Wednesday, November 08, 2006

One more post-election thought...

If I were Bush and the GOP for the next couple years, I would be doing my best to do what the Democrats should have been doing for the last six: split the opposition. A lot of the new Democrats are conservative on social issues, so the president, and possibly the Senate if they retain control, should be pressing wedge issues against the Democrats that are not an issue for the GOP. This will likely take form in gay marriage, which is the most explosive, but could come along in other vehicles such as the estate tax and gun control.

Democrats would be wise to focus on what unifies them and splits the GOP. Specifically, economic and corruption issues. Democrats should investigate every possible aspect of Republican corruption, along with less black and white issues like excessive earmarking and the lobbyist scandals. Democrats should push hard to balance the budget and get in good with the financial markets. Force the distinction between responsible free markets and corrupt business using insider government contacts to win favors and restrain competition.

They should also focus on defense. Investigations into corruption and mishandling of the Iraq war would be good topics. Hearings on how the GOP sold out our troops to enrich their cronies. Other legislation could be to require open and transparent defense contracts, or specifically high-profile appropriations for purchasing body armor for the troops. Perhaps and even more dramatic move could be to pass legislation for increasing the size of the armed forces, something that Bush has resisted. These kinds of actions could put the rest the notion that Democrats are the sissy party and replace it with the notion that the Democrats are the party of responsibility in the face of Republican free-for-all.


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