Democratic priorities in the coming one-party government
posted at 2:35 pm on October 29, 2008 by Ed Morrissey
According to The Hill, Democrats have their post-election agenda all set if they manage to win the White House and extend their majorities in Congress. Card Check? You bet. Expansion of S-CHIP to the middle class? That will get revived, too. Expect a flood of social-engineering policies in the Age of Obama — assuming it arrives:
A landslide victory next Tuesday would give Barack Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reshape government policy dramatically.
By controlling the White House and expanding their Senate majority, Democrats would remove the most reliable weapons used by the GOP to block their agenda: the filibuster and the veto.
Those tools have thwarted Pelosi (Calif.) and Democrats since they won the majority in both chambers, leaving bills affecting labor law, healthcare and other issues to die in the Senate or on the president’s desk.
With those obstacles removed, Democrats could quickly push forward with legislation allowing labor unions to organize without secret-ballot elections and a bill expanding the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).
Other possibilities include the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which would overturn a Supreme Court decision restricting equal pay lawsuits; a measure that would narrow the role of a “supervisor” for collective bargaining purposes; and a mandate for paid sick leave for companies with 15 or more employees who work at least 30 hours a week — all left over from the last Congress.
The only restraint on Democrats after an Obama victory would be the blame they will get when everything goes wrong. With large majorities in both chambers of Congress and a Democrat to the left of Congressional leadership, they will have no barriers to enacting sweeping changes to American domestic and foreign policy. They will also have nowhere to hide when these tax-and-spend policies hobble the economy and weaken us internationally.
Will that give some Democrats pause? It might, but probably not enough. In an Age of Obama, Democrats will claim victory as a healthy mandate for leftward drift of American policy, and not without some justification. We need only look as far back as the Jimmy Carter administration to see where Democrats will go with such a grip on power — and in the late 1970s, we still had Scoop Jackson Democrats. In fact, we still had Scoop Jackson himself. It didn’t stop Carter from wrecking the economy and demonstrating such weakness that we lost Iran to the radical Islamists that plague us to this day, and give a green light to the Soviets to invade Afghanistan, which also plagues us to this day.
We can avoid the domestic policy blunders by holding enough seats in the Senate to maintain the filibuster as a valid threat. The foreign-policy blunders can only be avoided by electing John McCain. We need to do both.