Democrats claim they have consistently lost elections over the past six years based on their inability to define a platform. Democrats were for the war before they were against it; they were for social security reform before they were against it; they were for sexual impropriety by politicians (Bill Clinton, Gerry Studds, Barney Frank) before they were against it (Mark Foley); they are unsure about the morality of gay marriage, but will slander those who oppose it. Democrats are consistent on two issues, and two issues only: abortion and tax cuts. They're for the former and against the latter. Which is, of course, why Democrats have not fully defined their platform: Their platform is unpalatable to most Americans. Ambiguity is a better option than clarity.
Ambiguity remains a better option than clarity for today's Democratic Party. Hence the fawning over first-term Senator Barack "Blank" Obama (D-Ill), who, to paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, can compress the most words into the smallest ideas better than any man in politics. Obama is the culmination of a decade-long Democratic attempt to run from their own ideas. He refuses to be pinned to policy. According to Blank's own proclamations on "Meet the Press" on October 22, he is for "common sense and pragmatism" and "smart government." This will surely distinguish Blank from those politicians who campaign on the basis of stupidity, impracticality and imbecilic government.
Sen. Blank has the right idea: obscure, obfuscate and obstruct when it comes to questions of policy. Unfortunately for them, Democrats are buying into their own rhetoric about the lack of a platform. Democrats have identified a problem: They have no platform. But they have not identified the problem: Their platform is ridiculous. And so, for the 2006 election, their platform looks something like this:
Dump the tax cuts. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) would be head of the House Ways and Means Committee were the Democrats to retake the House. He has stated that he would not renew a single tax cut. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi would be Speaker of the House. She has promised "a rollback of the tax cuts." Democrats are far more willing to talk about rollback of domestic tax cuts than they ever were to discuss rollback of communism.
Investigate everything. Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) would become the head of the House Energy and Commerce Committee if Democrats regained House control. He pledges investigations regarding everything from climate change to port security. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), as prospective head of the Government Reform Committee, declares he would dig into Halliburton. Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) would be elevated to head the Judiciary Committee and plans to investigate the Patriot Act and domestic wiretapping. If you've enjoyed the partisan wrangling of the past few years, you'll love a Democrat-controlled House focused on bringing down the Bush administration.
Hamstring the War on Terror. Democrats have already targeted the Patriot Act and domestic wiretapping; monitoring terrorists offends their delicate sensibilities. Democrats have been undermining the prosecution of the war in Iraq since its inception. Now they would initiate investigations into intelligence and the FBI's treatment of leakers. They would attempt to set a hard, fast and immediate deadline for American troop withdrawal, regardless of the consequences.
Impeach Bush. Don't buy Nancy Pelosi's denials on this score. Pelosi doesn't want to become the left's version of Newt Gingrich, but she doesn't have strong enough control over her fellow Democrats to stanch their poisonous desire for retribution after a 12-year exile from the majority. Besides, if Democrats managed to impeach both President Bush and Vice President Cheney, Pelosi would be next in line for the presidency.
Democrats have not been subtle about their plans. Egged on by their radical Daily Kos/Ned Lamont/Howard Dean base, they have spoken clearly on the issues. And though Democrats protest when Republicans point out their far-left agenda, the American people know enough not to trust Pelosi, Rangel, Dingell and Conyers with war or the economy. Pelosi shouldn't chortle over which House office suite to pick just yet.