E.J. Dionne says the Democrats need a game plan now that Karl Rove has publicly outlined the Republican strategy for the 2006 election. Rove’s game plan is to hammer the Democrats for being “security idiots” who don’t understand the nature and gravity of the threat this country faces at the moment.
As Dionne notes, that’s basically the same game plan that worked in 2002 and 2004. So you might think that Dionne’s proposed plan for the Dems consists of wising up on security matters and demonstrating to voters that they too understand the threat posed by terrorism and are prepared to counter that threat forcefully and aggressively. But you’d be wrong. For example, Dionne wants the Democrats to respond to the charge that they lack a “post-9/11 worldview” by asking this question:
Does having “a post-9/11 worldview” mean allowing Bush to do absolutely anything he wants, any time he wants, without having to answer to the courts Congress or the public?
What Dionne fails to grasp, perhaps because he’s a “security idiot,” is that the American people do not equate taking common sense measures like listening to al Qaeda calls to America or coercing terrorists into giving up valuable information with Bush doing “absolutely anything he wants.” In fact, most Americans don’t think this is about Bush; they think it’s about protecting the country from attack. Any game plan that fails to recognize this reality will be a significant drag on the Democrats once again.