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Kinsley embarrassed by Democrat plan

Posted by Richard on November 7, 2006

Captain Ed pointed to a remarkable column by Michael Kinsley posted last night in Slate and appearing this morning in the Washington Post. Kinsley did what apparently alrmost no one in the country bothered to do: to get a sense of what a Pelosi-led House would be like, he read the 31-page "manifesto" issued by House Democrats in June, "A New Direction for America." His critique, coming from a bona fide liberal with no love for Republicans, is devastating.

Kinsley noted that the Pelosi plan is heavy on bromides, promises of tax credits, misleading nonsense like calling for an end to the "Disabled Veterans’ Tax," and lots of new spending, but it’s light on fiscal responsibility (emphasis added):

Honesty is not just therapeutic. Fiscal honesty is a practical necessity. "New Direction" quite rightly denounces the staggering fiscal irresponsibility of Republican leaders and duly promises "Pay As You Go" spending. But in the entire document there is not one explicit revenue-raiser to balance the many specific and enormous new spending programs and tax credits.

But Kinsley put a dagger in the Democrats’ heart — remember, this is an anti-war liberal — when he looked at their "New Direction" for Iraq (emphasis added):

… For national security in general, the Democrats’ plan is so according-to-type that you cringe with embarrassment: It’s mostly about new cash benefits for veterans. Regarding Iraq specifically, the Democrats’ plan has two parts. First, they want Iraqis to take on "primary responsibility for securing and governing their country." Then they want "responsible redeployment" (great euphemism) of American forces.

Older readers may recognize this formula. It’s Vietnamization — the Nixon-Kissinger plan for extracting us from a previous mistake. But Vietnamization was not a plan for victory. It was a plan for what was called "peace with honor" and is now known as "defeat."

Maybe "A New Direction for America" is just a campaign document — although it seems to have had no effect at all on the campaign. My fear is that the House Democrats might try to use it as a basis for governing.

Read the whole thing. Read Captain Ed’s comments. Then go vote.

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