Archive for October 18th, 2006

One of the latest tactics of the right used to scare people into voting Republican in November is to use the specter of a Nancy-Pelosi-led House, if Democrats win back a majority of seats. What they fail to mention is exactly why that’s a bad thing. And if you look closer into Pelosi statements and the likely composition of a Democratic House, well, there’s less to fear and much to like.

Harold Meyerson of the Washington Post, for example, takes a look at what the legislative priorities of the Democratic House would like be:

In the House, the Democrats have made clear that there’s a first tier of legislation they mean to bring to a vote almost immediately after the new Congress convenes. It includes raising the minimum wage, repealing the Medicare legislation that forbids the government from negotiating with drug companies for lower prices, replenishing student loan programs, funding stem cell research and implementing those recommendations of the Sept. 11 commission that have thus far languished.

Sounds pretty d*mn good, doesn’t it? Exactly! Popular legislation that the country wants, and that conservative ideology — radical conservative ideology — has kept out of political discussion. Of course, there’s political motivation to bring these issues up:

All these measures command massive popular support. The reason they’ve not been enacted is that House Republicans have passed rules making it impossible for the Democrats to offer amendments to any significant legislation, thereby sparing themselves the indignity of having to choose, say, between the interests of their financial backers in the drug industry and their constituents.

*chortle* Love this strategy! Force the Republicans to decide between popular measures and their corporate and ultra-conservative financial backers. If Republican House members stand up against minimum wage, stem cell research, student loans, and lower drug prices, then they’ll look like — accurately, I might add — the party of religious extremists and big business. If they go along, they’ll look like…well…Democrats.

More and better:

Cognizant that they will owe their victory in part to the public’s revulsion at the way Congress does (or avoids) business, the Democrats also plan to revise House rules to enable the opposition party to introduce amendments and to sit on conference committees, from which Republicans have routinely excluded them since Tom DeLay became majority leader. They also will ban members from accepting gifts and paid trips from lobbyists.

If the Democrats manage to win the Senate, argues Meyerson, then that would put the Republican party in the unenviable position of filibustering to oppose these bills. If the Senate folds under popular pressure, then that would force the lame-duck President to use his veto.

What a better way to frame the difference between the political parties before the 2008 election?

And what better way to reassure the nation’s voters — and Montanans, as well — that only are Republicans not the party looking our for their interests (unless they happen to be a CEO or right-wing ideologue), but that Democrats are.

Tired of opposition to stem-cell research? Tired of Congressional representatives giving themselves pay raises while shooting down the minimum wage? Tired of corruption? Back a Democrat this election. They’ve got their legislative priorities right.


How you can help get out the vote for Democrats from the comfort of your own home.

Tester outpolls Burns, 46-35.

Jaime covers the Montana Supreme Court case on CI-97, the “Scr*w our State” initiative.

Shane live blogs the Senate debate and the House debate via the radio.

Florio: Candidates “turn up the heat.” Johnson: Iraq “ignites debate.

On Conrad Burns’ secret plan to win the Iraq War.

National Review Online: “Parading your two billion in pork + ‘I’m a fiscal conservative’ = Loser.”

Burns makes another top ten list! This time, the ten dumbest Congressmen.

JEFF looks at more gay-bashing from the American Taliban.

New West: “The Problem with a Call Center Economy.”

Wyoming governor Dave Freudenthal to stump for Gary Trauner. That’s great news in a tight race.

The right is using the specter of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, with a little help from the media. But if we examine the “values” of Pelosi compared to, say, Newt Gingrich, it’s Pelosi who comes out looking good…

Republicans raise more, spend more, and are still losing their races.

Like Connecticut’s Christopher Shays who, according to a report, is cracking under pressure.

One conservative commentator uses New Mexico Republican Heather Wilson as the bellwether for the fate of GOP House seats across the country. She’s down by 8 points in the latest poll.

What the Democrats would do if they win control of the House.

Charges against Ken Lay were dropped, following legal precedent, but leaves both Lay’s victims and the government frustrated in seeing justice.

You knew Olbermann would comment on the torture bill.

Now the feds want to know what websites you’re reading.

Can we expect this kind of sc*mbag politicking here in Montana soon?

Mike Tyson will fight women for Republican Senatorial candidate, Michael Steele!

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