Wednesday, October 18, 2006

It is time to get the message out

According to more than a few news reports, the Dems are looking ready for a November landslide. Yet, one of the elements of the campaign that has been missing is the "so what". If the Democrats come into power, how is that going to change the way the country is run? Unfortunately, the Dems have run on the platform that they are not the Republicans, and while that notion may garner some initial attention, it does not get people out to the polls.

Well, this article from the Washington Post offers some terrific insights into what the first few months of Democratic rule would mean:
In the House, the Democrats have made clear that there's a first tier of legislation they mean to bring to a vote almost immediately after the new Congress convenes. It includes raising the minimum wage, repealing the Medicare legislation that forbids the government from negotiating with drug companies for lower prices, replenishing student loan programs, funding stem cell research and implementing those recommendations of the Sept. 11 commission that have thus far languished.
This is exactly the message that needs to come out. The Dems have great ideas and on the vast majority of issues the American people are in agreement with them (contrary to what the press would like to report). Also, there is another nugget in the article about how the Dems will try and return order to Congress:
Cognizant that they will owe their victory in part to the public's revulsion at the way Congress does (or avoids) business, the Democrats also plan to revise House rules to enable the opposition party to introduce amendments and to sit on conference committees, from which Republicans have routinely excluded them since Tom DeLay became majority leader. They also will ban members from accepting gifts and paid trips from lobbyists.
I think this is one of the problems with Republican rule that has gotten lost in the fog of political war, most people are unaware that Tom Delay completely changed the rules governing Congress. After taking power they stripped the minority party of, virtually, all protections; thus, creating a political system that is far different then what the Founding Fathers envisioned. And while turnabout could be considered fair play, it is more important for our country to have healthy democratic institutions.

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