What’s the big idea?

Atrios gets the response to Michael Tomasky’s Party in Search of a Notion (which is worth your time to read) just right:

One of Bush's biggest failures (and, yes, it's a very long list) both for country and for himself and his political party was to fail to genuinely tap into the uniting post-9/11 spirit. To use his lame expression, he decided to be a divider, not a uniter, and failed to transform American politics in a way which quite likely would've led to Republican domination for decades.

…Tomasky does a good job of fleshing out the potential pitfalls, as well as recognizing that it may just be his inner idealist talking. But I think many people do want to feel a part of something bigger than themselves, something they feel is a force for good.
Absolutely. The Dems’ limp “Together, America can do better,” though the most milquetoast attempt conceivable, is nonetheless a nod at this idea. It encapsulates the notion that America can be better, can move forward, and that it takes more than just policy initiatives to get us there. A Democrat who can win the presidency in 2008 is the one who is flatly willing to identify Bush’s entire tenure as a massive failure and propose leading America in an entirely new direction—someone who casts energy independence as the new space program, universal healthcare as the New Deal for a new generation, stem cell technology as a medical advancement as revolutionary as penicillin.

And they can’t be afraid to give voice once again to the virtue of sacrifice.

We all need to contribute to our collective security, to our progress. Under the gluttonous avarice of the GOP leadership, that once-patriotic idea has been forgotten, and it’s time to embrace it again, to remind Americans that sometimes they must earn the fortune that being American affords them.

It’s as easy as this: Are you willing to let our troops be the only ones who must give of themselves for the safety and success of America?

Anyone who would answer yes will be too busy screaming about how liberals don’t support the troops to hear the question. And they’d never vote for the Democrats, anyway.

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