Reading at the Crossroads

Reading at the Crossroads is an archive for columns and letters which appeared in the Terre Haute Tribune Star. I also blog here when my patience is exhausted by what I feel is irritating, irrational and/or ironic in life. --gary daily

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Location: Terre Haute, Indiana, United States

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

It's a Good Day for Democrats -- 1

It's a good day for Democrats.

Massachusetts should show the Obama administration what they are up against and that kid gloves treatment with the minority Republicans only means they are acting like kids. Polarization? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Think about the Democrats: post Massachusetts. They can pretend to be Republicans or they can act like FDR liberal Democrats. Which choice would you make if you were a yellow dog, say Indiana's Senator Bayh or Representative Ellsworth and the Republicans put up another Cosmo centerfold type candidate against you? I say these two leaning right Dems can only lose votes (to say nothing of self-respect) by taking on the role of counterfeit Republicans.

Perhaps these counterfeit candidates, and the Democratic party as a whole, will finally take those soft kid gloves off and start the political alley fight that’s needed. If they fail to do this, refuse to use the ideology and tools of New Deal liberalism to the hilt, they lose.

So here’s the agenda:

–-the House should pass the Senate version of the health care bill making it unnecessary to pass a conference committee version of the bill in the Senate,

-- move full steam ahead on bank regulation and greedy bonus payout to the execs on Wall Street (let the Republicans defend their own),

–immediately propose another stimulus to the economy and add long term projects in the mix,

–be bold on military hardware waste and close 70 unneeded bases open around the world; redirect parts of these savings to true Homeland security, starting with our ports and the shipping security,

–take whatever steps are necessary to end the filibuster rule in the Senate (it’s not a law, it’s not in the U.S. Constitution, the Tea Party should support this move), if it ends up in the Supreme Court, so be it. This action will educate the public and show the nation that one party, the Democrats (liberal version) is not afraid of democracy.

[Go here for clear and fair discussion: Filibuster ]

President Obama should announce this agenda in his State of the Union address this month. Congress should put these bills up for a vote in the next three months. Let’s see if the real Democrats will swallow a cup of starch and stand up straight. (Bye, bye Bayh and Ellsworth?) This will all add to the record of the Republicans obstruction of needed legislation supported by large majorities in both houses of Congress.

The Democrats can attack or drift. Massachusetts demonstrated the rewards of drift. Massachusetts represents a good day for the Democrats if it sends them into attack mode.

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