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ConservPat
Okey dokey, so let's take a look into what could be the not so distant future of this country. If the Democrats pull off the Congressional speach they have the opportunity to do one of two things.

1: They can elect liberals as a majority leaders, speaker of the house/etc. and they can attempt to push liberal legislation through and attempt to convince Americans that liberal isn't a four letter word.

2. They can elect moderate Democrats to leadership positions and attempt ot unite the country in that way.

So my questions for debate are:

Should Dems move to the center for a period of time long enough to make this country less divided/polarized by electing moderates to leadership positions and enact populist liberal policies [more public funding for education/etc.]?

Or

Should Dems elect liberals to leadership positions and try to push a liberal policy through Congress?

Or

Do I have it wrong, and there is something else that they should do if and when they regain control of Congress?


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Blackstone
Do I have it wrong, and there is something else that they should do if and when they regain control of Congress?

The "something else" that either party should do if it wins in '06 is stop worrying about labels like "liberal", "conservative", or "moderate" and instead focus on ideas. We need to discard defeatism when it comes to Iraq, we need to get the border secured, and we need to get pork and other types of spending under control. We also need judges who'll apply the Constitution based on what it says, not on someone's idea of what it should say.

Whether or not any of this will actually happen is another matter, but since the question is what they should do, not what they will do, there's my answer.
barnaby2341
I would like to see NAFTA repealed, then you wouldn't have to worry about immigration. Repeal the tax cuts for the rich, regulate the oil conglomerates, introduce legislation that would regulate outsourcing of jobs to low wage third world countries. There is no difference between exporting a job and importing a worker. Reduce our Trade deficit and turn the US back into a manufacturing country rather than a service country. Increase union membership, across the board, give some power back to the people instead of dividing them amongst each other. Increase minimum wage to compensate for inflation over the last ten years, say to $10 a hour. Present a simple health care plan for all citizen. There is nothing more annoying than going to the emergency room with a severe injury and care being delayed because you forgot to initial some document. Try giving a damn about people instead of profit.

In terms of terrorism, open up a dialogue with Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Lebanon. Make good on our agreements, we told North Korea in 1994 that we were going to give them light water reactors by 2000, we never did, they proceeded to enrich uranium and we declared they had violated our treaty. Remove our troops from Saudi Arabia, that may appease bin Laden but as long as I can bring bottled water on the airplane then I don't care. If the Saudi's are so oppressive of their people then maybe we should re-evaluate our relationship.
CruisingRam
Should Dems move to the center for a period of time long enough to make this country less divided/polarized by electing moderates to leadership positions and enact populist liberal policies [more public funding for education/etc.]?
Should Dems elect liberals to leadership positions and try to push a liberal policy through Congress?

I will combine the two questions- I think the dems have emerged lean and mean in this election. I think they are thinking very hard about winning in 2008, and if I can figure it out, and CP can figure it out, some smart dudes and duddetes in the DNC can figure it out- the watch word should be "results" - they should make substansive movements on domestic policy fumbles by the RNC- I think they have the high ground now- and should use it. Repeal the medicaid drug bill, the GW tax cuts for the upper end folks, in fact, redefining the debate-
making a new class of "upper end" instead of hte 350k cut off, making a million dollar a year class net worth increase, no deductions, something that is totally targeted and can be easily sold to hte american public- remove as much of the damage that GW has done domestically as possible- fix NCLB, oh gawd, this guy did so much damage, it will take years to fix, but it wil be an easy sell if they keep to the mantra "just fixing GW's and the neo-con stupidity and incompetence" - and actually be seen doing it- they have a lock on the next election. If the Dems take both houses, they have a mandate, and marginalizing the prez as much as possible, and making the repubs that don't follow along look like the same stupid stuff we have seen since 92- then 2008 is a lock. If they appear as incompetent as the repubs- then it is any buddies game in 2008




Do I have it wrong, and there is something else that they should do if and when they regain control of Congress?


Staying to the center, but only common sense forays into the left- trying to fix health care for instance, and medicaid drug bill, will go a long ways to fix the malaise in our goverment.

Staying away from looking soft on terrorism, while making more common sense movements, common sense actions.

All being smarter and better than this president- and most importantly, not seen as ideologues but doers and movers. Very important I think in this next election cycle and philosophy shift.
AuthorMusician
Should Dems move to the center for a period of time long enough to make this country less divided/polarized by electing moderates to leadership positions and enact populist liberal policies [more public funding for education/etc.]?

Yes and no. Yes run moderates. This attracts moderate Republican votes when the choice becomes moderate or extremist. It's happening in Colorado, where on one particular Senate race, moderate Repubs of renown are publicly endorsing the Demo, while Repubs of the yellow belly are doing so privately.

No, don't enact populist liberal policies. Fix the problems created first.

Should Dems elect liberals to leadership positions and try to push a liberal policy through Congress?

Fix the problems first. I'm not sure what liberal policies are referring to, but if you were to use the term moderate here, then the should part makes sense.

Do I have it wrong, and there is something else that they should do if and when they regain control of Congress?

Just the part about liberal policies. It's one of those terms that has lost all true meaning, so the something else has to be done on a case-by-case basis.

There's an interesting recall of voucher types in Colorado Springs District 11. The people are sick to death of the disruptive and nasty politics bent on destroying public education in favor of all private. I'm just an observer, but being so I can discern a major change in the political winds at the grassroots level.

This will likely follow into the regional and state elections. The Repub machine is favoring right-wingers who scare mainliners, and so the Demos are set to retain power at the state level. At the national level, it looks like one more Senate seat goes Demo.

From this regional perspective, it's becoming not what they should do, but what we should do.
Dontreadonme
Should Dems move to the center for a period of time long enough to make this country less divided/polarized by electing moderates to leadership positions and enact populist liberal policies [more public funding for education/etc.]?
Placing moderates in key leadership positions would be a great start, unfortunately I fear too many of the left's superstars are going to be vying for those positions. I have a gut feeling that the Democrats, should they gain power will try and tilt as far to the left as the Bush administration has gone to the right. (at least in some areas........I don't consider Bush and Co. to be authentic conservatives)

Do I have it wrong, and there is something else that they should do if and when they regain control of Congress?
I agree with much, though not all of what other posters have already mentioned. If the Democrats are smart, they will push for fixing the woes that ail the nation, all citizens. Meaningful and comprehensive Social Security reform, not just catapulting money at the problem. Fixing the disparities in the education system, while still allowing parents the choice of how to and whom to educate their children. Eliminate the redundant and money wasting systems in the Defense Department. Pursue alternative power and fuel sources on a nationwide scale.
And above all reform the tax code! Institute a series of conferences, inviting the smartest economists and representatives from a variety of businesses and industries and all major political parties. Explore the flat tax, the fair tax and other options to keep the poor from being destitute and from unduly soaking those who have been successful.
nighttimer
Not to rain on anybody's parade, but all this talk about what the Democrats might do is just a bit premature.

The G.O.P. plans to spend millions to find dirt on Democrats over the next two months. From what happened to Max Cleland and John Kerry aptly proves, negative campaigning works.

Republicans are planning to spend the vast majority of their sizable financial war chest over the final 60 days of the campaign attacking Democratic House and Senate candidates over personal issues and local controversies, GOP officials said.

The National Republican Congressional Committee, which this year dispatched a half-dozen operatives to comb through tax, court and other records looking for damaging information on Democratic candidates, plans to spend more than 90 percent of its $50 million-plus advertising budget on what officials described as negative ads.

The hope is that a vigorous effort to "define" opponents, in the parlance of GOP operatives, can help Republicans shift the midterm debate away from Iraq and limit losses this fall. The first round of attacks includes an ad that labeled a Democratic candidate in Wisconsin "Dr. Millionaire" and noted that he has sued 80 patients.


link

For those of us who loathe "scorched earth" tactics this shows how desperately the GOP fears what might happen in November. I guess when you can't talk about the good things you have done you have to talk about the horrible things your opponent might do.

Personally, I intend to keep my TV remote near and primed to quickly switch away from the onslaught of negativity. rolleyes.gif
CruisingRam
QUOTE(Dontreadonme @ Sep 10 2006, 11:20 AM) *

Should Dems move to the center for a period of time long enough to make this country less divided/polarized by electing moderates to leadership positions and enact populist liberal policies [more public funding for education/etc.]?
Placing moderates in key leadership positions would be a great start, unfortunately I fear too many of the left's superstars are going to be vying for those positions. I have a gut feeling that the Democrats, should they gain power will try and tilt as far to the left as the Bush administration has gone to the right. (at least in some areas........I don't consider Bush and Co. to be authentic conservatives)

Do I have it wrong, and there is something else that they should do if and when they regain control of Congress?
I agree with much, though not all of what other posters have already mentioned. If the Democrats are smart, they will push for fixing the woes that ail the nation, all citizens. Meaningful and comprehensive Social Security reform, not just catapulting money at the problem. Fixing the disparities in the education system, while still allowing parents the choice of how to and whom to educate their children. Eliminate the redundant and money wasting systems in the Defense Department. Pursue alternative power and fuel sources on a nationwide scale.
And above all reform the tax code! Institute a series of conferences, inviting the smartest economists and representatives from a variety of businesses and industries and all major political parties. Explore the flat tax, the fair tax and other options to keep the poor from being destitute and from unduly soaking those who have been successful.


I couldn't agree more- but yo NT- this is a "hypothetical" more than "reality"- so I would really LOVE to hear what you are hearing in your circles as to the "what ifs"

I think the biggie is here- how much of an opposition is the repubs going to be, and how does the dems get through good, meaningful laws dealing with issues? I think the repubs have been thier own worst enemy by going so crazy on thier idealogy- and leaving some of the best parts of thier idealogy so very far behind (fiscal conservatism, sacrificing the fiscal parts for the social parts)- and, if the dems fall into this same trap, you can definately take me to task if I am not as hard on them as the repubs - but, if the dems get common sense, good legislation before a vote, and the repubs look like they are caving to the haliburton set, then the dems will make ground.

If they go all left wing crazy, then they will fall into the same trap as the repubs are in now, and can expect losses in 2008 IMHO.


gordo
Should Dems move to the center for a period of time long enough to make this country less divided/polarized by electing moderates to leadership positions and enact populist liberal policies [more public funding for education/etc.]?

Every party should attempt such really.

Or

Should Dems elect liberals to leadership positions and try to push a liberal policy through Congress?

There will be liberals in the mix, its kind of hard not the be a liberal, say for instance if you support environmental policy you will be called a liberal most likely.

Or

Do I have it wrong, and there is something else that they should do if and when they regain control of Congress?

Mostly probably create things I will bash them for on this site.

------------

Personally, I will just be glad that this administration will be out of power, regardless of who has congress. So in all reality these elections to me mean very little, the dems and republicans and every politician really needs to simply gear towards that in my opinion, simply because I think most of what we are experiencing in this country can be tied back to this adminisration really, congress really has not existed, so I donít see that much difference, and even when congress does somehow manage to find the will to speak, this admin typically finds a way around such or simply ignores it. If the democrats do find a way to take congress, I am sure though this admin will be very mean to them in many ways, and that the dems should simply accept that and work more towards getting such out of office then anything, to engage in dirty political battles would simply only show the basic corruption the government has come to express in simply and more visible form. If the democrats really wanted to gain and keep power, all they would have to do is give the government back to the people, and well moderate politics is about the only way to that. Personally again I really donít expect any of that to come to pass, it will probably be some bitter nasty corrupt battle that has little to do with government or the reality of things past people just fighting so they can use the government for control simply because after some time people did discover fire and now they discovered government.

CruisingRam
I guess Gordo hit is head on as well- what is liberal anymore and what is conservative anymore? I mean, conservative and liberal have really become useless labels because it has come to mean, as far as the lexicon of everyday american speech- as anyone that is opposed to GW policies- DTOM would certainly be a liberal, DR would be a liberal etc- because they have expressed anti-GW policy positions.

So, if fixing NCLB, or the medicaid drug bill, or moving toward universal health care- is this ultra-liberal or something? I would say only the universal health care could be considered a SLIGHTLY left of center policy if it just instituted a single payer insurance system with a sliding scale vs outright socialization of health care?

See the nuance? thumbsup.gif

So, I probably ought to start a new thread- but, since GW, there is no real clear roadmap to what a "conservative" is?
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Ashton Wooldridge
Should Dems move to the center for a period of time long enough to make this country less divided/polarized by electing moderates to leadership positions and enact populist liberal policies [more public funding for education/etc.]?

Or

Should Dems elect liberals to leadership positions and try to push a liberal policy through Congress?

Or

Do I have it wrong, and there is something else that they should do if and when they regain control of Congress?



I think we definitely need some liberal values of taking care of American families and workers. I think this is what Americans are waiting for. We have had too much welfare shifted to the wealthy and taken from the taxpayers.

I definitely think the only viable solution to getting this country back on the constitutional and economic line is a liberal. The nation's not as divided with Bush losing the popular vote in both elections. The media just wants it to appear that way, IMHO.
ConservPat
QUOTE(CruisingRam)
what is liberal anymore and what is conservative anymore? I mean, conservative and liberal have really become useless labels because it has come to mean, as far as the lexicon of everyday american speech- as anyone that is opposed to GW policies- DTOM would certainly be a liberal, DR would be a liberal etc- because they have expressed anti-GW policy positions.

I have to take issue with this. The term "conservative" and the term "liberal" have not changed in terms of their definition, they're just being used by opposing demagogues [sp?] differently. What I do think has changed is the definition of Republican and Democrat. A Republican from Goldwater's day, or even Reagan's, and definitely of the Gingrich era would not recognize the Republicans in power today. Now, to answer my questions:

QUOTE

Should Dems move to the center for a period of time long enough to make this country less divided/polarized by electing moderates to leadership positions and enact populist liberal policies [more public funding for education/etc.]?

Or

Should Dems elect liberals to leadership positions and try to push a liberal policy through Congress?

Or

Do I have it wrong, and there is something else that they should do if and when they regain control of Congress?

I think the Dems need to do two things, assuming they regain control of one or both houses of Congress. First, they need to elect popular off-center liberals as leaders...Second, they need to represent fiscal conservatives in this country without selling out their liberal base. So, cut funding elsewhere for more funds for education, or healthcare [yes, I sound like a liberal, I've moved slightly to the left in terms of gov't programs/the welfare state, hold your applause Nighttimer, and my other liberal friends]. These kinds of reform would make liberal something other than the "l" word, which would do wonders for making this country less divided and polarized. So, all they need to do is exactly what I tell them to do and the country'll be perfect.

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lordhelmet
QUOTE(ConservPat @ Sep 10 2006, 12:33 AM) *


So my questions for debate are:

Should Dems move to the center for a period of time long enough to make this country less divided/polarized by electing moderates to leadership positions and enact populist liberal policies [more public funding for education/etc.]?

Or

Should Dems elect liberals to leadership positions and try to push a liberal policy through Congress?

Or

Do I have it wrong, and there is something else that they should do if and when they regain control of Congress?


CP us.gif


If the democrats win (and I still believe they will not), they will not move to the center, they will move far to the left. Their entire leadership is ultra left. They will reward the outspoken far left contingent such as Rangle, Conyers, Pelosi, Murtha, et al, to leadership positions.

Will they try to push an ultra left agenda? Of course. Yet, they will fail. They have created a precedent where the filibuster is the weapon to be used to block the opposition and it WILL be used on them often if they take over congress.

Therefore, you will have 2 more years of total gridlock. Some people might actually think that's a good thing.

But, it may actually help republicans if democrats are put back in a leadership position. Since Bush and the republicans won, the democrats have demonstrated that they're not good at creating plans, a vision, and a direction for this country. Instead, they have become extremely adept at being against things.

It's one thing to protest and find fault in some else's work. That is very easy. It's a lot harder to actually formulate a plan and then implement it given the reality of the political process, the divergent vested interests of people, and the reality of the world. Finding fault can be done with literally everything and the democrats have not hesitated to do exactly that. But put them in a position to actually create something and have it withstand an onslaught by a group of republicans extremely ticked off? I doubt it.

The political party that gets closest to the center wins. The democrats may overcome this reality due to an emotional reaction against the Iraq war (a reaction encouraged by democrats in the first place who have not hesitated to undermine our troops, our country, and our government during wartime in order to pursue political power). But, given the chance, they will blow any chance for sustaining power in 2008 due to their inevitable lurch to the left.

The reality is that the leadership of the DNC is far to the left of the majority of people in this country. The loudest voices (from the left) do not represent the majority.

And that's why I don't believe the democrats will win either house in 2006 and if they manage to beat the odds and do that, I think that they'll lose substantial ground in 2008 after they actually attempt to implement their far-left agenda.
aevans176
QUOTE(CruisingRam @ Sep 10 2006, 11:16 PM) *

I guess Gordo hit is head on as well- what is liberal anymore and what is conservative anymore? I mean, conservative and liberal have really become useless labels because it has come to mean, as far as the lexicon of everyday american speech- as anyone that is opposed to GW policies- DTOM would certainly be a liberal, DR would be a liberal etc- because they have expressed anti-GW policy positions.


I completely disagree. I can't say that I support the President, but am probably one of the most conservative people on this board.

Being a conservative/liberal in contemporary is generally characterized by one's feelings about capitalism and a free market economy, one's belief in the effectiveness of law to prohibit violence/crime (i.e. gun control), how to handle the welfare state, drug laws, where you stand on abortion, what you believe military intervention should be comprised of (i.e. UN or no-UN), etc.

Frankly, most people will waiver on some issues and generally fall closer to the fence than they do one side of the aisle. It's aggravating to me that people become so adimantly partisan. I DO use terms like "liberals", but you'd be hard pressed to find any recent posts defending GW. That's often not the case of liberals in reference to Clinton... I really will never understand why...

At any rate, I've come to the stark conclusion in the past few years of home buying, investing, and attempting to climb the ladder (so to speak) that the government and it's party affiliation has only a marginal affect on my well-being.

What I will say is that I personally feel that the vast majority of Americans elect Democrats when they feel secure, happy-go-lucky, and are less worrisome. It seems that Republicans are elected in times of crises, both financial and security born. That could be a thread in itself.

However, for most of us, the Fed holds the purse strings. If I plan to borrow against my mortgage to build another bathroom, to springboard a side-business, or to pay off our vehicles... the cost of interest is generally my concern. Sure- there's a direct coorelation to consumer confidence, the health of the economy, and interest rates. However, Congress has little do to with any of the three.

Seriously- consider the notion of the Euro and it's perceptive effect on consumer spending such as travel. Consider the effects of oil prices, it's role in the media, and how that effects the stock market. Does a Congressman harassing baseball players about steroids really matter? Umm... nope.

The fact of the matter is that most people rarely know when Congress is in session, and fewer even vote. In my younger and more "fire-brand" and "ideological" years, I'd have said that it matters. Some pundit-esque folks on this board (both cons and libs) will make comments against this notion.... but I seriously think it matters little as far as daily living is concerned.

Foreign policy matters? It might matter...
Issues concerning immigration and the border? There might be a difference...
EEOC guidelines, Civil Rights issues, etc? I'll concede this...

However, I think most of us worry about the cost of electricity, what interest rates I'll make on a bond, what my mortgage/rent is gonna cost, how much I'll pay for a car note, etc. Dem's in congress? While I sincerely doubt it will happen, I don't really see that most people will see a huge difference.
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