Apparently you sign a contract upon getting your Serious Media® credentials, or your BeltwayInsider® status that says you have to accept the meme that because George McGovern wanted to end the Vietnam war in 1972, 4 years after Nixon campaigned on the same idea, that Democrats are weak on national security.
Just in case you have any lingering support for that concept, you should check out this book. But, what’s implicit in that concept is that being weak on national security means ever opposing the use of force, even when that use of force isn’t warranted. Judicious use of force is equated with “weak on national defense.”
Enter Obama’s comments on Pakistan. I personally agree with his position. No country should be permitted to harbor those who attack the U.S. Once we clear away Bush’s shitcloud, it is he who is weak on national defense, because he refused to attack bin Laden with enough force, instead opting for the Iraq boondoggle. In opposing that injudicious use of force, Democrats were labeled weak on national defense and suffered stunning losses in 2006.
So, when he was challenged on whether he would use nuclear weapons to kill bin Laden, he said no, so the right labeled him a pussy Democrat, even though their own guy wouldn’t even use the 101st Airborne, opting instead to pay primitive Afghani mercenaries.
If the Democrats are looking for a realignment, they can have it. Katrina and the Minneapolis bridge will convince people we need to invest in infrastructure. That will create jobs. Health care is reaching a critical point. The culture wars are at a stalemate. The only thing left for Democrats to do is convince people that they will use force judiciously and they will get their realignment.
If they instead just opt to be kickass, they set themselves up for another LBJ/Bush II like fallout from over-kickass.