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28.10.06

The Party Of Ideas?

One of the most common criticisms of the Democratic Party is that they lack big ideas. Georgia10 at Daily Kos responds to the latest iteration of that claim by quoting a list of bills introduced by Senate Democrats.

The list, however, makes the opposite point that georgia10 intends. All of the things listed are things the Republicans should be rightly criticized for defeating. But none of them are big ideas. Most of them are simply pushing a little further on programs that already exist -- such as an increase in the minimum wage, or more funding for college grants -- or cleaning up Republican messes. The overall message that I get from the list is that the Democrats are the party of small-bore, End of History style managerial tinkering, the party that says the basic structure of society is fine, so all we need to do is fine-tune it and stop idiots from messing with it.

Stack that up against the Republicans' big ideas -- starting a war (or two), privatizing Social Security, and banning abortion, to name three. These are things that would fundamentally alter the national (and international) landscape. They're all bad ideas that would alter the landscape for the worse, and I'll take the Democrats' status quo over the Republicans' regression any day. But the Republicans are clearly thinking bigger than the Democrats. So sure, the Democrats haven't been completely sitting on their hands. But they also haven't been reaching for the stars.

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