Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The Illusive Democratic Agenda

Democrats celebrated a number of victories in yesterday's elections, retaining two gubernatorial spots and resisting Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's reform plan. This left many Democrats gloating that the hope of return to Congressional power in 2006 is well on its way to fruition. Here's what House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer had to say:
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said, “the stars are aligning for a big Democratic victory next November,” and he predicted that Tuesday’s wins would boost the party’s mid-term recruitment efforts.

“I believe that many Republicans are going to spend the next year looking over their shoulders,” Hoyer said in a statement. “And Democrats will see more and more strong candidates joining our ticket.”

Hoyer and his buds would of course have the best view of the aligning stars from their perspective in the clouds. His words sum up the pathology and disconnection of the Democrats very well. For some reason, they still haven't realized that being the anti-Repubs only works to an extent. Having an agenda can help. To be fair, one Dem made a good comment about the state of politics in Washington:
“You should never get in your opponent’s way when they are doing a good job of destroying themselves. There is plenty of time next year to talk to voters about what Democrats are fighting for.”

This is all fine, but when you really come down to it, what are the Dems going to tell us in 2006? Short of a major realignment, I don't see how the momentum is going to shift their way. Look at the current poll numbers of Bush and the two parties. Bush currently has an approval rating of between 35 and 39%. But what about people's faith in the Democrats? Not much better. As recently as last Sunday Democrats in Congress have a mid-thirties approval rating as well.

If we learned anything from November 2, 2004 it should be that saying nothing but "no" and "wrong" and "I am John Kerry and I'm reporting for duty" doesn't help your chance of winning elections. This may be hard to believe... but... people want their political leaders to have an agenda of reform that they can look at and use to gauge their confidence in future pay-offs. People want their leaders to do something when in office. I'm not going to like it, but I'm going to have to laugh if the Democrats find a way to screw the 2006 elections up. What's the best way to do that? Continue on the path they've been since Bush took office, don't give us anything new, and act merely as a roadblock.

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