What, this again?
“The handling of detainee issues is going to be a huge, huge issue in the period ahead,” said Marc A. Thiessen, a former speechwriter for Mr. Bush.
“For six years,” Mr. Thiessen added, “the left has had a field day with this, running around saying we tortured people and comparing us to the Spanish Inquisition.” Now, he said, the politics have turned. “It’s a huge vulnerability for Obama and the Democrats, and Republicans are starting to gather their courage and talking about this.”
His curious grasp of both facts and political history aside, hopefully Thiessen is right. I remember when Karl Rove tried to turn the 2006 election into a referendum on the awesomeness of warrantless surveillance. And I also remember when the GOP ran its most credible candidate for the national-security mantle — by far — for president in 2008. These elections resulted in Democratic landslide victories. Why not run the play again?
Best of all, when the Democrats point out that a GOP platform of torture, endless war, starting bloody unnecessary wars and neglecting to resource necessary ones might not be the greatest way to protect the country, they can point out that classic investigative law-enforcement techniques reap valuable intelligence from terrorists and that success in counterinsurgency requires integrated civilian and military efforts. Canards disproven, the grown-ups can get back to business.