Wow, Dems Can Govern; Here's How They Keep It Up
Keep base mobilized, move on to popular causes
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 24, 2010 4:40 AM CDT
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif. clutches a pen used by President Barack Obama to sign the health care bill, Tuesday, March 23, 2010, in the East Room of the White House in Washington.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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(Newser) – By passing health reform, Harold Meyerson writes in the Washington Post, the Democrats proved themselves to be something America hasn't seen since "the middle of Ronald Reagan's presidency:" a governing party. If they want to keep the actual governance going, rather than slipping back into decades-long "policy gridlock," Meyerson says they "must apply the lessons of their health-reform victory to more popular causes."

Next on the agenda, Meyerson writes, should be a powerful consumer protection agency, reining in bank speculation, and jobs legislation. These battles, like health reform, can by won by activating the base and relentlessly pressuring party members who aren't on board. "Even if the Democrats fall a vote or two short," he writes, "such causes are popular with voters well beyond their base, as well as battles for which those base voters would happily mobilize. They are causes worthy of a governing party—particularly if it seeks to remain so."