The Corner

Re: The GOP’s Best Hope

John, if the Republicans’ best hope is to scurry quickly past national security issues and bank on the Democrats’ artificiality, then the game is over. I agree that Iraq per se may not be our strong point. But linking opposition to a precipitous pull-out in Iraq to a tougher overall stand in the war on terror is of fundamental importance to the campaign, not to mention our national survival. The NIE report notwithstanding, the next president will likely confront a nuclear Iran, or at least an Iran very close to nuclear break-out, before the end of his (or her) term. In a sense, the political implication of the NIE report is to land the Iran problem squarely in the next president’s lap. Republicans need to highlight that fact. The Democrats’ atrociously weak position on Iraq is part of a larger outlook on the war on terror that is not by any means necessarily shared by the majority of the American people. Unless Republicans aggressively bring these points out, it seems to me, the election is over. In any case, the huge gulf between the parties on these issues will likely force all this into the open during the campaign, regardless of anyone’s plans or schemes.

Stanley Kurtz is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

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