Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

An open letter to House Dems: The sky is falling? The sky is falling? The future of Dems, the health care bill, and America

January 20, 2010

Dear House of Representatives Dems:

A discourse in three parts

I  OH MY GOD WHAT HAPPENED

II Nut up or shut up

III Martyrdom is awesome.  Go for it.

I OH MY GOD WHAT HAPPENED

Seriously.  What happened?  How did you lose this?  One year ago we  had Ted Kennedy, the coolest guy ever. Two weeks ago we had a 20 point lead and an opponent who’s main TV ad shows him driving around in a stupid truck.  This morning we have a republican senator.

I voted for Alan Khazei in the primary.  He would have run a real campaign.  He was awesome.  But Martha was the “safe” candidate, so she won (the primary).

I’m not going to do a lengthy bit on why Martha lost.  It’s depressing and everyone else will talk about it a lot.  I don’t really like being a Monday morning QB and I’d rather think about what’s to come.

II Nut up or shut up.

Republican congress’ have historically been able to get a lot done with 50, 51, or 52 votes.  We have 59.  It has come to my attention that there are two kinds of filibuster.  There is the ye olde filibuster, where one side stands up and talks until they give up or the bill is dropped.  The other is a “procedural” filibuster.  Here, the minority party says “we have 41 votes, and could filibuster if we wanted to, so lets pretend we are.”  It is up to the senate leader then to either grant the request (in which case the bill is dropped) or make them do a traditional filibuster.

You apparently have been allowing the Republicans to do a procedural filibuster.  STOP IT.  Filibusters can be broken given sufficient time.  The longest filibuster in the US to date was by southern senators who attempted to block passage of the 1964 civil rights act. It lasted for 75 hours but failed.

In response to Republican threats of a filibuster I say BRING IT.  Sit in your seats, order some chinese food, and watch the Republicans talk.  Let them talk for a month straight if they want to.  Then pass your bills.

Want to pass a bill making an oversight panel for banks? Do it.  Let the Republicans be on TV for 5 days talking about how it’s “a bad idea to regulate Wall Street.”  Let them dig their own grave.

Nut up or shut up Dems, 59 votes is enough.

III Martyrdom is awesome.  Go for it.

Health Bill history.  House of reps passes a bill, sends it to the Senate.  The Senate amended it and sent it back to the house.  At this point the House can either make more changes (negotiate with the Senate, and make a new joint bill) to be reconsidered by both houses.  Or, it can just accept the Senate version.  If decides to make more changes, the bill is done for.  If they accept the Senate version, it’ll go to Obama’s desk without worry.

People on both sides of the isle (and in the media) are saying it would be political suicide to do this, however.  It is “obvious” that the election result means people don’t want this bill, and if the house were to pass it then they could all lose their seats in November.  Two things on this.

1) They won’t “all lose their seats” in November.  Martha losing doesn’t mean that MA has become a red state, and it doesn’t mean that the sky is falling.  We ran a bad campaign and lost, end of story. Health care reform was initially unpopular in MA but the state enacted it anyway.  Today we have 80% approval for it.

2) Even if they do lose their seats, it’s OK.  If the “only” thing you do in your one term as a US representative is pass the biggest health care reform bill in our countries history then it’s a pretty good one term.

Stop thinking worrying about reelection and DO SOMETHING.  I guarantee that if you pass this bill you’ll be in the history books.

In conclusion.  Get it done.  Now.

P.S.

Stop worrying about getting bipartisan support.  The other side of the isle consists in part of people who still think Obama is a Muslim terrorist who wasn’t born in this country.  You’re on your own.

Of Hillary Supporters and Making Beds

September 8, 2008

The issue of Hillary Supporters For McCain has been somewhat troubling to me as of late. Most of my trouble stems from an inability to lock down the amount of truth in the matter. Sure, the internet is full of self-professed “life long democrats who are voting for McCain who were Hillary Supporters;” but every election has these people, and I’ve always assumed most of them are frauds. That being said, I keep hearing these polls about 50% and 20% that, and those seem like big numbers. My large hold up on the matter is that I haven’t actually found a real live living breathing person who would stand in front of me and say “I liked Hilary, but now I’m going to vote for McCain.”

Regardless, I’m going to assume that there are some of you out there. And for you, I’ve the following questions.

Hillary is for ending the war quickly and bringing our troops home. She is pro choice. She had lofty goals for universal health care. She believes in equal pay for men and woman. She had a sensible energy policy that involved more then a far away short term solution (I refer of course to off-shore drilling).

If you endorsed Hillary, I am assuming that some (or all) of those positions match your own. I am assuming you did not support her merely because of her double X chromosome.

McCain (and Pallin) believe the war could go a hundred years. They are anti-abortion. McCain voted against measure to guarantee equal pay. Drill, Baby, Drill?

I get it, you’re pissed off. You think Hillary got the short end of the stick — that Hillary, the life long political insider and wife to one of the most powerful political men ever lost because the party elite was in the sack with a freshman senator. You want to show the Party that you wont take it, and you’re going to vote for McCain.

You respect Hillary so much you’re willing to sacrifice everything for her. You’re willing to vote for someone you may not even like, just to show her how much you care. The only thing you aren’t willing to do, is vote for the candidate SHE is currently endorsing (Obama).

We know this isn’t about her (if it was you’d respect her and vote for McCain), its about you, and some damned point you have to prove. My question is, is it worth it? My second question is, what will you tell your kids?

What will you tell your daughters when safe legal abortions are no longer available? How will you explain why they don’t earn equal wages to men? What will you tell your sons when they have to go fight in the hundred (or thousand) year Iraq war? To all your children when energy costs are hurtling upwards because we pissed away another 8 years not researching alternative energy? And what, will you tell the, when they ask you why you voted for the man (McCain) who did these things?

When you vote McCain, Obama doesn’t lose, we do.

Never Will I Ever….

April 21, 2008

Never will I ever crucify a politician for making true statements.  I’ll begin by mentioning that I’m an Obama supporter, but would gladly vote for Hillary in the general election (assuming she doesn’t win by some odd method like counting the delegates from Michigan).  I praise Obama for running a cleaner (although it dirties by the day) campaign, although I respect both candidates.  Now that that’s established, 3 true things everyone is wigging out over.

Point 1: Ferraro and related substance

We all remember the Clinton camp member Ferraro.  She was forced to resign upon noting that Mr. Obama would not be the democratic front-runner if he was not black.  She made the fatal mistake of suggesting that race is a critical factor in the election.

Guess what.  IT IS.

Looking at the exit polls 

New York:

Clinton 57% Obama 40% (among black voters Clinton captures only 37% to Obamas 61%)

Among those who voted for Hillary in New York, 85% identified gender as the most important issue.  

In Georgia, where Obama won (67% to 31%), he captured 88% of the black vote.  

Now…is it possible that the fact that Obama regularly scores 20% higher among black voters then overall a coincidence? Yes.  Is it a coincidence? No.

In short, a large part of Obamas success is because he is black.  Not that being black was ever probobly helpful to him in the early stages of his life (as he pointed out as a response to Ferraro), but right now, in this moment, it helps.  The same goes for Hillary. A student at Clark University, I was treated to Hilary coming to speak at my school before Super Tuesday.  The introducing speaker who went before her ended with the following little snippet, which I shall now loosely paraphrase.  “Yesterday, when I dropped my daughter off for 2nd grade, I was able to say, for the first time ever ‘when you grow up you can be anything you want, even President of the United States'” to which of course there was much applause and cheering and joy.  

So, we’re all allowed to cheer because we may have the first Woman President; but we’re not allowed to point out that part of Hillary’s support comes from the fact that she’s a woman. 

Point 2: The Reverend

 His comment was, in essence, that 100 years of violent aggressive foreign policy that smacks of disregard for civilian life may have earned us a few enemies, and that we shouldn’t be surprised that someone hit back in a less-then-gentlemanly way.  Do I think that was the fault of the people in the towers that day that they died? No.  But I don’t think he believes that either.  What he believes is that 9/11 was long in the making, and we didn’t behave in the best way to avoid it.  This is true.  

Point 3: Bitter people

 

 

“You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them.And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not.”

“And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

I’m waiting for the offensive part.  Guess what, it sounds rather on-the-mark to me.  Apparently people in Penn find this offensive.  Guess what…I’m really bitter and frustrated.  Polls seem to suggest that most people nationwide are frustrated with the Federal Government.  Now, I suppose Mr. Obama suggests that they aren’t dealing with their frustration in the most constructive way possible, but my guess is that he’s quite correct with his remarks.

 

The interesting part of all of this is that when I talk to friends about these remarks, they all take stance that “well, of course those remarks are true, but they’re not allowed to say them.”  No no no, a thousand times no.  We’ve stumbled through 8 years of a President who babbles nothing but lies and half-truths, I will NOT crucify the current Presidential candidates for making true but “not PC” remarks.  

“Fairy Tale”

January 13, 2008

I signed onto AOL today to print an email attachment off for my parents today, and was treated to a story about the latest election scandal.  It seems that the Clinton’s have drawn the ire of ‘black leaders’ for making racially insensitive comments.  I have found the video of Bill on youtube, and this is how it goes

[blah blah blah talking about obamas voting record as compared on the Iraq war as compared to how he talks about it in debates, mentioning some speech which was deleted from his site, etc.  Namely that he supported it in his voting, and now says he never did]. “Give me a break. This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I’ve ever seen.”

 It seems some people have heard “this whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I’ve ever seen” as being essentialy the same as “Because Obama is black, the idea that he could ever be elected to president is a fairy tale.” 

 Now, I will concede that Bill doeshave a way with words, and that it not unknown that he should use subtle ways to communicate things. I will also concede that the word ‘this’ is a pronoun, and as such there is sometimes conusion regarding what it points too.  This is not one of those times.  Racial remarks and prejudice are something that Obama and his supporters should be concerned about, but attempting to cast the Clintons as closet racists over this is doomed to failure because it’s quite obviously just not the case.  I would advise Sharpton and Co to hold their punches until the actual racist remarks start coming from the other side of the isle. 

It is true that Obama has not come out against what Clinton said…but he also hasn’t come out dismissing the complaints.  It would speak volumes to his character if he stood up and said “hey guys, stop worrying about it, because I’m not. ”  This being said, Obama still likely has my vote in the primary.