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Security and faith: Front and center

By Carol Devine-Molin
web posted June 19, 2006

Joe BidenI usually don't agree with Senator Joseph Biden (D-Delaware) on much, but I have to say that his recent remarks on presidential politics are rather insightful for a Democrat. Biden, now a self-styled presidential contender for the 2008 race, is suggesting that his party focus in on two key issues traditionally associated with the Republican political terrain – security and faith – which also tells me that he's coming to a better understanding of mainstream America than most of his Left-leaning colleagues in the Democratic Party. A recent AP story states: "I'm running for president -- flat out," Biden said, adding his party should learn to be more blunt. "The next Democrat, whether it's me or Sen. Clinton or John Kerry, whomever -- the Democratic nominee -- they'd better be able to ante up right in front of the American people two things: security and faith", he said…Biden also criticized Democrats for their sometimes patronizing approach to religion, saying believers of different faiths don't expect everyone to join them. "They just want to know we respect them," he said. "If we can't negotiate the faith issue, forget it, we won't win."

Whoa! The Democratic Party – which usually excels at "march-in-lockstep" among its members – is now exhibiting significant fragmentation and disarray. Biden's remarks demonstrate the contrast between himself and the Kook-Left anti-war crowd that dominates the Democratic Party, favors a "cut and run" policy in Iraq and is well exemplified by the stance of John Kerry. The former presidential candidate has not only embraced the notion that our troops should pick up and leave Iraq by the end of 2006, he has also recanted his previously held position, disavowing his Iraq vote in the Senate. Smartly, Biden wants to distance himself from this anti-war bunch that's widely viewed by the American public as incapable of administering a solid national security policy that will protect our nation. The GOP has the advantage. Republican politicos are largely singing from the same hymnbook on the ongoing conflict in Iraq, and they're also viewed as firm and unyielding when it comes to upholding the national security interests of America and its allies.

Frankly, the Democrats are very likely to lose the presidential election of 2008 simply because they're inherently unable to meet the threshold criterion, which is to convince the majority of Americans that they'll be dedicated warriors, rather than capitulators and appeasers, in this fight against radical Islam. Clearly, we have to remain in Iraq until Iraqi security forces are fully up and running in order to give them the best chance at succeeding, and to demonstrate to the global community that our word is our bond. Despite denials by Democrats in Bizarro-land, most Americans grasp that al-Qaeda is making a concerted stand in Iraq, which now represents the major front in this war-on-terror. And it doesn't help when "Blame America First" Democrats such as Representative John Murtha and his cohorts are quick to castigate our troops for so-called atrocities of the "My Lai" type, before military investigations are completed and all the facts are in.

Senator Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, thinks she can have it both ways on this ongoing conflict in Iraq. And why not? She and her husband Bill have gotten away with this type of subterfuge – talking out of both sides of their mouths – many times before with the assistance of the media. This is how it's done: Hillary votes for sending troops into Iraq, and then she criticizes President Bush's handling of the war at every turn. Viola! There's now sound-bites available for both pro-war and anti-war positions, ready to be morphed into any eventuality and any stance that she ultimately determines is advantageous. Hillary's not worried about the Democratic anti-war activists who recently booed her. If necessary, Hillary is poised to say she voted for the war, but not that war! Not that ineptly executed war in Iraq that's solely a creation of the crazed Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld team! It's a little like Private Benjamin (remember the movie?) saying: "I did join the army, but I joined a different army. I joined the one with the condos and the private rooms." Yeah, Hillary would have us believe that she voted for a flawlessly executed war in Iraq, not the one we got. Never mind that warfare is always unpredictable and takes many twists and turns. That's the volatile nature of warfare.

As to Biden's hope that the Democratic Party can effectively reach out to people of faith, that's a pipe dream and a no-go. Let's review polling results conducted by Pew Research in July 2005: " By a wide margin ­ 51 per cent to 28 per cent ­ the Republican Party is seen as most concerned with protecting religious values… Only about three-in-ten (29 per cent) see the Democrats as friendly toward religion, down from 40 per cent last August. Meanwhile, a solid majority (55 per cent) continues to view the Republicans as friendly toward religion." The truth of the matter is that America is a very religious nation and people of faith sense an entrenched antipathy toward them by the Left-leaning Democrats. "The God Gap" is not going to be bridged by the Democratic Party, home to secular humanists, any time soon.

Carol Devine-Molin is a regular contributor to several online magazines.

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