Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Faith In National Security Again

David Paul Kuhn @ The Politico observes that, once again, Republicans have the faith of the public on national security:

Less than two years after Democrats finally bridged the decades-long gap between the parties on national security issues, Republicans have opened it right back up — a shift likely tied to the party's new standard-bearer John McCain and the perception of improvements in Iraq.

The reemergence of the national security gap comes amid the first headline-grabbing world conflict of the 2008 campaign — the Russian invasion of Georgia that highlights the potential for a dramatic military event to upend the political landscape, and likely aid McCain.

July's NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll found that three in four Americans believe McCain can "handle" the role of commander in chief, while only 19 percent said he "cannot," compared to a 50 percent to 42 percent split for Obama.

When asked which party is more capable of "dealing with the war on terrorism," 40 percent of respondents to the latest NBC/WSJ poll said Republican while 29 percent said Democrat. The parties had been effectively tied as recently as January of this year, and the 11-percentage-point gap is the largest since 2004, the last year these numbers shifted so dramatically and, not coincidentally, the last presidential election year. ...

For a nation waging two wars, the 2008 presidential campaign has been remarkably focused on domestic issues. The hierarchy of public concerns is more similar to 2000 than 2004, according to research by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, which found that, unlike in 2004, neither terrorism nor the war in Iraq are among the top five voter concerns today.

But it does appear that McCain holds the advantage on national security issues, and stands to gain politically when war tops the headlines, as it has since Georgia’s foray into South Ossetia last week triggered the Russian invasion.

National security was our issue for the last couple of decades. Ronald Reagan made it a point of his presidency when it came to facing down the Soviet Union. When the wall fell, everything seemed to settle down. then there was the Gulf War in 1991. That did not seem to help our side when Bill Clinton took the White House in 1992, and he spent eight years thumbing his nose at the idea of national security.

In 2001 this nation saw the worst attack on it since Pearl Harbor. National security again took the lead in issues as President Bush worked to shore it up, and protect this nation from further attacks. But we saw that as the surge in Iraq improved the situation there, Iraq disappeared from the headlines. In that vein, so did the issue of national security. Given what has happened recently in the Caucuses between Russia and Georgia, and the banter back and forth between Senators Obama and McCain regarding Afghanistan -- including the fact that al-Qaeda is trying to reconstitute itself in Pakistan -- national security is once again moving to the front-burner among the issues we face this year in this election.

John McCain is, by far, immensely better on this issue that Senator Obama is. He understands what it will take to keep this nation secure from outside attack. Senator Obama would pull a Clinton, and move the idea to the back-burner; he would not be pro-active against our enemies the way we have thus far which would allow them to regroup, and plan to strike us again.

This issue has switched hands because the public has seen that over the last two years Democrats are not serious about this issue. That, and the fact that they are going to nominate someone so out of touch with this issue for president, has the public reassessing its priorities. It certainly seems to us that they are looking at John McCain, and they see in him a man who knows what he is doing on this issue. In him they see a leader. In Senator Obama, the public sees a man who is eloquent, and talks a good game, but lacks a record on national security. That lack of a record might likely turn the tables on Senator Obama in the fall, and send the Democrats down in defeat.



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