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August 11, 2004

reflecting on the Democratic Convention

The more I think about the recent Convention, the more it seems like an emormous missed opportunity. As I'm sure you have noticed, the country faces some pretty difficult challenges: a foreign war, a terrorist threat, a $7 trillion national debt, an annual deficit of almost half a trillion dollars, an aging population, 44 million people without health insurance, global warming, two million people behind bars (with all the crime and wasted lives that that figure represents), and a continuous loss of manufacturing jobs because developing countries have finally made up enough technological ground that their workers can compete directly with ours. I followed the Convention closely through newspapers and blogs, and I didn't learn anything new about how the Democrats would address any of these issues.

Right now, some liberal bloggers seem eager to show that Kerry gained support as a result of the convention. Conservative bloggers stress the stability of the poll numbers, which is pretty evident if you look at the Rasmussen daily tracking poll. I predict that the discourse will soon change. Unless the Republicans mess up their Convention, they will probably gain a few points of "bounce" in late August, thereby putting Bush/Cheney slightly in the lead for the fall. At that point, all the progressive pundits, bloggers, and grassroots activists will start complaining about the Democratic ticket and its failure to put forward convincing ideas about at least two or three major issues (for instance, Iraq, the deficit, and jobs). I believe it would be better to start that discussion sooner rather than later, and to do it in a constructive way. It's not simply Kerry-Edwards' fault that the Democrats are short of convincing proposals; the whole left-of-center hasn't been adequately focused on policy. They've depended to much on the manifold weaknesses of the Bush Administration.

Posted by peterlevine at 12:42 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

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