Monday, January 25, 2010

Citizens United: A Week Later

The founding fathers had no intention of granting corporations freedoms of individuals. This Supreme Court decision is a travesty.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Go Left, President Obama, Go Left!

A lot has been written about the election in Massachusetts and what it means for the the Democratic Party and President Obama's agenda. Of course, the Republicans have been all over the airwaves insisting that this means that the country is not in favor of President Obama's "far left" agenda. My fear is that the Democrats are listening. I contend that the Massachusetts election results mean that the Obama Administration hasn't gone left enough, and here is why.

When President Obama was elected, the country was going through a severe financial crisis and dwindling support of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was swept into office on a sea of hope and change. It appears that the President was hopeful that the seriousness of the situation our country was facing would be the catalyst for true collaboration between the Democratic and Republican parties for the good of the country. However, he underestimated the tenacity of the Republicans and how much they prioritize politics and power over country. He got caught in a trap of seeking common ground and compromise, while the other side never intended to compromise at all. A perfect example is what happened with the stimulus package. The final bill was a watered-down version, including a huge percentage of tax cuts instead of job creation components. Economists, such as Paul Krugman, said it was no time to worry about the deficit and that we should have spent way more on the stimulus for it to be highly effective. And what did Obama get for this compromise? Not one single House Republican vote. And watered down stimulus meant watered down results.

The same thing happened with health care reform. The Democrats actually started from a position of compromise by not even putting single payer on the table. Then, they gave away public option, all to appease these supposedly moderate Republicans and conservative "Democrats". Time was squandered with negotiation and compromise until the Democrats lost their sixty-vote super-majority anyway.

Obama has increased troops to Afghanistan, has not repealed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", has not investigated the war crimes of the Bush/Cheney Administration, and has not pushed financial industry reform.

So, the end result is that progressive Democrats are disappointed and even though there are signs of improvement in the economy, many are still hurting. For those people, it is easiest to blame the party currently in power and to forget about the eight years of Bush policy that led us here.

By watering down the platform, President Obama has watered down the passion that got him and many other Democrats elected. He has succeeded in finding a middle ground but one that no one is happy with.

That is why I say now is not the time to move even more towards the middle. If we stand on the principles that economic stimulus and health care reform are good for the country, that the wars are unjustified, ineffective against terrorism and a drain of our resources, that the financial services industry need to be regulated so that those who caused the global financial crisis are not still raking in billions of dollars in bonuses and still capable of making the same mistakes that got us here, then we cannot buy the self-serving analysis from the right. Now is the time to stand on principle and go left, President Obama, go left!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Best Jon Stewart Line Ever

I just watched tonight's "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart", and it led off with the situation in Massachusetts, which I wrote about earlier today. Leave it to Jon Stewart to lend some perspective, basically pounding on Democrats for being so gutless that they are allowing the Republicans to wield immense power as a minority party. The video isn't up yet, but here is Jon Stewart's best. line. ever.

"Let me see if I have this straight. You need to replace perhaps the most beloved liberal in the history of the Senate with a candidate that believes Curt Schilling is a Yankee fan, because if this lady loses, the healthcare reform bill that the beloved late Senator considered his legacy will die. And the reason it will because if Coakley loses, Democrats will only then have a 18-vote majority in the Senate, which is more than President Bush ever had in the Senate when he did whatever the fuck he wanted to do."

Senate Race in Massachusetts

Election Day is tomorrow, and in Massachusetts, the stakes could not be higher. Martha Coakley is the Democrat running for the late Senator Kennedy's long-held seat in the U.S. Senate. Unbelievably, the race is very close, and the Republican could possibly win. This would take away the Democrats' so-called supermajority and basically kill health care reform and probably anything on President Obama's agenda.

I have tried to figure out what is going on. Basically, I have seen commentary that Martha Coakley "deserves to lose" because she appears to have taken her victory for granted. Really? Because, in punishing her for her supposed "hubris", the Massachusetts voters will hand power over to the Republicans to obstruct anything and everything to their hearts' delight. Nothing will get done, and they will achieve their goal of making President Obama ineffective.

For those who are frustrated with the Democrats for not being stronger advocates for progressive ideals, sitting idly by while the Republicans get the 41st vote they crave to shut down the Senate is not the answer. The answer is to maintain the supermajority and make our voices heard even louder. We need to make sure our representatives know that we voted for change, and we are not satisfied with the status quo. Principles are more important than bipartisanship.

And don't forget to look at the other guy, here is a great summary of why Scott Brown is a horrible choice.

If you live in Massachusetts, please go out and vote for Martha Coakley and convince everyone you know to do the same. The stakes are just too high.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

My Post Syndicated on BlogHer!

I am very excited that my post on Republican hypocrisy was selected to be syndicated by BlogHer, the leading participatory news, entertainment and information network for women online. It is on the front page right now! Please check it out!