Tis the Season
There are a lot of interesting local races – our own Howard Wayne for City Council, Stephen Whitburn for County Supervisor, former teacher of the year Kevin Beiser for School Board just to name a few. There are hotly contested Governor and Senate races that need all the help they can get. Nationally we might take it on the chin this series of elections but locally San Diego County could see Democratic gains. Please visit www.sddemocrats.org to see the SDCDP endorsed candidates with links to all the candidates websites and listing of candidate events.
Republican Farm Team
If you ever wondered where the likes of Bohner or Delay or Newt come from you’ve really got to give Councilman Phil Davison of Minerva, Ohio a look. It’s hard to even describe how crazy this guy sounds and I say that knowing that there are a lot or Republican crazies. You won’t disappointed, give it a look…
New Poll Shows More Americans Want a Government That Does More, Not Less
Today, Project Vote released What Happened to Hope and Change? A Poll of 2008 Voters, a new report summarizing the results of a telephone survey of 1,947 Americans who voted in 2008, analyzing their views on the role of the government, government spending, and the budget. This unique poll not only surveys the historic 2008 electorate, but also includes special samples of black, low-income, and youth voters, and compares these groups both to a national sample and to self-identified “Tea Party” sympathizers. “We wanted to learn more about the views of the black, youth, and low-income voters who overwhelmingly participated in 2008 election,” said Lorraine C. Minnite, director of research for Project Vote. “These voters represent roughly a third of the electorate, they will play an increasingly important role in American politics, and they fundamentally believe in a government that does more, not less. Yet their voices are largely ignored, and their views are not being represented.”
Instead, the new report says, over the past two years the opinions and values of these populations have been drowned out by the anti-government rhetoric of more affluent, older, and mostly white Americans who have organized under the “Tea Party” banner. “The new poll from Project Vote provides essential information about these young people’s hopes and beliefs in 2010.” Project Vote’s analysis reveals that black voters, low-income voters, and young voters have starkly different views about the role of government, federal spending priorities, and the budget deficit than “Tea Party” sympathizers, and in fact are far closer to the views of the 2008 electorate as a whole. According to the poll, majorities of black, young, and low-income voters support:
- Increasing taxes on investment income, increasing social security taxes on incomes greater than $107,000, and ending combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan as a means to reduce the deficit.
- Spending money on infrastructure, as do two-thirds of all 2008 voters.
- Spending the same or more on income support programs such as Food Stamps for less well-off Americans. Two-thirds of Tea Party sympathizers support spending less.
- Tea Party sympathizers, while almost universally dissatisfied with the way the country is going, report they themselves are doing very well: more than three out of four say their personal economic situation is fairly good or very good.
- Meanwhile, one in five young voters, and nearly two out of five black voters and low-income voters, reported that there were times in the past 12 months when they did not have enough money to buy food for their families. Just over one in 20 Tea Party supporters said the same.
- Strong majorities of black voters, young voters, and low-income voters agree that government should work to provide for the needs of all citizens. Half of all voters agreed with that sentiment, while only one in five Tea Party sympathizers agreed.
- Together, the three “surge” groups represent a larger portion of the electorate than those who self-identify with the Tea Party.
- “The Project Vote poll of 2008 voters casts an extraordinarily bright and hopeful light on the future of American electoral politics,” said Frances Fox Piven, Project Vote board member and Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Sociology at the Graduate School and University Center, CUNY.
The poll finds that the policy preferences of these three voting constituencies are far more closely aligned with the views of average Americans—represented by the poll’s national sample—than the minority views of the self-identified Tea Party sympathizers. “What Project Vote’s poll shows is that the views on government held by progressives represent the majority,” said James Rucker, executive director and co-founder of Color of Change. “We shouldn’t let Tea Party activists convince us that we, and not they, are the minority.”
Why Are Some Democrats so Unhappy – by Matt Finnegan
I feel a little guilty when I get my weekly call or daily mailing explaining why the Democrats are really great and why I should donate and volunteer. When it’s a call I talk to the fundraisers and explain that bottom line I’m angry with the Democratic Leadership and while I’ll definitely vote and vote Democratic that’s where my support stops this year. The response from the DNC or DSCC or DCCC fundraiser is either that I don’t understand all that’s been accomplished or that the Republican’s are so bad – do I really want them back in power.
I think I follow national politics closer than 90% of the population. I also think I do a pretty good job of understanding the issues at hand and some of the details of what does and doesn’t get passed. I definitely don’t want the R’s back in power.
I’ve found myself asking what is it that makes me so disillusioned with what I thought could have been accomplished versus what has been accomplished. I’ve seen the list of accomplishments and it’s not insignificant. A part of me wants to focus on what the alternative could be and be happy that it’s so much better than Bush. But….the other part of me with a balance of logic and lost enthusiasm feels robbed. So here is why I think some Democrats are so Unhappy
1) Failed Bi-Partisanship – I assumed Obama would tack back to the left after the General in particular relative to Bi-Partisanship. I fully expected efforts would be made to reach out to the other side but I was surprised that it went on forever and until about 90 days before this election it was still lingering. The Democratic Party is trying to be Bi-Partisan with Republican Party Leaders that think the 17th Amendment should be Repealed; Tax Cuts don’t have to be offset but Unemployment Benefits do; Obama himself might or might not be from Kenya, a Muslim, and/or a Socialist and that’s the supposed serious leaders of the loyal opposition. From death panel’s on the idea of Bi-Partisanship was ridiculous. For the last 10 years Reality has had a Liberal bias but somehow the Democrats don’t seem to be able to win any number of arguments with a Republican Party that would kick Reagan out as a flaming liberal.
2) Healthcare Reform – Not only did we not get a Public Option but Single Payer was never seriously considered. As the debate dragged on while deals were cut with big pharma and the Democratic Leadership couldn’t seem to be able to count to 60. Reconciliation could have been used far earlier avoiding months of socialized medicine and death panel complaints. Beyond that Healthcare Reform is the gift that keeps giving everytime an insurance company raises rates 20% claims of victory on healthcare seem hollow. One has to wonder if a Public Option wouldn’t have kept the insurance companies a little more honest. Shortly after Healthcare Reform’s passage I remember Jesse Durfee saying that the Republican’s had fought tooth and nail but the Democrats had gotten it done. On hearing this I couldn’t help but think when were the Democrats going to fight tooth and nail.
3) Financial Reform – Does anyone think that any of the top 10 US banks are not too big to fail? Does anyone think those same banks have acted in the country’s best interest in renegotiating underwater mortgages or lowered their leverage ratios to the level previously mandated by Glass-Steagall? Can America feel safe that there is not another derivative crisis around the corner? I’ll give 3 to 1 to anyone who wants to bet there won’t be another bailout in the next 10 years. Elizabeth Warren has the potential to be a great advocate for consumers. I’d feel even better about her choice if it had happen a couple of months ago and I didn’t think it was a bone thrown to the Left 60 days before an election. After the savings and loan scandal of the 1990’s over 1,000 criminal referrals were filed by the Justice Dept. One wonders if anything near that many of predatory lenders, Wall Street con artists, and fraudulent mortgage brokers were frog marched into court if working class people would have felt a measure of justice was obtained in this last debacle and not be so angry now.
4) Bush Tax Cuts – Let’s have the debate. Force a vote in the next two weeks on if tax cuts for those making less than $250,000 a year should be extended while those for those making more than $250,000 are not. While we’re at it lets have a discussion on if dividend income should be taxed at a lower rate than wages because the sweat off a worker’s brow should not be taxed at a higher rate than a trust fund brat’s dividend checks. Same argument for capital gains for all but real small business owners. This is budgetary so could be passed via Reconcilation and if 10% of the caucus wants to vote with the Republicans fine. Voters will know who to primary out next time around.
5) Civil Rights – Of course Obama is better than Bush but Guantanamo is still open because while no one has ever escaped from a maximum security federal prison apparently the Guantanamo prisoners are second only to Criss Angel and Houdini as escape artists. Here is another case where I have no idea why we can’t win the argument. Military commissions are still a mess, the administration still uses state secrets to shield themselves from litigation, there was no prosecution for criminal acts of the Bush administration and surveillance powers put in place under the Patriot Act have been renewed.
6) War – While Iraq combat operations are over on Sunday six car bombs detonated across Baghdad and a suicide bomber blew up a car in nearby Fallujah, killing a total of 37 people and wounding more than 100 in the deadliest day of violence in Iraq since the United States announced the end of combat operations three weeks ago. In Afghanistan Tuesday’s helicopter crash brings the NATO fatalities in 2010 to 529 making it the deadliest year for NATO troops since 2001. While Obama with qualification says we are out in 2011 the generals don’t seem so sure about this. (continued on next page)
7) Mid Term Elections and the Future – I don’t know when or if I’ll ever again see Democratic majorities of 18 in the Senate and 77 in the House but I don’t think they’ll be there on November 3rd. Let’s be optimistic and say the Dems loose 4 Senate seats and 28 House seats I have a hard time seeing this Administration and Democratic Party fighting for a more progressive agenda. We’ll never know if a $1.3 trillion stimulus would have worked better than the $800K or if only giving bailouts in exchange for real regulatory reform would of worked. We won’t know what effect a public option would have had in keeping untrustworthy Insurance companies honest. We won’t know if prosecuting torturers and their masters would have disgraced the worst of the offenders to such a degree as to make them toxic. We won’t know what would have happen if a true progressive had fought tooth and nail for the working poor and middle class of this country. You know someone who represented real change as opposed to pocket change but maybe we’ll have a chance again in 20 years or so.
By the way in case you missed it 8 days ago (48 days before the midterm elections) DNC Chairmen, Tim Kaine, had a big announcement unveiling a new DNC logo and slogan – “Change that Matter”. Remind me again why we replaced Howard “50 State Strategy” Dean. The RNC has the Tea Party and the DNC has a new logo…
(It’ way better in color) (not really)
P. S. The above was more than enough negative but I had to. If you can take some more I would encourage you to take a look at http://mydd.com/users/theyoungturks/posts/why-does-barack-obama-love-the-establishment-so-much
In the same way many of us were looking at Elizabeth Warren and not renewing tax cuts for millionaires as the latest decisions that show how liberal Obama is this article points to a set of decision that could shape at least in part the next 2 years.
Favorite Jon Stewart line of the Year
Jon Stewart’s gives the reply to a Wall Street hedge fund manager’s question to President Obama that you wish he could have given. Realistically he couldn’t of but it’s my favorite Jon Stewart line of the year. Give it a look.
HOLD THE DAMN VOTES…. from Steve Benen www.washingtonmontly.com
The debate over tax policy would appear to be tough for Dems to screw up. Republicans set their lower tax rates to expire at the end of the year — President Obama and the public want to keep the lower rates for the middle class (price tag: about $3 trillion to the debt over the next decade), while Republicans want that and breaks for the wealthy, disproportionately benefiting millionaires and billionaires (price tag: about $4 trillion to the debt over the next decade). The smart move for Democrats, it seems, would be to hold a vote on Obama’s proposed middle-class tax breaks — before, you know, the election — and dare Republicans to reject it. Greg Sargent reports today that the smart move isn’t going over especially well.
A number of “moderate” House Dems have privately given Nancy Pelosi and other Dem leaders an earful in recent days, urging them not to hold a vote on whether to extend just the middle class tax cuts and not the high end ones, because it will leave them vulnerable to Republican ads, sources involved in the discussions tell me. […] Three dozen moderate Dems have signed a letter to Dem leaders demanding a vote on extending all the tax cuts. And behind the scenes, they are telling House Dem leaders in no uncertain terms that they don’t want a vote focused on just the middle class ones, the sources say. The leadership aide says moderates are complaining that if they take the vote, “they’ll be subject to a 30 second ad saying they raised taxes.”
I hate to be the one who breaks this to Dems, but they’ll probably have to face those ads anyway. It doesn’t matter if it’s wrong. Republicans may have rejected the tax cuts in the stimulus, and the tax cuts in the health care bill, and the tax cuts for small businesses, but they also have a tendency to make stuff up in attack ads. Giving the GOP what it wants rarely helps — it tends to just encourage them to be even more irresponsible. With that in mind, why not take the step that’s better public policy and politically smart? Why not focus pre-election energies into cutting taxes for the middle class?
Indeed, why not make a really big deal about the fact that Democrats are fighting to pass middle-class tax cuts and have had to fight Republicans tooth and nail to make it happen? More specifically, like Jon Chait, I continue to think the best of all strategies would be to hold two votes: one for the lower middle-class rates and one for breaks for the top 2%. If Dems are panicky, they can vote for both. If Republicans hold them hostage, that becomes the basis for a major campaign issue.
If push comes to shove, and both pass, the president could even veto the latter and explain we can’t afford more breaks for millionaires. All Dems have to do is Hold. The. Damn. Votes.