The crop of Democrats up for election right now were last elected in 2008. For most of the actually vulnerable Democrats, this was the first time they ran for election. All elected Democrats are always at least secretly opposed to any measures that actually promote the national security of the United States of America, and given the mood of the country in 2008 they were allowed to let their dove flags fly and cruise to election, for the most part. In 2008, Kay Hagan ran against Elizabeth Dole and her positions on the Iraq War were basically lifted wholesale from the comments section at DailyKos. Ditto Mark Begich. Bruce Braley won his house seat in 2006 primarily by campaigning as a rabid anti-war candidate.
As inevitably happens when nonserious people are put in charge of National Security, things have gone awry in the world and Americans have had enough of the hopelessly naive way the Democrats viewed the world in 2008. The second most important thing Democrats believe in is that they should remain in office, so predictably, they have decided to hope the American people will forget everything they have said over the past six or eight years. As Politico notes:
A host of Democratic Senate hopefuls who rode anti-war sentiment into office in the past decade are running for reelection now as hawks, staking out hard-line positions on the latest upheaval in the Middle East. The candidates are quick to note the differences between then and now — a years-long military mission with boots on the ground versus the airstrikes President Barack Obama has launched in Iraq and Syria in the past month.
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Just last August, Braley demanded Obama get congressional authorization before taking any military action in Syria.
Now Braley is running against military veteran Joni Ernst in one of the most contested Senate races in the country.
“ISIS is a threat that must be stopped,” Braley said during a debate Sunday. “Anytime American citizens are attacked by a terrorist group, they need to be brought to justice or to the grave.”
He even said he voted to give the president limited authority “to begin strikes against those in Syria and Iraq.” In fact, the resolution that passed Congress two weeks ago was to arm Syrian rebels. Braley’s campaign defended his comment by drawing a distinction between “strikes” and “airstrikes,” saying he was actually referring to the arming of Syrian rebels to fight militants.
Only one vulnerable Senate Democrat voted against that resolution to arm the rebels: Alaska Sen. Mark Begich, who warned that the weapons could fall into the wrong hands.
Every other Democrat facing a viable challenger, including Jeff Merkley in deep-blue Oregon and Al Franken in Minnesota, voted with the 78-member majority. It’s a remarkable turn considering how outspoken each was about bringing the troops home from the Middle East during the 2008 campaign.
I am not a Democrat strategist but if I were I might caution their candidates with respect to exactly how much BS they think they can get away with. Even given the fact that a certain amount of triangulation is necessary in an election year, this jarring 180 on what was their signature issue in the last election should give even the most ill-informed voters pause by its rank cynicism.
Swing voters should have no illusions: their intelligence is indeed being insulted by the Democrats. It’s up to them how they respond.