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The incoming majority

   

"What the election was not," says the Washington Post in its analysis of what the election was, "...was a powerful affirmation of the Democratic Party...  Republicans decisively lost independents and moderates, but it is not yet a given that those voters will stay with the Democrats...  The competition for the center of the electorate ultimately will be fought and won in the general election in 2008.  But before either party gets to that, they will have to resolve internal differences on Iraq, terrorism, health care, entitlement reform, taxes, trade and a cluster of social issues." 

The Sunday San Francisco Chronicle posed this question: Will Pelosi be able to get her ambitious wish list through Congress?  "Pelosi's 100-hour agenda is aimed at quickly passing the most popular parts of the Democratic agenda to build momentum to tackle tougher issues.  She's betting that few Republicans will take the political risk of voting against increasing the minimum wage or making college loans more affordable.  And she will dare the president to veto a bill to increase stem cell research."   

The New York Times has HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt strenuously objecting to the Democrats' plan to authorize the federal government to negotiate with drug companies to get lower Medicare drug prices, saying it amounts to "'government-run health care.'"   But: "The approach that Mr. Leavitt described as unacceptable is already used in other government programs" -- like Medicaid and VA health care.    

The liberals are now calling.  "Some of the very activists who helped propel the Democrats to a majority... are claiming credit for the victories and demanding what they consider their due: a set of ambitious - and politically provocative - actions on gun control, abortion, national security and other issues that party leaders fear could alienate moderate voters and leave Democrats vulnerable to GOP attacks as big spenders or soft on terrorism," per the Sunday Los Angeles Times

USA Today reports that per an interview with Pelosi, "Democrats aim to open the next Congress in January with a new rule that identifies lawmakers who use legislative 'earmarks' to help special interests - a change Republicans promised but didn't implement." 

But the Los Angeles Times casts doubt on Democrats' commitment to eliminating pork -- especially the leadership's.

The New York Post covers Sen. Joe Lieberman's comment on Meet the Press that he isn't ruling out a possible switch to the GOP. 

The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz asks "whether a press corps that has been openly at odds with the president will hold the newly empowered Democrats to the same tough standards...  If the Democrats don't pass much legislation, or if they craft bills that Bush vetoes, will the press blame them for gridlock?  If they start rejecting one Bush nominee after another, will the press say they are obstructionist?  If, after railing against Republican corruption, they pass only cosmetic ethics reform, will the press say they were all talk and no action?"