Thursday, March 09, 2006

dream or nightmare circulated an email today that frames our choices this Fall about as clearly as I've seen.

"Taking just the House of Representatives, here is a small slice of who will be leading:

Nancy Pelosi—a progressive—becomes Speaker of the House of Representatives.

John Murtha—a veteran and anti-war champion—would become chair of the House subcommittee on defense appropriations. He would be in charge of the budget for the war in Iraq.

John Conyers—who forced a national debate on the Downing Street Memos—would be chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

Henry Waxman would be chairman of the Government Reform committee—he has a bulls-eye on war profiteers like Halliburton.

Barney Frank—who has led efforts to rein in out-of-control CEO pay—would be in charge of the Financial Services Committee.

David Obey—who led opposition to the Republican budget—would be chair of the House Appropriations committee—protecting Medicaid, food stamps, veteran's benefits, student loans and more.

Charles Rangel—who predicted the Medicare debacle—would be chair of the House Ways and Means committee—protecting Social Security.

George Miller—a big advocate for working people—would be chair of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce and could bring a vote to raise the minimum wage.

"Put aside for a minute any disappointment you might have in the Democrats overall—these leaders are what we'll get if we win in November. They are champions on issues we all care about."

I agree. I'm disheartened by what's happening (and what's not happening) in the Democratic National Committee, but these eight Members of Congress have gained my political trust. If a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives puts these people in leadership, let's get on with it.

Liberals and Progressives still have to figure out what to do about taking the White House in 2009. In the meantime, what we do this year can rein-in the current White House occupant in 2007 and 2008. When I consider the damage Mr. Bush has done, I shudder to think American's might let him go unchallenged in the final 24 months of his government.

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