(Political judo is when you turn your opponent’s strength into his weakness.)
Washington Dems thought they had Bush on the run when the New York Times revealed the eavesdropping program.
Now Bush/Rove have gladly taken up the fight. They’ve served notice they’re going to repeat what they did to Kerry in ’04: Turn the debate into whether you’re for or against the terrorists.
Maybe it’s time for some Demo judo.
My old boss Jim Hunt was a master at it. When Republicans took over the state House in 1994, they thought they had him trapped politically because they wanted to cut taxes. What did Hunt do? He proposed a bigger tax cut than the Republicans did.
And he agreed with one of their proposals: veto power for the Governor. So they had to give it to him – something the Democrats never would do.
Here’s what the Washington Dems should say:
• The problem isn’t that Bush is going too far in the fight against terrorism. He’s never gone far enough.
• He wouldn’t need to spy on Americans if he’d caught Osama and crushed al-Qaeda in the first place.
• Before 9/11, he was too busy clearing brush on his ranch to take seriously the warnings against Osama.
• After freezing like a deer in the headlights and flying all over the country looking for a safe place to land, he started right: He attacked Osama and the Taliban where they lived in Afghanistan.
• But he let them get away. And he started a war far away in a country that had nothing to do with Osama.
• It’s time to get smart, get tough and get serious about this war. And Bush has shown time and again he can’t.