The SanityPrompt

This blog represents some small and occasional efforts to add a note of sanity to discussions of politics and policy. This blog best viewed with Internet Explorer @ 1024x768

Friday, August 19, 2005

Woah! Who's Been Reading the Docs on My Hard Drive?

David Ignatius has a good piece in the Post today, once you get past the holier than thou, smarter than you tone he is famous for.

What Democrats Should Be Saying:

"This should be the Democrats' moment: The Bush administration is caught in an increasingly unpopular war; its plan to revamp Social Security is fading into oblivion; its deputy chief of staff is facing a grand jury probe. Though the Republicans control both houses of Congress as well as the White House, they seem to be suffering from political and intellectual exhaustion. They are better at slash-and-burn campaigning than governing.
So where are the Democrats amid this GOP disarray? Frankly, they are nowhere. They are failing utterly in the role of an opposition party, which is to provide a coherent alternative account of how the nation might solve its problems."


I particularly like:

The same failing is evident among Democratic spokesmen on economic issues. Name a tough problem -- such as energy independence or reform of Medicare and Social Security -- and the Democrats are ducking the hard choices. That may be understandable as a short-term political strategy: Why screw up your chances in the 2006 congressional elections by telling people they must make sacrifices? But this approach keeps the Democrats part of politics-as-usual, a game the GOP plays better.

....

Today's Democrats have trouble expressing the most basic theme of American politics: "We, the people." Rather than a governing party with a clear ideology, they are a collection of interest groups. For a simple demonstration, go to the DNC's Web site and pull down the menu for "People." What you will find is the following shopping list: "African American, Asian Amer./Pacific Islanders, Disability Community, Farmers and Ranchers, Hispanics, GLBT (Gay-Lesbian-Bisexual-Transgender) Community, Native Americans, Religious Communities, Seniors & Retirees, Small Business Community, Union Members & Families, Veterans & Military Families, Women, Young People & Students." That's most of the threads in the national quilt, but disassembled.

What can the Democrats do to seize the opportunities of the moment? I suggest they take a leaf from Newt Gingrich's GOP playbook and develop a new "Contract With America." The Democrats should put together a clear and coherent list of measures they would implement if they could regain control of Congress and the White House. If the Democrats are serious, some of these measures -- dealing with economics and energy -- will be unpopular because they will call for sacrifice. But precisely for that reason, they will show that the Democrats can transcend interest-group America and unite the country.


Exactly why we need a mid term convention. I have long agreed that Tom Cosgrove is right about this idea. Stay tuned for more on this idea.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

<\$BlogItemBacklinkCreate\$>

<< Home