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December 20, 2007

A Road Map to the Start of a New America

In a new article in the January-February 2008 American Prospect, “The Democrats’ Strategic Challenge,” I try to set out what the Democrats could accomplish if they win the election and take control of the White House and Congress. The way forward, I suggest, will be “difficult, if not positively treacherous” because of the legacy of the Bush years both abroad and at home. Much will depend on whether Democrats can increase their currently tiny majorities in Congress, especially in the Senate.

But, despite these difficulties, there are practical steps that the Democrats could take in the first two years of a new administration to begin addressing some of the daunting problems that America and the world face. My two examples are policies concerned with restoring an economy of shared prosperity and meeting the threat of global warming.

None of the measures that I discuss is original. Just the opposite: They are now virtually all matters of substantial agreement among the major Democratic presidential candidates and Democratic congressional leaders.

And this is precisely why a new Democratic government could get some important things done. The intellectual ground has been prepared, many of the details have been fleshed out, and in some areas legislation has already been written and debated. Yet, amidst the usual political back-biting of the primary season, there is very little awareness about this emerging programmatic consensus.

Other articles in the same issue of the Prospect also address what “the Democrats could--and should--do to change the country and save the planet.”

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