Towards A Good Samaritan World

Monday, March 06, 2006


That's my maverick interpretation of the Democrats' troubles, described here:

At the Capitol in Hartford the other morning, State Senator Christopher Murphy denounced the "disastrous prescription drug benefit bill" embraced by his Republican opponent, Representative Nancy L. Johnson.

Jeff Latas, a Democratic candidate in an Arizona race, is talking about the nation's dangerous reliance on oil imports from the Middle East. Ed Perlmutter, a Colorado Democrat, says he is running against "the arrogance and cronyism" displayed by Washington Republicans.

And in New Mexico, Patricia Madrid, the state attorney general, is urging the United States to set a timetable for quitting Iraq.

"We have a lot to run on," said Ms. Madrid, who is trying to unseat Representative Heather A. Wilson.

These scattershot messages reflect what officials in both parties say are vulnerabilities among Republicans on Capitol Hill, as well as President Bush's weakened political condition in this election year.

But they also reflect splits within the party about what it means to be a Democrat — and what a winning Democratic formula will be — after years in which conservative ideas have dominated the national policy debate and helped win elections.

And they complicate the basic strategy being pursued by Democratic leaders in Washington to capture control of Congress: to turn this election into a national referendum on the party in power, much the way Republicans did against Democrats in 1994.

Interviews with Democratic challengers in contested districts suggest that the party is far from settling on an overarching theme that will work as well in central Connecticut as it does in central Colorado.

And while Democrats have no shortage of criticism to offer, they have so far not introduced a strategy for governing along the lines of the Republican Party's Contract With America, the 1994 initiative that some Democrats hold up as their model for this year's elections.

"It's certainly worth the effort, but it's damned hard to do," Charles O. Jones, a professor emeritus of political science at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, said of the Democratic effort to emulate the Republicans.

"If you're going to run a national campaign," as the Republicans did in 1994, Dr. Jones said, "it's helpful to have a message, not just 'The other guys don't know what they are doing.' If Democrats are using that strategy, I haven't heard that message yet."

The Social Security program levies a regressive tax which falls heavily on the working poor, then pays more money out to middle-class and affluent elderly than to the poor. This is unjust and reactionary and any true, principled leftist party would relish the fight against The Lobbyist-- the AARP, Enemy #1 of America's Future-- which is hell-bent on sucking poor people's blood. It's impossible to reconcile the generous principles which the Democrats still feel define their party with the opportunistic and wicked stance they took on Social Security. So they have nothing left to say. It's a sad, sad, sad, sad story, for the Democrats and for America.


Post a Comment

<< Home