"Pandering is part of politics I'm afraid."
Possibly in response to this or to appeal to the radical base of the Democratic Party, Senator Dick Durbin has written on the Daily Kos asking for help to form the Party's agenda for the coming year.
Today, a new Democratic Congress is working to make America's hopes for a better tomorrow a reality. Here in the Senate, much like Speaker Pelosi's 100-hour plan in the House, our Democratic caucus has already unveiled an ambitious agenda to provide a new direction for America. But there is a lot of work to be done -- so today I'm asking for your input.Senator Durbin then pointed out what the House of Representatives is working on right now:
At Senator Durbin's website, he has these ten bills listed plus "Iraq Oversight" as choices, you can pick what order you want them and what priority these areas ought to be addressed. Putting aside that the Congress has no constitutional authority for oversight in any military arena (that worked so well in Vietnam), the commenters at Kos responded with a few suggestions of their own, such as Impeach President Bush, remove the PATRIOT act and "all this talk about terrorism and al Qaeda," reinstate the fairness doctrine, stop the war, rebuild New Orleans "green," reinstate the draft, "oversee" the executive branch, Close Gitmo and give it back to the Cubans, and so on.
When the Senate convened for the first day of the new 110th Congress last Thursday, Democrats introduced 10 new bills that focus on three key goals -- providing real security for America , restoring transparency and responsibility to government, and helping working Americans get ahead.
Here are those first 10 bills:
- S.1 -- Ethics & lobbying reform
- S.2 -- Increasing the minimum wage
- S.3 -- Lowering prescription drug prices for seniors
- S.4 -- Fully implementing all 9/11 Commission recommendations
- S.5 -- Expanding stem cell research
- S.6 -- Developing new technology to promote energy independence
- S.7 -- Making college more affordable
- S.8 -- Rebuilding America's military
- S.9 -- Immigration reform
- S.10 -- Reinstating "Pay As You Go" rules for the federal budget
Whether the Democrats will pay any heed to these ideas at all is questionable, but they are certainly making the effort to seem to care about what the radical fringe of their party thinks. The fact that it was largely moderate and conservative Democrats who won new seats in congress this election seems to suggest that pandering too much to the leftists will not sit well with most of America.
Over at Right Wing News, John Hawkins picked through the comments and posted some of the goofier ones (RWN not uncommonly engages in CLogging like I do), and the commeters at his site responded:
I'm wondering what the heck Durbin means by "rebuilding America's Military"I am skeptical when any politician - particularly at the beginning of some change - pretends to care about what the voters think and asks for input on what they've likely already decided and are working on. These guys pay millions to pollsters to work out what people want already, and this kind of thing strikes me as pandering: taking action designed to appeal to a group that you aren't really concerned about following through on.
With the Dems in charge, that could be very scary.
-by William Teach
Could someone explain to me what in the world is wrong with these people? A fanatical religion is threatening every part of the globe and the only people they find fault with are the people fighting it. It takes an absolutely insane and deluded mind to believe that al-Qaeda and terrorism are marginal. Islam's history is replete with examples of brutal conquest and these people don't seem to get that. Have any of them even read the most cursory points of Muhammad's life, about the bloody conquests he initiated? It's like the Kos Kidz are so incapable of believing that someone out there cares only to kill and destroy and will not be satisfied until we are dead or subjugated.
Sorry if I'm ranting, but it takes mental gymnastics of the most strenuous kind to want to string up people fighting terrorism, but barely comment about the people who actually engage in terror.
*sigh* Where to begin..?
It's nice to see that kurious is such a staunch supporter of the 1st Amendment. Here's a clue, nimrod: government regulation of the media IS censorship and propaganda.
-by Good_Ol_BoyWhat we need from the Senate is the refusal to even consider judicial nominations unless they come from a list pre-approved by a majority of the Judiciary Committee." -- cjmarshallYeah, lets ignore the Constitution, unless it comes from the "Peoples Revolutionary Council". Out and out calls for coups, usurping the Constitution, calls for violence on the legally elected President of the US, yet the Democratic leadership posts on the site daily.. HMMM, just what do Democrats believe in?
-by Dick_Nixon"SO the liberal left is in charge, I guess the moderate Democrat talk was bs too."Oh please...asking KOS for opinions /= "the far left is in charge". While you go look up "specious reasoning" in the dictionary, I'll polish up one of my tiger-repelling rocks for you to buy.
The Dems asking KOS for opinions would be like the repubs asking Right Wing News for opinions. You guys see yourselves as part of the right, whereas those of us on the left see you as complete loons...
Wait, I don't understand. We conservatives are always told that the these guys are the fringe, the lunatic left, pay no mind to them. Now that the Democratic Whip is talking to them, doesn't that make them the mainstream Democrat? Therefore, all those times that Mr Hawkins was posting their ranting and raving, and the libs came on here to say "No, no, no, no one pays attention to them"...well, SOMEONE is.
Maybe we conservatives should have been listening a little more intently and ignoring those that decried the comments...
Be that as it may, it is clever of the Democrats to at least give the appearance that they are paying heed to blogs and listening to what their fringes think. They need these guys for the upcoming Presidential election, because they are the ones that control the primaries and caucuses. The Democratic Party has to walk a tightrope here: not be so loony they turn off the entire country while still appealing to the radical left. Can they pull it off? It hasn't worked well for Senator Clinton so far.