Sunday, January 30, 2005

State of the Democrats

Like Glenn Reynolds, I would like the Democrats to not suck and offer stiffer competition to the Republicans. So, on the day that Iraqis are risking their lives to vote, bringing competition and accountability to governance in the Middle East for the first time ever, the culmination of a protracted war by the US and it's true allies against the newest form of fascism, at the cost of tremendous blood and treasure, what does Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo focus on?
Sheryl Gay Stolberg has a nice piece in tomorrow's Times about how central the Social Security debate has become for Dems...

The Facts About Oil-For-Food
Fact: The UN Oil-For-Food program cut Iraqi Children's Malnutrition rates in half

First, the mention of Sen. Nelson (D) of Nebraska seems incomplete without noting that he has now explicitly come out in favor of add-on accounts rather than carved-out accounts favored by President Bush and even more emphatically against changing benefits to tie them to inflation rather than wages...etc
While I don't think elections in Iraq are going to make lives easier for the Iraqis any time soon, I do think they are a blow to terrorists because it split Arab dictator-haters (pretty much everyone) into those who prefer theocratic-dictators and those who prefer (probably religious) government that can be kicked out ever 4-8 years. Iraqis are religious people and they do not believe that their religion and competitive, accountable government are at odds with each other.

Given that this is an (the?) answer to the question that's been driving America, and the rest of the world since 9/11, Josh's complete lack of mention of it on this page indicates where their party is with respect to the terrorism question -- they've decided to sit it out.

And to while away the hours while they ignore what's going on the Middle East, Josh plots on how to keep Social Security from changing. Remember, young people think that Social Security in their current form will not help them, so why Democrats think clinging to it will be an election winner for them in the years to come is beyond me. As Bill Clinton, a once prominent Democrat said
"You know, there was a recent poll which said that young people in the generation of the students here felt it was far more likely that they would see a UFO than that they would draw Social Security. And others may think that it's a long way off, as Mannone said, and the Vice President said he thought it was a long way off.
Josh may think that "Social Security may be less real than UFOs but it's still worth fighting for" is a rallying call, but I think it's an admission of having no ideas at all.

In all fairness, Josh also takes a breather for battling to keep social security as it is to track the Kremlinesque machinations around who will be the new DNC chair. To me this looks like deck-chair rearranging of Titanic proportions, but hey, I guess someone should care about what Senator Obscure (D-Nebraska) wore when visiting Senator Who? (D-Some Other State) last Tuesday.

I go to Josh's site because although he is loyal to political parties, and thus limited in his thinking, he is non-frothy. I don't know how close Josh is to actual, non-frothy Democrat thought, but if he is representative, things are looking pretty grim.


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