Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Dear Democratic Party,

Some are calling it the "Upset of the Century" (personally, I think electing a junior Senator named Barack Obama to be President was a bigger surprise). Call it what you will, Attorney General Martha Coakley lost the Senate seat that was held by Senator Edward Kennedy for 46 years, in a state that has a more "liberal" health care Law than the current US Senate bill and allows gay marriage, to GOP, and friend of the "tea party" (rights reserved?), Scott Brown.

With 18 more votes, the Democrats now control the US Senate with a 9 Vote majority, 59-41 (including "Independents" Sanders and lieberman). The republicants haven't had a majority like that since the twenties, in fact no party has. Less of a republic-anti majority censured a president for lying about cheating on his wife. Less of a red majority rubber stamped and pushed through everything on the bush agenda. The big difference, especially in the latter instance, was that when the r's ran the show, the minority party worked with them. The Democrats are seldom lock step automatons to party, which is both a blessing and a curse.

Democrats are currently in a blame thrower cross fire. So here goes mine. I blame the candidate first. She had 19 campaign events, from the primary through sunday, to her opponent's 66. Next up is the head of the DSCC (Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee), Senator Robert Menendez, which is hard for me with him being from New Jersey, and DNC (Democratic National Committee) Chairman tim kaine. Obviously, they weren't down with Howard Dean's 50 state strategy. The National party, that Coakley was trying to become a part of, offered little help until it was too late. They took for granted what Senator Kennedy never did, the votes of Democrats in Massachusetts. The most important "blame"/lesson is for the Democrats in the Congress, and to a lesser extent in the White House. No, I do not think the President of the Untied States should be spending his time campaigning for senators and congresspeople. He has more pressing and important priorities governing. But Democrats, including the president, let the party of no set the debate on health care. They bend at every turn to compromise with a minority party that has no interest in governing with them, and who will never say yes to anything this president wants. You need look no further than the most disrespectful ex-vice president in history, or most disrespectful congressmen during a presidential speech to a joint session of Congress to see their attitude. It's not just "tea partiers". The establishment repugnicans are attack dogs. And, unfortunately the establishment Democrats are weak and reactionary.

The Democrats need to fight
for the issues that brought them into power. Those of Us that voted Democrat in the past few elections, and certainly the last presidential election are not going to get excited, get involved, or get out the vote for them until they once again give us something to fight for. The 60 vote super majority, that came into existence after Senator Al Franken was finally allowed to be seated, seemed to only give a handful of senators any power anyway (see snowe, lieberman, etc.). The Democratic Party needs to be strong and stand up more than they give in, to the power that they swept out of Congress in 2006 and the White House in 2008. Give us something to fight for and we will fight for it. Set the debate in clear, easily understandable terms and we will shout it. But take a year to water down major legislation, bowing to opponents that have no interest working with you. Holding noone accountable for the mess you were elected to fix. Saving Marie Antionette-esque banks and corporations that show little to no concern for the society that allowed them to get and keeps them so big and rich, while doing little (barely anything by comparison) for middle and lower income Americans to speak of, or certainly that you speak of, is no way of rallying the troops.

Don't give up, because you only have the largest "simple" majority since the twenties. All the defeatist nonsense talk has got to go! Take it as a wake up call! Fight for what we put you there for! Be aggresive! Offense, not always defense! Otherwise it was all a waste and those of us on the progressive left will once again leave for more idealist pastures.

Fun Fact #1: Yesterday's special election in Massachusetts was brought to you by the Democratic Massachusetts legislature. They changed the rules for seating a Senator in an open seat from a gubenatorial appointment to a special election in advance of john kerry becoming president.

Fun Fact #2: The US Senate can get rid of the "filibuster" or change the number of votes it takes to break it with a simple majority vote, 51-49. The filibuster is not part of the US Constitution. It is in the Senate rules.

Wake Up,
David Calamoneri
Hoboken, NJ USA

From DailyKos:

59 votes

by kos

Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 07:42:30 PM PST

Yeah, it sucks that we lost our 60th vote, but really, what did 60 get us last year? It empowered Joe Lieberman, gave cover to Blanche Lincoln, provided excuses to Harry Reid, and gave a free pass to Max Baucus.

Now we don't have 60. And like the Republican Senate of the 2000s, if Democrats want to get anything done, they'll have to do it via reconciliation.

Given last year's track record in the Senate, it certainly can't make the Senate any less effective."

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Please Help Haiti.

Haiti is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. 80% percent of the country lives below the poverty line. 54% live in abject poverty. On January 12th, Haiti experienced a Catastrophic 7.0 Earthquake. There is an up to date time line of the aftermath and relief efforts at Huffington Post complete with photos, footage, President Obama's speech and announcement that he's sending Former Presidents Clinton (UN special envoy to Haiti) and bush (yes w), as well as statements from Our Secretary of State, the UN, Doctors without Borders and others. The earthquake hit right outside of the nation's capital Port Au Prince. The footage and pictures of the suffering and devastation these poor people are currently enduring has brought me to tears more than once. Bodies lining the streets, bloodied, dust covered faces dazed in terror. Houses, buildings, schools, hospitals, the Presidential Palace, the UN Embassy destroyed.

The people of Haiti need Our Help. There are several places where you can donate to help the survivors survive and rebuild. Please do. I did.

The American Red Cross Text Haiti to 90999 to donate $10

Yele (Wyclef Jean's Haitian relief) Text YELE to 501501 to donate $5

Thank You.
David Calamoneri