Monday, December 17, 2007

An Open Letter To Senator Reid

Dear Senator Reid,

I think you have demonstrated a dangerous lack of leadership as Senate Majority Leader and that you continue by your actions to put the Democratic Party at risk of losing the hard fought gains we made in the 2006 elections. Also you have by your tacit collusion with the opposition allowed the continuation of Republican and Presidential policies that do harm to this country and it’s citizens everyday. Your actions also put in jeopardy the hope of Democrats that we can elect even more Democratic Congressman and Senators in the coming elections.

As you know the favorable ratings of the Democratic led Congress are lower then that of our President, who favorable ratings are at historic lows. I believe that this is because you and other Democratic leaders in the Senate and House of Representatives have failed to take the difficult stands on historic legislation that has come before you for consideration. I think your continuing complain that you do not have a sixty-vote majority in the Senate to overcome any perceived Republican filibuster has become tiresome and disingenuous in the eyes of Americans.

It is time that you allowed the cards to fall where they may when it comes to votes on bills that come before the Senate. If the Republicans are forced to filibuster, then let it be. If the President must use his veto then let him do that. But as the Democratic leader it should be your duty to force the minority party to participate in an up or down votes on any matter that comes before the Senate no matter what it may be. If you claim to be the majority party then you should begin to act like it by beginning to enforce and demonstrate party discipline on legislation that comes before you.

My reasoning is based on my belief that the Democratic Party must begin immediately to demonstrate that it stands for SOMETHING rather then acquiescing it’s position to the President and the Republicans every time a contentious bill comes up for a vote.

This is crucial because we as Democrats must begin to show the citizens of this nation that there are ideals, policies and programs upon which we are clear and united. It should not matter what arguments, political maneuvering and attacks we are subjected to by the Republican Party. When we do not draw a line in the sand on these issues then the line becomes blurred in the eyes of the voters. Your actions to gut legislation of anything that is not wanted by the Republicans or just give in without a fight only adds to the feeling that the Democratic party is weak and really stands for nothing, believe in nothing, and is not fit to lead.

I ask you, what does our party stands for when held up for comparison to Republicans? It has become more difficult to differentiate between the political parties when we only act in collusion with Republicans and leave the impression that we in the end are really no different from them.

I further propose that if you cannot in good conscience continue to lead a Democratic Party that is willing to take a tough stand when necessary then you should step down and allow for new leadership that will.

Daniel O’Brien, Vashon, WA

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