The New Democratic Agenda
President Obama just fielded questions about the way forward following last night’s election and the huge gains made by Republicans in the House. He refused to concede that his policy decisions made up to this point in his presidency are the reason the electorate voted overwhelmingly against Democrats last night, instead citing widespread frustration over the state of the economy, unemployment and the fact that Washington hasn’t done a better job kicking it back into gear. Asked whether there’s a chance that Democrats and Republicans will be able to compromise on anything in the upcoming congressional session, the president seemed to lay out an agenda that will likely guide Democrats’ efforts in the new year:
- Reduce the federal deficit
- Promote a clean energy economy
- Make sure our children are the best educated in the world.
“Nobody thinks we’ve got an energy policy that works, that we shouldn’t be working towards energy independence,” he said. “There’s nobody who thinks our kids shouldn’t improve their science and math background in order to compete in the global economy, so that’s going to be common ground.” No mention of cap-and-trade, no mention of immigration reform. Pushing health care reform when he had a large majority in both chambers made sense strategically. Pushing education reform and investments in clean energy makes sense now that he doesn’t.