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Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Democratic Agenda Pt. 1

posted by on February 28 at 11:01 AM

Before I tell you about three committee hearings in Olympia this morning that pretty much sum up the the Democrats’ agenda this session, let me give you some good news about the Democrats… at the national level, anyway.

There’s an editorial in the Wall Street Journal today that attempts to prove that the Democrats are in trouble.

Ha! The editorial does a much better job explaining why the Democrats are now in the driver’s seat.

The editorial works like this:

It starts out asking why Hillary Clinton, who’s been positioning herself for years as a moderate for broad appeal, ended up imploding this year? The WSJ says it’s because—and they use a Hollywood casting metaphor here—the dogmatic netroots forced the Democratic hopefuls to audition for a role from a script (agenda) that’s already been written: antiwar, anti-NAFTA, universal health care, orthodox environmentalism. In short, Democrats, the editorial proclaims, were looking for a spokesperson for a scripted agenda rather than seriously hearing out candidates for new ideas.

The editorial points out that Clinton had to abandon her centrism and read from the script to get the part. She succeeded somewhat at playing the role (everyone has noted that Clinton and Obama are pretty much indistinguishable on the issues), but given Obama’s status as a stadium draw, he was better suited for the starring role. And so, the Democrats are just fitting him into the slot.

The real thesis of the casting metaphor isn’t to slag on Obama, but to make the larger point that Democrats are a party in lockstep, without room for nuance and creativity.

Well, that’s one way of looking at it.

Here’s another, and we gleefully noted this a few weeks ago in our Obama endorsement:

Can you believe the Democrats once seemed lost for an identity? Now, thanks to Bush, the Democratic Party is at the forefront of a focused agenda to achieve universal health care, end the occupation of Iraq, combat global warming, reestablish the United States as a respected international leader, reverse the erosion of civil liberties at home, and make the economy work for the middle class instead of just the wealthiest.

In other words, the Democrats stand for something now. Just two, three, and particularly four years ago, the loser rap on the Democrats—from the likes of the WSJ—was that the party didn’t stand for anything at all.

Well—and thank you, cuckoo GOP—it turns out their agenda is now honed sharp.

Funny, when the Democrats used to bog down in ideology scraps, they weren’t accused of being a party overflowing with creativity, they were branded as being a party in disarray. Now that they’re moving ahead with a focused agenda, the WSJ is attempting to recast them as zealots. Yawn on the WSJ. Can’t have it both ways, dudes.

Stay tuned: There’s a series of votes in Olympia this morning that tell a different story about our Democrats at the local level.

RSS icon Comments


Only the Stranger can have it both ways.

Or was that a three way?

Posted by ouch | February 28, 2008 11:28 AM

I agree with Josh Feit.

Posted by elenchos | February 28, 2008 11:35 AM

"a moderate for broad appeal"? too bad for Hil, it turned out she was just a broad with moderate appeal.

Posted by hello boner | February 28, 2008 11:43 AM

"a moderate for broad appeal"? too bad for Hil, it turned out she was just a broad with moderate appeal.

Best. Comment. Ever.

Posted by woohoo | February 28, 2008 2:39 PM

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