President Bush once said, “The math don’t work.” Karl Rove told us he had “the math,” that Republicans would hold on to both the House and the Senate. He could not have been more wrong. Americans spoke loud and clear on Election Day. They want a new direction. Americans, across the country, chose progressive Democratic candidates. They choose them in the House, they choose them in the Senate, they choose them for the governorships, and they chose them in the state legislatures. They elected them across the country.
It was clear rejection of Republican values. It was a clear rejection of incompetent government. It is a clear rejection of a failed war. A clear rejection of an economy that only benefits the wealthy and leaves behind working families. It is a clear rejection of a “Do Nothing Congress”. America is ready for a Congress will do something.
Now is the chance for Democrats to do something. Democrats came to power in this election, riding a wave of dissatisfaction with a government of unethical and incompetent leadership. Now is the time for Democrats to show America what government is like when it is run by ethical, competent, people. It is time to show America what government is like when it works. It is time to show America what a “Do Something Congress” can achieve.
Nancy Pelosi has an ambitious first one hundred hours planned. First, corruption, she plans to put in place rules to break the link between “lobbyist and legislation.” Second, national security, she will fast track the enacting of the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations. Then she will move on to domestic issues. Raise the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour. Cut student loan interest rates in half. Negotiate drug prices for Medicare programs. And she plans to do all that and more while adopting a “pay-as-you-go” policy. No increase in the federal deficit. Embracing policies that reward work and not just wealth.
But a lot of great ideas will not come to anything unless the new Democratic leaders show the kind of leadership that Americans have found lacking in our leaders. They will have to reach across the isle and work together. They will have to work with a President who does not share their values. This is will leadership will come in. Americans have spoken; they want change. President Bush took the first step. He took a “thumping,” and realized America wants a change. He removed Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld. Democrats need to take this opportunity to influence the new policies and changes in the War in Iraq. They will need all the leadership skills they have to shape a new vision for America, one that includes success in foreign affairs, in national security, in the economy, and domestic programs. It must be a vision of success for all Americans. Voters have signaled their confidence in Democrats to bring that vision about, Now they have to live up to the expectations. They need to bring about that change in direction we have been promised. The 2008 election will depend on it.