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Tooting Democrats' Horn

For the last few months Democratic strategists have been privately fretting that a relative dearth of legislative accomplishments over the first six months of the 110th Congress could damage their electoral prospects next November.

Enter Americans United for Change, an independent progressive organization formed in the run-up to the battle over President Bush's Social Security reform proposal. The group, which is led by former Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee communications director Brad Woodhouse, is organizing a large rally on Capitol Hill as well as launching a national cable ad buy next week to correct the record.

The ad, which you can see below, touts the accomplishments of the Democratic-controlled Congress. It begins by noting that next week the first minimum wage increase in a decade will kick in; "raising the minimum wage took an act of Congress but more importantly it took a Congress willing to act," says the spot's narrator as images of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) flash across the screen.

The commercial goes on to note Democrats' accomplishments in protecting health care for children and increasing military veterans' health care benefits. "Tell the new Congress....Keep moving America in a new direction," says the narrator at the close of the commercial.

Produced by GMMB, the ad will run on national cable for the week and will cost Americans United "six figures" according to Woodhouse. The rally, set to take place on Capitol Hill next Tuesday, is expected to draw between 2,000 and 3,000 people as well as 100 or more Members of Congress. It is being modeled on a presidential-type event and Americans United is even employing an advance firm typically used by national candidates to ensure all goes smoothly. The group is also helping to organize more than 50 other rallies around the country to tout Democratic accomplishments -- especially the minimum wage increase.

"Americans deserve to know that there is a progressive, middle class agenda being pursued by Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid with some important accomplishments already realized -- and that is what this ad campaign and the events in D.C. and all across the country are about," explained Woodhouse.

Do the ad campaign and the rally have any chance at changing public opinion about the performance of Congress? Not likely.

Any look at recent public opinion polls shows that Congress generally is quite unpopular. An IP-Ipsos survey conducted earlier this month showed that just 24 percent approved of Congress, while a whopping 70 percent disapproved. Other recent surveys echo that result with approval lingering in the mid to high 20s and disapproval in the high 60s and even low 70s.

The approval numbers for Congressional Democrats are better -- although a majority of Americans still disapprove of the party in Washington. In a late June Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll, 36 percent of the sample said they approved of the jobs Democrats in Congress were doing, while 49 percent disapproved. A Pew poll in late May showed similar results; 34 percent approved of the job Democrats in Congress, while 49 percent disapproved.

A national cable ad buy and a large rally -- even in Washington -- won't move the needle more than marginally. But, that's not the goal. The aim of an ad buy like this is to influence opinion leaders -- those folks who write the stories and appear on television and radio to talk about the state of play in Washington. Like it or not, the opinions expressed by these people tend to set the parameters of the debate when an election year rolls around.

The fact that Americans United felt the need to spend money and energy in the summer of an off year (a notoriously slow news time) to begin to insulate Democrats against the "do nothing" charge speaks to the difficulty and danger of being the governing party in Washington.

The reality -- as Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) acknowledged during a PostTalk interview last week -- is that Democrats in the Senate have almost no ability to ram through legislation. First of all, the rules of the Senate are such that 60 votes are needed to end debate on any measure and force a vote; second, the prolonged absence of Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) from the chamber due to illness means that Democrats do not even enjoy a true voting majority.

Of course, that doesn't mean the supposed lack of accomplishments by the Democratic majority can't -- and won't -- be used in the context of next year's political campaign. Democrats swept into their current Congressional majorities by painting Republicans as rubberstamps for President Bush, an approach, they argued, that left the average American citizen behind.

The burden now falls to Democrats to show how they have stood up for the average person. The ads and rally by Americans United is one of the early steps of what will be an extended process of seeking to convince voters that Democrats have affected real change in Washington despite the structural challenges in front of them.

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 19, 2007; 9:53 AM ET
Categories:  Democratic Party  
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Comments

Judge C. Crater,
"you already know that such a piece of legislation would change nothing in Iraq." On the topic of Iraq, this is true. Although the option of NOT to pass any legislation to fund the war continues to be out there. I guess the argument against that is that its political suicide. But if the Republicans could stick to their guns on Iraq despite knowing they were going to lose Congress, why don't the Dems display similar convictions? That is why they got elected after all. No guts, no glory.

But there are other things, besides Iraq, that they could work on where there could be some compromise, something where people are less passionate. Anything. But it does not appear that there is anything moving through. But at least they keep the light on at night talking about Iraq... Do Nothing is, at this point, a well deserved label.

Posted by: Dave! | July 20, 2007 12:58 AM | Report abuse

I believe you

Posted by: Mike | July 19, 2007 6:14 PM | Report abuse

I was in the military though. 11B. It is possible to not be a GOP slave and be ex-military. Trust me. check out.

www.votevets.org

Posted by: rufus | July 19, 2007 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Me preaching to the choir(dems_ accomplihs nothing. The dems aren't the ones selling out the country and holding up progress

Posted by: rufus | July 19, 2007 5:58 PM | Report abuse

:)

Now you have. It only matters to authoritatian republicans who have a God complex and feel they must correct a man's speeling everytime or call them on their record EVERYTIME. Most fascsits here say I was never in the military. I tell them to tell me more about myself.

I'm just trying to keep you fascsits involved.

Posted by: rufus | July 19, 2007 5:56 PM | Report abuse

I've never heard someone justify their carelessness/ignorance with regards to the english language and/or their commentary this way, but I guess nuts like you are bound to exist in a free society.


I hope we can all be as wise and enlightened as you.


France and Canada, the two shining beacons of hope left on this ignorant planet, I worship thee(s).

Posted by: Mike | July 19, 2007 5:50 PM | Report abuse

You are new here mike. I do that to give gop'ers like you something to talk about OTHER THAN THE FActs. Gust like I misspell words on purpose to give you people something to attack, other than the facts. Otherwise what good are you. If you can't attack my spelling or my military record what can you say when I call bush a fascsit? I'm helping you buddy :)

Who am I trying to silence? I'm just calling FASCSITS on their FAscsit propoganda and spin. I am a rpoud democratic socialist. I am an enlighted individual and a lone wolf. Don't be scared of me. Ignor eme if it makes you feel better. I just have to save one person a day

Posted by: rufus | July 19, 2007 5:45 PM | Report abuse

"Right now the Dem leadership appears to be trying to force the Rs to stick with Bush - which helps Dem candidates in 2008. I think they should instead focus on getting good legislation passed."

You may well be right, bsimon but the reason remains the same: they can't get any ideas, no matter how good, past Bush. They are taking lemons and making lemonade. Should they be tarred and feathered for that?

"To propose legislation that will appeal to one fifth of the republicans in order to garner 60 votes to override any veto."

Dave! you already know that such a piece of legislation would change nothing in Iraq. This is hardly the first time that new legislation in this area has been proposed and the boundaries between real change and fluff are very well-traveled.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | July 19, 2007 5:24 PM | Report abuse

"Hey Mike

Your shameless exploitation of Americans' patriotism is disgraceful. As a taxpaying voter, I am embarrassed that you leverage your service to this country to make your political points." -no name coward

Bravo, it only took you 2 hours to think of that one. You surprise me even for a lib. But what doesn't surprise me is that I never made an appeal to patriotism, so it would be hard to exploit it.


To Rufus -- No one said you couldn't speak out. But don't mention the fact that you're former infantry on every thread you happen to blabber on about the Whigs about.

My point wasn't that you can't have your own views, or even express your own views. My point was that you shouldn't make yourself seem more credible just because you servED in the military.

People can have opposing opinions, and the fact that you refuse to let them makes you the facist. The Republican party isn't going anywhere - not with a 14% approval, lowest-in-history Democrat congress.

You're right, we're not supposed to speak out against the commander in cheif while we're still in. Do you disagree with that? If you do, I suggest you try to take your antics to China, N. Korea, or some other place and see what happens to you.

No, Rufus, the only facist on this blog as far as I can tell is you. And that's because you resort to name-calling and false references to history every time someone disagrees with you.

I dont think your positions have ANY merit. But I don't think you're a Nazi, or even a bad person --- except when you try to leverage your military background to appeal the other readers. That's not noble. That cheapens YOUR sacrafice, as well as many others.

Grow up.

Posted by: Mike | July 19, 2007 5:01 PM | Report abuse

"Why, just the other day you were proclaiming victory after a wonderful weekend of anti-Bush music offered up at the Earth-fest or whatever it was called. "

Right. And nobody is getting pulled from radio. Not that I know of. Not for their political veiws. Again, fascism. I know you sick of that word from me. "Silence dissent" Dissent equals treason" Hypocrites.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 19, 2007 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Nobody came out silencing melissa etherridge when she comes out. Cow folk DID try and silence the dixie chicks. That is my point. Why? Because your daughters USED to love them, right? can have that? Can't have people your kids look up to speaking truth. You can't have that. I'm just glad the truth si out

Posted by: rufus | July 19, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad they had both sides of the aisle, garth brooks included. I guess this country has came far in the last 2 years. From the communist (which you goper's hate)like silencing of the dixie chicks to Toby keith (saying he NEVER supported the iraq war on Fox) and garth brooks at live earth.

But the silencing of the dixie chicks has NOTHING to do with live earth. The cow folk may be coming around. I doubt it though. I thinkk Garth and trisha were more trying to bring the gop mindset to the people at live earth. Small dose. I don't have a problem with that. The more the merrier. The more people on the right side the better.

I know what your saying. how can cow folk sations not pull the dixie chicks and I want to pull rush and fox. The dixie chicks are music, they should be able to voice their personal veiwers. Fox mascarades as news. Rush is involed in propogating lies as political dialogue. Huge differance. I appreicate you question though gop. Just know, I know you cow folk and dittoheads are not as dumb as you let on. You are fascsits to scare to show your real face.

That's why I'm here. Show your face in small douces. For a select few to see:)

Posted by: rufus | July 19, 2007 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Tooting Democrats' Horn = greenhouse gases , the stern-fired kind.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 19, 2007 4:00 PM | Report abuse

"How is it that you make ALL the rules?"

Far from it, rufus. See, the problem with your particular brand of lunacy is that it fails to consider the whole picture. Why, just the other day you were proclaiming victory after a wonderful weekend of anti-Bush music offered up at the Earth-fest or whatever it was called.

There are musicians on both sides of the aisle, as it were. Clearly there are many who are ultra liberal, and there are some who are more consevative. Just what is your point?

The Dixie chicks can make money off of their Bush-bashing pop songs, so they, and you, should be happy.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | July 19, 2007 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Eat cow folk. save the environment from greenhouse gases - the stern-fired kind.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 19, 2007 3:54 PM | Report abuse

We come in peace.

We mean you no harm, even though sometimes you eat us.

We like Democrats more than Republicans, as they are less likely to be avid eaters of hamburgers and steak, but prefer the Green Party to either. Especially the vegans.

We hope to find a warm, soft place with lots of grass, where we can live out our simple lives in harmony with the earth. Preferably at the rural home of a vegetarian.

We will now retire to chew our respective cuds, and dream of an endless, fenceless, green field. No questions, please.

Posted by: The Cow Folk | July 19, 2007 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Saying cow folk are gop'ers is racist? WOW.

I don't think so. I'm never meat a cowboy/girl that wasn't a die hard republcian (dittohead). Have you? and I live in nevada so I'm surrounded by cow folk.

Why, pray tell, were the Dixie Chicks banned from all "cow folk" radio staions after speaking out against the president. Why were they silenced. You can silence the dixie chicks, but I can't silence O'REilly and Rush? how does that work? How is it that you make ALL the rules? No more.

What's up with your boy larry the cable guy and bill egvil ( or whatever his name is)

Cowboy/Cowgirl=gop fascist. The cowboy is no longer relevant in 2007 america. He have supermarkets now. John Wayne is dead. don't search for the new John Wayne. Move on.

The future is now. one world one people.

Posted by: rufus | July 19, 2007 3:24 PM | Report abuse

What are you worried about proudgop. You cna I know this is truth. Most people are scared to even think about. How many people you think are reading this? Really. Don't be scared. It's not worth it. What three people (not counting George Bush's patriot act cronies). Don't be scared. The american people are scared of the truth about your party. Not for much longer though. Once Bush is out of power play time, for you, is over.

Posted by: rufus1133 | July 19, 2007 3:19 PM | Report abuse

rufus- Your rants against the R party are all too familiar, but...I'm gonna hate myself for asking this....what, pray tell, have you got against "cow-folk"?

You are the one living in a cave if you actually think that great portions of the country are one big homogenous swath of voters in lock-step with any party, let alone the Rs. You need to get out more.

I'd say your generalizations are borderline racist, but that is an insult to racists.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | July 19, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

"I wish MOST military men would see THEMSELEVES as slaves to the GOP"

wouldn't. wouldn't see themselves as slaves to the GOP. Like you proudGOP. Read watch the news. Get out of that cave.

Posted by: rufus | July 19, 2007 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm hoping to sway noday GOP. Dittoheads is obvious. Cow folk is obvious.

I get attacked every time I mention I am an ex-military. They say "we only watch fox over here in iraq" Like the GOP OWNS the military. I wish MOST military men would see THEMSELEVES as slaves to the GOP. It is in their heads not real. Look at me. I am former Army. I'm not a slave to the GOP. Many former militray are. That is way I get attacked everytime I bring it up.

You know I support the troops and don't want any more to be killed for oil and defense contracts. You know that.

My post isn't anti-american. It's anti-gop. It's anti fascism. There is a differance. If you don't know, AMericans reject fascsim. Now america is rejecting the GOP. It's not my fault. I'm just reporting truths. But you already know that proud gop

Posted by: rufus | July 19, 2007 3:09 PM | Report abuse

rufus lumps together: "dittoheads/ex-military/cow folk"

Just whose opinion are you hoping to sway with that anti-american blabber, rufus?

New hypothesis: rufus is the ultra-liberal reincarnation of william.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | July 19, 2007 3:05 PM | Report abuse

""We are the party of NO morals.""

So fascism is ok if you have morals. Even if those morals are a farce. Newt Vitter Foley.

If you don't have those morals to lean on, what do you have?

Posted by: rufus | July 19, 2007 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Judge C. Crater,
"... but with a totally inflexible executive branch...what choice do they have". To propose legislation that will appeal to one fifth of the republicans in order to garner 60 votes to override any veto. That said, being the cynic i am, i actually don't really mind do-nothing congresses. Much like a doctor, they should first do no harm. Since they have not been able to do that, gridlock is the next best scenario IMO.

Posted by: Dave! | July 19, 2007 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Colin writes
"I would note, in defense of the current Congress, that compromise does require more than one party to make concessions. When, if ever, has this administration indicated a willingness to compromise on anything?"

True enough. However, it should be getting easier for the Dems to attract R votes. As the 2008 elections draw nearer, more Rs need to distance themselves from the Bush administration. Right now the Dem leadership appears to be trying to force the Rs to stick with Bush - which helps Dem candidates in 2008. I think they should instead focus on getting good legislation passed.

Posted by: bsimon | July 19, 2007 3:01 PM | Report abuse

The fact is our founders designed the Senate specifically to slow up legislation. It's a deliberative body in which each state has an equal voice, regardless of population. So my sparsely populated state has two Senators, just as California. We have an advantage with Mx Baucus being Finance Chairman. We also have a freshman senator, Jon Tester, who is of course low in seniority. He was number 100 in fact, until the death of Wyoming's Craig Thomas moved him to 99.

That's why a minority of 40 plus one can stall any legislation. Each majority party despairs over it. Each minority party loves to use it.

And, with the vote to overcome a presidential veto also at a high standard, Congress is never in a position to take over the government.

So expecting the Democrats to ram through an agenda with a one-vote majority is unrealistic, just as it was unrealistic for the GOP majority in Congress to force its own agenda on Bill Clinton.

The fact is our system makes it easier to impede, rather than force an agenda in Congress, especially without the help of fellow party member in the White House. Our forefathers did not want a system that could immediately ram though a massive change of government.

That's the system, and for better or worse, we're stuck with it.

So the Democrat's report card? -- It's about what can be expected under the circumstances.

Posted by: Alan in Missoula | July 19, 2007 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Mark -- Sorry if I wasn't clear before, I didn't mean to say you were advocating a more general point. And on that issue, I largely agree with you. I just would like to see even more done relative to Iraq -- although i don't really expect anything major to happen prior to the 08 elections.

Posted by: Colin | July 19, 2007 2:37 PM | Report abuse

"We are the party of NO morals."

David Vitter is a Lib?

Posted by: spineless = douchbag | July 19, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

colin is on point as usual. What have the republican's compromised on the last ten years. Why should the dems cave in? Remeber Newt? He shut down the government rather than compromising. Over what? The dem's care more about the country than the party or themselves. That is the differance. "Agrgee with us or you get nothing. Agree with us or we shut the governmetn down. we hate the media/lawyers/judges/soldiers/liberals/democrats (defeatists)/teachers/unions/so on and so forth".

That is america to you fascsit? "Be like me, agree with me or leave." You are with us or against us."

And I'm the bad guy. You gop'ers pump nationalism and militarism. That IS fascsism.

http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/51150/

1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy.(liberals/terrorist/activists/democrats)
2. Create a gulag.( guantonemo/secret euro prisons)
3. Develop a thug caste.(dittoheads/ex-military/cow folk)
4. Set up an internal surveillance system. (patriot act)
5. Harass citizens' groups.( fox and rush/right-wing attack machine attacking all dissenters)
6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release.(Guantonemo again, secret prisons)
7. Target key individuals.(right-wing attack machine attacking all dissent)
8. Control the press.( the entire tv media and ALL of radio. CNN Fox MSNBC(not counting olberman) Murdoch attempt to buy and control all mediams)
9. Dissent equals treason.( you are with us or against us)
10. Suspend the rule of law.( i don't recall. executive privledge)

You can't tell me you are not fascsits. Be waht you are about. At least I admit I am a democratic socialist. Why not show your fascists faces GOP. See how many people are with it. Can you do that? No. Your party wouyld be done right? I say good. Go the way of the whigs. You cannot force conservatism on a free people. That is not freedon, no matter how much you spin and spin and spin and spin

3. Develop a thug caste.

Posted by: RUFUS | July 19, 2007 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Bobby -

I'll look at the petition tonight.

Colin and lyle - I have not suggested that the Ds compromise with the Administration. I have suggested that the Srnate leadership compromise with the Senate Rs by giving a little to get a little. The Congress cannot control a Presidential veto, but it can act like a Congress and pass laws. I believe that getting R support for Webb-Hagel would lead almost inevitably to a veto-proof majority on that one issue.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | July 19, 2007 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Hey Mike

Your shameless exploitation of Americans' patriotism is disgraceful. As a taxpaying voter, I am embarrassed that you leverage your service to this country to make your political points.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 19, 2007 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Judge & Mark in Austin: The only thing the dems can do is keep stating their opposition to the war and hope public opinion polls show the publics opposition in greater numbers. The spin machines are working overtime. I just don't see how some of these folks can make such statements that are so inaccurate, I'm being nice, with a straight face. My best guess about the MSM, around 3/4 of it is controlled by under a dozen interest groups.

Posted by: lylepink | July 19, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Bsimon & Mark -- I would note, in defense of the current Congress, that compromise does require more than one party to make concessions. When, if ever, has this administration indicated a willingness to compromise on anything?

For what it's worth, I think it's pretty ridiculous that the GOP leadership in Congress is blocking a majority vote on most of the "six in '06" agenda. Using the contract for america's formulation, most of that legislation is comprised of "60/40" propositions that enjoy a clear and bipartisan level of support. If there was ever something to compromise on, shouldn't it be that kind of stuff?

Also, relative to Iraq, the only way we'll see a compromise agreed to is if/when the so-called GOP moderates actually show a willingness to take action OTHER than making a speech. Thus far, most of those folks have talked up their disagreements with the President but have continued to vote in lock step with their leadership.

If you were the Dem leadership, why exactly would you make further concessions absent ANY movement from the other side? From a negotiations stand point, that just doesn't make sense.

Posted by: Colin | July 19, 2007 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Zach for your imput. Those two issues infuriate me. Spying on Americans is not ok. Maybe if they were check-points to make sure they were watching acual terrorists and not democrats and liberals I wouldn't care. The issue is the repub's want it all in the dark. Why? That is a federal crime. If it was legit, and not and attempt at fascism, they would be willing to show congress.

Pat tillamn. What a great american. Against the iraq war, goes to afganistan to get bin laden (something bush is unwillingly to do, I wonder why). he is murdered then the evidence is burned. His family is lied to them labeled partisans. They families are attacked for wanting the truth about the death of their sons. And their partisan? Cindy Sheehan is the devil?

The gOP is done.

Support the troops mike. Don't be a lawyer for the republcuian party. Those days are done. Traitors beware. You have a year. Use it wisly. Come back to reality and you have a chance to stay. Continue on your treasonous path and you will go the way of the whigs

Posted by: RUFUS | July 19, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

The Dems have done more in 1 year than the GOP has done in eight.

And they want to claim "Do Nothing"!?

Who uncovered the Tillman cover-up, warrantless wiretapping and the blatant subversion of the Justice Department? It certainly wasn't the oh so woeful duo of Senator Pat Roberts and Rep. Tom Davis, it was Democrats like Henry Waxman and Sen. Leahy.

Who has been pushing for legislation that people want but gets vetoed and subverted? The Democrats.

And which party is proud of holding up legislation people want and keeping America on the bloody path - the Republicans.

I am confident that come 2008, people will see who truly cares for them.

Posted by: Zach | July 19, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

"Spc. Gabriel Vassell told Smith, "...We have people up there in Congress with the brain of a 2-year-old who don't know what they are doing, they don't experience it. I challenge the president or anyone who has us for 15 months to ride alongside me. I'll do another 15 months if he comes out here and rides alomg with me every day. I'll do 15 more months. They don't even have to pay me extra." Read more..."

Posted by: rufus | July 19, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

"If the r's really supported the troops they would treat US like plastic army men to play politics with"

Wouldn't, that is

Posted by: Anonymous | July 19, 2007 12:03 PM | Report abuse

You and I both know you can't speak out in the military, or face jail time. Once WE get out WE still can't speak? You tell me mike. When can I GEn pace and general batiste speak up? If not now when. If not here where?

Fascsits. YOu have a year. After that the republcian party is done. They are done. They will go the way of the whigs. The top republcian candidate right now is "none fo the above" Your party of fascsits are done

Posted by: rufus | July 19, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Like clockwork. For some reason I am not allowed to mention my military experiance. The republicans on this site love to do it. I'm going to assume it's because I'm not a slave to the republican party. Good for you mike. Congrats. Mozeltoff.

Support the troops. Pat TIllman. Remember that name Mike. I'm from San Jose ca (same as sheehan and tillamn) support the troops. You people are selling the blood of your brothers and sisters for money. I don't consider that free market jarhead. If I'm lying tell me how.

I realize some in here are military like me. My opinions are no less than yours. The republican party does not OWN the military as much as you think. They have sold us out, in every sense. If the r's really supported the troops they would treat US like plastic army men to play politics with. Bring the troops home. One soldier is not worth 100 million, he/she is worth so much more. You fascsits are selling out your countrymen and your country for oil and defense contracts. Who's going to call them on it?

Posted by: rufus | July 19, 2007 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Hey Rufus

Your shameless exploitation of your military service is disgraceful. As a United States Marine, I am embarrassed that you leverage your service to this country to make your political points.

Posted by: Mike | July 19, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

"One never hears Democrats speaking of victory, only retreat. They have embraced defeat, unwilling to wait for the "new strategy" they had demanded to work"

Wanting a plan for victroy is not "embracing defeat, as you say cal. Bush and his rebuplican traitor freinds want an endless war. They don't want to win. They just want the defense contract dollars. The r's don't want to win. War only feed's itself. Bush has talking about this war going on indefinatly. Is that what you want? The d's and most americans don't want that. Wake-up cal.

I don;t know if you r's are really this stupid or if it is a paris hilton like ploy. You can't talk reason to a dumb brick wall with cow eyes that has no idea what you talking about. i know you r's aren't really this dumb. You knwo what's going on. Fascsim. And your with it.

Support the troops. I was a former 11B infantry :) (for zouk)

Posted by: rufus | July 19, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

I still don't get the r's rationale. How does attacking the Dem's and or Harry REid help you? I don't get it. Congress has low approval because DEMS are mad they aren't doing MORE. Who are you R's preaching to? Yourself?

You people have had full power for nearly ten years. How/why do you think attack d's further's your cause. You people are funny. You think your accomplishing things attacking the dems all day. Your preaching to the wrong crowd. That only works on Rush or FOx where ALL the listeners are of one side (borg). In a place think this it makes you look like partisan fools

Posted by: rufus | July 19, 2007 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Senate Democrats, who had announced an all-nighter Tuesday to reiterate their anti-war positions, packed it in shortly before midnight, surrendering to a greater desire for a few hours sleep. Only a handful of stalwart senators kept the Senate - technically - in session. We know that Senate Democrats don't have the staying power to win the war in Iraq, but can't they even make it through the night without some shuteye?

"Harry, sweetheart," said Sen. Barbara Boxer of California, who led a group of Democrats in pleading with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for a delay in voting, "5:30 or 6?" Reid complied and senators abandoned the chamber so fast you would have thought it was on fire. This was not a demonstration of the strength needed to strike fear in the hearts of those who can tough it out in caves while plotting new ways to destroy us.

Eliza Doolittle could have "danced all night," but the prospect of staying awake all night was too much for the aging bodies and weakened spirits of most senators. Having surrendered to the loony left and having sent signals to our enemies that they are no longer in the fight to win it, most went to sleep.

One never hears Democrats speaking of victory, only retreat. They have embraced defeat, unwilling to wait for the "new strategy" they had demanded to work

Posted by: Cal | July 19, 2007 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Blank poster/zouk is a fascist. You cannot push me off this site. No matter how SCARED you are. Do you have anything to say, other than attack others personally?

What are you afraid of? I must be on the right track? Are you shakkin in your little botties? Don't be scared of truth.

"We have nothing to fear, BUT FEAR itself.":)

Posted by: rufus | July 19, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

They may have forgotten that five years ago, Edwards was sounding a different chord. "Iraq is a grave and growing threat," he wrote in The Washington Post. "America must act, and Congress must make clear to [Saddam] Hussein that he faces a united nation." Edwards has since renounced his vote in favor of the war resolution, saying he misjudged the threat because of faulty intelligence. But what he really misjudged was the politics of the moment.

Back in 2002, many Democrats in Congress were leery of emulating predecessors who opposed the 1991 Gulf War only to see the war go stunningly well. The few Democrats who crossed party lines to support the war, like Al Gore, earned a reputation for being tough, while those who voted against it were forever branded as soft on aggression. John Edwards, determined not to make one political mistake, made a worse one.

That leaves him looking for ways to demonstrate his courage, such as following in the footsteps of Bobby Kennedy in a tour of poverty-stricken areas. When asked questions by voters, he often begins his answer by saying, "I know it's not politically popular," or "I'm not going to tell you what you want to hear."

But his seemingly brave positions are ones that will do nothing to hurt him in the primaries. He's in favor of programs to encourage education in poor countries. He's against negotiating with the Hamas government in Gaza. He rejects "amnesty" for illegal immigrants but favors "an earned path to citizenship."

He excels, meanwhile, at the old-fashioned Democratic strategy of promising to shower voters with benefits at someone else's expense. Edwards is a fountain of ideas for what the government can do to solve every conceivable problem -- paying for the first year of college for any student willing to take a part-time job, raising pay for teachers in rural schools and eradicating poverty.

But when it comes to paying for all this, he is short on suggestions. Universal health care, a position paper says, "will be funded principally by repealing the Bush tax cuts," though apparently he means only those benefiting the wealthy. He also talks about raising the tax rate on capital gains, but he hasn't decided by how much.

His campaign says he won't increase the deficit, but Edwards says reducing it is not his top priority. That's a contrast from the candidate of 2004, who promised to "get us back on the path to a balanced budget." Then, he said, "We have a moral responsibility not to leave trillions of debt to our children and our grandchildren."

But he concludes his remarks this evening without explaining his change of heart on the deficit, and proceeds to shake hands, accept good wishes and sign an autograph. With a car waiting for him, he strides away from the gazebo, at which point you might notice what sits atop it: A weather vane.

Posted by: Steve | July 19, 2007 11:31 AM | Report abuse

i see you got nothing to do all day but throw insults around- what a sad little clown you are...

Posted by: Anonymous | July 19, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

"Indeed, the national survey of 1,012 likely voters, taken last Thursday through Saturday, revealed that Mr. Bush's approval rating was up four points since March, while the Democrat-controlled Congress garnered its worst ratings in Zogby's history."

Did you watch any part of that? Who is blocking the will of the people? The R's are. The d's are trying.The sell-out lieberman hurt them, and the sd brain damage guy hurt them. When you you ever going to admit it's the r's causing the problems in the senate? Remember newt? "Screw the country, I'm shutting down the govnment. " Over what? The dem's haven't done that because they acutally care about this COUNTRY. Unlike you r's. Only care about yourselves and your party. Fricking republcian traitors.

Scary time. Lucky for the r's your boy leiberman turned when he did. You also lucky your boy kerry did the things he did last cycle. Dean?

"All U.S. presidents since 1989 have been Yale graduates, namely George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton (who attended the University's Law School along with his wife, New York Senator Hillary Clinton), and George W. Bush, and Vice President Dick Cheney, (although he did not graduate). Many of the 2004 presidential candidates attended Yale: Bush, John Kerry, Howard Dean, and Joe Lieberman."

Posted by: rufus | July 19, 2007 11:25 AM | Report abuse

For six years, the Bush administration has kept America safe from another terrorist attack, allowing the Democrats to claim that the war on terrorism is a fraud, a "bumper sticker," a sneaky ploy by a power-mad president to create an apocryphal enemy so he could spy on innocent librarians in Wisconsin. And that's the view of the moderate Democrats. The rest of them think Bush was behind the 9/11 attacks.

But now with the U.S. government -- as well as the British and German governments -- warning of major terrorist attacks this summer, the Treason Lobby is facing the possibility that the "bumper sticker" could blow up in their faces.


The Democrats' entire national security calculus is based on the premise that "we have no important enemies," as stated by former senator Mike Gravel. He's one of the Democratic presidential candidates who doesn't know he's supposed to lie when speaking to the American people.

Posted by: Ann C. | July 19, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

i see you got nothing to do all day but obssess about Harry - what a sad little clown you are...

Posted by: Anonymous | July 19, 2007 11:21 AM | Report abuse

MoveOn.org, the anti-war group, announced plans for more than 130 events around the country to coincide with the Senate debate... A candlelight vigil and rally across the street from the Capitol was prominent among them, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., expected to attend

Now we see who is running the show, hint - Not spinleless harry reid.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 19, 2007 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Hi, my name is Harry. I am the clown in the center ring and will be hosting this circus. I can juggle and fit into a small car. don't blame me if you don't like what I am doing. We Libs don't take responsibility for our actions (or non-actions). We are the party of NO morals. In fact if we HAVE to lose a war to win an election, we will. We love power that much.

Posted by: spineless | July 19, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I see zouk's got his photo of Harry Reid out and his hands are busy.... gonna be thining about Harry all day. what a mess...

Posted by: Anonymous | July 19, 2007 11:11 AM | Report abuse

'Besides ignoring the steadily improving news from Iraq,'

god zoukie, where do you get that crack you've been smoking? Rudy's campaign manager, the dealer? He's never fired the guy, you know... it's quite amazing, the 'family values' party seems to go in for everything these days...

Posted by: Anonymous | July 19, 2007 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Indeed, the national survey of 1,012 likely voters, taken last Thursday through Saturday, revealed that Mr. Bush's approval rating was up four points since March, while the Democrat-controlled Congress garnered its worst ratings in Zogby's history.


Pulling an all-nighter? What would be next for the Senate, a toga party? The jokes about slumber parties and panty raids were inevitable,

This defense bill is not a game. The Senate is not a theater for political dramas and our national security must not be held hostage to Democrats' desire to please their far left antiwar constituency," said Senate Republican Conference Chairman Jon Kyl of Arizona, who argued that the maneuver had backfired.


"After almost 24 hours of debate demanded by Democrats, we are actually further away from passing the defense bill than we were when we started. This is not merely an unproductive Congress; it is a dysfunctional Congress," Mr. Kyl said. "Democrats have taken precious time that could have been used to advance legislation and spent it to make a political point."


Posted by: sandbox games | July 19, 2007 11:09 AM | Report abuse

They played you gop'ers like fools. You continue to be Bush's lawyer. If you choose party over country you are a traitor. You cannot be a chrisitan, choosing anything above your God. You cannot be an American choosing party over country


"Was it all about oil and empire? I dunno. But it was certainly a major factor, and yet unless you count Ann Coulter saying, "Why not go to war just for oil? We need oil," the country has never had a real debate on this. From the beginning, there has been a lot of smoke and mirrors about WMD and terrorism and spreadin' democracy, but the long-standing strategy and goals of many of those who made the decision to invade Iraq were never really aired outside the dark blogospheric alleys of online liberal commentary and a few episodes of "Frontline."

As most Salon readers undoubtedly already know, you can find it all in the neocon think tank Project for a New American Century's report from 2001 called "Rebuilding America's Defenses." It was based upon an earlier Defense Department review written by Paul Wolfowitz and Scooter Libby when they worked for Dick Cheney during the Bush I administration (and which was soundly denounced by the wiser men of that earlier time). "

Posted by: (digby) rufus | July 19, 2007 11:06 AM | Report abuse

They played you gop'ers like fools. You continue to be Bush's lawyer. If you choose party over country you are a traitor. You cannot be a chrisitan, choosing anything about your God. You cannot be an American choosing party over country


"Was it all about oil and empire? I dunno. But it was certainly a major factor, and yet unless you count Ann Coulter saying, "Why not go to war just for oil? We need oil," the country has never had a real debate on this. From the beginning, there has been a lot of smoke and mirrors about WMD and terrorism and spreadin' democracy, but the long-standing strategy and goals of many of those who made the decision to invade Iraq were never really aired outside the dark blogospheric alleys of online liberal commentary and a few episodes of "Frontline."

As most Salon readers undoubtedly already know, you can find it all in the neocon think tank Project for a New American Century's report from 2001 called "Rebuilding America's Defenses." It was based upon an earlier Defense Department review written by Paul Wolfowitz and Scooter Libby when they worked for Dick Cheney during the Bush I administration (and which was soundly denounced by the wiser men of that earlier time). "

Posted by: (digby) rufus | July 19, 2007 11:06 AM | Report abuse

The U.S. command said Wednesday the highest-ranking Iraqi in the leadership of al-Qaida in Iraq has been arrested, adding that information from him indicates the group's foreign-based leadership wields considerable influence over the Iraqi chapter," the Associated Press reports.

That's al Qaeda in Iraq or, as the New York Times calls it, al Qaeda Which Has Nothing to Do With Iraq in Mesopotamia Which Also Has Nothing to Do With Iraq Even Though It's Another Name for Iraq Which Has Nothing to Do With al Qaeda, a Homegrown Iraqi Group That Has Nothing to Do With Iraq Even Though It Is Mostly Iraqi, Albeit With Some Foreign Involvement Which Has Nothing to Do With Iraq.

From the AP report, it sounds as if the highest-ranking Iraqi member of al Qaeda in Iraq is just a glorified secretary:

Khaled Abdul-Fattah Dawoud Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, also known as Abu Shahid, was captured in Mosul on July 4, said Brig. Gen. Kevin Bergner, a military spokesman.

"Al-Mashhadani is believed to be the most senior Iraqi in the al-Qaida in Iraq network," Bergner said. He said al-Mashhadani was a close associate of Abu Ayub al-Masri, the Egyptian-born head of al-Qaida in Iraq.

Bergner said al-Mashhadani served as an intermediary between al-Masri and Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahri.

"In fact, communication between the senior al-Qaida leadership and al-Masri frequently went through al-Mashhadani," Bergner said.

So how does the New York Times--or maybe we should call it the New Amsterdam Times, since it insists on calling Iraq "Mesopotamia"--report this? So far, not at all. There's no mention of the al-Mashhadani capture on the paper's Web site, even though other news organizations had the story before 8 a.m. Eastern Time.

Posted by: all the news that elects Libs | July 19, 2007 11:04 AM | Report abuse

bsimon: you may very well be right but with a totally inflexible executive branch controlled by a maniacal Darth Cheney what choice do they have? Compromise and negotiation, standard Congresional actions in the '90's, died a quick death in '00.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | July 19, 2007 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Now there's an idea.

"Walkin' the neocon line
Thomas Friedman's New York Times column today urges the president to go to the Green Zone in Baghdad and stay there until he can a) determine if the Iraqi government can resolve the power and oil revenue issues, b) sell the Iraqis on a partition plan and c) tell the Iraqis that the U.S. is willing to walk away if they refuse to do either of the above. That's a nice thought, but since George W. Bush's alleged powers to force events have gone the way of the pterodactyl, it's little more than blather. "

Posted by: (digby) Rufus | July 19, 2007 11:01 AM | Report abuse

spinless Harry and others of your peculiar yellow stripe - if you will support those on the extended tours of duty in Iraq this summer, wearing full combat gear in 130+F heat, instead you host pointless pajama parties, then you may have earned the credibility you so sorely lack now.

Posted by: there's something about harry | July 19, 2007 11:00 AM | Report abuse

The current problem with the Dem Congressional leadership is the same problem there was with the 109th - they are putting partisan goals ahead of what's good for the country. Like the Repub leadership before them, Reid and Pelosi are using Congressional votes to set their party up for the 2008 elections instead of working with the opposition to find sane solutions to current problems faced by our country. The opposition, of course, plays along and uses various procedural moves in attempts to avoid being forced into votes the don't want to cast. What the Dem leadership has apparently failed to learn is what put them into power in the first place - the public's discontent with a bunch of politicians that care more for their party than for their country. I suspect the Dem leadership will achieve short-term success, with further gains in 2008, possibly controlling both the executive and legislative branches - the latter possibly with significant majorities with which they can far overreach, resulting in embarrasment and electoral losses in 2010. These people never learn.

Posted by: bsimon | July 19, 2007 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Let me begin with, Latinos do not vote Latino for the sake of voting Latino - I live in one of the poorest parts of Brownsville, in the second poorest county in the US, in a city 90% latino, and my City Commissioner has the last name Atkinson.

There is more to being a Latino than a name - it is in your heart - this is why Tony Sanchez could not get the Latino community to turn out when he ran for governor.

Noriega - Other than his name I do not know much about him. I think strategically the Dems would do well to have Noriega on the ballot - Texas could be put into play big time and this would force the Reputricans to spend money in Texas -

Watts has money - lots of money - his money has people speaking about the election. This is good.

Now, let me say this - the Democratic Party is dying in South TExas - most of the Mayors endorsed Perry for Governor - Cameron COunty has a Republican County Judge (County CEO for outsiders) This is how the people feel about the Democratic Party

http://balancingtheissues.com/texas_democrats.htm

In the June run-off for mayor the loser ran a last minute ad with a whose who of elected Democrats endorsing him - (he outspent the winner by 100 thousand dollars) he lost by a landslide - the consensus was he slapped the people in the face by claiming to have the support of these DINOS.

Mark help with something please - I am trying to prove a point - people really just like to complain and will rarely lift a finger to help themselves. The Recall petition is going nowhere which proves my point - I have blogged it all over Texas - bloggers are actually blocking the post - This says a lot about Texas . 500,000 chinese sign an online petition to shut down starbucks, but only 14 Texas support the idea of Texas having a recall law.

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/230107424

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | July 19, 2007 10:57 AM | Report abuse

BBP, allow me to post your total intellectual input for the past few years and the next couple of years.

"the steadily improving news from Iraq"

July 19, 2009 10:38 AM

"the steadily improving news from Iraq"

July 19, 2008 10:38 AM

"the steadily improving news from Iraq"

July 19, 2007 10:38 AM

"the steadily improving news from Iraq"

July 19, 2006 10:38 AM

"the steadily improving news from Iraq"

July 19, 2005 10:38 AM

"the steadily improving news from Iraq"

July 19, 2004 10:38 AM

And in the vein of an ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure: "Republicans also refuse to come to grips with the most important consequence of their efforts to force a precipitous U.S. invasion: What would happen in Iraq if America leaves?" Heck, "what would happen in Iraq if America arrives?" would have been a good question to ask.

So, should we continue to just give all the decision-making responsibility to those who clearly can't think ahead? What data do you have that suggests that they will suddenly start making good decisions in light of all of the past horrible ones? Should we continue down the same dark tunnel (i.e., be 'resolute') that has no documentable end in sight? Or should we - gasp! - try something different?

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | July 19, 2007 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Quoting a Fox "NEWS" poll? That's a non-bias poll.;( There's winner. You show your face cc.

Posted by: RUFUS | July 19, 2007 10:57 AM | Report abuse

We have spent two days showing America that we will not back down, that we will keep fighting, that if harry reid and his allies in Congress refuse to budge, we will continue to show them the way.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 19, 2007 10:56 AM | Report abuse

"spineless" and others of your peculiar stripe - if you will relieve those on the extended tours of duty in Iraq this summer, wearing full combat gear in 130+F heat, while the Iraqi "government" is on vacation,
then you may have earned the credibility you so sorely lack now.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 19, 2007 10:53 AM | Report abuse

While Reid set aside the Defense authorization bill for later consideration, he said Democrats were not done trying to mandate a change of course in Iraq. "We have spent two days showing America that we will not back down, that we will keep fighting, that if President Bush and his allies in Congress refuse to budge, we will continue to show them the way," he said.


"We only back down when foreigners are involved" he added.

Posted by: spineless | July 19, 2007 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Why Bother?

Posted by: Mike | July 19, 2007 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Edwards Agrees To 3-Way Debate With Clinton, Kucinich

Democratic presidential candidate and former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina has accepted an invitation from MSNBC's Chris Matthews (the host of Hardball with Chris Matthews) to a nationally televised three-way debate with rivals Sen. Hillary Clinton and Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio.

http://onthehillblog.blogspot.com/2007/07/edwards-agrees-to-3-way-debate-with.html

Posted by: Anonymous | July 19, 2007 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Bobby W-C!

What do you think of Rick Noriega? After the great pub he received in the Austin paper I was interested, but a poster who calls himself "Texas Juan" pointed up some intriguing facts about him: for one, he counts Bob Perry as a donor.

I apologize to the non-Texans here for going off thread, but I had hoped Bobby would weigh in the other day.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | July 19, 2007 10:41 AM | Report abuse

So the Democrats are reduced to staging what they themselves admit was little more than a political stunt - the all-night "debate," complete with cots and cold pizza - for the cameras.

Besides ignoring the steadily improving news from Iraq, Democrats also refuse to come to grips with the most important consequence of their efforts to force a precipitous U.S. withdrawal: What would happen in Iraq if America leaves?

Posted by: we tried, we failed, as usual | July 19, 2007 10:38 AM | Report abuse

'The burden now falls to Democrats to show how they have stood up for the average person. '

Oh really? and after how many years of republican control of Congress? What was it, 12? Why was the burden never on the republican party to 'show how they have stood up for the average person.'?

Because everyone knows they don't give a damn about the average person and the only thing they're interested in is redestributing wealth upwards?

What a rightwing tool you are, what a pathetic lackey.

Posted by: Jane | July 19, 2007 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Andy R., I am ready to accept driticism as a "Johnny One Note", but I see Webb-Hagel as so important that I want the Ds to offer the Rs some bone, like Warner-Lugar, so that we can get our Army and Marines on 12 month rotations and the Guard on rationally limited rotations, that allow the states to have their units in tact.


Posted by: Mark in Austin | July 19, 2007 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Radical Communist Idea:

How about if Pelosi and Reid lead by raising money to pay for a conversation with the American People - without endless name calling - tell the people what they are trying to do for the people, and then explain how the Republicans are blocking their efforts on behalf of the people.

No it will be the same old garbage- sending their mouth pieces to CNN FOX, MSNBC to not answer questions and to talk over one another so that nothing is ever really learned or said- because we all know how well that approach has worked for them

For a Texan's view of Senator John Cornyn see

http://balancingtheissues.com/cornyn.htm


Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | July 19, 2007 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Good article overall. A couple of things:
"Democrats swept into their current Congressional majorities by painting Republicans as rubberstamps for President Bush..."

This particular portrayal is at least as true as a lot of the other assertions in this article.

"The fact that Americans United felt the need to spend money and energy in the summer of an off year (a notoriously slow news time) to begin to insulate Democrats against the "do nothing" charge speaks to the difficulty and danger of being the governing party in Washington."

Certainly this is necessary as a lot of the R hacks are now trying to push off the blame for the woeful performance of the 109th onto the 110th.

"Any look at recent public opinion polls shows that Congress generally is quite unpopular."

Congress is always unpopular. This one is particularly unpopular because (a) R's are trained to hate Congress (thank you Ronald Reagan); (b) R's hate the fact that Congress is now longer controlled by R's (even if they oppose Bush) and will seize on any reason to disapprove of it; (c) antiwar types wanted the Iraq War to end yesterday (yet will still vote against R candidates in 2008) and are unhappy that it hasn't. In other words, this disapproval is very much a group effort. Nice job, America!

"A national cable ad buy and a large rally -- even in Washington -- won't move the needle more than marginally."

Probably not but let's see. Right now ALL the broadcast information regarding the performance of Congress is bad. Maybe a little good news will change things. The alternative is to - ta dah! - "do nothing."

"...the supposed lack of accomplishments by the Democratic majority can't -- and won't -- be used in the context of next year's political campaign."

Yep, by both sides as we've already seen here. R's will again be painted as "a rubber stamp for Bush;" D's will be painted as "do nothing." Nothing new there BUT with war fatigue thoroughly setting in, the electorate will be much more inclined to believe negative things about R's. There is no light, currently, at the end of the Iraq tunnel. If I were an R I'd be very worried.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | July 19, 2007 10:32 AM | Report abuse

CC,

Interesting analysis. However, your comment that "Democrats swept into their current Congressional majorities by painting Republicans as rubberstamps for President Bush that left the average American citizen behind" puzzles me as I was under the impression, from every source that i have seen, read or heard, that the reason Dems swept into the majority was because of the war. Additionally, I don't quite know how Republicans could rubberstamp legislation a year ago under the same conditions that Dems are in now (only 55, not a 60 majority). If your claim to fame is raising the Minimum Wage, you have a long way to go towards not being labeled a do nothing congress considering that Iraq is by far the most important issue of the day. And it's what the Dems campaigned on.

The other issue is the line that "Americans deserve to know that there is a progressive, middle class agenda being pursued by Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid". What have they done for the middle class? Raising the minimum wage? Not. Of the few things that have passed, I'm not sure i find anything that is part of a "middle class agenda". This will be a hard sell and may well be the most humerous ad on TV.

Posted by: Dave! | July 19, 2007 10:29 AM | Report abuse

The Democrats need to keep trying to push through their agenda, and get it to an up-and-down vote. It doesn't matter if the legislation gets vetoed by the president or doesn't have a filibuster-proof majority. (Though in that case they might not be able to get it to a real vote.)

If the Democrats can demonstrate that they're trying to pass good laws, I'll give them credit for that, even if the laws don't get passed. Nobody should blame the Democrats for passing legislation that gets vetoed. I think that the people who participate in the Congressional approval polls don't understand how Congress works.

Posted by: Blarg | July 19, 2007 10:27 AM | Report abuse

I agree that this won't change public opinion in the short term, but what it will do is prempt the republican spin machine from saying that the congress hasn't done anything.

That being said, the success of this congress and therefore its success in the next election will be if they can get the president to start withdrawing troops from Iraq at some point in the next 6 months. It is THE story in America right now and no matter what the Republicans put forth (ie Warner-Lugar etc) in the end the American people will credit the Democrats with ending the war. Until then (September if you ask me) they should continue to push through legislation that is also part of their agenda such as, a new energy strategy, giving medicare the power to negociate drug prices, ethics reform, and keep pressing on immigration reform.

Posted by: Andy R | July 19, 2007 10:23 AM | Report abuse

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