Democrats = Traitors?
Hugh Hewitt: “Any vote for any Democrat is a vote against victory and a vote for vulnerability.”
Steven Taylor: “[T]he last time I checked, the Democrats may be the partisan opponents of Republicans, but they aren’t the enemies of the state.”
I’ve touched on the topic numerous times before and will refrain from it in this post to avoid biasing the discussion. Those wishing for a clue, however, can consult my feeds of the “best written right-of-center blogs” with whom “Even if if you disagree with their worldview, you’ll learn something from them without being insulted in the process.”
UPDATE: Hewitt updates his post arguing that there is a “difference between incompetence/negligence and intentional harm” and that he’s merely criticizing the Democrats’ plans, not their patriotism nor intent. That’s a fair enough point, although Hewitt’s framing of it with the provocative title takes one down that path.
Hysterical overreaction to legitimate criticism of the “plans” of the Democrats on how to fight the war or collect intelligence always signals the accuracy of the criticism. Victory or vulnerability is indeed the choice in November, and that defenders of Democrats resent the framing and attempt to distort it underscores just how crucial the clarity is.
I should note that Taylor, like myself, is a lifelong Republican voter. We all prefer the Republican plan, such as it is, to the Democrat plan, at least as exemplified by Kerry, Pelosi, Murtha, and company.
That said, even though I agree with Hewitt about the unseriousness of the argument made by Judge Taylor (no relation, so far as I know, to my former Troy colleague Steven) against the serious national security arguments advanced by the Bush administration on the NSA wiretapping program, I disagree that one has to support the program, as implemented, to be on a path to victory.
Taylor, for example, has argued that respect for checks and balances overrides many of the Bush security arguments. I’ve disagreed with that, at least on the margins. Regardless, however, we agree that we must simultaneously go after terrorists and abide by the Constitution.
My problem with Hewitt’s argument, mostly, is one of tone and emphasis. Framing is not unimportant, after all. It is one thing to argue that Republican policies will more effectively enhance the national security interests of the nation than Democratic policies and another to argue that voting for Democrats will lead to “defeat.” It tends to stifle debate rather than advance it.
Furthermore, the labels “Republican” and “Democrat” apply to politicians holding a variety of positions. Numerous Republicans disagree with the president and side with Murtha and company and many (or, at least, some) Democrats are with us. We alienate those predisposed to our position when we take such a hardline stance.