"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Democrats’ Priorities Seemingly Everything But Those Of Most Americans

November 17th, 2010 by mopns · No Comments

Considering what Democrats are focusing on in their first week back after an election where Americans sent a clear message on their priorities with the economy and spending, it appears Democrats are still not getting it.

The very first vote scheduled by Senate Democrats today was on a bill which Sen. Mike Enzi, the ranking Republican on the HELP Committee, pointed out primarily benefits trial lawyers. He added, “The litigation bonanza this bill would create would extend even to the smallest of small businesses, only further hampering our economic recovery.”

Following that, the Senate voted on a bill to give more regulatory powers to the Food and Drug Administration. Even The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank can only shake his head at this. He writes today, “As the Senate on Wednesday holds its first legislative session since the election, Democrats have a chance to show what lessons they’ve learned. Will they address the urgent need for job promotion? Work out agreement on extending the Bush tax cuts? Actually, no. Instead, Senate Democrats are planning, as their first order of business, a debate on . . . food safety. . . . [I]t would be a novel interpretation of the election results to conclude that Americans’ top priority at this pivotal moment is a reorganization of the Food and Drug Administration.”

Democrats have noted they have other priorities, too. President Obama called the new START treaty (an agreement with Russia to reduce nuclear weapons) a “top priority,” according to the AP. “‘I reiterated my commitment to getting the START treaty done during the lame-duck session,’ Obama said . . . .” ABC News noted Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid “has promised a Senate vote this year on a small piece of immigration legislation known as the DREAM Act, which would give hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants a conditional path to legal residency.” Politico reported, “Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) will meet with President Barack Obama Tuesday afternoon to talk about the chances of getting comprehensive immigration reform or the DREAM Act passed in the lame duck session, a House Democratic source said.” And Roll Call reported last week, “In a joint statement issued Tuesday by Sens. Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.), Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), the lawmakers call on Senate leaders to ‘act immediately to debate and pass a defense authorization bill and repeal ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ during the lame duck session.’”

Even on something the public seems quite clear on, earmarks, Democrats still appear to have other priorities. Roll Call wrote yesterday, “Most Senate Democrats continued on Tuesday to oppose a moratorium on earmarks, despite growing public demands for an end to the practice and a nascent reform movement within their own ranks.” And the AP noted, “Thus far, however, some Senate Democrats seem to be in denial.” In fact, Reid told Roll Call, “I don’t accept [a ban] as reform. I think it’s a tremendous step backward. . . .” And Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) said, “I think the ban is not something I would favor.”

Democrats simply don’t seem to be in touch with what Americans signaled their priorities were on Election Day. Sen. McConnell said today, “Let me share with you what I believe our priorities need to be during the lame duck session: preventing massive tax increase on families and small businesses, and stopping the Washington spending spree.” But none of the Democrats’ stated priorities—easing rules on employment discrimination lawsuits, expanding the powers of the FDA, a nuclear arms reduction treaty, the DREAM Act, repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell”—even address these issues. And on the one issue that Democrats have weighed in on that concerns Americans, spending and earmarks, Democrats have decided to stand alone defending them.

Did Democrats get the message on Election Day?

Rasmussen Reports:

51% Say It’s Possible to Balance Budget Without Raising Taxes

50% of Likely U.S. Voters think the tax cuts, scheduled to end December 31, should be extended for all Americans

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