“DEMOCRATIC IDEAS: POST-ELECTION 2006”

UPDATED: NOVEMBER 12, 2006 The Political Junkies.net Column No. 128 Steven Jonas, MD, MPH http://thepoliticaljunkies.net/Jonas.htm

I began my TPJ column of May 25, 2006, “Ideas for Democrats, I: The Vision,” by noting that in a front page article in The New York Times on May 9, 2006 (“Optimistic, Democrats Debate the Party’s Vision”) Robin Toner said: “With Democrats increasingly optimistic about this year’s midterm elections and the landscape for 2008, intellectuals in the center and on the left are debating how to sharpen the party’s identity and present a clear alternative to the conservatism that has dominated political thought for a generation. . . . . But some of these analysts argue that the party needs something more than a pastiche of policy proposals. It needs a broader vision, a narrative, they say, to return to power and govern effectively.” To which I said, and say, Amen.

I also noted that such statements were nothing new. I went on to give several examples, going back to 1987 in a New York Times article of September 25, 1987, E.J. Dionne wrote: “All Democrats have been searching for language to call America away from the individualism of the Reagan years to a new sense of community.” We Democrats have not found that language yet. This column us being written in the week before the 2006 election, for publication after it. Despite the polls and the over-arching bad news about the Georgites, Bush, and the Republicans in general, I do not believe that as of the time you are reading this, the Democrats will have taken either House. Not that they in reality will not have won, as they did in both 2000 and 2004. However, it appears as if the Rovian Grand Theft Election machine is running full throttle and will do the Georgites’ nefarious work once again. And that will be that.


Of course, I hope that I am wrong. However, regardless of whether I am or not, the Democrats are going to have to get themselves together for sure this time around, going into 2008. As I have shared with you before in this series (“Ideas for Democrats, II and III”), I do recognize that there is no “The Democrats” in the sense that there has been a “The Republicans,” or has been at least until the rats started to abandon the sinking ship as the Bush Administration has started falling apart at the seams and Bush himself has become an embarrassment. However, the non-collaborationist, that is non-DLC, what I shall call “Mainstream Democrats,” and there are plenty of them in the Congress, can come together under a new vision and a new program. If the election is fixed this time, as I believe it is, this time, unlike in previous times, there will be a huge public outcry, a huge raft of litigation, and possibly some “insider” or even “spy” (well one can hope, can’t one?) exposés. That will give us at least a fighting chance in 2008. And so to a review, with some modifications, of my grand plan.

First, for the vision. As I have noted before, my 1992 book, The New Americanism: How the Democratic Party Can Win the Presidency, found the proposed “Vision for the Democrats” in the very founding documents of our great nation. The New Americanism projects a grand, integrated, overarching, forward-looking domestic and foreign policy based upon the principles of, yes, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Together they provide the Statement of Purpose for our nation, the Statement of Purpose of our National Government, and the Primary Functions of that Government in achieving in the stated Purpose.

Our National Purpose is made clear by the Declaration: to demonstrate unequivocally that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness . . .” The primary Purpose of our National Government is also made clear in the Declaration: “[T]o secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men.” The Primary functions of our National Government in achieving this purpose are spelled out in the Preamble to the Constitution: “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” Why this is enough to make a strict constructionist out of anyone (other than the Georgites, of course)!

Then the Mainstream Democrats will have to move on to specifics, and a level, however, rather deeper than “do something (anything) about Iraq,” “raise taxes on the rich,” “health care, education, and the environment.” We first and foremost have to get back to Constitutional government in this country, and so that is the first focus of my (further) revised “Ten Commitments” that I have shared with you on several previous occasions. And so, henceforth, the Democratic Party will be committed to:

I. First and foremost making the protection and promotion of Constitutional Democracy, in accordance with the plain language of the Constitution including the Preamble, the center of the Party’s approach to governing. A return to the Constitutional System of checks and balances and the requirement that the President fully abide by the Constitution is essential.

II. A return to totally free and fair elections, and a full-scale assault on the Republican strategy of Grand Theft Elections, with guarantee of equal access, voting down with machines and programs held in the public sector, and true campaign finance reform.

III. A full, planned withdrawal from all military activity in
Iraq, including the construction and maintenance of all military bases, by a date certain. This withdrawal is to be accompanied by a reactivation of the Israel/Palestine peace process along the lines of the proposed Geneva Accords. It is further to be accompanied by a return to the multi-lateral foreign policy that worked so well for our country from the time we entered the Second World War until the advent of Georgites, and a return to abiding by the UN Charter, which forbids “pre-emptive war” of the Georgite type. (A specific plan for achieving the
Iraq withdrawal can be found in my column of Dec. 15, 2005.)

IV. A vision of government that is defined by the Preamble to the Constitution: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” It understands that big problems require big solutions, that when necessary for the common economic good, government needs to be big, that the Georgite/ Norquist Doctrine of Bathtub Government needs to be flushed down the toilet. On the other hand, in accord with the prescriptions of the Constitution, when it comes to such matters as belief as to when life begins, freedom of political, moral and ethical expression, and adult personal behavior, government needs to be small. This is the exact opposite of the Republican, anti-Constitutional view, which wants government to be overwhelmingly big when it comes to said matters of personal belief, rights, liberties, and freedom, and overwhelmingly small when dealing with the economy.

V. In support of this Commitment, a taxation policy designed to share the burden, in accordance with ability to pay, of supporting those actions of government necessary for the full implementation of its responsibilities as set forth in the Preamble.

VI. Also in support of Commitment IV, regulation of the market for goods and services designed to insure that it is both free and fair.

VII. A Pledge of honesty, integrity, openness, and a return to the traditional arms-length relationship between government and the private sector for all elected and politically-appointed government officials. A specific ethical pledge to which all Democratic candidates for elected office and Democratic nominees for political appointments will be asked to subscribe will be developed.

VIII. The broad and forward projection of the most important Values that define a civil society: pluralism in matters of religion in accordance with the First Amendment; tolerance of difference; the promotion of compassion and sharing the burden, leaving behind the Doctrine of Every Man for Himself and the Devil Take the Hindmost; the full promotion of human rights at home and abroad; the understanding that healthy sex is healthy and unhealthy sex is not and that for adults sex is a private matter; and the end to the promotion of the criminalization of personal belief in matters of morality and of adult sexual identity and behavior.

IX. The development of an Energy Policy that will deal with the potentially disastrous and very real problem of global warming, as well as ensuring that ample energy will be available to support modern human life after the petroleum runs out. This means that the first focus must be on Alternative Energy, only the second on alternative fuels.

X. The establishment of nomination and hiring standards for political appointees designed to ensure competence in government. A specific list of standards will be developed. This is where I think the Democratic Party has to go. If one tries to pick out “what issues can we win with?” first without examining and establishing principles, that is “why” we should win, one almost assures losing (as has been proven over and over again since the election of 1964). Neither our country, nor indeed the world, nor indeed in my view the human species as we know it, could afford that.

Steven Jonas, MD, MPH is a TPJ contributing author. He is a Professor of Preventive Medicine at Stony Brook University (NY) and author/co-author of over twenty-five books. Dr. Jonas has his own website for short pieces entitled “Dr. J.’s Short Shots” (http://shortshot.wordpress.com/). Dr. Jonas is also a Contributing Editor for the Moving Planet Blog (http://www.planetarymovement.org/) produced by The Planetary Movement Ltd. UK (http://www.planetarymovement.org/the-planetary-movement/) TPJ’s own Michael Carmichael, President and Chief Executive Officer, a Contributing Columnist for the Project for the Old American Century, POAC (http://www.oldamericancentury.org/), on which his TPJ columns appear regularly, and a Columnist for the webmagazine BuzzFlash (http://www.buzzflash.com/) which publishes an original column by Dr. Jonas every other week or so. Also, most of his “Short Shots” appear first on BF before being put up on his own website. By invitation, Dr. J’s TPJ columns are also posted periodically on the weblogs Thomas Paine’s Corner (http://civillibertarian.blogspot.com/) and Bush Watch (http://www.bushwatch.com/).In his book The New Americanism, Dr. Jonas presents his proposal for that “new vision and mission” for the Democratic Party that so many, for so many years, have been urging it to find. A new vision and mission are obviously needed with increasing urgency as with increasing speed and determination the Georgites drive our nation towards frank theocratic fascism. Dr. Jonas finds the needed vision and mission in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. The New Americanism: How the Democratic Party Can Win the Presidency is available from Amazon.com (go to “Books;” enter the full title) and BarnesandNoble.com (same). He is also the author of The 15% Solution: A Political History of American Fascism, 2001-2022. Under the pseudonym “Jonathan Westminster” this book was originally published in 1996. It was republished with a New Introduction in 2004. Under Georgite rule, the “fictional non-fiction” scenario of this work of “future history” is, most unfortunately, becoming all too real, now almost day-by-day. Both versions are available at www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com (go to “Books;” enter the title). The 2004 edition is also available at www.xlibris.com (click on “Bookstore,” then “Search” with the title). 2006
Nov 2, 2006
“The US Enabling Act, 2006, Part II: Why Bush Wanted It”Oct 26, 2006 “The US Enabling Act, 2006, Part I: What It Is And Some Comparative History”
Oct 12,2006 Democratic Ideas, XIV: Attack On Defense Revisited”
Oct 5, 2006 “Iran Nukes, Revisited” (Expanded Edition)
Sept 28, 2006 “Democratic Ideas, XIII: Controlling The Agenda”
Sept 21, 2006 Reran article dated October 14, 2004
“GEORGE BUSH’S AMERICA”
Sept 14, 2006
“Democratic Ideas, XII: Focusing On The Constitution”
Sept 7, 2006 “Let’s Hear It For Strict Constructionism,” V. 3, Part 3”
Aug 16, 2006 “Let’s Hear It For Strict Constructionism, V. 3, Part 2”
Aug 10, 2006 The Dick Durbin Disaster – reran
Aug 3, 2006 Democratic Ideas, IX:, “Let’s Hear It For Strict Construction (V. 3), Part 1”
Jul 27, 2006 “What’s It All About, Alfie?”
Jul 19, 2006 “Democratic Ideas, VIII: Let’s Play Capture The Flag”
Jul 13, 2006 “Ann Coulter: The New Face Of The Republican Party”
Jul 6,2006 “Ideas For Democrats, VII: Bipartisanship On Iraq”
Jun 29, 2006 “Ideas For Democrats, VI: Attack On Defense, II”
Jun 22, 2006 “Ideas For Democrats, V: Attack On Defense”
Jun 15, 2006 “Ideas For Democrats, IV: The Ten Commitments, Re-visited”
Jun 8, 2006 “Ideas For Democrats, III: Dealing The DLC”
Jun 1, 2006 “Ideas For Democrats, II: Why Don’t The Democrats?”
May 25, 2006 “Ideas For Democrats, I: The Vision”
May 18, 2006 “On Conspiracy Theories”
May 11, 2006 “The Significance Of The Tony Snow Job”*
May 3, 2006 “Bush Is Not Hitler, II”

April 25, 2005 “Bush Is Not Hitler, I”
April 20, 2006
Some Thoughts On The ‘Immigration Problem'”
April 13, 2006
“The Georgite State Of The Union Address Revited”
April 6, 2006 “A Firebell In The Night: The So-Called ‘Gay Marriage’ Amendment, II”
April 2, 2006
“A Fireball In The Night:
The So-Called ‘Gay Marriage’ Amendment, I


Feb 22, 2006 “The German Reichstag Fire of 1933 and 9/11: Some Comparisons. A Revisit,
Part II”

Feb 16, 2006 “The German Reichstag Fire Of 1933 And 9/11: Some
Comparisons. A Revisit, Part1″

Feb 9, 2006
A Comment On The Democratic Alchemy,’
Appearing In The American Prospect”

Feb 2, 2006
Vengeance Is Mine, Saith The LORDJan 26, 2006 “George Bush And The Doctrine Of Original Intent”
Jan 19, 2006
“Let’s Hear It For Original Intent (Version 2)”
Jan 12, 2006
“A Quick Visit To Mexico”
Jan 5, 2006
“Why The Patriot Act, Redux: Fascism In The Here And Now, Cont.”
Dec 22, 2005 “Why The Patriot Act, Redux: Fascism In The Here And Now”
Dec 15, 2005 “An Iraq Exit Proposal”
Dec 10, 2005 “Exiting Iraq, The Georgite Way”
Dec 1, 2005 The Future Of The Democratic Party, VIII:
A Politically Viable Progressive Position On The War”
Nov 25, 2005 “The Future Of The Democratic Party, VII: ‘The Ten Commitments’”
Nov 17, 2005
The Future Of The Democratic Party, VI: An Organizing Proposal For Progressives”
Nov 10, 2005
“The Future Of The Democratic Party, V:
There Is No Middle Ground”

Nov 3, 2005
“On The (Possible) Indictments.”Oct 27, 2005 “The Future of the Democratic Party, IV:
Bush, Bennett, Miers, and the DLC.”

Oct 20, 2005 “The Future Of The Democratic Party, III:
First Thoughts On Dealing With The DLC.”

Oct 13, 2005
“The Future Of The Democratic Party, II: On The Republicans”
Oct 6, 2005
“The Future Of The Democratic Party, I”Sept 29, 2005 “The Bush Flood, And The Georgites: New Orleans, III”
Sept 22, 2005
“On The Great New Orleans Flood Of 2005, II”
Sept 15, 2005 “On The Great New Orleans Bush Flood Of 2005, I”
Sept 8, 2005
“Let’s Hear It For Original Intent”
Sept 1, 2005 “An Iraq Solution”
Aug 25,2005 “Some Thoughts On The Atomic Bombing Of Japan”
Aug 18, 2005 “Why God Sent Us George W. Bush”

Aug 12, 2005 “John Bolton And The Nuclear Option II”
Aug 5, 2005 “The Significance Of The Karl Rove Speech”
July 28, 2005 “Iran Nukes, Revisited”
(Expanded Edition)

July 21, 2005 “Iran Nukes, Revisited”
July 14, 2005 “The Dick Durbin Disaster” A Follow Up
July 7, 2005
The Dick Durban Disaster”June 23, 2005 Why All Of This Repression Abroad?”
June 16, 2005
Not Very Intelligent Design”
June 8,2005
“Pat Buchanan’s “What If, “III?”
June 2, 2005
Pat Buchanan’s ‘What If,’ II?”May 26, 2005 “Pat Buchanan’s ‘What If?'”
May 18, 2005 The Schiavo Case, V: The Attack On Science”
May 12, 2005 “Possible Explanations For Bush-Behavior On And Around 9/11″
May 5, 2005 “Bill Frist’s Declaration Of War”
April 28, 2005 “The Schiavo Case, IV: The Definitions Of Life And Death”
April 24, 2005
“The Schiavo Case, III: Further Legal Considerations And Their Political Implications”
April 14, 2005 “The Schiavo Case, II: William Bennett And The Beginning Of The End Of The Separation Of Powers”
April 7, 2005 “The Schiavo Case And The Locus Of The ‘Police Power'”
March 31, 2005 “John Bolton And The Nuclear Option”
March 22, 2005 Of “Moolahs,” Putin and Bush
March 17, 2005
Georgite “Freedom And Democracy”
March 10, 2005 “We Won’t Have To Worry Any More”
March 3, 2005 “Iranian Nukes”
February 24, 2005 “Going Nuclear In Iran”
February 16, 2005 “The Georgite Social Security Scam: Bases For Suspicion”
February 10, 2005 “The Georgite Version of ‘Freedom and Democracy’ ”

“The Coming 2nd Civil War (Unless),” No. 6

Feb 3, 2005 “WMD Discovered — In Washington” Jan 27, 2005 “Comparing George W. Bush And Adolf Hitler”
Jan 18, 2005 “The Bush Second Inaugural: A Preview” “The Coming 2nd Civil War
(Unless),” No. 5

Jan 13, 2005 “The Georgite Concept of Constitutionalism and the Rule of Law”
Jan 6, 2005 “The ‘Unless’ Of The ‘Coming Second Civil War’ Series; Part II”
Dec 30, 2004 “The ‘Unless’ of the ‘Coming Second Civil War’ Series, Part I”
Dec 23, 2004 “The Real Meaning Of The ‘Faith-Based Presidency;’ Part II”
Dec 15, 2004 “The Coming Second Civil War (Unless)”
Dec 9, 2004 “The Real Meaning Of The ‘Faith-Based Presidency’ ”
Oct 28, 2004 Why The Patriot Act?”
Oct. 21, 2004 “The Cheneys’ Daughter Flap”
Oct 14, 2004 “George Bush’s America”
Oct 7, 2004 “The Debate”
Sept 30, 2004 “Four 800 Lb. Gorillas In The Campaign Room”
Sept 23, 2004 “Fixing The Kerry Campaign, 9/15/2004”
Sept 16, 2004 “Lessons From Japan. Part II: Successful Occupations”
Sept 9, 2004 Thoughts On the Third Anniversary of the Tragedy of 9/11/2001″
Sept 2, 2004 “Lessons From Japan, Part 1”
August 26,2004 “Dealing with the Republican National Convention and Related
Issues”

August 18, 2004 “The Best Of Dr. Jonas”
August 12, 2004 “Some Thoughts For and About The Kerry Campaign, VI”
August 5,2004 “Some Thoughts For and About The Kerry Campaign, V”July 29, 2004 “Some Thoughts For and About The Kerry Campaign, IV”
July 22, 2004 “Some Thoughts For and About The Kerry Campaign III”
July 15, 2004 “Some Thoughts For And About The Kerry Campaign II”
July 7, 2004 “Some Thoughts For And About The Kerry Campaign,I”
July 1, 2004 “Counsel To The President”
June 24, 2004 “ ’You Know me Al:’ On the German Reichstag Fire of Feb. 27, 1933
and the 9/11/01 Bombing of the World Trade Center, Part II”

June 17, 2004 “ ‘The Ralph Nader Problem’ — A Re-run plus”
June 10, 2004 “Ronald Reagan’s Legacy”
June 3, 2004 “’You Know Me Al:’ On The Reichstag Fire Of Feb. 27, 1933 And The
9/11/01 Bombing Of The World Trade Center, Part I”
May 27, 2004 “On Fascism — And The Georgites”
May 20, 2004 “On John Ashcroft — And Jefferson Davis”
May 13, 2004 “Karl Rove’s Personal Political Notebook”
May 6, 2004 “Possible Explanations For Bush Behavior And 9/11”
April 29, 2004 “On George Bush and Religion, Part 2
April 22, 2004 “What Condi Rice Might Have Said”
April 8, 2004 “On George Bush And Religion”
April 1, 2004 “Some Political Thoughts For Senator Kerry”
March 25, 2004 “Brief Essays”
March 16, 2004 “You Know Me Al: The Iraq War — So What Was It About, Anyway?
March 11, 2004 “A Word (Or Two) On Ralph Nader”
March 4, 2004 “A Firebell In The Night”
February 27, 2004 “On Doctor Dean”

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Published in: on 12/12/2006 at 1:14 pm  Comments (2)  

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