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The Hamdan Decision: How Democrats can strike first

leah's picture

dungeon_drawing If you listen to the SCLM you'll hear again and again that "Hamdan" is a political problem for the Democrats, and only an operational, policy problem for Republicans.

We demand to differ.

This is the first in a series of posts in which we will explore Republican vulnerabilities and Democratic opportunities.

We take the following truths--at a minimum--to be reasonably evident:

1. That "Hamdan v Rumsfeld" is a political liability for Bush and his congressional enablers, when viewed in the context of Bush's War on Terror, which we are clearly losing;

2. That said "liability" will only matter if Democrats exploit it, which requires an aggressive, unified definition of what ought to be the congressional response to the implications of "Hamdan," while key Republicans, like Lindsey Graham, are signalling the decision has created an urgent need to gut circumvent the Geneva Conventions, so that Bush can go on being Bush.

3. That Republicans view the issue as a political opportunity, and are prepared to exploit it with the usual methods employed by the usual suspects: Aggressive attacks on supposed Democratic softness on terrorism, by means of slogans and talking points based on distortions and lies;

4. That Democrats need, on this issue in particular, a first-strike capability, one that makes clear to the American public the immense costs to our security and to our success in Bush's self-named "War on Terror," incurred as a direct result of Bush & Co's obsessive pursuit of Presidential power, which has included the right to ignore such quaint artifacts as habeas corpus, the Geneva Convention, and the Uniform Code Of Military Justice.

5. That the liberal blogosphere has an important role to play in energizing the Democrats to do what must be done, which requires discussion now, so that action can be taken immediately.

We'll be linking to other blogs who are doing the necessary work of defining the issues and undermining right-wing myths, and we will appreciate any links, outgoing or incoming, that will help in the ultimate goal - developing a strategy, and implementing it, to let Democrats know what we want to see from them, and that we're prepared to use the power of blogs to defend them.


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