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Losing a special election in Massachusetts and seeing Democrats retiring in the Senate does not mean that we should back down from what we believe in.  It doesn’t mean we should give up on quality, affordable health care for every American. It doesn’t mean we should give up on working for a new energy strategy for the 21st century.  And it certainly does not mean we should give up on fighting for the middle class families that put us in office.

Over the last six months, we’ve all seen the stories about how Democrats have suffered some electoral and legislative setbacks.  And to add insult to injury, many in our party and the pundit class have predicted that all is lost for Democrats in 2010. They say we don’t have a chance to win in November, and in the meantime, we won’t accomplish anything the American people desperately need: good jobs, a new energy strategy, quality health care, and a safer world.

There are lessons to be learned from the last year, but wimping out isn’t one of them.  Losing a special election in Massachusetts and seeing Democrats retiring in the Senate does not mean that we should back down from what we believe in.  It doesn’t mean we should give up on quality, affordable health care for every American. It doesn’t mean we should give up on working for a new energy strategy for the 21st century.  And it certainly does not mean we should give up on fighting for the middle class families that put us in office.

I have one message for Democrats around the country: Get over it.  It’s time to pick ourselves up and work together to get done what we set out to do and win in November.

We know our ideas are better than what Washington Republicans have to offer. We truly care about the middle class while the Republicans are in the tank for insurance executives, oil companies, Wall Street bankers and the special interests in Washington. Our agenda would help rebuild the middle class in America. Their agenda would keep the status quo, or worse still, take us backwards.

On health care, the status quo is simply unacceptable. We know that without quality, affordable health care, small business can’t start growing again. They can’t create new jobs under the crushing costs of health insurance premiums that enrich a few insurance executives but leave middle class families and small businesses holding the bag.  The Republican plan for health care covers fewer Americans, plain and simple. Their plan would take away protections you already have, and it would allow insurance executives to pick and choose what illness of yours they cover.

And, it’s not just health care where the Republicans’ ideas are wrong for America. The Republican agenda would ignore global warming, gamble your social security in the stock market and offer tax giveaways to the wealthiest Americans and big corporations.

The Washington Republican Party and their tea-party allies would take us back to the Bush years that were disastrous for our country.  Now is not the time for Democrats to shy away from a fight, to back down or run away from who we are.  There is too much at stake.

This election is a simple choice: we either move forward with an agenda to rebuild the middle class, or we continue to make the same mistakes we have for the last eight years.

And with 59 seats in the Senate, a 70-plus majority in the House and control of the White House, Democrats must step up to the plate.  We have to stop the hand-wringing, worrying and whining.  Let’s get to work.  We can start by creating rules of the road on Wall Street, getting our deficit under control and most importantly, solving the health care crisis that is worsening under our watch.

If we respond to recent adversity by giving up or walking away from who we are, we don’t deserve to have the honor of serving the American people. This Democrat won’t be backing down one bit, and you shouldn’t either.  

Originally posted to Congressman Paul Hodes on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 02:28 PM PST.

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