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Fightin' words

Some good stuff coming out of the Democratic leadership lately. First, here's Nancy Pelosi with the healthiest perspective on congressional service that I've seen in awhile:

Well, first of all, our members -- every one of them -- wants health care. I think everybody wants affordable health care for all Americans. They know that this will take courage. It took courage to pass Social Security. It took courage to pass Medicare. And many of the same forces that were at work decades ago are at work again against this bill.

But the American people need it. Why are we here? We're not here just to self-perpetuate our service in Congress. We're here to do the job for the American people, to get them results that gives them not only health security, but economic security.

And Harry Reid unloads on Jim Bunning and the filibuster:

More like this, please.

By Ezra Klein  |  March 2, 2010; 2:23 PM ET
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This is what they gotta keep doing. Otherwise, they are going to be letting the Republicans set the narrative all the way up through the November elections.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | March 2, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Agreed ... but Harry, please, let's hear it stronger, LOUDER, and more emphatically!

Posted by: onewing1 | March 2, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Actually, that didn't sound like much of an "unloading" from Reid, unless you consider reading the dictionary at someone a real telling-off.

And is this REALLY what's needed -- more Democratic whining and tough (yet ultimately empty) talk? Seems to me words -- even "fightin" words, aren't gonna get the job done.

Rather than hearing more talking, no matter how blustery and (in Reid's case) politely acerbic, it would be nice to see the Democrats shut up for once and just DO something. Anything.

Posted by: jackryan5084 | March 2, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Well, there's a lot of debate in Congress, that, whether on the floor or to the press. That's just the nature of the body. So if you're going to have debate time, you might as well use it well.

And as much as I love the web's evolution towards a multi-media environment, I can't see most videos at work because we have an archaic browser that I can't update, but nobody posts transcripts anymore. I can barely go to Media Matters anymore because so much of their site is a quick blurb about Rush or someone saying some dumb thing and then the video.

Posted by: MosBen | March 2, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Guess it's easier to tell someone to man up and take the unpopular votes when your job isn't on the line. Pelosi represents one of the most liberal districs in the country and therefore doesn't ever have to worry about re-election. Same can't be said for Democrats representing marginal or conservative districts.

Posted by: RobT1 | March 2, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

"Guess it's easier to tell someone to man up and take the unpopular votes when your job isn't on the line."

Oh, please. None of these people will have any trouble at all finding good jobs if they loose theirs seats. Most will end up making much more money.

I'm not a cynic, so I like to think that most got into politics because they thought they could improve people's lives. Here they have a clear chance to do so, by risking only a rather minor inconvenience.

If they aren't willing to do that, what good are they in congress?

Posted by: CarloP | March 2, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Democrats have finally found their voice and are showing true leadership again. This is going to be a triumph for the Democratic party and, much more importantly, for America.

The Democratic Congress that passed health care reform will have a special place in the history books. Democratic congresspeople, even the Blue Dogs, understand that this is the kind of opportunity that only comes along once in many generations. Their predecessors did not have it, and their successors won't have it for a long time. I think that almost all Democrats will decide that they will want to be on the right side of history and vote for the bill.

The congressional Republicans, on the other hand, will go down as one of those bizarre historical curiosities that you read about and where you kind of scratch your head and wonder what was wrong with these people. They are a movement dedicated to opposing what is clearly justice and strength in favor of hypocrisy and weakness, like the people who fought to oppose women's suffrage the end of racial discrimination and civil rights. I wonder whether there will be one or two Republican congressmen or Senators who decide that they don't want to be remembered as morally twisted, resentful losers thirty years from now and will decide to vote with the Democrats for final passage of the health care bill.

Posted by: opinionpieces | March 2, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

"We're not here to self-perpetuate our service in Congress"

Look, she's giving $10,000 to take redistricting away from the citizens of California and give it back to the politicians. While the rationale given in the post below suggests the aim is to increase the number of Democrats in the house, the primary long term effect of Gerrymandering is to protect incumbents (it also tends to weaken the ability of moderates to get elected).

Money talks.

Posted by: justin84 | March 2, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

"But the American people need it. Why are we here? We're not here just to self-perpetuate our service in Congress. "

ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!!! Who is this "we" kemosabe?

Posted by: bgmma50 | March 2, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

"And Harry Reid unloads on Jim Bunning and the filibuster:"

And Harry Reid makes a big, fat liar out of Barack Obama, who said, not 2 weeks ago, that "Now, Congress will have to pay for what it spends, just like everybody else".

Pay as you go, we hardly knew ye.

Posted by: bgmma50 | March 2, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

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