- Mar 21, 2005
- Reaction score
- New York, NY
- Political Leaning
- Slightly Conservative
Democrats Aren't Running From Health Care. But What Are They Running On? - NYTimes.comWhat was more striking in our examination was a Republican agenda that appeared in sharper relief than the Democratic one, and which was more readily contributing to their messages to voters on the campaign trail. For some Republican candidates, the agenda may indeed begin with the health care bill, which many are pledging to repeal. But there are also issues like the deficit, which more than four out of five Republicans highlighted on their Web sites in some form. Some 60 percent of Republicans, meanwhile -– including some in states far removed from the Mexican border -– addressed immigration, usually advocating tighter border security.
Democrats, on the other hand, are having trouble articulating a clear set of policy goals. After health care, the issues mentioned most frequently by Democrats were energy, jobs and education – each of which were highlighted by 7 out of 10 Democrats. But these issues do not necessarily lend themselves to a crisp set of policy proposals. The country has been debating various efforts at job creation since the start of President Obama’s term, and usually with little consensus. Although Mr. Obama has advanced an education plan, it has received scant attention in Congress, making it hard for Democrats to draw clear contrasts. On energy, the Democrats do have a clearer policy proposal: their bill to introduce a cap-and-trade system, which passed the House last year but not the Senate. Many of the Democrats, however, spoke about “energy independence” in much vaguer terms (as did many Republicans). And a few – like Mike Oliverio, a conservative Democrat in West Virginia — noted their opposition to the cap-and-trade proposal.
Arguably, the frequent mention of education on the Democrats’ Web sites – as well as another issue, veterans’ affairs – speaks somewhat to the weakness of their political position. Few voters will object to these issues: who wouldn’t want to support our children, or our troops? But without specific policy proposals attached to them (and more specifically, policy proposals that Republicans have raised objections to) it is not clear that they will motivate Democratic and swing voters to go to the polls.
An interesting article contradicting the narrative that Republicans don't have a coherent plan for the election. You might not agree with it, but they certainly have a message that they're pushing.