Monday, April 18, 2011

An Uncivil Defense

"Let's Not Be Civil" is not a call to arms but rather a call to the Democrats to advocate for their fundamental policy positions. What we have seen, and come to expect, over the past 2 years, is a party that seems to compromise with itself even before it compromises with the other side. In the first major confrontation during the Obama presidency, the debate on health care reform, the single payer system might well have represented the Democratic vision, or at least its starting point. It never even saw the light of day. The watered down version of the Romney plan that remained at the end was the product of continuing concessions to the right. More was hoped for, particularly at a moment when both houses and the presidency were in Democratic control.

We have watched this pattern repeated time and again, most recently with the extension of the Bush era tax cuts and in the 2011 budget that reduces spending when an infusion of money is what we desperately need. There are large economic dilemmas looming in the near future, with debates on raising the debt ceiling and on the 2012 budget, and beyond, just warming up. President Obama has proven to be a person of compelling intellect, but not a wonderful negotiator. He has approached so many issues as if he is coming from a point of weakness. His "spirited defense of his party's values" was hopefully a sign that the Democrats, and their leader, will not so quickly abandon their core beliefs in the upcoming battles. An unwillingness to "fold" should not be considered uncivil. Just ask the Republicans.

No comments: