On Ideas for Democrats

Recent results in Massachusetts stung Democrats. As they scramble and make excuses, I find it hard to believe that their ways will change. I normally listen to the State of the Union, but not tonight because watching Democrats stand, applaud, and yell while the Republicans sit and pout supports my notion of the problem. Besides, I’m not in the mood for political rhetoric.

Although I doubt if they are interested, here are 10 ways (in no particular order), Democrats can regain support of independent moderates.

  1. Whether through resignation or vote, replace Speaker Pelosi with a moderate, maybe even a Blue Dog. The public does not support her, and she misjudged this 2008 election results.
  2. Replace Senator Reid as Senate Majority Leader. If not, the people of Nevada may deal an additional credibility blow to the party.
  3. Freeze Congressional salaries without a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), and then only ties raises based on the degree of overall annual government budget surpluses.
  4. Cut budgets for Congressional staffing by 10% and limit staff increases to COLAs.
  5. Govern from the center, and if the White House doesn’t like it, tough nuggies! Governing from the center means helping the people while being fiscally responsible. By the way, the public will abandon obstinate Republicans.
  6. Its jobs, jobs, jobs! Besides being laden with pork, the first stimulus aimed at helping public agencies to support the needy people and funding temporary public projects. Unfortunately, President Obama did not sell it that way. A suggestion – Instead of giving businesses money to do something (which could be whatever), give tax credits for businesses doing something that established employment in the 50 states – not elsewhere.
  7. Health insurance reform is possible, so get out of your financer’s pockets, and think outside the box to legislate something the majority of the public can support.
  8. Stop using the “inherited situation” as an excuse. The people know the situation and are tired of hearing that excuse.
  9. President Obama using the veto pen on this own party.
  10. Step down from your pompous throne and get down to governing. I imagine the percentage of Congressional liberals in Washington is higher than the percentage of liberal Americans.

During the campaign, President Obama used Yes we can. In this recent article after the recent results in Massachusetts, Ben Feller (AP) used Yes I hear it. I use this phrase from a commercial, Can you hear me (us) now?

Interesting Reading

On Torture

sgtschultzUnfortunately and predictably, the torture/waterboarding news is playing out on party lines. On one side the partisan Democrats are trying to use the law to get-back-at the Bush administration; and then we have the GOP partisans defending their past judgments while labeling the opposition as un-American and terrorist sympathizers. Of course both sides uses rationale equivalent to a cow pie in the pasture.

Unquestionably, waterboarding is against the Geneva Convention; and (to me) breaking this agreement shows a wandering away from the always-important moral compass. It’s obvious that the White House and the Department of Defense knew, but are their decisions and tactics worth pursuing? Is it worth the financial cost? Is it worth continuing to address issues on partisan lines to further divide the country?

I have said it before here and I will say it again – I hope the current administration does not go down the path that some congressional Democrats want to take. It’s done, time to move on. President Obama has been taking the high road, and I hope he continues to do so. Senator McCain, an ardent supporter against torture, acknowledges past indiscretions but also promotes moving forward.

Although I appreciate Kathleen Parker’s approach of finding the answer when posing a question, this recent David Broder Washington Post column is also a good one; however, this Bret Stephens (WSJ) column has stuck with me.

I understand the “no one is above the law” argument Senator Leahy poses, but how much of his zeal is partisan? A recent CBS/NY Times poll finds 62% are against a Congressional investigation. Then again, why would Congress ever want to listen to the public?

Of course part of me also says “Press on” with the investigation so we can see what Speaker Pelosi actually knows. Even after her impression of Sergeant Schultz’s “I know nothing”, I find it hard to believe that a Speaker of the House with experience on the Intelligence Committee didn’t know.

Although I still say “No” to investigating the Bush Administration, it’s a resounding “YES” to nonpartisan investigation of Congress by outsiders to determine which members knew and shamefully remained silent. Identify them and then let’s get the bums out.

Image from Boston Herald Photo on File