by John Hawkins | May 9, 2006 7:15 am
We conservatives often flog the left for not having the guts to tell people what they really want to do. So, when a prominent liberal blogger, like Atrios, gives you an idea of what liberals would like to do when they get into power, it’s worth examining.
Here’s the agenda that Atrios says the “liberal netroots” has achieved a “fairly clear consensus on”:
* Undo the bankruptcy bill enacted by this administration
* Repeal the estate tax repeal
* Increase the minimum wage and index it to the CPI
* Universal health care (obviously the devil is in the details on this one)
* Increase CAFE standards. Some other environment-related regulation
* Pro-reproductive rights, getting rid of abstinence-only education, improving education about and access to contraception including the morning after pill, and supporting choice. On the last one there’s probably some disagreement around the edges (parental notification, for example), but otherwise.
* Simplify and increase the progressivity of the tax code
* Kill faith-based funding. Certainly kill federal funding of anything that engages in religious discrimination.
* Reduce corporate giveaways
* Have Medicare run the Medicare drug plan
* Force companies to stop underfunding their pensions. Change corporate bankruptcy law to put workers and retirees at the head of the line with respect to their pensions.
* Leave the states alone on issues like medical marijuana. Generally move towards “more decriminalization” of drugs, though the details complicated there too.
* Imprison Jeff Goldstein for crimes against humanity for his neverending stupidity
* Paper ballots
* Improve access to daycare and other pro-family policies. Obiously details matter.
* Raise the cap on wages covered by FICA taxes.
I’m sure I could think of a few more things. I left off foreign policy because I find that most people who write about it imagine they’re playing the game of Risk. It’s nice to have nice bumpersticker doctrines which are ultimately meaningless, but basically “put grownups in charge” is my prescription. Kick the petulant children out.
…adding a few more things which would be obvious if we weren’t living in the Grand and Glorious Age of Bush:
* Torture is bad
* Imprisoning citizens without charges is bad
* Playing Calvinball with the Geneva Conventions and treaties generally is bad
* Imprisoning anyone indefinitely without charges is bad
* Stating that the president can break any law he wants any time “just because” is bad
…oh, and I meant to include:
* Marriage rights for all, which includes “gay marriage” and quicker transition to citizenship for the foreign spouses of citizens.
So, let’s see what we have here. Atrios wants to increase taxes in a variety of different ways. Big surprise there. He wants to massively expand the power and cost of the Federal government with socialized medicine. Again, right out of the standard Democratic playbook. Increasing the number of abortions? Check. Forcing gay marriage on the country over the desires of the voters? Check. They want “more decriminalization” of drugs? Does that include crack? What about meth? How about heroin? Don’t worry, because they’ll let you know after they get back into power!
Also, he doesn’t have the guts to come right out and say it, but it’s pretty clear from his “Grand and Glorious Age of Bush” comments that Atrios spends his nights crying into his pillow because he’s all upset that we’re not being nice enough to the Al-Qaeda terrorists we’ve captured. Maybe if all the Islamo-Fascists at Gitmo get fancy lawyers and trials in front of liberal American judges, just like we did with the Nazis during WW2….say, we didn’t do that with the Nazis we captured while the war was going on, did we?
It’s also worth noting that there’s nothing in there about illegal immigration, deficit spending, the Kyoto Protocol, or the International Criminal Court. Furthermore, Atrios skips all the tough foreign policy issues. Could that be because Democrats become completely paralyzed when they have to deal with serious national security issues? Could it be because it’s more important to liberals to have the French and Kofi Annan happy with us than to protect America? Indeed, it could!
But, don’t get me wrong: I applaud Atrios for having the courage to put forth even this partial agenda. If only the Democrats running for office would be this straightforward and honest about what they believe, the country would be better off….mainly because there would be a lot less Democrats who’d be elected.
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