Here are some thoughts from David Frum which were on NRO today:
NOV. 22, 2004: DASCHLE TAKES HIS LEAVE
I’ve been looking for Tom Daschle’s farewell speech to the Senate on the web without success. If somebody has a URL, please send it in so I can link. Anyway, I heard it broadcast live on the radio, and it impressed me as a document that as well as anything explains what went wrong for Democrats this year.
Tom Daschle headed the majority party in the US Senate from the summer of 2001 until the 2002 elections. Under his leadership, the Senate voted “aye” for two major military actions, one in Afghanistan and then another in Iraq. If memory serves, no other Senate leader in American history has twice been called on to make the momentous decision for war or peace. Daschle spent hours in consultation with the president over war strategy; his own office was targeted by the still-mysterious anthrax terror attacks. Except for the last, his speech referred to none of these grand and historic events.
Instead, Daschle spoke only of how moved he was that Americans “came together” in the wake of the attacks. And indeed, those moments of national solidarity were moving. But precisely because they were so moving, they forced the question: Now what? Daschle’s speech suggests that he was never very interested in the answer to that question. And that in short form is his party’s problem: For all that Dems insist that they have overcome their dovish and isolationist history, it remains the case that the defense of the nation remains a subject about which they prefer not to speak.