The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom. - Wm. Blake

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Naming Names

I generally like Matthew Yglesias' work, but he's not always the savviest of commentators - sort of an "of the commentariat, for the commentariat" guy. But in this TAPPED piece he simply nails it. This is what Democrats need Americans to understand:
If Democrats want to talk about building a fairer, more efficient health-care system (and, in my experience, they really do!), then they're going to need to win an election first. And they're not going to do that unless the voting public realizes that there is a group of specific individuals who are responsible for the failure of the political system to address important subjects.

Those individuals have names. George W. Bush is one. Dick Cheney another. Bill Frist, Tom DeLay, and Dennis Hastert are some more. Bill Thomas and Chuck Grassley are more substantive people than are the GOP leaders, but they've decided to happily go along with the White House's insistence that we should ignore health-care policy in favor of addressing remote, mild, hypothetical Social Security budget problems. Andy Card is doing a bad job running the White House. John Snow is a terrible Treasury Secretary [...]. Karl Rove has been put in charge of policy in the West Wing. "Washington" has nothing to do with it.

One of the most important effects of Republicans running against Washington all these years is that they've lowered expectations of government so far that most people genuinely don't expect anything useful to come out of Washington. And in the Matt Miller piece referenced, a (centrist, pain-coalition-fluffing) Democrat echoes and amplifies these low expectations.

Look, it's very simple: 70 years of post-Hoover governance has proven that an activist government is not only compatible with economic growth and (for better or worse) hegemony, but actually necessary to it. Dems need to cry this from the hilltops.

Elect us, and we'll make your lives better.

Simple as that.


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