Wednesday, April 27, 2005


An oxymoron? Right now it is. Although the Democrats in Congress are trying to fight the good fight in resisting Republican efforts to do further damage to our fiscal integrity and democratic ideals, they can’t win very often and run the risk of an obstructionist label.

What the Democrats need is a clear set of principles and specific action that the party will stand for, propose, and fight for. Let the Republicans resist and vote the proposals down.
There are many options to consider, but it is crucial that the goals be clear and held to a number that will be easily understood, absorbed, and remembered by the public. Here are some alternatives:

Energy program, including conservation measures

Repeal tax cuts and use the savings for education and worker retraining to
compete in the globalized world

Deficit reduction. To include action such as halting the “Star Wars” missile
defense effort and the estate tax and applying savings to deficit

Environmental initiatives to reverse and offset the damage inflicted by the
Bush administration. (Where were the Democratic leaders in photo-ops on
Earth Day?)

Support for stem cell research

A “Marshall Plan” for the cities

A tax reform plan

There are other initiatives to consider, such as security, separation of church and state, protecting our privacy, and even Social Security, although Mr. Bush seems to be giving the Democrats all the help they need on that issue. But the Democratic Agenda for America (too close to Contract for America?) must be appealing, understandable and brief.

Then it must be pushed and promoted constantly – speeches, talk shows, legislation, 527s, etc. It should be led by a Democrat of stature, who is not a person in the running for
office in 2008, or married to one. Howard Dean could be of great help in jump starting this initiative and keeping it active, but we need more of a dynamic elder statesman who is effective and widely respected, but not necessarily old or male.