The lame duck Congress starts next week. There are a few things the Democrats might be able to agree to that will signal a willingness to work with the President - since that is what they believe the voters want. They could pass the Vietnam normalization legisaltion opening up trade and economic relations with Vietnam. That's important. They could pass the treaty to conduct talks with India on nuclear proliferation. That's important. But the Dems will stiff the Republicans on the other things the President wants like the budget, energy and legislaiton to legalize the Bush Admin's interrogation program. And the smart and substantive proactive agenda laid out by incoming Speaker Pelosi can't begin until they control the House (and Senate) floor.
What about Iraq? That's what the voters want. Well, the Dems will be hampered by timing from getting too agressive about Iraq, though they will roar a bit at Bob Gates during his confirmation hearing. The Defense Appropriations Bill has already passed for the year and messing with a supplemental is too risky. As a practical matter, there won't be much change in Iraq until Gates gets in, the Baker Commission reports and Congress comes back under Democratic control in late January and starts conducting some oversight hearings.
So while Congress is convening next week and plotting their organizing, perhaps they can join together on one issue that they say they agree on but the Republican leaders to date haven't done anything about - DARFUR. Don't make the people of the Sudan wait any longer. Who will take this on?
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