Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Hillary in Denver

I don’t agree with Hillary Clinton’s DLC program called the “American Dream Initiative.” It’s got a nice, snappy ring to it, but, I suspect at bottom, there’s a repeal of Bush’s pro-growth tax cuts in order to finance a lot of Democratic constituent, interest group pork. (Although, I do like the sections on private retirement savings accounts—more on this at a later date.)

The key political point here is this: Sen. Clinton is spearheading an increasingly energized Democratic platform response to the midterm elections, and I don’t see any semblance of a Republican congressional attack on her ideas.

Right now it strikes me that the GOP is snoozing. Democrats are guzzling highly caffeinated Starbucks coffee, while the Republicans sip their decaf. Democrats are working 24/7, while the Republicans are taking mid-afternoon siestas. It reminds me a lot of 1994, but obviously in reverse.

You can argue the policy wonk merits of Clinton’s speech, and even the Pelosi fiscal plan, but their political message is strong. “Clinton hits president on middle class” and “Not taking care of America” are the headlines in today’s lead NY Sun article. There is a good GOP response out there, both on the economy and national security, but I’m not hearing it.

The president is working hard, defending Israel, beefing up our troop structure to sweep Baghdad, and arguing the economic merits of his supply side tax cut plan, yet I don’t hear a peep from GOP congressional leadership.

Where are the responses to Clinton et al that might back up Bush? This concerns me. The GOP contents itself by squabbling over immigration. Well, I got news for you, that ain’t much of an election year plan.

Jack Kemp has it right: the governing party has to govern. Except for a handful of hotheads (my term), polls show the nation wants comprehensive, broad based immigration reform.

This is a big issue, and it’s a lot more important than Hillary’s idea of throwing more money at left wing college professors, or setting up a new and completely unnecessary mortgage finance program, or making a new run at a nationalized health care system.

But, can the Republicans govern? I’m looking for a first rate response to Mrs. Clinton. I’m listening very carefully, but I still don’t hear a thing.