Welshman comments:

I worry about the dialogue going on here and other boards.

At some stage the concerns of members of the Demecratic Party had better stop looking at the doomsayers and start taking a positive and progressive view of what is and how it can be made better within the context of what exists now, rather than the awfulness of what could be.

2006 elections are not that far away. The transition from appearing being just an opposition into a party of government, with a clear and pragmatic vision of how it is going to lead, needs to start now (and I wrote the same four months ago).

No solution for a future crisis in oil is going to emerge through 2006 to 2008 so accept the fact and work within the current boundaries of the possible.

Our blogs are choked with negativity. Recommended diaries are those which feed our misery. Let Boomantribune be the one to mark itself out as a positive source of confidence for the future. The electorate won’t buy into anything else.

All of which is has little to do with this thread, but I had to say it somewhere and it applies to 99.9% of the threads everywhere at the moment.

Welshman is right. Writes Seattle’s ever-perceptive Sandeep Kaushik in “OPPORTUNITY COSTS – Dems Are Misunderestimating Bush”:

“Too many Democrats, from the top down, can’t shake their belief that Bush and his party have moved so far to the radical right that they are teetering on a precipice, always one misstep or overreach away from seeing their popularity melt away like an ice cream cone in the Texas sun. They’re right about the radical part, but they’re wrong about everything else … more below

Continues Sandeep Kaushik in his regular political feature story in The Stranger, a free weekly published in Seattle:

They are especially, hopelessly, heartbreakingly wrong in their touchingly naive belief that Bush will somehow do himself in with his bad decisions.

“The problem,” Kaushik observes, “is that what goes down can come up just as easily–especially when the opposing party appears to be locked in a state of suspended animation. Democrats are desperately in need of a positive reform agenda.”

Politically, it’s not going to be enough for Dems to say they stopped Bush’s misguided reform, unless the public believes they offer something better in its place.

Take Social Security:

Blogger Ezra Klein recently highlighted polling data showing that public support for the Democrats on Social Security has remained stagnant; support for the congressional Democratic leadership has actually dropped. On some issues, they are too defensive (Social Security); on others, too conciliatory (the flawed bankruptcy bill that preserved loopholes for the wealthy); and on yet others, embarrassingly absent (the DeLay-Frist-Bush extra-legal Schiavo fiasco). They lead a party that seems perpetually reactive, stuck in a fetal crouch, with no coherent agenda–and few core beliefs–of its own.

To some extent, this is a function of being so completely shut out of power. But not entirely. Take Social Security, where the Democrats have demonstrated impressive unity …

“Gleeful liberal pundits argue that the Dems are winning, and should avoid the temptation to make a counter offer. They’re wrong,” Kaushik insists.

Privatization is all but dead, but the potential fiscal problems with Social Security remain. Now is the time, as Bush is reeling, for Democrats to offer a take-it-or-leave-it plan, based on Democratic principles of progressivity and sustainability, to fix Social Security while ruling out the virus of private accounts. Bush will undoubtedly walk away, proving that he cares only about privatization, not about actually fixing the system’s fiscal solvency crunch. That’s fine, because Dems will then have a cudgel with which to beat the Republicans in the 2006 elections. Politically, it’s not going to be enough for Dems to say they stopped Bush’s misguided reform, unless the public believes they offer something better in its place.

What now? How do we respond to Welshman? And how do we get the Democratic hierarchy to see that, as Kaushik puts it, “now is the time”?

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