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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Republicans Could Retake House In 2010

Posted by Dan Savage on Thu, Sep 24, 2009 at 9:55 AM

So says Andrew at Five Thirty Eight. Chickenshit Democrats will now argue that they can't be too aggressive about health insurance reform—or repealing DADT or regulating the financial industry or doing something about climate change or renewable energies or anything else—because they might lose control of the House if the do.

Hello? Democrats? Large majorities aren't just there to be used. They're there to be used up. You get your asses elected—with the help of the base—and you deliver some of that change stuff you're always talking about. You get in there and make good on the promises you made to the people who actually sent you to Washington, the promises you made to the people who voted for you and gave you money. Then you let the fucking chips fall where they may. Ramming your agenda through may cost you some seats, it's true, and losing a few seats could cost you the majority. But guess what? You can sit there on your asses and do nothing—you can cower in a corner worrying about vulnerable Dems in swing districts—and lose seats anyway. You can do nothing—you can sit there very quietly—and still lose control the House. And in the long run you're going to lose the majority eventually because no one party is power forever.

You have to use the power you have while you have it.

The point of electing Democrats to Congress isn't to keep every Democrat elected to Congress in Congress forever. It's to advance the Democratic agenda. But we're always told, once we've elected Democrats, that we can't move on the Democratic agenda—not too aggressively, not without bipartisan support, not at all—because a few Democratic members of Congress might lose their jobs. But some of your are going to lose your jobs anyway. The point is to enact the Democratic agenda while enough you have your jobs to constitute a majority, to make change while you're in control, and to hopefully lock those changes in. Then with any luck once the Republicans are back in charge—and they're going to be back in charge someday—the changes you've made will prove to be too popular to undo and will become permanent, your legacy, accomplishments that future Democratic politicians can point to and run on. (See Social Security, Medicare, Unemployment Benefits, early childhood education, etc.)

That's the whole point, that's the reason Democratic voters and donors sent you to Washington. Christ!

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