Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Dean offer’s up new ideas.

"I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for," former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean. Okay maybe not so new, look 2 posts down.

With Howard Dean’s ascension to DNC Grand Poobah, the Democrats, once the party of ideas have been fully, if only temporarily, transformed to one of reflexive and strident opposition. What are the needs of the country and where are their constructive proposals to meet them?

For many years Democrats, more than Republicans, pointed to the need to reform Social Security. Save Social Security first, was the war cry when deciding what to do with the late 90’s budget surplus. The program was their baby and a cornerstone of the party's commitment to economic security. Yet, to counter the Bush reform initiative, many senior Democrats have chosen simply to deny the need for change. That is not a viable policy or political position. Democrats are within their rights to challenge the notion of partial privatization but they have an equal obligation to offer an alternative reform plan. Why not seize the opportunity the Bush initiative presents and move public opinion toward a Democratic alternative? I suspect Clinton's emphasis on short-term tactical politics and focus on his own political survival left the party without any coherent intellectual foundation.

What big problems are looming in the near future that neither party is talking about?
A few decades from now, China may have a larger economy than the U.S., 25+ countries might have nuclear weapons and Europe could be half-Muslim. Other countries in Asia are attempting to take the lead in broadband, robotics, and stem cell technologies. What is going to supply the energy as oil dries up in the next 40-50 years?

At least they’ve figured out who they hate.


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