Democrats’ Gloom

The New York Times has an interesting article about the Democrats’ assessment of their prospects for 2004 in the wake of the Iraq war. They put on a brave face and talk wistfully of 1992, but their mood is summed up in the article’s title: “Looking at Postwar Bush, Democrats Are Gloomy About 2004.”
What is most striking, I think, is the extent to which prominent Democrats view our national security as an annoying distraction from the rightful pork-barrel focus of politics. Especially revealing, I think, is this analysis by a “prominent Democratic Senator”:
“The big difference is that the first gulf war ended. This administration will never end the war. And because they never end the war, they will have an ongoing advantage. An open-ended war on terrorism that will never end and that keeps people constantly on edge. A never-ending military commitment in Iraq that might lead to other commitments beyond Iraq also keeps people focused on national security.”
There you have it. We’re not at war because we’ve been attacked and because determined, vicious enemies continue to wish us ill. No, we are at war because the “administration will never end it.” This view is so perverse that the Democrats can only hope that most Americans–non-readers of the Times–have no idea what they really think.

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