Otto raises a valid concern on voter rights & access as well as the GOP's proclivity to screw the poor. Let us remember what we have seen in recent major elections - the Democrats get cornered on an issue (e.g. gay marriage) which requires more than a 30 second sound bite to explain their position. As a result people either don't understand their position or they alienate/scare the suburban masses who are the critical "soccer mom" swing vote.
For example, here in GA - access to voting machines, gay marriage, and limiting lawsuit settlements was the call to arms for the Democrats in 2004 - and they got slaughtered.
Meanwhile, Hartsfield / Jackson Airport and the Savannah seaport are drastically under staffed for national security support; the state's "at least we're not South Carolina / Mississippi / Louisiana " education policy backfired are we are now falling behind them; and finally, we have the second longest average commute time (after LA) allowing more time for our kids to be alone at home, gas to be wasted, and overall quality of life to plummet.
Nationally, Bush has taken the Murtha comments as an excuse to frame the Iraq question as (a) "all in without right to question" or (b) "pull out immediately, end the military, egg the soldiers, and send the Statue of Liberty back to France begging for an apology."
Without coming forward now with clear and simple domestic platform, the Democrats run the risk of an "all in" versus "cowards" debate in 2006.
So here goes -the three legs of my domestic platform.
(1) Investment in trade school scholarships versus 4 year colleges and universities. Not everyone needs a BA in Romantic Poetry, but core skills in security, nursing and elderly healthcare for example, are in desperate need.
(2) Energy policy focused on secure nuclear power generation. I would make plant building as critical as any other national security issue. I know, I don't love nuclear byproducts, but we have spent 30 years trying to change consumption habits and this isn't going to change overnight. Dependency on the Middle East with the rise of China scares me to the core.
(3) Make the Peace Corp heavily part of foreign policy /diplomacy. I would be clear to foreign parties of my intent. We are offering this as an act of goodwill, with the hope that American back home begin to better understand the world around them and fear it less.
Feel free and tell me I'm an idiot or let me know yours. None of these require huge financial investments and focus on improving people's lives.