by John Hawkins | May 20, 2003 3:20 pm
A Guide To Beating Bush In 2004: Just as an intellectual exercise, here’s how I would try to beat Bush if I were the Democratic nominee in 2004 assuming the Dems had an electable ticket like Lieberman for President / Edwards for VP…
— The War on Terrorism: I would “hug Bush on the issue and say that I agree with most of the things he’s doing, then I would attack him from the right. I’d demand that we the “Roadmap” be taken off the table until the Palestinians stopped supporting terrorism and that we crackdown on Saudi Arabia. I’d also call for MASSIVE increases in spending on the homefront (more than Bush would be willing to stomach) in Iran and I’d try to sound just as hawkish as Bush on North Korea, Iran, & Syria. This may seem like a stretch, but it would be necessary to offset the Dems greatest weakness and a hawk like Lieberman could pull it off.
— Running against tax cuts almost always proves to be a bad idea, so why not go with the flow? I’d call for tax cuts just as big as Bush’s cut and I’d keep some of his proposals like getting rid of the marriage tax and the child tax credits. Then I’d call for taking the rest out of social security taxes. From the Democrat’s perspective, if you’re going to do a tax cut, you might as well make sure that you give it to people who are going to vote for you.
— Bush has run large deficits and Democrats do have some credibility on that issue because Clinton was able to balance the budget. So, I’d propose a Balanced Budget Amendment. It probably wouldn’t pass because my own most of my own Party wouldn’t vote for it, but it would be a popular policy to push.
— There is one major issue that BOTH parties are on the wrong side of, illegal immigration. The American public wants something done, but Bush is afraid angering Hispanic voters so he isn’t willing to make a move. Were I Joe Lieberman, I’d push this issue because it would pull in a lot of undecided voters and because I really don’t think it would have much of a negative impact on Hispanics. If they went through all the trouble to get here legally, I’m not sure that they’re going to have soft spots in their hearts for people who aren’t willing to pay their dues to get here.
— Then I’d hit all the hot button issues of the left that the Democratic candidate HAS to hit, like being pro-abortion, for the environment, talking up unions, supporting Affirmative Action, etc.
Now I’ll grant you that there would be a lot of left-wingers who would dislike some of those issues, but that’s when I’d fire back with, “Do you want 2 or 3 ultra-right wing judges on the Supreme Court? Because that’s what you’re going to get if I’m not elected. Do you want women to have the “right to choose”? What about Affirmative Action? If I’m not elected, they may not be around in 4 years!”
Pushing these issues would allow the Lieberman/Edwards ticket a way to attack Bush at his most vulnerable points even if the economy improves. This agenda could bring over a lot of swing voters while the Democratic base would hopefully be motivated enough by the dislike of Bush to turn out in droves despite a more right leaning agenda than they’d like.
We don’t know who’s going to get the nomination and what strategy they’re going to use, but what I just came up with has to be better than the “vote for us because we’re not Republicans” strategy most Democrats seem to have embraced.
PS: Don’t worry about me giving the Democrats any ideas. They don’t listen to Conservatives when it comes to things like this.
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