This should go without saying, but while we’re staring at a possible two years of gridlock and political jockeying rather than legislative achievement, Democrats still have the opportunity to get something done in the time we have left.
From The Nation via Democratic Strategist (click here for the full post) :
The period after an election is not set aside for rearranging furniture; Congress sits for two years, not twenty-two months, and it’s supposed to do its job for the entire term. That doesn’t mean Democrats should be blind to the election results; to the contrary, they should respond to them–while getting things done for the American people….
…Pelosi is smart to link the defense of healthcare reform, financial regulation and long-term commitments to maintaining Social Security with the need to create jobs. She can highlight the linkage during the lame-duck session by focusing on fundamentals: extending unemployment benefits, shoring up Medicare and Medicaid, and assuring that a stopgap spending bill contains funding not just to keep the federal government operating into the next year but to help state and local governments and school districts across the country do the same. These are all popular initiatives; Pelosi and Harry Reid–who still controls the Senate for the next two years–have no reason to accept the conventional wisdom that the election produced a mandate for conservative ideas, neglecting the plight of jobless Americans, cutting social services or forcing teacher layoffs in the middle of the school year.
…Democrats should take the moment to argue for letting the Bush tax cuts expire and using the new revenue to maintain federal, state and local services in tough economic times…If compromise is necessary, the only credible one is giving relief to working families–not billionaires. The American people will get the point if Democrats make it aggressively and without apology.
To get movement on this and other priorities like the DREAM Act and DADT even close to being considered for a vote its going to take the mobilization of grassroots organization nationwide. And even if we still can’t get all our goals achieved now, we can fight like we did when we were last in the minority. So get up, brush the midterms off and get ready to be activists once again because 2011 is an excellent opportunity to concentrate on issues rather than elections. With my bullhorn in hand all I have to say is – Game on folks!