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Dueling banjos in Washington; Updated

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By Michelle Malkin  •  May 21, 2009 08:50 AM

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It’s the Obama-Cheney showdown this morning. I, for one, am gratified to see this White House forced to put national security on the front burner. If not for the forceful public defenses by Vice President Cheney of the aggressive, proactive measures the last administration took to keep us safe, the current commander-in-chief would be happily gabbling about solar panels and weatherization subsidies or somesuch.

National security is and always will be the Democrats’ soft spot. And they know it.

Which is why Team Obama scrambled to preempt Cheney’s AEI speech.

Which is why the same Senate Democrats who cheered so lustily when Obama declared his Gitmo closure date turned around and denied him the funds to implement it.

Which is why Obama is embracing the very same principles of preventive detention that the Left went bananas over for the past eight years.

And which is why you woke up this morning to news of one of countless terror busts whose results were, ahem, inherited by the Obama administration.

The men and women who worked tirelessly the past eight years to prevent and disrupt jihadist plots at home and abroad aren’t the ones who’ve “lost their way.”

It’s the unreality-grounded civil rights absolutists, grievance-mongers, and 9/10 juveniles who have been and remain, in Andrew McCarthy’s apt description, willfully blind.

***

Related thoughts from Meghan Clyne in the NYPost on national security and the SCOTUS wars:

A poll released this week shows Democrats have closed the gap with Republicans on national security. There are few media circuses like Supreme Court hearings — and if the GOP seizes the spotlight to focus attention on some of the left’s more bizarre and dangerous legal theories on the War on Terror, it can only work to its advantage.

After all, by placing terrorism center stage, they might just accomplish one more thing: reminding Washington, and the American people, that we are still at war. With a Democratic supermajority in the Senate, it’s unlikely that Republicans will be able to block Obama’s nominee, no matter how unappealing. Yet if they can use the Souter vacancy to show that the War on Terror isn’t just about preening lawyers, but a real battle fought by real Americans whom a lot of judges are endangering . . . well, there are worse things to get out of a confirmation hearing.

***

Update: Here is the text of Cheney’s speech.

Cliff Notes’ version of Obama’s speech: I blame Bush (but, uh, I will follow his “lost way” on preventive detention. Just in a kinder, gentler, more, uh, moral way).

Update: I second Kathy Shaidle on Dick Cheney’s speech:

“Cheney’s speech was the best speech of the Bush administration. Too bad it was months/years late.”

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