I knew them when…

My good friends (okay, they may not want to admit to that) and NCSU Political Science colleagues, Bill Boettcher and Mike Cobb, had their research featured on the front page of DailyKos.com today.  I am impressed.  Daily Kos apparently gets over 600,000 daily hits.  I think it is safe to say that their research (on tolerance of casualties in Iraq) will therefore reach a far greater audience and have potentially far greater impact than publication in the very best political science journals could ever bring about.  It's a brave new world out there.  On occasion, a political scientist makes into an Op-Ed in a major paper, but this clearly shows that the blogosphere is now becoming an avenue for political scientists to have a real impact on policy debates. 

Boettcher and Cobb argue that tolerance for casualties in Iraq largely depends upon what Americans see as the goal.  If our goal is simply preventing civil war, as it increasingly seems to be, tolerance for additional American casualties is much reduced.  They also have some pretty cool new data on attitudes towards Iraq– I'll talk about that when their findings are public.

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Call me crazy

but I think the Democrats need to borrow a page from Karl Rove's playback and fight back and fight back hard on the legislation just passed on the treatment of terrorism suspects.  Rove, of course, famously attacks his opponents at their perceived strength.  So, how about attacking Republicans on their “strength” on security.  What about something like this for an ad:

“Mike Dewine doesn't think we need the U.S. Constitution.  Mike Dewine voted for a bill that would allow George Bush to name you, or any American citizen, an enemy combatant, have you shipped off to prison, tortured, and deny you the right to even try and prove your innocence.  This is how nations like Iran and the Soviet Union operate.  Those are not the Constitutional American values that I believe in.  Tell Mike Dewine you stand up for the Bill of Rights.”  Throw in some images of Bush with notable totalitarian figures, Constitution with the circle/slash over it, etc. 

Okay, I'm no political advertising guru, but I think something along those lines (distorting things for political gain as much as possible while retaining the essential truth, as political ads do) could potentially be effective. 

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