It’s finally been found: the agenda the Democratic Party would pursue should it take control of Congress Nov. 7. For those voters who have been confused about what exactly the Democrats would do if they were to take power, things have just gotten a lot clearer.
Prior to the 1994 takeover by Republicans, GOP leaders touted their “Contract with America,” a specific list of policy changes they would make if given power. This year, pundits have hammered the Democratic leadership for not providing a similar set of initiatives so voters could understand specifically what they would do if entrusted with congressional control. These merciless commentators have suggested the Party of Clinton has no concrete plans but instead hangs its collective hat on unending criticism of President Bush.
But alas – such criticism is unfounded! A list of bills introduced by Democrats over the last two years was released this week by Paul S. Teller, deputy director of the House Republican Study Committee. Finally, we voters know what kind of government we might enjoy under Democratic leadership.
As I began to read the list, I was initially skeptical. After all, there are a lot of hoaxes floating around in cyberspace. How did I know this list was accurate and not the latest offering from a spoof site like the Onion?
After looking up a few of the bills on Congress’ official legislation website, I was assured that Teller was not telling us a whopper with his list of Democratic ideas – they are actual bills that have been introduced, seemingly with a straight face, and whose development was financed by our tax dollars.
Here are a few of my favorites from the list:
The Justice for the Unprotected against Sexually Transmitted Infections among the Confined and Exposed Act, or JUSTICE Act, sponsored by Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif. This bill would make sure the “guests” housed in federal prisons have government-issued condoms aplenty for their use. Subsidized homosexual activity by convicts – yep, that’s the kind of America I want to live in.
The Crack-Cocaine Equitable Sentencing Act, sponsored by Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y. The bill would eliminate the mandatory minimum sentence for crack-cocaine convictions. Finally – a bill to start reversing the silly tough-on-crime mindset that has kept far too many crack-cocaine dealers behind bars.
A bill “to provide for coverage under the Medicare and Medicaid Programs of incontinence undergarments,” sponsored by Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., would make adult diapers a covered item under Medicare and Medicaid. Now here’s a piece of legislation our Founding Fathers would be proud of. After all, we all know their intent was for government to provide for the “common Depends.” A diaper in every drawer! (or drawers).
The Gas Stamp Act, sponsored by Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., a bill that would creates billions of dollars in gas stamps each year for people to get free gas. The stamps would to be distributed to those already eligible for food stamps. Now you’re thinkin’. Rather than drop restrictions on domestic energy production, which would increase supply and lower prices, let’s just have the taxpayer buy gas for those who can’t afford it. This bill also imposes a windfall-profit tax on those evil oil companies – nice touch.
The Democrats also have big plans for U.S. foreign policy. Rep. James McGovern, D-Mass., represents his party with the End the War in Iraq Act. Otherwise known as the “Admit Defeat, Place Tail Between Legs and Scurry Home Act,” the bill would completely defund the U.S. military in Iraq, forcing an immediate withdrawal of all troops. So simple yet so profound – why couldn’t the Republicans think of that?
Congresswoman Lee continues her leadership by sponsoring A Living Wage, Jobs for All Act. According to the Republican Study Committee, it would create rights to “decent” jobs, income for individuals unable to work, a “decent” living for farmers, freedom from monopolies, “decent” housing, “adequate” health care, Social Security, education, work training, collective bargaining, a safe working environment and other wonderful things too numerous to mention. Wow, I can envision the utopia now – how incredibly “decent” of Ms. Lee to provide so much decency to her fellow Americans.
For those of us who are too selfish for our own good, Rep. Rangel offers the Universal National Service Act, requiring all Americans between the ages of 18 and 42, to perform a two-year period of national service. Good ol’ “mandatory volunteerism” – an oxymoron if I’ve ever heard one. I’m just sorry I recently aged out of this program; if I wanted to volunteer, I’d have to do so on my own, without the federal government to help me – hmm, not sure I could do that.
And from the “Government’s job is to protect us from ourselves” department, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., brings us The Menu Education and Labeling Act. This vital piece of legislation regulates what certain restaurants must print on their menus. Yes! What a perfect proposal to help us dimwitted Americans who just might order a dessert loaded with trans fat and not even realize it. How in the world have we existed for over two centuries without federally regulated restaurant menus? How barbaric.
I hope this list of proposals will give American voters a clearer picture of how the Democratic Party wants to govern the nation. If nothing else, perhaps it has given the Onion an idea of two for its next edition.
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