Now that Democrats in Congress are in a lame duck session, they have one more opportunity to take a stand for the American people before Republicans give America to the corporate world. Republicans have been upfront about their intentions to shut down the government and remove safety nets across the board so they can give tax cuts to the rich.
Republicans will spend the next two years attempting to repeal the Affordable Health Care act, financial regulations, and tie up the Obama Administration with 7 new investigations a week for 40 weeks according to the GOP leadership in the House and Senate. The GOP is also proposing cutting or privatizing Social Security and Medicare; not to save money, but to bolster the earnings of investment bankers and Wall Street.
Democrats will certainly face filibusters and blockages during the lame duck session, but if they make a strong effort to help the economy and the American people, Republicans will be exposed as the vindictive corporate shills they really are. The Democrat’s legislative accomplishments for the past 22 months are remarkable; they saved the American auto industry, averted a depression, passed health care reform, passed financial regulations, and created 3.3 million jobs with the stimulus bill.
If Democrats propose extending the Bush-era tax cuts to every taxpayer except the 2% wealthiest Americans, Republicans will have a difficult time explaining why they deny tax cuts for 98% of Americans. It is an opportunity for Democrats to help American people while showing the disregard Republicans have for our citizens.
There is not enough time for Democrats to craft and pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill, but they can pass the Dream Act. It will be good for immigrants who already live and work in America, and if Republicans block the bill, it will show their disregard for Latinos.
There are millions of unemployed Americans who depend on unemployment benefits to keep them from losing their homes and living on the street, but Republicans refuse to extend benefits. Democrats should extend unemployment benefits to help working Americans who have lost their jobs to outsourcing with Republican support. When Democrats tried to take tax breaks away from corporations who outsourced American jobs, Republicans blocked the legislation showing their disregard for American workers.
It is time for Democrats to show the American people who is looking out for their interests and who is looking out for the corporate world and rich people. Although Republicans will make every attempt to block Democrat’s proposals, it is incumbent on Democrats to show some intestinal fortitude and fight for Americans, and they should make it very vocal.
It is a perfect opportunity to show the mindset of Republicans before they take control of the House. Republicans have no plans for the next two years, and their supporters are in for a rude awakening when they will see the party they put in power waste time and resources with hundreds of investigations meant to overwhelm the Obama Administration with inquiries and obstructive measures. Republicans have done nothing since President Obama took office just like they promised, and now their goal is to undo everything Democrats did accomplish.
At some point, Americans will have to acknowledge that Republicans’ only goal is to obstruct the Black man sitting in the Oval Office. They have offered nothing for the American people except to say no to every single program and legislation Democrats supported that will help Americans and get the economy growing again. Republicans have walked away from bills they sponsored because President Obama supported them.
Democrats have nothing to lose by going forward with strength during the lame duck session and everything to gain. But they need to be strong and stop succumbing to threats from Republicans. What can Republicans do? Say no to a tax increase for 98% of Americans, no to extending unemployment benefits, or no to repealing DADT or the Dream Act? Of course they will say no, but if they do continue saying no to legislation that will benefit the majority of Americans, it will not look good.
Democrats who are leaving Congress may as well vote for the good of the people because they don’t have to worry about electability, and they will leave with a clear conscience knowing they tried to help Americans instead of corporations. If Democrats do stand up for Americans in the lame duck session, it will show their conviction, and show the disregard that Republicans have for the American people.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.