I don’t understand why we haven’t heard this endlessly this fall, but it’s not too late to start; I’d like every Democratic stump speech to work it in somehow, and it should resound through the halls of Congress for the next two years:
“I wish we could _________ ; it’s important and it’s the right thing to do. But Bush and the Republicans spent it in Iraq and gave it away to rich people in tax cuts. What a pity…but they did, and it’s gone.”
Almost anything can fit in the space, and should: highways, transit, health care, preschool, housing, North Korea, Iran, pork; they all cost money and the money is gone. Democrats should wire that fact to the people who wasted our national capacity to do anything by repetition of this simple formula in every possible context.