Wednesday, November 13, 2002

It's the imagination, stupid. Imagination is the problem ...
...with President Bush, writes Arianna Huffington:
The president has been asking very little of us. At one stop he recommended we "be a Boy Scout leader or a Girl Scout leader." At another he suggested that Americans "put their arm around somebody who hurts and say, 'I love you. What can I do to help you? How can I make your life better?'" Unfortunately, he failed to mention what to do when the answer to that question is: "Take you damn arm off of me and get me some affordable health insurance!" ... I'm all in favor of these things. But there is a world of difference between urging mild, spare-time charity and championing a cause that will transform our society. It's the difference between flaccid, patronizing stump-speech rhetoric and invoking patriotism to rally us as a nation to a common mission.

...and with the Democrats, writes Joe Klein:
Some say move left. Some say move right. Both are right and both are wrong. If we're to have a vaguely interesting national debate, the Democrats have to move forward—away from the boring, tiny, and tactical issues, and language, and interest groups that the party has championed in recent years. This will mean a change in style as well as content. ... The Democrats need to embrace complexity. This is anathema, I know. Politicians hate compound sentences. But let's face it, most of the best Democratic ideas are complicated. They usually involve this formulation: We should make [name your sacrifice] in order to gain [name your long-term benefit]. The Republicans, by contrast, tend to be the party of the sentence fragment: Cut taxes. Wave the flag. Family values. (Although thoughtful Republicans are uncomfortable with such empty, short-term blather.) My sense is that civilians are uncomfortable with it, too.

Earlier: Election morning after

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