Democratic Message for 2006: Found

Eleanor Clift has a pleasant read in Newsweek for anyone who isn't a Bush apologist and it may just hand the Democrats at least part of that message they've been looking for.

Get the exciting details below the fold...

I would like to spend the morning expanding on some of her points, but my 12-yr-old wants to go shopping at Birkdale in Huntersville, NC., so my morning will be spent shopping for new gym shorts at Dick's and books at Barnes and Noble.

However, after reading this piece one thing jumped out at me and sent shivers running up and down my spine. I knew we were borrowing from China. I knew it was in the billions. I didn't know it was several billion dollars a day. Clift has this to say:

We have a huge budget deficit that requires the federal government to borrow
several billion a day, mostly from central banks in China and other Asian
nations, and yet we have a government that doesn’t seem to be very worried about

Several billion dollars a day from China.

Several billion dollars a day from China.

China owns us. We almost lost management of our ports to a country that has supported the Taliban, though I'm sure other than that they are lovely people...just lovely. Hundreds of thousands of acres of National Forest land is up for a proposed sale - talk about handing over the family jewels! We owe how many billions to China?

Let's just hope they don't call the loan.


You have more confidence

In our big tent than I do.

There was a poll on Dkos recently where a diarist was trying to zero in on winning "positions" for the Dems. There were hundreds of really good ideas . . . which is the problem. "Several billion dollars a day" from China was in there, along with "culture of corruption," and many, many more. My concern with all of them is that they don't have an organizing framework that makes sense to individuals out there who want to understand what we stand for. Sure we have the scattershot of many important facts (and just to be clear, this billions from China fact is a critical one), but the party hasn't pulled it together in a coherent way.

I'm increasingly looking at elections as Blue versus Red. And if Blue is going to win, we'd better have our shit together. We'd better be very clear what we stand for -- and we'd better be right.

I say we stand for competence, integrity, and common good.

Competence. We embrace it. Even from Republicans - though I don't see much out there. They're great at making money, but they suck at public sector management, probably because they hate the work.

Integrity is not just about laws, it is also about transparency, completeness and honesty. Having people like Tom Delay in office is wrong. They are profiteers. Honest people know that.

Common good is where the great debate erupts. Who knows what the common good is? Honest disagreements can occur.

This framework helps me think about any issue. In my earlier diary, I note that abortion has historically been a loaded debate about common good. But the emergence of the integrity issue changes the game. If abortion is murder, then mothers should be executed for killing unborn children. Murder is murder. You cannot have a double standard. Right to lifers who don't support death or life imprisonment for murdering mothers have nothing more to say.

Katrina? A competence issue. Everyone knows that. Bush's War? No integrity, no competence and no regard for the common good . . . not our own national good, not the rest of the world's. Most people knows Bush manipulated the truth to get his way. Lack of integrity trumps anything productive that might come from his actions.

Fiscal management? This is the "billions from China" question. It is an issue of competence.

We can fight the common ground battles when we have to, but competence and integrity are powerful promises that people really do want. And Blue has them to offer.

This is good work at positive framing

Basically, you're saying the GOP can't govern, the GOP is a bunch of crooks, and the GOP is looking out for its cronies' interests.

But it sounds so much less shrill your way.

Well Contract with America

didn't come out until six weeks before the election, so we have a few more weeks before we panic. I'll see what I can put together and send it to Harry Reid, b/c you know he's gonna listen.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.