The current Democratic leadership--the deservedly maligned Reid and Pelosi--aren't skilled. They lead a Congress with more dismal approval ratings than the less deservedly maligned Bush.
So, here's the deal, Mr. President-elect. Get your peeps to do the following:
- Throw Mrs. Pelosi overboard and make the more moderate and sensible Steny Hoyer Speaker of the House. Mrs. Pelosi has got on the last nerve of the electorate. Hoyer is at least a bit of a mensch.
- Tell the world that Hillary has earned leadership of the Senate, and more quietly set aside the inept Mr. Reid.
President-elect Obama, we implore you to use your impressive gifts for communication to help all Americans understand the experience of people of color in our Republic. Take up the noble task carried out by Washington, DuBois, Wright, and Ellison of describing the human experiences of those who have been routinely dehumanized. Tell it as one who, not the descendant of plantation slaves but of free Africans, is both an insider and an outsider to the black community in the United States. Challenge that community to become the engine of its own transformation. Challenge the majority culture to listen to the experience of those who live alongside them. Appeal to the better angels of everyone's nature to make racism and its devastating effects genuinely and not just prospectively a matter of the past. Your election can be about more than marginal tax rates if you do.
We promise more helpful advice in days to follow. Keep reading, Mr. President-Elect!