I have long lamented the state of the conservative movement. However, Nick Gillespie, in his NYT review of Matt Bai’s new book, points out that the left has, perhaps, an even worse poverty of ideas:
Recalling a meeting of leading progressives — including Armstrong, Representative Adam Smith of Washington and Simon Rosenberg of the New Democrat Network — just after the 2006 midterm elections, Bai writes: “Seventy years ago … visionary Democrats had distinguished their party with the force of their intellect. Now the inheritors of that party stood on the threshold of a new economic moment, when the nation seemed likely to rise or fall on the strength of its intellectual capital, and the only thing that seemed to interest them was the machinery of politics.” The argument at the heart of “The Argument” is less about vision and more about strategy.
But as John Kerry might tell you, never write off the Democrats’ ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. The recent farm bill passed by the House — and pushed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi — maintains subsidies to already prospering farmers, angering not just conservative budget cutters but liberal environmentalists. House and Senate Democrats allowed a revision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that broadens the scope of warrantless wiretaps just after holding hearings denouncing the man who would issue them, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, for routinely abusing his power. Although the misconceived and misprosecuted war in Iraq was the issue most responsible for their return to power, Congressional Democrats have yet to put forth a coherent or convincing program to end American military involvement there.
Sometimes I think that the only thing that can save the Republican Party is the sheer incompetence of the Democratic Party. Of course, my friends who are Democrats say the same thing about us…