1/24/2005

Are the Democrats growing a spine?

Two encouraging developments for Democrats/progressives:
1. As the LeftCoaster blog puts it, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid did something this morning that an opposition party is supposed to do: Senate Democrats stopped playing defense and began playing offense by setting forward an ambitious agenda of their own. In a conference call this morning, Reid’s staff announced their top ten priority bills for the 109th Congress, and they addressed many of the needs accumulated by this country but ignored by the White House and the GOP Congress under Bill Frist and Denny Hastert. The agenda is impressive and includes veterans' rights, health care, education, troop strength, voting reform, support for family planning, Medicare, fiscal responsibility, and a more effective anti-terrorism strategy.
Click on the link in the title of this post to read the whole agenda.
Senator Reid is asking people to co-sponsor this agenda by going to:
http://democrats.senate.gov/cosponsor-form.html
2. According to the Christian Science Monitor, Tuesday's extended debate over the nomination of Condoleezza Rice to be Secretary of State marks the first warning shot of the 109th Congress. Although no one in official Washington doubts that Rice will be confirmed, the delay signals that Senate Democrats, while returning in fewer numbers, still have the clout to derail administration plans, or at least to insist that their concerns be given a fair hearing.
Joe Biden, Barbara Boxer, Barack Obama, and John Kerry, among others, have really been standouts so far in asking tough questions of both Rice and Gonzales.

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