Tuesday, March 21, 2006

We Need Lots Of Plans!

I’m really getting tired of Republicans carping that Democrats complain about Iraq, but have no plan of their own. If they mean a single plan that all Democrats agree on, then they’re right. The Republicans certainly have a single plan they all agree on and look where it’s gotten us. They can’t even acknowledge that “We’ll stand down as the Iraqi’s stand up.” is not a plan, it is a hope, a wish, and more recently, a prayer. I don’t want Democrats to come up with a single plan and I wish Republicans with the guts to take on this administration would express their true feelings. I heard an articulate and reasonable Senator Chuck Hagel this weekend. I’d like to hear more of his real thoughts on the war. We need new ideas; lots of new ideas. Politicians should be encouraged to suggest lots of plans. If the pros and cons of each are discussed with an open mind, we might really figure out what a true exit strategy is.

We don’t need a plan from the Democrats that they will feel compelled to defend lest they be called “wafflers”. If the Democrats could come up with a single plan, what good would it do them? They are in no position to do anything about it. They are in no position to implement any of it. It would just give a single point for Republicans to attack. As the situation changes and new proposals and options are suggested, these ideas would be ridiculed as just more examples of the lack of Democrat’s resolve. Democrats, as individuals, have made many suggestions. Some have actually been borrowed by the administration, but no one is ever going to give them any credit. Democrats should continue to talk about their concerns and ideas, even if they don’t have an all inclusive plan. Not many politicians or people agree with Representative Murtha’s plan to pull out of Iraq immediately, but no one can deny that he has moved the discussion and thinking forward. We need more suggestions.

I recently heard several people on the talk shows suggest that dissent and discussion in this country only strengthens the resolve of people like the insurgents in Iraq. The implication is that opponents should shut up and support the President. Not only would this spell the end of the Democratic Party, it is not how a democracy works. People seem to believe that it is OK to have their phone tapped as long as someone promises security in return. Would they really give up their right to dissent also? Do the pundits realize that governments and citizens that project a single policy or opinion are usually called dictatorships?

Senator Dianne Feinstein was on Hardball with Chris Matthews (MSNBC) tonight. She did an excellent job of laying out the problems in Iraq and suggesting a course of action. For those of you who think Democrats have no ideas, get a copy of her interview. She made more sense in three minutes than the President has in the last three months. I understand that as a Senator she has more freedom to make certain kinds of statements than the President, but that is the very reason we need people like her to speak out.

As the ’08 presidential campaign heats up and a Democratic presidential candidate is chosen, I would expect that the Democrats will try to project a united front with a common solution to our problems. I’m sure that after the Democrat’s presidential candidate is elected, the party will break down into nuanced discussions, heated policy arguments, wishy-washy policies and general political disarray. Just the kind of energy, soul searching, flexibility and responsiveness that keeps a democracy energized.

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1 comment:

npanth said...

I agree, and saw the same interview. I've seen other interviews over the last year that have similar, concise plans. The Tv-genereation in me wants a pat answer, but the thinking part of me looks at the elections very much like you... bookmark :)