Reid Gets It
The Senate Minority Leader intuitively understands that Democrats need to stand for something. Here's what he emailed me yesterday:
The media likes to repeat the Republican talking point that Democrats have no agenda--you and I know that is simply not true. Across the country Democrats are participating in dozens of events and with one voice saying it's time to reform: together, America can do better.
In Washington, DC, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi unveiled a new piece of legislation to eliminate tax giveaways for energy companies. Frank Lautenberg spoke in New Jersey about how America can do better than a Medicare prescription drug bill that confuses and shortchanges seniors by providing giveaways to drug companies.
In Wisconsin, Herb Kohl addressed the need for America to do better than an economy that kicks families out of the middle class and how we can help everyone achieve the American dream. While in New York, John Kerry discussed a plan to do a better job protecting Americans from terrorist attack. Patty Murray held four events across Washington State focusing on issues ranging from affordable housing to full funding of veterans' programs. And Chuck Schumer and Robert Byrd both addressed energy independence with members of their local communities.
Today Barbara Mikulski, Paul Sarbanes and I held a town hall meeting in Baltimore with nursing students to highlight the Democratic Party's commitment to reform. While we are working to increase opportunities for higher education, Congressional Republicans are slashing financial aid and curbing opportunities for students to get ahead. Christopher Reed, Patrice Pantin, and Julie Story, students at the John Hopkins School of Nursing, told us about their own struggles to get the training they need.
Each of these events focuses on an important part of the Democratic agenda that will guide us towards taking back both the Senate and House in 2006. We can have a government with open, honest elected officials--it's a matter of priorities. Democrats believe the government works for people, that issues such as student loans, high energy prices, safety and security, should be our top priority not handouts for the well connected.
He knows you must counter something with something, and he's highlighting those areas. With Reid's leadership, we will have a Democratic Contract with America that is concrete. My fear is that where it will not be concrete is on Iraq, still the top issue. But we need to use our megaphone to highlight these instances of the Democrats pushing an agenda.
The "together, we can do better" slogan is not one that appeals to me (how about "will," not "can," huh?), but I do like setting some core principles in stone and showing a direct and forceful agenda. Whether the media is so addled by the competing narrative that "Democrats have no ideas" (which Republicans will certainly continue to play up) remains to be seen. Reid and company need to make it so the press can't ignore the facts.