Are Democrats still relevant?

Are Democrats still relevant?

Pelosi - official pictureRonald Reagan became a lame duck after his 1984 election landslide. His Republican Party, thanks to the incompetent leadership of Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, even lost control of the U.S. Senate in 1986, leaving Democrats in charge of both houses of Congress.

Incredibly, the GOP tax reform cut taxes on the rich, but imposed the infamous “waitress tax” on those poor working gals. Before then waitresses were free to make their own estimate of their taxable tips. Many figured they didn’t need to give so generously to the wastrels in D.C. like Dole. The reform gouged them up front with an estimate of their tips. How cruel.

The waitress tax was Dole’s doing that year, and somehow he got Reagan, in the midst of the Iran-Contra scandal, to go along with it. No wonder Dole was dubbed “the tax collector of the welfare state,” and voters dumped the GOP from power in the Senate.

After all that, Reagan proclaimed, “I am not a potted plant.” He went on to continue winning the Cold Warn and preventing Democrats from helping Dole attack the economy with even higher taxes.


That comes to mind after House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco said of Republicans taking over the Senate, while keeping control of the House: “I don’t think anyone is irrelevant. We have leverage if they don’t have the votes. They have leverage because they know we will be responsible. And that allows them to be irresponsible to a certain extent.”

Democrats “responsible”? Perhaps in relation to Republicans the last time they controlled both houses of Congress, 2003-06 — when the GOP went on a wild spending binge, ran up the deficits and bankrupted the country. No wonder Democrats swept back into control of Congress in the Nov. 2006 election.

President Obama remains, of course, a Democrat. As shown by his executive order declaring an amnesty of 5 million illegal aliens, the president is determined to show he’s not “irrelevant.” And Pelosi backed him.

The good news is that we now have gridlock, meaning both sides won’t be able to pass any new scheme to waste our money, only to fund previous wasteful programs. For that, at least, Democrats are not irrelevant.


Tags assigned to this article:
gridlockJohn SeilerNancy PelosiRonald Reagan

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