I'll be on Beyond the Beltway with Bruce DuMont this Sunday, November 29th on live radio (via WLS 890 am in the Chicago region and around the country on these affiliates) as well as a taped television broadcast on WYCC and Comcast Cable.
I imagine one of the topics will be the Democratic Congress' latest victory to begin debate in the United States Senate, defeating unified Republican opposition to fundamental health insurance reform for the first time in two generations. Thank you voters for electing 60 Democratic Senators (counting the two independents)!
But why do we need 60 votes to reduce the deficit, make Americans healthier and stop hundreds of thousands of medical bankruptcies from happening (when we only need 50 votes to invade other countries or cut taxes for the rich and thereby impoverish the rest of us)? Good question.
When the Democratic Congress passes health insurance reform and President Obama signs it into law in 2010, voters will understand -- probably for a decade or so -- that electing Democrats means they will deliver on improving their lives, and Democrats will do so even when they face fierce and unrelenting Republican opposition (as in health insurance reform). This is far more important to winning elections in the future than trying to appear to be a 'centrist' or 'like a Republican, only pro-choice!' by choosing to fail on delivering on fundamental improvements (like health insurance reform or raising taxes on the wealthy or making education better and more affordable). After all, if the Democrats don't show the major difference between the parties, why bother electing them?
It's a happy coincidence that Democrats do better with voters when they show the fortitude to push through progressive policies while they are in charge of the government. Keep in mind, the people who advise Democrats to go slowly or to compromise with Republicans or to cave on their policies are usually people who really agree with Republican economic policies (that have delivered the largest income inequality in 80 years and the deepest recession in 30).
Democratic policies are better for the economy and better politics in November. Republicans win when we forget that.