Well with a shrunken majority in the SENATE with final outcome of 2010 elections not yet complete the DEMS clung to a bare majority in the SENATE. Looks like the Delaware race was key to GOP not gain majority in that house also. The numbers in the HOUSE are somewhat intimidating but hey just less than 800 days until next election. That one will probably see up to 25 new Congressional districts made safe for GOP by redistricting.
So I argue it is time for the DEMS to call the bluff of the GOP and the TEA PARTY.
I would argue that IMMIGRATION REFORM, IMMIGRATION REFORM, IMMIGRATION REFORM should be the principal issue for the Administration and for the DEMS in Congress. That's it the one major new initiative. The failure of the DEMS to overwhelmingly support the BUSH/Chertoff proposal, largely defeated in the SENATE by the GOP was a major error in stance.
Oddly some items are going to favor the taking on of this issue with three large subsets that cannot be avoided by the Republicans. First, MEXICO. By 2012 issues involving MEXICO will be huge with Mexican Drug Cartels having a major presence in over 200 US cities and violence endemic on the border. The return to Mexico of many workers driven south by the recession/depression will have some impact on Mexican politics. Second, the end of the CASTRO brothers rule of CUBA is becoming more likely. CUBAN policy and US posture towards CUBA is likely to become a major issue with Marc Rubio leading the charge on Cuban issues in the SENATE. His decisions could be crucial for future US/CUBAN relations. Third, the tragedy of Haiti, where on a bipartisan basis since the Haitian Revolution, the racist and paternalistic policies of the US towards the first free black nation in the world after the TREATY of WESTPHALIA in 1648 created the Nation-State system, means that the large scale "domestic" disaster continuing after last January's earthquake, will continue to be a nightmare for the OBAMA Administration, that cannot but regret its insignificant support of democracy in Haiti. FRANCE could also be a big help and still might be in Haiti for the US. It would start with an anti-corruption drive by the US, FRANCE, and the UN. Of course none of the above are stellar in their own internal anti-corruption efforts.
Next, what should the Republicans do? But that will come later after I see how the Committee Chairs line up for the GOP in the HOUSE.
One piece of good news is that it is looking like Peter King (R. of NY) will be the new HOMELAND SECURITY Chairman. His brain power and political skills are very high in the entire HOUSE and perhaps the first complete Authorization Bill ever for DHS and its programs, functions, and activities will result. He could start with identification of those programs, functions, and activities that have no business being in DHS. A somewhat lengthy list adding up to as much as 30% of the Department's total operations.