Confidence On The Issues

We hear from so many Democrats -- quite often elected Democrats playing pundit -- that the party's problem is that people care first and foremost about national security and they don't like what they hear from Democrats. For too long, that's been the conventional wisdom. And such conventional wisdom leads to certain Democrats saying patently silly things like, "we need to talk tough about national security, and I will do that... in six months." So I really hope that everyone's paying attention to the signs indicating that the conventional wisdom has been overturned.

The AFL-CIO blog and Georgia10 point to a some new Gallup polling showing that Americans' top three concerns, in order, are access to healthcare, Social Security, and "availability and affordability of energy."Polling Report has the full results, which show people are more concerned about kitchen table issues than personally being attacked by terrorists. It's interesting to me that the poll did not include the war in Iraq as one of the "problems facing the country." Had it been included and a majority of those polled counted it among their top concerns, I think the results would still be good for Democrats. But aside from the civil war in Iraq, Americans seem to be incredibly uneasy with the direction of the country, and on the issues that concern them most, they've already rejected the Republicans.

Matt Singer at PLAN has an interesting and somewhat post praising former Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber for his timing in launching his healthcare reform campaign, The Archimedes Movement. Many have seen Kitzhaber's campaign as the likely beginning to a 2008 Presidential run. With Joe Trippi on board as an adviser, that may well be true. But he's also a doctor, so it's clearly an issue he's legitimately interested in.

It's not as if I'm advocating an abdication of national security as an issue we should campaign on. What I'm saying is that Democrats need to act like winners on every issue. Even the Republican pollsters at Rasmussen acknowledge that Americans trust Congressional Democrats on national security matters more than they do the President. And I think when it comes to the Democrats' newly released national security document, we ought to focus more on the 'redeploy, eliminate Bin Laden' message and less on the specifics.

I guess my ultimate point here is that if Democrats act like they're on the defensive, it leads people to question their position. Look at what a little bit of stubborn cockiness has done for the Republicans over the years. The people are with us. That doesn't mean that we now rest on our laurels and coast to November. But acting like winners and showing a little confidence would certainly not be a bad thing for the Democrats right about now.

The strange (un)ethical history of Nancy Pelosi

I'm taking a look at the Senate proceedings yesterday on the [not too much] ethics [thank you] bill S 2349.

And, while scanning the Congressional Record (page S1877), I find reprinted an article from the WSJ of September 30 1993.

Apparently, then Rep, now Sen, Inhofe (for it was he!) had introduced an amendment to some other ethics bill designed to end the then current practice of secrecy for those signing discharge petitions:

Rep. Inhofe took a big step toward ending such hypocrisy Tuesday, when Congress voted 384 to 40 for his proposal to end the secrecy of discharge petitions. Constituents will now know who's signed up for the procedures necessary to discharge a bill from committee and force a vote; Members will no longer be able to posture one way and act another on bills popular with the public but unpopular with fellow legislators. Rep. Inhofe's overwhelming majority, after the difficulty he had signing up 218 Members to discharge his own proposal, is itself testimony to the difference between smoke-filled rooms and the light of day.

There's more...

More confusion on Dem 'Contract with America'

Those with memories like - well, elephants may recall the following from last October (when New Orleans was still in ruins from Katrina):
Key Democratic sources say Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other House leaders are putting the finishing touches on what arguably will be Democrats most detailed "positive" election-year agenda since the party lost power more than a decade ago. Pelosi has been coordinating with Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), key Democratic strategists, advisers and outside interest groups on the policy platform as well as the party's broader 2006 message.

Well, New Orleans is still in ruins (quite a lot of it) and the
most detailed "positive" election-year agenda since the party lost power more than a decade ago

is still an idea in the minds of Harry and Nancy.

There's more...

Reid, Pelosi let Feingold twist in the wind

I don't like to say I told you so. But I told you so.

AP rounds up the day's (in)action from the Dem side:

Throughout the day, Feingold's fellow Democrats said they understood his frustration but they held back overt support for the resolution.

There's more...

Dems win Congress - then what?

Let's suppose that the Dems take control of both houses this November.

Clearly, there will be no chance of passing much in the way of controversial legislation - a veto-proof majority is far away in the realms of fantasy!

And Bush will no doubt be happy to out-Truman Truman in the veto department.

So what about those investigations that the lefty sphere has been looking forward to?

There's more...

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