This Christmas, as with every Christmas, I spent a lot of time in rooms full of conservatives. I grew up in a conserv family, nearly everyone I knew was conserv, and most of them are still of that political persuasion. Luckily, with some help from the Iraq war, I broke the bonds of the conserv cult, and a few years later I got both of my parents and brother to vote for Obama. My dad has slipped back a bit-thanks to the siren-like fear-mongering of Faux News, but my mom and brother have broken away from the Kool-Aid drinkers pretty firmly. However, nearly everyone I grew up with are still social conserves. So, as I visited my friends this year, I got to hear about "welfare queens," "job stealing Mexicans," how Dems are "baby-killers" and was called everything from Socialist, Marxist, to Chairman Mao, etc.
The most interesting discovery though, was that out of the approximately 18 conserves I met, every one of them was for the public option and, also, for my pet issue - publicly funded elections.
I am tired of this meme on MSNBC and CNN that the Dems had no choice but to placate Nelson, Lieberman, et al to avoid a filibuster. This is absolute bullpucky - we had and maybe still have multiple options - but they hinge on one sketchy bet: That Harry Reid, Barack Obama, and Joe Biden grow some spine!
There are currently 237 millionaires in Congress according to a report released this week by the Center for Responsive Politics, meaning 44 percent of the House and Senate is run by Millionaires. This compares to about one percent of Americans overall that are millionaires.
So, the question is: When the senate begins finalizing health care legislation and needs to raise funds, who are they going to get it from: Millionaires or Working Families? Will they tax Cadillac health plans that many union families have, or will they join Congress in saying - Enough is Enough! Since Reagan the millionaires have gotten huge tax breaks at our expense, time for them to give us the least amount of dignity - access to affordable health care.
To me, this is the moment of truth. The moment where the President and the Senate decide - are they on the side of working class or on the side of millionaires?
***Joe Sestak needs our help! Or -- do you want another Joe Liebermann in the Senate?***
Joe Sestak was on Hardball yesterday with the fitting and perhaps prophetic endorsement of Ned Lamont. Why do I say prophetic? Easy - the parallels between Arlen Specter and Joe Lieberman are endless. Both loved standing with Bush through Iraq, Tax cuts for Millionaires, and on thousands of other votes. Both endorsed and fought for President McCain and Vice President Palin. I repeat... If Specter had his way, we would now have a Vice President from Wasilla!
Do we want an 80 year old senator that has voted with Republicans most of his career? A man that will probably be in his last term as a senator, so he will have no re-election to hold his feet to the fire? Do we want to risk that he will vote with the Dems at least 50 percent of the time? Will Dems in PA, like myself be passionate enough to go door-to-door for Specter?
My answer - "No Way" - If asked, I will not serve!
(Portions of this diary have been taken from an old diary of mine)
There was a powerful video on Real Time with Bill Maher this Friday contrasting the anger of the health care protests with the appreciation of people lined up for health care in a triage in Los Angeles - the kind of triages normally reserved for third world countries. The Haves, who have health care are angry, comparing the president of the US with Hitler, and pouring out into the streets to protest, while the have-nots, those that cannot afford even the most basic health care for themselves or their kids, who should be out on the street with pitchforks for the way they have been treated, are happy and thankful for the help. What is wrong with this picture?
The only explanation that I can come up with is a sad disorder named FDS that i will elaborate on in the rest of this entry.
Watching Senator Arlen Specter on Hard Ball was painful even though I am not a fan. He twisted himself in more logic pretzels than Sarah Palin giving a speech to a convention hall full of wolves. Over the years, i have to admit he was one of my favorite Republicans because he gave hard questions to Supreme Court candidates, voted for science and environment more than most Republicans, among other issues. However, as soon as he put the "D" logo on, I saw him in a different light. He went from being a reasonable Republican to being an absurd Democrat. When Congressman Joe Sestak announced on the Ed Show, I was elated. Sestak was one of my first choices for VP even though I knew he didn't stand a chance because his support for Hillary. In the following days, I second guessed myself - after all, Specter was a million times better than Toomey, so I was I willing to risk losing to go for a true blue dem? Or should I settle for Specter because he is the least worst option. Over the last few weeks the choice became obvious and watching Specter today was just plain painful.
I am not a Hillary Clinton Fan. I did not like the way that she handled health care in the 90's, I was a New Yorker when she ran for senate and I was not pleased with her performance, and I absolutely did not like the way she ran for president.
I felt that Clinton's secretive and aggressive approach to health care made it so that for over a decade we could not have a serious discussion about the issue and because my parents have major health issues, it was personal for me. Second, when in the senate, she made huge promises to my region (Buffalo) about bringing jobs to the area and the exact opposite occurred. So as I saw Buffalo struggle more and more, I held her partially responsible. Finally, I felt that she led a dishonorable primary campaign that attacked Obama in ways that McCain did not even do (Reverend Wright, etc.).
For all of the three reasons above, I have been a Hillary Clinton critic for over a decade. However, today, I am coming to you and asking the Kos community for support as I change my mind and state unequivocally:
I support Hillary Clinton for the position of Secretary of State and am excited about the job she will do!
This will probably be the least popular diary I will ever write and I feel a bit like I need a shower, but I am going through with it: Please support the turncoat Joseph Lieberman. Okay, I've said it. I don't like it. I know you don't like it, but it is for the good of the country. I know, I know, he said those awful things...
“Barack Obama is not ready for prime time... he’s not ready to be president of the United States’’
Obama is "naive," "not ready," etc.
“The Democratic Party of today is not the Democratic Party that I joined in the '60s under my hero President Kennedy, and it’s not the Democratic Party of my dear friend Bill Clinton”
In reading this blog and other liberal blogs, I see the argument that the Dems won by so many votes that we have a clear mandate from the people. From the language used, it sounds as if we won a Reagan-like landslide and that we had changed hearts and minds in this election. Maybe i am a pessimist, but I think we need to look at the reality here if we are going to win in the future:
- This country has been a divided nation for the last 20 years and not much changed in this election.
- We won because we had an ingenious candidate and campaign team that knew that the only way to win was through organization, voter registration, and GOTV.
- If the Republicans had a better candidate, or we had a candidate that did not focus on organization, then it would have been a dead even race or even may have lost.
Really think about that for a moment, after all Republicans have done, we may have lost this election if just a couple of things had changed. What is wrong with Democrats, that it takes a disastrous administration and all of the right conditions for us to win?
My wife and I went to see the movie Quarantine last night. I tend to like scary movies, and my wife tends to like them until she is actually watching one - she still maintains she was scarred for life by 28 Days Later, yet she was still up for the movie last night. As we were watching the movie it struck me that there has been a trend in entertainment as of late to focus on Bio-warfare, Super strains of contagious disease, and many other pathogen based fear driven entertainment. While, this is not new by any means, it struck me as picking up steam.
Quarantine began with a reporter who was following a group of fire-fighters around for the night, when they were called to a building under strange circumstances. When they arrived at the building there was a crazy old lady covered in blood and foaming from the mouth. Without disclosing too much about the movie, the basic premise is that there was a crazy disease, created by humans, that would infect all and threaten the world. It was a movie based on fear, and as my wife and I spent 10 dollars per ticket, we are some of the people buying.
Today is a great day for Democrats, Independents, and some Republicans who believed in Barack Obama and think his election is a great thing for American. Today is a great day for Americans, for people all around the world that supported Barack Obama overwhelmingly. Today is a great day for his coalition of every race, religion, age, sexual orientation, background, etc. that think that an Obama presidency represents Hope and a New Time in America. For those of use that believe his presidency will break down walls and change some of the major wrongs perpetrated on us over the last eight years. It is a great day for those of us that believe that an Obama victory is a symbolic win over the racism that built the foundation of this country. For these people and many more, this is a great day.
However, for another group of people today is not such a great day. For people that are die-hard Conservatives on Social, Fiscal, or National Security issues. It is not a great day for the millions of Americans that were convinced Obama was a Muslim and that this is a bad thing... This is a frightening day for many Americans; a day, rightly or wrongly, that many of them fear for their families, religion, and country. For them, this day is not historic, it is a dark day.
I was brought up in a Christian household, have always maintained my faith (despite momentary weaknesses), yet have been forced to change my church four times in my life. Today was one of those times. While I was aware of the fact that my church has had conservative leanings for a long time, today, they stepped over the line and the only responsible decision my wife and I could come to was to leave. Unfortunately, I think that many churches across this nation have married themselves to conservative politics to the point that they have lost what their real focus should be: as the scriptures call us to do - "imitate Christ". Until my wife and I find a church that comes a little closer to this ideal, we are, sadly, unchurched.
More after the fold...
Update: Hey everyone, I am off to go door-to-door for Obama! Thanks for the Rec List, and please keep the wonderful comments. I will check back in later when I am exhausted from getting out the vote!