Saturday, April 09, 2005

The Good Brooks

Last month Timothy Burke had an excellent posting discussing the good vs. the bad David Brooks. Brook's column today fits in the good Brooks category. His best paragraph:

Being conservative, the American people don't want leaders who perpetually play it close to the ethical edge. They don't want leaders who, under threat, lash out wildly at beloved institutions like the judiciary. They don't want leaders whose instinct is always to go out wildly on the attack. They don't want leaders so reckless that even when they know they are living under a microscope, they continue to act in ways that invite controversy.

His other paragraph that caught my interest:

This does not mean good news for Democrats. That party is at risk of going into a death spiral. The Democrats lost white working-class voters by 23 percentage points in the last election, and now the party is being led by people who are guaranteed to alienate those voters even more: the highly educated and secular university-town elites who follow Howard Dean and believe Bush hatred and stridency are the outward signs of righteousness.

Don't agree with all of his judgments (it is good news for the Dems because it prevents the GOP from achieving their goals), but do believe that the Dems are still the party bereft of ideas. If by some miracle, the Dems returned to majority status in 2007, what would their legislative agenda be? I have no idea & I'm a political junkie. The Dems remain the party of status quo. I keep hoping that they will put out a statement of legislative goals & my preferences would be:

These don't match my ideals (would prefer cutting off foreign aid to Egypt & pushing for marijuana legalization), but believe these items are politically feasible. Even if these aren't the legislative goals the Dems want, then they should put together some other slate. For all the talk I've read of the Dems creating think tanks to match AEI or Heritage or Cato, I still haven't seen any list of goals coming from the Democratic party.

For the first two items, I believe the Dems have been cowed by the GOP and that's a shame. You need to stand up for what you truly believe regardless of the demagogues on the opposite side. To me that is the lesson from the 1964 election that's been given so much attention on the left side of the blogosphere recently when discussing Before the Storm. If you're the party of passively supporting ideas/goals/agendas, how do you ever expect to become the majority? Americans ultimately will not vote for wafflers.

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