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“We Need A Positive Governing Agenda, And We Should Let Erskine Bowles and Joe Lieberman Figure It Out”

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Krugman on one of the most irritating cliches that gets used constantly irrespective of whether it’s true:

“Democrats need to have a positive agenda, not just be against Donald Trump.” How many times did you hear pundits say something like that during the midterm campaigns? In fact, you’re still hearing it from people like Seth Moulton, who’s leading the (apparently failing) effort to block Nancy Pelosi from returning as House speaker.

The linked article in which Moutlon says that Dems need an agenda beyond just opposing Trump also features Moulton and Tim Ryan trying to describe such an agenda. The results are unintentionally hilarious:

In past interviews, Ryan has lamented his party’s turn toward political correctness. “We can’t have these purity tests,” he said, before listing a few key characteristics all Democrats should have. “You can’t be racist. You can’t be sexist. You can’t be homophobic — you’ve got to check those boxes — and then be economically progressive,” he said. “Other than that, we’ve got to be a big-tent party.” Ryan said he wants Democrats to come up with an umbrella economic agenda that can unify the party’s diverse coalition: “A robust economic message that all of those different groups could hear and go, ‘Yeah, you know, That’s me. I’m in on that.’”

Mouton has also voiced a centrist view of Democratic ideals. “It means someone who cares about the middle class, who truly believes that we are a nation of equal opportunity. That does not mean it’s a nation of equal results,” he told Rolling Stone. “We have a free-market system that we love and embrace.” Moulton seemed most concerned about America’s global leadership: “We need to talk about how to have a strong and smart national security strategy while Trump is being reckless across the globe. And not just complain about Trump, but talk about what Democrats will do.”

So to really attract supporters with a positive governing agenda going forward, Democrats need to:

  • Shun “political correctness” and “identity politics”
  • Defend the “middle class” (presumably similar Joan Williams’s definition of the “working class,” only starting with the 50th or 60th percentile)
  • Have a national security policy that won’t just involved complaining about Trump, although I’m just complaining about Trump, but hopefully more invasions

Nothing says “fresh governing agenda for the 21st century” like “DNC position papers from 1993”! But, hey, if Moulton and Ryan are trying to win the Politico Primary they’re in great position.

Meanwhile, A O-C’s brutal beatdowns of #FiveWhiteGuys the “Problem Solvers Caucus” justify the existence of that website:

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