Commentary Magazine


Contentions

The Democrats’ National Security Problem

A new poll on national security indicates that the Democrats have a problem, a big one:

Greenberg, Quinlan, Rosner has just released a survey that indicates that voters perceive Republicans once again as far and away better on national security issues than Democrats.Forty nine percent of those surveyed thought Republicans were better on national security while 35 percent thought Democrats better. When it came to combating terrorism, 48 percent thought Republicans superior to Democrats while 33 percent gave Democrats the advantage. According to the Greenberg study researchers: “The national security credibility gap is returning. Old doubts about Democrats on security, after diminishing during 2006-2007, have begun to re-emerge: concerns that Democrats follow the polls rather than principle; that Democrats are indecisive and are afraid to use force; and that Democrats don’t support the military. Because these weaknesses are longstanding and deeply ingrained, and because Republicanweaknesses are newer and do not yet have a label associated with them, Republicans continue to win on many security issues.”

It is not hard to see why this is so. It is true, after all, that the Democratic Congress wanted to cut off funding for troops in wartime and objected to the surge every step of the way, that they opposed President Bush for months and months on terrorist surveillance, that Barack Obama (until his appearance on Bill O’Reilly last week) seemed impervious to the success of the surge and still opposed its implementation, and that Obama’s reaction to the invasion of Georgia was hesitant at best. In short, the Democrats consistent opposition to each and every aspect of the Bush administration’s national security policy and consistent objection to “hard power” earned them no real points with voters, only the reputation as weak and untrustworthy.

Whether this will translate into an electoral problem for Obama remains to be seen. The Democrats would like us to believe that national security doesn’t really matter. However, a more realistic assessment may be that the voters need some minimal assurance that they can trust a Democrat to defend the country before they are willing to turn over the White House. In other words, Obama really does have to pass the “3 a.m.” test. So far, he hasn’t.


Join the discussion…

Are you a subscriber? Log in to comment »

Not a subscriber? Join the discussion today, subscribe to Commentary »





Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.