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    Jack Cafferty ripped the Dems today, or rather his respondants did.  The question was why don't Dems make headway with Republican gaffs now prominent.  Replies mentioned at least twice that the Dems do not have an agenda.  And I must admit, I could fumble around and come up with some Democratic ideas, but I do not have a crisp, concise, memorable list, preferably expressed in a way one can remember.
     Help me out here.  What is the official Democratic Party agenda in three to five easy points. Next time I'd like to be able to respond to people when I hear this complaint.  (Yes, I agree the media tilts right, but we still need a well-written short list.  With a theme?)

Originally posted to Ceee on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 03:17 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  3 sentences (none)
    Be as meek as possible
    Don't make waves
    Don't act today when you can act tomorrow
  •  Get elected (none)
    stay elected, don't piss off the big-money donors.

    Pretty simple, huh?

    Come see TV from the reality-based community at

    by MarkInSanFran on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 03:20:08 PM PST

  •  My one sentence, 3 item v. (none)
    A hand up for the needy, a fair shake for both the worker and businessman, and accountability for the powerful.

    Torture, spying on citizens, war on false pretenses. We're one long line for toilet paper away from becoming the USSR.

    by nightsweat on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 03:22:30 PM PST

  •  I guess they would be: (none)
    Don't piss off the Republicans
    Keep all your big-money donors happy (but nobody else)
    Bend over and take it up the ass

    "I worry a great deal about the future of democracy in America"
    - President of St. Lawrence University Daniel Sullivan at Commencement 2004

    by Team Slacker on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 03:22:46 PM PST

  •  The Democratic Agenda (none)
    Based on Harry Reid's pre-SOTU speech.

    1 We will enact national security policies that give the American people real security, not just empty slogans.
    2 We will enact a health care plan that provides real and affordable health care for all Americans.
    3 We will enact economic policies that benefit the well-being of all Americans, not just the richest few.
    4 We will clean up the culture of corruption that has seized Congress and act in a manner befitting the inheritors of the proud political tradition of the United States.

    I personally would add to this:

    5 We will enact policies that preserve our environment and our natural resources, for the benefit of our continued sustainable growth and for the benefit of the next seven generations of Americans.

    •  I like this (none)
      I like this.  Now how do you frame it so it's attractive.  Remember the "Contract with America" GOPers used.  Something like that is necessary too.
      •  Take smaller bites (none)
        These lack crispness.  For example:

        1 We will enact national security policies that give the American people real security, not just empty slogans.

        I have no clue what this means.  Will the voter devoting 5 minutes a week to politics understand it.  What does it mean?  Because my immediate reaction is that it is an empty slogan.

    •  You forgot... (none)
      the unspoken long is this is ok with the republicans!

      Just when you thought it couldn't possibly get any worse...

      by reflectionsv37 on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 03:49:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Republican Agenda (none)
    National Defense
    Lower Taxes
    Less Government Regulation

    How's that.  I didn't think more that 20 seconds to come up with that.  I suppose that with thought a more refined list could be done.  I suspect that if you polled people you would find that the majority of people who pay attention to politics would come up with this or a similar list.  Of course a certain percentage would say "What are Republicans" is that a football team?  But then very few people are political geeks.

    So what is the Democratic agenda?  It better not be No Republicans.  That's a losing agenda.  So, seriously, what is it?

    •  Further thought (none)
      While it is common to ridicule Newt Gingrich's contract with America as a 'contract on America', it won the house for the Republicans.  It was (according to my Google Search):

      On the first day of the 104th Congress, the new Republican majority will immediately pass the following major reforms, aimed at restoring the faith and trust of the American people in their government:

      FIRST, require all laws that apply to the rest of the country also apply equally to the Congress;
      SECOND, select a major, independent auditing firm to conduct a comprehensive audit of Congress for waste, fraud or abuse;
      THIRD, cut the number of House committees, and cut committee staff by one-third;
      FOURTH, limit the terms of all committee chairs;
      FIFTH, ban the casting of proxy votes in committee;
      SIXTH, require committee meetings to be open to the public;
      SEVENTH, require a three-fifths majority vote to pass a tax increase;
      EIGHTH, guarantee an honest accounting of our Federal Budget by implementing zero base-line budgeting

      I suspect that most people here would actually approve of all of these with the possible exception of the Seventh and Maybe the Fifth, but I don't know why that was an issue.

      Note that all of these are clear, they are all specific, and they are all relatively simple, not generic platitudes or decade long tasks.  And finally, none of them mention Democrats.

    •  You are exactly (none)
      right in so far as 3 sentences is too long. Eerily, on NPR a few days ago the same question was asked to Paul Hackett, name the Democratic agenda in three bullets. He did it in 3 sentences, and the hosts explained that doing it in 3 sentences were why the Dems have been losing.

      Who designed the intelligent designer?

      by deano on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 03:49:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Republican Agenda (none)
    Bush has had one, and delivered on little of it. Polls show consistently that Americans prefer the Democrats on social issues.

    After the last election a wise Kossack, the name I can't recall,  said the Democratic party should have had a mid term convention and hammered out all the issues, including Iraq . It would have been expensive but it would have united the party around common agenda. By fighting this out on a bright sunshine playing field and under the spotlight of the media would have allowed all Americans to see what democracy was really about.

    I was sorry I only saw it mentioned once.

  •  This is going to sound pretty stupid (none)
    but I don't buy it that the Democrats are without an agenda.

    Nobody's listening.

    Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power. Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

    by nupstateny on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 03:50:08 PM PST

  •  A Theme (none)
    Family Values

    These could include:

    A strong military -- strong for us and strong for the troops, making sure they are equipped on the battlefield and that they and their families are cared for at home.

    A strong education system -- one that listens to families, takes their input seriously and abandons the high-handed, one-size-fits-all NCLB approach.

    A strong healthcare system -- one that takes the control out of the hands of the pharmaceutical and insurance industries and provides families with comprehensive health care at an affordable cost.

    Pick an issue. Figure out how we are more about supporting real families than the other guys.


  •  From Dean (none)
    I saw this diaried last week after he appeared on the Today Show.  Of course the only thing anyone remembers about this is the kerfuffle regarding Abramoff.

    "One: American jobs that will stay in America, using energy independence to generate those jobs. Two: a strong national defense based on telling the truth to our citizens, our soldiers and our allies. Three: Honesty and integrity to be restored to government. Four: A health care system that works for everybody just like they have in 36 other countries. Five: a strong public education system so we can have optimism and opportunity back in America."

    - Howard Dean, The Today Show, 1/26/06

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