The new Democratic majority House gaveled in on Thursday with reform on its agenda — not so much of policy but of democracy itself. Admirably, the majority aims both to repair House rules and to improve the functioning of democratic institutions more broadly. Given the coarsening discourse and widening polarization, the challenge is immense.
Across the political spectrum, hardworking Americans are exasperated with a government that’s out of touch with their needs. They watch from the bleachers as the Republican administration and Republican-controlled Congress reward wealthy donors and well-connected special interests, while leaving ordinary American families behind.
From petty grifting to allegations of treason, the early Trump era has offered a survey course in how to diminish public faith in democratic institutions. All signs are that the coming years will prove even more instructive.
Which is why it’s crucial for Democratic lawmakers to stay focused on and fired up about their emerging, much-hyped crusade to clean up Washington.
House Democrats won a majority in the next Congress not because they are unified behind Medicare-for-all — they are not — or because they favor an infrastructure plan — which President Trump does, too. They won in some previously GOP-friendly areas because they promised an alternative to Mr. Trump’s undignified, cynical behavior.
As we speak with newly elected members of Congress from across the country, we hear one loud, clear, and consistent refrain — that many of them decided to run for office to restore faith in our democratic institutions and return us to a government of, by, and for the people.
In today’s polarized political climate, Americans of all political stripes are convinced that Washington is broken, out of touch and not working on behalf of the public interest. Our challenge is to prove them wrong.
Earlier this month, Americans went to the polls and sent a powerful message: The election not only was a resounding verdict against Republicans’ assault on Americans’ health care and wages, but it also was a vote to rescue our broken democracy.
Democratic victories in congressional elections across the U.S. Tuesday have instantly created a new political dynamic in Washington. The country will surely be better off with at least one house of Congress finally willing to exercise oversight of the executive branch. To put their new majority to best use, Democrats will now need to set careful priorities.