June 28, 2007


Harry's and Nancy's mixed half-year (The Economist, 6/28/07)

The Democrats owe their majority in large part to war-weariness. Many of their supporters thought they would pull American troops out of Iraq. They have not. They could have done so, by refusing Mr Bush the funds to carry on fighting. But that would have shifted to the Democrats the blame for the carnage that would probably follow a sudden withdrawal.

Instead, Ms Pelosi and her Senate counterpart, Harry Reid, sent President George Bush a war budget that included a timetable for withdrawal, knowing he would veto it. Their point made, they sent him another bill, without a timetable, that will fund the war until September. The bill also included benchmarks that the Iraqi government must meet if it is to continue receiving non-military aid. It was far short of what the anti-war movement wanted, but it keeps Mr Bush on a shorter leash than he would like.

What else has the 110th Congress accomplished? Of the Democrats' campaign promises, the meatiest one so far enacted is an increase in the federal minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 an hour, which is widely popular and will benefit some Americans while perhaps throwing others out of work. The Democrats have also tightened up rules about lawmakers accepting gifts from lobbyists, although Ms Pelosi undermined her own anti-corruption crusade by trying unsuccessfully to place an ethically-challenged ally in the number-two job in the House.

Other pledges have been blocked, delayed or watered down.

A hike in a wage that no one recieves in exchange for GOP tax cuts is their only victory, yet it's a mixed record?

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 28, 2007 7:51 PM

Case in point about wages:
Down here in Hot Springs Nowhere Podunkville, Arkansas the gas stations & fried chicken stores have big signs that say "Cashiers wanted--8.00 / hr"

Posted by: ray at June 28, 2007 10:28 PM

And the McDonald's sign says: "Now hiring 15 year olds"

Posted by: oj at June 29, 2007 6:45 AM