Thursday, March 23, 2006

President Uses The Full Power of Incumbency to Generate No Ideas

"No Idea" -- Republicans unveil their new line for the fall

Still Searching: With their poll numbers in free fall, GOP strategists had to do something to stop the midterm bleeding. So, in the last week, congressional Republicans began unveiling a new strategy: Promising not to have an agenda. As Dan Balz and Jonathan Weisman pointed out in Monday's Washington Post, "While it is a Republican refrain that Democrats criticize Bush but have no positive vision, for now the governing party also has no national platform around which lawmakers are prepared to rally."

For five years, Republicans trashed Democrats as bereft of ideas. Now that they see Democrats up by 10 points, Republicans are rushing to claim the mantle of no ideas for themselves. Caught by surprise, Democratic consultants quickly fired back: Hey, we had no ideas first.

Just two weeks ago, the very same Post ran another front-page story giving Democrats the edge in being slow to unveil an agenda. But when a sitting president uses the full power of incumbency to generate no ideas, a minority party can't keep up. The whole country saw Bush put his lack of an agenda on display in a prime-time State of the Union address. Moreover, when it comes to tired ideas, Democrats can't possibly compete with a Republican Party whose sole remaining bedrock principle is a tax cut theory that didn't work a quarter century ago, either.

The truth is, Democrats are increasingly eager to get out of the no-idea business and leave that turf to the Republicans. Many Democrats actually have ideas, so it has become a real burden for the party to pretend otherwise.

No comments: