Frequent commenter TA gives me hard time here
for daring to dream that a Democratic takeover in Congress will make a difference. It is even worse than that: He accuses me of exactly what I pin on the wingnuts: basing my approach on faith.
Is the sun going to come up in the morning? How do you know?
Here is what Nancy Pelosi says is the plan
for her first 100 hours as Speaker:
Day One: Put new rules in place to "break the link between lobbyists and legislation."
Day Two: Enact all the recommendations made by the commission that investigated the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Time remaining until 100 hours: Raise the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour, maybe in one step. Cut the interest rate on student loans in half. Allow the government to negotiate directly with the pharmaceutical companies for lower drug prices for Medicare patients.
Broaden the types of stem cell research allowed with federal funds _ "I hope with a veto-proof majority," she added in an Associated Press interview Thursday.
All the days after that: "Pay as you go," meaning no increasing the deficit, whether the issue is middle class tax relief, health care or some other priority.
To do that, she said, Bush-era tax cuts would have to be rolled back for those above "a certain level." She mentioned annual incomes of $250,000 or $300,000 a year and higher, and said tax rates for those individuals might revert to those of the Clinton era. Details will have to be worked out, she emphasized.
It could be a bucket of bilgewater. Pelosi and the Democrats could walk away from all of it. And if they do, I will freely acknowledge TA's greater cynicism on my way to a secure undisclosed location. But just as we know the sun came up yesterday, and understand that the mechanism that caused it to do so is likely to repeat, we know that Democrats have voted for most or all of those things before, and that most of those things are strongly supported by a majority of Americans. And because the "money talks" system has always favored and will always favor the Republicans, it is in the interest of the Dems to change that system.
Thus there are some solid reasons why I feel cautiously optimistic that the sun will indeed come up on November 8th.
If that be faith, so be it.Update:
Bowers @ MyDD makes me look apocalyptic by comparison. His take on the Democratic surge:
The reason that there is near unanimity among "Democratic insiders" that they have to oppose Bush and the war when, thirteen months ago, Rahm Emmanuel would not even mention Iraq when asked about the Democratic agenda, is because of the Connecticut Senate primary. As much as I would like to credit Adwatch and the Candidate Memo, I think the only reasonable conclusion is that Democratic leaders finally learned this lesson over the summer on the ground in Connecticut. The reason that Democrats are running against the war nationwide is because Ned Lamont and the progressive movement taught them the price they will pay among their own base if they fail to do so. Everyone remembers the things that brought Lieberman down during the primary: failure to oppose the war, and inability to stand up to George Bush. The media constantly called Lamont's campaign a single-issue, anti-war campaign. Everyone remembers the Kiss Float and the commercial where Lieberman's words come out of George Bush's mouth.
Ned Lamont's victory in that primary changed the direction of the Democratic Party in this election, and not just among a few blog fanatics...
It was bloody, and it was exhausting, but Ned Lamont's campaign finally brought the Democratic leadership to where the netroots, and the Democratic rank and file, have been for a long time. The war and Bush are not any less popular in October of 2006, when Democrats have decided to run on Iraq, than they were in October of 2005, when Democrats thought ignoring Iraq was the best option. The difference is that the progressive movement and Democratic base taught the Democratic leadership a much-needed lesson. There is certainly no guarantee they will remember that lesson once the election is over (I give it about an even chance), and there are probably still quite a few Democratic insiders who said "Bush" because, even now, they would rather contract the plague instead of talk about Iraq. But the reason they have finally come to where the Democratic base, and the rest of the country, is on both Bush and Iraq is because of Connecticut. If Democrats win in 2006, it will be our accomplishment, and it will be Ned's accomplishment.
I think Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and Keith Olbermann will deserve a nod, too. But I'll wait two weeks to hand out the palmares.