Tag Archives: Democrats

A Mid-Term Message to Young Voters

We hear it over and over from the pundit class: Democrats have a chance to take over the House (and maybe the Senate) this year — but younger voters can’t be relied upon to turn out on Election Day.

In fact, many older Democrats that I know agree with the pundits. They don’t think you’ll turn out and vote on November 6th.

They don’t think you’ll vote in big numbers because that’s what history tells them. Statistically, older voters are more likely to vote.

IMG_7069Some older Democrats think that younger voters are not realistic, or too impatient, or too easily swayed by fringe candidates on the extreme left…

But I have three bright daughters between the ages of 38 and 23 – and I know that all of you young people are going to vote this Election Day.

I know you’re going to vote because Donald Trump must be stopped.

I know you’re going to vote because Climate Change is real.

IMG_6422I know you’re going to vote because the Parkland students have inspired us all to fight for sane gun laws.

I know you’re going to vote because GOP white supremacy and misogyny is off the charts.

I know you’re going to vote because GOP state officials are always coming up with legislative schemes to keep college voters and people of color from casting their votes – and that should piss you off!

IMG_6452I know you’re going to vote because Brett Kavanaugh is an embarrassment to the Supreme Court.

I know you’re going to vote because our future depends on it.

And you have a lot more future ahead of you than we do.

So, prove the old farts wrong. Show up at the polls on November 6th– and vote for a better future for America by kicking Republicans out of office. There are lots of exciting, progressive Democratic candidates to support. They need your votes.

But it’s not enough to vote. I know you’re going to vote. But you’ve also got to volunteer – and help get the vote out.

To volunteer, go to: https://multiplyyourvote2018.paperform.co

See you at the polls!IMG_6449

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Don’t Just Vote. Volunteer!

I had the privilege of producing this PSA along with my good friend, Brad Hall. It’s part of a social media campaign to encourage folks to volunteer to work for Democratic victory in the midterm elections on November 6th. Progressives must mobilize for these midterms like never before. Every vote counts. Give Democrats the gavels in those House committees and we’ll have a real check on the Mango Mussolini and his enabling GOP cohort in Congress.

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Vote for Bernie (& Hillary, Too!)

635501804068694446-2016IowaCaucus-720x163Iowa Banner 2Iowa Banner 3Tonight, Americans will begin the process of choosing their next President when voters across the state of Iowa gather to participate in a strange democratic ritual known as the Iowa Caucuses.

iowa-county-mapRepublicans and Democrats (and Independents joining one of the two major parties for the night) will get the electoral ball rolling just as a major winter storm threatens to keep them from congregating in large numbers at the 1,681 caucuses across the state.

I understand there will also be one Democratic telecaucus. I have no idea what a “telecaucus” is. (Sounds like a dinosaur.) I’m surprised I haven’t heard Rachel Maddow try to explain it to me dozens of times in the past two weeks.

For the Republicans, the caucus is a relatively simple affair: show up, register your vote, and go home to your warm hearth and home.

web1_0_no_image_title_151Democrats, however, will play an oddball game of musical chairs – herding themselves into “Presidential preference groups” supporting the candidate of their choice. Candidates who don’t garner the support of at least 15 percent of the folks in the room are no longer “viable” and their supporters can either “acquire people into their group to become viable” — or switch chairs and join another viable candidate’s herd. Sort of like a Midwestern political mating ritual.

screen-shot-2016-01-31-at-8-31-17-pmThen, in order to determine which candidate has won the most delegates at the caucus, the Democratic Party of Iowa uses this simple equation:

“(Attendees in preference group × Total delegates the caucus elects) ÷ Total number of eligible attendees = Delegates for group to elect”

Math was never my favorite subject, but I’m sure Iowa Democratic Party officials will eventually determine who came out on top in the Iowa Caucuses – and then the Presidential pageant will move on to New Hampshire and beyond.

bernie_2It’s my hope that Senator Bernie Sanders will emerge from the Iowa Caucuses with a victory – and that he’ll score another win in New Hampshire. I’ve been listening to Bernie for years, and I like his vote against the Iraq War, his passion for advancing the interests of the poor and middle class, and his refusal to accept Wall Street greed and rapacity.

I hope Bernie continues to mount a positive, uplifting and inspiring state-by-state primary challenge. I want to see him come to the convention with a ton of delegates. I’d love to see him become the Democratic nominee.

And I think Senator Sanders will mop the floor with Donald Trump or Ted Cruz or anyone else the Republicans serve up. (Plus, it’ll be fun to keep watching Larry David’s Bernie imitation on SNL.)

081815_otr_panelBut if Bernie doesn’t win the nomination – I will happily support Hillary Clinton.

And every progressive in America should do the same.

Alas, I’m starting to hear the same kind of “cut off your nose to spite your face” foolishness among some liberal friends about how they just can’t support Hillary. They’ll sit this one out if Bernie isn’t the nominee. Or they’ll vote third party. Yeah. Just like the Naderites couldn’t support Al Gore, spouting the nonsense that “both parties are the same.”

300px-2000aWe can thank such high-minded yet unimaginative progressives for the slim electoral margin that gave the GOP the White House in 2000 and the 8-year fiasco that was George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

Don’t believe it? Here’s a quick history lesson. Bush won with 271 electoral votes. Gore had 266. New Hampshire was worth 4 electoral votes.

And here’s what happened in New Hampshire:NH

Do the math. If the progressives backing Nader had voted for Gore — Gore would’ve taken the Presidency 270-267.

Both parties are the same? Really?

140416_POL_BarackObama.jpg.CROP.promo-mediumlargeDo my well-meaning pro-Bernie/anti-Hillary progressive friends actually believe that Al Gore and George W. Bush are both climate change deniers? That President Obama and George W. Bush are the same on LGBT issues, a woman’s right to choose, and voting rights? Do they really feel that President Hillary Clinton and President Cruz or Trump will make appoint the same type of Justices to the Supreme Court? I could go on and on.

bernie-sandersI love me some Bernie Sanders. I really do. But if you think there’s no real difference between the Republican and Democratic parties then show me a self-avowed Socialist running in GOP primaries and calling for a political revolution in a GOP debate?

Senator Bernie Sander is not only welcome in the Democratic Party – he has a puncher’s chance of winning the Democratic nomination for President. And I hope he does.

But if he doesn’t – I’ll be a happy warrior for Hillary.

Let’s keep the “progress” in progressive.

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President Obama Shreds the Pundits.

121012_barack_obama_speaks_ap_328Screen Shot 2014-05-23 at 1.25.45 PMPresident Obama made the following remarks at a recent fundraiser, calling out the false equivalency narratives spun by the insufferable, Beltway-blinkered poobahs of the pundit class. He should continue to say these things publicly and emphatically – just like Harry Truman would have – all the way up to the mid-term elections.

“You’ll hear if you watch the nightly news or you read the newspapers that, well, there’s gridlock, Congress is broken, approval ratings for Congress are terrible.  And there’s a tendency to say, a plague on both your houses. 

“But the truth of the matter is that the problem in Congress is very specific. 

mitch-mcconnell“We have a group of folks in the Republican Party who have taken over who are so ideologically rigid, who are so committed to an economic theory that says if folks at the top do very well then everybody else is somehow going to do well; who deny the science of climate change; who don’t think making investments in early childhood education makes sense; who have repeatedly blocked raising a minimum wage so if you work full-time in this country you’re not living in poverty; who scoff at the notion that we might have a problem with women not getting paid for doing the same work that men are doing.

john-boehner-sequester“They, so far, at least, have refused to budge on bipartisan legislation to fix our immigration system, despite the fact that every economist who’s looked at it says it’s going to improve our economy, cut our deficits, help spawn entrepreneurship, and alleviate great pain from millions of families all across the country.

“So the problem…is not that the Democrats are overly ideological — because the truth of the matter is, is that the Democrats in Congress have consistently been willing to compromise and reach out to the other side. 

Barack Obama by Nitin Vadukul for Newsweek - 12/20/2004“There are no radical proposals coming out from the left.  When we talk about climate change, we talk about how do we incentivize through the market greater investment in clean energy.  When we talk about immigration reform there’s no wild-eyed romanticism.  We say we’re going to be tough on the borders, but let’s also make sure that the system works to allow families to stay together…

“When we talk about taxes we don’t say we’re going to have rates in the 70 percent or 90 percent when it comes to income like existed here 50, 60 years ago.  We say let’s just make sure that those of us who have been incredibly blessed by this country are giving back to kids so that they’re getting a good start in life, so that they get early childhood education…

“Health care — we didn’t suddenly impose some wild, crazy system.  All we said was let’s make sure everybody has insurance. And this made the other side go nuts — the simple idea that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, nobody should go bankrupt because somebody in their family gets sick, working within a private system.

paul_ryan_s640x427“So when you hear a false equivalence that somehow, well, Congress is just broken, it’s not true.  What’s broken right now is a Republican Party that repeatedly says no to proven, time-tested strategies to grow the economy, create more jobs, ensure fairness, open up opportunity to all people.”

Now, I wish the mainstream Democratic Party position on climate change was more radical – and I don’t like hearing President Obama extolling an “all of the above” strategy, especially if that means we all get “fracked” in the process.

20090805_nancy-pelosi_33But, let there be no doubt. Progressives must get out the vote this fall. The only answer to our broken Congress is a Senate controlled by Democrats – and a House of Representatives in which Nancy Pelosi once again holds the gavel. Important issues like climate change, immigration reform, raising the minimum wage, Wall Street reform and income inequality will never be addressed while Republicans are in a position to obstruct positive change.

clearly-john-boehner-wrote-this-press-release-before-the-jobs-report-came-outThen, in 2016, we must work to keep a Democrat in the White House – because our endangered democracy can’t afford another religiously biased, corporate stooge conservative on The Supreme Court.

But first – we’ve got to get that oversized gavel out of John Boehner’s hands.mitch-mcconnell1-e1365549079396

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The Bounce!

Now that both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions are over – there are two things have become increasingly clear as the national tracking polls roll out day after day.

Mitt got no significant bounce out of his convention.

President Obama got a very healthy bounce. As of today – Obama’s bounce is anywhere from 5 to 7 points depending upon the poll. Now, the polls all show Obama leading Romney by anywhere from 4 to 6 points – and Gallup has the President at 52%

It’s possible that Obama’s numbers will continue to rise as the weekly tracking polls no longer include any days after the RNC and include more days during and immediately after the Democrats’ very successful convention.

But while progressives like me celebrate Obama’s bounce, there are a couple of things we liberals should begin to focus on.

1. It’s all about GOTV – Get Out The Vote.

Obama’s leads in the Gallup, Ipsos, Rasmussen and CNN polls mean nothing if Obama voters don’t – or can’t — vote. We must avoid the kind of liberal apathy that allowed the Tea Party to win so many Congressional seats in the 2010 mid-term elections – and we must overcome voter suppression efforts in Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania, among others.

2. The down-ballot elections are vitally important. Democrats must keep their Senate majority — and we’ve got to reduce the GOP lead in the House.

Dear home state Ohioans! Re-elect Senator Sherrod Brown!

Hopefully, we can take over the House and make John Boehner a minority leader. Wouldn’t that be a joy?

Watch those Senate races in Massachusetts, Ohio, Missouri and Virginia!

But, for the moment, you have my permission to pause a moment and enjoy The Obama Bounce.

Boing!

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Babes in Government-land…

I’ve had enough. I’m tired of dealing with babies.

This whole Debt Ceiling “crisis” has made it clear to me that, with the Tea Party Caucus in the House of Representatives, we are dealing with political babies.

As a parent of three grown children, I know what a pain it is to deal with babies.

First of all, babies don’t know anything. All they know is what they want. And when they don’t get what they want, they cry.

Wahhhhh! Wahhhhh! Wahhhhh!

I will never understand why so many working class Midwestern Americans voted for these Tea Party-GOP babies in 2010 – but they did.

And now, political adults – both Democrats and Republicans – find they must contend with all these whiny, itty-bitty, small minded ultra-conservative babies in the U.S. House of Representatives who have no clue what it is to govern the greatest democracy in the western world.

As though they were simply playing with blocks in the safety of their padded playpens, these know-nothing GOP babies have no clear idea of the impact that their actions will have outside of their playpen.

I hope that the Government Adults – President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Minority Leader Mitch McChinless, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Speaker “Boo-Hoo” Boehner – are finally able to quiet the Tea Party babies and put them down for a long nap, just in time to raise the Debt Ceiling and move on with the grown-up business of government.

Ssssshhhh. Don’t wake the Tea Party-GOP babies.

Government is way to complex for infant children.

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Pausing Amid the Political Hysteria…

As President Obama negotiates with Democratic and Republican Congressional leaders on the critical issues of raising the debt ceiling and reducing the Federal budget deficit, each breathless (and very sketchy) media report on the progress of those negotiations has been received in the Progressive Blogosphere with hand-wringing, whining, and melodramatic condemnations.

The President, it appears from all this premature carping, is ready to sell out Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, your home mortgage interest deduction, the public schools, and FDR’s White House portrait to appease the all-powerful, Tea Party/GOP who are willing to sacrifice the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government on Grover Norquist’s anti-tax altar.

With the debt ceiling deadline approaching in less than a month, it’s more doom and gloom for Democrats. Obama, we hear from disenchanted liberals, is just GOP-lite. We need to mount a primary challenge. Or vote Green Party in 2012.  Or just stay home.

Because that worked so well for disappointed progressives in the 2010 mid-terms, right?

Because handing the House of Representatives over to Speaker John Boehner and the militant Tea Party jihadists sure showed those spineless Democrats a thing or two, didn’t it?

Aren’t you glad, you jaded bloggers on Daily Kos, TPM and The Huffington Post, that President Obama doesn’t have Nancy Pelosi to appease in these debt ceiling negotiations?

Oh, that’s right. If Nancy Pelosi were still the Speaker of the House – there wouldn’t even be negotiations over the debt ceiling.

It would be a pro forma vote of approval just like it’s always been.

Now, let’s get back to these White House negotiations over the debt limit. I’m pretty sure that, in order to avoid disaster, a Grand Bargain will be reached that will gore just about everyone’s ox to some degree.

But even if President Obama was not a man with liberal inclinations (and I think he’s shown that he is), he is a successful politician. He can see that an overwhelming majority of voters would rather see taxes raised on millionaires and billionaires than have their Social Security and Medicare benefits get cut.

And that’s true across party lines – especially among independents.

John Boehner can read those polls, too. But, even if Boehner wanted to strike a Bob Dole-like bargain with Obama to raise taxes on the rich (or what I like to call “restoring tax fairness”) in exchange for entitlement reforms that reduce waste and save money but don’t screw working people – he can’t do it. Because he’s got Michele Bachmann and the Tea Party Visigoths willing to wreak havoc on America’s credit rating in order to protect Exxon Mobil’s government subsidies and low tax rates on capital gains and other passive income for billionaires like the Koch Brothers.  (Euphemistically referred to as “the job creators.”)

The Visigoths are shown here doing to Rome what the GOP is doing to the U.S. MIddle Class.

So, the Republicans have their backs to wall in these negotiations, too. And President Obama knows it.

Of course, if scoring political points were all our President cared about, he’d be taking a much harder line in public – and that would win him praise from progressive bloggers and pundits yearning for a hard-knuckle approach. But that’s what you do in an election campaign – not when you’re trying to govern. (Remember how well the tough guy, no compromise, jam it down their throats approach served the country when that nasty little bully George W. Bush was in charge?)

President Obama is serious about bipartisanship. He always has been. And, in this case, bipartisanship may just mean giving the GOP enough rope to hang themselves in 2012.

So, let’s just see how this debt ceiling brinksmanship plays out. It’s the best drama of the summer. And I’m sure it won’t have an entirely happy ending for anyone.

But, if Obama has to make some concessions you don’t like, please remember this…

Would you rather President Romney – who made his millions buying US companies and out-sourcing the jobs overseas — were presiding over such critical White House  negotiations in the summer of 2013?

Would you like President Pawlenty choosing the next two Supreme Court justices?

Would you like President Bachmann…?

I’m sorry. I’ll just stop there. I don’t want to add any more crazy to this summer’s political hysteria.

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