Photo: AP/Seth Perlman
Seth Perlman

Liberalism can’t just win arguments; it has to work

Updated

Let me finish tonight with the big picture.

It’s May. A year from now, Hillary Clinton will probably make it official that she’s running for president to succeed Barack Obama.

So let’s look at the political facts:

The Democrats entered the White House in 2009 amid the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Today, the U.S. stock market stands at its highest level in history, approaching 17,000 points.

Under the preceding administration, with Republicans in control, the United States suffered its worst domestic attack in history.

Under this administration, U.S. forces found and killed the mastermind of that historic attack.

Under this administration, Congress passed a national healthcare plan, which has been seriously advocated by presidents back to every Republican’s favorite Democrat, Harry Truman.

Hardball with Chris Matthews, 5/12/14, 8:09 PM ET

Matthews: ‘Liberalism has to work’

Chris Matthews says that it isn’t enough for liberals to win arguments, they have to prove their policies work for this country.
It’s time for Democrats to showcase their successes, to cheer these milestone accomplishments, and to push for two giant pieces of unfinished business. One is rebuilding this country’s assets: our roads, our rail, our urban infrastructure. Second is immigration reform–true immigration reform.

But to do either requires an historic upgrade in truth. Liberalism has to not only win the argument; it has to work!

To build the country, Democrats have to make a real commitment to efficiency–that they will only spend on projects that deliver more than dollar-for-dollar on the investment. They must prove themselves a sharp and faithful steward of public spending. Liberalism has to work. Only then will people trust Democrats with their tax dollar.

To accomplish the second, they need to commit themselves to a new immigration law that greatly decreases the work incentive for people to enter or stay in this country illegally. That means matching a path to citizenship with a genuine determination to enact and enforce a tough worker ID requirement. Otherwise, we’ll have to pass another immigration reform bill every 20 or 30 years to deal with the new millions of illegal immigrants.

Liberalism has to work.

Liberalism can't just win arguments; it has to work

Updated