Who Needs New Ideas, Anyway
Washington Post Op-ed
It has become a truism of American politics that elections are about bold new ideas, that criticism and complaints are never enough to win, that Democrats will never regain power until they articulate a fresh and forward-looking vision that will inspire voters, like the Republicans did with their Contract With America in 1994. The Democrats, according to this conventional wisdom, must move past the petty obstructionism that President Bush has derided as "the philosophy of the stop sign, the agenda of the roadblock."
"New" is always overrated in politics. The New Deal had its roots in the Progressive Era; the New Frontier had its roots in the New Deal. The ideas in the Contract With America seemed new only after four decades of Democratic control of the House: term limits, balanced budgets, open government and "the end of government that is too big, too intrusive, and too easy with the public's money."
And what's the blogosphere? Chopped liver? The New York Times had a good article yesterday on how the internet is pulling Democrats to the left.
According to his logic, we still have another three decades to go before people get tired of Republican rule. There's no reason why we should simply wait for the pendulum to swing back though; we always have fought on our ideas, and if we can't now, waiting isn't going to do anything about it.