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A Litany Of Democratic Failures... By A Democrat

It’s been almost one year to the day since I wrote the following on my blog.

“Now that the Democrats have the Senate as well as the House, we can expect a tectonic shift in American politics. We can expect oversight of the executive branch - particularly with regard to human rights and civil liberties, which this Administration has thrown to the dogs.

We can expect a re-evaluation of our foreign policy. We can expect a shift in tax priorities to moderate the excessive cuts given to the extremely wealthy."

We can expect more money for healthcare and education. More money for police and firefighters. A raise in the minimum wage. A focus on small business rather than Big Oil.”

So what happened? Why have the Democrats failed on almost every count to do anything useful for this country over the last year?

I write this as a committed liberal, but perhaps I should be joining David et al on the Third Party blog. Because the Dems have failed. They’ve failed to do anything about the war. Failed on healthcare. Failed on stem cell research. Failed on foreign policy.

In fact, I can’t see much of a success anywhere.

Just look at the litany of discarded (or wallowing in committee) bills:

The Clean Air Act (notice an alternative title, Ending Subsidies for Big Oil Act of 2007’) is still pending after a year – and it’s bound to lose its bite, since four Democratic Senators oppose it.

The Iraq De-Escalation Act of 2007 has gone nowhere, and in fact we’re funding the war at a higher rate than ever. What a disappointment to the millions whose primary agenda in electing Democrats was to get us the hell out of that hellhole.

The Medicare Price Negotiation Act of 2007 which has sat in committee since January and – as expected – seems to be destined to remain there.

The State Children’s Health Insurance Program which Bush vetoed, and which was a huge priority that has failed to garner enough Republican votes to overcome Bush’s objection to looking after disadvantaged kids.

I could go on and on, but you get the point. The Dems have not built any bipartisanship, and have, it seems, been content on the whole to just let things be.

Bush is a lame duck President, and he and his cronies have managed to ensure that the Democrats’ 110th Congress has no legs at all. Sure, it’s easy to blame him – and we should, to some extent – but it’s the Democrats I really blame, for reneging on their promises and allowing the country to continue to flounder in the mess that the Republicans created in the first place.

Posted by Jon Rice at November 2, 2007 1:10 PM
Comments
Comment #237476

Jon, It seems we have very high expectations and a very short time frame that we expect these things to be done. With a very slim majority in Congress and a hostile white house did we really expect the battle to be over and the war won? Did we think the repubs would belly up and go home or did we expect them to suddenly want to work with the dems? Did we expect that just because the people voted for change our bought and paid off representatives would magically start listening to the people and not the corporations and special interest groups? Did we expect that all of a sudden the wheels on the government bus would change direction without slowing down and stopping first, without shifting gears? Did we really expect there was that much difference between the 2 parties? With the current shift of corporate money to the dems did we expect those truely running the country to give up? Did we expect to much from a timid and weak leadership afraid to challange and confront the white house?Did we expect to much to soon?
BTW joining the third party blog still seems to have the best chance to get the country back from the corporatist now ruining it.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 2, 2007 1:39 PM
Comment #237481

Jon, that’s quote a litany of failure. You can add to your list the recent decision by the Democrats to work a shorter week and to abandon efforts to curb “pork barrel” spending. Your comment, “The State Children’s Health Insurance Program which Bush vetoed, and which was a huge priority that has failed to garner enough Republican votes to overcome Bush’s objection to looking after disadvantaged kids.” is totally misleading and I believe you know it is. SCHIP’s already exists and the President advocated an increase in funding. What the President objects to is its huge expansion to cover 25 year old children, illegal aliens and to add another huge tax burden to those of us who use and enjoy tobacco products. I have made a personal committment to not exaggerate or use hyperbole in my comments. I hope many of you will join me.

Posted by: Jim at November 2, 2007 3:30 PM
Comment #237504


Jon: Democrats must work together at the grassroots level to take our party back from our politicians that are selling us out. We must use the internet to unite ourselves and challenge the party. We need to target a few specific politicians and challenge them in the primaries.

We also need to Email the hell out of them on specific issues. The issue that I would start with is public financing of elections.

I have heard a rumor that young people are registering in droves to vote in the next election and that most are registering as Democrats. If this is true, those young people and the rest of us have to constantly demand results from our politicians until they get the message or we replace them.

Posted by: jlw at November 2, 2007 10:58 PM
Comment #237512

Jon:

It’s not what they want to do, but rather their approach. It’s Bush in reverse. “I am going to have my bill my way.” Of course then the Republicans know to “win” they have to at all costs keep the “my way or the highway” approach in defeat.

It’s just Congress. If there were more time (as in more time in Bush’s presidency), Democrats after being vetoed enough would decide, hmmmmm in order to have some sort of legacy I will need to work with the President. It’s just the way the system works.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at November 3, 2007 12:20 AM
Comment #237531

This week’s Time magazine has a huge spread on another failure of this Congress, namely the new Farm Bill. Take a look.

L

Posted by: leatherankh at November 3, 2007 9:42 AM
Comment #237541

Jon,
Welcome to the politics of assumed stupidity. When Republicans has the Congress they assumed their constituents were stupid and could not possibly know anything. They ran as believers and ruled as agnostics.
The Democrats have now run as believers to gain office. Lo and behold they think YOU are stupid, too, and they rule as agnostics.

It’s our fault, yours as liberals and ours as conservatives, because the ideas in which we believe never really get a fair shake. These people, whom we really are stupid to trust just because they have a lot of money behind them (Where do you suppose THAT came from?) can’t abide the notion that the ‘demos’ of demo-crat could actually be able to think for themselves. Better to fool us with watch-words and tricksterism (thank you bill Clinton) then do as they know better, whatever party they are in.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at November 3, 2007 12:43 PM
Comment #237550

The problem is that we don’t really have enough of a majority to push anything through.

Posted by: Max at November 3, 2007 3:01 PM
Comment #237553
Sure, it’s easy to blame him [Bush (43)] – and we should, to some extent – but it’s the Democrats I really blame, for reneging on their promises and allowing the country to continue to flounder in the mess that the Republicans created in the first place.
It’s not just Democrats, or Republicans, or the Executive Branch, or the voters.

It is A_L_L of us.

However, who is most to blame?
Who is the largest group (i.e. majority)?
What does this say about the majority of the population: 200 million eligible voters?

I hear Congress is announcing they are cutting back to 4-day work weeks? So much for 5-day work weeks. I guess they discovered they can do nothing in 4 days just as easily as they can in 5 days?

Here is the paradox:

  • Voters give Congress a dismal 11%-to-18% approval ratings,

  • But, then too many voters reward Congress with 95% to 99% re-election rates.
Thus, it’s hard to be very sympathetic for the majority of voters and their worsening predicament (a 30+ year trend), when:
  • 40% to 50% of voters don’t vote.

  • most voters don’t even know who their state and federal senators and representatives are, much less their voting records.

  • most voters pull the party lever; many not even knowing who they are voting for.

  • most voters, 90% of the time, elect the candidate that spends the most money.

  • 99.85% of all 200 million eligible voters donate $2 per person (on average) to a federal campaign, while a tiny 0.15% of 200 million eligible voters donate 83% of all federal campaign donations (of $200 or more).

  • most voter have no idea what Article V of the Constitution is, or that it is being violated, despite 567 requests to make amendments by ALL 50 states

  • 20% of students in American public schools can’t identify the United States on a world map.

  • most voters think the problem is the OTHER party.

  • most voters think that THEIR politician is grand, as evidenced by the 95% to 99% re-election rates. Most voters believe MOST politicians are crooked, but they think that THEIR politician is great. Look at the voters that re-elected Rep. William Jefferson. And it wouldn’t surprise me if the voters of Idaho re-elect Larry Craig … giving new meaning the word Idaho .

  • most voters whine and complain and give Congress dismal 11% to 18% approval ratings, but repeatedly re-elect and reward the same incumbents, giving them a cu$hy 95% to 99% re-election rates.

  • most voters are easily bribed with their own tax dollars; especially the older voters lobbying for entitlements. Too many voters have fallen for the myth that we can all live at the expense of everyone else.

  • most voters don’t even know what the National Debt is, much less the total federal debt, Social Security debt, PBGC debt, or the nationwide personal debt.

  • most voters fall for the partisan-warfare, because it is easier to blame the OTHER party than work to solve prolbems; it easier to emphasize minor differences rather than work in unity to solve the many things that most of us all already agree upon (the problem and the solution).

  • most voters are unable to name 10, 20, 50, 100, or 268 (half of 535) in Congress that are responsible and accountable. But then, perhaps that’s because there aren’t any? Yet, most lover THEIR own politician, as evidence by 95% to 99% re-election rates.

  • most voters blame Congress and the President, but fail to understand that the voters (the largest group of 200 million eligible voters) have the government that they repeatedly re-elect and reward. The voters are the one largest group responsible for their own problems. Thus, government is dyfunctional becasuse the electorate is dysfunctional. Too many voters take the easy route, because it is easier to blame politicians, rather than admit that repeatedly rewarding them with perpetual re-election makes no sense at all.

  • too many voters are one-issue voters, making them easy to manipulate.

  • most voters think the nation is on the wrong track, but most voters (i.e. of the 50% to 60% that even vote) reward the same incumbent politicians, over and over, with re-election; essentially rewarding them for keeping us on the wrong track.

  • most voters simply don’t care … at least, not until the consequences of their disinterest finally provides the much-needed motivation to become more interested. Voters will become much less complacent, apathetic, and lazy when they are jobless, homeless, and hungry.
When will that happen?
When the built-in self-correction mechanism is triggered, which is when enough voters pain-level is finally reached.
Then they may become more interested.
Then the 40% to 50% that don’t even bother to voter, and the voters that blindly pull the party-lever will finally understand that ain’t workin’ is it?
Unfortunately, by that time, it may be too late.
Especially with so many pressing problems growing in number and severity:
  • [01] War in Iraq (a war based largely on false and/or exaggerated intelligence).

  • [02] War in Afghanistan.

  • [03] $9.084 Trillion National Debt.

  • [04] $12.8 Trillion borrowed and spent from Social Security (with approaching 77 million baby boomer bubble.

  • [05] Hundreds of billions of unfunded Medicare liabilities, and a large part of the reason medical for everyone else is increasing drastically, and why many doctors are limiting or refusing Medicare patients.

  • [06] $20+ Trillion Nationwide personal debt.

  • [07] The PBGC is $450 Billion in the hole.

  • [08] Government FOR-SALE, government waste, pork-barrel, graft, corruption, Gerrymandering, election fraud, eminent domain abuse, Constitutional violations (e.g. Article V), while Congress rewards itself for all of it with 9 raises in the last 10 years.

  • [09] Healthcare crisis; Medicare is shifting healthcare costs to others; children are getting the short end of the stick. Healthcare is not only increasingly unaffordable, but dangerous too! Pharmaceutical corporations and the FDA are becoming pill pushers that are killing hundreds of thousands in the U.S. (annually). That does not even include the huge number of patients that are irreversibly damaged and maimed. JAMA reported that over 2.2 million hospitalized patients in 1994 had serious Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs) and 106,000 were fatal, making these drug reactions the 5th or 6th leading cause of death in the U.S.! JAMA’s conclusion was that “the incidence of serious and fatal ADRs in U.S. hospitals was found to be extremely high”. On 27-July-2004, HealthGrades.com reported that “An average of 195,000 people in the U.S. died due to potentially preventable, in-hospital medical errors in each of the years 2000, 2001 and 2002, according to a new study of 37 million patient records”.

  • [10] The PBGC is $450 Billion in the hole.

  • [11] Excessive money creation (inflation). Get ready for more inflation. The U.S. dollar is now less than the Canadian dollar, and the U.S. dollar has fallen 40% against the EURO in the last 6 years. A 1950 dollar is now worth 11 cents. Gold is at $800 per ounce, Merrill Lynch reported the biggest loss in 93 years, and the inflation rates being reported are a little suspicious too.

  • [12] Illegal immigration; politicians are despicably pitting American citizens and illegal aliens against each other. And for what? Votes and profits from cheap labor.

  • [13] Energy Vulnerability. Oil is $95 per barrel. It may be a very cold winter for some people.

  • [14] Environemt: global warming; population (world population growing by 211,000 per day), arable land (1.15 acres of arable land per person: 7.68 billion acres / 6.68 billion people).
Until enough voters figure it out, they have the government that they deserve.

Posted by: d.a.n at November 3, 2007 3:19 PM
Comment #237568

Jon,
I’ve read the previous statements and they’re all right on. What you and they didn’t mention is the Republican owned media that has spent the last thirty-five years training the populace at large to growl and salivate every time Rove rings the bell.
People ask me, “How’re things?” I answer, “Can’t tell ya’. The terrorists might win and that’ll be awful because then Dodger Dogs will bee all beef.” They look at me dead serious, “What ‘er you gonna do?” I can’t believe it! Here’s the answer; “I’m gonna start training as soon as the equipment comes in. An M-16, night vision googles, body armor, surface to air hand held rocket launchers, etc., etc. I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR MORE THAN SIX YEARS ALREADY!” I’ve come to the conclusion that Bush doesn’t care if the free and the brave are able to defend themselves. The Democrats are pink tu tu wimps because of this idiot president and his brainwashing media.
Stephen Hines

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