Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Patrick Ruffini Nails Gitmo

This is some of the best analysis of the current lefty furor over Guantanamo Bay and Camp X-Ray. Basically, WE ARE AT WAR! These people are/were trying to kill us and possibly know of others who are trying to kill us. When, in the history of the world, has throwing people who are at war with your country into hock been frowned upon? It is a ludicrous argument that we on the right should be happy to fight.

I'm surprised that some on the right haven't been quite this forward about making the argument. When it comes to national security, as evidenced by last November's election, unalloyed strength is almost always the best position, regardless of the specifics. And yet, when it comes to making the argument for strength, conservatives have been flummoxed. But there's a cure for all that ails us.

National security populism.

We shouldn't be afraid of making the argument, even when it sounds rough, even when it sounds impolitic, in ways that connect directly to the security of you and your family. That's how you approach debates like Guantanamo and Bolton. The moment you get bogged down in arcane procedural minutae (Is it or is it not a filibuster?) you make it something less than what it is: a referendum on strength or weakness in the war on terror.

With rare exception, Democrats have taken the position of weakness. Oh sure, they can call it what they want: conciliation, negotiation, nuance, understanding, but their basic position is something the public pretty plainly understands and clearly rejected in the elections of 2002 and 2004. As such, we don't need to win the argument all over again when trying to mobilize people over al Qaeda detainees and Bolton: just connect these issues to the narrative of strength and weakness people already feel in their gut.