I'm working on the party post which is proving difficult to pull together, so I thought I'd toss out something I said to the spousal unit while we were making dinner.
The problem with the Obamacan response to Palin is that it did nothing to bring the debate back to Democratic friendly ground. It wallowed in cultural class resentment. A more sophisticated response would have been personally sweet-as-pie to the entire Palin family while blasting holes in the Republican platform. Something like:
Bristol is expecting? Our best wishes for a healthy pregnancy and a safe delivery. By the way, how does Ms. Palin get her health insurance? Through her mother's coverage? That should be good coverage, considering all the great care Gov. Plain must have received while carrying a special needs child. What are the Republicans doing to ensure that all American mothers-to-be get the prenatal care they need? What is their stand on health insurance for all just as good as what Gov. Palin can provide to her family?
Oh, Ms. Palin is getting married to her child's father? Our congratulations to the young couple for their upcoming nuptials and bundle of joy. Being a young couple starting a new family is a very scary proposition in these bad economic times. What can Republicans offer young families trying to get established in careers, buy a house, start their family, and so forth? Aren't young couples facing reduced prospects compared to their parents? Reduced funding for education, a deregulated market that allowed insane toxic mortages to be made, reduced job opportunities for blue and pink collar workers, especially those new to the labor market. The Republicans have ruined a previously strong economy, and this hurts young families.
And after Ms. Palin has her baby, will she be continuing her education? Will she be employed outside the home? These are crucial needs that young families struggle to fill. Child care, women completing college degrees, flexible workplaces, paternal as well as maternal leaves - these are all things that can mean the difference between a comfortable life and a struggle to put food on the table. Just what are the Republican plans to provide these goods and services?
Lather, rinse, repeat. It's really not that hard to be both nice and politically tough. Of course, it's a lot easier to do if you actually defended women's rights, UHC, strengthening education, expanding workplace programs to be family friendly, subsidizing child care and so forth.
If you run on a platform of vague and generically liberal propositions, you rob yourself of tools to use to your advantage when specific situations arise.