Democrats should launch an October Surprise
to sweep an election that would be historic,
transforming and realigning for a decade.
Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi should announce that if Democrats win the
Congressional Election they will name Sam Nunn, Bob Kerrey, Colin Powell
and Anthony Zinni to meet with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Iraq
Commanders to discuss a sensible solution to the morass in Iraq, that
the Democratic leadership will ask
President Bush to meet privately and alone
with Senator Nunn to seek his advice and his
counsel, then join them for a meeting with to do what President Bush
should have done on the morning after 9-11: establish a sensible
bipartisan security strategy.
The Democratic National Committee should
launch a massive saturation advertising
campaign highlighting Senator Nunn, with a
morning in America theme, dramatizing that
the day after a Democratic victory America
will begin reuniting as a nation, respecting the advice of commanders,
and rebuilding our credibility and strength in the world.
And every Democratic progressive, liberal,
moderate and centrist can quote Jack Nicholson from A Few Good Men and
make it "crystal clear" that never again in America should we tolerate
politicians who never served in the military who question the patriotism
of war heroes in either party, who disrespect the
advice of commanders, who send our troops
to war without proper planning and equipment, and who shortchange
programs for vets and troops.
Franklin Roosevelt once said the great mission
for leaders is to juggle two balls in the air at
the same time, without losing their own. How
right he was. Make no mistake, the October
Surprise is coming, either a fearmongering
terror scare or a call to yet another war that
those with no military experience seem to like
so much and run so disastrously. Coupled of course with the usual
slanders of Democrats as being unable to protect the Nation.
But I am not interested in their October Surprise
I am interested in ours; I am not interested in
their cheap shots, I am interested in what Jack
Kennedy and Franklin Roosevelt would do if
they were with us today. And what they would
do is launch our own attacks based on our
toughness and strength, and go the country with a plan that speaks truth
to power and talks
sense to people.
There is one and only one issue that stands
between the Democratic Party and a historic
and transforming election that will bring the
Democrats to power in one and possibly both
Houses of Congress, and it is this: Can a war
partisan President who has lost the confidence
of the American people so destroy through
dirt the credibility of the Loyal Opposition that
confidence in us, falls to even lower levels
than confidence in him? It is that simple. It
is crystal clear.
Democrats do not need to offer a seven point
plan with dates and deadlines and calendars,
which will only be smeared in the fog of their negative politics, and
will never make coherent sense to a nation urgently looking for national
leadership during the passions of war partisan politics.
Shakespeare wrote, there is a tide in the affairs
of men which, taken at the flood, lead on to
fortune, and the mission for the moment is this:
Democrats should offer a proposition so clear,
so obvious, so right, so sensible that everyone
understands it and the majority rallies to our
Senator Sam Nunn, America's most respected,
commanding and authoritative voice on national
security in either party.
Senator Bob Kerrey, former candidate for president, member of the 9-11
Commission, bipartisan leader on national security and recipient of the
Congressional Medal of Honor.
General Anthony Zinni, Vietnam War hero, Marine Corps fighter with
experience in Middle East diplomacy, former Commander in Chief of
Central Command with a history of being right about Iraq.
Former Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Colin Powell, a military leader who's Powell Doctrine would save many
lives in those wars we must fight, who's world- wide diplomatic
credibility would help us avoid the wars we should not fight, and who's
vast experience will help us exit the war that should never have been
And what a powerful and decisive message
that sends to the Nation, Democrats including
America's most popular Republican in a four
man team to make our country more secure.
There are other names, but lets be clear about
this: the issue is not our nitpicking about this
list or that, or why this or that person is not
perfect. The issue is this, it is crystal clear: the Democratic
Leadership can send a message to the Nation about how America will be
governed and protected if our Party is given the power of Congress.
Do we want an Iraq War fought for the next two years where the only
people in the room that matters are named Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and
Rove? Or do we want an Iraq War that is managed and settled with the
120 years of worldwide military and diplomatic experience and
credibility that will include the counsel of Sam Nunn, Bob Kerrey,
Anthony Zinni and Colin Powell? It is that simple. It is crystal
If the Democrats posit this choice, this way,
every military family in America will know and
value what we will do; every security mom in
America will feel more confident and protected;
and I will tell you flat out, in the privacy of the
voting booth we will win a majority of votes
from those who wear our uniform from infantry
No longer will we be defensive with the Ann
Coulters and the smear and fear crowd, we
will take the fight to them, on our terms, and
win the fight, our way.
This is not about our angry feelings when they play their games. This
is about jamming our strength and truth up their butts and down their
throats, in how we campaign, and talking sense to the people in what we
promise, after we win.
It is Ann and her ilk who are sleeping with the
enemy and we will say it, and wherever they
go, we will ask and make them answer: Why did George W. Bush cut and run
at the Battle of Tora Bora and disrespect our commanders,
our Special Forces commandos and our troops
who asked for more support to kill Bin Laden
when we had him cornered, and were sold short when our President let him
get away with a premature and unilateral withdrawal to pursue
his disastrous obsession with Iraq.
Are you going to write your next book about
treason, Ann, about those who never served who attack the military
heroism of war heroes? Are you going to write your next book about
those who never served in the military who demeaned the chief of staff
of the Army, at
great cost in the blood of our young men and women? Are you going to
spit your venom in
the direction of those who cut and ran from
the war we should have won decisively, in Afghanistan to kill Bin Laden,
to rush into
a war we should not have fought, in Iraq?
Ann, do you agree with Bill O'Reilly when he
smears the Marines at Iwo Jima and the Army
that landed at Normandy? Are you shamed
by those who never served, and know so little
about running a war that 70% of our casualties were preventable, because
they are so lacking in military experience and military judgment that
they do not even give our troops enough armor, bandages and helmets?
Ann, if you really want to talk about treason, why don't you write about
an anti-American, oil-dependent energy policy that lets underpaid troops
give their lives and blood, while oil company executives give themselves
half billion dollar pay, while their companies reap unprecedented
profits by ripping off Americans at the pump?
No longer do we answer their charges, now
we level ours, in a barrage that drives home
the basic truth that America will be far safer,
and far more secure, by a party that respects
military experience, not a party that holds
National Political Conventions, as George W.
Bush did in 2004, that makes fun of the Purple
It is time for Democrats to stop playing defense
and take the offensive, with no holds barred,
with truth as our weapon, with strength as our
calling card, with the message that will move
the Nation, and talk sense to a Nation of good
people, seriously concerned about their future,
waiting for us to lead, praying for the deadly and dangerous course to
We have the opportunity, not only to avoid
defeat, not only to win a closely contested
election, but to offer a proposition so simple,
so right, so understandable that we sweep
to a historic victory that will change our politics
for a generation.
We have the opportunity of a lifetime, to offer a proposition so clear,
powerful and appealing that America's best friends throughout the world,
and the truest friends of freedom and democracy everywhere, will value
not only with relief but with a newfound sense
of excitement and hope.
We are the party of freedom and democracy;
they are the party that lets Bin Laden get away
to install Mr. Chalabi as Iran's man in Baghdad.
We are the party that stands for the troops;
they are the party that cant find the armor
and helmets, lets people die from a hurricane
four years after 9-11, and after six years in
power cannot protect our borders and ports
while they designate delicatessens in Wyoming
as terror targets and cut spending for the city
who's valor we will celebrate in a few short
We stand for bravery; they stand for fear; we
are the party of uniters, they are the party of
dividers; we are the party that values every
American; they are the party that demeans
even widows of 9-11.
We have the opportunity of a lifetime to ride
the tide and lead to fortune, if only we will
hear our people and answer their call.
We will have to fight for it like we've never
fought before. We will have to work for it
harder than we've ever worked before. If
if we do, future generations will be proud
of our fight, and thankful for our triumph,
and a grateful nation will rise with hope
and relief on the morning after the vote.