We need to point out that Bush in his press conference on Monday called for going from a defined benefit plan to a defined contribution plan. This means that no social security retiree will be guaranteed a certain level of benefits. This is contrary to the whole approach of Social Security which is to ensure a basic level of retirement income.
Note that my original post did not state whether the national ethos of individual action is correct, but simply that I think that it exists. If I am right, then it could explain why, since 1860, only eight Dems have been elected president. Those eight Dems served a total of 52 years while Republican presidents served a total of 92 years. (Actually 88 since Andrew Johnson was a Dem who served out the balance of Lincoln's term, which had just started when he was killed.)
For some time I have thought that the philosophy of the national Democratic party, which preaches advantages of collective action, is at odds with the creed of the United States, which glorifies the individual.
This leads to situations where the voters turn to us when they need collective action, but then forget about us when they don't think they need collective action.
I am not sure what to do about this, but am curious about what others think.
there are two distinct subjects running through this discussion. One is who sets legislative districts and the other is the idea of "stolen elections."
Regarding stolen elections I live here in Ohio and I am not sure exactly what happened on election night. I am not so disturbed by the exit poll vs actual results disparity as I am by the fact that the Dem candidate for chief justice got more votes in some counties than Kerry, although one fact that is not mentioned in that analysis is that our candidate for chief was a woman and, in Ohio, women candidates for judge running against male candidates, like the Repug incumbent chief, do quite well.
Let's assume, however, that Ohio went for Kerry, but the popular vote was still for Bush by over 3 million votes. Frankly I am not so sure that the GOP controlled House would have accepted Kerry, and even if they had, his life would be miserable. I am not so sure he could have governed in any realistic sense of the word.
The one advantage we have in this situation is that there is no doubt where the responsibility lies in D.C. When the whole fiscal house of cards that Bush has built comes crashing down, then it is the GOP who takes the hit.
Further it is the existence of the electoral college that makes all this a problem. If we didn't have that relic of a bygone age of official landowning white male dominance of our national government, we wouldn't have all these problems in Ohio and Florida because there would be no incentive to try and steal a particular state's presidential election.
On the idea of government reform by establishing non-partisan ways of drafting legislative seats, that is a great idea. I am hoping that in Ohio the Dems lead the charge on that issue by way of a constitutional amendment.
As a person who has been a candidate (both successfully and unsuccessfully) and run campaigns, I find the idea of 11 day voting cycle intriguing. It would allow very interesting get out the vote efforts. It also might cut down on negative campaigning because the voting would start much earlier, although I am not sure of that one.
I found your thesis that the philosophical basis for "left" politics has been discredited. The battle between the idea of a market economy vs. an economy run by the state seemingly has been won by market forces. The question then becomes how do you make sure that the market treats people humanely and decently? Left to itself, of course, it won't do so, which is where the state has a role to play.
I have often wondered if the Democratic party should be pushing some sort of market based social programs. For example if Clinton would have asked Congress to pass a law in 1993 that required every employer to provide health insurance, and then left it to the market place to meet that requirement, he would have had better luck.