From Kaus's Lips...
11:05 AM, Feb 11, 2008 • By BRIAN FAUGHNAN
Kaus and Bob Wright also engage in a lengthy discussion of why the Democrats may be headed for failure. They largely agree that a winning Democratic national security message may be that there is a real terrorist threat, but that President Bush has responded in a reckless and irresponsible way.
The problem with this approach is that the Democratic base is reflexively against treating terrorism as anything but a law-enforcement problem. To succeed in a general election, Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton will likely need to say that we are engaged in a war; that we need to keep military options on the table; that we will need to support aggressive terrorist surveillance. Yet Democratic activists are fighting tooth and nail against recognizing this reality.
To walk this fine line -- to appeal to the center while not angering the base -- takes a masterful politician. It takes someone like Clinton -- Bill, not Hillary. Because Democrats were desperate to retake the presidency, he was able to convince the base to back someone who campaigned as a moderate. It doesn't seem as if the Netroots are willing to make that concession this year.