Friday, August 19, 2005

What Ails the Democrats

While David Ignatius points to an actual lack of focus within the Democratic Party, I think he underestimates the difficulty of articulating a coherent "opposition policy", particularly on a wide range of issues with no easy solutions. I don't think that it is true that Republicans really "play the game" better - instead, I think that they are better at framing the issues in a manner that benefits them, and in presenting a simplistic view of the world that is hard to penetrate with facts and nuanced arguments. What's the alternative to "cut taxes, cut taxes, cut taxes"? Raising taxes? What's the alternative to "sticking the course"? Cutting and running?

When he proposes,
What can the Democrats do to seize the opportunities of the moment? I suggest they take a leaf from Newt Gingrich's GOP playbook and develop a new "Contract With America." The Democrats should put together a clear and coherent list of measures they would implement if they could regain control of Congress and the White House.
does he recall what happened to Newt Gingrich and the "Contract On America"? If even the Democrats Ignatius views as weak and ineffective can tear down such a "contract" and its chief proponent, how does he propose that a Democratic alternative would not succumb to a similar fate?

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