By Brent Budowsky - 10/05/09 10:03 PM EDT
I am going rogue. Democrats can win the 2010 elections if they remember why they were elected in 2006 and 2008. They could lose big if they don’t.
House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) is holding major hearings Thursday for the bill he introduced with Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) to end credit card abuses by moving the effective date of the credit card law to this year.
If Frank and Maloney fight for this bill with the president’s support, they win. They would be applauded by voters holding some 700 million credit cards who are angry at being abused by banks that announce gigantic bonuses, made possible by gigantic bailouts, paid for by them.
Democrats could lose real or effective control of the House in 2010. If they do, the Obama program is bye-bye, kaput, and farewell. The Obama years would be a modest interlude that began with profound promise but ended with business as usual in Washington that fomented the same backlash against Democrats that defeated Republicans.
Don’t believe pundits who are brilliant at predicting yesterday’s news. They were often wrong about 2006 and 2008. They live in a Stockholm Syndrome of insiderism. Democrats can still win in 2010.
Frank Rich nailed it Sunday in The New York Times. Democrats were not elected to glorify Democratic insiders dining at plush restaurants and reaping payola selling their soul and their party for things they never believed in, doling out cash to Democratic members to entice them to vote for things they never believed in, either.
I am going rogue because I believe Democrats can win if they fight like hell for things they believe in, which most Americans want, and will lose by accepting the Gilded Age abuses, which most Americans despise.
Democrats can win if they stop being corrupted by cash and bullied by lies paid for by special interests. Democrats will lose if they remain cowed into fear by those who shout at town meetings, yell at joint sessions, rant on cable television, slander on talk radio, bring guns to greet elected officials, take surveys about violence against presidents, cheer when America does not win the Olympics and filibuster to preserve, protect and defend the despised status quo.
The president should fight for the public option the majority of Americans support. Democrats should stand with the huge majority of Americans to end credit card rip-offs that punish consumers and small businesses that create the jobs our nation desperately needs. Democrats should stand against the price-fixing and premium-gouging that plague the health of heartland America.
If Democrats have the courage of their convictions and campaign promises, they can win in 2010.
Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and Bill Alexander, then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. He can be read on The Hill’s Pundits Blog and reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.