BREAKING: Democrats Hoping To Take Control Of Congress …
by Caro, Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 02:47:57 PM EST
"BREAKING: Democrats Hoping To Take Control Of Congress …
… From Republican Minority In 2010"
Why was that tweet from The Onion so funny?
Because it’s so true.
Despite a Democratic president, a Democratic majority in the House, and 60 members of the Senate caucusing with the Democrats, the corporate lobbyists’ agenda continually prevails.
If you want to force that situation to “change”, if you’ll pardon the expression, read on.
Brent Budowsky is a former aide to a powerful senator and to a member of the House leadership. And that was back when Democrats kept a majority in Congress for many years. It was when Democrats, at least occasionally, passed legislation that benefited ordinary people. Brent knows the ins and outs of Congress and he knows politics.
Writing in The Hill, Brent is seriously worried about what may happen this November:
While Democrats surrender on a long list of major healthcare reforms supported by large majorities of independents, insurance and drug companies pour campaign cash into Republican coffers in states throughout the nation. The front page of The New York Times said it all, in bold ink, on Dec. 29: “Money pours to G.O.P.”
These gushing rivers of special-interest money are aimed at electing Republican governors and state legislators, who would dominate the great redistricting following the 2010 census, threatening Democratic members of the House and Senate in 2010, sounding a death knell for Democratic control of the House once the redistricting is done, if not sooner.
But he doesn’t just describe the problem. Brent tells us how the Progressive Caucus can save the Democrats from self destruction.
1. Progressives should speak for the huge majority of independents and fight for a public option with an opt-in provision that would allow states that favor it to have it. This would regain the political ground and reverse the political-sucker play against Democrats. Progressives should propose sending the money saved by the public option back to participating states for job-creating programs.
2. Progressives should fight for the huge majority of independents and make price-fixing, price-gouging and collusion by insurers illegal. Any insurance exchange with legalized price-fixing is ludicrous and repellant to a large majority of Americans.
3. Progressives should fight for the huge majority of independents and allow import of cheap lower-priced drugs that Americans overwhelmingly want.
4. Progressives should fight for the huge majority of independents and repeal the Bush tax cuts for upper incomes, enact an unjust-enrichment surtax on Wall Street bonuses and use the revenue in the short term to lower payroll taxes to generate growth, cut small-business taxes to create jobs and give hard-time rebates to seniors and military families of active-duty troops.
Brent gave a small preview of his plan on the Ed Schultz Show last week. The video is available here, and Brent’s appearance is at 29:17.
It’s not too late, progressives. We can still rescue some sanity from the wreckage of health care reform. Contact your member of Congress and your senators. Tell them you want real change, not just words.
You can reach Brent Budowsky at email@example.com.