Friday, December 19, 2003

Selling responsibility

Many of Dean's critics have made the (justifiable) argument that it will be hard to sell the America people on a domestic policy of eliminating all of Bush's tax cuts. It doesn't matter, the critics say, if Dean is right that most people really haven't seen a benefit from those tax cuts. They will still think that Dean is trying to take money out of their pockets and will vote for Bush instead.

I think Howard Dean is trying to push the idea that we should operate under the principal that taxes should be as low as possible but as high as necessary. The Republicans have successfully sold a political model that talks exclusively about the first half of that equation while purposively ignoring the other half. Dean is trying to change the dialog back to talking about the full consequences of taxation, not just the short-term equation of what it means to the taxpayers checkbook but the longer term equation of what it means to their entire quality of life.

Of course it is a harder sell! Responsibility always is (just ask any parent).

Does that mean it is foolish to even try? Isn't it even more foolish to simply concede the battlefield to the opposition?


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