Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Democrats fail at setting the agenda again

I read this great editorial in the New York Times by David Brooks about the Big Government War waging right now in which he said one of the biggest failings of the Democratic Party is that they're more concerned with winning arguments than deciding what they arguments will be. Or maybe more that the Democrats don't understand what the public perception will be of their agenda. For instance, the debate about health care was not really about health care itself but more about big government v. small government. We all have seen how well that worked out for them.

So my question is this: If the Democrats had sought to reform the food system, which I believe would have helped treat one of the real causes of the health care crisis, would we still be having the Big Government debate? Food reform probably would have required a reworking of the Farm Bill, which amounts to billions of dollars in spending by the Federal Government. In that case, Democrats would actually be taking on misguided government spending rather than increasing it. I'm guessing we would have heard from Palinites that elitist Democrats were declaring war on farmers, but would the Democratic party be in the free fall it is in now if they had picked a different agenda?

Bonus question: Would the backlash have been better or worse if Obama had tried to reduce government spending by scaling back the military and the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?

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