Jen, I wanted to pick up on your excellent posting on the efforts by leading Democrats — in Congress and in the Obama Administration — to do enormous damage to the CIA. Last night I was re-reading a speech Ronald Reagan gave to the American Conservative Union in 1977. In it, Reagan said this:
There is only one major question on the agenda of national priorities and that is the state of our national security. I refer, of course, to the state of our armed forces-but also to our state of mind, to the way we perceive the world. We cannot maintain the strength we need to survive, no matter how many missiles we have, no matter how many tanks we build, unless we are willing to reverse the trend of deteriorating faith in and continuing abuse of our national intelligence agencies. Let’s stop the sniping and the propaganda and the historical revisionism and let the CIA and the other intelligence agencies do their job.
I fully understand that this moment is in many respects different from the one Reagan lived in and that conservatism needs to make itself relevant and appealing in confronting the challenges of this era. Nevertheless, Reagan’s words seem apposite to our day and time, given what Democrats are attempting to do to our intelligence agency.
It is strange to me that Barack Obama, the candidate of “change and hope,” has, during the last six months, done a mighty fine job of building a bridge to the Democratic past. It is as if he has decided to skip the 1990’s and aimed to recreate the 1970’s and 1980’s. It seems to me that Obama most represents — in economic policies and national security affairs, if not in style and bearing — Walter Mondale and Jimmy Carter. There are of course some exceptions; but there are more similarities than Democrats ought to be comfortable with. Why Obama seems intent on resurrecting the worst of modern liberalism — from government spending (and soon, higher taxes) at home to weakness abroad — is a mystery to me. I imagine it’ll become a mystery, and perhaps a source of friction, for an increasing number of Democratic lawmakers as well.