont would be the stepping-off point for the next stage of their campaign. They watched with glee as Joe Lieberman did their dirty work for them, accusing Lamont - and by proxy, many Democrats - of being weak on national security. If the administration had broken the terror alert and started banging the national security drums a few days earlier, they might have helped Lieberman to victory. But they knew that they could afford to sacrifice him. They correctly predicted that his hubris would cause him to run as an independent, giving them another three months of free "Democrats are weak on terror" propaganda. Keeping Joe safe as the nominee wouldn't have done them any good at all.

One day after the Lamont victory, the real assault began. Yesterday, Mehlman announced the GOP's new "Weak and Wrong" campaign and started calling Democrats "Deafeat-O-Crats" to paint us as weak on terror. Tony Snow, speaking on behalf of the Bush administration, said, "There seems to be two approaches, and in the Connecticut race, one of the approaches is ignore the difficulties and walk away. Now, when the United States walked away, in the opinion of the Osama bin Laden in 1991, bin Laden drew from that the conclusion that Americans were weak and wouldn't stay the course and that led to September 11th."

Today a foiled terror plot was announced. It was big news. British Islamists were plotting to blow up several airplanes over the Atlantic with home-made explosives. 21 people were arrested and locked up.

Tony Snow admitted today that the Bush administration knew in advance about the investigation into this plot. They knew that arrests were coming, and they knew that they could use those arrests to maximum effect. Once the arrests were announced, the floodgates opened. It seemed like every single prominent Republican got up in front of a camera today to lambast the Democrats for being "weak on terror."

My point? My point is that we're missing the point. It doesn't matter how "real" this plot was. It doesn't matter whether or not the arrested men were entirely innocent, or were no-hopers who were talking pie-in-the-sky stuff (like the suspects in Miami earlier this year), or were actually on the verge of carrying out an attack. They were stopped by British police, end of story. If anything, it demonstrates that America isn't any safer, and that "fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them over here" is a bunch of bullshit.

But that's not the way this is going to play out, and Karl Rove knows it. He knows that flooding TV screens with noise and frightening pictures, combined with a massive media assault by a well-coordinated Republican message machine (plus the ever-helpful Joe Lieberman), might just stop the average American complaining about Iraq and get him riled up about scary brown people and those weak-kneed Democrats all over again.

The Democratic party has fallen right into this trap. They've been working on the assumption that the Republicans are digging their own graves - so why bother coming out with a unified opposition message? But that's exactly what Karl Rove wants, and now we're caught on the back foot yet again.

So let's stop arguing about the reality of terrorism, and start thinking about how the hell we're going to stop the Republicans in their tracks before they pull yet another fast one on America. We don't know if their plan is going to work this time, or if it's going to backfire on them badly, but the first step in making sure the latter happens is to acknowledge what's really going on here and figure out a way to deal with it.
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ReadTomPaine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 11:16 PM
Response to Original message
1. Well said.
I'm on board with all of this.
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Tellurian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 09:00 AM
Response to Reply #1
49. Yep, but your observations are all about the past..
Sure, I agree with all of what you said..
Theres nothing to be done about that now.

The Repugs are into our future..all the damage has identified, proven and been placed at their feet-
What are they going to do to protect the ground they've gained?

Marshall Law!!!

The House tried to get a resolution for Marshall Law passed last week. That is how close we are
teetering on the brink of a complete takeover by the Bush regime!

Any ideas on how we survive this?

Elections? Pshawww! On rigged voting machines?
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Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 11:17 PM
Response to Original message
2. I'll sleep on it Earl, but I keep coming back...
to what I fear is a fundamental truth:

Until we expose what really happened on 9/11 we can't stop these guys. And by expose, I mean understand just what assets they have. If they did it once, they'll do it again.
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Sinti Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 11:28 PM
Response to Original message
3. How do we stop them, short of calling for carpet bombing of the ME?
Anything less and they will call us weak on their bogus WOT. We need to point out how they haven't done a damn thing to protect us here at home. Instead they've been gallivanting around the globe using our treasury for their bloody ticker tape parade. I don't hear high profile Dems talking about this nearly enough - Republicans vote against bills that would improve our security in real terms - while goading us all with their damn "kung fu grip of terra".

Point well taken though
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Straight Shooter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 11:31 PM
Response to Original message
4. Blair has proven exactly how incompetent bush is.
I don't care what a Repub says that this "foiled plot" proves anything positive for bush. AFAIC, it's a glaring exposure of the bush administration's failure to prevent 9/11. Little Boots was asleep at the wheel. Blair was wide awake and in control. There's the difference.

I don't especially like Blair, but I would much rather have him leading our country than bush. And if only we could turn back the clock and have Blair in charge. He would have done something about that August 6, 2001 PDB. He damn sure wouldn't have gone chopping brush for photo ops.

Nice work, EarlG. If we can condense these points in reference to the strength of Dems and the incompetence of Repubs, the Repubs will be floundering.
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DallasNE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 12:37 AM
Response to Reply #4
12. How Do We Deal With It?
The "cry wolf" Bush administration has total control of events like today's "news" of a terror plot broken up.

There are a number of things about this latest plot that doesn't pass the smell test. It was revealed that 3-4 years ago a similar plot to blow up 11 planes over the Pacific by using liquid explosives was broken up in the Philippines. Why then didn't they ban toothpaste, mouthwash and other liquid items at the time that plot was broken up?

One of the things announced today was money was wired, presumedly to buy airline tickets by the suspects. It was only a few weeks ago that the New York Times was blasted by the Bush administration for exposing an operation that traced all electronic money transfers. How then can money be transfered by wire to the suspects? Something doesn't smell right here.

Lastly, it has been claimed that NSA wiretaps lead to these suspects being caught. Actually, since no Americans have been involved this would not have been a suspect NSA wiretap requiring court supervision since Pakistan and the UK are the two countries involved.

Much of what we are hearing in this case is already starting to sound like a concoction as the Bush administration again cries wolf.
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Nostradammit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 02:40 AM
Response to Reply #4
23. They didn't "fail to prevent 9/11"
They instigated it.

Bush=BinLaden
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rnisson Donating Member (11 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 11:29 AM
Response to Reply #23
64. Why don't they go balls to the wall
and just accuse them of instigating 911? Theres more than enough evidence.

Imagine what would happen... :o
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elehhhhna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 12:01 PM
Response to Reply #64
69. interesting question. why not?
As I sit here here I can't think of one good enough reason NOT to...

AT LEAST blow the doors open re: their massive monumental convenient failures up-to, on, and since 9/11.
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fuzzyball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 11:20 PM
Response to Reply #64
100. And be accused of wearing TIN FOIL HATS? No thanks!
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orleans Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 11:31 PM
Response to Original message
5. thanks earlg -- you answered my question when you said
Edited on Thu Aug-10-06 11:32 PM by orleans
"If the administration had broken the terror alert and started banging the national security drums a few days earlier, they might have helped Lieberman to victory. But they knew that they could afford to sacrifice him. They correctly predicted that his hubris would cause him to run as an independent, giving them another three months of free "Democrats are weak on terror" propaganda. Keeping Joe safe as the nominee wouldn't have done them any good at all."

(k&r)
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Virginian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 11:51 PM
Response to Original message
6. War in Iraq does not = war on terror.
Leaving Iraq does not mean we are soft on this terrorism. Terrorism is a crime that needs to be handled just the way the Brits did it today.

Sitting in the crossfire of a civil war does nothing to protect us from terrorists.
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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 11:58 PM
Response to Original message
7. Thank you.
Very well said.
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prete_nero Donating Member (32 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 12:01 AM
Response to Original message
8. Now what?
I think it is pretty accurate to say that most everyone here believes what this article says.

What are we going to do about it? I mean, how can we change the minds of the congress-people who have the voices and media-potential to create the look of a unified Democratic front? I'm not trying to be snarky...but we talk so much about what it should be, but now WHAT DO WE DO?

We need action from ALL Democrats and we desperately need to find a way to inspire that action.
Sadly, I am not a person who could motivate the public like that, but we really need a Democrat to step up and either be the "leader" or at least be a person who would motivate the other less-vocal, less responsive representatives to do the same.


Anyway, first post here ever. Finding DU (quite a while ago) is the best thing to ever happen to my political life! Sorry if my post doesn't make sense, I'm just stretching my lurker legs to get up to posting.
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snowbear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 12:06 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. Welcome Aboard prete_nero !!
~~~~
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ejbr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 12:16 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. Part of the problem
we solved by getting rid of Joe, now we can talk with unity. I think our advantage is MUCH greater than any advantage the repugs would like to take from his loss. However, the Dems have not only been spineless for all these years, but also refuse to understand how the news media is completely against them/us. If they can get the right, unified sound bites out there, we have a chance. The Lamont win will inspire.

Welcome to DU!!! :hi:
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AZBlue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-12-06 12:57 AM
Response to Reply #10
102. Welcome to you too! (nt)
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AntiFascist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 01:48 AM
Response to Reply #8
18. Welcome prete_nero...
those who lead the Democratic party need to come together and decide on a unifying strategy, but I fear that what splits the party is happening at the top, amongst our leaders. What it all boils down to, I fear, has to do with our economic strategy for being in the Middle East.

The answer, otherwise, seems pretty straightforward. Fighting "them" aggressively over there is not solving the problem of terrorism, instead it is just pissing people off more, possibly recruiting more terrorists, and at the very least making more ideological enemies. We will never completely eradicate the danger of terrorism, but we can strengthen our defenses and our ports at home, and we can act in a way that will truly make more friends around the world. If we can repair burnt bridges and strengthen our foreign alliances, then we will have a much better chance of fending off the enemies of democracy. This really SHOULD be the strength of the Democratic party.
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BelgianMadCow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 03:30 AM
Response to Reply #8
24. Welcome into the light :-) prete_nero
:toast:
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lostnfound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 05:10 AM
Response to Reply #8
30. Welcome to DU! Nice post, a good angle to keep bringing up. nt
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oasis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 12:16 AM
Response to Original message
11. "George Bush is a miserable failure". Dick Gephardt's words ring
as true today as they did in 2004. Bush has failed to keep the lid on the hornet's nest of terrorists that he stirred up with his ill-conceived "war on terror".

Bush foreign policy has set the world on a powder keg and it will take the diplomacy of a Democratic administration to pull out the fuse.
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mrdmk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #11
80. These are from Nexis/Lexis about airport security, 3 reports
Copyright 2001 The Columbus Dispatch
Columbus Dispatch (Ohio)

October 30, 2001 Tuesday, Home Final Edition

SECTION: EDITORIAL & COMMENT; Letters To The Editor; Pg. 06A

LENGTH: 199 words

HEADLINE: DON'T BLAME CLINTON FOR THE SEPT. 11 ATTACKS

BODY:
In response to retired Marine Col. Peter G. Paraskos' Oct. 21 letter, which blamed the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on former President Clinton, I pose the following questions:

Is it possible that the terrorists saw a long-sought opening when President Bush took no action on the bipartisan Commission Report on Terrorism, submitted to him last February after three years in the making?

Also, this administration did nothing with former Vice President Al Gore's report on the airport security until after the horses left the barn. Bush was too preoccupied with Star Wars II, protecting us from a remote possibility of a rogue nation's missile attack, to notice imminent dangers.

Is it possible that our enemies saw a sign of weakness when Bush's unilateralism led us to withdraw our foreign commitments to the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, Kyoto Protocol, Israeli-Palestinian accord and so on?


Copyright 1997 The New York Times Company: Abstracts
Information Bank Abstracts
JOURNAL OF COMMERCE

February 13, 1997, Thursday

SECTION: Section A; Page 1, Column 2

LENGTH: 39 words

HEADLINE: WHITE HOUSE PANEL UNVEILS AIRLINE SAFETY PACKAGE

BYLINE: BY MICHELE KAYAL and ANDREW BLUM

JOURNAL-CODE: JCM

ABSTRACT:

White House commission headed by Vice Pres Al Gore outlines more than 50 new aviation safety and security measures expected to cost airlines millions of dollars and to change the way carriers and shippers move cargo and mail (M)

LOAD-DATE: February 26, 1997


Copyright 1997 Denver Publishing Company
Rocky Mountain News (Denver, CO)

February 13, 1997, Thursday

SECTION: NEWS/NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL; Ed. F; Pg. 34A

LENGTH: 327 words

HEADLINE: Clinton endorses rules on air safety, security
Passenger profiles spur controversy over rights

BYLINE: Nancy Mathis; Houston Chronicle

DATELINE: WASHINGTON

BODY:
President Clinton on Wednesday embraced dozens of recommendations to cut aviation accidents and boost airport security, including creation of passenger profiles to catch terrorists.

The recommendations were contained in a report from Vice President Al Gore, who chaired a 20-member commission created after TWA Flight 800 crashed mysteriously into the Atlantic Ocean off Long Island last year, killing 230 people.

''The recommendations in this report are strong, and we will put them into action,'' Clinton said. ''We will use all the tools of modern science to make flying as safe as possible.''

Federal agencies, airports and airlines will be responsible for acting on the suggestions in the commission's final report.

(continued)
The White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security made 53 recommendations in the areas of security, safety and air traffic control.
(end of articles)

Here is the bottom line, the big bad Republicans dropped the ball, these measures are to intrusive they said.
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oasis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 03:55 PM
Response to Reply #80
88. Great find. Thanks for the link.
:thumbsup:
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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 12:59 AM
Response to Original message
13. The problem as I see it is:
What is our message for dealing with terrorism and how do we communicate it?

The republican message is go after them wherever they are and kill them, which resonates with folks. What is our message and how can we keep it simple and to the point?

I fear our message is 'bush sucks, so vote for us' which is to say, we ain't got nothing for you but we ain't bush.

Problem with dems is we see a mixed message. Iraq is bad, but we need to stay and we voted for the IWR.

On terrorism - since 9/11 no more attacks, lots of arrests (even if unjust), and the dems seem to agree terror is an issue. The message middle america is seeing is that we as dems want to deal with terrorists and make them happy so they don't kill us, where the republicans want to enage them with force and put em down.

I guess what I am getting at is - what the hell is our message (and I ain't talking about DU's message)? Is it the same message with some twists added (fight terror, stay in iraq as we made the mess, etc) or something fully different. And how are they getting out to the avg joe?
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oxbow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 01:37 AM
Response to Reply #13
16. "We" don't have a message, and we won't by November either
This is a good example of how the GOP works: An order comes down from on-high in the form of Ken Mehlman telling all the other elephants that they are now free to disagree with the President on Iraq without repercussions. They are ordered to focus on the broader WOT instead and strike home that the "defeat-o-crats" are weak on security. Everybody complies, everybody uses the same talking points, and the beast speaks with one loud voice to the people.

Now see how the Democrats work: Everybody thinks through the issue and makes the decision that is best for their consciense/situation/whatever. The DNC tries to get people behind a unified strategy but it is so hazy and ambiguous (in order to accomodate the "big tent") that it gets lost in the noise of the corporate owned media machine. The loud, unified voice of the beast all but drowns it out.

Now, would I want to change the way this works on the Democratic side? Hell no! Reality is messy and there are as many ways of looking at it as there are people. I wouldn't want our party to turn into the fascism-lite that the GOP controls their members and the masses with; that would kill everything that is good about being a liberal! Instead, I would hope that people will eventually be able to see through the smoke and mirrors of the GOP spin cycle and realize that they are being pandered to. That's what I'm working towards, is a more enlightened communtiy around me.
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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 02:05 AM
Response to Reply #16
19. I can respect that
but I fear it is not totally accurate. We do agree on some things, even in a big tent, and I feat that message is not getting out.

What do we stand for - and how are we communicating that out to people?

Even in a big tent we can agree on some things - terrorism being one such thing (which also crosses over into swing voters).

The repubs have a strong view which their people also hold, they have a unity. Where are we unified, what issues, and how do we project that out?
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oxbow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 05:16 PM
Response to Reply #19
90. Effective communication is hard when the playing field is so uneven
I agree with you some, but we're up against so much already that I don't think communicating is so much the problem. The GOP spin machine has had 30+ years to align and grow itself. Direct mail, conservative hate radio, Fox News and the incessant playing of the refs that we refer to as 'the myth of the liberal media' are what we are up against. And this entire apparatus is integrated so well with the GOP power brokers in Washington that it's downright scary.

As for our side, we have Air America and the bloggers (to an extent), both of which have a tenuous relationshiop with the Democratic power structure, at best. Simply put, they are in a much better position to get their message out because they have been doing this for much longer. Hell, they spend ten times more than us on think tanks alone, which is where the talking points and the TV news guests are rushed from everytime they need to do damage control. Until our leadership realizes how stacked the deck is against us in the media, and begins spending massive amounts of money to play catchup, it is a losing game. Just my .02
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elehhhhna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 12:03 PM
Response to Reply #16
70. "We CAN do better!" what idiot came up with that one?
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Common Sense Party Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 02:32 AM
Response to Reply #13
22. Exactly.
"I fear our message is 'bush sucks, so vote for us' which is to say, we ain't got nothing for you but we ain't bush."


You said it so well.
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AZBlue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-12-06 12:59 AM
Response to Reply #13
103. That's the $1,000,000 question. And one the Dems never answer.
It makes me insane. We never have a clear message. And we keep losing. Coincidence?? I think not....
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2Design Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 01:13 AM
Response to Original message
14. Bush Admin sure has made us less safe and people don't seem
to realize we are becoming more and more militarized - so many presidents in the past helped to bring peace in the world. Cheny and Rumsfeld sure do not want any peace in the world - it truly is unfortunate that so many believe these stories - the news was full of the 'radical left wing' winning in connecticut - I don't know when it will stop - the news media buys into all of this and none question like Dan Rather would because they will lose their job. With a Fox spokesman for WH news - their propoganda permeates the news.

Caught a short bit on John Dean and O'Reilly and o'reilly was eating dean - their meaness does not allow a full answer - it is a trap - Thanks for all you do here on democratic underground - best of luck - the trap seems very big - the MO is that of a abuser -
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MtMan Donating Member (15 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 01:33 AM
Response to Original message
15. Gore Would Have Stayed the Course in the (REAL) War on Terror
Edited on Fri Aug-11-06 01:43 AM by MtMan
We need to let more of the American average Joe's understand the distinction between the REAL war on terror and the faux war on terror (Iraq War = Bush family's personal war against Saddam cum quagmire = fighting "them" "over there" faux war on terror.)

Let's make it known that Gore would have "stayed the course" in the real war on terror - he would not have cut and run from pursuing Al Queda to the ends of the Afghanistan mountains and into Pakistan, to wage his pet peeve war against Saddam. Note that the terrorists involved in today's plot were from Pakistan.

"We are safer now than @ 9/11" Bush says today. Of course. But we'd be safer yet, much safer, with Gore at the helm.

Take a look at the nytimes.com front page story about the mismanaged (diverted and way under funded) funds going toward explosive detection systems @ homeland security department.

Imagine how much safer we'd be if we spent the money that was wasted on the Iraq Quagmire on the War on Terrorism instead.

This is the message we need to convey. Bush did not stay the course on the war on terrorism. He stayed the course on his own, personal grudge against Saddam Hussein. He cut and ran from pursuing Al Queda into Pakistan, and today we see one very tangible result (Pakistani terrorists - 24 in Britain arrested and others in Pakistan arrested.)

P.S. - I am also wondering why the technology available at http://www.hienergyinc.com/press/press_releases/9-24-02... for four years isn't in place by homeland security department by now? More mismanagement?
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oasis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 01:38 AM
Response to Reply #15
17. Gore would have read the Hart/Rudman report and listened to Richard
Edited on Fri Aug-11-06 01:38 AM by oasis
Clarke and Sandy Berger. There would have been no "war on terror" because there would be no 9/11.

Welcome to DU. :hi:
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AZBlue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-12-06 01:00 AM
Response to Reply #15
104. Welcome to DU!
Excellent points!!
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VolcanoJen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 02:14 AM
Response to Original message
20. Talk about Hurricane Katrina, the greatest national security issue...
Edited on Fri Aug-11-06 02:14 AM by VolcanoJen
of our time. Bush's ratings didn't fall into the shitter last fall by coincidence.

Did they keep Americans safe when the water rose? Did Bush run to their side with a bullhorn? Did he provide for the welfare, the common defense?

He did none of these things. The proof is in the pudding.

Talk to people about opening their eyes.
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catzies Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 10:49 PM
Response to Reply #20
99. Agreed! We have 2 anniversaries coming up: Katrina's 1st & 9/11's 5th
Which one do you think the * Administration will commemorate?

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Common Sense Party Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 02:31 AM
Response to Original message
21. Oh. I mistakenly thought the title suggested a "Grand Strategy" for
us to follow.

Is our "Grand Strategy" just to say, "We're not Republicans?" Or keep saying, "The Republicans are evil/stupid/incompetent/Nazis"?

What IS our grand strategy for solving our nation's problems?

We can't just be AGAINST the other party. We have to be FOR something, and be able to clearly, quickly articulate how we are FOR the American people.
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H2O Donating Member (125 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 04:31 AM
Response to Reply #21
25. Our message should start
with Reality. We stand for "The Truth" not "Talking points".
All strategies on everything be it the War on Terror, high gas prices, or Social Security must be based on the truth and we have to show the courage to face it in front of the American People
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 07:06 PM
Response to Reply #25
93. My problem with what you say H20 is that "TRUTH" is not understood
by those we are dealing with. John Dean's new book talks about the "Authoritarian Mentality."

We here in the NetROOTS can keep digging for the TRUTH and putting pressure on the MEDIA...but we need harder hitting tactics or we can sit back and wait for them to have enough rope to "hang themselves" which is what Tom Daschle's policy was before Harry Reid...and has been Nancy Pelosi's strategy all along. :shrug:

It's a hard battle you are talking about...but I disagree with you on the "tactics." :shrug:
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H2O Donating Member (125 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 08:35 PM
Response to Reply #93
97. I said it should "start"
with the truth. That is the beginning.
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 04:31 AM
Response to Original message
26. if your goal was to create a permanent republican majority --
what wouldn't you do to make that come true?

that's a statement -- a declaration -- of conquest.

plain and simple -- republicans see the field in certain way -- where are the opportunities to go on the offensive?

true believer and cynic alike are united in this one goal -- go on the offensive and never, ever get off the offensive.

as assorted democratic party people -- liberals and preogressives -- whatever -- we've always been taken by surprise -- operating a s a defensive team.

until lamont gave us a high profile win -- well that is unti we have to defeat lieberman again.

and it won't be easy -- lieberman will use every rovian aggressive tactic that he can.

and i can only say to my fellow liberals and progressives -- it's time, pat time -- to ger our war on and take it to the republicans over and over and over again.

i mean kick them while they are down -- hard.

and don't let them get up.

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DemExpat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 04:42 AM
Response to Original message
27. I see the Dems creating an offensive Grand Strategy themselves
to match or beat the GOP's as the only possible hope to influence the voters.

Lord knows they have the ingredients for the ammunition.

:nuke:

DemEx

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mwooldri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 08:22 AM
Response to Reply #27
42. Agreed. New proposals to counter their fluff.
I don't know what specifically - maybe promise to fund the existing infrastructure more. In the same way we're promising not to impeach GWB if/when we get in again.

Mark.
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democrank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 04:55 AM
Response to Original message
28. Lots to ponder, EarlG.
Regardless of what is just or what is true, Democrats must understand the enormous spin machine we`re facing and figure out a way to deal with it. If Republican operatives dare to put up John Murtha`s face with the word "WEAK" on their website, they`ll stop at nothing.
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PurpleChez Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 05:01 AM
Response to Original message
29. Excellent.
I hope Dean and our leadership are thinking along these lines.
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jmondine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 05:48 AM
Response to Original message
31. Counter Strategy
Edited on Fri Aug-11-06 05:50 AM by jmondine
Not much is known yet about this plot. As more info surfaces, we'll have more facts to strike back at the neocons.

A couple of observations so far, though. Two of the destination cities for these flights were New York and Washington, D.C., which the DHS recently downgraded, and therefore cut their funding. None of the flights were scheduled for Woodville, Alabama or Columbia, Tennessee, in spite of the no-doubt incredible temptation to take down Old MacDonald's Petting Zoo and the Kangaroo Conservation Center.

Considering that this plot seems to have come from Pakistan, the last known location of Bin Laden, if I was a Democratic candidate, I'd point out that all this time and all these resources, wasted in the black hole of the Iraq folly, could have, and should have been focused on capturing Bin Laden. Get our troops out of Iraq and start focusing on the real terrorist threat.

Furthermore, this proves that all the "Number Two" Al Qaida operatives we've taken down has done absolutely nothing to cripple their ability to plan and coordinate massive attacks on the West. This plan was stopped days before it was to have been carried out, and Chertoff has said that we're not even sure all the conspirators have been caught. This isn't about a "Global War on Terror", this is about one group, one organization, which the Republicans and the Bush administration have been absolutely impotent at handling. They say the we're "soft" on Terror? More like Bush is "soft" on Bin Laden.

Let the neocons have their moment in the sun, gloating with glee over the near death of almost 4,000 civilians. Our follow-up strategy is simple. Keep blasting away at their pathetic lies and spin with the plain, hard truth. The midterms are three months away. If they want to make security the main campaign issue, we have all that time to shed light on their sad excuse for a record over the past six years.
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KnaveRupe Donating Member (700 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 06:43 AM
Response to Reply #31
35. Good post, and welcome to DU! n/t
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mwooldri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 08:26 AM
Response to Reply #31
44. What an excellent point! (oh and welcome btw)
I don't know if there is video of Bush saying that he doesn't care much for Bin Laden, that he doesn't spend that much time looking for him and that he's not bothered. I hear it frequently enough on Air America - so about time it got used in a political campaign. GWB shot himself in the foot (not literally of course) when he said this.

Play that video *repeatedly* as a 15 minute election spot that candidates can use to plug themselves (and 15 minutes is far cheaper than 30 seconds... and might even have more impact). And I think GWB has made enough holes to bury himself and his party.

Mark.
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Brazenly Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 10:59 AM
Response to Reply #31
60. Well said! Welcome to DU!
Why, OH WHY haven't I seen any high profile Democrats on television yet saying exactly what you said?

If Bush/Rove want to play the fear game, why aren't the Big Dems throwing it right back in their faces with this?
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rnisson Donating Member (11 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 11:36 AM
Response to Reply #31
65. Not to mention...
The Bush administration shut down the Bin Laden CIA group completely, they are no longer hunting him at all! :crazy:
check it...

http://weblog.timoregan.com/2006/07/cia-group-hunting-f...

talk about a strange coincidance...
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The Wizard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 05:53 AM
Response to Original message
32. So how many
dead Iraqis did it take to stop this terrorist plot. Let's conflate it with Iraq as most of the country is against the occupation. If we hadn't squandered our resources in Iraq we wouldn't have to rely on the British to protect us.
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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 05:54 AM
Response to Original message
33. The wide open Mexican border. Selling our ports to Arabs...
I wish more people could see that Lou Dobbs has figured out the perfect attack plan. Bush isn't making us safer. Osama could walk an army across the southern border. Even conservatives agree with that.
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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 01:27 PM
Response to Reply #33
78. "Osama could walk an army across the southern border"
if he only had an army. Immigration is a wedge issue used by the Republicans to divide us. They are all in favor of cheap labor. Leave it alone.
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NoBushSpokenHere Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 06:39 AM
Response to Original message
34. How about a National Poll
Who do you trust more, Osama Bin Laden or George Bush?


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Triana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 06:51 AM
Response to Original message
36. Will the DNC read this? Any Senators/House members?
Because they need to - every one of them. It needs to be mailed in paper letter form, to them all - and the DNC.
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Vinca Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 07:13 AM
Response to Reply #36
38. Echoing your post.
Sometimes the writing on this site is brilliant and to the point. It's not "left wing blogger kid" stuff, it's what the Democrats need to do if they want to win. We can't remain a party of shrinking violets now that the Republican smear machine has been oiled, tuned and in fine, operating condition. Are there any staff from the hill reading this site???? Someone must!
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Cobalt Violet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 07:11 AM
Response to Original message
37. My SO's bushbot coworker was panicing over some trip she had planned.
She was on the phone all day yesterday yelling at people. Travel agents, airlines, hotels, everyone. He told her, not to worry because her Master is "fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them over here".
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illinoisprogressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 07:26 AM
Response to Original message
39. Henny Penny
It may be that the dolts have played this once too often. On Washington Journal today the majority of calls were skepticism about the terror plot in Britan. They were pointing out all the dumb, phoney terror things every time something good about Dems have come out. Or when they need a boost. Many pointed to the Lamont victory as the reason for the plot being revealed or just don't believe it's a true plot and something Blair and Bush cooked up.
I personally am waiting to see what plays out because I am skeptical. I feel they were a group of men the British were watching and monitoring. But, other than that, I don't know if they are just guys blowing hot air or a real threat. I just find it funny how this came out after the bushies did the Lamont is a far left fringe usual garbage and laying the groundwork and then, tada! look there are terrorists! kinda funny.
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crsharick Donating Member (4 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 07:49 AM
Response to Reply #39
40. Strong message
To quote TRex over at firedoglake, this is what our message needs to be:

"A vote for Joe Lieberman? Its a vote to kill another American soldier."

Read the whole thing here: http://www.firedoglake.com/2006/08/09/late-nite-fdl-why...
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 08:22 AM
Response to Reply #39
43. welcome to du, ip
hope you are out there working for dick auman.
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vickitulsa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 11:50 AM
Response to Reply #39
68. Interesting to me that unnamed "officials" called this "the real deal."
THIS particular bust, this thwarted plot -- with the very first announcements, over and over again, the quote from some official: "This is THE REAL DEAL."

What on earth does this imply except that the REST of the "terra terra" stories we've been hearing of late have been PHONY?!

Talk about telling the truth on yourself when you didn't mean to....


Good post, btw, and I welcome ALL the new DUers. Am I missing something or are there truly a helluva lot more new folks arriving here at DU lately? Are we gaining new members by leaps and bounds? Hmmm ... what would THAT say if true? :)


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elehhhhna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 12:06 PM
Response to Reply #39
71. Excellent post. WELCOME!
from an ex-Chicagoan now in Sugar Land.
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The Backlash Cometh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 08:17 AM
Response to Original message
41. When, when WHEN did Democrats get the rep of being peace doves?
I remember my Republican relative, (back in the early 90s when I was still speaking to him), told me that only Democrats start wars. Let me repeat that. The Republican image of Democrats back in the early 90s, was that only Democratic presidents started wars. I was flabbergasted, of course, and stammered that Eisenhower had committed us to Vietnam, and he responded, that was not a war, that was a conflict.

The point is, that you're chasing a ghost. You're chasing an illusion created by Republicans that Democrats are not tough on crime, or that they are not warmongers when they have to be. Remember, it was Clinton who increased the police force and it was Bush who was looking for reasons to cut it back. Today, when a Bush is governor of Florida, Orlando has one of the highest homicide rates.

You have to find a way to tell the truth to the lazy brains. The truth is, that Democrats have already experienced war up front, something that Bush and the chicken hawks haven't done. So the Dems know that no country can sustain a perpetual war without eventually resorting to conscription, and conscription, under the best of circumstances, will only buy you time. Eventually, the Hamburger Hill of bodies that piles up, will be the reason why every American will be willing to chuck the Constitution out entirely and start new, rather than continue on a path that results in endless casualties.

And Dems know, that a perpetual war will also make it impossible for American businessmen to walk safely on this planet to work in a global economy. Or that the number of exchange students will diminish if we remain hawkish, making it impossible to create the relationships we need with foreign countries, so we can understand one another, and avoid misunderstandings which are usually exploited by ambitious politicians, who are too close to the military-industrial and or petroleum corporations.

Anyway, Kerry got it right. We need to wage the right war, and think about fighting it for the duration, but we need to do it wisely.
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ArmchairMeme Donating Member (390 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 08:26 AM
Response to Original message
45. Freedoms are disappearing under this administration
A while ago someone on this site wrote a good piece about the contributions of the Democratic administrations as opposed to the Repulican administrations. The first clear difference was that wars were begun under the Repulicans and the diplomacy to avoid them was done under the Democrats. The economy faired far better for the general population under the Democrats than the Repuplicans. Just in the last two administrations - Democratic (Clinton) left the country with an economic surplus and Republican (Bush) quickly spent into a vast debt that will go on for generations.

Life was better under a Democratic administration, jobs, economy, foreign relations. Life under a Republican administration has been miserable again jobs, economy and foreign relations and the added fear of terra repeated often and with glee by the mainstream media. Living with continual fear becomes a lack of freedom.

Now our freedom to fly on an airplane has been again reduced to a far less pleasant experience at a higher cost. Why do we tolerate it? Seems like a good time for find a better way to handle it.

WHen I was reading about the "foiled" terror plot yesterday on the web and waiting to see just how it would unfold, when authorities knew about it (was it a year ago, a month ago or a week ago) were these people just wannabes are is there hard evidence, tools and explosives or just ideas.

I turned on the t.v. and WOW the glee that was coming from the announcers that terra terra terra was here and what YOU CAN'T DO today. They were just so excited about it. It went all afternoon. It was as though they had time to prepare the backdrops and video messages as they were ready for this. I felt myself agitated by just tuning in as though I had a flashback to 911 (they were successful again).

We are not safer under a Republican administration. We are consistently loosing freedoms on a regular basis each time a terra plot is disclosed to the country.
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vickitulsa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 12:16 PM
Response to Reply #45
73. How right you are! I heard the glee in their voices too, and
saw it in their faces -- they were (and still are to some extent) animated, happy to have a huge story to run with, excited as hell to be in on it bigtime.

As a lifelong news junkie, I began my withdrawals from all TV news, particularly the so-called "all news" channels, just over a year ago -- about the same time I joined DU, as it turns out. I was so sick of the bought-and-paid-for corporate media takeover I just couldn't stand another day of it.

I had already begun to find lots of good news sources, mostly on the Nets, online where not every reporter has a "company line" to toe or a "party line" to spew.

But since the Israel/Hizbollah/Lebanon war blew up into a full-scale ordeal with a lot happening, I tuned back in to CNN, MSNBC, and on rare occasion just to see how they were reporting it, even Faux. Then, riveted by the simple fact that these organizations felt it worthwhile to send even their "biggies" to the war zones, putting them in direct danger and VERY uncomfortable conditions, I have kept watching as the horrors continue to unfold in Lebanon and Israel.

I had already seen a lot of the same GLEE you noted among the reporters, only it was in relation to the war in Lebanon! They were downright effervescent ... giddy ... overjoyed to be there, to be reporting such a BIG story. At first, anyway.

NOW, after it's dragged on for over a month and they're getting really tired and dirty and scared and developing their own individual cases of PTSD after hearing the booms going off so near them for so long, doing without sleep, without the comforts of home ... NOW they aren't so gleeful about the war in Lebanon.

So what happens next to relieve them? The Big Bad Breaking News Story that is the Foiled British Terror Plot! The relatively unknown faces stateside who are holding down the desks of the anchors who are in Lebanon and Israel see their big chance -- a NEW Big Bad Breaking News Story for THEM! Woohoo! They're grinning from ear to ear, cannot control their elation, it shows on the air over and over again.

And it makes me sick.

Another thing that's really crazy about the current corporate media environment is that hardly ANY story has enough legs to last -- or at least to dominate the broadcasts -- for more than 24-48 hours. It's only the sheer importance of the war in Lebanon that has kept the big news anchors on location there for a whole month. That and the continuing escalation and constant new major developments. AND the babbling heads in our criminal government regime involving themselves in the story to their political advantage (or so they believe)....

But already I'm seeing that this Big Terror Plot Foiled By Britain Not The U.S. is fading fast in the news ... the Lebanon war story continues and surges back onscreen and things have "gotten back to normal" at the airports in record time. People adapt very quickly now to new rules regarding air travel and whether the plot was genuinely a threat or not, it WAS FOILED so folks have already shown a willingness to dismiss it from their immediate attention.

So all that glee was sort of pointless and definitely seems to have been truncated, right? Geez, how low have our corporate news reporters sunk....

It's so disgusting I'm finding it easier and easier to do what a lot of Americans have done and turn to SPORTS NEWS for "unfolding drama" since the corporate media delivers little better....

I can't, however, raise a scintilla of interest in celebrities! Hah! :rofl:


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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 08:33 AM
Response to Original message
46. we have a PEACE CORPS. this is what they do-
they go to places where babies dies before their first babies as a matter of course. they provide basic prenatal care, and well child care, they dig wells, build schools, and basically, build the infrastructure for the FUTURE. do you think a lot of people in those places are figuring out how to blow up your shampoo?
dems need to make themselves the party of the future. of building peace from the ground up. one baby at a time. one bowl of rice at a time.
we need to be the party of science, saving the planet, life saving new medicine. THE FUTURE, THE FUTURE, THE FUTURE.
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3reddogs Donating Member (8 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 09:12 AM
Response to Reply #46
51. If Wishes Were Horses ...
I'd like to see the Dems start hammering home the fact that it was good old-fashioned POLICE WORK by the UK that foiled the terror plot, not their military, not them dropping bombs on innocent civilians and not dodging IED's in Iraq and Afghanistan. Instead of pouring billions of dollars into Iraq, the Dems should be asking why that money isn't being spent bolstering America's infrastructure, tightening port security, tightening our border security, etc. THAT's what's going to make America safer AND wouldn't it be great if all those billions were staying right here in America, boosting our own economy instead of Haliburton's bottom line and providing more jobs for Americans. (Oh wait, America, if left to the Repugs, they'd outsource everything to the UAE and God knows who else!)

The polls make it obvious that the majority of Americans already know that there's a better way to fight the war on terror and a better way to run this country than what they've seen for the last 6 years. Now it's up to the Dems to enunciate, loud and clear, exactly what THEY'D do about our national security. (Not "cut and run" -- redeploy; pour billions into America, not Iraq; bolster the CIA and FBI instead of allocating billions of dollars for a bloated Pentagon budget and more reliance on diplomacy instead of costly and failure-prone regime changes to defuse anti-Americanism!)
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AntiFascist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 01:36 PM
Response to Reply #51
79. An even deeper question to ponder is....

why is it that British nationals of Arab (Pakistani) descent now see fit to act as suicide bombers? Could it be because Americans are beginning to blindly target the entire Arab world?
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mtnsnake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 08:45 AM
Response to Original message
47. This is why Dems need to turn the tables & put the fear of god into voters
themselves by making them aware that future attacks on our country are much more imminent than ever, considering that Bush's offensive policies have all failed miserably, and all he's accomplished is to incite further terrorist attacks and bloodshed.

It's time that Democrats use a scare tactic of their own, and they shouldn't blow this perfect opportunity.
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AtomicKitten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 09:02 AM
Response to Reply #47
50. they need to turn the tables alright
instead of allowing the GOP to get away with the Dems are weak on terror BS, we must come out strong with THE GOP IS WRONG ON TERROR.

The Democrats need to pull up their socks and come back hard.
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zenturtle Donating Member (18 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 08:55 AM
Response to Original message
48. "Bomb and borrow" Repugnicans
If the Dems are "tax and spend", the Repugs are "bomb and borrow". Point is, there's a need for message unification on a grander scale among Dems, and also a need for pithy bumper sticker slogans/mind bombs that make people THINK. The latest sticker I've started flying in this here red state is a red, white and blue "one nation under surveillance".
Yes, D.U. needs to be read by Democratic staffers and strategists. But just as importantly, D.U.ers need to engage with the Democratic Party and its candidates at an organizational level and become those very people. Granted, time seems short.
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sendero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 09:12 AM
Response to Original message
52. The Democrats..
... have about 30 days to get control of this message. To do so is going to require some tough rhetoric of the sort that the Republicans issue daily and our team typically issues in ways that nobody ever hears.

30 days to counter this terra, terra, terra message, or we can forget the house much less the senate.
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 09:45 AM
Response to Original message
53. if dems allow themselves to be drawn into debate about...
...the efficacy of the WOT they will lose. Rove is right about that-- it's a republican signature issue. Dems must either undermine it or replace it as central in the national consciousness.

The WOT is a scam. It is nothing more than a cover for abusive foreign and domestic policies. Dems need to make this point over and over-- they need to convince voters that the WOT is bad for America and doomed to failure. Voters need ALTERNATIVES to the WOT, not alternative ways to continue the scam.
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derby378 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 09:56 AM
Response to Original message
54. Just forwarded this to the Radnofsky campaign in Texas
Kay "Bail-Out" Hutchison will try to bury Barbara Ann on national security and terrorism, and we simply cannot let that happen.
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Gregorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 10:02 AM
Response to Original message
55. They don't stop terrorism by creating more terrorists.
They talk the talk. But they had plenty of time, holding the reins, to stop 9/11.

And since that time, all they have done is breed more terrorists.

What we have to do is to prove that it is to their advantage to actually HAVE terrorism. That's one facet.

It's time to start, is right. Now we need to start digging up the data that proves the point that without terrorism, the GOP is like a limp noodle.

Thanks Earl. I'm just adding my fuzzed out early morning thoughts. They may be good, or not. I just spew them.
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Phoebe Loosinhouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 10:13 AM
Response to Reply #55
56. Exactly! They are Losing the WOT just like they bungled IRAQ nt
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EarlG ADMIN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 10:13 AM
Response to Original message
57. Thanks for the great responses
Edited on Fri Aug-11-06 10:14 AM by EarlG
There are some really good suggestions in this thread. Let me try to boil this down a bit.

What do we want to achieve here? Obviously we want to stop terrorism, stop the fighting in the Middle East, try to bring a lasting peace to the region. At least that's what any rational person would want.

The number one problem is that the media has a vested interest in not allowing this to happen. There's nothing newsworthy about peace. Every time there's a terror alert, or a new conflict in the ME, the cable news networks whip out their fancy graphics and theme tunes and crank up the 24-hour speculation machines, and they get a big ratings boost.

Missing white girls and shark attacks are their "filler" material for when there's nothing "interesting" happening. You know that they'd much rather be showing video of bombs going down chimneys and interviewing flak-jacketed reporters standing in front of rubble. What's bad for the world is good for the media. Not only that, but the disconnected American public, engorged on a steady diet of reality TV, now views all this as a form of entertainment rather than something to get disgusted about. As long as we are "fighting them over there," then why worry?

People watch shows like Big Brother and Survivor because they get a kick out of feeling superior to the contestants. The viewers watch the contestants bicker and argue and come up with all kinds of underhanded methods (usually set up by the producers) to "beat" their opponents. And they think to themselves, "I'm glad I'M not an asshole like that guy." It makes people feel good about themselves.

Same goes for the media's coverage of terror and the Middle East. People feel totally disconnected from it; they're never given the impression that they might have an interest in stopping the violence. They just watch it and think, "Better them than me," and it gives them that same feeling of superiority.

The Republican message plays directly into this. "We're fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them over here" is the most obvious example; it means nothing, but in one sentence it sums up the reason why many Americans don't care whether this "war on terror" just carries on forvermore.

So what do we do? Whatever it is, it needs to be a unified message that we can all agree on, that resonates with the American public, and that can be repeated easily and confidently by Democrats everywhere.

So let's see.

Our Republican leaders have failed in Iraq. They had their chance and they blew it. It's sucking billions of dollars out of the national treasury. Our soldiers are caught in a ferocious civil war. They told us they would make America safer. They have not.

Our Republican leaders have failed to stop the terrorist threat. Osama bin Laden is still at large. Random groups of angry extremists have become motivated to plot against us. There are more terrorists in the world today than there were before 9/11. They told us they would make America safer. They have not.

Our Republican leaders have failed to protect the homeland. Airline cargo holds are not inspected. Port security is outsourced. Hurricane Katrina proved that we can't take care of our own people after a natural disaster, let alone a terrorist attack. They told us they would make America safer. They have not.

I dunno, maybe that it: "They promised us security. They have failed to deliver. It's time for leaders who can."
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Elidor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 11:04 AM
Response to Reply #57
61. And another: our republican leaders use terror alerts to scare people
In the run-up to national elections. In fact, the last time we had a terror alert was...in the months before the 2004 election. After the election they suddenly stopped. I think Nancy Pelosi has made the point before, but I wouldn't mind her appearing on TV to make it again and again and again, all the way to November.
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halobeam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 11:15 AM
Response to Reply #57
63. Plus FOLLOW THE MONEY.....
Even Jon Stewart last night had a point to make....

Indiana gets more money to "prevent terrorism" than NY.... THAT is not good security.

H20 Man said: Truth not Talking Points... He's dead on.

Follow the Facts... Not what is being said.

Follow the Money... THAT IS one fact which sharply contradicts what the Republicans say.
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underpants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 03:31 PM
Response to Reply #57
83. Wait, you haven't got mine yet
okay here it is.

I saw take it right back to them. Dems need to mention the FACT that "9/11 happened on his watch" over and over and over. Security my ass (they shouldn't say that near a mic...okay maybe Howard Dean can)

Also they need to mention that W&the Republicans aren't talking about Iraq (which he won't be) Don't they care? Are they dropping the ball there too? that sort of thing.
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WestMichRad Donating Member (92 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 07:51 PM
Response to Reply #57
95. No, you still don't have it quite right
Good discussion you've prompted here, EarlG, but you summary here isn't a strategy of how to forcefully attack them and win voters. It's a summary that they'll once again be able to beat us with.

Here's what I think is needed:
Our Republican leaders have failed to stop the terrorist threat, etc. as you have stated, then add: It's been 5 years since the 9/11 attacks, and four years (or whatever) years since the 9/11 commision reported its findings and made recommendations of what security measures are needed to make America safer. The Repukes have fully implemented none of them. We will move rapidly to implement most of these good recommendations.

The policies of our Republican leaders have failed to achieve their stated aims of reducing the terrorist threat because they've been badly misdirected. Attempting to use military force in a country that was not responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attacks (Iraq) has created millions of new enemies for America, not reduced the terrorist threat, and have triggered strife there that is approaching civil war. We will work to end heavy-handed military-first attempts to solve problems and stop propping up military regimes, and will work with these countries to help them solve their most pressing problems. It will take time, but the only true way to end the threat of terrorism is to take away the terrorists' reasons for hating the US.

OK, maybe i'm dreaming, but no other approach is really going to solve the terrorism problem. "Fighting terrorism" is really just a catch phrase for an endless battle of applying another layer of patches to a leaky ship.

Let there be peace.

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progressive_realist Donating Member (669 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 09:27 PM
Response to Reply #57
98. Great minds think alike?
Edited on Fri Aug-11-06 09:40 PM by progressive_realist
This morning I was daydreaming while riding the bus to work. An image popped into my head of the perfect political ad for Democrats. It was almost exactly what you wrote at the end of your post, although my version is simpler and to the point, so that even the deliberately obtuse will understand it. Imagine this properly formatted:

Republican leadership...

...failed to prevent 9/11
...failed to respond to Hurricane Katrina
...failed to catch Osama Bin Laden
...failed to stabilize Iraq

Republicans talk tough on national security. But when it comes time to deliver results, they fail.

Vote for change in November. Vote Democrat.


The list can be made as long as needed -- there are plenty of Republican failures to choose from. The TV version of this should have all the iconic images: the plane crashing into the Twin Towers, photos of flooded New Orleans, Bin Laden's face, the aftermath of a car bombing in Iraq. Intermixed with these, the commercial can have clips of Bush reading My Pet Goat, looking out the airplane window at New Orleans, saying that he would catch Bin Laden "dead or alive", maybe the "Mission Accomplished" photo-op...

Point is to neutralize the one card the Republicans have left -- the perception that they will protect the American public. This approach would make freeper heads explode left and right, and the talking heads would positively froth at the mouth about us exploiting the images of 9/11, Katrina, etc. But it doesn't matter one bit -- anything they respond with will only make them look weaker. And besides, for what it's worth, the charges are all true.

It should be emphasized over and over that Republicans have failed at every turn. Once this meme gets planted in people's heads, it will be like quicksand; every attempt to get out will pull the Republicans further under. And any conveniently timed "October surprise" terrorist attacks or scares will backfire and make people even less likely to vote Republican.

By November, the first word everyone should think when they see or hear "Republican" is "failure". Then perhaps we will have a sea of blue to look forward to on Election Day.
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wryter2000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 10:40 AM
Response to Original message
58. True, and yet...
Edited on Fri Aug-11-06 10:41 AM by wryter2000
While I agree with everything in your post, it seems to me there's always one thing left out of analyses of why they seem better at winning elections than we are. The fact is, they lie. Not spin, not stay on-message. The say things that are out and out not true, that they know are not true. Remember the Swift Boat Veterans for "Truth"? They're still out there.

Who was it who said, "A lie gets half-way around the world before the truth catches up with it"?

I hate to see us beating ourselves up for not having a unified message or a message that resonates with soccer moms or not being able to reach "values voters," when a large part of what makes them successful is out-and-out dishonesty.

Instead of us trying to figure out how to stay one step ahead of Karl Rove, I'd like to have us try to figure out how to counteract LIES!
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robinlynne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 10:56 AM
Response to Original message
59. excellent post! let's get to work.
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threadkillaz Donating Member (453 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 11:14 AM
Response to Original message
62. They hate us for our freedoms.
The Judaeo-Christian fascists that is.
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rnisson Donating Member (11 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #62
66. I think Its just that they hate in general...
Theres an awful lot of splintering in this country, frighteningly like Pre WWII Nazi Germany.

The real problem is that only as a whole can the American PEOPLE stop this regime's coup of our country.

But they're taking us all down by splitting us apart, making us fear and hate every other group.

We really need a champion of the people...badly...
I know there are people out there...they just need to find the courage

Just think, the people are the root of their power, without us they have nothing!
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gully Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 11:49 AM
Response to Original message
67. "3000 dead on their watch."
That's how we deal with it. But, Democratic leaders appear AFRAID to speak the truth in this regard? Maddening as hell.
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elehhhhna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 12:10 PM
Response to Reply #67
72. 3,000 + 2,597 and counting
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gully Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 12:21 PM
Response to Reply #72
74. Ah yes. We musn't forget the troops.
And we could add in the innocent Iraqi's if they'd give us a figure. Estimates are now between 40 and 45K according to Iraqi Body Count. I don't know what the totals in Afghanistan are?

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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 04:24 PM
Response to Reply #74
89. + 1836 in Katrina
+++ many more from other fuck ups.
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gully Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 05:35 PM
Response to Reply #89
91. ++ increasing poverty
eom
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ktlyon Donating Member (733 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 12:29 PM
Response to Original message
75. We can't let Bush separate Iraq from HIS war on terrorism
It sounds like the right wants to talk about terrorism and get people to forget about Iraq and Afghanistan then wave 911 around while pumping terrorists plots. They will sell fear, fear and more fear. We need to reassure the American people that they can be safe and explain how we can do it through peace. How Bush has pissed people off and how we must begin to heal the wounds. We need to be positive about what we can do and show politely where Bush and republicans have failed. We can not let the flawed, failed Iraq policy fade away. We should be talking about national security but do it in away that people feel confident and hopeful, that they can be made safe and implying that Bush has not made us safer.
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robbedvoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #75
87. yeah, wasn't Iraq the centerpiece?
It's how he sold it when it was the shiny new product to be unveiled in the fall.
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EC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 12:40 PM
Response to Original message
76. We need to point out the difference between stopping
terrorists and destroying whole countries. Rather the Brits used law enforcement and MI5 to get their man, we just merely go blow up countries...we should be working on having more in the way of human intelligence (something the right doesn't believe in), more translators, and historians of Middle Eastern history, and better homeland security, not protecting lemonade stands, but real targets...

We have to be loud and forceful in DEMANDING REAL PROTECTION instead of bluster and bullying tactics...AND REAL DIPLOMACY, meaning talking with all parties involved, not just the ones you like....
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senseandsensibility Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 12:44 PM
Response to Original message
77. Many of us have been screaming for a unified message
for more than a year. But there are many on this board who always come back with the "let them dig their own grave" line. Why do so many progressives fall for this?
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many a good man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 01:48 PM
Response to Original message
81. Republicans have already lost the first two wars on terror
Osama walks a free man in Afghanistan while the Taliban regain control. Iraq is a no-win quagmire collapsing into civil war. The Republicans are 0-for-2 in the GWOT.

Everything they have done wrong we would do right. Its simple as that.
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SaneInSC Donating Member (201 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #81
82. March
And if elections get clearly stolen again this time-WE MARCH!

Is there nothing that can get us to just pick a date or 3 and just march en masse on our state capitols and DC? Its shameful. Won't get fooled again.
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vickitulsa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 03:33 PM
Response to Original message
84. Great discussion people!
I applaud you all for what we need a lot of: productive, insightful and thoughtful discussion of the most important issues we're facing right now. Brainstorming with a sense of urgency, now that we know enough facts to nail our opponents in upcoming elections, so that we are asking the right question to get us to a solution soon, developing a great and workable and durable "grand strategy" of our very own. One we can all get behind and follow through with! I LIKE this framing, EarlG! You accomplished so much by the way you summed up the dilemma in your last paragraph:

So let's stop arguing about the reality of terrorism, and start thinking about how the hell we're going to stop the Republicans in their tracks before they pull yet another fast one on America. We don't know if their plan is going to work this time, or if it's going to backfire on them badly, but the first step in making sure the latter happens is to acknowledge what's really going on here and figure out a way to deal with it.


I'm so glad to see today that my fellow DUers -- those wonderful analytical thinkers who warmed my heart to this site when I first came here about a year ago -- THOSE DUers are leading a positive rush of members here toward the ANSWER, now that we're asking the right question.

Thread after thread I'm encountering some great analytical thinking here lately (amongst the intensely emotional bickering which is really understandable and maybe necessary), and also some very fine creative thinking at work as well, as we search for that Answer we so badly need. We're at that point because overall as a group we've BEEN asking a lot of the right questions for awhile now; and believe it or not, I do see a concensus growing among virtually all DUers as to how the question should be framed. I'm convinced we couldn't get past the crux of the problem and make progress toward solving it until we got here: asking THE right question about what our problem is so we can clearly see what the Answer MUST be!

I think THE right question is: What can we DO ... to effectively complete with or otherwise gain an honest and open advantage against Republicans in the upcoming elections. The urgency is very plain to all of us here. Seems to me this place EXISTS as a result of the strong need of so many Americans to find a way to unite with others to defeat those tyrannical criminals in power before it's honestly JUST TOO LATE to spare our country from disaster....

For years we've argued and discussed, ranted and editorialized (sometimes brilliantly, I might add), informed each other to an amazing extent -- and each of us has found others right here who believe as we do, who would be willing to stand firmly beside us in unity to carry the RIGHT MESSAGE forward to all Americans from now till time to vote.

Who better to sum all this up in an articulate and incisive way than our own good EarG, too!? Well done, is what I say! Great OP, Earl ... great discussion, makes for an excellent thread and worthwhile spending of my time reading it all. :)

And btw, I just did a little research at good ole Amazon and discovered there's a bestselling book by the title Ask The Right Question -- it's that important to learn to do it well and productively.

Also changing gears a bit but related: I was led from that book's page at Amazon to a linked one, for a book called The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Days Before 9/11 (I think), by Lawrence Wright, which appears to be a real eye-opener. Interesting also to see at Amazon's site just how many books are being published these days in the U.S. that bring the truth about this criminal and dangerous administration more fully to light in all the important areas we need everyone to know about. They've been allowed to get away with their evil doings IN SECRET all this while, and that's exactly why exposing them with the Truth can be an exceedingly successful tactic on our part, is what I now believe.

No one likes to be lied to, duped, used, taken for granted and then betrayed, which is precisely what this administration has done to their very own supporters! I think that is extremely important for us to alert them to, if they haven't recognized it already on their own. No one wants more to discredit and end the power of someone they are now convinced betrayed them, right? It's the truth, so once the BushCo supporters face it, they can and will react, which would mean voting or even campaigning against those who wronged them and who are deceiving us citizens still, harming us with every breath they take in their powerful positions. They're very BUSY, these people we have good cause to be concerned about, criminals who don't care how badly they damage their own country or anyone else's country -- even the entire planet. It's all frighteningly significant, what's going on right now, brought to us every day more quickly by heedless, reckless, greedy and headstrong powermongers who've chosen the means of ultimate violence, that is, WAR for getting what they want for themselves.

I see that the importance of finding a solution truly registers with members here and has motivated a lot of people very powerfully as we talk it all over. If voters see Democrats mobilizing in a big way with Answers and Solutions that ring true for those with common sense to see what's before their own eyes, they will be won to our side. I believe it!


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The Count Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 03:42 PM
Response to Original message
85. Clark always had the right response for the national security crap
He always managed to turn around the tables on responsibility for 911, follow up. Just follow his lead, man knows what he's talking about.
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robbedvoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 03:48 PM
Response to Original message
86. I always like to ask this question in response to "911 is good for us"
Edited on Fri Aug-11-06 03:52 PM by robbedvoter


Also, sorry to say, but when Diebold and ES&S count 80% of the votes cast nationally, strategy - not that important. Connecticut had lever machines. For now.

One more thing: this magic unified message (which we have, worked in Connecticut), who will deliver it nationally - through the screeching noise of the MSM?
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whosinpower Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 06:16 PM
Response to Original message
92. Well - in ultra simplistic and insulting ways, the dems could
Attack the GOP over their administration of the war on terror.

Democrats have consistantly tried to nuance their answer to national security and the war on terror.

The latest foiled terror attempt proves that good old police work WORKS. That has always been the democrat answer to terrorism.
The GOP answer has been - LET'S GO BLOW SUMPTHIN UP!

Osama Bin Laden is still free.
The GOP answer - LET'S GO BLOW SUMPTHIN UP!

The 911 commission recommended many important security measures meant to help secure America.
The GOP answer - LET'S GO BLOW SUMPTHIN UP!

When Katrina made landfall, and New Orleans began to drown -
The GOP answer - DAMN - NO TERRRORISTS, NOTHING TO BLOW UP, NOTHING TO SEE, MOVE ALONG.

The GOP are great at blowing stuff up - but that will never make you secure.

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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 07:14 PM
Response to Original message
94. Earl G...we've been dealing with this
same thing for decades ...starting with Clinton and ramping up through the 2000 Selection. We've thrown everything we had at them... What else can we do? Can you give some constructive solutions? We here on the "Internets" have made some inroads and our "Creatives" are working hard to support us...but we DO NOT CONTROL THE MSM!

What ELSE can we do? I'm thankful we have Howard Dean in there as head of DNC and we should support him! He's a very good guy who is pretty "clean" in his dealings with the "old ways" of the Dem Party. Yet, even here on DU we have folks who constantly trash Dean saying he hasn't done enough, hasn't raised enough Money, spoken out of turn, not spoken hard enough, backed down, sold out or whatever else "yadda, yadda" they can throw at him thinking that Terry MacAuliff would have been FAR BETTER!

Where do we need to go for the FUTURE? WHERE? We could just keep supporting all our Activist Bloggers...and the growing sites that support us and get connected and get out on the GROUND and CAMPAIGN TO TAKE BACK AMERICA! That's what I think the effort should be on...now that Kerry and that group from '04 are out of the picture for awhile (the group we fought for in '04)

:shrug:
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bettyellen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 08:27 PM
Response to Original message
96. exactly, they MUST get out and then support a UNIFIED message.....
it takes repitition to hammer it home. people still think dems have no message.
we gotta fix that, now.
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AZBlue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-12-06 12:55 AM
Response to Original message
101. Well said.
I'm afraid it will fall on many many deaf ears here, but hopefully some will hear what you've said!
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oasis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-13-06 10:45 PM
Response to Reply #101
105. No deaf ears. We're the last best hope for democracy.
Let's get to work on it. :patriot:
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