Monday, February 20, 2006

To the Democrats: Be a True Opposition Party

The Democrats must be a strong opposition party, offering policy alternatives to the Republicans' most harmful initiatives, like the Patriot Act. Democrats must oppose such proposals at all costs while at the same time proposing better alternatives. That has been the problem to this point -- they have opposed, but not offered a true choice. It is certainly lower risk to attack and not propose one's own policy, but it is not helpful to the larger political dialogue.

On Social Security, the Democrats should have added a feasible way to make Social Security affordable in the long term while maintaining their rock-solid opposition to the Republicans' proposed privitization (all they did was try to co-opt the Republicans' private accounts idea by proposing it as an add-on to the current program). On the Patriot Act, the Democrats must oppose the objectionable provisions and propose their own security initiatives that include the appropriate protections for civil liberties.

They cannot be seen as either obstructionists or softies. They must show they are a legitimate governing alternative.


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