Shocking Front-Page Washington Post Headline: ‘Democrats’ Momentum is Stalling’
What’s going on at the Washington Post?
After recent editorials condemning House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-California) trip to Syria, a good job covering the conviction of Harold Ford, Jr.’s (D-Tennessee) uncle, and a David Broder column harshly critical of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada), the Post published a front-page story Saturday declaring the Democrats’ domestic agenda is languishing.
What must Jonathan Weisman and Lyndsey Layton have been thinking when they wrote the following lead paragraphs (emphasis added throughout):
In the heady opening weeks of the 110th Congress, the Democrats' domestic agenda appeared to be flying through the Capitol: Homeland security upgrades, a higher minimum wage and student loan interest rate cuts all passed with overwhelming bipartisan support.
But now that initial progress has foundered as Washington policymakers have been consumed with the debate over the Iraq war. Not a single priority on the Democrats' agenda has been enacted, and some in the party are growing nervous that the "do nothing" tag they slapped on Republicans last year could come back to haunt them.
Checking that link about now? When you get back, there’s more:
The "Six for '06" policy agenda on which Democrats campaigned last year was supposed to consist of low-hanging fruit, plucked and put in the basket to allow Congress to move on to tougher targets. House Democrats took just 10 days to pass a minimum-wage increase, a bill to implement most of the homeland security recommendations of the Sept. 11 commission, a measure allowing federal funding for stem cell research, another to cut student-loan rates, a bill allowing the federal government to negotiate drug prices under Medicare, and a rollback of tax breaks for oil and gas companies to finance alternative-energy research.
The Senate struck out on its own, with a broad overhaul of the rules on lobbying Congress.
Not one of those bills has been signed into law.
And, according to the Post, this is already having consequences:
The voters seem to have noticed the stall. An ABC News-Washington Post poll last month found that 73 percent of Americans believe Congress has done "not too much" or "nothing at all." A memo from the Democratic polling firm Democracy Corps warned last month that the stalemate between Congress and Bush over the war spending bill has knocked down the favorable ratings of Congress and the Democrats by three percentage points and has taken a greater toll on the public's hope for a productive Congress.
"The primary message coming out of the November election was that the American people are sick and tired of the fighting and the gridlock, and they want both the president and Congress to start governing the country," warned Leon E. Panetta, a chief of staff in Bill Clinton's White House. "It just seems to me the Democrats, if they fail for whatever reason to get a domestic agenda enacted . . . will pay a price."
Is this the Washington Post, or the Washington Times?