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Posts tagged ‘Democrats’

Will Rogers, President Carter, and Senator Reid

When President Carter returned from his well earned obscurity to again ruin my weekend, a blog post to that effect resulted in some bewilderment about why an argument from 1980 should be so important today. To me, and I think to others who remember those days, what this twerp, who I voted for twice (holding my nose the second time) said about one legislative battle over health care insurance said so much about today, and why things seem so bleak, that a fuller explanation seemed to be required for those who think that if only Senator Reid would allow the Senate to vote on the extension of the tax cuts enacted at the insistence of President G W Bush, things would be different.

This is that explanation, but it requires a quick, fractured review of history which, hope spring eternal, will at least hold the attention of a dozen people:

It is considered one big yuck from the black and white thirties: Will Rogers’ famous remark about not belonging to an organized political party, but when he said it shortly before he was killed in an airplane crash in 1935, the Democratic Party to which he belonged had truly become two separate factions, bound together for electoral purposes, but hardly by philosophy. There was the newer factions, New Dealers who were remaking the country and the party as the country veered from the edges of revolution to recovery from a global depression that had thrown Europe into turmoil.

Then there was the historic Democratic Party: the remnants of the southern opposition to Lincoln’s determination to keep the country together even if it meant the end of slavery and the party that was able to replace “reconstruction” with “Jim Crow” so as to maintain as much of what was described benignly as a “southern way of life” as was possible even after the forced labor which made that possible was nominally ended.

This “marriage of convenience” was on the path to destruction when the New Deal it made possible began to change the relationship of the federal government to the people who needed its help. President Roosevelt knew this: at the first opportunity he forced a change in how the party nominated its presidential candidates to rid it of the 2/3rds rule which essentially gave the southern “Democrats” veto power of the nominee since nobody could win until at least some southern states agreed.

The final end came, of course, after the passage of the Civil and Voting Rights Acts in 1965 and 1966. As President Johnson famously told Bill Moyers those pieces of legislation would finally cost the party the south, but since the “Dixiecrats” nominated Strom Thurmond for president in 1948 after a civil rights plank was adopted in the Democratic Party platform was adopted, the die had been permanently cast.

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Republicans pledge to hasten the consolidation of wealth. Democrats pledge to help them.

By failing to address the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, the Democratic Party is all but ensuring the extension of tax cuts to the wealthiest 2% of the nation, and at least an additional 3.7 trillion dollars of budget shortfall for the foreseeable future.

If this is true – and it appears to be – then this will go down as one of the stupidest moves by the spineless weasels on the Hill – and that’s saying a lot for this crop of morons.   This was a win-win for the party – offer a needed tax break to 98% of the population, and force the Republicans to defend giving a break to the most privileged class in the nation.

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BATSHIT CRAZY WINS. ROVER ROLLS OVER

It is truly a poignant commentary on the state of the Republican Party when Bush’s Brain gets excoriated for daring to articulate what everyone this side of Wingnutistan realizes – Chris O’Donnell is BATSHIT CRAZY.

Its one thing when (semi) rational conservative thinkers like David Frum get driven out of the herd for pointing out that the tea-bagged loonies are savaging the GOP’s long term viability for some short term success – and by success I mean cable TV ratings.  But it’s something else entirely when Wingnutistan’s former Mufti of Misinformation gets a tea-bag Fatwa of Heresy for speaking the truth for the first time since he admitted that without the WMD lie, the Iraq war might never have happened.

To say O’Donnell is extreme is putting it mildly.  O’Donnell is, of course, famous for her Anti-Masturbation crusade, which would likely earn her the private enmity of her potential Congressional colleagues, many of whom frequently beat their own drums, so-to-speak.  But that’s just a small taste of her crazy.

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The Gift of Fear

Fear, a gift? Think about it. If we listen to our fear, it can keep us from doing some incredibly stupid things.

In 1997, Gavin de Becker wrote a self-help book called “The Gift of Fear.” In it he discusses fear and it’s role in keeping us safe in the face of violence in a number of circumstances, dating, the workplace, home…

He doesn’t mention politics or voting, but I can see the application. Think of it in terms of fight or flight.

Are we going run away and hide from the big scary republicans? Or are we going use our fear of what they are trying to do to this country and fight?

We’ve heard a lot lately about the enthusiasm gap, and how people are so disappointed in Obama that they are just shutting down, and are prepared to stay home. The republicans are using their fear of the big scary black man who is a socialist, facist, marxist, nazi, Kenyan anti-Christ to motivate people to get to the polls and vote for ignorant, loud-mouthed bigots. Meanwhile many, including a large chuck of the left and indies, sound like they are willing to stick their tails between their legs and either stay home or worse yet actually vote for these cretins.

If you just can’t think of one other reason to get off your butt and vote for a dem, any dem, (and I REALLY hope you can, because there are many) do it out of fear.

If they have been able to screw over us so completely as the minority party, just think of what they can do if they (aided and abetted by a handful of gutless wonders with Ds after their names) are the majority party.

It ain’t pretty, and it ain’t right, but we have 2 choices (as I used to say to my kids when I presented them with 2 options, neither of which they liked.) We can stay home/vote repub/vote 3rd party (all of which equal voting repub)  KNOWING that bad things will happen. OR, we can fight, force ourselves to get enthusiastic and vote for the dems no matter what, and have SOME hope that the bad things won’t happen…

I know it is a little dramatic, but work with me on this analogy…

It’s like when a bad man tries to drag you into his van…you are better off fighting like hell and taking the chance you might be harmed in the process, but have the chance of escaping, rather than going with him quietly KNOWING bad things, up to and including dying, will happen.

Is letting the repubs back in control akin to a life and death situation? You know what? For some of us, that answer truly is, YES.

Two Articles Your Right-Leaning Friends Should Read

While perusing the web today, I stumbled upon these two articles that really scared the hell out of me.  I think every right-leaning Independent and every Republican should read these.  So please share them with whomever you know:

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_09/025622.php

Right around the time President Obama was presenting his vision for the economy at a White House press conference, Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.), the vice chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, spoke to disgraced lobbyist Ralph Reed’s right-wing confab, and offered a vision of his own.

If Republicans take back the House, Westmoreland said, they would use their new majority to force a budget battle akin to the fight staged by former Speaker Newt Gingrich with President Clinton and shut down the federal government. Westmoreland cautioned that he was fully aware that such a move would close down hospitals for veterans and shut down National Parks. But, Westmoreland argued that taking down the government is worth “the pain” because health reform and government programs are like a “gangrene” that “need to be cleaned out.”

I mention this for two reasons. The first is that the mainstream American electorate probably has no idea just how radical the Republican agenda would be next year. By one credible estimate, the GOP now has about a two-in-three chance of claiming a House majority, and it’s very likely that much of the country will ask themselves, in early 2011, “Wait, we voted for what?”

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_09/025619.php

…. At yesterday’s White House press conference, Bloomberg reporter Hans Nichols asked President Obama about the likelihood of appointing Elizabeth Warren to the new consumer financial protection bureau. The president certainly seemed to be leaning in that direction. Nichols followed up, asking if Obama’s concerned about the Senate confirmation process.

“I’m concerned about all Senate confirmations these days,” the president responded. When the reporter chuckled, Obama added, “Hans, I wasn’t trying to be funny. I am concerned about all Senate nominations these days.”

What the heck – show these two stories to your left-leaning friends, your fellow Democrats, too.  Be sure they all understand why it is to important we get out and vote this year.  If you can volunteer for a local campaign, or make donations to one (or several),  that’s even better.  But please, send these articles around so that everyone you know understands what we’re up against.

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