Dissent Of The Day

Jeremy Rosner writes:

Yesterady, you attacked a poll and memo that Democracy Corps, Third Way, and our firm, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner released yesterday, and argue (by approvingly quoting “a reader”) that “the subtext of this poll is the same that Greenberg had been peddling for years: cede national security to the GOP, don’t make an issue out of it.”

Wherever your animus toward Rahm Emanuel, James Carville, and Stan Greenberg comes from, in this case, it’s not from any facts.

For nearly a decade, Stan, James, and I have been producing a steady stream of polls and memos advising Democrats and progressives to talk about national security more; attack the GOP positions more; spell out our own alternatives on national security more; and treat national security as an area where we can win public support, rather than approaching it from a defensive crouch. Every single poll and memo our firm and Democracy Corps have produced on this issue over the past decade has forcefully made that point, including polling memos published in September 2003, at the height of Bush’s post-9/11 popularity.

To wit: (“Voters are increasingly uneasy with Bush’s handling of foreign affairs and uncertain of his administration. A growing share believes he is alienating friends and allies abroad, failing to level with the public, ignoring key sources of America’s vulnerability, and setting the wrong priorities in balancing America’s foreign and domestic challenges. Voters are ready to listen to alternatives. When Democrats put out a clear message on national security, it now plays Bush’s post-9/11, post-Iraq message to a draw.”); in September 2006 (“Democrats continue to win the debate on Iraq and national security, even with the president’s current argument, and should speak out immediately and with confidence.”); in April 2008 (“Democrats need to go on offense on the national security debate. We have been making this point for over a year.”); and in May 2009, when we noted that President Obama’s strong leadership on national security had succeeded in closing the Democrats’ trust gap on national security (“This change signals a possible generational shift in attitudes that could have broad electoral consequences, depriving Republicans of one of their last remaining advantages just when their image has dropped to a new low relative to the Democrats.”)

These excerpts speak for themselves, and all come from publicly published memos, as a quick search of the Democracy Corps website would have revealed. After spending years as a senior staff member of the National Security Council and as a Special Adviser to President Clinton and Secretary of State Albright on national security issues, I have never, ever believed or advised that Democrats should “cede national security” to the Republicans, and neither has my partner Stan Greenberg, or my friends James Carville and Rahm Emanuel.