An Appropriate Question for Dems to Ask

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

An Appropriate Question for Dems to Ask

In the aftermath of Katrina, Democrats will likely talk about race and poverty in terms of how both made it easier for federal and state officials to take a nap when their help was needed most. But Democrats also should find a way to connect this concern to something bigger, something that white America is more likely to care about -- their own security.

Remember those "security moms" that political commentators kept talking about in the months before last year's presidential election? They weren't thrilled with Republican economic or social policies, but they reportedly felt safer by staying the course and re-electing Bush and his fellow GOPers.

Democrats should challenge this notion head-on, and the perceived debacle of Hurricane Katrina strengthens their odds of doing so with some success. After all, both a hurricane and a terrorist attack have something in common -- each one requires a speedy response to get food, medicine or rescue equipment quickly to those in need.

Or, to frame this in question form: If the Bush administration couldn't respond adequately to a hurricane-induced flood whose potential destruction had been foreseen by top experts long ago, what makes us think the administration can adequately respond to a terrorist strike that may come without warning?

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