Last August, I wrote this plea to Democrats:
"This election is not about big ideas.
This election NOT about big ideas.
It's about winning. Leave your big ideas at the door if you want to win.
I believe Independents can sway this election, and they want to vote democratic.
But if you want us, you need check your extreme left wing at the door. "
Now that this advice has proved a truism, and now that Independent voters have almost single handedly handed Washington, DC to the Democrats, it's time to revist that advice.
The most important piece of advice which still remains true is, "check your extreme left wing at the door." Moderate liberals, such as myself, need to be the new "special interest group" that the Democratic party panders to. That is, if they want to be re-elected in 2008.
Do not pursue an overly agressive agenda filled with expensive big programs.
Do not cut and run from Iraq (chart us an intelligent course out, but don't leave those poor people hanging at the end of a rope for the blunders of the Bush administration).
Do not seek "revenge" on the Republicans.
Beware of K street.
Do not forget that you were handed power by a razor thin margin.
In other words, DO NOT LET DOWN THE MODERATE LIBERALS. We are the king makers and the king breakers
Do create an equal legal structure for gay unions, but please don't call it "marriage."
Push ahead with minimum wage increases
Help America get its debt under control
Restore a responsible social safety net
Invest in our children
Find a way to provide health insurance for everyone
Push for hearings into Bush's illegal activities (not a witch hunt, but true congressional oversite).
Do restore habias corpus
Do restore respect to Congress: your actions speak much louder than your words.
Do find us an intelligent solution to the Iraq debacle
Do keep America safe from the terrorists -- the threat is real. Although we've lost faith in Bush's direction, take the threat of terrorism seriously
Do restore America's reputation in the world, and reach out to offended allies such as Canada, France and Germany
If you heed this advice, Moderate Liberals will send you back to Washington in 2008. Do not forsake us, your new centrist constituency, for your extreme left wing. For if you do, we'll send you packing in two years.