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Democrats: Forget the "New Deal", time for a "New Direction"
Posted by: McQ on Saturday, June 17, 2006

Well, apparently "America, we can do better" has lost out to "A New Direction for America". I can't say I'll miss the former "slogan" but what does the new one mean?

Well it means the Democrats finally have a message. From a press release from the House Democratic leadership, the message:
Democrats offer a New Direction, putting the common good of all Americans first for a change and will:

Make Health Care More Affordable: Fix the prescription drug program by putting people ahead of drug companies and HMO’s, eliminating wasteful subsidies, negotiating lower drug prices and ensuring the program works for all seniors; invest in stem cell and other medical research.


Lower Gas Prices and Achieve Energy Independence: Crack down on price gouging; eliminate billions in subsidies for oil and gas companies and use the savings to provide consumer relief and develop American alternatives, including biofuels; promote energy efficient technology.

Help Working Families: Raise the minimum wage; repeal tax giveaways that encourage companies to move jobs overseas.

Cut College Costs: Make college tuition deductible from taxes; expand Pell grants and slash student loan costs.

Ensure Dignified Retirement: Prevent the privatization of Social Security; expand savings incentives; and ensure pension fairness.

Require Fiscal Responsibility: Restore the budget discipline of the 1990s that helped eliminate deficits and spur record economic growth.
Pdf here. More here.

Now I don't know about you but whenever I see the phrase "common good" used I know immediately that someone is going to get screwed. In the case of this new direction, it is, according to the left, the right people being screwed. Or maybe a better way of saying that is those who support the right get screwed.

Anyway, what we have is a political manifesto designed to appeal to the base, lure independents, the elderly, and reluctant Republicans with a little something for each. We have traditional Democratic fare mixed with rich bashing, corporation bashing and a bit of fantasy (fiscal responsibility) thrown in for good measure.

[Full disclosure: I don't disagree with all of their points. Just most].

You can take the arguments apart as well as I can, but the Democrats, however modest, now have a message. And whether you agree with the components they are bite-sized, easily digested and, Democrats will claim, easily accomplished issues which appeal across a broad spectrum of voters.

Smart politics. Remember the "Contract with America" wasn't much different in that respect.

Lawrence Kudlow sees it a little differently:
Not that the Democrats don't have a message. They appear to be calling for immediate withdrawal from Iraq, higher taxes, a hike of the minimum wage, and increased spending on education and health care. But that's just the same old, same old.
Point taken.

The question is, will these issues resonate as did the "CwA", especially with a war ongoing and immigration one of the top issues? While many liken this to 1994, myself included, the one huge difference is there was no war in '94. And traditionally, Americans are reluctant to make political sea changes in times of war. The question is will they look at their local Congressional race through that lens and decide the time to make the sea change is in '08 when they can do it all at once? Or will they, given the minimal impact the war is having here in reality, simply ignore it and vote for change?

Yeah, it's Saturday, it's politics and it's thinking out-loud time. But interesting stuff to ponder while mowing the lawn.
 
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What the democrats have put together is a wish list, it is nothing but the usual political boilerplate.

The republicans have been alternating between being either pathetic or disgusting but if this is the best the demcorats can come up with the republicans are going to beat them like a drum in the upcoming election.
 
Written By: TJIT
URL: http://
"A nude erection for America", as was pointed out at NRO.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
McQ, I have the same nervousness about the phrase "common good," which typically is employed by "progressives" essentially conterminously with "social justice," a concept Hayek found both meaningless and pernicious. From an interview in Reason w/ Hayek:


Hayek: I think there is a little shift recently as a result of my outright attack on the concept of social justice. It is now turning on the problem of whether social justice has any meaning at all and, of course, social justice is essentially based on some concept of merit. I’m afraid I have shocked my closest friends by denying that the concept of social justice has any meaning whatever. But I haven’t been persuaded that I was wrong.

Reason: Well, then, why isn’t there any such thing as social justice?

Hayek: Because justice refers to rules of individual conduct. And no rules of the conduct of individuals can have the effect that the good things of life are distributed in a particular manner. No state of affairs as such is just or unjust: it is only when we assume that somebody is responsible for having brought it about.

Now, we do complain that God has been unjust when one family has suffered many deaths and another family has all of its children grow up safely. But we know we can’t take that seriously. We don’t mean that anybody has been unjust.

In the same sense, a spontaneously working market, where prices act as guides to action, cannot take account of what people in any sense need or deserve, because it creates a distribution which nobody has designed, and something which has not been designed, a mere state of affairs as such, cannot be just or unjust. And the idea that things ought to be designed in a ’just’ manner means, in effect, that we must abandon the market and turn to a planned economy in which somebody decides how much each ought to have, and that means, of course, that we can only have it at the price of the complete abolition of personal liberty.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
TJIT writes:
The republicans have been alternating between being either pathetic or disgusting but if this is the best the demcorats can come up with the republicans are going to beat them like a drum in the upcoming election.
I seriously doubt that, and hope it ain’t so. Democrats at least are better on civil libertarian issues and — possibly to some extent because they are out of power there — have gone on the war path regarding a lawlessly expanding Executive branch; but their minority status leaves them impotent to do anything about it. We need at least one, and I think preferably both, houses of Congress to go Dem as long as there is an Elephant in the White House. Then let the oversight in Congress meaningfully begin, and let Bush finally haul out his veto pen if the Dems won’t negotiate sensible fiscal polcies. (Not that Bush even necessarily recognizes what those are!)
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
The Leftist Blogosphere isn’t even talking about this plan. Go to the most common sites and see. RawStory isn’t even saying anything about it. Matt Drudge did, though. This isn’t a plan because Democrats have been talking about this all along. Maybe it was for independents, libertarians, and moderate republicans. After all there has to be some way to get to all of those people who just sit in their lazyboys with their arms crossed and say "not good enough" like libertarians to and moderate republicans do. Don’t mean to get rude but Libertarians have more in common with Democrats than they do with any other political party.
 
Written By: iowahawk
URL: http://www.hamiltonblog.blogspot.com
iowahawk writes:
Don’t mean to get rude but Libertarians have more in common with Democrats than they do with any other political party.
Maybe that is true with regard to Bush 43’s populist GOP, but t’aint always been so. And I cannot conceive of ever joining the Democratic Party — I’m a true Hayekian, and that just isn’t the philosophy of the DNC.

What we need is gridlock, and hope that the the 15-20% of people whose ideological posture is libertarian (whether they call themselves that or not) leaving the GOP in sufficient numbers, causes that party to woo us back with an actual commitment to small govt and federalism, as well as the rule of law. It is possible, but I deem it highly unlikely, that those of us who forge a temporary, strategic coalition with Dems would find them sufficiently accommodating to our philosophy that any sort of semi-permanent alliance would ensue.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
their second issue is a contradiction in terms.
eliminate billions in subsidies for oil and gas companies and use the savings to provide consumer relief and develop American alternatives, including biofuels;
Thats were most of the subsidies are, they were put there in the nineteen seventies to get the oil companies involved in alternate fuels and lower emissions
technologies. This just shows that they still don’t understand basic economics.

The real way to accomplish what they want to do is to remove ALL of these silly incentives, tax cuts, rebates, etc. and simply go with a tax on fuel, cutting other taxes to equal it out. Then you will have your lower emissions, your alternate fuels, and your energy savings all at the same time, and its a lot simpler.

But we all know the Democrats don’t like their government simple.
 
Written By: kyle N
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
I look over those lists, and I think to myself, "Pick any one (per subject)." If they were willing to either leave alone or make worse every objective but one for health care, leave alone or make worse all but one for gas prices/energy independence, etc, they might get one each of those done. But a lot of those talking points are mutually exclusive, and even a second’s thought or skepticism about Miraculous Democratic Power will show it.
 
Written By: Dave
URL: http://www.thepatriette.com/dangerous
So the new message is we’re going to spend more, and soak the rich.

Hmm, and I see they have no platform to win in Iraq, or win the war on terror.

GOP response... http://www.gop.com/News/Read.aspx?ID=6390
 
Written By: Keith, Indy
URL: http://
Hey… maybe its working… We must continue talking to each other because to me, parties don’t matter anymore at all. This is the kind of Progressive items we need to focus on as a nation…. It’s a start towards Our own nation-building.

Think of it, the $350 billion these guys spent in Iraq and Afghanistan would go a long way in helping us… the middle class, no matter the color of our stripes ….jc

 
Written By: jo c in San Antonio, TX
URL: http://
simply go with a tax on fuel
Why wait until scarcity drives prices up when you can do it to yourself today?

If that’s supposed to work so well, why aren’t we flooded with alternate fuels from Europe?
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
Why wait until scarcity drives prices up when you can do it to yourself today?

If that’s supposed to work so well, why aren’t we flooded with alternate fuels from Europe?
Gee I dunno, maybe because they drive much smaller vehicles and use mass transit much more, or maybe because their political and economic system is not as good in rewarding innovation.
What I was offering was a simple alternate to the government meddling we already have in the energy marketplace, maybe you have a better alternative? If your alternative is to do nothing while we continue to be dependent on resources from the worst part of the world, I am afraid that just won’t do.
 
Written By: kyle N
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
"Cut College Costs: Make college tuition deductible from taxes; expand Pell grants and slash student loan costs."

Translation: make it even easier for universities to raise their prices and pay themselves more.

 
Written By: Unknown
URL: http://

 
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