A Fine Whine

I'm glad to see both Isaac Chotiner and Kevin Drum griping about the Democrats' whiney, "stop questioning our patriotism" reaction to Rudy Giuliani's "America would be safer with the GOP in charge" speech from earlier this week. There's an almost infinite litany of justifiable complaints you could make about the era of George W. Bush, but the notion that Republicans are somehow engaging in dirty pool by repeatedly insisting that the country would be safer with them in charge is one of the lamest arrows in the liberal quiver. Has the GOP politicized foreign policy in the Bush years? Of course it has - because foreign policy is a political issue, and a terrain in which politicians have every right to draw sharp distinctions with their opponents, and argue about which party will do more to keep the country safe. And with the country knee-deep in a disastrous war, an opposition party should have no trouble making that case on the merits, instead of whining endlessly about how the GOP needs to play fair and stop questioning their patriotism.

If the Democrats had spent half as much time hammering George W. Bush for failing to catch Osama Bin Laden as they did kvetching about, say, how awful it was that the GOP put Bin Laden's face in an anti-Max Cleland ad in 2002, John Kerry might be in the White House today, instead of trying to rehabilitate himself with a mediocre Al Gore impersonation.