In the 60 pages of words, there's hardly a major new idea or an idea that departs significantly from the Democratic Party's agenda since the New Deal. It's all here: the activist government, the ambitious programs without reference to costs, the appeal to some people's sense of victimization.Put more unkindly, the standard Democratic cliches that are depressingly often a weak substitute for collegiate discourse, probably because they appeal so well to sophomores.
If you've never heard this message before, and if you don't have any background in the politics of the last two generations, you might think these ideas will be generally accepted. But anyone who has followed American politics over more than the last year knows that there is real disagreement in this country about the role of government, about trade, about taxes, about confronting the nation's enemies. If Senator Obama is ultimately elected, and if his program ultimately adopted, it will certainly bring about change, but no one should be under the illusion that this is a message of reconciliation, or that the American people as a whole will rally around these ideas.Those who do not remember the past will be compelled to relive ... the Seventies.