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Yesterday morning, I received the following email from Mary Kay Henry, the SEIU President:

Dear aigeanta,

You’ll probably hear about it on the news very soon, but I wanted you to see this now.

Today, with great pride and a sense of purpose, the 2.1 million members united in SEIU endorse President Barack Obama for re-election.

President Obama is the only candidate for president who shares our vision of America as a land of opportunity for everyone. We need a leader willing to fight for the needs of the 99 percent, and stand with hard working families to say that the world’s wealthiest corporations must pay their fair share.

Please donate $10 to help us re-elect President Barack Obama in 2012.

https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/seiu2012

You’ve probably seen how hard it is to get the concerns of working people taken seriously in our political process. Here’s why:

Our economy and democracy have been taken over by the wealthiest one percent.

These bankers and CEOs have used their wealth and excessive political influence to treat our state and federal governments like their personal cash drawer – spending lavishly on elections and then pressuring legislators to give them even more instead of creating jobs. It shows in the results.

Just last month, congressional supporters of the one percent blocked President Obama’s latest job proposals. They claimed that we couldn’t afford to invest in creating good jobs in the United States and then suggested another round of tax cuts for wealthy corporations and the one percent. I have a word for that: ridiculous.

Please join us in returning President Obama to the White House so he can keep fighting for more jobs and less nonsense.

We know what’s really important. We know that after a decade of tax breaks for the rich and out-of-control gambling on Wall Street, things have gotten much harder for working Americans. We know that if these problems aren’t taken care of now, the next generation will have it even worse.

We know that we need to create good jobs here at home so that workers can support their families, young people can get a good start in life, and everyone can have a shot at the American dream.

We know that health care, elder care and other vital services must be available for all our families.

We know there needs to be a pathway to citizenship for every immigrant worker.

We know that something has to be done.

President Obama is looking to turn things around, but he needs help from all of us to be heard over his wealthy opponents, people who seem to believe that the only thing wrong with the economy is that they have to share it.

From now until Election Day, next November, we need to dedicate ourselves to this goal. We will knock on doors, we will talk to our friends and neighbors and coworkers, and we will fight shoulder to shoulder alongside working families across this nation to show the one percent that they aren’t the only ones willing to fight for America’s future.

We know what has to be done. Now let’s go do it.

In solidarity,

Mary Kay Henry
President, Service Employees International Union

Paid for by SEIU COPE. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

* Emphasis added by diarist.

You know, if President Obama really wanted to stand up for the 99%, he could be doing a lot more. He pretty much rolled over on letting the tax cuts for the 1% stand, his justice department is doing a damn fine job of letting the bankers who caused the mess off the hook, and his current talk of jobs and infrastructure investment is way too little, too late. I'm pretty sick and tired of hearing about how awful the Republicans are. Of course they're awful. What's gotten people out into the streets is how the Democrats have become almost equally as awful, and don't seem to be getting the hint: people are tired of being ripped off by the wealthy and corporations with the aid of our own government. There is way too much money in politics and it has completely corrupted the entire gambit. If we need a leader who will fight for us, who isn't taking money from the bankers, then President Obama is not the right man for this job.

I present these remarks from Bill Moyers on October 20th for the Public Citizen 40th Gala:

Our Politicians Are Money Launderers in the Trafficking of Power and Policy

John Boehner calls on the bankers, holds out his cup, and offers them total obeisance from the House majority if only they fill it.

That’s now the norm, and they get away with it.  GOP once again means Guardians of Privilege.

Barack Obama criticizes bankers as “fat cats”, then invites them to dine at a pricey New York restaurant where the tasting menu runs to $195 a person.

That’s now the norm, and they get away with it.  The President has raised more money from banks, hedge funds, and private equity managers than any Republican candidate, including Mitt Romney.  Inch by inch he has conceded ground to them while espousing populist rhetoric that his very actions betray.

Let’s name this for what it is:  hypocrisy made worse, the further perversion of democracy. Democratic deviancy defined further downward. Our politicians are little more than money launderers in the trafficking of power and policy – fewer than six degrees of separation from the spirit and tactics of Tony Soprano.

Why New York’s Zuccotti Park is filled with people is no mystery.  Reporters keep scratching their heads and asking: “Why are you here?” But it’s clear they are occupying Wall Street because Wall Street has occupied the country. And that’s why in public places across the country workaday Americans are standing up in solidarity.   Did you see the sign a woman was carrying at a fraternal march in Iowa the other day? It read: “I can’t afford to buy a politician so I bought this sign.”

* Emphasis added by diarist.

I didn't vote this year. I'm unregistering as a Democrat. I'm tired of being played for a fool. My feelings on this matter are pretty much summed up by this interview of Barbara Ehrenreich:

Democratic Establishment Abandoned Occupy Wall Street

"One of the appalling things here is that there are so many Democratic mayors involved in these crackdowns or in Bloomberg's case, someone who is seen as a liberal," Ehrenreich said in a telephone interview. "And where in all this was Obama? Why couldn't he have picked up the phone at some point a couple of weeks ago and called the mayors of Portland and Oakland and said: 'go easy on these people. They represent the anger and aspirations of the majority'. Would that have been so difficult?"

She said Obama had been practically silent since the protesters first descended on New York two months ago. "There have been a few little muffled comments but he has practically disappeared."

"I am a responsible citizen. I always tend to drag myself out to vote but I am having trouble making arguments for that. I find myself having a lot of trouble," she said. "We do not seem to be heard or represented."

She added: "I just feel so disgusted at this point."

Me too, Barbara. Me too.

Originally posted to aigeanta on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 10:47 PM PST.

Also republished by The Amateur Left and Frustrati.

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