The Democrats have, tentatively, as they are wont to do, adopted an agenda, backed by their '06 slogan, "New Direction for America." The planks call for more stem-cell research, lower prescription drug prices, a minimum wage hike, elimination of taxpayer subsidies for the oil and gas industries, tighter security at our ports, and a lot more money for homeland security.
Although multiplicity of issues is a problem requiring focus decisions, I would add
evironmental protection, alternative fuels, civil unions (leaving "marriage" to the states), and certain improvments in intelligence and the military.
So what's missing from the stated agenda? Iraq, of course. Although supremely conflicted, Democrats should agree on a position, such as
The war was a terrible mistake, diverting us from Afghanistan and the real war against terrorists.
Despite all of the misleading by the Bush administration, Congress should not have voted for the war authorization and votes in favor were mistakes.
The war and its aftermath were poorly planned and executed
Support the Iraq government provided it acts responsibly, train the Iraqi troops and security forces, and, although no one can now know a precise date, withdraw from Iraq
as soon as practicable with a target date of December 31, 2007.
May the Democrats work together to adopt such an agenda as their New Direction.