(Our guest blogger, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), is a member of the Finance Committee and author of Positively American: Winning Back the Middle-Class Majority One Family at a Time)
In his speech last night we heard the President talking the bipartisan talk, but the substance of the speech shows he has yet to walk the bipartisan walk. Just about every one of the President’s proposals falls within the narrow ideological contours that the voters rejected in 2006. He has learned very little.
There’s certainly a lot to criticize in the President’s speech and in his record, but I don’t think that’s the only thing we should be focusing on. We must get beyond the President’s disingenuousness and failures. In 2008, we must have our own sharp, clear and progressive plan if we are going to prevail.
That’s what I hope my new book Positively American: Winning Back the Middle-Class Majority One Family at a Time will do. The first part of the book describes some war stories — my improbable Senate election in 1998 and the next to impossible take-over of the Senate this past fall — and includes colorful anecdotes to describe where, as a country, our political process stands. A lot of it boils down a to large group of American voters who are too often ignored by too many of us: the middle-class.
President Bush won the 2004 election with eight words that spoke to this group: War in Iraq. Cut Taxes. No gay marriage. Each was connected to a larger, deeply held value that the conservative movement had been developing — and advocating — for a generation.
In the lead-up to 2008, progressives must develop our own eight words. Read more