Saturday, September 17, 2005

Michael Tomasky: What the Democrats Must Do Now

He lays it out in a brilliant article in the new American Prospect. The gist of the argument is this: Bush and his people, through unrelenting, determined lying, are trying to twist the failure of the government response to Katrina--which was overwhelmingly their fault--to their political advantage. They are doing so in part by invoking the same bankrupt ideas conservatives have clung to for decades, namely:

--Poverty is a symptom of moral weakness; the poor should be blamed for
their own plight.

--Corporations know best what public policy should be, and workers' rights
need to be eliminated in order for corporations to function most effectively.

--Religious charities should handle all social dilemmas.

Each of these propositions has been shown--repeatedly--to be pernicious, dangerous nonsense, right-wing fairy tales of the first order. Democrats need to stand up and fight for their values with courage and tenacity. Such values would include:

--A faith in the existence of something called The Common Good, which
conservatives have done so much to try to destroy.

--The dignity and rights of all people, however low on the socioeconomic totem
pole, which conservatives have so often ridiculed.

--Honest, efficient government that plays a positive, constructive role in
American life, an idea that conservatives have demonized for 25 years.

Tomasky and many others are calling for a fighting, courageous Democratic opposition, one that lets the American people know clearly what we stand for, and one which is determined to smash the reign of Republican deception and mean-spiritedness. This is a fight we can win--if we've got the spine to fight it.

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