U.S. Rep. Steve Kagen shifted the boisterous mood of the crowd to a decidedly serious tone, blasting the White House and President Bush for taking the country to war in Iraq on false pretenses and delegitimizing presidential elections where "all votes are not counted."
"We have a lot of cleaning up to do in Washington," said Kagen. "People across the country demanded change and we delivered."
"The 110th Congress is fiscally and socially responsible."
Kagen commended fellow Democrats for raising the minimum wage, striving toward energy independence, accepting environmental accountability, and passing veteran's health care while also praising his home state for leading the way on health care reform.
"Don't think it's doctors or nurses that determine who live or die, it's politicians," said Kagen while quoting a Native American activist he heard as a young man.
Kagen continued lashing the Bush Administration, commenting that yesterday's decision by a U.S. Supreme Court influenced by Bush appointees once again brought back segregation in schools.
Kagen said Americans still face the reality of Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Karl Rove in the White House, drawing a strong chorus of boos from the audience as he said each of their names.
Kagen also called for ending the Iraq war.
"Until we change the color of the White House door from red to blue, we will be unable to stop this war."
"Folks, if you still don't understand it, making war is our worst human failure."-- By Patrick Fizgerald