Vice President Dick Cheney should be applauded, not castigated, for his straight talk that the United States will be safer under a Bush administration than a Kerry administration.
At a town hall meeting in Des Moines, Iowa, Cheney pulled out the stops, threw caution to the wind, defied the precepts of girly-man beltway decorum, and blasphemed the gods of political correctness when he dared to suggest that America would be more vulnerable to terrorist attacks under Kerry-Edwards than Bush-Cheney.
First, let's look at the context of his remarks. Cheney said at the end of World War II and the beginning of the Cold War, that in addition to setting up the Department of Defense, the CIA and NATO, we "undertook a bunch of major policy steps" that would be in place for the next 40 years. These steps, which were critical to our ultimate success in the Cold War, enjoyed great bipartisan support.
Cheney's point was that because the nation was sufficiently united against the threat of Communism we were able to implement long-term policies for the best interests of the nation. Had the parties been at each other's throats to the extent they are today, putting partisan interests ahead of the national interest, we might have been unable to take the necessary actions against our common enemy.
Almost since the day many of them voted for the resolution authorizing the president to attack Iraq, the Democrats have been obstructing and hurling nonstop invective at President Bush. Couldn't these people, just once, have put partisanship aside and applauded our progress in Iraq? Couldn't they have celebrated the ouster of the brutal dictator? Couldn't they have rooted for our troops to be greeted as liberators instead of lying in wait like panting dogs to gleefully pronounce that the Iraqi people didn't want us there? Couldn't they have shrieked with horror along with us at Saddam's mass graves? Couldn't they have quit playing politics at least long enough to give the world the impression we had a united front here in the United States?
Indeed, it's surreal that Mr. Kerry and his party have the temerity to lament the disintegration of the national unity we enjoyed after the 9-11 attacks, when they've done nothing but rip away at the fabric of any spirit of harmony since that date.
It was this very lack of cooperation and common cause that Vice President Cheney was decrying in his Iowa speech. He warned that we could be fighting this war on terror for 30 or 40 years -- like we did the Cold War. As such, we need a continuity of purpose that transcends our four-year election cycles in order to implement the policies we've begun to set in place. If we had seen some good faith gestures of cooperation from John Kerry's party, perhaps the reelection of President Bush wouldn't be quite so critical. But we've seen little evidence of it thus far.
On the matter of our national security, we have plenty to fear in a Kerry presidency, and I don't mind telling you that I, for one, deeply fear it and will not be intimidated from speaking out about it.
Kerry's entire resume is one behemoth 527 crying out against his election. Just look at his: antiwar opportunism of the seventies, anti-defense and anti-intelligence Senate record, ceaseless sniping at President Bush as commander in chief, sympathy for our former allies of France and Germany, and current crippling schizophrenia concerning Iraq.
Democrats express outrage that Mr. Cheney had the courage to call a spade a spade, but I think it's important and refreshing that he did. It all boils down to this: We are in a war, so the most important issue in this election is to determine which candidate would be a better steward of our national security.
Have we become such a nation of prisses that we consider it dirty politics for candidates to toot their own horns about the most important issue of our lifetime? The fact that Kerry, Edwards and their hand-wringing comrades in the mainstream media believe that such plainspoken assertions are off limits is proof enough they don't have the proper mindset to lead this war on terror.
President Bush and Vice President Cheney not only have a right to claim that America will be safer under them, they have a solemn duty to shout it from the mountaintops.
Will this nation be immune from attack under Bush-Cheney? Never in a million years. But will it be safer under them than Kerry-Edwards? You can bet your life on it.