Time To Shift

I was going to do all kinds of research for today’s post. In future retrospect, I probably should… should have… Instead of writing the drivel I’m about to write, it would have been better if I did some research on something pertinent to today’s goings on, and written about that. But laziness, and a desire to say a thing or two I’ve been itching to say for a while now have won out, and so the research beast gets stuffed in a closet while I talk out of my butt for a few minutes and then go surf some porn.

Let’s do a quick survey of the Mayberry Machiavellis, shall we? The Niger Affair (this is not good for them), Karl Rove is expected to testify AGAIN this week. Tom Delay, let’s all give him a big fat thumbs up as he picked up his second indictment. Then you cross over to the Senate, and you have Dr. Frist as the subject of an investigation. The POTUS has come under fire, in the meantime, for; horrible Katrina response, waning support in the Iraq War, and the nomination to the Supreme Court of someone who neither side really seems to like (except Pat Robertson. You watch the 700 club and you know he likes Miers. Of course Pat never sticks his foot in his mouth, and is therefore political gold).

More concrete than any of that, look at the numbers. The GOP led Congress has racked up a whopping 35% approval rating. The president himself isn’t faring much better, eking out only 37-39%. To give you an idea how bad that is, Bill Clinton, even in the Post Monica era, was consistently racking up high 50’s and 60’s.

So I found it deeply disturbing when I checked in on ABC’s The Note the other day when I read that the Republicans are exactly shaking in their space boots. This has been an absolutely abysmal year for the GOP, and yet, the Democrats aren’t really coming out as heroes either, which means that as bad off as the Republicans are, there is nothing to say that anyone is around to knock them off their perch.

And you don’t need a poll to tell you why. The Republican party is still “the party of ideas”. That is to say that when they were the party in opposition, they were upholding American values by portraying an opposing point of view. Now that they are in power, Democrats are a bunch of whiny snivelly liberals that don’t even talk about ideas, but just try and shoot down everything a GOPer does.

The problem is, folks, the imagery has officially stuck. Despite the indictments, potential scandals, blatant displays of incompetence (or incompetents, your pick), they are planning on winning based on the “at least we do stuff” gambit.

I understand exactly what the Dems have been doing. They’ve been playing the opposition party. They’ve been trying to stifle the oncoming conservative rush. They’ve been trying to tell the American people that the Republicans are wolves in sheep’s clothing. But guess what guys. Look at the numbers. We know.

If the Democratic Party wants to truly capitalize off of the recent failures of the Republican Party, there needs to be a shift from opposition party status to idea party status. And I’m not just talking policy or platform. I know these guys have their platforms, and their ambitions and such, but now is the time to really let that shine out in the public forum.

Every single time, without fail, a Democrat goes to speak in opposition of anything, that Dem needs to be, in the same breath maybe, also spouting what he or she would do. Continuously flood the cameras and the public’s minds with flashes and teasers of good solid policy every single time the GOP comes through and tries to do something stupid.

Take the Social Security battle. Yes, Bush’s designs on SocSec are pretty much dead, but back in the heat of the fight, the SocSec fight was a fight that was at least close to what the Dems need if they want to pull this thing off. Sure, most of the time they were saying Bush’s way won’t work, but relatively often, you also heard the ways in which Democrats would fix the system.

And that’s it. That’s how you have to do it. The GOP’s political system is so solid any more that it doesn’t have to rely upon being good anymore, all they have to do is say that at least they are better than the Dems. The Republican Party is the Party of Ideas, and if the Democrats want any hope of taking back the Hill, they need to hijack the hell out of that title.

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