Democrats took the House and at least have half of the Senate, so this should be one of the most joyous times to be a Democrat. For me, however, it is also a bit worrisome. Don’t get me wrong, I am a proud Democrat and am happy that they did retake the House and at least half of the Senate. But I have heard the argument that by doing this, the Democrats could be setting themselves up for defeat in the 2008 Presidential Election.
There is some truth to this statement. Look at the Republicans, who controlled both branches of Congress and the Executive Board. They became too one-sided and too argumentative on many issues, and it has now cost them Congress for the first time since 1994.
If the Democrats do the same by being too partisan, it could cost them the same and more in two years. How Democratic Party-like if the Democrats came this far, and worked this hard just to give it all back. However, I do hope that they can learn from the Republicans’ mistakes, and believe me, there were a lot to learn from.
The first thing that Democrats must do is stop the slightest hint at impeachment. It does not matter how much we as Democrats would love to see President George W. Bush be impeached, we cannot entertain that notion. It would create a further divide of partisanship, something this country does not need. It would also put into the minds of independents that Democrats do not care about any other issue than Bush himself, which would not solve any problems in reference to the war in Iraq, the deficit, education, healthcare and so on. Impeaching Bush would not solve any problems other than the need for revenge.
Listen to the Republicans and actually think about what they are proposing. One thing that Republicans became to confident about with their gigantic lead in Congress was ignoring what issues were important to Democrats, which lead to a revolt at the polls. Democrats should not follow the same procedure.
There are a lot of good Republican values that the last Congress and this president ignored. How about stopping or at least slowing down the deficit? Bush is by no means a fiscal conservative, nor was his Congress, but Democrats need to come up with a plan to begin the repayment strategy. We need less government in our daily lives. That means putting an end to the secret wiretapping or determining what is constitutional. It is a violation and an invasion of privacy, and Republicans should recognize that.
I know that some people argue that it is a vital tool in the war on terror, but make sure it is legal before doing it if it has to be done. When dealing with the economy, give small businesses a chance to succeed in this corporate world. Usually small business come from small cities.
Put an emphasis on the middle class with tax cuts and give them at least a chance to survive in the world. Want something really Republican? Cut taxes, but cut taxes where they should be cut, on the middle class. Raise taxes on large corporations, such as oil companies that are only making a $20 billion quarter profit and the upper 1 percent of the wealthy people.
Democrats have been given this wonderful opportunity to distance themselves from the corruption and negligence of the Republican-led Congress. There are still some good people in Congress from both parties and they need to work together to make sure that at least some important issues get resolved in the next two years. If they do not, people will blame the Democrats because they are the party in power. Fair or not, it is how politics works.
If, however, Democrats keep up the partisan bickering that started in the last Congress and nothing gets done, this joyous feeling that we as proud Democrats have will evaporate in November 2008. We have checks and balances again and it is up to the Democrats to keep it that way.