Now that the Democrats lead Congress, now what?


3 comments posted
Now that the Dems won

Having been out of power for 12 years, the first thing the Dems will need to do is to remember what it's like to have their collective hands on the tiller, again. A few bills with some teeth and with some broad support will come first. I think the minimum wage and college tuition help fall into that category. Bush will have to veto them to defeat the bills if they pass. This will test the relationship with Congress and Bush will also test out his ability to be a President working with a legislature that might break away a bit from K-street.

Also, it will be harder for Bush, although not impossible, to write his little notes about not having to abide by these bills if he does indeed sign them. He can't exactly change the amount of the minimum wage or tell the IRS they don't have to put the deductions in the regs. He either signs or he vetoes; and if he vetoes, Congress either over-rides or fails. Yet if Bush vetoes (or pocket vetoes) or somehow balks at the minimum wage of college tuition help, we ends up on the wrong side. It's one thing for Bush to play the same-sex marriage card or the stem cell card to make Dems look like sinners in the eyes of God. It is another to hit people in their pocket books. While people can get worked up over gay people and snowflake babies, when it comes down to the fact the GOP is handing out tax breaks to the rich, but not to the middle class or minimum wage to the burgeoning underclass, Bush will be smoked out if he refuses to go along.

Surely there will be those who will be heartened by Presidential opposition to an increase in the minimum wage or help with college tuition. But a large number would not be opposed. The Dems now can use the agenda setting to bring focus on different issues. I am not optimistic that ERA will come back into the debate ... at least not quite yet ... but I think Constitutional amendment banning flag burning won't get to a vote while resolutions on stopping the war will.

The topics will different, although not entirely. I am sure there will be more bridges to nowhere and a host of other things only a US Congress could dream up. But the fact the issues will change and K-street won't be plugged in quite the same will count for something.

The House stands for re-election in two years. A third of the Senate will also stand for re-election. The election has also overturned that dictum that a party can win with its base alone.

For now the pundits are holding their collective breaths. In two months, we'll see where the nation goes and if it will start thinking about issues beyond the ones the the Christian right and K-street have been feeding the American people for far too long.

Matsu's picture
Posted by Matsu on 13 November 2006 - 9:23am
What do the Democrats stand
What do the Democrats stand for, now that they've dropped the ERA from their platform?

They WHAT?!!

Kyra's picture
Posted by Kyra (not verified) on 14 November 2006 - 11:33am

Oh yes. Not even token support any more.

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 14 November 2006 - 12:13pm