Dangerous Dan Thoughts and musings on the world


Tough and Smart Democrats

Filed under: Politics — Dangerous Dan @ 10:52 pm

So I was reading this Harry Reid blog post on HuffPo and noticed this line: "…we'll be tough and smart with a foreign policy that concentrates on our real threats…" This corresponded nicely to the line in the Six for '06 plan that goes, "Reclaim American leadership with a tough, smart plan to transform…"

So I googled 'Democrats tough smart.' Turns out they use this line a lot in relation to several things. Let's see, Evan Bayh uses it here from a February HuffPo post; here's the Dems saying we need a tough, smart immigration policy – it's from April; the Dems .gov site has it on their main page; last September Rep. Jane Harman said of the Dems that "We're tough enough to pull the trigger, and we're smart enough to hit the target."; oh, here's an interesting one – the Democratic Leadership Committee said we needed a "tough but smart" policy concerning China – in 1997!; Dean used the formulation last month; and you can find a large number of other instances.

I guess 'tough and smart' tested well. I think this, better than anything, illustrates the Democrats' perceived and real deficiencies and insecurities. The fact that they need to go around talking about how their plans are tough and smart indicates that they are neither tough nor smart. If they were either or both, it would be self-evident and the Dems wouldn't feel the need to constantly convince people otherwise.

Worse yet is that this is an obvious talking point that's been circulated among Democrats. Somewhere is a memo saying to talk up how smart and tough they are, especially those running for reelection. The problem is that with so many using the formulation so much, this is going to get severely overused. When it does, voters are going to start wondering why the Dems need to keep saying it so often and if it's supposed to convince them of something that's not true or just the Democrats themselves.


  1. Actually Evan Bayh coined the term and the Democratic Party adopted it.

    Comment by tulip — 7/28/2006 @ 3:45 pm

  2. Perhaps it would be better to be smart first, and then tough. Ie, if you are smart, you might not have to be tough. Maybe the Republicans can use that and cut them off at the pass.

    Comment by dantravels — 9/21/2006 @ 7:49 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress