Monday, November 14


Republicans and many pundits have for some time been demanding that Democrats present an alternative plan for governing. In the face of increased criticism of the Bush administration, this demand seems to have increased -- in my opinion, it's the only way interviewers can figure out to provide "balance" in their newscasts. In other words, if we're going to cover the Bush disasters, we have to have something with which to batter the opposition.

Howard Dean on yesterday's Meet The Press and James Wolcott on AirAmerica this morning reflect my own view, that Democrats ought to continue, for the nonce, to insist on pointing out the failures and pitfalls of BushCo policies and reserve our agenda for 2006, perhaps the spring or early summer. As one of the AirAmerica hosts pointed out, it's our JOB to be the opposition, and after all, Newtie didn't spring the Contract For America on the public until relatively shortly before the 1994 Congressional elections.

Another Democratic response to the demand for a "plan" should be, Why should we present a plan now only to have it sink below the ocean of media coverage of Bush? We cannot command the public's attention at the present -- so we'll wait until we can. We have no intention of presenting a distraction from the Republicans' record when it is finally receiving appropriate notice. After the American public has been educated about the fallacies and faultlines of current Republican policy, about which it has been so deceived during the past five years, then we will offer our alternative agenda and a detailed plan to achieve it.

As Milton said, "They also serve who only stand and wait." Notice to Democrats: the poet said "STAND" not sit...while we're waiting we must stand tall in opposition to this disastrous regime, and as Howard Dean said repeatedly and forcefully to Tim Russert yesterday, speak truth to America and the world. It will serve us ill to simply sit back and watch the Rethugs implode -- we must be seen to be Zolas crying, "J'accuse!" or we'll reinforce the perception of those who consider us wimps.

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