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Democratic Report Card
Mike Hersh (c) 2002

Since Senator Jim Jeffords jumped and removed Trent Lott as Senate Majority Leader, Senate Democrats have earned an A+ report card. They've kept busy, and supported the Administration in the fight against terrorism. They've also stood up to Mr. Bush when necessary.

They passed into law campaign finance reform and accounting reform over Bush's strong objections. This will help clean up our elections and our economy. They bottled up Bush's unqualified judicial nominees, including Judge Pickering who actually intervened in a criminal case trying to protect cross burning domestic terrorists in gross violation of judicial ethics, morality and human decency.

Pickering - who opposes enforcement of civil rights laws and other laws to protect citizens - should be under investigation for his attempts to subvert justice in the cross burning case, not nominates to sit in judgment of others.

The Bush administration nominated Pickering and similarly flawed judges for lifetime appointments on the federal bench. This clearly demonstrates contempt for civil rights, the rule of law, equal justice and morality. Democrats earn praise for standing up against these dismal efforts to tilt our Judicial Branch to the extreme right.

Democrats also blocked drilling in ANWR, standing up against short-sighted, selfish special interests. They did that again by refusing to repeal the corporate alternative minimum tax (AMT), and yet again when they killed the Bush "stimulus porkage" which the Republican House had passed.

If the Senate Democrats hadn't stopped it, Bush's plan would have given a quarter of a BILLION (with a B) dollars of our tax money to Enron, as well as several $billions more in tax "rebates" to huge corporations - many of which hadn't even paid any taxes during some of the years subject to "rebates!"

Democrats also resisted Bush's efforts to entrust 1/3 of our Social Security to the stock market, holding the line against running our national retirement system the way Bush's close friend "Kenny Boy" Lay ran his company pension - into the ground. Democrats are leading efforts to investigate what went wrong with Lay's Enron and other corporate criminality.

Senate Democrats worked hard for a real prescription drug benefit, and gained a majority of support. Sadly, the Republicans used procedural gimmicks to block a floor vote. Millions of seniors must choose between their medicine or shelter, electric bills and food. This will continue, and some seniors will even die because the GOP puts big corporations and partisan politics over life and death.

That's just off the top of my head, but it adds up to an A+ in my book. This is why we need to elect more Democrats to the Senate, and a Democratic majority in the House.