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Friday, June 02, 2006
Today, an editorial in my newspaper of choice, the Dallas Morning News, ends like this:
This leadership vacuum is not going to be filled before the fall campaign, and there's little evidence at this early date that the Democrats have settled on a compelling agenda to set them apart decisively from the GOP.
"Had enough?" might simply have to be enough this year. It won't be for 2008.
This is exactly the point I have tried to make with all of my Democratic friends. As a voter, I need to align myself with something, not align myself against something. I want a coherent message; something which can be followed.
I have never voted for a Bush for President. I probably wouldn’t in 2008 either. I believe the president has been wrong on a number of things. From a policy perspective, I think the executive branch has dropped the ball on many things: school reform, government-funded prescription drugs for seniors, and immigration come immediately to mind. Furthermore, the president and his lieutenants have failed to advance important planks in their agenda, such as entitlement reform.
Many voters like me would gravitate to an alternative were one to present itself. Like the News, I believe that none exists. I don’t see the demonization of the oil companies and the advocacy of a minimum wage increase as election-pivoting issues.
What’s important to me as a voter is an agenda that rests upon sensible, growth-oriented tax and fiscal policies, a consistent, tough national security stance, and fair immigration reform. It is upon these issues that my vote will hinge.
Ironically, I’m not sure the Republican Party is up to these challenges. Certainly there has been no movement on reforming the alternative tax. Certainly, frugality has not been one of this Congress’ virtues. I’m not always sure where the current incarnation of the federal government stands on security policy either. (Note to Washington: creating a bureaucracy to address security issues was a bad idea.) And debating the administration’s immigration policy is a whole new post.
But are the Democrats any different? Would things improve with Speaker Pelosi or Majority Leader Reid? Are you joking? A 2006 Democratic legislature would consist of one goal: undermining President Bush. That seems to be the Democrat’s raison d’etre. And quite frankly, I don’t find that to be a compelling reason to change elected officials.
So maybe I’ll hold my nose and vote GOP this time. Or maybe I will take a flyer on an independent party. At this point, the only truth that is evident is this: “had enough” is not enough.
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