The Democrats in congress are beginning to show a little backbone, not a lot, but a significant amount that we need to see a lot more of. All 44 Democratic senators are united in their opposition to President-select Bush's plan to permanently alter Social Security. We also see all Democratic senators united behind Harry Reid's position of not voting for the confirmation of any of the ten ultra conservative justices that were rejected by the senate last year should Bush choose to present them for confirmation this year. We saw Senator Barbara Boxer prove beyond any doubt that Condoleezza Rice as top security czar is either a liar or grossly incompentent with regard to protecting the nation during the 9/11 attacks. Senator Boxer did this by using direct quotes from Ms. Rice.
Another encouraging sign was the election of Howard Dean as party leader. The grass roots of the Democratic party is newly energized and the apparently despised Democratic Leadership Council seems to be losing it's influence on the party. Freshman Democrat Montana Governor
Sweitzer of Montana( a red state) was very direct and to the point when
he told Bush how he vehemently opposed tinkering with Medicaid and Social Security and how it would adversely affect his contituency. This is the type of behavior we need to see more of.
We have a still a very long way to go because there are also many signs of business as usual. Senator Boxer was left alone to force congress to admit that there were serious problems with regard to voting in the 2004 presidential election. Not one other Senate Democrat could be found to second the motion. And one can not leave out Maryland Senator Joe Biden who extensively interrogated Condoleezza Rice, bring out numerous inconsistencies.......but in the end he voted for confirmation. The Republicans now realize that their Social Security campaign does not look like it will win over the American people. As a result they are trying to initiate some compromises with the Democrats, while at the same time leading the fight for the abolition of the philibuster. Democrats have this issue on their side. There is no need to compromise. Joe Liebermann is STILL talking about reaching out to the other side when those Democrats outside of the congress want to take this issue and hit the Republicans over the head with it. So there is the appearance of a spine, but it's a small one. Let's hope that it grows.