Democrats’ tea party manifesto doesn’t sound all that bad
Calculating that moderate and independent voters might be turned off by some of the more extreme positions postulated by Tea Party types and Republican conservatives, the Democratic National Committee and Congressional Democrats are trying to join the two in the minds of voters.
“There is no doubt that the Republican Party and the Tea Party cause have been fused,” Representative Keith Ellison, Democrat of Minnesota, said at a press conference on Wednesday hosted by Democratic chair Tim Kaine at party headquarters on Capitol Hill.
Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Florida Democrat, said it is hard to tell where the Republican Party ends and the Tea Party begins. “Or vice versa.”
The “contract on America,” according to Democrats, includes the following:
- Repeal the Affordable Care Act (Health Insurance Reform)
- Privatize Social Security or phase it out altogether
- End Medicare as it presently exists
- Extend the Bush tax breaks for the wealthy and big oil
- Repeal Wall Street Reform
- Protect those responsible for the oil spill and future environmental catastrophes
- Abolish the Department of Education
- Abolish the Department of Energy
- Abolish the Environmental Protection Agency
- Repeal the 17th Amendment
Ilya Shapiro looked through the list and can’t seem to find too much to disagree with, though Democrats are dishonest on some points:
Now, I might quibble with some of the phrasing for both accuracy and PR — e.g., “permanently lower tax rates” rather than provide “breaks” for any particular group; nobody’s talking about protecting BP from liability but the drilling moratorium has spawned riskier practices farther away from the coast – but otherwise this looks pretty good. The Democrats may well have stumbled on a winning platform, the only way they can forestall the massive losses expected this fall!
I mean, sustained majorities of Americans already favor number 1, support for number 5 drops the more people find out what’s in the actual “reform,” and numbers 7 and 8 have been popular ever since the GOP put them in their Reagan-era platform (since removed). Again, a lot depends on how you understand each particular item — “end Medicare as it presently exists” could mean anything from nationalizing to privatizing to means-testing — but this list is a great start for taking back America from bureaucrats and big-government types and restoring lost individual freedoms.
Agreed. I’m particularly fond of #10. Repealing the 17th Amendment, a progressive era idea that established the direct election of United States Senators, would bring representation to Washington for states and also make votes for the state legislature that much more important.
I’m not sure that picking a fight with the tea party is something Democrats want to do. Yes, you may drive some independents and moderates away from voting for Republicans, but all signs seem to point to Democratic turnout being very low this year. Conversely, Republicans smelled blood in the water and will turnout in droves this fall, even more so if they are motivated by attacks.