Peggy Noonon writes about the recent State of the Union address (via Viking Pundit):
It was the first State of the Union Mr. Bush has given in which Congress seemed utterly pre-9/11 in terms of battle lines drawn. Exactly half the chamber repeatedly leapt to its feet to applaud this banality or that. The other half remained resolutely glued to its widely cushioned seats. It seemed a metaphor for the Democratic Party: We don’t know where to stand or what to stand for, and in fact we’re not good at standing for anything anyway, but at least we know we can’t stand Republicans.
To which Viking Pundit adds “Actually, the Democrats have one firm belief: they should be elected to public office. To do what, even they don’t know.”
This is true, but I will say that they have one driving principle even if they rarely think about it. And that is: Grow the Welfare State.
Then again, the way the Republicans have been spending like drunken sailors, it makes you wonder how much worse Democrats could be. But at least Republicans are opposed to growing the welfare state in principle - so there is always hope that they will rediscover their roots. The Democrats are not opposed to growing the welfare state in principle. And once the demand for limited government is shucked aside, the slide down the welfare-rights slippery slope can pick up steam very quickly.
The problem with an ever-growing welfare state is that it is very hard to shrink back again. For each growth in its size, some group benefits. And any cuts will be loudly protested. … and the Democrats will be there to defend those affected and to declare them helpless victims of some sort.