In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 25, 2007 / 6 Shevat, 5767

Running out of ideas could mean running into trouble

By Jonathan Gurwitz

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Give Democrats credit. They campaigned on a legislative agenda. They won on it. They delivered it in fewer than 100 hours — according to Nancy Pelosi's clock.

Lesson to Republicans: It really is that easy. Once upon a time, the GOP leadership understood that lesson. Forty years of wandering in the minority desert led Republicans to the political promised land in the 1990s. Perhaps a shorter sojourn will suffice this time.

But having completed their legislative imperatives before the month of January is out, Democrats now face an important question: What next? Not to diminish the importance of, say, halving the interest rate on student loans, but there are a few significant issues the Democrat-controlled Congress hasn't begun to touch.

Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., who served as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee last year, was the principal architect of his party's stunning victory in November. He is today chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.

In a recent interview with Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, Emanuel spelled out the Democratic leadership's legislative agenda for the rest of 2007: energy independence and better health care for children.

Yep, that's it. Not that there's anything wrong with these two ideas, though it's hard to believe that a new proposal for energy independence will be much different from all the other proposals that have been advanced during the past 34 years.

Where's the discussion about the nation's big political problems and some big ideas to solve them? Immigration reform and entitlement spending come to mind. And it sure seems like there was a war somewhere that had a lot of people upset, one that maybe even a few Democrats had talked about.

Emanuel, writes Ignatius, wants to avoid falling "into the political trap of chasing overambitious or potentially unpopular measures."

Entitlement reform? Fuggedaboutit.

Iraq? Here is Ignatius' paraphrase of the Emanuel strategy: "It's Bush's war, and as it splinters the structure of GOP power, the Democrats are waiting to pick up the pieces."

Not exactly a profile in political courage. JWR commentator Tony Blankley appropriately calls it "vulture politics."

No one should be surprised by the lack of big ideas from the Democrats' chief strategist. As it happens, on the eve of the November election, he co-authored a book with Democratic Leadership Council President Bruce Reed titled "The Plan: Big Ideas for America."

What's notable about the book is its glaring lack of big ideas. As they say, you can't judge a book by its cover.

Concerning the skyrocketing costs of Social Security and Medicare and its consequences for the economy, about which Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke issued yet another dire warning last week, "The Plan" has no plan. In fact, it manages to pile on even more entitlement spending.

Likewise, there's no plan for immigration reform. True to Emanuel's risk-averse strategy, "The Plan" even steers clear of policy prescriptions on mainstay liberal issues such as gay marriage, abortion and stem cell research. Too potentially unpopular. So it's no surprise that there's no plan for Iraq, either.

On a recent edition of National Public Radio's "Fresh Air," Emanuel identified a series of alternative policies for Iraq offered by Democrats in 2005 and 2006, from Sen. Joe Biden's call for partition to Rep. Jack Murtha's nearly almost immediate redeployment to somewhere else close to Iraq. The alternatives, notes Emanuel, came from Democrats in the minority, while Republicans were content to do more of the same.

That criticism only highlights the political timidity of Democrats, now in the majority, whose boldest assertion of policy on Iraq seems to be a vote on a symbolic, nonbinding sense of Congress.

After the GOP's first 100 days managing the 104th Congress in 1995, it took a few years before Republicans ran out of ideas and ran into trouble. After the first 100 hours of the 110th Congress, Democrats seem intent on doing things faster.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Jonathan Gurwitz, a columnist for the San Antonio Express-News, is a co-founder and twice served as Director General of the Future Leaders of the Alliance program at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. In 1986 he was placed on the Foreign Service Register of the U.S. State Department.Comment by clicking here.

Jonathan Gurwitz Archives

© 2005, Jonathan Gurwitz