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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Profiles in Chutzpah

Of all the deceptive claims being made by BC04 this year, the most shameless has to be Dick Cheney’s habit of darkly suggesting that a Kerry administration wouldn’t do anything to prevent nuclear terrorism.
The Bush administration’s record on securing nuclear materials to keep them out of the hands of terrorists is by any standard disgraceful. Prior to 9/11, the administration repeatedly tried to gut the Nunn-Lugar initiative, and succeeded partially, to the point that Sam Nunn had to go to Ted Turner and secure private funding for his efforts to deal with loose nukes in the former Soviet Union. After 9/11, the administration grudgingly allowed Nunn-Lugar to continue, but without additonal funding; meanwhile, there’s no evidence that Bush has even mentioned the subject in his various meetings with his buddy Vladimir Putin. To top it all off, the administration managed to invade the one rogue state that didn’t have a WMD program.
This is one subject where Kerry has been absolutely far-sighted and consistent for many years. He has gone into excrutiating detail in this campaign in outlining exactly what he’d do to stop the spread of nuclear weapons and materials, and exactly what the administration has failed to do.
So: where are all the media fact-checkers when Cheney calls a nuclear 9/11 the most important threat to our security, and says (as he did yesterday in Ohio) John Kerry can’t be trusted to even understand the threat, much less deal with it?
Of course, the media might be awakened from their sluggishness on this issue if the Kerry campaign responded by pointing out the two candidates’ records, instead of simply hitting the replay button and citing Kerry’s Vietnam service as proof of his toughness.
Today’s New Dem Daily makes the case that KE04 should start making if Cheney keeps up his Cassandra routine.

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