Not every Democrat is up for reelection this year, but perhaps many are acting like they are to help “weaker” colleagues who could hurt their majority status, or, just maybe, the party is just sick and tired of being labeled by the GOP and the media as the ‘softer on terror’ party.
One things for sure, though, Democrats in the House and Senate are acting so tough lately, that Robert Conrad probably would think twice about daring them to knock a battery off his shoulder (Link to classic 1970s ad).
“Senate Democrats struck a bullish tone on terrorism Tuesday, working to stay in front of the issue in the wake of the attempted terrorist attack in New York City last week,” Jessica Brady writes for Roll Call.
Brady notes that “Sen. Dianne Feinstein, chairman of the Intelligence Committee, upped the pressure on the Transportation Security Administration to oversee an international no-fly list to prevent suspected terrorists from boarding American planes and said fliers will have to deal with additional security measures”; “Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), a former Intelligence chairman, also said Tuesday that the no-fly list Ã¢â‚¬Å“is the big problem right now”; and that “[e]arlier in the day, Democratic Conference Vice Chairman Charles Schumer (N.Y.) called for the Pakistani Taliban to be deemed an official terrorist organization by the State Department.”
In a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on the issue, Schumer and a handful of Democrats declared such a move Ã¢â‚¬Å“crucial.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Designating the Pakistani Taliban as a foreign terrorist organization would be an effective means of curtailing support for their terrorist activities and pressuring other groups to withdraw their logistical, financial and political support for this terrorist organization,Ã¢â‚¬Â the letter read.
Democratic Sens. Kay Hagan (N.C.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Frank Lautenberg and Bob Menendez of New Jersey, and Schumer all signed the letter.
Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin said Democrats are not responding to GOP criticism that they are soft on homeland security and defense issues, but the Michigan Democrat noted the conversation has taken a stronger tone.
Levin told the Capitol Hill newspaper: “ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not a matter of a winning issue. EveryoneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s put their shoulder to the wind on the war on terror. The question is how you win it. ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a difference on technique, whether you use terror for instance. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not just a moral issue but how effective you are. WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re going to continue to do everything we can thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s helpful to winning that war.”
Last week, The Hill’s Jared Allen reported, “House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) on Tuesday said the Obama administration has been more successful in combating terrorism than its predecessor.”
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We’re tough on terrorists. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s our policy. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s our performance. And, in fact, we’ve been more successful,Ã¢â‚¬Â Hoyer said at his weekly press availability.
Former President George W. BushÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s presidency was dominated by the issue of terrorism, and BushÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s vice president, Dick Cheney, has taken several shots at Democrats and President Barack Obama for endangering national security.
HoyerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s remarks Tuesday appeared designed to counterattack Republicans looking to the attempted bombing Saturday in Times Square as evidence that Democrats are not doing enough to stop terrorists.