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Coming Soon: Democratic Direction

This was my personal favorite part of Meet the Press today, which came right after Russert let Howard get away with his "I don't like that stuff" answer to the Michael Steele question:

MR. RUSSERT: Let's talk about the Democrats and some of the polling data. Congressional Democrats have the same priorities as you: yes, 26 percent; no, 54 percent. So the Democrats aren't perceived as the answer. And look at this, Chairman Dean. We asked independent voters: Do you believe that Democrats have a clear message, a vision for the future? Fifty-two percent of independent swing voters say no. One in four Democrats say you have no clear vision, no agenda, no clear message. Joe Trippi, your former campaign manager said, "Obviously, the results" from Election Night "are great for us Democrats. But given the GOP's problems, the tightness of the results suggest that people aren't happy with either party right now. Democrats have got to push an alternative agenda."

DR. DEAN: We have an alternative agenda. We made it very clear. We want a strong national security based on telling the truth to our people at home, our soldiers and our allies. We want jobs in America that'll stay in America, and we believe that renewable energy is one of the areas where we can do that. We want a health-care system that covers everybody, just like 36 other countries in the world. We want a strong public education system. And most of all, we want honesty back in government. I think that's a pretty good agenda.

MR. RUSSERT: But those are words that will appeal to people. But when you go behind them, for example, what is the Democratic position on Iraq? Should we withdraw troops now? What do the Democrats stand for?

DR. DEAN: Tim, first of all, we don't control the House, the Senate or the White House. We have plenty of time to show Americans what our agenda is and we will long before the '06 elections.

MR. RUSSERT: But there's no Democratic plan on Social Security. There's no Democratic plan on the deficit problem. There's no specifics. They say, "Well, we want a strong Social Security. We want to reduce the deficit. We want health care for everyone," but there's no plan how to pay for it.

DR. DEAN: Right now it's not our job to give out specifics. We have no control in the House. We have no control in the Senate. It's our job is to stop this administration, this corrupt and incompetent administration, from doing more damage to America. And that's what we're going to do. We're doing our best. Look at the trouble they're having putting together a budget. Why is that? Because there's still a few moderate Republicans left who don't think it's OK to cut school lunch programs, who don't think it's OK to do some of the appalling things that they're doing in their budget. I saw a show last night which showed a young African-American man in California at the UC of Davis who hoped to go to law school. The Republicans want to cut $14 billion out of higher education so this kid can't go to law school. We're going to do better than that, and together, America can do better than that.

MR. RUSSERT: But is it enough for you to say to the country, "Trust us, the other guy's no good. We'll do better, but we're not going to tell you specifically how we're going to deal with Iraq."

DR. DEAN: We will. When the time comes, we will do that.

MR. RUSSERT: When's the time going to come?

DR. DEAN: The time is fast-approaching. And I outlined the broad outlines of our agenda. We're going to have specific plans in all of these areas.

MR. RUSSERT: This year?

DR. DEAN: In 2006.

No wonder Dean wouldn't go up against Mehlman. By his own admission, his party is leaving that whole, pesky idea thing for next year. On a purely PR level, it would seem that the answer to "will you have ideas this year?" should be "yes, of course, and here they are," instead of "nah, that's really not our thing." I seem to remember another leading Democrat who had a lot of plans but no specifics. It didn't do him a lot of good.

KERRY: I have a plan. I have a plan to lower the cost of health care for you. I have a plan to cover all children. I have a plan to let you buy into the same health care senators and congressmen give themselves.

I have a plan that's going to allow people 55 to 64 to buy into Medicare early. ...

I mean, seriously -- labels don't mean anything. What means something is: Do you have a plan? And I want to talk about my plan some more -- I hope we can.



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» Mike's Noise linked with Howard Dean: A Man, A Plan .. and little else

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Comments (16)

I and a dozen of my golf-bu... (Below threshold)
Lew Clark:

I and a dozen of my golf-buddies are willing to start a third party that, once in power will develop plans that will make both the Democrat and Republican party look like amateurs. All we need is the votes. And to prove we're serious about this, we're willing to sign a sworn statement that our plan will be infinitely better than theirs, once we're in power and have developed one.

What a hilarious confirmati... (Below threshold)

What a hilarious confirmation that the Democratic Party is entirely without ideas and seek only power by attacking the Republicans on everything they do.

Essentially what Dean is saying is that playing politics is more important than proposing better ideas for the American people. Instead of suggesting ideas to the Republicans and to Congress, they will keep their secret ideas to themselves and wait to unveil them when they get into power. Forgive me while I laugh.

The Democratic Party - only helping Americans when in power.

Agreed, Seixon, (nice site ... (Below threshold)
epador:

Agreed, Seixon, (nice site by the way, I miss little trips to Stavenger) but clarify that the playing politics part is an admission that they see that whatever plan they might present is likely to alienate such a significant portion of their electorate as to create a schism that would again terminally weaken them.

"If this were a spending co... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

"If this were a spending contest, I would come in second. I readily admit I'm not going to grow the size of the federal government like he is. Your question was deployment. It must be in the national interests, must be in our vital interests whether we ever send troops. The mission must be clear. Soldiers must understand why we're going. The force must be strong enough so that the mission can be accomplished. And the exit strategy needs to be well-defined. I'm concerned that we're overdeployed around the world. See, I think the mission has somewhat become fuzzy. Should I be fortunate enough to earn your confidence, the mission of the United States military will be to be prepared and ready to fight and win war. And therefore prevent war from happening in the first place. There may be some moments when we use our troops as peacekeepers, but not often." Oct 17, 2000.. I seem to remember another leading politician who had a plan too. but I'm sure events will conspire to change the Dean's plan as well. Specifics will be just as irrelevant and American have a attention deficit disorder, in any case.

Really, is it any wonder th... (Below threshold)

Really, is it any wonder that the Democrats can't contend for national office, when this sort of brain donor is what they prefer for a national chairman and a presidential candidate?

Shhhh, our ideas are so goo... (Below threshold)
DJ:

Shhhh, our ideas are so good we don't want to risk the Republicans stealing them, or that other pesky thing they do when they point out the plans would never work in the real world and provide facts to prove it...

Right now it's not our job... (Below threshold)
B Moe:

Right now it's not our job to give out specifics. We have no control in the House. We have no control in the Senate. It's our job is to stop this administration, this corrupt and incompetent administration

That sounds like a pretty specific plan to me.

Dean = Chickenhaw... (Below threshold)
macofromoc:


Dean = Chickenhawk

I love this quote:I ... (Below threshold)
American First:

I love this quote:
I seem to remember another leading Democrat who had a lot of plans but no specifics.

Kinda rings true with our current commander in chief. By the way what happended to all those Social Security plans?

"By the way what happended ... (Below threshold)
Toby928:

"By the way what happended to all those Social Security plans?"

Alas, stymied by the feckless and irresponsible wing of the Democratic party. Three more dems and at least two RINO's need to go before we can secure the future of Social Security. Hope springs eternal however as we have elections every two years.

Tob

Yes, yes, let's equate not ... (Below threshold)

Yes, yes, let's equate not having a plan and not only admitting we have no plan but telling you that we're all better off because we don't have a plan to having a plan but having it stopped by another branch of the government. Yeah, those are the same thing right? It's all the same...killing a murderer is just as bad as what he did...it's all just the same..if we just keep repeating that to ourselves...

New Democrat campaign sloga... (Below threshold)
Nell:

New Democrat campaign slogan:

We'll have a plan!

I would add to that Nell:</... (Below threshold)

I would add to that Nell:

We'll have a plan! Or at least form a committee to look into the feasibility of possibly developing a plan at some undetermined point in the future if the polls indicate people want a plan!

I know, it's a little long winded for a slogan...maybe just a platform plank.

The two party system has de... (Below threshold)

The two party system has devolved into a Cold War of words where each side has amassed weapons of rhetoric. Enough arguing over who will marry whom, and where did we come from? Let's get down to the real questions like - why is all of my money going to China? and how come the rights of the drug companies are more important than public health? and when can we just ignore the war on terror and move on to the next war, like we did with the war on drugs?

As for Lew and his golfing buddies, I don't know what state you live in, but I am already mounting a truly independent campaign for Governor of California. I will accept no money, and I will stress competence over rhetoric. Join the fight at www.mahoneyforcalifornia.com

That's not going to fit on ... (Below threshold)
Nell:

That's not going to fit on a bumper sticker, Falze.
But this might:

That Dope Can't Dupe Us...
Twice

The Republicans plan was to... (Below threshold)
American First:

The Republicans plan was to invite only people that agree with their version of a Social Security plan and try and jam it down our throats. Name another President in our history that has had closed to anyone who does not agree with them?




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