Democrats Missing the Point

Just saw Terry McAuliffe on CNBC. He was carping about Bush, saying we should wait for evidence, not go it alone against Iraq (unless we have no choice — nice out), but that we should do something about North Korea which already does have nuclear weapons.

All I could think was: You jerk. You’re out of your depth and talking nonsense. You and the rest of the Democratic leadership might do better politically to be more cooperative with the Administration on national security. Sure, you’ll be playing second fiddle, but so what? It’s the right thing to do, and there are plenty of domestic issues where you could legitimately advance your own and the national interest by opposing Bush. As it is, the public distrusts the Democrats on foreign policy because it perceives correctly that they aren’t serious about it and are mainly motivated by domestic political considerations.

This isn’t a game, and leadership requires making important distinctions and difficult choices. That’s what Bush is doing, for example, in recognizing that Iraq requires quick action so that it doesn’t become nuclear-armed like North Korea. Meanwhile, we have to handle North Korea with great finesse, in part because Democrats were in charge, and did nothing, when North Korea was at the pre-nuclear stage that Iraq is at now.