Anybody got a Platform?
It looks like I'm one step ahead of the pundits again. I knew the Dems would blow it in the election, and the Left itself will keep on blowing until we regain our rightful position as the party of progress, of justice, of big ideas. Frank Rich has
a bit in the Saturday's NYT that makes this point with gut-curdling effectiveness:
The Bush administration has big ideas. It believes that toppling Saddam Hussein is the slam-dunk gambit that will remake the Arab world to our liking (and Israel's). It has codified a security strategy built on the notion of pre-emptive war. It believes in the partial privatization of Social Security, in rewarding the very wealthiest with a repeal of the estate tax, and in tailoring every conceivable policy, including those governing human, fiscal and environmental health, to the needs of its corporate sponsors. Many Democratic politicians are opposed to these ideas — or at least to those not supported by Mr. McAuliffe's high-rollers — but that's not the same as having big ideas of their own.
Zang. So where are our big ideas? I've made my start on things, and admittedly I'm not qualified as a policy wonk, but I don't think I'm tooting my own horn too loudly to say I've got more ideas than the current hurd of sheep we call the Democratic leadership.
As I've said before, we need strong leaders on the left. Against the odds, Dubya has turned out to do a pretty good John Wayne impersonation; he's got the base characteristics, and the circumstances, of a leader. When I watch him on TV and I give him half a chance I almost like the guy, until I realize that he's spouting only moderately adulterated BS; attack drones from Iraq, smoking gun mushroom clouds, a century of American dominion.
The Democrats seem stuck in the Al Gore quagmire of attempting to lead by opinion polls. Let me make a clear point: leaders are supposed to lead, not follow the pack. If you don't have better ideas than I do about what to do than get the hell out of my way. I understand that Congress is a "representative" body, but you can represent the best and brightest ideas of your constituancy, not just the lowest common denominator.
Where's the inspiration? We need more than tellegenic obiesity-friendly pap and "triangulated" appeals to the phantom center. We need principles, something to stand on, a damn platform, for God's sake.