Jay Reding.com

What Do They Stand For?

Michael Kinsley takes a look at the Democratic platform and finds their “New Direction” rather lacking. The Democrats’ 31-page manifesto is the usual bunch of mealy-mouthed platitudes and not even half-assed policies that represents the complete disconnect between Democrats and actual consideration of policy issues. As Kinsley, who is hardly a member of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, notes:

The Democrats promise “security, prosperity and opportunity” in “diverse, safe and vibrant communities”. They will “protect Americans, secure our borders, and restore our position of international leadership” through “homeland, energy, and diplomatic strategies”. And we’re only up to page three.

It’s all platitudes. Unlike the Contract with America in 1994, the Democrats don’t really have a sense of policy because they’re not running on policy. They’re running on little more than a sense of abject hatred for the opposition. It isn’t about taxes or preserving Social Security, it’s about partisanship. The polls consistently show that Democratic voters are motivated less by love for their candidates than hatred for Republicans. Who cares about policy when you’re running a campaign fueled by vindictiveness?

The problem is that the Democrats did the same thing in 2002 and 2004, and it caused them to lose. Even if the Democrats win today, it won’t be by margins any larger than are traditional in a six-year midterm. There’s no mandate for the Democrats, although their inflated egos will likely interpret it as such.

A Democratic takeover will lead to two years of partisan attacks against sitting officials, meaningless harassments, baseless charges, and continual witch-hunts. It will be a travesty, the only good result of which will be the Congress unable to do anything of substance. Meanwhile, our enemies will still be plotting, Social Security will continue towards collapse, and other key policy issues will go unconsidered.

The silver lining in that crowd is that the American electorate can’t stand sore winners, and the effect of yet another two years of childish partisanship could very well be an electoral spanking on a truly massive scale. When all the Democrats stand for is a veneer of platitudes covering a seething hatred, even if they get the power they so desperately want, they’re likely to use it to shoot themselves in the foot.

10 responses to “What Do They Stand For?”

  1. Mark says:

    And what exactly is it that Republicans stand for at this point?

    As far as I can tell, it’s pretty much limited to providing cover for pedophiles and rallying to the cause of incumbents who are likely to be in prison in another 12 months.

  2. Jay Reding says:

    And what exactly is it that Republicans stand for at this point?

    Winning the war in Iraq, preventing terrorists from attacking our country, keeping taxes low, promoting economic growth, etc…

    As far as I can tell, it’s pretty much limited to providing cover for pedophiles and rallying to the cause of incumbents who are likely to be in prison in another 12 months.

    Does the name Garry Stubbs ring a bell?

  3. Nicq MacDonald says:

    “Winning the war in Iraq”

    I didn’t see “pull our troops out and nuke the entire shitbag into radioactive dust” anywhere on the Republican platform; given that’s about the only way we could “win” at this point, I’d say we can knock that one off the list.

    “preventing terrorists from attacking our country”

    Yes, and the democrats WANT terrorists to attack this country! Give me a break…

    “keeping taxes low”

    They’ll be low no matter what; we’ll never see taxes on the level of Europe, no matter which party is in office.

    “promoting economic growth”

    Yes, and the Democrats, a party controlled by Wall street, big media, and west coast high tech moguls, are against economic growth. Why don’t I buy that one? Oh yeah…

    “etc…”

    As far as I see it, “etc” consists of stripping American citizens of their civil liberties, wasting hundreds of billions of dollars on unnecessary foreign conflicts, destroying our international goodwill, incarcerating and denying foreign nationals a fair trial, looting the treasury with no-bid contracts, creating huge new bureaucracies, doubling our long-term entitlement liabilities with wasteful new programs…

    You know, the Republicans have a lot of good ideas. Tax cuts. Social security privatization. School vouchers. The line-item veto. Unfortunately, this election isn’t about those. So, today, I went and voted for a woman I abhorred (Patricia Madrid) to support a party that I’m reluctant about supporting at best these days in the hopes that they’ll spend the next two years turning congress into a political dead zone and put a halt to the orgy of authoritarianism, millitarism and corruption that has taken over Washington. My fingers are crossed, tightly.

  4. Erica says:

    Winning the war in Iraq, preventing terrorists from attacking our country, keeping taxes low, promoting economic growth, etc…

    What were you saying before about the “same old empty platitudes”? Honestly, to think you really believe Republicans have the competence and the strategy to accomplish any of this…

  5. Jay Reding says:

    I didn’t see “pull our troops out and nuke the entire shitbag into radioactive dust” anywhere on the Republican platform; given that’s about the only way we could “win” at this point, I’d say we can knock that one off the list.

    A successful counterinsurgency takes time. The Democrats would bug the hell out, the Republicans might actually do what we need to do, which is continue to clear and hold — just this time using enough troops to finish the job. I’m with McCain, we need to buck up and get more troops into Baghdad to stem the violence, then things will start progressing again.

    Yes, and the democrats WANT terrorists to attack this country! Give me a break…

    No, but they’ll take away the valuable tools that law enforcement needs to prevent another attack. The Democrats are against wiretaps, which is a position that is utterly irresponsible when al-Qaeda coordinated 9/11 right from under our noses.

    They’ll be low no matter what; we’ll never see taxes on the level of Europe, no matter which party is in office.

    We still need to keep taxes low, and the Democrats will raise them. Even a slight increase in something like capital gains has profound economic effects.

    Yes, and the Democrats, a party controlled by Wall street, big media, and west coast high tech moguls, are against economic growth. Why don’t I buy that one? Oh yeah…

    The Democrats are the party of the ultra, ultra rich (who don’t give a damn what their tax rates are) and those who want the largesse of government. The Republicans are, by and large, the party of the productive. There’s a very good reason for that – because the people who drive this economy have a vested interest in making sure that their small businesses stay open.

    You know, the Republicans have a lot of good ideas. Tax cuts. Social security privatization. School vouchers. The line-item veto. Unfortunately, this election isn’t about those. So, today, I went and voted for a woman I abhorred (Patricia Madrid) to support a party that I’m reluctant about supporting at best these days in the hopes that they’ll spend the next two years turning congress into a political dead zone and put a halt to the orgy of authoritarianism, millitarism and corruption that has taken over Washington. My fingers are crossed, tightly.

    That’s not totally unreasonable. If we weren’t at war, I might go along with that. But we are, and we can’t afford to lose this one. The Democrats would put us on the wrong course, and it’s not acceptable for the Republicans to get their badly-needed spanking if it hurts our effort to fight the most crucial conflict of our times.

  6. Mark says:

    Jay:

    “Winning the war in Iraq, preventing terrorists from attacking our country, keeping taxes low, promoting economic growth, etc…”

    Oh I see. In that case, the Democrats support enacting the recommendations of the 9-11 commission, restoring the middle class, encouraging and funding the expansion of renewable energy, and making health care available to every American. Your move.

    “Does the name Garry Stubbs ring a bell?”

    Jay, you need to take off that pink T-shirt, put away those Poison records, and chop off that mullet, my friend. It ain’t the 80’s anymore. Now the Congressional criminals almost all have an (R) next to their name.

  7. Jay Reding says:

    Oh I see. In that case, the Democrats support enacting the recommendations of the 9-11 commission

    As in what? The creation of a Director of National Intelligence? Done. Wiretapping? No, wait, Democrats oppose those. That statement is just another platitude unless the Democrats specifically indicate what they would do that hasn’t already been done.

    restoring the middle class

    Odd that nobody seemed to notice that it had gone missing all this time…

    encouraging and funding the expansion of renewable energy

    Except for the only viable one, which is nuclear. If the Democrats were serious about energy, they’d support a crash program to develop commercial pebble-bed reactors. Somehow, I doubt the environmental lobby would let that one pass.

    nd making health care available to every American

    Wait, you mean the Democrats want to reduce compliance costs, limit tort liability, and support portable private accounts? Oh, no, they just want to have a failing system like the ones in Canada and the UK. Sorry, but that won’t work here.

    Jay, you need to take off that pink T-shirt, put away those Poison records, and chop off that mullet, my friend. It ain’t the 80’s anymore. Now the Congressional criminals almost all have an (R) next to their name.

    Except Foley isn’t, to anyone’s knowledge, actually guilty of pedophilia. He’s a pervert, not a pedophile. Garry Studds not only committed sex acts with a minor, but the Democrats kept reelecting him! At least Foley has forced to resign in disgrace for what he did. And last I checked, William Jefferson (remember, the guy with $90K in his freezer) was a Democrat…

  8. Nicq MacDonald says:

    “A successful counterinsurgency takes time. The Democrats would bug the hell out, the Republicans might actually do what we need to do, which is continue to clear and hold — just this time using enough troops to finish the job. I’m with McCain, we need to buck up and get more troops into Baghdad to stem the violence, then things will start progressing again.”

    More troops in Baghdad would have helped… three years ago. As it stands, it’s time to “bug out”, and quit wasting our money over there.

    “No, but they’ll take away the valuable tools that law enforcement needs to prevent another attack. The Democrats are against wiretaps, which is a position that is utterly irresponsible when al-Qaeda coordinated 9/11 right from under our noses.”

    Again, I’ve told you this before at least ten times- read “The Transparent Society” for a better idea on how to intelligence-gather to fight terrorism. As it stands, all this does is empower the government, increase secrecy, and decrease our liberties.

    “We still need to keep taxes low, and the Democrats will raise them. Even a slight increase in something like capital gains has profound economic effects.”

    All Bush needs to do is go find what undisclosed location his veto stamp was hidden in, and the Democrats won’t be able to pass a thing. Is this too hard to comprehend?

    “The Democrats are the party of the ultra, ultra rich (who don’t give a damn what their tax rates are) and those who want the largesse of government. The Republicans are, by and large, the party of the productive. There’s a very good reason for that – because the people who drive this economy have a vested interest in making sure that their small businesses stay open.”

    Bullshit. My family is full of small businessmen- and they’re all Democrats. Explain that one. Explain the fact that all the young entrepreneurs that I know are also Democratic or Democrat-leaning. Explain how 40% of the electorate is ultra-ultra-rich, or living off of government largess. I’m not buying it. And given how many companies that are funded with government largess- the defense industry- are dominated by Republicans, it doesn’t seem to follow that the Democrats are the party of government largess to begin with.

    “That’s not totally unreasonable. If we weren’t at war, I might go along with that. But we are, and we can’t afford to lose this one. The Democrats would put us on the wrong course, and it’s not acceptable for the Republicans to get their badly-needed spanking if it hurts our effort to fight the most crucial conflict of our times.”

    The thing is, the Democrats will be completely incapable of “changing course” in the war- that’s the executive’s job, and given that the margins of the party will be conservative dems anyway, I don’t think we’ll see much course changing. We will see a screaming halt to the excessive pork and corruption, however, and that’s what I voted for.

  9. Erica says:

    “The Democrats are against wiretaps”

    No, just against illegal ones.

  10. Jay Reding says:

    No, just against illegal ones.

    Which assumes that the NSA program is illegal. Then again, who needs courts and judges when the Democrats have already made up their minds?