Quote of the day: Have you noticed that it's been some time since any of our fine media pundits referred to the GOP as "the party of ideas"?
"The party of big ideas, of Milton Friedman and the neoconservatives, is now just one big Swift Boat flotilla, its ideas sunk of their own dead weight, kept afloat solely by its opposition research."
--Harold Meyerson, in his Washington Post column yesterday, "With No Ideas, the GOP Seeks to Scare"
Oh, you'll want to read the whole Meyerson column. But if you want the gist, here are the start and finish:
Wasn't it just a couple of years ago that Republicans were boasting that they were the party of ideas? They would privatize the commonwealth and globalize democracy, while Democrats clung to the tattered banner of common security in both economics and national defense. The intellectual energy in America, it seemed, was all on the right.
That, as they say, was then. In 2006 the campaigns that the Republicans are waging in their desperate attempt to retain power are so utterly devoid of ideas that it's hard to believe they ever had an idea at all.
With fewer than 60 days remaining before the November election, the only two Republican strategies left standing are to scare the public about the Democrats collectively or to slime the Democrats individually. There's nothing new about these strategies, of course, but this year they exist in a vacuum. . . .
What's a party to do when its high road leads nowhere but down? The Republicans tried privatizing Social Security, but their numbers never added up. They tried spreading democracy with unilateral, preventive war but instead unleashed a sectarian bloodbath. So the party of big ideas, of Milton Friedman [seen here with a statue of himself--well, it probably seemed like a good idea at the time] and the neoconservatives, is now just one big Swift Boat flotilla, its ideas sunk of their own dead weight, kept afloat solely by its opposition research. For their part, the Democrats still champion common security; they call for a government that can build dikes and reduce the costs of college and medication and that knows that remaking the world becomes more plausible when some of the world is actually willing to go along with us. Those are, in the campaign of 2006, just about the only ideas in play.