Friday, January 19, 2007

Democrats: Ehhhh OK So Far

One of my New Years predictions was that the Democrats would find some way to botch their heaven-sent position in congress. So far, I admit, they're on their way to proving me wrong.

It's pleasing to see the measures the Democrats have taken to show the nation they mean business. Like their 100 hours of legislation, these plans are brilliant coups of popular attention, ways to hone the nation's focus on how proactive they can be--using the previous congress, the laziest congress of all time (literally, they worked the fewest days ever), as a foil.

Of course, these coups of public attention-- the five day work week (oh fie!), the 100 hours--have all been used before (remember FDR's 100 days?).

The main problem I foresee with the Democrats is this: besides the fact that the leadership is about as inspiring as the Home section of the Washington Post, the Democrats can't seem to muster any original ideas of their own when it comes down to crunch time. We should realize that enactments like the minimum wage bill are basically gimmes. That they have been passed so swiftly has done nothing to convince me that the Democrats will deal any better with tougher issues like immigration, the Iraq War, and torture.

Therefore, though I’m happy with the bill restricting student loan interest and the overall progress thus far, I have little genuine faith in anything they're doing.

I seek a little Democratic inventiveness. Not necessarily in trying to send a Black one-term Senator to the White House, but in original ways to fix this country’s problems. When the Democrats succeed in proving, with evocative ideas and convincing leadership, that they can handle the position they’ve been given, I’ll gladly rescind my prediction.