Free Markets, Free People

If You Were A Democrat In Congress, What Would Your First Domestic Priority Be?

Health care reform?


Or, perhaps, economic recovery and jobs?

On Thursday, Obama’s economic adviser Christina Romer told Congress the administration agrees with other analysts that the economy will grow in the third quarter, and beyond. Even so, she said, “unemployment is likely to remain at its severely elevated level,” and noted expectations that few jobs will be added through the third quarter of 2010.

And what happens during the 4th quarter of 2010?

So why are Democrats fiddling with health care reform and cap-and-trade instead of the economy and jobs?

All I can figure is the radical element in control of the leadership in Congress right now sees the small window they have to push this garbage through as more important than putting policies in place which would enable economic recovery and create jobs.

Politically its a mixed bag for Democrats – push the extremist agenda through but at the cost of seats and possibly a majority in the midterm elections. Apparently they (the liberal Democrats, certainly not the more conservative Democrats who’re actually the one’s who might lose their seats) think enacting the legislation is worth the cost of 2010. And then, they might just be arrogant enough to think they can pull both off.



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14 Responses to If You Were A Democrat In Congress, What Would Your First Domestic Priority Be?

  • Part of their talking points is to label anyone representing conservative values as an extremist.  Part of the reason for that accusation was part of Clinton PR SOP.  To accuse the people who might criticize you in the future exactly what you are doing.
    So when you accuse extremists of being in charge of the Democrat Party they’ve already levelled that charge against you and it just seems like run of the mill empty bickering to those in between.
    To even now most Democrats are oblivious or to some degree or in denial about who controls their Party now.

  • Maybe I’m naive about this whole politics thing, but the current debate makes no sense to me.
    I agree with the conventional wisdom that the Democrats will at least pass something and call it “reform” giving them a win. What I don’t understand is why they’ve abandoned a strategy of incremental movement to their goal of single payer. Viewing this as a military campaign, there are a series of intermediate objectives (changes) they could advance that would have much broader support than what is currently offered. Why not do accomplish those intermediate changes that take the nation further down the road to serfdom? Are they so full of themselves? Are they desperate because they fear there will not be another chance?
    The only conclusion I can draw is that the factions in the Democratic party are so numerous, and their objectives are so diverse (and often mutually exclusive) that a radical solution pushed by the top levels of the party and their left wing supporters has become the definition of a win. That kind of solution, done at essentially gun point, is not going to make anyone but a vocal few happy with the result.
    If I were in the Republican leadership, I’d be laying out the means to repeal this Frankenstein’s monster when its failure becomes evident.

  • You leave out an important consideration. Democrats do not WANT Americans to be prosperous. A prosperous America is one in which; Race baiters have a harder time whipping up racial hatred, class envy expoiters have a harder time whipping up class envy, people are less dependent on government so are less likely to do as they dictate. All that commerce causes more global hoaxing.  And, capitalism is just plain ickky.

  • McQ,  you have a good point.  The conservative Democrats have more to fear in the mid-terms, especially when it comes to jobs and the economy.  After all many elected senators and congressmen and women, will mostly be judged and then re-elected or lose their seats based on the health of the economy.   The fact that the majority of the people felt under the Republicans the country was not headed in the right direction, led to the dems being in the majority.    Only time will tell, but if the economy is headed in the right direction, some elements of Obama’s (Extremist) agenda, such as health care reform, may only be a sidebar to a majority. 

    Even though many conservatives dislike or hate Obama’s (Extremist) version of health care reform it is likely some version of it will emerge and likely be passed.   And as you imply the conservative democrats may suffer because of it, but I still think it’s all about the economy  with the majority of Americans.   Obama (Extremist) will spend political capital, just as Bush did. During the first press conference after his re-election, Bush said, “I earned capital in the campaign, political capital, and now I intend to spend it. It is my style.”  Obama seeks to do the same thing.

    In the end I don’t think it was Bush’s agenda that led to the dems being in the majority, it was as a result of an overall serious downturn in the economy and financial markets and the fact that a majority of Americans blamed Bush.  Why else did McCain and Palin seek to distance themselves from a two term President?

    So your point is well taken, it is all about the economy and jobs.   Pretty much always has been.   Whether or not his agenda will turn the economy around?  If it does then the mid-terms may find the dems are still in the majority.

    • Yup – and I agree that something called “health care reform” is going to come out of this. With Democratic majorities, that train has already left the station – what color it will be when it arrives at the other end of the line is what is being decided right now.

      The blue-dogs are especially in a no-win situation. They are the ones who have the distinct possibility of going down. And as respected Democratic analyst Charlie Cook has been warning for months, the real possibility exists that the House Dems could lose their majority. It could also mean a reduced majority in the Senate. Frankly I’d like to see the Dems lose a majority in one of the two houses of Congress because that would put a brake on the radical agenda. And I prefer it when there is a Republican in the WH too, in case you’re wondering.

      As for the “direction of the country” – yes, a majority thought that it was headed in the wrong direction when Bush was in office. They still do (google it). That says to me it isn’t about Democrats or Republicans but maybe a concern about our government as structured today under both parties.

      • As for the “direction of the country” – yes, a majority thought that it was headed in the wrong direction when Bush was in office. They still do (google it). That says to me it isn’t about Democrats or Republicans but maybe a concern about our government as structured today under both parties.

        Of course they never ask what direction the country SHOULD go (more/less statism).

  • I would imagine if you got the economy going you could roll through mid-terms and then do whatever you wanted. Easier said than done of course.

    • Really it all boils down to jobs. The press can tout a recovering economy all it wants, but if you’re out of a job, as far as you’re concerned the economy sucks. If joblessness is still hovering around the 10% mark in November of 2010, the Democrats are going to have a tough time selling economic recovery as a fact. And my guess is that’s going to hurt them at the ballot box. The irony is, with jobs always lagging recovery, that a recovery might in fact be under way, but won’t benefit them at election time.

    • Harun, I think that would be the hope, of any President, and party in the majority at the time.    

      And I detest agreeing with McQ as he is seldom correct but ” That says to me it isn’t about Democrats or Republicans but maybe a concern about our government as structured today under both parties.”   Only Professor Scerb could possibly have all the answers.

      I would disagree that we are better off with a Republican in the WH, but am shocked that you prefer a Republican in the WH.  I had surmised (wrongly) that you would have wished a Libertarian in the WH.

      • What I prefer in the two party system (which means that a 3rd party has about as much a chance at power as the DEA has of stopping drugs from entering the country) is shared power. That has a tendency to see gridlock as the normal course of business, which is fine with me. It also forces both sides to eschew the extremes and concentrate in the areas in which they agree, thereby usually leading to legislation that is better for the country than for just their base. It also has a tendency to preclude legislation which mostly rewards their base in an orgy of political looting.

        Certainly not foolproof, as we’ve seen exceptions to this, especially for whatever reason, when Republicans are in power (they seem to want to be liked by everyone more than Democrats), but split government slows the ride to hell from that of a rocket-sled to that of a horse drawn sled.

  • “I had surmised (wrongly) that you would have wished a Libertarian in the WH.”

    Unfortunately, that would be far more likely to occur in a generation of WET dreams than in reality.

  • I guess I should have started my last paragraph with McQ this an attempt at humor.  I am very, very aware that a two party system is what we are saddled with.  Some at this blog consider me a troll, and I could care less.  Many at this blog might be surprised at my fiscal conservatism.  So, I guess that every time I attempt humor it will start with “A man walked into a bar with a parrot on his head……

  • <b>McQ</b> – <i>If You Were a democrat in Congress, What Would Your First Domestic Priority Be?</i>

    I think that the priorities of ANY member of Congress are as follows:

    1.  Enrich and otherwise aggrandize self

    2.  Enrich friends and relatives

    3.  Enrich major and potential donors

    4.  Get reelected so as to be able to repeat (1) through (3)

    5.  Give some thought to what is best for party

    6.  Give some thought to what is best for state / district (at least, the influential / rich parts of it)

    7.  Give some thought to what is best for the country

    I wonder what the “moderate” dems are thinking just now.  On the one hand, it seems likely AT THIS POINT that Dingy Harry will be put out, TAO’s numbers are trending downward, and there is a very fired up conservative movement in the country.  Not good for them.  On the other hand, the GOP is in disarray and MiniTru has demonstrated that it will do just about anything short of murder to get a democrat elected.

    Decisions, decisions…

    Left out of all of this, of course, is any rational, intelligent, informed decisions about what is best for the country.  Even if the members of Congress (on both sides) really cared about the country as much as they care about themselves, they seem incapable of any thought beyond how they can get more for themselves.

    A pox on all of them.