Have you seen the cover of this month's Rolling
Stone? When the nation's leading rock 'n' roll magazine
devotes a massive chunk of its pre-election issue to delve
"Inside the Worst Congress Ever," you know there's
something big percolating in the minds of Americans. People
want change -- and what's more, they're planning to make
it happen on Nov. 7 by voting for Democrats.
There are two main reasons for voters to chuck out incumbent
candidates this fall: the war in Iraq and the increasingly
apparent corruption among politicians. Since Republicans
have controlled the House, Senate and presidency for the
past six years, voters are turning to Democrats to clean
up the mess we're in.
Americans know that we're not winning the war in Iraq.
Out-of-control violence in Iraq is still front page news
despite the Republicans' best efforts to assure us that
everything is going according to plan. For instance, in
a news conference last week, Defense Secretary Donald
Rumsfeld told reporters to "just back off" about
a timetable for leaving Iraq, saying that critics of the
administration's "stay the course" policy should
settle down and leave these decisions to someone else.
While that's always been the Republican line, Americans
aren't buying it any more. Polls
show that Americans are increasingly dissatisfied with
the way the war is being handled by Republicans. Instead
of fruitlessly clinging to the stay-the-course mentality,
Democrats are putting forward specific plans of action in
Iraq. For instance, Ned Lamont, a senatorial candidate in
Connecticut, notes that our best course of action "requires
that the Iraqis take control of their own destiny,"
acknowledging the ineffectiveness of our permanent involvement
Webb, a Senatorial candidate in Virginia and former assistant
secretary of defense for Reserve Affairs, is similarly situated.
He provides an alternative to the status quo in Iraq, putting
forward specific diplomatic and military steps that
need to be taken to resolve the ongoing conflict -- steps
that are being dismissed by Republicans. Simply put, Democrats
have practical plans while Republicans stubbornly refuse
to admit their mistakes in Iraq.
And then there's Mark Foley -- there's nothing like a congressman's
penchant for underage pages to shine a spotlight on the
most visibly corrupt Congress in years. Just check out Rolling
Worst Congressmen" feature for stunning examples
of greedy personal gain, political sloth and just plain
meanness in the 109th Congress. Americans are more aware
than ever that the Republican representatives that claim
to uphold moral values are doing just the opposite -- abusing
their positions for personal gain and ignoring ethics in
Beyond outright congressional corruption, voters are disenchanted
with Republican leadership's inability to represent their
interests. A recent New
York Times poll showed that 70 percent of respondents
think that Congress does not understand "the needs
and problems of people like you." Democrats, on the
other hand, are providing innovative solutions to the problems
of regular people in areas such as health care, economic
growth and education. It's time for a change, and Democrats
are standing out as the right choice for America.