Monday, May 07, 2007

Dems finding out that leading isn't their cup of tea

It sure is a lot easier to b#tch about problems than actually doing something to fix them, isn't it? From the Washington comPost:
In the heady opening weeks of the 110th Congress, the Democrats' domestic agenda appeared to be flying through the Capitol: Homeland security upgrades, a higher minimum wage and student loan interest rate cuts all passed with overwhelming bipartisan support.

But now that initial progress has foundered as Washington policymakers have been consumed with the debate over the Iraq war. Not a single priority on the Democrats' agenda has been enacted, and some in the party are growing nervous that the "do nothing" tag they slapped on Republicans last year could come back to haunt them.

"We cannot be a one-trick pony," said House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel (Ill.), who helped engineer his party's takeover of Congress as head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "People voted for change, but Iraq, the economy and Washington, D.C., [corruption] all tied for first place. We need to do them all."
The voters seem to have noticed the stall. An ABC News-Washington Post poll last month found that 73 percent of Americans believe Congress has done "not too much" or "nothing at all." A memo from the Democratic polling firm Democracy Corps warned last month that the stalemate between Congress and Bush over the war spending bill has knocked down the favorable ratings of Congress and the Democrats by three percentage points and has taken a greater toll on the public's hope for a productive Congress.

"The primary message coming out of the November election was that the American people are sick and tired of the fighting and the gridlock, and they want both the president and Congress to start governing the country," warned Leon E. Panetta, a chief of staff in Bill Clinton's White House. "It just seems to me the Democrats, if they fail for whatever reason to get a domestic agenda enacted . . . will pay a price."

Leon Panetta has a quote that even I can agree with: "This leadership, these Democrats have shown that they can fight," he said. "Now they have to show they can govern."