Affirmative Agenda, Sure, But Still No Bill

Garance Franke-Ruta's argument that the Democratic advantage on Social Security might be enough to save the program, but might also lose us seats if we don't take the next step forward and create a compelling narrative that protects us from the obstructionist label. I've been arguing this for awhile, but to support it with everybody's favorite historical parallel (I just read 640 pages on that goddamn fight, you better believe I'll turn to it at every opportunity), there's possibly never been so clearly-defined a party as the resurgent Republicans were during 1994. They didn't rest on the health care battle, but instead used it to inform their affirmative agenda. We need to do the same.

That does not, by the way, mean pushing an alternate Social Security plan. We need to win that battle, not reengage it. Rather, we should use the capital amassed in that fight to bolster a progressive philosophy of government with the President's well-killed plans for privatization and benefit cuts being invoked to provide contrast.