Also — somewhere this morning I read a complaint that bloggers weren’t discussing the Democrats’ “Real Security” plan. So I printed the thing out and gave it a read. (Here it is in PDF format; it’s short.) And here it is in outline form:
I. Ensure Military Strength
A. Rebuild the military; invest in equipment and manpower. This includes strengthening the National Guard.
B. GI Bill for the 21st Century — provide enhanced health and other benefits for active, reserve and retired military.
II. Defeat Terrorism
A. Eliminate Osama bin Laden, destroy terrorist networks, finish the job in Afghanistan.
B. Double size of special forces; enhance intelligence capabilities.
C. Combat (metaphorically speaking, I assume) economic social, and political conditions that encourage the growth of terrorism.
D. Contain nuclear materials; discourage nuclear weapons development in Iran and North Korea.
III. Homeland Security (Note: Can we ditch the “homeland” thing? Gives me the creeps.)
A. Implement recommendations of 9/11 Commission.
B. Screen 100 percent of containers and cargo bound for the U.S.
C. Safeguard chemical and nuclear plants, protect food and water supplies.
D. Prevent outsourcing of national security infrastructure.
E. Support first responders such as firefighters and emergency medical workers with training, staffing, equipment, technology.
F. Protect America from pandemics by investing in public health infrastructure.
A. Transition to full Iraqi sovereignty asap.
B. Insist that Iraqis get their governmental act together.
C. Engage in a “responsible redeployment” of U.S. troops.
C. “Hold the Bush Administration accountable for its manipulated pre-war intelligence, poor planning and contracting abuses that have placed our troops at greater risk and wasted billions of taxpayer dollars.”
V. Energy Independence
A. Achieve energy independence by 2020. This means no more oil from the Middle East and “unstable regions.” We’d better hope Canada remains stable.
B. Develop alternate energy sources.
Comments: As Ron Brownstein said yesterday in the Los Angeles Times, this plan lacks specifics. However, consider what “specifics” the Bushies ever churn out, e.g., “as they stand up we’ll stand down.” I would argue that the Dems can’t do much more than provide an outline until they get some power in Congress. What’s the Bush excuse?
The plan does not call for a withdrawal from Iraq. But we’ve got some working room with that phrase “responsible redeployment.” That could be construed as an endorsement of Jack Murtha’s “over the horizon” redeployment plan.
Democrats do pledge — however incoherently since they have no power now — to make 2006 a year of transition in Iraq. They pledge to redeploy the troops and have Iraqis take over running their own country. This is stark contrast with the Bush promise that the troops will be there till at least 2009. …
… By highlighting the difference, activists can help cement Democrats to a withdrawal posture, and help frame the choice this fall. In 2004, Democrats like Hillary Clinton and John Kerry were calling for more troops in Iraq. Now mugged by reality, Dems are calling for “redeployment.” Don’t focus on the timidity; highlight the contrast with the president. That poses the choice for the country — and locks Democrats into a clear position.
One might wish the Dems could lock themselves into a clear position, but maybe Borosage has a point.
Any more thoughts?