Jan 20, 2007

A Very Good Start for the 110th Congress, but Bush Remains as the Obstacle to Progress

The Work has just Began

Although how the women dress in the Congress got more paragraphs of coverage in the New York Times than the legislation passed, the 110th Congress had an impressive start. In its first 100 hours, the Senate passed tough ethics rules while the House rolled back $14 billion of [gasp] subsidies & tax breaks to the oil industry, increased the minimum wage, cut the interest on student loans, voted to implement recommendations of the 9-11 Commission, required the government to negotiate better prices for the Medicare beneficiaries, to finance stem cell research and try to overturn Bush's veto on ..science. Of course, the current occupant of our other House on Pennsylvania Avenue still has a lot of power and a veto on Congressional legislation, but this time it will be different. Congress has the power to investigate and exercise its important function under the checks & balances system in our constitution--something that the previous do-nothing Congress didn't want to do under the Republicans.

Hillary just announced that she's, too, forming an exploratory committee--yes, she's running! No surprises here. Governor Richardson of New Mexico is throwing his hat in as well. Of the big-name (national recognition) politicians that haven't declared, only Al Gore remains. He can wait a bit longer, but not too long--not because he'll have to raise money faster and establish a ground campaign, but because he has to get good people on his team before they commit to another candidate. Well, come to think of it, maybe it's much better for him to wait and get fresh people with fresh ideas instead of the established conventional "wisdom" and the people that have an excellent record of losing important races. This is a big topic of discussion within the progressive blogosphere these days. The Dems keep relying on the DC insiders (ie, Bob Shrum) and keep using the same old recipe of failure. OK, the party won control of Congress in the last election, but I maintain that much of it was the result of the utter incompetence and corruption of the Republicans.

It's January 20th as I'm writing this post. Do you know what date this is? Think two years ahead! That's right, a new president will be taking over at noon, and Dubya will go down in history possibly as the worst president ever! Let's try to limit the damage this man can inflict on our nation between now and then.

PS> I have to acknowledge the president's urging for medical privacy. Bush is right to propose legislation to prohibit insurance companies, employers, and others from obtaining patient's records of genetic tests and medical treatment. Now, when it comes to other matters of privacy, BushCo respects none.... All in the interest of national security, of course. Did you notice that Attornery General (the one supposedly defending our rights) Gonzales told the Senate that the Constitution doesn't explicitly provide Habeas Corpus (due process) to all?!!! [read and weep here]

PS2> If you want to get an idea how the insiders work and the damage they have inflicted on the Democratic party, it's worth reading an earlier essay I posted back in February of 2005, when Howard Dean became the chairman of the party. I urged Dean to "Fire the Losers, Get Rid of the Parasites."

29 comments:

Anne said...

I like what I'm seeing so far. What the Repubs couldn't get done in 12 these Dems accompished in 42 hours (floor time) in this new Congress.

But, you're right, passing bills doesn't translate into laws unless that idiot signs them. I think he has a veto-proof power, except perhaps the stem cell issue. The Repubs aren't going to break ranks and defeat Shrub... but, then again, who knows... he's a 30% president right now.

I particularly enjoyed your earlier post on the need for the Dems to throw out the bums/leeches...

Drew said...

Interesting observation that some Repubs may feel liberated now to vote (and get the chance of doing so) with the Dems on some good legislation.

I'm surprised that so many Senators are willing to vote for the non-binding resolution against Bush's escalation in Iraq. Kudos.

Kelly said...

Hillary was running since 2 years ago (at least). However her big $$ and name recognition, appealing to the activists in the party won't be all that easy. Obama and Edwards are formidable candidates too.

It's going to be fun. I think we won't get a good feel of who's getting serious traction until around Labor Day (Sept 07).

Andros said...

Yes, I agree. Around Labor Day we'll have a much better picture. Many things can change, some depending on the direction of the country and late entries into the field.

Yet, even the most popular candidates at that point may not win the nomination if we judge from the Dean case, when most people thought he had the nomination in the bag at that point, only to lose it big in Iowa.

I hope the primary voters vote for their best choice not who may win the race against a possible Repub candidate. Though, I acknowledge this strategy... better capture the White House even if the general is not our first choice!

One more thing. Much will depend on the order of the primaries, and their sequence isn't determined yet, as many states want to move up their contests to make them more relevant. It's exciting.

I hope 2 years from today, we'll be in DC celebrating and wishing good ridance...

Anonymous said...

No worry, we'll (GOP) bounce back. You'll hire the same old failures of consultants, the people will forget whey Congress turned over in 2004, and with Bush gone, it'll be time for a strong president with moral values!

Abby said...

You may be right, but I don't think the Repubs will field a candidate that can appeal to the moderates.

Your party is controlled by the theocons and ultra-cons that it will probably produce a very conservative candidate or a panderer (and non-credible) one like McCain.

Kelly said...

If Nancy Pelosi keeps on doing what she's doing so far, she'll not only make history (first woman to be Speaker of the House) but will change history.

All the best Nancy.

Howard J. said...

We knew that Gonzo doesn't think anyone is protected by Habeas Corpus or the Constitution. He found reasons that torture is allowed. Heck, he even changed the definition of torture to mean that if there's no imminent danger of death or a major organ failure, then it's not torture!!!!!!!

The sooner we get rid of these people, the better our country and the world will be!

HB said...

aha, so Gonzo would say, pull that sucker's fingernails out... hey, it's not torture!

Like Cheney would approve of a nice dunk in a water!

Chelsey said...

Did you watch Hillary's announcement on her website? I thought she looked nice and appealing. I hope she has a good message, and that America is ready for a female president.

Having said that, I'm still remain open and I want to hear the candidates presenting their case to the country. No need to rush, we have almost a year to make up our minds.

dr. j said...

OK, I like Hillary, I don't know if she's my favorite right now, but I feel the statements like, I'm going to discuss this with you, and tell me what you think, etc,... Well, to me is not very believable. I think Edwards did the same.... supposedly he asked the people if he should run.

Please, I know these politicians are ambitious, and there's nothing wrong with that, but don't give us this BS that any member of the public can actually influence their decision whether to run.... They'll withdraw only when they see that they aren't getting the votes they want to win.

Anonymous said...

The way I see it now Edwards is going to be the person to beat, unless Al Gore jumps in.

No matter what the Dems think of Hillary, when it'll come down to choosing the nominee, they'll look to the other side and nominate someone "safer" than Hillary to go up against the Repags.... Unless, the GOP nominates a crazy muthaf&kr

Sam said...

Same goes for Obama. He'll get the attention, he'll win some points, but in the end he won't be the nominee. The Dems are really hungry for the White House, especially after the catastrophe of the current administration. They'll play it safe.

Josecanyousee said...

I think the next biggie will be immigration reform. ALready the hard cons are gearing up for a fight, but there may be enough reasonable REpubs to go along with the Dems and pass the much-needed reform. Interestingly, Bush may get his bill from a Democratic Congress.

I like what Senators Kennedy and Leahy are saying about what's needed. I hope we see some reasonable & comprehensive reform.

Branson said...

I like what you said in the previous post, that you had a plan to raise the dead (at great expense too) and unless anyone has a better plan to do so, they should shut up and support your plan!

Exactly what Bush is asking us to do today in Iraq.

morissey said...

I had to say, Lieberman is a SOB and he pisses me off anytime he opens his mouth. The problem is that we're stuck with this guy for another 6 years. Unfortunately, I can't wish him ill because the CT gov is a Republican and will appoint a Repb if this idiot gets lost.

Check this out on Lieberman's support of Bush's escalation in Iraq.

Andros said...

The best way to marginalize Lieberman is for the Dems to enlarge on their Senate majority so he becomes less and less relevant. But, yes, we're stuck with this noxious airbag. We should have gotten a progressive Senator from CT, but there are some scores to settle with the behavior of the Dem party against Lamont.

Boisie said...

Do you think McCain will be our opponent from the GOP in 2008? That will be a tough race, no matter what some Dems say today. McCain is very electable nationally.

Andros said...

The problem with McCain (one of many) is that he's flipped so many times that he's not really trusted by the hard-core conservatives--many of whom will participate in the GOP primaries. I believe he won't get the nomination and he won't run as an independent either.

I think the Dems should be thinking about their strategy next year in the national election. Don't forget, the whole House will be up too, and 1/3 of the Senate.

The Dems should position themselves as needing to win the White House in order to get the country out of the BushCo mess, so they should be painting Bush as the true obstacle to progress in the next 2 years.

It would be disastrous for us if this Dem Congress screwed up...because the GOP can make the case of electing a Repub prez to "stop the excesses" of the Dems. I don't see this a very possible scenario, only if huge scandals emerge from this Congress.

And, gosh, I do hope the Dem nominee shies away from the "in" crowd that's lost so many elections for us.

another liberal said...

Who's "us"? I thought we weren't partisan.....but rather progressive!

Andros said...

I should do an entire essay and post it here on this subject. In short, we liberals see the best vehicle for progress, in our 2 party politics, the Dem party where the progressives, liberals and sane people have found a home.

Personally, I have my own beliefs and priorities and the closest political party in the US is the Dem--more specifically the Dem parties in the very blue states of the Northeast and the west coast! [not the Dem party in Mississippi for example]

Chris said...

I don't know, I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but fear is a great motivator and I don't see why this White House wouldn't start promoting it again....

I wonder how the country would respond to another terrorist attack.

Robin said...

This is what heck-of-a-job Brownie (hand-picked by Bush to lead FEMA, let's not forget) said right after Katrina hit:

"Unbeknownst to me, certain people in the White House were thinking, 'We had to federalize Louisiana because she's a white, female Democratic governor, and we have a chance to rub her nose in it,'" he said, without naming names. "'We can't do it to Haley (Barbour) because Haley's a white male Republican governor. And we can't do a thing to him. So we're just gonna federalize Louisiana." !!!!

Thrilling, heh? Wow!

Robin said...

Wait, this is the link to the story... here...

Ooooh, and there's a Lieberman connection too! (read the post)

Bridgewater said...

Anonymous said...

The way I see it now Edwards is going to be the person to beat, unless Al Gore jumps in.

No matter what the Dems think of Hillary, when it'll come down to choosing the nominee, they'll look to the other side and nominate someone "safer" than Hillary to go up against the Repags.... Unless, the GOP nominates a crazy muthaf&kr

1/20/2007
Sam said...

Same goes for Obama. He'll get the attention, he'll win some points, but in the end he won't be the nominee. The Dems are really hungry for the White House, especially after the catastrophe of the current administration. They'll play it safe!
<<<

Both of you are correct in my opinion. Andros have raised the same question on this blog before, whether a black or a woman can indeed be elected to the highest office of the country. I'm not people shouldn't vote for their actual preference, but if you really don't want another REpug in the WH in 2008, you may start being more calculating the odds.

One last thing. I'm willing to bet that the Cons and their media (incl. mainstream press) want a Hillary or Obama to be the Dem nominee because they believe they would shred them to pieces in the general election.

Andrew said...

Hey, I was thinking the same. OK, Hillary is a known and a very polarizing figure. No matter what she does, she's in the spotlight.
But Obama got too much attention too quickly to be genuine... unless there's another reason behind it. A very junior US Senator (what 2 years now?) gets the intense national spotlight... for what?!!!

Really, can anyone tell me what big issue he's known for????!!!!! You see, no one knows, except he looks good and he's articulate! Hmmmm

Dr E said...

I couldn't post above, so I'm posting here. This president has lost all credibility. I was listening to Randi Rhodes this evening on AAR and she was pondering "what if"... if Al Gore had been elected president instead of this guy...

I hope you bloggers and activists do whatever you can to convince Gore to run again. He'd make a great president.

I've seen him a few times since (not in person) but he looks a lot more relaxed and very presidential. He need some brains in the White House after so much dumbing down from "the decider."

Andros said...

I heard the same show, and one caller said Gore was boring that's why he wasn't elected! Well, besides that he won half a million votes more than Bush and Florida was stolen from him, Gore's stiffness was preferable to the DEADLY folksiness of Dubya.

Jan said...

Agreed. We would be in this huge mess with Iraq under president Gore.

Also, think of the environment-friendly policies, internet neutrality, healthcare, international stature, deficits, etc. etc.... Actually it makes me very sad to think "what if"....