Thanks to "This Modern World" for posting a link to Ezra, so I could find this.
"The nurturant parent will never win on terrorism. It's no coincidence that the only presidential recently won by Democrats fell between the collapse of the Soviet Union and 9/11. With domestic issues dominant, nurturant parent won; when foreign policy returned, it lost. So while nurturant parent is a fine starting place for explaining how we take care of our fellow citizens, it's no good for protecting them from alien dangers."
I have to say that this is one of the few insightful things on the subject I've read in recent times.
It's totally true. No Soviet Union, no pressing foreign policy issues, why not focus on the internal health of the country? Democratic Party, yes, but also the Progressive movement as a whole, everyone from anarchists to public policy oriented anti-globalizers to class warfare IWW enthusiasts. To Green Party people to people just against inequality, anti-sweatshop, anti-prisons, you name it.
The Great Lull, between the Soviet Union and 9/11 definitely focussed people more on the things that really mattered and less on bullshit.