Sunday, June 29, 2008

Questions about those first 18 months...

From conservative blogger Rick Moran's recent post:

The math is frightening. With 28 seats up for grabs in 2008 on top of the 18 seat majority currently held by Democrats, there is a very good chance that Democrats, for all practical purposes, could win enough seats this year that the GOP would be a minority party for the next decade — and perhaps beyond. When 98% of incumbents in the House are victorious and redistricting looms in 2012, the chances of Republicans overcoming a 40 or 50-seat Democratic majority in the next couple of election cycles are slim.

Before I raise my glass of champagne (thus completing the stereotypical elite liberal image), I must say that I really like Rick Moran's writing. He is a thoughtful conservative, and though I ardently disagree with him on, well, most everything, I respect his reason. I don't necessarily agree with the above passage; I have significant fears about the impatience of the electorate come the midterm elections in 2010 (assuming Obama wins the election, which he should handily). Those first 18 months are so important to a sustainable Democratic majority.
Not only does the far-reaching, long term agenda have to be set in motion, but several immediate and palpable changes (the kind that people see and feel in their lives and pocketbooks) have to came to the fore immediately. Unfortunately, we Americans aren't a patient lot, and the Democrats would be wise to remember that.

My question is, then, this-- what kind of action can the Obama Administration take that will have the most immediate effect for people? Problems like Iraq, energy policy, healthcare, etc., will likely take a few years to deal with properly (in the case of energy/environment, that is an even longer term commitment). And the economy? How can he immediately help poor and working class people in the first 18 months? This is so important to the Democrats, both in the Congress and the White House. The left seems to be gaining ground on social issues and the environment, but without some kind of change in the economy, I worry. Any ideas?