MoonDawg's Den: Where I think the problem lies...

MoonDawg's Den

Monday, May 01, 2006

Where I think the problem lies...

Garry responded to my last post with three posts of his own about national security and how, in his opinion, the "libs" don't get it. I've thought a lot about what he's said, and I'm going to try to get to the heart of the problem.

First, I have to do a quick fact check:

In response to my criticism of the NSA Domestic Spying program, Garry writes that

Jeff's caveat is another illustration of why Dems can't be trusted with national security - the ability to intercept real-time communications between persons in the U.S. and terror suspects abroad (without waiting hours or even days for a court authorization) is absolutely vital to thwart future attacks.

The problem with this statement is that it spins the truth. The truth is that liberals, including myself, want the President to stick with the law as outlined in FISA. FISA states that the President can authorize a wire-tap immediately (yes, Garry, that means "without waiting hours or even days for a court authorization") as long as within 72-hours he goes before the court to obtain a warrant. That seems to me like a pretty good deal, which, incidentally, was added to FISA via the Patriot Act. The president gets the tap immediately, national security is protected by "intercepting "real-time communications between persons in the U.S. and terror suspects abroad," and the court provides a check to ensure that the wire-tap power is not being abused. Everyone wins. I don't know what problem Garry has with that, but he twisted my "caveat" into something that it wasn't.

Also, Garry says:

a few weeks ago Senate Dems scuttled immigration reform legislation.

Read the article that Garry links to in this statement, and you will see clearly that both sides were "scuttling" the legislation, but the real problem was the hard-line right wanting to make illegal immigration a felony, which, as the article points out, is not what the public wants. To say either side "scuttled" the legislation is disingenuous. Both sides are at fault.

Furthermore, to justify my claim of Bush getting an "F" for his treatment of vets, read the Senate's "Brief Summary" of Bush's '06 budget. Veterans benefits are getting cut and will see major cuts in the future. Hmmm....

Now, to my real point. I think that the problem with discussing national security is that it's too partisan. For instance, Garry quickly dismissed several key points of the Democratic strategy as "laudable," but not really that big of a deal. I, and many Democrats, believe that things like decreasing our dependence on foreign oil, eliminating trade deficits (especially to semi-hostile nations like Saudi Arabia and China), and promoting a strong middle class at home are important because they strengthen us as a nation. Economic strength is vital to winning the war on terror, and the administration is ignoring it, plunging us farther and farther into debt as a nation. I honestly can't see how that makes us safer. In fact, it makes us more vulnerable. To say otherwise shows the same naivete that Garry alluded to several times.

The truth is that both parties have good ideas, but one side is being ignored. Until we recognize that as a nation and learn to compromise, we will continue to fight amongst ourselves instead of uniting to fight our enemies. National security is too important to draw along party lines.

Maybe I'm an idealist, but I think I'm right.

Saint Jeff the Verbose


  • I'll try to be brief here (haven't had much success with that lately). On illegal immigration - the point is that Dems want no criminal penalties at all for illegally crossing the border. That's not exactly being tough on border security.

    On vets benefits - what a surprise that the Dems in the Senate don't like Bush's budget. Their chief objection, however, is that it includes a $250 user fee for non-service connected disabilities. Explain to me why taxpayers should foot the entire bill for vets who experience debilitating injuries that were not connected to their service. You look at the actual numbers instead of the Dem spin - spending allocation for the VA has increased 27% since Bush has been president.

    On National Security: of course economic strength is important to the country, and not just vis a vis national security. Fortunately the economy is strong per most of the key indicators.

    Discretionary spending is too high, as I've often said, but merely saying the debt should be lower is not a serious strategy for confronting the international Jihadist movement - in fact, I find it telling that you don't address Islamic radicalism at all in your discussions. The left seem to think it will go away if we just ignore it.

    By Blogger Garry, At 12:08 PM, May 02, 2006  

  • I'm moving toward bulleted points for brevity:

    1- "Dems want no criminal penalties at all for illegally crossing the border."

    The article we've been debating says "some" Dems feel that way, not all. Most support a misdemeanor and a fine. Saying it the way you do implies that there are no Dems who want penalties, not true. It's the hardliners in both parties holding up the process. Most moderates, on both sides, agree on the basics.

    2- "You look at the actual numbers instead of the Dem spin - spending allocation for the VA has increased 27% since Bush has been president."

    I cited the Senate report and an AP article; you cited a right-wing blog. Who is getting the spin here?

    3- The economy is good for corporations and investors, not for the middle class, who is affected the most by rising gas and health care costs. Conservatives and Liberals measure the economy differently, so we won't agree on this.

    4- I did talk about the jihadist movement in my opening post. I compared it to winning the Cold War. We are fighting ideas, really radical ideas. You can't kill ideas with guns. We need to use all of our resources, not just the military to win. The right is stuck on a purely military solution, and I don't believe that's the answer.

    Trying to be brief,

    By Blogger Jeff, At 12:50 PM, May 03, 2006  

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