Oh, Christ. Arianna Huffington notes that Democrats have somehow once again convinced themselves that “the economy” will be the key issue in the midterm elections and this is what Democratic candidates need to focus on. Pardon me while I go vomit. I mean, look, people who feel their economic circumstances are super-dire are going to vote for the Democrats one way or the other. They will, that is, unless they’re convinced that voting Democratic will get their family killed by terrorists. And the latter, obviously, is what the GOP is going to say.
Nor is ducking the question going to somehow get people to fail to notice that this is what the Republicans are saying. People pay attention to that sort of thing — it’s kind of a big deal. One has to convince the voters that the Republicans are wrong about this and that, instead, the Bush administration’s dangerous conduct of national security policy is imperiling the country. It’s not as if the opposition party has nothing to work with here. One might note the fiasco in Iraq, for example. Or OBL’s still-at-large status. Our bizarre herky-jerky stumbling into wider regional conflicts that will further take the focus off of al-Qaeda and others directly trying to kill Americans. This isn’t brain surgery.
On the other hand, it’s not so easy that voters are going to believe it if Democrats don’t even try to make the case. What’s more, ducking security fights looks weak. It looks weak because it is weak. It demonstrates a lack of confidence in the party’s own ideas and people. It re-enforces everything the GOP is trying to say. Democrats need to knock this off and engage with what’s pretty clearly the central issue of our time.