In that 2003 Cheney speech, which I argue is the perfect model for the effort I propose here, he recited point-by-point what we believed to be true about Saddam Hussein. He cited four examples from the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq's Continuing Programs of Weapons of Mass Destruction. After reading each example, the Vice President made the point that “President Bush faced that information, and acted to remove the danger.”
After 9/11, we all asked why the dots were not connected. We vowed that never again would our refusal to take action against known threats result in the slaughter of innocent Americans. The points made by Vice President Cheney in 2003 are ones that Republicans must make now. It is necessary, first, to lay the foundation by reminding the American public of what was known in 2002 and 2003, and refuting the big lie that has taken hold as a result of Democrat mantras parroted by a liberal media that Bush "lied" and "misled" the country into war. The administration has made a good start in that effort.
After the record has been set straight, it must be pointed out that Democrats are not to be trusted with the nation’s security. They have shown that not only will they endlessly debate until it is possibly too late but that after a military action has been initiated, in the face of difficulties and waning public support, many will back out and abandon the mission and the troops. The approach of the Democrats to the threat posed by Saddam Hussein as outlined in all of the intelligence reports available prior to the war in Iraq stands in stark contrast to that of the Bush administration.
The vice president said in that same speech, “Ladies and gentlemen, this is some of what we knew. Knowing these things, how could we, I ask, have allowed that threat to stand? These judgments were not lightly arrived at -- and all who were aware of them bore a heavy responsibility for the security of America. When the decision fell to him, President Bush was not willing to place the future of our security, and the lives of our citizens, at the mercy of Saddam Hussein. And so the President acted."
We not only know now that many Democrats, faced with the same information, failed to act, but many of those who supported the president’s decision to act, have now withdrawn that support. That is a set of facts that should not be ignored by voters in 2006 and 2008.