Democrats’ Security Rebound is More About Bush

April 1, 2006 · 12:05 AM EST

Pardon me if I had a feeling of déjà vu, but the sight of dozens of Democratic members of Congress and “first responders” together “rallying” in Washington, D.C. to prove that Democrats are tough on terrorism and the party of “real security” brought back memories of Boston’s Fleet Center and all those senior military men vouching for John Kerry and the Democrats.

With Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Rep. Dick Durbin (D-IL) standing in the front row of a throng of Democratic House and Senate members, who in their right mind is going to think of Democrats as “pro-military” or tough on defense and national security matters?

Polling confirms that Democrats look better these days on national security, but it isn’t because of rallies like the one yesterday at Union Station in the nation’s capital. It’s because the war in Iraq has not gone well and President Bush fumbled the ball on the Dubai ports deal. But the party still has long-term problems on the issue because many grass roots Democrats and party leaders simply don’t believe in projecting U.S. power (including military power) the way Republicans do.

The “new” Democratic agenda to achieve “real security” looks remarkably similar to everything Democrats have been saying for years. Only a recent comment by Rep. Nancy Pelosi that Democrats would implement all of the recommendations of the 9-11 Commission immediately upon taking control of Congress sounds like the sort of detailed promise that would constitute a true agenda.

Democrats need more of those specific plans — promising to “eliminate Osama Bin Laden” and “achieve energy independence for America by 2020″ seems like political hot air — if they truly want to be taken seriously.

This item first appeared on Political Wire on March 30, 2006.