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With Tuesday’s election successes, it is time for Democrats to step up

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Posted: Saturday, November 10, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 6:18 am, Sat Nov 10, 2012.

Lodi is Republican country, and so it's easy to forget how heavily Democratic the rest of California and America are.

Tuesday was a wake-up call for Republicans here and across the country. More importantly, it saddled Democratic politicians again with the challenge to achieve.

In California, we have Democrat Jerry Brown in the governor's seat, a heavy majority of Democrats in both houses of the Legislature, a tax increase in place and unrestrained influence of public employee unions at every level of government.

Proposition 32, aimed at limiting union political power, failed by a large margin. It might have indirectly provided spending reform. Now that job reverts to Democratic legislators themselves.

The challenge for Democrats is to earn the people's trust and not spend the tax increase provided by Proposition 30 on increased employee benefits. Brown sold the Prop. 30 tax increase as a shot in the arm for schools.

We feel he has a duty to lower college tuition, lower class sizes in K-12 schools and restore funding that was stolen from local governments. That will mean holding the line in negotiations with state workers and continuing his push for pension reform.

Brown's lasting legacy will come by proving he is as able a negotiator with the unions and the Legislature as he is a campaigner and political fundraiser

We will wrap up our look at state politics by urging Lodian Tony Amador to keep at it. He didn't win his quest for the state Assembly, but that should be no surprise. As a Republican in a district dominated by Democratic voter registration, it was an uphill battle from the start. Amador was heavily outspent by Dr. Richard Pan, the Democratic candidate. Through it all, Amador was earnest and knowledgeable. He brings a refreshing candor to politics, and we hope he continues to be engaged in the public life of our community.

On to Washington, D.C.

Even without the addition of Lodi Republican Ricky Gill, the House of Representatives remains in Republican hands.

Gill ran a smart, able campaign. But if he wants to run for office again, it seems clear he would benefit from some more life experience. Democratic incumbent Jerry McNerney found Gill's thin resume an easy target.

Even so, the situation in Washington is more ambiguous than in Sacramento. Just as Mitt Romney ran very close in the popular vote, Democratic dominance in Washington is tempered by a GOP majority in one house of Congress.

So how are the Democrats in the White House and the Senate going to dance with the Republican-dominated House? Balancing the budget while lifting the economy is going to be a clumsy ballet.

The national debt is heading to crisis and the currency is heading to runaway inflation because of the Federal Reserve's "money printing."

It seems logical that to bring federal spending and revenue closer to break-even, the U.S. government has to raise taxes, cut spending on health care and reduce the size of the military.

But a drastic tax hike and precipitous cuts in federal spending risk a second crisis in the economy. It may be possible to carefully craft a compromise: an immediate but gentle nudge towards a balanced budget coupled with a locked-in plan to go further as the economy improves.

President Barack Obama doesn't have Gov. Brown's tax hike in place, but with the Bush tax hikes due to expire, he and Congress have tools to work with. And the "fiscal cliff" from last year's budget bill provides incentive to do the right thing.

Despite Obama's two accomplishments — a new health bill and the assassination of Osama bin Laden — he has not worked well with Republicans. Republicans spent last spring trying to push a conservative social agenda and then lost the race for the White House and several Senate seats.

It's time now for both sides to forget election rhetoric and deal with the real threat to this country.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • Larry Hamilton posted at 8:44 am on Thu, Dec 6, 2012.

    Larry Hamilton Posts: 53

    Obama not working well with the Republicans that's a laugh. Mitch has been saying were going to make him a one term president.

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 1:46 pm on Mon, Nov 12, 2012.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2370

    Well, at least I am very thankful that the Republicans have held the House. This will make it difficult for Obama to have his way all the time. Of course that could change in 2014. But since we're still in dire straits economically and there are other issues still requiring reconciling (Libya for one), it could be 2016 (if ever) that Democrats might obtain all the power they desperately want and need to finally transform our nation into what Obama promised in 2008.

    Time will tell as lots of things can happen between now, tomorrow and six years from now. I, for one, will never give up.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 1:00 pm on Mon, Nov 12, 2012.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    From the editorial: "Gill ran a smart, able campaign. But if he wants to run for office again, it seems clear he would benefit from some more life experience. Democratic incumbent Jerry McNerney found Gill's thin resume an easy target."

    Interesting perspective. Although COL is run by Republicans, I have doubts that they are still the majority as this city becomes more and more diverse.

    It is possible that voters rejected putting one more obstructionist Republican in the House who kowtows to Grover Norquist and his quest to destroy the Democratic Party. Although the House was retained by the GOP, many incumbent Republicans were rejected this election cycle; and already the TEA Partiers in the House are causing problems with mainstream Republicans by demanding that they have it "their way" once again.

    From the editorial: "President Barack Obama doesn't have Gov. Brown's tax hike in place, but with the Bush tax hikes due to expire, he and Congress have tools to work with. And the "fiscal cliff" from last year's budget bill provides incentive to do the right thing."

    "Bush tax hikes?" Slight error, I'm sure.

    And, once again, the TEA Party is revving up to maintain their blockade between getting the economy up and running and creating another "fiscal cliff" disaster and a resulting downgrade of our credit rating.

  • Bobcatbob Ingram posted at 10:18 am on Sun, Nov 11, 2012.

    99er Posts: 119

    Ya Doug Your right. But if You think your actually communicating the Republicans that usually post here, forget it, they have spouted the lies of the official line (attack Obama) since 2007 and it is hard for us Old folks to give up our beliefs.

  • Doug Chaney posted at 9:46 pm on Sat, Nov 10, 2012.

    advocate Posts: 502

    It's time the objectionist right wingers step up and work across the aisle or they'll find themselves in the minority in both the House and Senate come 2014.


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