Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

November 8, 2004

by V

Make the Republicans own Washington

I endorse this approach to legislative battles from Yglesias @ Tapped:

TAPPED: Opposition as Liberation
The Democrats need to do what they can to take advantage of their status as a marginalized opposition party. They need to make the Republicans own the IRS, the tax code, and everything else about the government that's hateful or inefficient. It is, after all, the Republicans' government and the Republicans' tax code. While Bush is dragging his feet, appointing commissions, and trying to outsource the work to them, Democrats need to produce their own tax reform plan -- a plan that, since it has no chance of being implemented, can afford to be utopian and not get mucked up by business interests or other petty realities of actual governance -- and flog it mercilessly. The Republicans have all the power, so the Democrats must make them the party of government, and make themselves the party of reform.

There are plenty of liberal economists around Washington and in academia who are more than capable of devising a reasonable, progressive tax reform plan much more quickly than the GOP is willing or able to move.
It can be a luxury to not actually have to worry about making legislation passable. Dems should take advantage of this and make the Republicans look like special-interest whores in comparison.

Will they? Only if they can get their own constituent groups not to panic based on a bill with no hope.

In the same vein, I also endorse the Tax Fairness Act of 2005.
This Act would mandate that, within some reasonable margin of error, your state should get as much back from the feds as is sent to them in taxes. It's time to end this kind of geographic welfare!

Posted by V at November 8, 2004 10:34 AM

Your strategy mimics what Gingrich successfully did throughout the late 80s and early 90s. Republicans could not dislodge democrats from the House, so he equated them with it.

Posted by: Nanovirus at November 9, 2004 09:36 AM

Recommended Reading:

The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity: A Diplomat's Memoir
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Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush
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Against All Enemies by Richard Clarke
Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror

LIES by Al Franken
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right

The Great Unraveling
The Great Unraveling

The Great Big Book of Tomorrow
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Blinded by the Right
Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative

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Subject to Debate: Sense and Dissents on Women, Politics, and Culture

Living History

The Hunting of the President: The Ten-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton

John Adams

Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation

Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace

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