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A Pragmatists Guide to the 116th Congress

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    Democrats had a great night on November 6th of last year and I'm ecstatic that the House will soon be in our control, but I feel it's imperative for us "common folk" to be very realistic about what to expect these next two years. Controlling the House comes with a wide array of benefits, namely subpoena power. Gone are the days are total Republican control and that is a very, very good thing.

    However, I think it's very important that we approach these next two years realistically. Republicans still control the Senate and the White House for the next two years at a minimum, so our dream of single-payer healthcare and a jobs guarantee aren't going to happen anytime soon.

    I strongly encourage the House to pass any number of bills expressing the will of the Democratic majority, even if those bills will die an unceremonious death in the Senate. I encourage them to vote on Single-payer, even though it's a near impossibility of becoming law anytime soon. Being on record supporting these things may very well help us come 2020.

    All I'm saying is that passing a wish list of liberal priorities into law is simply not going to happen anytime soon. My hope of all hopes is that left leaning people understand and accept that fact and don't get discouraged after a few months of legislative gridlock.

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    Jared -- I wholeheartedly agree. My hope is that many liberal and progressive Democrats are more informed voters this time around, and better understand the wheels of government and how legislation is passed or not passed. When I was knocking on doors for Democrats and Obama in 2010 and 2012 I was astounded at the amount of ignorance that many of my fellow Democrats had about how government works. Many of the progressives readily blamed Obama for not accomplishing some his campaign promises. Somehow they must have thought they were electing an all powerful "king".

    My hope is that with the various women and minority movements that brought success to the party in 2018, they also bring a realistic understanding of how true democratic processes work -- that it requires participation by all, and that participation includes educating oneself on the issues and government. We cannot afford to have our constituents standing on the sidelines watching and bitching at others doing the heavy lifting.

    On that note I am encouraged by the increase in participation by young people in 2018. That needs to be even more amplified in 2020 starting at the high school level. The more young people that we bring into the party and offsetting the old die hard Republicans that are dying off, the better our future will be. However, we need to make sure our platform is attractive to the young people, and for that I thank the passion of the 29 year old Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She may make some inexperienced mistakes, but she is articulate and passionate. And she brought out the vote of young people, women and Latinos.

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    Well the Democrats have officially taken over the House. Single party rule in D.C. is finally over.
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    jaredsxtn said:

    "I strongly encourage the House to pass any number of bills expressing the will of the Democratic majority, even if those bills will die an unceremonious death in the Senate. I encourage them to vote on Single-payer, even though it's a near impossibility of becoming law anytime soon. Being on record supporting these things may very well help us come 2020."

    Positive advice. I would still like to see living wage being given ultimate priority. It is the solution to national as well as international problems. Especially refugee immigration.

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    My basic expectation is that the House Democrats stay unified and focused on keeping trump contained and protect Mueller the best they can. Anything beyond that I consider a bonus.

    My concern is that Democrats could self-destruct by various wanna-be democratic presidential candidates deciding to push their own agendas and turn on each other.... And boy would Trump love to see that happen.

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    What I most appreciate about the Democratic Party is its diversity, which an afternoon column in the New York Times pointed out:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/03/us/politics/nancy-pelosi-speaker-116th-congress.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

    For one thing, Nancy Pelosi is STILL the only woman ever elected to be the House Speaker.

    In addition, 3 incoming female members of Congress sported a Palestinian thobe, a Muslim hijab, and a Pueblo dress.

    123 women will be serving in the next Congress, but only 19 will be Republican.

    Those "good old boy " networks die hard.

    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/at-least-123-women-are-headed-to-congress-just-19-are-republicans/

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    wwjd Wrote:

    My basic expectation is that the House Democrats stay unified and focused on keeping trump contained and protect Mueller the best they can. Anything beyond that I consider a bonus.

    My concern is that Democrats could self-destruct by various wanna-be democratic presidential candidates deciding to push their own agendas and turn on each other.... And boy would Trump love to see that happen.

    You are 100% right. There are severe problems to overcome and now is not the time to invite a mass free for all that ultimately will have Democrats attacking Democrats parading faults and short comings. It should be limited to Biden, Bernie and Warren. No debates only fireside chats with each candidate parading what they will do for the people.
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    I like the incoming wave of new members. Diverse and capable. Hopefully they all serve us well.
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    TJ Wrote: I like the incoming wave of new members. Diverse and capable. Hopefully they all serve us well.

    • Democrats Mindset= inclusive. Everybody is welcome irregardless of their innate traits, qualities, language, economic background, imperfections, and talents they were born with.
    • Republicans Mindset = exclusive. Those who meet a very limited criteria set are welcome (ie a Country Club). Keep the bar high so only like minded people are admitted. Accept only the top 10%, reject 90% as being unacceptable.

    Diversity is hallmark of the democratic party (and the country), and why Trump's wall is not about border security. The wall is symbolic of who Trump is as a person and the image he enjoys projecting onto America. The debate is really that simple at the core. Trump and those who worship him unconditionally, the wall represents the same thing as the 1950's signs in store windows "No Blacks allowed". The wall is a symbolic global message: "FU, we don't want you here illegally or legally".

    Just today, someone on MSNBC commented that boarder security had been improving during Obama administration, but Trump found "Build a wall and have Mexico pay for it" was a great campaign issue for racists to rally behind (10%-20% of voters?). In other words, he is magnifying a shrinking problem because it appeals to racist tenancies. In 2016, he motivated an untapped demographic of hardcore racists to vote for him rather than stay home and not voting, so he got and additional several million votes from people tend not to vote, and those additional voters helped others Republican candidates if the candidates directly or indirectly supported Trump.

    Always vote, if for no other reason to cancel out one vote of someone who loves Trump and all that he stands for.

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    Don't cheer too early; the real pieces of filth are still in place especially the "freedom caucus" and dumb assholes like Navarro, Ross, Meadows, Mulvani, Pompeo, Miller, Bolton, Whitaker etc.; those people will do everything to obstruct. Also don't forget nothing has changed related essential issues like corruption, influence peddling by the "lobbyists" as well as "billionaires" . I read somewhere that the lobbyists are already sending out "checks" to the "new" appointees. If this country does not change its "laws" related to all forms of corruption, which implies no "money" in elections or any "hand outs" to people who govern, nor "Pac's" or "slush" funds to buy people, then the chaos will continue.

    Furthermore as long as there is no strict discipline or proper laws, such as an mandatory "operation manual" defined as an "law" document, in which the "exact" limits of Presidents and others are described in "black and white" without "loopholes" and "non lawyer language; then nothing changes and you will need a zillion lawyers forever to "explain"(twist and turn) an 1800's document. Thus la la land.

    As long as such stays in place, we are no better than Venezuela.

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    Even the Republicans acknowledge that the 115th Congress was a disaster.

    For some reason, I get news from GOPUSA. Their newsletter this morning confirmed that they closed out their Congress with a whimper:

    azcentralcu.org/tob/live/usp-core/app/h...

    As usual, Trump remains delusional:

    He also said he’s made strides on his own, canceling the Iran nuclear arms control agreement and, he said, pressuring oil-producing countries to keep prices low.

    “They say I’m the most popular president in the history of the Republican Party. You see the same polls as I do,” the president told reporters.

    Fact-checkers challenged that assertion, but Congress is under no illusions of its popularity

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    "Always vote"

    I think that should always be qualified like you said.

    "Always vote Democratic for opportunity" might be a good energiser or something similar that connects voting with Democratic.