Democrats need to aim much higher
From moderate Democrat LA Times columnist Steve Lopez
I thought President Bush got off a pretty good line Monday when he went after his challengers. It’s an interesting crowd, he said, because it’s for and against his tax cuts, for and against NAFTA, for and against the Patriot Act, and for and against the Iraq war.
“And that’s just one senator from Massachusetts.”
Bush’s line was aimed at John Kerry, of course, but it neatly summed up the entire Democratic Party, which lost its way when Bill Clinton got one look at Monica Lewinsky’s thong and went crazy.
Ever since that hallmark moment â€” if not when Clinton started shoplifting Republican ideas like ending the welfare state â€” Democrats have been like teenagers suffering through adolescence.
They’re rebels who aren’t sure what the cause is any longer, which is why they appear on the verge of a nervous breakdown over gay marriage, and don’t have much in their arsenal beyond trashing George Bush.
I’m asking the Democratic candidates, beginning with tomorrow night’s debate, to put their own package together and start hammering away at it as Republicans do.
A total healthcare overhaul.
A fearless defense of the environment.
A guaranteed living wage.
A chicken in every pot.
A fat surtax on everyone in Dick Cheney’s income bracket.
Something bold. Anything.
Lashing out at George Bush is great sport, sure, and certainly worth the effort. But I don’t think it gets you the keys to the White House.
Oh, it might, but why take the chance? Kerry needs to highlight positive reasons why we should vote for him, and simply saying that he isn’t George Bush is, I think, risky.
Of course with George Soros (remember him? He’s been quiet these past few weeks) pledging to spend whatever is needed to defeat Bush – and Soros has seven billion – this could, and probably will, change the entire race. He can out-spend the Republicans, and other centi-millionaires and billionaires have pledged to do the same.