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NEW DEM GROUP "DRAGGING" PARTY INTO SECURITY STANCES

Wimps. UN-lovers. Dixie-Chick-listening, flag-burning, Susan Sarandon wannabes.That's the popular image of the Democratic party, says former Clinton State Department staffer Tim Bergreen. And unless it changes, fast, George Bush is going to pummel the Democratic presidential candidate almost as badly as he hammered Saddam.After dominating the '02 elections, national security is poised to become the biggest issue in the '04 campaign. And when voters were asked in a recent poll which party they trust to "make sure U.S. defenses are strong," they give the GOP a 57-17% advantage.Bergreen and former National Security Council humanitarian affairs director Steven J. Naplan have assembled a small band of young, ex-Clintonites devoted to countering this view, and to carving out pro-defense positions for the Democrats.But before they can begin wrestling with Republicans on national defense, Bergreen, Naplan, and the Democrats for National Security have to pick a fight in their own party.Bergreen says, "We're going to have to drag Democrats kicking and screaming into understanding" defense issues.Read more about the challenges Bergreen and Naplan face in my latest article for Tech Central Station.

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