To the leadership of the Third Way:
Your policies have failed.
Despite your constant efforts to mask the truth, most Americans are intelligent enough to know the realities of their own lives. If they can’t pay their rent, feed and educate their children, find jobs that pay a living wage, or protect themselves from the plutocratic ambitions of greedy corporate executives, then they know your policies have failed.
And if you haven’t noticed, most Americans are angry. They have repeatedly made attempts to inform their representatives in D.C. that they believe this administration, and the members of Congress, has taken the nation in the wrong direction. Many polls have demonstrated the depth of contempt that most Americans feel for the members of this Congress.
You were given a very clear mandate in 2008, but the policies you implemented annulled the wishes of the American people, and then took a very ominous turn. We watched in horror as the criminals who caused the worst financial collapse in global history were handsomely rewarded for their misdeeds, while millions and millions of innocent American families were stripped of their homes, savings, and livelihoods.
And now, we – the members of the Democratic Party – are facing a possible bloodbath in the upcoming mid-term elections because of those policies. We know our worst fears will be realized if the most unpopular political party in American history retakes control of the Senate in November. And if the American people are angry at this administration, and if that defeat is inevitable, then you must accept responsibility. The members of the liberal base of the party did not develop those policies that have alienated voters. We weren’t even allowed a seat at the table.
Markos stated the truth. And the party’s biggest internal threat in November isn’t the loss of Blue Dog Democrats; it will be the loss of the Democratic Party base.
When you say:
If we are to make progress in a divided Washington—and if we are to protect the Democratic Senate majority—we simply must embrace a big tent for the Democratic Party.
What you failed to mention in that statement is that the “big tent” no longer includes the party base. For five years, we have been ridiculed (as demonstrated by the tone of your article), bullied, and told to shut up.
But to ensure the survival of the party, we can no longer endorse your failed policies. And we refuse to accept responsibility for the damage they have caused. If you want to restore enthusiasm to the Democratic Party, then you must begin representing the wishes of the American people and not the directives of the criminals on Wall Street.
And the evidence that damns you can be found in the text of the 2012 Democratic Party Platform.
Here are just a few promises that you made and failed to honor. I’ll let you’re the words speak for themselves.
We gather to reclaim the basic bargain that built the largest middle class and the most prosperous nation on Earth - the simple principle that in America, hard work should pay off, responsibility should be rewarded, and each one of us should be able to go as far as our talent and drive take us.
This election is not simply a choice between two candidates or two political parties, but between two fundamentally different paths for our country and our families.
We Democrats offer America the opportunity to move our country forward by creating an economy built to last and built from the middle out.
Reclaiming the economic security of the middle class is the challenge we must overcome today. That begins by restoring the basic values that made our country great, and restoring for everyone who works hard and plays by the rules the opportunity to find a job that pays the bills, turn an idea into a profitable business, care for your family, afford a home you call your own and health care you can count on, retire with dignity and respect, and, most of all, give your children the kind of education that allows them to dream even bigger and go even further than you ever imagined.
This has to be our North Star - an economy that's built not from the top down, but from a growing middle class, and that provides ladders of opportunity for those working hard to join the middle class.
It is not enough to go back to where the country was before the crisis. We must rebuild a strong foundation that ensures it never happens again.
Democrats know that America prospers when we're all in it together. We see an America where everyone has a fair shot, does their fair share, and plays by the same rules. We see an America that out-educates, out-builds, and out-innovates the rest of the world.
We believe in deficit reduction not by placing the burden on the middle class and the poor, but by cutting out programs we can't afford and asking the wealthiest to again contribute their fair share.
We must keep moving forward and doing the hard work of rebuilding a strong economy by betting on the American worker and investing in a growing middle class. We need a government that stands up for the hopes, values, and interests of working people, and gives everyone willing to work hard the chance to make the most of their God-given potential.
The President knew from the start that to rebuild true middle class security, we can't just cut our way to prosperity. We must out-educate, out-innovate, and out-build the world. We need an economy that creates the jobs of the future and makes things the rest of the world buys - not one built on outsourcing, loopholes, or risky financial deals that jeopardize everyone, especially the middle class.
Our work is far from done. A crisis this deep didn't happen overnight and it won't be solved overnight. Too many parents sit around their kitchen tables at night after they've put their kids to bed, worrying about how they will make a mortgage payment or pay the rent, or how they will put their children through college. We now stand at a make-or-break moment for families, and America faces a clear choice in this election: move forward toward a nation built from the middle class out where everyone has the chance to get ahead, or go back to the same failed ideas that created the crisis in the first place.
For more than a decade, irresponsible lenders tricked buyers into signing subprime loans while too many homeowners got in over their heads by buying homes they couldn't afford. But when the housing bubble burst, it hurt everyone, including responsible homeowners who played by the rules, but saw their home values decline and their neighbors' houses sit vacant. The housing market's dramatic collapse did more than punish millions of innocent Americans; it also triggered the economy's downward spiral into recession.
President Obama took swift action to stabilize a housing market in crisis, helping five million families restructure their loans to help them stay in their homes, making it easier for families to refinance their mortgages and save hundreds of dollars a month, and giving tax credits to first-time home buyers. He also cracked down on fraudulent mortgage lenders and other abuses that contributed to the housing crisis. Democrats have held the largest financial institutions accountable by requiring them to provide relief for homeowners still struggling to pay their mortgages and to change practices that took advantage of homeowners. Democrats also understand the importance of helping communities fight back against the foreclosures that threaten entire neighborhoods, which is why the President proposed to expand the successful neighborhood stabilization efforts in his American Jobs Act.
Too many people still owe more on their homes than they are worth. That is why Democrats are fighting to give every responsible homeowner the chance to refinance their home, spurring investment in communities that have been hit hardest by foreclosure, and taking whatever steps we can to avoid more foreclosures. The President remains committed to creating an economy that's built to last, where home ownership is an achievable dream for all Americans.
Social Security and Medicare. We believe every American deserves a secure, healthy, and dignified retirement. America's seniors have earned their Medicare and Social Security through a lifetime of hard work and personal responsibility. President Obama is committed to preserving that promise for this and future generations.
We are committed to defeating efforts that would return us to the failed economic policies of the past, in which tax relief for the wealthy explodes the deficit and asks the middle class to shoulder that burden.
In order to reduce the deficit while still making the investments we need in education, research, infrastructure, and clean energy, the President has asked for the wealthiest taxpayers to pay their fair share.
In order to reduce the deficit while still making the investments we need in education, research, infrastructure, and clean energy, the President has asked for the wealthiest taxpayers to pay their fair share. We have to cut what we don't need in order to make room for the things we do need to grow our economy. We support allowing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest to expire and closing loopholes and deductions for the largest corporations and the highest-earning taxpayers. We are committed to reforming our tax code so that it is fairer and simpler, creating a tax code that lives up to the Buffett Rule so no millionaire pays a smaller share of his or her income in taxes than middle class families do. We are also committed to reforming the corporate tax code to lower tax rates for companies in the United States, with additional relief for those locating manufacturing and research and development on our shores, while closing loopholes and reducing incentives for corporations to shift jobs overseas.
The Democratic Party believes in insourcing so that America can out-build the rest of the world again. We want to cut tax breaks for companies that are shipping jobs overseas and for special interests, and instead offer tax breaks to companies that are investing right here in the United States of America, betting on American workers who are making American products we sell to the world that are stamped with three proud words: Made in America.
Our strategy is paying off. After decades of watching American companies take jobs to other countries, we're beginning to see entrepreneurs and manufactures make the decision to keep factories and production facilities here in the United States — and even bring jobs back from overseas.
Democrats know that the United States must preserve our leadership in the Internet economy. We will ensure that America has a 21st century digital infrastructure - robust wired and wireless broadband capability, a smarter electrical grid, and upgraded information technology infrastructure in key sectors such as health care and education. President Obama has committed to ensuring that 98 percent of the country has access to high-speed wireless broadband Internet access. We are finding innovative ways to free up wireless spectrum and are building a state-of-the-art nationwide, interoperable, public safety network. President Obama is strongly committed to protecting an open Internet that fosters investment, innovation, creativity, consumer choice, and free speech, unfettered by censorship or undue violations of privacy.
Upon taking office, President Obama began the work of restoring an economy built to last that creates good jobs that pay well. Because the President and the Democratic Party believe in the right to organize and in supporting America's workers with strong labor laws, the President rolled back harmful labor policies designed to undermine collective bargaining rights.
Democrats believe that the right to organize and collectively bargain is a fundamental American value; every American should have a voice on the job and a chance to negotiate for a fair day's pay after a hard day's work. We will continue to fight for the right of all workers to organize and join a union. Unions helped build the greatest middle class the world has ever known. Their work resulted in the 40-hour workweek and weekends, paid leave and pensions, the minimum wage and health insurance, and Social Security and Medicare - the cornerstones of middle class security. We will fight for labor laws that provide a fair process for workers to choose union representation, that facilitate the collective bargaining process, and that strengthen remedies for violations of the law. We will fight for collective bargaining rights for police officers, nurses, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, teachers, and other public sector workers - jobs that are a proven path to the middle class for millions of Americans. We will continue to vigorously oppose “Right to Work” and “paycheck protection” efforts, and so-called “Save our Secret Ballot” measures whenever they are proposed.
We will raise the minimum wage, and index it to inflation.
For too long, we've had a financial system that stacked the deck against ordinary Americans. Banks on Wall Street played by different rules than businesses on Main Street and community banks. Without strong enough regulations, families were enticed, and sometimes tricked, into buying homes they couldn't afford. Banks and investors were allowed to package and sell risky mortgages. Huge reckless bets were made with other people's money on the line.
That behavior not only nearly destroyed the financial system, it cost our economy millions of jobs, hurt middle class and poor families, and left taxpayers holding the bill.
For the past three and a half years, President Obama and Democrats around the country have been fighting to bring the country back from this historic economic crisis. We put in place Wall Street reform with smarter, tougher, commonsense rules that will prevent a crisis like that from ever happening again. We know that the free market only works when there are rules of the road to ensure that competition is fair, open, and honest.
The President put in place government reform that has led to the most open, efficient, and accountable government in history. We know that transparent and effective government makes economic sense.
The President put in place unprecedented ethics reforms and we're fighting for campaign finance reform. We know that millions of Americans are struggling to get by, and their voices shouldn't be drowned out by millions of dollars in secret special-interest lobbying and advertising.
We believe America prospers when everyone, from Main Street to Wall Street, does their fair share and plays by the same rules. We will not back down from making sure an oil company can't take the same reckless actions that led to the kind of oil spill we saw in the Gulf of Mexico two years ago. We will not back down from protecting our kids from toxic mercury pollution, or making sure that our food is safe and our water is clean. We will not back down from ensuring that everyone has a seat at the American table and the opportunity to grab the first rung on the ladder to the middle class.
Today Democrats are holding Wall Street accountable, bringing new transparency to financial markets, and ending taxpayer-funded bank bailouts and the era of “too big to fail.” President Obama put in place new rules of the road that refocus the financial sector on getting capital to entrepreneurs and small and mid-sized businesses who create jobs and financing to millions of families who want to buy a home or send their kids to college.
We've created a single consumer watchdog agency whose sole job is looking out for working families by protecting them from deceptive and unfair lending practices of mortgage brokers, payday lenders, debt collectors, and other financial institutions. Democrats are not only fighting to protect consumers from practices that can hurt their pocketbooks and add to their debt, but also working to put an end to practices that helped cause the mortgage crisis.
Efficient and effective regulations enforce common sense safeguards to protect the American people. That's what we've done in this country for more than a century. It's why our food is safe to eat, our water is safe to drink, and our air is safe to breathe. It's why we put in place consumer protections against hidden fees and penalties by credit card companies and new rules to prevent another financial crisis. That's why the administration launched the Internet Privacy Bill of Rights and encouraged innovative solutions such as a Do Not Track option for consumers
We are committed to the most open, efficient, and accountable government in history, and we believe that government is more accountable when it is transparent.
President Obama signed an executive order to establish unprecedented ethics rules so that those who leave the executive branch may not lobby this administration and officials may not accept gifts from lobbyists. We support campaign finance reform, by constitutional amendment if necessary. We support legislation to close loopholes and require greater disclosure of campaign spending. President Obama and the national Democratic Party do not accept contributions from federal lobbyists this cycle. We support requiring groups trying to influence elections to reveal their donors so the public will know who's funding the political ads it sees. President Obama and the Democrats are fighting to reduce the influence of money in politics, and holding Congress to higher conflict-of-interest standards.
The path to restoring middle class security is through the basic values that made our country great. We are a nation that says anyone can make it if you try - no matter who you are, where you come from, or what you look like. We know that America is strongest when everybody has a seat at the table and when the same rules apply to everyone, from Main Street to Wall Street.
It's time we stop just talking about family values and start pursuing policies that truly value families.
We believe in an America where everybody gets a fair shot and everybody plays by the same set of rules. At the core of the Democratic Party is the principle that no one should face discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, language, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability status. Democrats support our civil rights statutes and we have stepped up enforcement of laws that prohibit discrimination in the workplace and other settings. We are committed to protecting all communities from violence. We are committed to ending racial, ethnic, and religious profiling and requiring federal, state, and local enforcement agencies to take steps to eliminate the practice, and we continue to support enforcement of Title VI.
We will continue to fight inequalities in our criminal justice system.
Democrats are committed to protecting our natural resources while creating jobs, preserving habitats, and ensuring that future generations can enjoy our nation's outdoor heritage. From investing in clean energy to protecting our air, land, and water, Democrats have made protecting the environment a top priority. Today we are responsibly developing our natural resources to create clean energy jobs here at home while encouraging conservation, reducing energy waste, and protecting the environment.
We know that global climate change is one of the biggest threats of this generation - an economic, environmental, and national security catastrophe in the making. We affirm the science of climate change, commit to significantly reducing the pollution that causes climate change, and know we have to meet this challenge by driving smart policies that lead to greater growth in clean energy generation and result in a range of economic and social benefits.
President Obama has been a leader on this issue.
As we rebalance our foreign policy, we have rebuilt our relationships around the world. From Europe and Asia to the Middle East, Africa, and the Americas, we have strengthened the alliances and partnerships that are so central to global security, and we have taken steps to reinvigorate international institutions. All the while, we have built the foundation for sustained American leadership by growing our economy, preserving our unrivaled military strength, and advancing our values.http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/...
Link to the Politico article. Thanks MTmofo.