Scary Stuff - Why They Aren't Talking About It
A friend and co-worker reacted to my most recent ‘Scary Stuff’ entries.
He wondered why the Democratic candidates for the House and the Senate were not making an issue of bread and butter issues like the outsourcing of American jobs and the fixing of our healthcare mess. He e-mailed the Democratic Party posing that same question to them.
The time seems ripe for the Democrats to retake the House if they use the right tactics.
According to a recent New York Times-CBS poll, “…The disdain for Congress is as intense as it has been since 1994, when Republicans captured 52 seats to end 40 years of Democratic control of the House and retook the Senate as well. It underlines the challenge the Republican Party faces in trying to hold on to power in the face of a surge in anti-incumbent sentiment.”
"By broad margins, respondents said that members of Congress were too tied to special interests and that they did not understand the needs and problems of average Americans. Two-thirds said Congress had accomplished less than it typically did in a two-year session; most said they could not name a single major piece of legislation that cleared this Congress. Just 25 percent said they approved of the way Congress was doing its job. END QUOTE
When the Republicans gained control of Congress in 1994, they did so with great promise, proclaiming Newt Gingrich’s “Contract with America.” The Democrats had been in control of Congress since the 1950’s. Corruption ran rampant throughout. The Democrats had been in power too long.
It could be that just twelve years has been too long for the Republicans. They have lost sight of those issues that affect those of us in the Middle Class.
Howard Dean (the Chairman of the Democratic Party) has addressed those issues. In an Op-Ed piece in the Wall Street Journal, Dean said, “…Democrats believe strengthening the middle class is essential for a thriving economy that rewards work, provides economic opportunity to all and makes it easier for parents to devote time to their families…
“…Under Mr. Bush and the Republican Congress, incomes today are $1,000 less for the typical household than during Bill Clinton's final year in office; incomes for the typical working-age household have declined every year since the president took office…
“ … Health and retirement coverage have declined for most workers and their families, and workers' costs have increased. The share of Americans with job-based health coverage fell over the last five years from 62.6% in 2000 to only 59.5% in 2005, virtually erasing gains in such coverage under Mr. Clinton, when coverage rose from 57.1% in 1993 to 63.6 % in 2000. Workers are also paying more for their coverage. Between 2001 and 2005, the amount workers paid for family premiums grew more than 50%. These factors have fueled increases in the number of uninsured every year under Mr. Bush to almost 47 million last year -- roughly one in six Americans…”
So Dean, the guy who heads the Democratic Party, is aware of the problems. The question remains, why don’t his candidates for the House and Senate make those the issues, rather than the war in Iraq?
Most incumbents, Republican or Democrat, won’t raise those issues because the special interests fund their campaigns. Candidates running against incumbents can make those issues the cornerstones of their campaigns, but what happens when they get elected? Will they fall into the same trap that our present representatives find themselves, having to go hat-in-hand to those with the cash that can help them get reelected?
The Democrats feel they have a winning issue in the Bush administration’s handling of the Iraq War. Recent polls indicate that they could be right. But could the Democrats be playing right into the Republican strategy of portraying them as ‘left-leaning’ and soft on defense and terrorism?
As long as Bush is in the White House, we’ll be in Iraq. So that leaves the same question my friend posed to the Democratic Party in his e-mail. Why don’t the Democrats present a comprehensive legislative program to help save the American Middle Class? Howard Dean seems to have gotten the message, but what about the rest of them?
If you’d like to contribute to the foregoing, you can comment on this site by becoming a ‘blogger’ or you can e-mail me at WGDavis46@aol.com.
Visit my web site: www.authorsden.com/williamgdavis