So Here We Are…

Republicans took control of the House in January and it’s March 30, 2011. I have to ask: where are the jobs? After all, they promised if elected they would create jobs. Other than passing the bill to repeal health reform–which was nothing more than a dog and pony show to appease their tea party base–the only legislation the House has passed has focused on restricting abortion rights. One bill would eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood. Another had language in it that redefined rape–there was rape, and then there was “forcible rape”. In South Dakots the legislature is trying to pass a bill that would make it legal for someone to kill an abortion provider (ie Dr Tiller). The Republicans used the voters anger about the poor economy and used the ruse of creating jobs, but once they took office they went back to fighting the culture wars. In my home state the legislature passed a bill that would throw an abortion provider in jail who provides an abortion to a woman seeking one because they don’t like the gender or race of the fetus. Talk about going after a problem that doesn’t exist?? They have continued to give subsidies to big oil and big corporations, while cutting funding for social programs–but screaming they are so pro-life. It’s funny how once the baby is born they are the ones slashing the programs to help care for the child. And, while Secretary Gates has said there are plenty of areas in defense to cut, the Republicans won’t touch that. Go figure. It gets better. In Ohio and Florida the governors have refused the stimulus money they were awarded under the previous governors for high speed rail, which would have created thousands of jobs–the new governors adhere to the Grover Norquist theory of government–starve it to the size it can be drowned in a bathtub. In Wisconsin the governor inherited a surplus and immediately rammed through tax cuts for his cronies, and is using the deficit he created to bust the unions, The 14 state senate democrats fled, so a quorum cannot be held and the bill has stalled. Ohio and Indiana are trying to follow suit but Democrats in the state legislatures have followed Wisconsin’s lead. There is a disturbing trend here–the two strongest supporters of Democrats–women and organized labor–are under attack—and with the exception of Bernie Sanders, Charles Schumer, and Dick Durbin, the other US Senate Democrats have been rather silent. I have heard some of the House Democrats come out in support of the protesters and Anthony Weiner ripped into House Republicans for their draconian bills attacking women’s rights, This is the time when the President must lead and stop trying to pander to the Republicans–stop trying to “compromise”. He will not be re-elected in 2012 if he deserts his base, especially now, The Democrats have control of the Senate so the draconian bills attacking women’s rights will die there. If we lose the Senate and the White House too (that’s a real possibility if the Democrats , but so continue to be wimpy and keep making concessions) they will turn the clock way back.

One would think that the notion of a Sarah Palin presidency would light a fire under the Democrats rear ends but so far nothing has worked. I am disappointed that he hasn’t taken a much stronger stand, especially with the situation in Wisconsin. We must ask ourselves: what would FDR do? Maybe he didn’t want to repeat the Bush-Schiavo thing. I didn’t agree with what he did, and I certainly didn’t agree with his policy on that issue, but he took a stand and took action. That’s the difference between Republicans and Democrats. Republicans have no problem articulating their stance on issues and they act quickly. Democrats, on the other hand, fight amongst themselves, and lack the spine to tell the voters where they stand on the issues. This last Congress was proof of it. Democrats had the White House and majorities in both houses, and blew it. Mainly because the President kept trying to compromise with a party that had no interest in compromising with him, but also the moderates who stood in the way of achieving real reform in areas such as health care and wall street reform. As a result, we got watered down health and wall street reform. When the mid term elections came, the Democrats ran away from the President because he was unpopular, and ran away from their acheivements. There are many reasons why the Democrats lost big in the mid terms, but they certainly did not help themselves. Amazingly, the Democrats got a lot done during the lame duck session.
The FDR, TR, and Truman Democrats were very good at communicating their beliefs on the issues and when in office they got things done. FDR would not have tolerated Republican obstructionism like the President has faced since he took office in 2008. Today’s Democrats are more corporatized, so they are no longer true to the core ideals of the FDR Democrats. Sadly, those are for the most part long gone–Bernie Sanders, Anthony Weiner, and Dennis Kucinich are the only ones left. I am very frustrated with this President and this party. They blew it, and if they don’t get off the schnide, it will get a lot worse.

Sarah Palin. Image from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/sarah-palin/8010891/Sarah-Palin-urges-Republican-party-unity-amid-2012-White-House-buzz.html

The shooting of Gabby Giffords was tragic–and the way Sister Sarah tells it, she’s the victim. Really??? She never ceases to amaze me. The shooter had been stalking her for months. No one really knows what was going through his mind when he pulled the trigger, but it’s eerie that the night before the shooting she emailed a Republican colleague saying the rhetoric needed to be toned down. Sarah Palin had a bullseye on Gabby’s and was making statements like “don’t retreat, reload”. We all need to tone down the rhetoric.

Meanwhile, in Arizona, our governor wants to kick about 280,000 off the state’s Medicaid program (AHCCCS) program. She claims the state cannot afford it, but she wants to give businesses tax cuts because they will entice them to move here and create jobs. I think we have heard this song and dance before, you know, give businesses tax cuts and they will hire people, thus creating jobs? Yawn. This is getting so old, Didn’t Bush 41 call that voodoo economics? I am reading “The Shock Doctrine” by Naomi Klein–it’s eerie because it is exactly what is happening now. The Democrats are standing by and letting it happen. I was watching Rachael Maddow on MSNBC a couple of nights ago and she was talking about how these Republicon governors were crying about how broke they are, slashing programs for the poor and giving that money to corporations in the form of huge tax breaks–they aren’t making their budget deficit any better. Buyer’s remorse yet????
At least in Wisconsin the voters are mobilizing a recall campaign against the republican senators who voted in favor of the union busting bill and it looks like they will get enough signatures to force an election. Hopefully in Ohio they will be able to force a referendum on their power grab of a law. In Indiana the Governor and Republicans in the legislature dropped the language that would strip collective bargaining out of their bill. Democrats need to grow a set and soon. In Ohio and New Hampshire Republicans are trying to pass laws that would disenfranchise voters by requiring photo identification. You know, to prevent “voter fraud”.

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