Friday, June 16, 2006


A Policy Idea for the Dems

Every so often various people (myself included) suggest that in order for the Dems. to win elections it is not enough for the Republicans to screw-up: the Dems. need to give people a reason to vote for them. Some even suggest the Dems. should come up with a list of (pseudo-) policies akin to the "Contract [on] America".

Allow me to suggest one such policy: universal pre-natal care. It sucks the wind out of the "Democrats hate the unborn" argument. It gives us a concrete policy to support (which the Republicans would have a problem finding blame with ... without pissing off their base, some of whom actually do care about the unborn rather than merely keepin' women in their place -- and that part of the Republican base would go for an occassional liberal economic program). And it's a necessary thing.

Of course the Republicans will screw up the implimentation -- but given the response to the screwed-up prescription drug plan, it seems people are finally getting wise as to which side it is that is screwing up implimentations: so we are less likely to loose from this with "the Dems. thought of universal pre-natal care and look at how bad the [Republican] implementation of it is" than we were in 2004 (when we lost the Dems. would have implemented the Iraq war better -- although that argument was somewhat different as even by 2004 it was becoming clear that the Iraq war wasn't a good idea to begin with, no matter who would have implemented it) or in 2002.

So why not launch a campaign for federally subsidized, univeral pre-natal care?

This is the kind of idea the House and Senate Democrats need. May I suggest putting in monitoring of pregnant women and infants for heavy metal poisoning? That would raise some interesting points for discussion.

Democrats need to get their non-Iraq focus on things like this. If people thought we were intrested in their well being they would be likely to come out and vote for us.
I would be a little nervous about such monitoring being used to prosecute women who "expose a fetus to heavy metals" ... of course, such women are likely not doing it on purpose, but the people in charge of this country are wont to add insult to injury by blaming the poor for their plight -- and how would blaming a woman who cannot afford to live in a location away from heavy metal exposure be any different than the usual MO?

Of course, I think people are wising up as to who exactly plays these kind of games and who doesn't, but still, it's something I'd hate to see happen even if it does get blamed on the Republicans not the Dems. Also, it may very well be blamed on the Dems. After all, many of the annoyances of "gummint" from heavy-handed prosecutions to ridiculous traffic laws are actually in the hands of local government -- and at least those of us who've lived in NJ realize that, indeed, the Dems. really can be as bad as the Republicans in this regard.

That's why I keep saying that Dems., as the party that says "government can do good things" need to be the party of good, clean government if we expect to win elections. And since "all politics is local" that means on a local level -- and if that means the national party goes after, e.g., the NJ Dem. political machines ... well, good riddance.

I guess that could be my other policy priority: Dems cracking down and fed. laws against speed traps, etc., are actually followed in the spirit as well as the letter and cracking down on stupid "insurance" scam point systems, etc. -- Ted Rall actually wrote a good opinion piece on this problem and how it undermines respect for the rule of law. So cracking down on stupid highway laws actually would be good for the Dem. cause on several fronts.

So we are starting to get somewhere concrete with things the Dems. should do -- do you think the actual people in charge of the Dem. party have plans as good as these? ;)
Good anticipation of problems. There would have to be strict confidentiality guidelines. I was actually thinking of just collecting and processing raw data from actual people, no names would have to be involved.
I'm very good at anticipating problems. Sometimes I cannot verbalize what those problems are ... I also am sometimes weak-willed. Which leads to the following situation (typically, FWIW, person X will be a member of the feminine persuasion):

Person X: Let's plan the day my way

Me: (hemming and hawing) -- I'm not sure that's a good idea

Person X: Why not?

Me: I dunno ... have it your way then

< later that day after the plan has turned disastrous for reason Y >

Me (sotto voce to self): I knew this would turn out badly ... somehow I know Y would happen. I wish I could have articulated that.

Anyway -- I'm drifting OT (but heck, it's my blog ... I can do that if I wanna): if no identifying info were tracked, merely, e.g., income, location in town, etc., that could be useful and not an intrusion. It would be even more useful if it could be tracked the building the person lived in (for tracking environmental safety hazards in buildings), but that would be too dangerous from a civil liberties point of view ...
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?