The Democrats are toast in 2004 unless they can stand toe-to-toe with George W. Bush on national security. But listen to most of their presidential candidates talk, and you'd think the Democrats have only two options: morph into junior Rumsfelds, or make tracks to the nearest Rainbow Gathering, keeping as far away as possible from anything having to do with American power.Neither is going to get a Democrat elected, of course. So what stances can they take to make themselves credible on defense? My Tech Central Station article has four ideas.THERE'S MORE: Lots and lots of feedback on this story, much of it along the lines of this note:

All good ideas... Problem is, the Democrats just aren't credible on national security, and that goes all the way back to Carter. So if a candidate were to try your approach now, I think it would come off as (and probably be) highly disingenuous. Since they don't have their own record of success to point to, it could be written off as partisan sniping...There's a lot of rot in the party that has to be swept out before they can be taken seriously on this issue, and that'll take a long time. Maybe by 2008? 2012?
Many readers agree that homeland security is a potential goldmine for the Democrats in '04. But several of these readers recommend a clampdown on illegal immigration that's more draconian than any Democrat -- even the most hawkish one -- would endorse.
Open a 90 day window during which all illegal aliens can apply to remain in the United States. Subject to a background check, those who pass get to remain... All illegal aliens found through any government agency (includes fed, state, local, schools) after that 90 day period will be immediately, and without recourse removed from the country.
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