Standing up for Folks and Creating Opportunity
That's what Congressman Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) told the American people that Democrats stand for on Sunday's "Meet the Press." And now Democratic loyalists and the American people have something to rally around as we ask for their confidence and their votes. Congressman Emanuel, the Democrats' campaign manager for the 2006 elections, led with the positive and then contrasted the agenda with the Republicans' culture of corruption. With the work that activists are doing in the grassroots and the work being done at the DNC to rebuild old and decrepit infrastructure, progressives can have hope. But we all must take responsibility to tell the story to others (so see the call to action at the bottom of this post).
The Big Picture
Congressman Emanuel on next year's elections:
"The American people have rejected the same policies that are giving us the same results and the status quo. They want change. They want big ideas, big reform. This is going to be a big election, a national election because of the challenges this country faces. We can do better than the policies that got us into the position we have right now. And the fact is, the Democrats have an obligation to lay out to the country what those ideas are."
Congressman Emanuel talks the issues:
• Encourage Universal College Education
• Fix the $3 Trillion in Debt Put on the National Credit Card by Republicans
• Create A Hybrid Energy Economy
• Expand Science & Technology
• Everyone Deserves Health Care
Here's a transcript of what the Congressman said that put meat on the bones:
"One, we make college education as universal for the 21st century that a high school education was in the 20th.
"Second, we get a summit on the budget to deal with the $3 trillion of debt that's been added up in five years and structural deficits of $400 billion a year.
"Third, an energy policy that says in 10 years, we cut our dependence on foreign oil in half and make this a hybrid economy.
"Four, we create an institute on science and technology that builds for America like, the National Institutes has done for health care, we maintain our edge.
"Five, we have a universal health-care system over the next 10 years where if you work, you have health care. That says fiscal discipline and investing in the American people by reputting people first. The policies that the Republicans have offered have gotten us in the ditch we have today."
An Auction House, Not the People's House
Congressman Emanuel on the differences between Democrats & Republicans:
"[O]ver the last five years, we've added $3 trillion to the nation's debt, health-care costs have gone up for middle-class families, uninsured have gone up and poverty's gone up. That's the failed policies of [the Republican] party. Now, I've offered an agenda and I asked you--I started with political reform. Join Democrats in literally changing the culture of corruption that exists here, that affects all the institutions of the people's House. You know what's happened? When you look at the energy bill, you look at the prescription drug bill, the Congress has gone from the people's House to the auction house."
More to Come?
Adding a Little
My good friend Jamal Simmons, another HuffPost blogger, has suggested some excellent additions to the House Democrats agenda. First, he says, "they should add something about National Security and talk about it first and talk about it often. We have got to prove to people that we take this issue seriously or they will not trust us to handle anything else. Wesley Clark http://www.securingamerica.com/ has great ideas on this." Second, Jamal reminds progressives that the Democrats' coalition has always fought for the patchwork quilt that makes America as rich as it is, "we have to find a way to talk to African Americans, Latinos, union members, suburbanites and independents who are concerned about the struggle families face trying to rise children in a changing culture."
Call to Action:
We now have a rallying cry, so progressives and Democrats need to do what the Republicans do so well – amplify the message. Yes, go to your favorite blog but also go to blogs where you aren't just preaching to the choir. And then go to your church, you community or civic group, your neighbors, and your co-workers. Help tell the American people about the contrast in values between the right and the left in this country. And help tell the American people why the Democrats are standing up for folks and expanding opportunity.
Go Blog Here! Do It Now!
Your Hometown Newspaper
Fox News http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,171095,00.html
AOL Blog http://news.aol.com/blogs
CBS News http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/opinions/columnsandblogs/?g=1
Washington Post http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/opinions/columnsandblogs/?g=1
Or Find Your Favorite Right or Left Blog on the HuffPost