It begins

Democrats would do well to take a page from Paul Glastris' recent article on tompaine.com, which outlines a sensible package of family oriented programs of the kind you can be sure voters will want to see more of. Oh wait. They will get them soon. It will be called the 'compassion agenda' and it will very quickly dwarf the importance of the increasingly rancorous Democratic infighting.

It's t-minus 2 or 3 weeks until Bush takes off the gloves, and from the leaks that we've seen already, no one should be underestimating the tsunami of pitch perfect deception which Democrats will have to scramble to respond to. At its heart will be a package of tax reforms for retirement which will look and sound like a great way to encourage middle class savings (thanks to the usual statistical sleights of hand) while actually digging us deeper into debt with big cash gifts to the wealthy. (David Brooks, sounding like a consultant for Karl Rove, gives a nice sarcasm free preview of the rhetorical trimmings which will make this easier to swallow).

In addition to poking holes in G2's new proposals and exposing deceptions about his past initiatives (public opinion on Medicare and No Child Left Behind ARE up for grabs--let's not be lulled into pretending otherwise), the Democrats will have to put forth distinctive, coherent domestic (and foreign) policy platforms that ring true with voters.

That's a tall order, to be sure, and it will require a kind of creativity and political virtuosity which has been largely absent from the current field...


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