For the past 20 years, one of the most effective attacks Republicans have used against Democrats is the ‘Soft on Defense’ barb. In actuality, one could make the case that Democrats have far more experience (and success) with military conflict but since when has reality had anything to do with politics? It’s been a pretty devastating tactic and one which Democrats have always had a problem defending against, even when it should have been easy.
That era, however, might be coming to an end.
Three distinguished former military members, former NATO Commander General Wesley Clark, former Navy Secretary Richard Danzig, and retired Major General Paul Eaton, tore into the GOP field and strongly defended President Obama’s foreign policy after Tuesday’s debate. The attacks are pretty brutal, though entirely factual:
“While President Obama has kept his promises across the globe, the leading Republicans have been all over the map, offering sound-bite critiques and shifting positions with every change in the headlines as they seek partisan advantage,” Clark said.
“If you took any six of those candidates, you might find sixteen positions on any issue,” said Danzig. “If you added Governor Romney you’d probably find forty six positions.”
Of course, it has the added benefit of being true. Even leaving aside the end of the Iraq war, the steady dismantling of Al Qaeda, the overthrow of Qaddafi and the unwinding of the war in Afghanistan, Obama still has an ace in the hole that the right will have a hard time attacking: Osama Bin Laden. After ten years, it was this administration that killed him. That alone should be enough to neutralize the ‘Soft on Defense’ sop.
If the Republicans want to attack Obama’s foreign policy credentials, I’m sure it’s a debate the administration would heartily welcome.