The Harry and Louise of Foreign Policy
Posted by Ilan Goldenberg
I actually don’t think Hillary’s new ad is very effective. It isn’t all that scary and I think that Democrats generally aren’t as susceptible to the fear card as the general electorate. But still there is something infuriating about this. I have spent a good deal of time over the past three years talking to gun shy Democratic candidates and members of Congress who are afraid to stand up on national security precisely because of the fear card. Now, that started to change in the run up to the 2006 election and Democrats are gaining more and more confidence on this issue (See the recent FISA debate).
But let’s face it the fear card is the tactic that George Bush has used to push through just about every single horrible foreign policy decision of the past 8 years. In 2002 it was the Cleeland-Osama ads. In 2004 we had wolves. In 2006 there were the scary 24 like ads with calls being made from Pakistan to NY, just to name a few.
Now, the tool is less effective then it used to be. But in the same way that progressive healthcare wonks hate “Harry and Louise”, and progressive social security wonks hate the word “crisis”, progressive national security wonks despise the fear card. It undermines everything we do. It just infuriates me when Democrats start using it against Democrats.