Saturday, August 26, 2006
We Don’t Need New Ideas to Change the Course
For a while I bought into this cant. Now I’ve decided it’s propaganda put out by desperate conservatives who know that although Republicans have many ideas, they are not popular ideas or ideas that will lead to an end to our unfortunate involvement in Iraq. I really believe that to say that we Democrats are opposed to the Republicans and all their bad, unpopular, unworkable ideas is more than sufficient to convince the public that it is a good time for a change.
What are some of these bad Republican ideas that we oppose? Privatizing Social Security is one. Social Security is a very popular program. The public likes it and wants it to be continued as it is. Another bad idea is tax cuts for very wealthy people that have the effect of creating a permanent deficit. This tax cut idea is coupled with the idea of reducing or eliminating many of the services that government provides. These services benefit middle-class and poor people. In effect, the Republican idea is to take from the poor and the middle-class and give to the wealthy. Another bad idea is to create a “prescription drug benefit” for people on Medicare without placing any controls on the prices that pharmaceutical firms can charge for the drugs. A better plan would be for the Medicare Administration to buy the drugs itself at negotiated prices and sell them to the Medicare patients for nominal fees that would be set so that even poor people could afford their prescriptions.
A big issue is how to disengage us from Iraq. The Bush Administration has no idea. Its program is to “stay the course” and let the next President figure out how to get our troops home. Note that I do not charge the Republican Party with this particularly bad idea. There are many Republicans who have some very useful ideas about disengagement from Iraq, just as there are many Democrats who have such ideas. I charge the Republican Party, the party in control of both houses of Congress, with doing nothing to force the Administration to change course. Instead, the Republican Party persistently defends the Administration even in the commission of the most egregious errors and mistakes in foreign policy.
I can go on and on about bad Republican ideas. It is enough to say that we Democrats oppose these ideas. It is important also for us to say that we have open minds about the problems facing any administration and that we are not blinded by an ideology that lets us believe that since the United States is the only remaining superpower it can dictate to the rest of the world how to behave and doesn’t need to practice the give and take of diplomacy to achieve its objectives.