Third Way Perspectives

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Archive for September, 2010

Dems can gain ground with security

September 29th, 2010

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This piece was originally published in Politico.

The “Pledge to America” that House Republican leaders released last week offers little in the way of new ideas about national security – mostly procedural bits, like a pledge to hold hearings on Iran or changes in visa paperwork. That is a sea change from the days when the first Republican talking point involved going after Democrats on national security.

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Tea Party: Political Fundamentalists

September 28th, 2010

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This piece was originally published in Politico.

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had better hope he stays minority leader after the November election. Because if Republicans win a majority, it will be impossible for him to hold his troops in line.

McConnell has been able to keep 40 Senate Republicans together this session. But in the next Congress, he will very likely have to contend with at least five new tea party senators — and possibly as many as eight. They will join several current Republican senators who are strongly identified with tea party values — such as Sens. Jim DeMint of South Carolina and Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma — plus the rest of the Republican caucus who are having the fear of God thrown into them by the tea party movement.

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Now that we’re focused on debt, let’s make some difficult choices

September 28th, 2010

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This piece was originally published in The Hill.

It took America 193 years to run up its first trillion dollars of debt; it took us 10 months to run up our most recent.

For much of the 20th century, the United States was a production giant. We produced much of the world’s goods; we led in innovation; our service sector exploded; our middle class became the envy of the world and we became the most powerful economy on earth.  Slowly, however, we became a consumption giant. We now power the world’s economy as much by what we consume as what we make. We’ve become, in the words of Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), “the kid with the cake mustache on his face.”

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Pledge to America Fails National Security Test

September 28th, 2010

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This piece was originally posted on Huffington Post.

When Republicans unveiled their “Pledge to America,” they gave the country a worrisome glimpse of how they would govern if voted back into the majority. The national security portion of their plan (buried away on page 37 of the 45-page document) is full of small ideas that fail to address any of America’s immediate security challenges. Rather than prove they can govern, Republicans who adhere to the “Pledge” will fail the threshold question of American politics: Can you keep the country safe?

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A Message That Actually Works — Until It’s Scrambled

September 23rd, 2010

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This piece was originally posted on The Huffington Post.

In “A Message That Actually Works,” Mike Lux laments efforts by Democrats to frame the upcoming election as a choice between going back to the Bush economic plan or moving forward with President Obama’s. He used the poor performance of what he referred to as a “Third Way-style” message in a recent Democracy Corps poll as evidence that the approach is a dud. With all due respect to Mr. Lux, calling the polled message “Third Way-style” is like calling a soufflé an omelet because they both contain eggs. Even though there’s a common ingredient, different combinations produce wildly different dishes. We think ours is the winning recipe.

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‘Me-first’ on the federal deficit

September 23rd, 2010

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This piece was originally published in Politico.

On the current path, the budget deficit is likely to weigh in at $3 trillion by 2030. Economic growth is predicted to average a pathetic 2.2 percent. The total national debt is expected to reach $34 trillion. Nearly 70 cents of every federal dollar will be swallowed up by Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security — and payments to Chinese holders of U.S. debt.
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