Don't Be Lame Duck Dems: An Open Letter to Congress

Dear Congressional Democrats:

Welcome back to our nation's capital for your one final session of the
111th Congress. Come January, the Republicans will take over the House
while the Democrats will retain control of the Senate.

But Dems -- here's something I don't understand: Why do you look all
sullen and depressed? Clearly you're not aware of one very important
if, mostly if) you wake up to the reality that you can do whatever you
want for the next seven weeks, you will realize that you have two clear

1. You can continue your "Sit Quietly and Hope No One Hits Me" strategy
and thus lay the groundwork for an even bigger ass-kicking two years
from now;


2. You can actually use the power you hold for the next seven weeks and
have the Senate pass the legislation that the House has already passed!

Wake up, Democrats! You are in an awesome position right now. The House
of Representatives, in this current session of Congress, has already
passed an astounding 420 bills since January of 2009 -- 420 bills that
are just sitting there on the Senate leader's desk. The Senate has
refused to take up these House bills because they've been afraid of a
Republican filibuster. Well, Dems, here's the truth: You can pass all of
these bills and turn them into law RIGHT NOW, TODAY, by simply calling
for a majority vote of 50 Senators (plus Vice President/President of the
Senate Joe Biden). Yes, you will need to change the filibuster rules.
So do it. You have the votes! And yes, the Republicans will scream
bloody murder -- so let them! Make them. Let America see them in all
their hateful, spiteful ways -- it will act as a beautiful coming
attraction trailer for all the world to see. Let all of America watch
the Republicans as they try to derail democracy by holding up a bunch of
bills that nearly every American I know would want to see as the law of
the land. Many of these bills are so safe, so innocuous, I have a hard
time understanding what the heck the problem was in the first place.
Like the bill that's already passed the House to name a post office
after Jimmy Stewart. I know, I know, the idea of a post office named
after Jimmy Stewart is really, really, incredibly controversial and
divisive and somebody on the other side of the aisle might yell at you.
Be brave, Democrats!

There's a whole slew of these bills the House has passed. Some are
no-brainers; others are absolutely necessary. You can pass them in the
next seven weeks. And because you Dems seem to have a problem with
properly naming your bills and communicating effectively with the
average American, I have helpfully renamed them for you so they sound
like what they actually are -- things people would really want. Here's a
partial list of the bills the House has already passed and are now just
in need of approval by the U.S. Senate:

* The "Give Mom a Raise Act," officially known as the "Paycheck Fairness
Act," which addresses pay gaps between men and women. Now, who out
there still believes women should be paid less than men? I REALLY want
to see Republicans try to stop this one.

* The "Don't Amputate Our Feet Act," aka the "Eliminating Disparities in
Diabetes Prevention Access and Care Act of 2009." Which Republican will
stand to speak out in favor of diabetes?

* The "Pay Up, BP Act," aka the "Audit the BP Fund Act," which makes
sure BP is paying people hurt by the Gulf oil spill as quickly as
possible -- and makes BP pay the cost of keeping track of where the
money's going.

* The "Stop Foreigners From Hitting Grandma Act," aka the "Elder Abuse
Victims Act." This doesn't really have anything to do with foreigners,
but our fellow Americans seem to automatically dislike people from other
countries, so this should help just in case the Republicans think an
"elders abuse victims act" doesn't sound patriotic enough.

* The "Let's Try Not to Destroy Planet Earth Act" (aka Cap and Trade, a
lousy half-way measure to begin with, but about the best you can expect
from you Democrats these days).

* The "National Bombing Prevention Act" (it's actually already called that, which is hard to improve on).

And while those of you in the Senate are taking care of all that, the
House can come up with a better version of Michelle Obama's "Healthy,
Hunger-Free Kids Act" to improve child nutrition. The Senate has already
passed this bill. (The House should fix it so that it isn't paid for by
cutting food stamps to poor people. Yes, you, a Democratic Senate, did

Then there are also things that neither the House or Senate has dealt
with. These would take more work during the next two months, but that's
what highly-caffeinated "energy" drinks are for.

Jenni Suri of Ligonier, Indiana, has set up a petition with a good list, which anyone can sign here to tell the Congressional leadership to get started. Among the "to do" items on the list:

* Extend emergency unemployment benefits

* Repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell

* Pass the DREAM Act (to provide young immigrants with a path to citizenship)

* Pass the Disclose Act to force corporations to say what politicians they're giving money to

* Pass the Employee Free Choice Act, so we can have unions again in the U.S.

* Pass Rep. Donna Edwards' constitutional amendment that -- in the wake
of the Citizens United decision -- would give Congress the power to
regulate corporate spending on elections

So what do you say, Democrats? What's the worst that could happen --
you'd lose an election? You already did that! C'mon, here's your one
last gutsy chance to show us that you're made of something other than
wish and wash.


Michael Moore

P.S. Be sure to let the Democrats in Congress know right now you expect
action from them during this next month. You can call your Senators and
Representative at (202) 224-3121 or find their direct number and email

P.P.S. If you missed Bill Maher or Larry King on Friday, here are the links to watch my visit to both of them: Maher, Part 1, Maher, Part 2, King, Part 1, King, Part 2, King, Part 3 and King, Part 4.

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