Going Back to the Past to Win the Future

When I have a moment, I will take an in depth look at Will Marshall’s new article in Politico Magazine on how the Democratic Party can save itself from itself. Before I do the deep dive, however, I want you to notice that after all the arguments and statistics that Mr. Marshall brings to the table, his argument basically remains unchanged from the 1990’s. The Democratic Party can become the ruling party and have enough power to actually push through legislation if they adopt the policies of the Democratic Leadership Council, become deficit scolds, cut corporate taxes, lower regulations, slash entitlements, and tell the environmentalists to go pound sand.

Voters have no doubt that Democrats know how to expand government. They need to be convinced that Democrats also know how to revitalize the private economy and create a policy and regulatory environment more conducive to rapid growth. For example, they should nurture the dynamically innovative digital economy—including the emerging “Internet of Everything—not strangle it with new regulations or turn the Internet into a public utility. Instead of defending automatic entitlement growth, they should adopt a pro-growth fiscal policy that shifts public dollars from present consumption to investment in the future. They should lead the charge to simplify and lower personal and corporate taxes, which are driving investment overseas. And Democrats should put the nation’s shale gas and oil windfall to productive use within a balanced national energy strategy that steadily reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

In other places in this piece, Mr. Marshall says that the Democrats need to anticipate diminishing advantages with their core constituencies by aggressively courting more white men.

His analysis deserves a more respectful hearing than what I have laid out here, but it’s still a lot of words that are brought forth to make a very old and stale argument.

Yet, we are gridlocked, and we need to discuss strategies for breaking the clinch and coming out on top.

So, more later.

Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly and the main blogger at Booman Tribune.