"As part of the new approach, House and Senate Democrats are devising an alternative agenda of key policies. Ryan is pushing proposals aimed at drastically reducing the number of abortions over the coming decade by offering support and services to pregnant women. Others are crafting a plan for reducing U.S. dependence on imported oil by using more domestic agricultural products, an approach that would have significant appeal to Midwestern voters.
"'We can't be Dr. No to everything Republicans do,' said Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.). 'We have to provide our own positive ideas.'
"The rise of the new breed, including Rep. Rahm Emanuel (Ill.), the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and Barack Obama (Ill.), the Senate's only African American and the keynote speaker at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, marks a generational divide in a party long dominated by Northeastern liberals and Southern conservatives.
"Unlike some of their forbears, the newcomers are pragmatists who view the past decade of GOP rule not as an aberration but as a sea change in political campaigning, fundraising and lobbying to which Democrats must adjust. They arrived in Washington as challengers and are comfortable questioning the establishmentbecause they have not been part of it." ...