Austin Arceo, writing for the Terre Haute Tribune Star, has a story on 8th District Congressional candidate Brad Ellsworth’s announcement of his proposal for a “Hoosier Military Bill of Rights” for soldiers. The platform includes:
- An increase in armor and protection of solidiers in combat;
- An increase in educational pay and healthcare benefits for soldiers and veterans;
- Incentives to employers to make up the pay gap experienced by National Guard soldiers who leave their job to serve;
- Funding and expanding veterans’ health care services.
He believes these items can be accomplished without a tax increase but rather with a shifting of how we prioritize tax dollars.
Incumbent John Hostettler responded to Ellsworth’s proposal by criticizing California Democrat Nancy Pelosi. That’s a little like responding to terrorist acts of Saudis and Egyptians based in Afghanistan by attacking Iraq. Crazy, I know.
Some of the points Ellsworth makes (indirectly) nicely highlight the shortcomings of Rumsfeld’s rumored agenda in Iraq, that is, his objective of demonstrating that we could win a war against a regular military that outnumbered us through superior technology. He was right, in so far as he went, but in doing so he provided far too few troops to police Iraq and the wrong equipment to deal with an insurgency.
I did stumble for a moment though over Ellsworth calling the proposal a â€œHoosier Military Bill of Rightsâ€. For a moment I had visions of Gov. Morton’s Indiana Sanitary Corp, which operated parallel to United States Army medical services during the Civil War.
Tippecanoe Politics says
Ellsworth deserves a lot of credit for this one. Democrats who want to win the military â€Ždebate should follow Ellsworthâ€™s example. Hostettler, on the other hand, should have â€Žtaken the opportunity to show that he can work in a bipartisan matter. After saying that he agrees with many of Ellsworthâ€™s ideas, he should have pointed out how he has â€Žworked in Congress to implement them. Hostettlerâ€™s statement was okay, but he could â€Žhave done better.â€Ž
“Incumbent John Hostettler responded to Ellsworthâ€™s proposal by criticizing California Democrat Nancy Pelosi. Thatâ€™s a little like responding to terrorist acts of Saudis and Egyptians based in Afghanistan by attacking Iraq. Crazy, I know. ”
Mike Sylvester says
Ellsworth looks to be smarter then many of the Democrats that are running this year.
What the Democrats NEED to do si to come up with an actual PLATFORM.
It is not complicated.
Keeping America Safe at Home
Honoring Our Troops, Veterans, and Their Families
A strong economy
Affordable Health Care
Protecting the Environment
Civil Rights and Justice
More specific positions on each plank of the platform are available at the links. Sure looks like a platform to me.
When will “Democrats don’t have a plan” be exposed as nothing more than the result of a lazy media, so fat on its self-gluttony, failing to do its job.
Mike Sylvester says
Doug you are quite wrong on this point and I am surprised you do not realize it.
Tell me how they are going to do ANY of the items listed above. They are going to spend MORE money. Not one item involves spending less money or cutting government. All of them involved outspending Bush and The Republicans…
All of The Democratic plans will increase the Federal Debt even more.
Not ONE of these items involves an actual plan. They are just a lot of “feel good” statements without substance…
That will not work.
The Dems need a plan. Let me summarize their plan:
1. State over and over “I am not a Republican.”
2. Bash Bush and the Iraq war as often as possible.
3. Offer to expand as many government programs as possible while at the same time stating “we can do better.”
This strategy did not work well for Kerry in 2004.
ANY reasonable and moderate Democrat would have beat Bush easily in 2004.
They could have won the 2006 election in a LANDSLIDE if they would just come up with a simple and attainable National Platform…
Maybe in 2008…
It is not going to happen this year…
Here is what I would have come up with, if I were a Democrat (Which I am not, I do not believe in many of the points below), tell me what you think:
1. We will immediately pass legislation that will impose HARSH penalties against any Congressman or Senator convicted of corruption charges.
2. We will have our troops out of Iraq, Afghanistan, and The Balkans (From Clinton) by Dec 31st, 2009.
3. We will expand border security by hiring 10,000 new border patrol agents and we will check incoming shipments in out ports.
4. We will close many of our cold war military bases to save money for our other programs.
5. We will pass legislation within 100 days that will allow Medicare to negotiate bulk discounts with the drug companies.
6. We will pass laws that will allow the importation of drugs from foreign countries within 100 days.
You get the idea, use substance instead of talking points…
They will never do it; but; they would win if they did.
Certainly there is plenty for reasonable people to disagree with in the Democratic platform I linked to above. And certainly they dance around the tough question of how they are going to pay for the stuff they want. But I don’t think they dance around it any more than the Republicans when they say, for example, they want “smaller government” and don’t state specifically what they would cut or when they say they want “victory in Iraq” without stating how that victory is to be achieved or even what it would look like.
The bottom line is that the Democrats have every bit as much of a platform as the Republicans do. So, while it’s fair to criticize their positions, I don’t think it’s fair to characterize them as any more vague and wandering in their positions than the Republicans.
Mike Sylvester says
I cannot argue with that Doug…
I agree with you that both Dems and Reps have vague platforms.
I do have to say I know a little more where the Reps stand then the Dems; but, not by much…
I think that has to do with being able to identify the “base” of each. Reps have seemed to show what group they are representing most of the time. Dems have two sections that are fighting to be the “base”, or at least so it seems.