The problem is that they need to jettison the fundie talking points. They can't keep railing about gays and promiscuity and porn and expect to win anything in a country that is increasingly secular. There problem is not that the country is becoming more liberal; people want what works. Most people want to see results. If the liberals can do that, great. If the conservatives can do that, great. The real problem for conservatives is that this country is becoming more secular and they are not. If anything, the conservative base is becoming more radically fundamentalist. That's good news for liberals, because I think the Romney wing can only be held together to the Palin wing for so long. When that rubber band snaps, watch out.
Not to be a conspiracy theorist or anything, but they can all afford the magic pill. To be serious, they do have access to the best medicine available. The whole "6 months diagnosis" applies to the average patient with average access and average wealth and average doctors. Neither Swayze nor Ginsburg will be dealing with average anything. Now, that doesn't mean Ginsburg will necessarily live another 10 years, but I am optimistic for her short term health.
Stop tying school funding to property tax and land values. Hmm, you mean low-income areas create low-income schools that aren't successful?? I'm shocked! And high-income areas create great schools that are successful? And that begets a never-ending cycle by which low-income students have almost zero chance of getting a great (not merely good) education? Huh. Who'da thunk it?
Great comment (though depressing). In some ways it is analogous to the health care problem: those who least need it (health insurance or excellent education, usually the wealthy) get to opt out of the public system and pay for their own elite ones. That means healthy people bitch about paying for Medicare and Medicaid and the brightest, most motivated students are (sometimes) not in public schools. I don't understand why we haven't realized that students helping students should be one of the primary goals of public education. Teach the brightest students how to help others, a skill that's useful in almost every career. Teach those students to have a little empathy for students that don't easily grasp difficult concepts like arc tangents and post-structuralism.
I admit that I don't know enough about the school voucher systems that already exist. But there are a couple problems with school vouchers.
1) "76% of the money handed out for Arizona's voucher program has gone to children already in private schools." This means wealthy parents are just getting paid to send their children to private schools where they were already attending. http://www.gregpalast.com/no-childs-behi
2. Why are we so keen on letting the market do what government should be doing? I'll admit that the market is usually more efficient than the government. However, the market is beholden to CEOs and cares only for profits, while the government is beholden to Americans and does not care about profits (which is why it's less efficient).
3. I don't want any federal money going to any religious private school. None. And as liberals, none of us should want that either, whether we are religious or not. Today's liberalism/progressivism works only if our nation's youngsters are not being indoctrinated with crap like Young Earth Creationism and Intelligent Design.
Um...we did just pass an $800 billion stimulus. Granted, a lot of it isn't great (or particularly liberal), but that kind of legislation would have been inconceivable a few years ago. Plus, it seems like it is possible that people are finally starting to realize tax cuts are not effective at stimulating the economy. Everyone took for granted that that was true up until recently. Hell, people were against the gas tax holiday last year. Did you see that happen in the 1970s? Plus, when people got their rebate checks last year, they saved them. That's right, people saved them. The smart thing (at least for individuals). I think people are finally coming around. It only took them about 30 years.