The GOP's Fear Card

Remember FDR's message when listening to the Republicans this campaign season.

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It is already apparent that the Republicans are going to play the fear card in this presidential campaign against the opposition.

Speakers at the Conservative Political Action Conference, including President Bush, sounded out the theme to the wild cheers of the right-wing faithful of the party.

Like the old days of Richard Nixon and the "soft on communism" charge leveled at the Democrats, the GOP is going to try to scare the wits out of voters. Unfortunately, it has worked in the past.

Former Gov. Mitt Romney, a dropout from the presidential chase, gave us a clear hint of what is in store. He told the hard-liners that he was leaving the race to avoid helping (read Democrats) "a surrender to the war on terror." That takes real gall.

Does Romney mean bringing our troops home from the sectarian war in Iraq or Afghanistan amounts to surrender? Or is he intentionally confusing the issue by implying that the conflicts and all terrorism are linked as one? Take your pick.

The president charged in to proclaim Democrats as weak on national security. He did so on the very day his popularity dropped to 30 percent, an all-time low.

At the same time, Bush proclaimed Dick Cheney as "the best vice president in history" to the roar of approval from the audience. He really said it with a straight face.

Wrong, Mr. President. Cheney is the most secretive, bellicose, and undemocratic vice president in history. And his former chief of staff, Scooter Libby, was convicted of perjury and would be in prison save for the president's clemency. Libby will very likely get a full pardon before Bush leaves office next January.

As for Cheney, he joined the assault on Democrats at a GOP fundraising speech in Harrisburg, Pa. He said the war in Iraq "would not be won by being on the defensive." We all know the party he blames for being on the defensive.

Let's hope voters across the political spectrum will not be fooled by this strategy. Recall those historic words of Franklin D. Roosevelt as the nation suffered in the Depression: "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."