Posts Tagged ‘Democrats’
After much wrangling and some tense moments between Democratic lawmakers, the House of Representatives passed an historic health care reform bill. This marks a significant milestone for both Democrats and the country as a whole. I was personally pleased that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Representative Patrick Kennedy to tell him of the news. Now the long road to reconciling this bill with a version from the Senate begins. Democrats in the Senate have been disappointing in how they have not taken a strong stand on the public option for much of the process. Part of this is due to the politics of getting a bill out of committee to the general Senate for a vote. Part of this, however, is a larger issue between conservative or ‘Blue Dog’ Democrats and their brethren, the more progressive Senators.
In the end, if this bill fails to pass the Senate, it is not the Republicans the American people will solely blame. To a smaller, but significant measure, the American people will also blame the Democrats who voted against supporting and pushing this bill – including a strong and needed public option.
We can only hope that Democrats, unlike their Republican counterparts, realize before all is said and done, that this bill must pass to end the symbolic divide between the favoritism that business interests have had under the Bush Administration vs. the needs of the American people – especially the shrinking middle class.
The Obama team, famously Tight-lipped during the transition period to the Presidency, has let slip a potential Secretary of State Candidate: Senator Hillary Clinton – or have they? One could probably go insane trying to decipher the politics of this situation. A shrewd person might postulate that the Clintons may have met with President-Elect Obama and then let the rumor slip from their camp – to either seal or blow the deal.
In contrast, Obama’s team may have let this slip to seal or blow the deal. There is probably no way for any of us to know for sure. One thing is certain: the Obama transition has become a lot more interesting overnight.
In all likelihood, the correct answer is none of the above. Obama has rightly earned the nickname “no drama Obama” for a reason. After all, Obama had no forced commitment to Clinton. Clinton, on the other hand, has no reason to play politics with this.
Instead, it could be a planned leak by the Obama camp to test the waters – both in the Clinton camp and in the public forum. Reportedly, however, there is also some discussion that Senator John Kerry is being considered for the post.
Obama’s first transition appointment, Rep. Rom Emanuel, seems to be somewhat tame in comparison to all this. His appointment, however, is far from tame. Rep. Emanual’s appointment to the position as President-Elect Obama’s Chief of Staff, is widely considered a politically savvy decision by Obama. Emanuel is a respected member of congress by both sides of the aisle.
As chief of staff, one of his principal duties will be to help push Obama’s legislative agenda through Congress. Since Rep. Emanuel was the primary reason that NAFTA – an unpopular piece of legislation – was pushed through a Democratic-controlled Congress early in the Clinton Administration, it seems Obama’s choice was a wise one.
Democrats do not say this often or loudly enough: we are the party of Kennedy and Roosevelt. Two Presidents that came into office inexperienced and changed the world. Each with their own incredible foreign policy struggles: JFK had the Cuban Missile Crisis, Berlin, Vietnam, etc. And Roosevelt had WWII (not to mention the great depression). Neither would fit the description of experienced leader according to today’s Republican Party.
Yet, each of them applied their great talents to forever change our world in a very substantive and positive way. I am reminded of them every time I see the Republican party pull Ronald Reagan out of their collective hats. Why don’t Democrats do the same?
Jefferson, Kennedy, Roosevelt, Jackson, Madison, Wilson, Truman, Johnson, and Clinton are just a few of the great Democratic Presidents that served our country.
Collectively, they gave us the:
- National Convention process
- party platform
- League of Nations
- Federal Reserve Board
- direct election of senators
- Civilian Conservation Corps
- Social Security
- Marshall Plan
- integration of the military
- Peace Corps
- Nuclear Test Ban Treaty
- Moscow Hotline
- Civil Rights Act
- Voting Rights Act
- peace treaty between Egypt and Israel
- Deficit Reduction Act of 1993 (took us from $290 Billion deficit to a $200 Billion surplus)
Democrats have always supported low- and middle-income Americans, women’s rights, civil rights, and a whole littany of social issues that help everyday Americans.
So when Republicans pull Ronald Reagan out of the closet, don’t forget to remind them there were a few great Democrats out there too.
SIDEBAR: This web site has an excellent and humorous comparison of Democrats and Republicans throughout history. Take it for what it is folks.