With Big Energy spending almost $20 million to elect pro-drilling Congressional candidates, expect the opening of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to be on Congress's wish list when it reconvenes in January. Generally Democrats have been able to stop ANWR drilling even when Republicans have held the Presidency and the Senate, but one must never underestimate the cowardice of Democrats in the face of defeat. So the Alaska Wilderness League helps you urge Mr. Obama to deploy a nuclear option of sorts: designate ANWR as a National Monument. Does this sound like something Mr. Obama would do? No of course it does not sound like something Mr. Obama would do -- Mr. Obama would probably prefer to let the Senate work its will, which has worked so well for him over the last year. But when Democrats have no backbone, the people must give them one.
Meanwhile, the Senate also has a chance to assist poor mothers across the world with H.R. 5268, the Global MOMS Act. In a world where a woman dies nearly every minute from pregnancy or a pregnancy-related complication that's almost certainly preventable, the Act would expand poor women's access to prenatal and post-partum care, and help prevent these deaths. But let me guess why some right-wing Senator would put a hold on it: because the bill also provides voluntary family planning to poor women. (That's in Section C of H.R. 5268, if you're reading along at home.) And my guess is that even if the Senate were to take that out of the bill, said right-wing Senator would still claim nothing's changed and hold the bill, or make up something else he doesn't like and hold the bill. But out voices just have to be louder than theirs. CARE helps you tell your Reps and Senators to sponsor the bill.
Finally, I'm beginning to accept 2010 as a more absurd version of 1994, replete with "liberal" media exhortations for Mr. Obama to stop being such a liberal and move to the "center," by which they mean the right. As FAIR points out, exit polls demonstrate that the Democrats' liberal base didn't show up in great enough numbers to protect its majority; if Mr. Obama were too liberal, why didn't liberal voters show up more? The "liberal" media doesn't appear to know the answer. FAIR tabulates other "liberal" media myths, including Mr. Obama's purported "muscling" of his agenda (when the Senate hasn't voted on over 300 House-passed bills) and Mr. Obama's "failure" to reach out to Republicans (when Mr. Obama watered down every last initiative just to attract Republican support). But America's Last Conservative, Paul Craig Roberts, offers a more pessimistic analysis: when the two parties are essentially the same, relying on the same corporations for campaign funding, voters tend to punish incumbents of whichever party whenever things go wrong. His outlook gets worse from there. Mr. Obama could punch through Mr. Roberts's pessimism with a massive jobs program dedicated to renewable energy, but I doubt he has the will.