Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Waterboarding is no Democrat's Idea of Sport

I can't recall when I have ever been a fan of Harvard Law School Professor Alan Dershowitz, but today you can count me in as one of his adoring masses. He writes in today's Wall Street Journal:

...Democrats appear to be making [a] mistake as they move toward what [they think is] an inevitable retaking of the White House. Most of the Democratic presidential candidates are seeking partisan advantage from what many Americans see as the Bush failures in the war against terrorism and especially its extension to Iraq and possibly, in the future, to Iran.

This pacifistic stance appeals to the left wing of the democratic electorate, which may have some influence on the outcome of democratic primaries, but which is far less likely to determine the outcome of the general election. Most Americans--Democrats, Republicans, independents or undecided--want a president who will be strong, as well as smart, on national security, and who will do everything in his or her lawful power to prevent further acts of terrorism.

Hundreds of thousands of Americans may watch Michael Moore's movies or cheer Cindy Sheehan's demonstrations, but tens of millions want the Moores and Sheehans of our nation as far away as possible from influencing national security policy. That is why Rudy Giuliani seems to be doing surprisingly well among many segments of the electorate, ranging from centrist Democrats to Republicans and even some on the religious right.

[P]olitical campaigns and confirmation hearings are not the appropriate fora in which to conduct subtle and difficult debates about tragic choices that a president or attorney general may face. But nor are they the appropriate settings for hypocritical public posturing by political figures who, in private, would almost certainly opt for torture if they believed it was necessary to save numerous American lives. What is needed is a recognition that government officials must strike an appropriate balance between the security of America and the rights of our enemies.

Unless the Democratic Party--and particularly their eventual candidate for president--is perceived as strong and smart on national defense and prevention of terrorism, the Bush White House may be proved to have made a clever partisan decision by refusing to make the war against terrorism a bipartisan issue. The Democrats may lose the presidency if they are seen as the party of, Michael Moore, Cindy Sheehan, Dennis Kucinich and those senators who voted against Judge Mukasey because he refused to posture on a difficult issue relating to national security. They will win if they are seen as just as tough but a lot smarter on how to deal with real threats to our national interests.

You can read the whole thing on their free Opinion Journal site here.


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