As I sit here watching the Quorum Call of the 109th Congressional Session on CSPAN I decided I have a few comments--imagine that! Realizing that my last post also dealt with the Legislative branch, I promise to some time soon address the declining health of Chief Justice Rehnquist and the future of the Supreme Court. And again, I am deliberating over a piece inspired by Molly Ivins about the War in Iraq that would certainly "show my liberal colors."
In the meantime, today marks the opening of the 109th session of Congress, as outlined by the 20th amendment to the Constitution. This shall prove to be a difficult and divided session of Congress. Though the times are difficult and the political division in this country is strong, determined, and unyielding to defeat, this could be a historic year for Congress.
Not only does this session of Congress open great opportunity for change, it will offer great opportunities for those more moderate in Congress. This is the time when those like Sen. McCain (R-Arizona) will shine and will have the great opportunity of finding compromise amongst Congressional members. If anything will downsize the political division in this country it will have to be compromise.
There are far too many new Representatives in the House to mention, but as I mentioned the retiring senators in my last post, I also would like to mention the 9 new senators who join Congress today: David Vitter (R-Louisiana), Richard Burr (R-North Carolina), Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma), Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina), Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia), Mel Martinez (R-Florida), Barack Obama (D-Illinois), Ken Salazar (D-Colorado), and last, but certainly not least John Thune (R-South Dakota) who unseated Minority Leader Tom Daschle.
I don't give out a whole lot of advice to my own party, I think the Republican critics can handle that all on their own, but let me say this--it will take more than a new DNC chairman, more than a new minority leader, and more than a strong candidate in 2008, for the Democratic party to get its feet back on the ground. It will be the issues, the votes, the platform. And above all else, the compromise.
TMac was never the problem with the party. Neither were Bill Clinton, John Kerry, Tom Daschle, or Howard Dean. The problem is not leadership. The Democratic party has some of the strongest leaders in the world as members. The problem is Democrats have forgotten what their party stands for. Read the platform. Watch the votes. The only way to have a strong party is to have strong understanding.
I will now get off my soap box and continue watching the nominations of Denny Hastert and Nancy Pelosi on CSPAN. Good day!