Congress

What if the Democrats win?

Voters should be careful what they wish for, said Dan Thomasson in The Washington Times, because it's starting to look as if they just might get it. With polls showing 'œincreasing public dismay' at the ineptitude of the GOP-led Congress, the prospect of the Democrats recapturing the House of Representatives in this fall's midterm elections is now a real possibility. So what can we expect from a House run by Democrats? Sadly, their grand vision can be summed up in a single word: 'œrevenge.' Absent any actual ideas of how to 'œsolve the nation's problems,' all we have heard so far from House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and other leading liberals is that they'd launch investigations into every decision made by the Bush administration. Pelosi even hinted they might impeach the president. Anyone who thinks the country needs even more 'œvenomous partisanship' is in for a treat.

That's unfair, said Michael Tomasky in The American Prospect. Years in the political wilderness have led to some productive soul-searching, and Democrats are offering new ideas on such issues as health care, the environment, and energy. What they lack is a unifying 'œbig idea' that ties this grab bag of policies 'œinto a vision for society.' But they used to have one. Before the GOP managed to turn liberalism into a synonym for sexual hedonism and welfare abuse, it was a noble political philosophy based on the idea that 'œcitizens should be called upon to look beyond their own self-interest and work for a common interest.' After the 'œcivic destruction and counterfeit morality' of the Bush years, that's a message that America is ready to hear again.

Adam Nagourney

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