Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Advice for the Democrats

Pat Buchanan has some advice for the Democrats:

Below the surface serenity of the GOP majority, the tectonic plates could suddenly shift. Like Democrats in '68, Republicans are divided – over abortion, gay rights, the Religious Right, affirmative action, immigration, Big Government, trade, Iraq. They are united only on the proposition that it is best that they stay in power and the Democrats stay out.

But the dilemma Bush presents Democrats is not easy to solve. As a Big Government man, who uses Reaganite rhetoric to mask Rockefeller policies, Bush has left Democrats little running room. With his Great Society knock-offs like No Child Left Behind, faith-based pork, prescription drug benefits for seniors, "affirmative access," more foreign aid and a Wilsonian vision "to end tyranny on earth," Bush has moved the GOP center-left, crowding the Democrats out.

Moreover, the Democrats are too far left on the cultural-moral issues – "God, gays and guns" – to exploit Bush's weakness on the libertarian and populist Right.

What do Democrats need to do? First, be patient. This is Bush's turn at bat, just as 1965-66 was LBJ's turn. Their innings will come. But before they come, Democrats should have answers to the great problems Bush has failed to solve.

How would Democrats deal with the invasion of illegal aliens from Mexico? How would they stop the loss of manufacturing jobs? How would they eliminate $400 billion deficits? How would they get us out of Iraq? How would they make Social Security and Medicare solvent? What foreign policy do they propose to replace a Bush Doctrine of compulsive interventionism?

Democrats should be thinking, not sulking, because their time is going to come around – sooner than they know.

While I agree with Buchanan that Bush is on the wrong side of issues such as immigration and government spending, you will find that the Democrats are also on the wrong side of those same issues. Over the years, the Democrats have become so dependent on black, gay and Hispanic voters that it is unlikely that any of them would even consider adopting more moderate positions on controversial issues such as affirmative action, gay marriage and immigration. For better or worse, I think that the Republicans will be in power for some time to come.

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