National Democrats are scared of making a fight against excesses against national security because they think that someone will call them weak. What they don't understand is that they look weak when they don't fight; and that Karl Rove is going to call them terrorist sympathizers anyways.
Enter Senatorial candidate John Tester. In a recent debate with incumbent Conrad Burns, there was this exchange:
Tester, who showed a fuller range of emotion in the course of the evening, probably found a sound bite moment in response to a Burns charge that he is “soft on terrorism.” Tester, Burns said, “doesn’t understand this enemy” and would weaken the Patriot Act. “Let me be clear,” Tester shot back sharply. “I don’t want to weaken the Patriot Act. I want to repeal it.”
The Burns people thought they had a great gaffe and ran with it, producing the classic candidate as horror-film monster advertisement with grainy pictures and scary music. It's pretty awful, but here it is:
Tester, to his credit, isn't backing down one inch and is airing this reply:
Obligatory sanity disclaimer: There are actually some pretty good things in the Patriot Act as well as some really bad things. On balance I'd rather not have it, but the best outcome would be surgery rather than euthanasia.