Reflections, Part 3
From Jana, a D.C. Kansas expat:
I’m astounded by the results and the decisiveness of the outcome. As someone who works for the Administration, I am thrilled that the President has the opportunity to continue his vision another four years. All throughout the Departments and Agencies there are initiatives that we’ve begun that we’d like to see come to fruition, or at least to greater maturity; initiatives that would have likely been cut short if we did not have four more years.
And from the inimitable Prof. Polley in Peoria:
Tom Friedman said that the election was more about voting for what team we are on. Bingo. Give the man a prize. And if I may extend that idea I think it means that the Democrats need to change--not dramatically, mind you, but change the way they market themselves. Friedman quotes a Harvard political scientist:
"The Democrats have ceded to Republicans a monopoly on the moral and spiritual sources of American politics," noted the Harvard University political theorist Michael J. Sandel. "They will not recover as a party until they again have candidates who can speak to those moral and spiritual yearnings - but turn them to progressive purposes in domestic policy and foreign affairs."
Where's Joe Lieberman when you need him? So how did the Republicans take the middle by moving to the right? Thomas Frank thinks he knows, but I'm not so sure. I think it's more complicated than he makes it in "What's the Matter with Kansas?" But I think the last 4 years have shown us that the Democrats will not retake the middle by moving to the left.
Now, here's what I want to see. I want to see a good second term for Bush. I want to see meaningful and responsible reform of Social Security and Medicare. I want to see a blue ribbon panel on the rising cost of health care. I want to see a Democratic leader step up the the plate take the lead on these issues. Daniel Patrick Moynihan may no longer be with us, but we have Lieberman and hopefully others. Moynihan never became president, and Lieberman never will, but they and others like them can leave their mark as statesmen.
Lest anyone misunderstand, this is not a plea for unity so we can sit around the campfire and sing Kumbaya. But the "divisiveness" charge goes both ways. I think if a Democratic statesman stepped up to actually lead on one of these issues, Bush would accept it. Bush, are you listening? Democrats, are you listening?
I guess we'll see ...