Friday, February 24, 2006

Miscellaneous: Responses from a Week of Sun

This is a little different than we've done on this site, but I'm going to give a potpourri of posts in this single post, responding to a number of things on the site since I left the Continental United States Monday.

--"Let's not be an 'opposition party'" sounds great, Mr. Fellow, but constantly trying to join Republicans as they push destructive policies is not only corrosive to the Democratic Party's existence but also makes voters wonder, "Why should I throw those guys out if the alternative isn't any different?" Americans need to know what the Democrats stand for because, as you very aptly say, we make great policy (that Americans favor by large margins in several areas). I'm certainly not saying be an obstructionist party -- in fact, you'll notice in my post that I specifically call on the party to not be obstructionists, and instead put actual policy alternatives out there when coming out in united opposition to the Republican proposals that need strong opposition (parts of the Patriot Act are Sen. Feingold's great example). I think we're fooling ourselves if we think we can piggyback on Republicans' often wrongheaded ideas and then be trusted to run things.

--The administration put themselves in a tough spot with this Dubai-based port company. I'm pretty sure it's just a company to run the six ports, not provide security (we have the Coast Guard for that), but Mr. Fellow is absolutely right that the outcry over this smacks of xenophobia. I'm sure the company went through a heavy vetting process, and again I'm pretty sure (that sun really makes one lazy and unwilling to fact-check) that the Dubai-based company simply bought a British company that had been running those ports -- they were already foreign-run, so this outcry (which is understandable on a very superficial level) shows some serious anti-Arab sentiment. Of course it is also a fair point that perhaps we should have American companies running our ports, which are located in our major population centers and move billions of dollars of goods in and out of the country every day. And Mr. Polkuote's point is a valid one as well -- along with our ballooning trade deficit, this seems like one more finger in the eyes of American workers.

--Finally, perhaps conservatives are happier because they don't even think about the less fortunate. I think it should rightfully bring your day down a bit when, as you drive your nice car to your nice house after picking up your kids from your good suburban school, you realize there are millions of people just a few miles from you who are not nearly as lucky. I think that is actually a virtue of Democrats everywhere (and a vice of Republicans) -- the cornerstone of the party we support is helping those who have been dealt a bad hand in life. We believe everyone should have an equal opportunity in life, regardless of if they were born San Francisco's Mission District and go to decrepit schools or in Greenwich, Conn. and go to Andover. Republicans may pay that idea lipservice, but this poll shows (as much as any poll shows anything) that many of them can be gleeful and ignorant of our society's incredible imbalances. On a related note, I think George Will is a terrible and unnecessarily convoluted writer. You're exactly right, Mr. Polkuote -- he should stick to baseball or just retire.

Regular posts to come this weekend. I've been missing this!


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