WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Three Democratic congressmen who are about to take important leadership posts said on Sunday they plan to pass popular legislation blocked by Republicans but would refrain from pushing some of the most controversial elements on the liberal agenda.
Why are they being cautious?
"Democrats like winning elections," said Rep. John Dingell of Michigan, the incoming chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee and the longest serving member of the House.
"We want to win elections and we're going to do our best to do so," he said. "This doesn't mean to get into any extreme positions on any matter. We'll do what makes good sense."
Okay, but look at what they do not consider controversial or extreme:
Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts, who will take over the U.S. House of Representatives committee that covers banking and other financial institutions, mentioned raising the minimum wage, providing cheaper drug coverage for the elderly and providing more affordable housing and help with college tuition as the focus of Democratic legislation.
Throwing more money down the sewer of the welfare state and expanding government power into every aspect of our lives is just business as usual to these people.
I draw two conclusions offhand from all this. (If you have better conclusions, feel free to comment.)
1. Whatever the Democrats do in the next two years, they would do even more if they were not afraid of the American voters. That’s a good sign, isn’t it? They still have to walk on eggshells. Liberal still has negative connotations in America.
2. The welfare state is the status quo, the given, the non-extreme. Dismantling it will be the mother of all challenges. Forget the Augean stables, cleaning up the welfare state would kick Hercules’s ass. Every step of the way, statists in both parties will lie, fear-monger and demonize the reformers as “right-wing extremists.” It will be ugly. It will take politicians of unbreached integrity and courage.
Did I just write “politicians of unbreached integrity and courage”?
The welfare state will be with us for a loooong time.