Friday, 10 November 2006

Keep it Simple, Congress

Already I have some more advice for the new Democratic majorities in Congress.

Write some really simple legislation.

Americans are already disgusted with the "I'll scratch your back, if you'll scratch mine" system of governance in which bills become absurd conglomerations of disparate issues which no one wholly agrees with and no one wholly disagrees with. With majorities, Democrats have an opportunity to just say no to that process, and put bills in front of the President which are popular with the American people and carry no baggage that spoil their central theme.

Minimum wage is a great example. Democrats should avoid the temptation to fill a minimum wage bill with liberal riders. Make the President's veto, if he dares, mean exactly that he thinks it's ok for employers to pay sub-poverty wages.

Reverse the worst of the Republican legislation of the last 12 years a piece at a time. There's so much to do - make each piece of it as simple as possible. Allow the government to negotiate the best prices with pharmaceuticals for prescription drugs. Reverse the media consolidation rules which squelch diversity of opinion broadcast over TV and radio. Etc, etc, etc. One at a time the American people can come to understand that Democratic leadership is in their best interest. But only if the Democrats deliver that leadership.

No doubt Bush will be dusting off his veto pen at long last, but maybe there's a limit to the number of popular bills that an unpopular president can get away with vetoing. Opportunities abound; I'm choosing hope.

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