It's hardly surprising that Democratic presidential candidates have been ratcheting up their attacks against President Bush's homeland security efforts. The War on Terrorism is going to be the pivotal issue, and they have nothing positive to offer in that department.
True, they've still got the Florida Supreme Court out there providing some ray of hope. But the electoral votes of the other 49 states will likely be decided at the ballot box unless some of the other imaginative, liberal state Supreme Courts adopt the 2000 Florida "precedent."
So when all else fails, go negative. And that's exactly what they're doing. Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe recently took a break from complaining about Republican deficit spending just long enough to lambaste Republicans for not spending enough on homeland security.
Most of the Democratic presidential candidates are marching in lockstep behind McAuliffe. Senator John Edwards said, "We should not cede this issue to a party and a president whose idea of homeland security is plastic wrap and duct tape."
Congressman Dick Gephardt said America is "vulnerable to future attacks because this administration has not done its job and has not increased our ability to have homeland security." Senator John Kerry said Bush is trading homeland security for tax breaks for the wealthy.
Indeed, slamming Bush's homeland security performance must be a condition precedent to becoming a Democratic presidential candidate. As soon as Senator Joe Biden started hinting at a possible run, he tore into Bush on this very issue. He said on "Meet the Press" that Amtrak is at risk and we aren't protecting our nuclear power plants, among other things. Now he'll be eligible for campaign funding.
Taken together these are bogus partisan charges. They keep complaining about how much money we're spending, but there is never enough money to satisfy their appetite for government largesse. Instead of using the only measure they understand -- how much money the government throws at something -- they might consider the results. Can anyone reasonably argue with our domestic security record since 9-11?
There are so many things going on behind the scenes that we'll never know about in this war. The nature of counterterrorism is such that its operations have to be kept secret. But you can be sure that President Bush is not just waiting around hoping we don't get hit again.
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