Saturday, December 24, 2011
If you look at what communism is or least how its been practiced around the World. Like in Cuba, China, North Korea, Vietnam, the former Soviet Union. Its a very Authoritarian Governmental System where the State basically owns the entire society, economically as well as politically. You might have to ask the Central Government permission to blow your nose. And the Central Government controls where you work, where you live, most of your money. They own the economy, whether you can open up a church, hold Public Gatherings etc. At least thats how communism is practiced in North Korea. China, Vietnam and Cuba have moderated especially economically and become lest authoritarian. Some people refer to Neoconservatives as Conservative but they are not. They are authoritarian which is how communism has been practiced around the World. There isn't a single Democratic Nation around the World that refers to itself as a Communist State. The closest countries would be what are called Socialist Democracy's especially in Scandinavia. Where Social Liberty is very Liberal but where Economic Liberty is highly regulated and taxed. And where there are even some Publicly Owned Company's,
Scandinavia again would be a pretty good example of how Democratic Socialism is practiced. Communism as its been practiced around the World is a very Authoritarian Political Ideology. Where a lot of the people in these countries have literally escaped. Like Slavic Peoples escaping from Eurasia to go to Democratic States in Europe and America. Or Cubans escaping Cuba to go Florida and other States in America. Communism has been practiced as an Authoritarian Ideology where they've generally come to power through some type of Military Revolution. Like in Cuba and Vietnam because the Central Government doesn't trust its own people. And is worried that if their people get the freedom to live their own lives, they might decide to throw out the government. There's of course another Big Government theory to communism in how its been practiced, that people are basically stupid. And they need Big Government to take care of them, which as a Liberal Democrat myself I find very insulting.
The future of socialism in the World and even in America but in America where there chances of succeeding are very slim. Is through Democratic Socialism building Socialist Democracy's and getting past Classical Socialism. Where the State owns the Means of Production in Society. But moving to the Scandinavian or British Model, where Social Liberty is very Liberal which is how I love it. But where the Central Government plays a heavy role in providing Human Services for its people. Things that they wouldn't trust the Private Sector to manage, where they don't believe there should be Profit Motives. Like in Healthcare, Health Insurance, Education, Banking perhaps. And where the rest of the Private Sector is heavily taxed and regulated to finance the Welfare State. An Economic System I'm not a fan of as a Liberal Democrat. And get past the notion that Big Government knows best about everything.
Friday, December 23, 2011
This blog is not about bashing Cuba or Socialism, I'm actually going to point out a few things that the Castro Regime does well. Considering that they are a Third World Country, remember Third World, America First World. The richest country in the World but having said that, Cuba does have a pretty good Education and Healthcare System. But they have a terrible Economic System main reason why they are a Third World country. Despite their Educated Class, their Natural Resources, all of the money they could be making with a Tourism Industry alone. I mean they are pretty decent size island in the Caribbean with beautiful Cuban Women and everything else. If they just invested those resources in the economy. Established a large Private Sector with restaurants, hotels, Sporting Events agriculture, their Energy Sector, food. I would love to try Cuban Food at some point and if they just installed what I would call Cuban Capitalism. Or Raul Castronomics, to go along with their Welfare State. You could be talking about a First World country maybe within 20-30 years. Depending how they established Rule of Law, so Cuba doesn't become like Russia during the Yeltzin Administration. Where they basically had Cowboy Economics where the new Private Company's went to the people with the best Federal Government connections. They could do all of these things, even if they were to stay a Communist Republic with one party rule and perhaps end up becoming like Hong Kong.
Having said all of that if you read FRSFreeStates on a regular basis or just read my blog last night on Healthcare Reform. You know by now I'm not a Socialist and I'm not making a case for Socialism. What I'm arguing for and what the Castro Regime is trying to install in Cuba right now. Is an Economic System that would work there and I believe the Scandinavia Model of Democratic Socialism. Where people would have the ability again with their Education System to chart their own course in life. And then their Welfare State would still be there for Healthcare, Health Insurance and people who fall through the cracks of the economy. I wouldn't want to see that type of Economic System in America as a Liberal Democrat. Where we have the Freedom of Choice to make a lot of these decisions for ourselves. Whether its for Healthcare, Health Insurance, pension etc. But in a country of only 11M people where they are probably used to a heavy dose of Big Government and Uncle Fidel. Their system would work their if they privatized a lot of their economy and give the Cuban People a chance to see what they can do for themselves. Instead of Havana trying to Centrally Plan Everyday Life in Cuba.
I'm glad I haven't seen the Sickco Movie by Michael Moore, probably could've gotten better information from Russia Today or Fox News. Which aint say anything, sounds like Big Mike got a lot of his information from the Communist State about Cuba. And already had a pretty good idea what he was going to say in his movie. And just used to the Castro Regime to back up his views that he already had going in.
Thursday, December 22, 2011
"Health Care Should Be A Right To Life in America!": We already have Healthcare but how to pay for it
We already have Healthcare as a Legal Right not Constitutional but as a Legal Right at least for emergency's. If you get sick or hurt and you end up at an Emergency Room and end up in a Hospital for at least a period of time. The doctors have to by law give you the Healthcare that you need in order for you to survive. At least in the short term and if you want to go farther then that, we need Congress to pass a new law. And how we pay for that which is the dumbest part of the American Healthcare System by passing those costs. Down to people who pay for their own Health Insurance and Healthcare. With a Healthcare Mandate, people will be forced to cover the expenses of their own Healthcare. Whether its out of pocket like with Health Savings Account or through Health Insurance. If they can't afford their own Health Insurance, then they get covered by Medicaid or Medicare. But they get covered they start paying for the decisions they make with their lives and are held accountable for their decisions. If you want to go farther then that, you need Congress to pass a new law. And get that signed by the President or we need a Constitutional Amendment to pass one. The reason why we don't go farther then that, so we don't get forced to subsidize bad decisions of others.
People who decide to take care of themselves, shouldn't be forced to subsidize the bad decisions of people. Who eat horribly, don't exercise, being addicted to alcohol or other drugs. People basically have the right to live their lives as smart or stupidly as you can afford. But people who make the right decisions with their lives, shouldn't be penalized. By being forced to cover the stupid people in how they live their lives. I just heard Progressive Talk Radio Host Thom Hartmann who I do respect for his honesty. Even though I can't think of a damn thing that we agree on. Hartmann is a collectivist and I'm an individualist as a Liberal Democrat, a huge believer in Individual Liberal. Other then maybe some Social Issues. Like the Patriot Act, Indefinite Detention and perhaps a few other things. Just moderate one of his positions, For as long as I can remember I've heard Thom Hartmann who I listen to somewhat frequently on the web mostly. Say we need a Single Payer Medicare For All Healthcare System. Eliminate the Private Health Insurance Industry, have Medicare be the only option for people in America as far as how they pay for their Health Insurance. And that they wouldn't get a choice at all, they would be forced to pay for Medicare and take it.
If you listen to this video, you'll here with your ears are open and actually pay attention. You'll hear Thom Hartmann say, maybe we don't need Medicare for all, maybe a Public Option allowing people and employers pay into Medicare would work as well. Thats what I've been arguing for from day one as far as how we expand Health Insurance in America. A Public Option giving the people the Freedom of Choice, especially the people who currently can't afford to pay for Health Insurance. The ability to decide for themselves how they pay for their Healthcare as long as they pay for it. Thats the type of Healthcare System we need in America, not Uncle Sam putting his big foot up our ass. Telling us how to pay for our own Healthcare.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
We'll never Nationalize the Banking System in America, thats a Socialist Pipe Dream that Progressives will never accomplish. Nor should we because the Federal Government doesn't do a very good job of what its runs now. Besides the Banking System represents too much of the American Economy so that would never happen. Give the Feds the Banking System one day, then they can get the Auto Industry the next day, Airline Industry the next day and so on. Making the United States look like the Soviet Union which never had a very strong economy. Despite its population, land and Educated Class but we can have a much better Banking System in America. If we first regulate it better by not allowing banks to become "Too Big to Fail" in the first place. By forcing them to sell off assets at Market Value once they reach a certain size. Forcing banks to purchase Bankruptcy Insurance so they would never have to be bailed out by Tax Payers. Instead banks would be forced to pay for their own mistakes not Tax Payers. We could even have a Non Profit Banking System to go along with For Profit Banking System. Not run by the Federal Government they would be Independent, Semi Private and Non Profit. Oregon is looking right now at how to accomplish this which is the way to go. Instead of the Federal Government trying to force it down the throats of people and forcing them to use a Public Bank.
If we had a Banking System that first saves the American Banking System so we have no more AIGs in the future. No more "Too Big to Fails", by regulating it properly, not under or over regulating it. And yes expanding Freedom of Choice which is one my favorite terms as a Liberal Democrat. With a Public Banking System not run by the Federal Government but allowing each State to set up their own. Public Banking System that would be Semi Private Non Profit Self Financed Independent. Of all governments except that they would all be regulated. To give consumers again more Freedom of Choice in how they do their own banking. Providing Private For Profit Banks Real Competition, which would hopefully force them to get their act together. And not do things like raising fees and cutting services just to expand their profits. Because that kind of behavior would cost them customers because consumers. Would then have the option of going to another Private Bank that provides a better service at a more affordable rate. Or they could also go to a Public Bank and do business with a Non Profit Bank.
Anytime you have a situation where a Private Industry is struggling financially like in a recession and it takes that out on its customers. By cutting services and raising fees, my answer is always to expand Freedom of Choice. To Empower Consumers not Government to get the Bad Actors to act more responsibly or go out of business. Without hurting the economy and then let the people decide for themselves how to receive these services. Thats what Freedom of Choice is about.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
As Thom Hartmann says in this interview, Barack Obama is not a "Movement Progressive". He wasn't a "Movement Progressive" when he ran for President in 2007-08, or when he was in the Senate. Barack Obama comes from the Bill Clinton-Jack Kennedy faction of the party. The actual Liberal Wing of the party which is different from the Progressive Socialist Wing of the party. That Dennis Kucinich, Ralph Nader if he was still a Democrat, the Progressive Caucus and others in the party. That want to make America like Europe, if thats what you want from a President. Then thats the type of Presidential Candidate you need to throw your support behind. You need to get behind Ralph Nader, Dennis Kucinich and others for President if thats what you want in a President. And put aside the fact that someone like that can't get elected President in America and just work as hard as you can to get that person elected President. Barack Obama has never said that he's part of the Progressive Movement, he was against the Iraq War. Like a lot of democrats but not because he believes that America should never go to war but because he believes the Iraq War was a "Stupid War". Which is different if Progressive Democrats were expecting President Obama to be a pacifist, then they must of been high. At one of their Hippie Camps or something.
You don't keep Bob Gates as your Secretary of Defense. And Jim Jones as your Director of National Security if your a pacifist, you appoint Dennis Kucinich or Ralph Nader, Ron Paul even to one of those jobs if thats who you are. Barack Obama when he ran for President knew the fastest way to get the Democratic Nomination. Was through getting Progressive Democrats and thats exactly what he did. Not to be like them just to get their support to win the Presidential Election but then as President. Because campaigning of course is different from governing, you govern based on what you believe in and what you believe you can get done. And hopefully you stay as close to what you campaign on but you do the job the best you can. And thats what I believe President Obama is doing right now with mixed results. As a Liberal Democrat who's to the left of the President on most if not all Social Issues but on Economic and Foreign Policy. I tend to agree with the President, on some of these other National Security issues where we tend to disagree. Like on the Patriot Act, Indefinite Detention and others.
Obama wasn't my first choice for President. I voted for him because he was the best available candidate at the time. My first choice Al Gore but he didn't run, 2nd choice Bill Ricahrdson but his campaign didn't go anywhere. And then I settled for Hillary Clinton, I thought he ran way too far to the left in the Democratic Primary's and was going to be the next George McGovern. But then he came back to the Adult Left and moved away from the Far Left in the General Election. If your dizzy now I understand but I wasn't expecting Barack Obama to be a God back then and have been proven right ever since.
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Ask me what the Role of Government is and I'll tell you and a lot of people across the Political Spectrum. Not everyone of course but the Role of Government in a Free Society Liberal Democracy. Is to protect Individual Liberty and Constitutional Rights of Individuals and everything that government does should be to defend those things. Including with things like defending the Constitution, Law Enforcement, National Security. So Free People can live with at least some basic level of security. So again they have the Individual Liberty to live their own lives as they see fit. As long as they are not hurting anyone else with their Liberty. And also with what's called regulation so people aren't abusing each other or the country in an unfair way. Like with unsafe Working Conditions to use as an example, so people get paid for the work that they do to use as examples. Again so people can live their own lives but they just can't hurt Innocent People with their activities. I'm all for helping people who are down and can't take care of themselves. Get themselves on their feet so again they can have the freedom to take to live their own lives as they see fit. Again as long as they are not hurting any Innocent People with what they are doing. I just don't believe the Federal Government should be running the Safety Net or Public Charity. But that all of these Public Services would be better run as Semi Private, Non Profit Community Services. Let each State have their own Social Welfare System that the Federal Government would regulate.
I believe in things like the US Constitution and Bill of Rights, Limited Government, Individual Liberty and Freedom of Choice. And the job of government and I argue the only job of government, is to protect these things. Thats what living in a Liberal Democracy which is what America is, is all about. Some people may say especially progressives when they argue for a Single Payer Healthcare System. That Liberal Democracy is about Majority Rule, well sure in most elections except for the Presidential Election. And when their are more then one candidate on the ballot in an election. At that point the candidate who receives the most votes can get elected or reelected. A Governmental System thats based on Majority Rule would be a Majoritarian Democracy. So to use Healthcare as an example, if 51% or more decide that they want Single Payer Medicare For All. Or to ban Hand Guns or make homosexuality illegal and there are people who believe in doing these things. But they are a minority, then all of those things would happen. The minority that likes their Health Insurance or Health Savings Account, would be forced to give those things up. Because the majority thinks those things are bad and the minority would be forced to pay for an take Medicare as their Health Insurance.
In a Liberal Democracy people get to decide for themselves how to pay for their Healthcare. Or if they want to own a gun have an affair with someone of the same gender, gamble their own money etc. If government just concentrated on defending Constitutional Rights and Individual Liberty. Instead of trying to protect people from themselves because Uncle Sam knows best and they are going to take our money from us. In order to protect us from ourselves. Like with parts of the Patriot Act and Indefinite Detention of Terrorist Suspects. And other Legislation, then America as great as a country its now, would be even better.
Friday, December 16, 2011
|Source: The Nation-|
Here comes another progressive socialist party the so called Justice Party. I got this wild hunch they believe in justice, but its a little early to tell they are just getting started, to go along with the Progressive Caucus, which is basically a political party inside of the Democratic Party. The actual Progressive Party, of course the Democratic Socialist Party. Probably the largest of the group and the Green Party that both Ralph Nader and Cynthia Mckinney have run for President for. So what the so-called progressive movement in America now has is basically four third parties and a party within the Democratic Party.
To be frank, Socialists are really outnumbered in Democratic Party where Center-Left Liberals and Progressives, where hold most of the leadership offices, almost all of them. Progressives have the House Minority Leader position with Nancy Pelosi, who ideologically is with them. But is a very skillful politician one of the best in Congress. Who is smart enough to know that you can't lead a large caucus with just a faction of it. Which is what the Progressive Caucus represents in the Democratic Party and that kinda gets to my point. Because when you have four groups all fighting for the same goals and policy's and fighting each other to decide who gets to lead plus fighting both Democrats and Republicans to be able to lead, you end up trying to swim upstream with one arm. And its counterproductive.
The social democratic movement get divided, when you have competing factions all fighting for the same things. See, the libertarian movement already has a party of their own, (any guesses in what its called) as well as members in both the Republican and Democratic party's, but take those Libertarian Republicans and Democrats out of it and recruit Libertarian Independents, the libertarian movement could be a major force in American politics. If you take the Democratic Socialists, really all of these people are Democratic Socialists whether they call themselves that or not, from all the outside party's and the Democratic Party, you put together a strong social democratic third party.
A new socialist party along with the Green Socialists, the Progressive Caucus, whatever social democratic Independents there might be and of course whatever recruiting and fundraising they are able to do in the future, now you got at least a major third party for the socialist movement that they could start with. And they are able to do in the future, would be based on how they are able to recruit and sell their message to the American public. They would start off with fifty plus seats in the House right off the bat with the Progressive Caucus. And less than a handful in the Senate, Bernie Sanders and others.
Take Representative Maxine Waters with you get her the hell out of the Democratic Party , with all of her conspiracy theories and everything else. You might want to get her some help as well but that might be another question. Representative Waters is the Michele Bachmann or Jim DiMint of the Democratic Party. Otherwise you basically have four or five different socialist candidates saying the basically the same exact things. Taking votes away from each other.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
|Source: Move On-|
What so-called Progressives need to understand is what President Obama is doing, this whole campaign about class warfare, is exactly that, a campaign. To get the Far-Left in the Democratic Party behind him for 2012. The exact same play or very close to it that he ran in 2007-08 to get this base behind him to win the Democratic nomination for President that he played masterfully. But then in the general election he became a Center-Left Progressive Democrat. Because he knew he needed the Democratic Party behind him, but he also needed Independent voters behind him as well.
Thats how Senator Barack Obama won Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Indiana, North Carolina, as well and Colorado. States that the Republican nominee has to win in order to get elected President. The President is not running this campaign because he believes in the so-called progressive agenda. If thats what so-called Progressives (Democratic Socialists, really) want, then they should vote for the Progressive Party nominee or the Socialist Party nominee. Neither Nominee of course would win but at least they would be ideologically in sync. President Obama believes in the Democratic agenda which is why he's a Progressive Democrat.
Center-Left Democrats have similar goals of Democratic Socialists, but different policy's to accomplish those goals. You're not going to see the President offer a single payer Medicare For All plan, or a plan to nationalize big banks. Or a plan to let all of the tax cuts expire including for the middle class. Or I'm sure a lot of other things that so-claled Progressive Economist Bob Reich wants to do.
So before Democratic Socialists throw all of their support behind President Obama and unless they want a President Gingrich or Romney, they have to get behind the President and Democratic Party. And then perhaps try to recruit more of their members in the Democratic Party. Or recruit their own members to the Progressive Party for 2014-16, they have to get behind the President. And not cost Democrats another election in Congress or cost them the White House. Because they didn't bother to vote or voted for people who lost overwhelmingly.
President Obama wants to pass his own agenda to restore American capitalism and make it work for the whole country. The other 90-99%, not tear down American capitalism and move to democratic socialism thats common in Europe. And he knows he needs the entire Democratic Party behind him to accomplish this. He knows he needs to get reelected obviously and that Senate Democrats need to hold on. And he needs more House Democrats if not a Democratic majority with Nancy Pelosi as Speaker. But he can't accomplish this with just Progressives, Liberals and Centrists. He already has those people. He needs Democratic Socialists as well and thats what this latest campaign is all about.
So for Democratic Socialists to get behind the President for 2012, as a Progressive Democrat, I believe thats great. Because that means President Obama's approval rating will go up and get near 50%. If he gets there and holds it, he's basically a lock to get reelected. But Socialists should know why he's doing this campaign, to get reelected because its about politics.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
The reason why he have Private Insurers at all is the same reason why we have Private Automakers, Private Hospitals Private anything else. That we purchase as a country, because its up to individuals not government to decide how they get these services. Which is something that I don't believe Supporters of Single Payer Medicare For All Health Insurance doesn't understand. That lets say hypothetically Government Health Insurance is the best, I don't believe it is. But for the purpose of this blog I'll put it hypothetically. Great then the people who want that would be able to get that Health Insurance. On their own if you expanded Medicare to cover that and the people who disagree with that 60% of the population. That likes their current Health Insurance, which was the whole point of President Obama and the Democratic Leadership. In the 2009-10 Healthcare Reform Debate saying that if you like your current Health Insurance you can keep it. But if you don't you can purchase the Public Option. Instead of government saying that we know best and we are going to by force make you purchase Medicare For All. A Public Option is about Freedom of Choice, unlimited Free and Fair Open Competition. Medicare For All is about Big Government knows best and this is how its going to be so deal with it. Eliminating Freedom of Choice in Health Insurance perhaps even Healthcare as a whole. Thats why Single Payer has never been on the table in these Healthcare Debates, because the American People generally want to make these decisions on their own. Without Big Government trying to make these decisions for them.
Some of the reasons why proponents of Single Payer Medicare For All Health Insurance say that thats the Healthcare System. We should have, the rest of the Industrial World has it and its free. The free argument isn't made that much anymore because even they know its not true and so does a lot of the country as well. The rest of the Industrial World argument, well if the rest of the Industrial World is Canada, Scandinavia and maybe Australia. Combine population of 80M people, then they are correct but of course thats not true. Even Britain one of the most if not most Socialist Democracy in the World. Now has Private Options in both Healthcare and Health Insurance. France considered by a lot of people, including myself believe has the best Healthcare System in the World. Has Private Options and Public Options in both Healthcare and Health Insurance. So does Germany Holland, Britain, Italy Switzerland, Taiwan, Japan and others. So what's the reaming argument, that Medicare has lower costs. Great then Medicare should do a better job of getting the word out on that and maybe they would have more customers. And people who like their current Health Insurance can stick to that, thats what Freedom of Choice is about. Letting the individuals make these decisions for themselves, instead of government making them for them.
I supported the Public Option in the Healthcare Reform Debate and put it in my own Healthcare Reform Plan in my blogs. Because of course there are too many abuses in the Private Health Insurance System. And a big reason why our Healthcare Costs are way to high and that they needed to be regulated. With new Consumer Protections and needed more competition but again what's the two words in Public Option. Hopefully you don't need someone to tell you the answer to that, its a Public Option that people would be Free to Choose. Or Free not to Choose, their decision because thats what Freedom of Choice is about, the Freedom of individuals to make these Personal Decisions on their own. Not government making them for them.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
I take issues like pornography, alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, prostitution, gambling, Video Games, music, movies, abortion go down the line all of the Personal Choice Issues. In how I decide whether they should be legal or not. And if they are legal or illegal and under what conditions. I ask this basic simple question, would society be better off if we were freer or less freer and how we decide these issues. Should government step in and decide for the people themselves whether they can do these things or not. That would be the less freer approach and once they are given that power. They'll probably say no or should we allow Free People to make these decisions for themselves. That would be the free approach and if we go in that direction. One thing could be added to if you decide these activities should they be legal or not. Should they be Legal with Regulation acknowledging that we are better off having these activities be free because we live in a Free Society. And the costs of making these activities are too high to pay, because we know for a fact that these activities. Are going to happen anyway regardless, gambling, prostitution, marijuana are perfect examples of that. So knowing that these activities are going to happen anyway, should we make them legal. So then we can regulate them and make them as safe as possible, to limit the abuses in the system. Instead of locking away people for what they do with their own free time and haven't hurt anyone.
I always come down on the side as a liberal that people in a Liberal Democracy should have the right to live their own lives. As they see fit as long as they aren't hurting anyone else with their freedom. That you can gamble your own money if you choose to, smoke a joint if you choose to, pay for sex and company if you choose to. Accept money for sex if you choose to, have a drink, smoke tobacco if your choose to, Free Adults that is. As long as your not hurting other people with what your doing and you don't force people to do your activities. And then you regulate these activities to make them as safe as possible. Alcohol, tobacco, pornography are all perfect examples of this. Thats what Freedom of Choice is in a Liberal Democracy. And a big reason why I'm a Liberal Democrat, because I believe Free Adults should have the Individual Liberty to make these decisions for themselves. Thats what being a liberal is about the right for Free Adults to live their own lives as long as they are not hurting other with what they are doing. Freedom of Choice is not just about Economic Liberty, thats definitely a component to Freedom of Choice. But Social Liberty as well.
I would never smoke a joint, smoke tobacco, drink alcohol, sell myself for money, pay for sex, gamble my money other then the Stock Market and Business Ventures. And because of all these things and perhaps other reasons as well, you might see me as very lame. But that doesn't mean I'm capable of making those decisions or government is capable of making those decisions for other people. Thats what Freedom of Choice is about the Freedom to Choose or not to Choose thats the decisions of Free Adults. And its a good system to have.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
In January 2009 there was an opportunity for Democratic Socialists in America to carry out their Grand Vision for America. To establish their own Governmental System Economic and otherwise. Establish their Welfare State bring Sweden to America so to speak, a couple problems however. And thats even before I get to why it wouldn't work, they didn't have the White House or Congress. But I'm going to lay out what they would've tried to establish had they had the power to do so. First I would lay out the things that would've been more possible but not likely to pass. With lets say and this could give me a nightmare, Dennis Kucinich as President, with lets Jan Shakowski as his Vice President. Two of the leading Members of the Progressive Caucus as President and Vice President instead of Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Nancy Pelosi because she's from this Faction of the Democratic Party would still be Speaker of the House. But only Progressives would hold positions in the Democratic Leadership. So somebody like Lynn Woolsey would be the Leader instead of Steny Hoyer, Leader Hoyer who I like a lot. Sandy Levin as Chairman of Ways and Means and go down the line. Bernie Sanders would be Leader of the Senate, Sherrod Brown would be his Deputy. Instead of Harry Reid and Dick Durbin, Deputy Leader Durbin might be my favorite Member of Congress. Because he's brutally honest and a real Liberal Democrat. So they now in Fantasy Land the Progressive Caucus would have the Leaders they need to pass their Progressive Agenda and bring real Democratic Socialism to America.
Remember its the Heart of the "Great Recession" we are losing 700K plus jobs per month and thats before Barack Obama becomes President. And we are losing -7% in Economic Growth each month as well, when would there be a better time for a New Deal Stimulus Plan. So an Economic Recovery Act probably around 2T$ or more all in new Federal Government Investment no new Tax Cuts. They would repeal all of the Bush Tax Cuts, the Clinton Tax Cuts, the Reagan Tax Cuts, the Kennedy Tax Cuts. And create things like the Works Projects Administration and all these new Federal Programs designed to hire people to work for them. Doing Infrastructure Investment no more Private Sector jobs doing this work. The Auto and Banking Industry's both failing at the time, so they both get nationalized. President Kucinich says it will only be short term. But after they screw that up, they'll tell the American People this is not the right time. To Privatize National Assets, a few months into the Kucinich Administration. They move to Nationalize the Healthcare Industry saying Healthcare Providers shouldn't make profits on providing Healthcare. Of course I'm calling this is a Wet Dream because we'll probably never have a Socialist President Democratic or Classical. But this is what they would attempt to accomplish if they could.
What a better time then in 2009 had Socialists in America had the power to try to pass just parts of their agenda. And what a better time for them to say, see we told you American Capitalism has failed. Americans have too much Economic Liberty they don't know what to do with it. We need Uncle Sam to come in and save the day. The problem is they didn't have the votes and the power to get in office in Leadership and make their Socialist Reforms. Because we are still a Liberal Democracy and we've never put people in power to try to pass an agenda like that. Because the words socialist and socialism are still used as insults in America.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
|Source: The Real News-|
It was clear pretty early on in the 2009-10 health care reform debate, that even though Democrats had the White House and Congress and large majorities in both the House and Senate, that so-called Progressive Democrats didn't have the votes for a single payer Medicare For All health care system. Not just because every single Congressional Republican was going to vote against it, including voting to block it in the Senate. But you got to remember that House Republicans and their Leader John Boehner only had 178 seats in a 435 member House. And Senate Republicans and their Leader Mitch McConnell only had 40 seats in 100 Member Senate. You need 60 votes to be get to a final vote on legislation in the Senate. Senate Democrats had 60 seats.
My point being that Congressional Republicans didn't have the power to block legislation on their own in 2009. You can blame them all you want but the fact is if Congressional Democrats held their own, they would've got the health care reform plan they wanted. But 50 plus House Democrats in the Blue Dog Coalition (fiscal conservative group in the best sense of the term). They are not supply siders, would never vote for a single payer health care plan. And maybe half of the Senate Democratic Caucus would've voted for a single payer plan. Put that together with all of the House and Senate Republicans, Congressional Democrats don't have the votes to pass single payer health care. But they did have the votes for a public Option something I support in a certain form. And I'll explain how the votes were there all along for a public option but democrats blew it.
President Obama I believe wanted a health care reform bill all along that had bipartisan Support. It would've been his LBJ Medicare moment which is how Medicare was passed in 1965. Which is why you saw so many Congressional Republican amendments on the final Affordable Care Act in 2010. He ran for President being someone who could cross the isle and bring Democrats and Republicans together. And didn't want to be viewed as another politician full of Washington hot humid air and I get that. And she should've done that.
The problem was President Obama should've figured out by I don't know late summer 2009 during the Congressional recess with the Tea Party movement taking off, that just wasn't going to happen. The Tea Party wasn't going to allow that to happen and told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Leader Harry Reid, as well as Minority Leader's Boehner and McConnell and committee Chairman and Ranking Members of jurisdiction, (I know I'm sounding really technical) the majority and Minority Leader's of these committees, that they like their plan that has the public option and Patient Bill of Rights and health care tax credit, health savings accounts in it. And they'll accept amendments from the minority in the House and Senate that they like. But the Leaderships is not going to take out of the bill what they want and they're going to go their own way.
House Democrats passed a health care reform bill in November 2009 that had exactly in it what I was talking about with only a couple of votes to spare. Senate Democrats passed basically the same bill in December with a few Republican amendments to it. But it still had the public option, health care credit and Patients Bill of Rights in it. So they should've brought the House and Senate together to work out the differences.
Put the Republican amendments in both bills and there you have it a health care reform bill, with a public option, health care tax credit, Patient Bill of Rights, Medicare reform. That fully pays for the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit of 2003, bring the bill up through reconciliation in the Senate. Meaning Minority Leader McConnell wouldn't be able to block the bill with Senate Republicans and Centrist Democrats. And you pass the Affordable Care Act in January 2010, with 220 votes in the House, 50-51 in the Senate. Huge win for President Obama and Congressional Democrats. And with the so-called Progressive Democrats feeling pretty good about the 2010 mid-term elections. But that didn't happen because Democrats blew that opportunity.
Saturday, December 3, 2011
What Progressive Socialists in the Democratic Party are facing right now is a numbers game. The numbers are just not on their side, the money as well as members in the Democratic Party. If you look at both the House and Senate or Democratic Governors, the House 50 seats maybe, Senate 3-5, Governors other then maybe Jerry Brown of California. Who used to definitely be a Progressive Democrat until he became more mainstream, partially to be Governor again. And perhaps because he also grew up, the Rossevelt Coalition and FDR was basically only a Progressive on Economic Policy. But that coalition is now gone as far as running the Democratic Party, the JFK Coalition now runs the Democratic Party. With people like Bill Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry, Joe Biden, Barack Obama and others. I love Jesse Jackson and respect his son Jesse JR who's a Progressive Representative from Illinois. But that coalition no longer runs the DP, Liberal Democrats in the real sense. People who are very liberal on Social Issues and Foreign Policy but don't scare Private Enterprise. With High Taxes and Regulations that run them out of business either, or use Anti Business rhetoric. Who can work with the Private Sector to make the country better and this is something that Progressive Democrats hate right now. And why they are threatening to leave the Democratic Party, while others stay because they believe they have a stronger voice in a major Liberal Party then a minor Progressive Party.
Long term I believe Democratic Socialists in America including Progressive Democrats, are better off with their own Political Party. There's already a minor Third Party in America called the Progressive Party. And there's also the Democratic Socialist Party and the Green party, they wouldn't win many elections in 2012. It would probably be at least 2016 before they became any factor, but you pull these four Political Groups together into one Progressive Party. Including all of the people in the Occupy Wall Street Movement that are scattered amongst several different parties. And then progressives in America would finally have their own party that to speak to their members concerns and agendas. Get all of the Progressive Democrats in the House to become part of the Progressive Party for 2012. And run for reelection as Progressives in 2012 and get reelected. There would be a major Third Party in the House of Representatives going into the next Congress. It would cost House Democrats the control of the House for the next Congress, unless they work in coalition with House Democrats. Assuming their more Democrats and Progressives. Then republicans in the House in the next Congress and progressives would have leverage on the House Democratic Leadership to move their agenda.
For Progressives to accomplish things like having a Public Auto Company, Public Banks, Medicare For All Single Payer Health Insurance, Public Hospitals. Universal Higher Education, repeal all Tax Cuts passed since the end of the Eisenhower Administration. Build a new economy with Employee Ownership and I'm sure there's more. Then you need a Political Party thats powerful enough to deliver that agenda for you. And the Democratic Party is not a Socialist Party but a Liberal Party who disagrees with this agenda. Thats not the party to pass this agenda, Progressives need their own Political Party to get that done.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
When I first about Rand Paul even though he's the son Rep. Ron Paul a Libertarian Republican Member of the House. And heard about Dr. Paul being elected to the US Senate and heard about some of the things he said. Like on the Civil Rights Acts of the 1960s, I thought great not seriously, another Jim DiMint Religious or Neoconservative coming to Congress. Someone who's very articulate about Economic Liberty and Fiscal Responsibility. And someone who believes people should have all of the Economic Liberty. They want but will try to tell us how to live our lives, what we can do at home etc. For example Sen. DiMint coming out in favor of making adultery a Federal Crime, which he did in late 2010. As well as a ban against pornography, unlike Sen. Paul's father Rep. Paul who's a Classical Libertarian and a big believer in Individual Liberty period. But when you hear Sen. Paul speak out against the War in Afghanistan and Iraq, saying its time that we bring our troops home. And you hear him speak out against the Patriot Act and Indefinite Detention of American Citizens, which is what Sen. Mike Lee another republican did today as well. They both making the case that sacrificing Individual Liberty for National Security, is not a good deal. That we can't have National Security without Individual Liberty, that makes me feel good to be wrong about something. Because there he sounds more like a Libertarian like his father or at least like a Classical Conservative. Like former Sen. Barry Goldwater, unlike both Sen. John McCain Ranking Member of the Armed Services Committee. And Sen. Lindsay Graham who I generally respect but they both have sounded like Neoconservatives in this debate.
We tried Neoconservatism with the Bush Administration for eight years when it came to National Security and everything else. And yes we haven't been attacked inside the United States and President Bush deserves some credit for it. But we've paid a heavy price for it, economically, fiscally, our reputation in the World. And I would argue we've had some of our Civil Liberties stripped from us as well, with TSA and Indefinite Detention of americans. Some of the Anti Terrorist methods we've used against Foreign Terrorists Suspects as well as apparently American Terrorists Suspects as well. And these same tactics can now be used, the Indefinite Detention, torture can now be used and will be used against American Soldiers as well. Which used to be Sen. McCain's position when he would argue against torture but apparently now he's had a change of heart. And when they are I can guarantee you whoever is President then, as well as Neoconservatives in Congress and out of Congress. Will be calling those tactics used against American Soldiers torture, I'll bet you anything on that. What are they going to say, its not torture when its used against Non American Terrorists Suspects. But when they are used by Foreign Governments against americans it is torture. They won't have a credible argument.
We didn't elect Barack Obama as a country President as well as Democrats in Congress, to have another four years of a Neoconservative Administration. And I'll give Dick Durbin the Deputy Leader of the Senate and my favorite Member of the Senate credit. He's been out front and outspoken against Indefinite Detention and Torture against americans and Foreign Suspects. He's a real Liberal Democrat like myself and speaks about these issues not just as a liberal but from his heart. Because he feels very strongly about these things but its time that other Democratic and Republican Members of Congress do the same thing as well.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Even though I wouldn't call America a 'Terrorist State', even in during the George W. Bush Administration. Because simply I disagree with that to suggest a 'Terrorist State' would suggest that America is in favor of terrorism. We've never been in favor of terrorism. Now we have supplied people that we thought were on our side, that later turned out to be terrorist organizations. Like Al- Qaeda in Afghanistan in the late 1970s and 80s. But that's about bad judgement. Not being in favor of terrorism, which are two different things.
Noam Chomsky has used rhetoric that to me at least sounds anti-American. Like calling America a Terrorist State. And suggesting that we are as bad as the people we are against or going after. Saying things like Barack Obama is a Neoconservative or bought by Corporate America. Basically using socialist propaganda against the President. I actually wrote a blog about that back in March about a lecture he gave about President Obama.
To me what America should be doing in the world and here is the Schneider Doctrine, is protecting American national interests. Not trying to govern the world or selecting government's for other countries. Helping our allies sure, but only when they need our help. So World War II yes I believe that was a good idea and justified. Same thing in the first Gulf War in 1991, the 2nd one no. Because there was simply not there, there. The inspectors on the ground said that the Hussein Regime didn't have a nuclear weapons program and didn't have any weapons of mass destruction at the time.
When we learned that Iraq didn't have WMD, because they were eliminated by UN weapons inspectors in the late 1990s, it became obvious that war and took the position in middle to late 2003 that we need to get out of there as soon as possible. Mission Accomplished at least the original mission and lets go. Help Iraq develop their own government, but not be an indefinite force there. I supported the War in Afghanistan in 2001-02 because the Taliban Government there were protecting the terrorists that were responsible for 9/11. And still feel that war was justified.
But again Mission Accomplish it's time to move on. Our involvement in the Korean Civil War and our involvement sixty-years later, I'm still against. Because it's none of our business and South Korea can defend themselves. The Vietnam War again another Civil War I'm against, again none of our business. The so-called domino theory that if one country goes authoritarian, a bunch of other will follow and try to attack America and become serious threats to us, doesn't hold leaves let alone water.
The only time I would be in favor of America getting involved in another countries civil wars, is when ethnic or racial genocide is being committed and we can make a positive difference there. Which is what was happening in World War II obviously with Nazi Germany trying to eliminate all of the European Jews. Or what Slobadon Milosovic was doing in Yugoslavia in the 1990s to Albanians and Bosniaks and Croats. And other Slavic people's, because he wanted a Serbian Yugoslavia without other ethnic groups. Sort of how Adolph Hitler wanted Germany to just be made up of only ethnic-Germans.
And where America can do something about that and where we can work with our allies in the region to do something to stop that. And where we have a good shot at winning and not losing a lot of American lives. So invading Iran because they may obtain nuclear weapons would not be something I can support. America has to look after America and work with the rest of the world to look after the world where we can and it's in our interest. But we can't govern the world by ourselves, because, we are only one power.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Thom Hartmann getting on people who are against the Payroll Tax Cuts that benefit the Middle Class. And against people who are against extending the Tax Cuts, meaning they are supporting a large Tax Hike here. 1000$ or more on Middle Class workers, is a bit hypocritical, because he was against those Tax Cuts in the first place. And actually supports repealing all of the Bush Tax Cuts including the Tax Cuts for the Middle Class. Actually Thom Hartmann has come out in favor on his own Radio Show for repealing the Reagan Tax Cuts. With a top 70% and the lowest rate I believe was at 20% . Hartman has actually come out in favor on his show of repealing the Kennedy Tax Cuts from 1961 or 62, that President Johnson got signed into law. I believe in 1964 and returning to the Eisenhower Tax Rates ranging from 25-90%, currently the bottom Tax Rate is 10%. Because of the Bush Tax Cuts of 2001 and Hartmann is right about the Congressional Republican hypocrisy and Presidential Candidate Michelle Bachmann. Who both support this Middle Class Tax Hike by allowing for the Payroll Tax Cuts to expire. But Thom Hartmann's problem is that he's being hypocritical because he would like to see the bottom rate of the Income Tax. Go from 10% as its today, up to 25% as it was in the 1950s, a 250% Tax Hike on someone making 40-50K$. Just struggling to pay their current bills. President Obama and the Congressional Democratic Leadership are right to point out the Republican Hypocrisy here. Because they supported the Payroll Tax Cut in the beginning, as well as extending the other Middle Class Tax Cuts.
Its one thing to critique or attack someone's position on something, its another to have credibility on it. Don't attack someone just to attack them but do it in a way that you know they are wrong. Because you've always felt differently or at least be honest enough to admit you were wrong the first time. And you thought it over and changed your position, sorta what Mitt Romney does every time. One of his positions becomes unpopular, depending on what office he's running for. The reason why I call him Flip Flopper, of course the Republican Leadership is being hypocritical about the Payroll Tax Cuts. Saying they'll never support any Tax Hikes and still claiming they don't support any Tax Hikes. Even though they are supporting letting the Payroll Tax Cut expire which would be a huge Middle Class Tax Hike. Somewhere around 20B$ a year, 1000$ for someone making 50K$ a year. Thom Hartmann is just not the right spokesperson to point this out, because he didn't support the Payroll Tax Cuts in the beginning. Wants all of the Bush Tax Cuts to expire to be used for Government Investment, which would be a huge Middle Class Tax Hike. Thom Hartmann getting on people for supporting Tax Hikes, would be like Fidel Castro claiming that America has too much socialism. Give me a break not the right messenger to be giving that message.
The House Republican Leadership needs to think long and hard about going into an Election Year. Where they have 60 plus freshmen up for reelection, being in favor of Middle Class Tax Hikes. Especially when the President is in favor of extending the Payroll Tax Cuts and the Democratic Senate will try to pass an Extension of the Payroll Tax Cuts. They might even try to extend it for employers, if nothing else in an attempt. To try to dare the Senate GOP Leadership to try to block Tax Cuts going into an Election Year. Politics and Election Prospects might bring the sides together to prevent these Tax Hikes from happening.
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Bart Friedman: 1988 Democratic National Convention: Reverend Jesse Jackson Hope and Opportunity Speech
Facing racism obviously because of his race and complexion and yet still working past that to becoming one of the most influential reverends in the United States. And becoming one of the main leaders in the civil rights movement of the 1960s. And working for Dr. Martin L. King’s Southern Leadership Conference and becoming one of the most important civil rights leaders post MLK Assassination of 1968. And someone whose always been about making a great country even greater so it works for all Americans.
Hope, opportunity, equality, do not settle for mediocrity and bigotry, or use the way you started out in life as an excuse not to be successful which is I believe the message of Reverend Jackson that America should work for all Americans. Which is what the Democratic Party is all about at our best and why we represent the entire country. Instead of just being able to appeal strongly to one ethnic or racial group in the country and why we have strong Democrats all over the country.
An example of why one of our most successful president’s, comes from one of the most reddest states in the union where he served as Governor for twelve years before becoming President of the United States in 1993. And who had a similar message as Reverend Jackson, but perhaps phrased it differently. “That there’s nothing wrong with America that can’t be fixed with what is right with America.” From President Bill Clinton’s 1993 inaugural address.
The Democratic Party had a major contender for the presidential nomination in 1984 and 1988. Whose an African-American from the deep South, to twenty years later we have an African-American President of the United States. Whose message is also similar to that of Reverend Jess Jackson. Of hope, opportunity and responsibility who are about that. Being an American Patriot is not saying things are always perfect, but always working to make things perfect. Knowing you’ll probably never accomplish that to make your country as perfect as it can be. Hope, opportunity, execution of those opportunities is the message of this speech.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
The Province of Quebec which is in Canada is a large piece of land but with only around 8M people. Kinda typical for Canada a lot of land but lightly populated. Thats about the size of Scandinavia physically and ethnically mostly French with some English Canadians and other peoples. Including Canadian Indians I'm sure, thats flirted with the idea of separating from Canada for a long time. Believing they are a country within a country and they are ethnically and culturally different from the rest of Canada. And that they deserve their own country like the French People in France have. Or at least this is how some quebecers feel but with how badly the Quebec Party did in the Canadian Federal Elections last May. Losing all of their seats to the Socialist Democratic Party as I call them. The chances of that happening aren't very good at least right now and they haven't even had a vote in Quebec on Quebec Independence. Since I believe 2002, there hasn't been much of a push outside of the Quebec Party to make this happen. And quebecers seem to feel more comfortable with the idea, of at least outside of the Quebec Party. Which has lost a lot of power in Quebec, especially since the Conservative Party came to power in the Federal Government. About being French Canadian with their own Province their own land their own Provincial Government. They represent around 25% on Canada, in Quebec and outside of Quebec. They have one of the biggest and greatest if not the biggest greatest cities in Canada in Montreal, one of the best cities in the World. Life is good there right now but it could get better.
Quebec compared right now compared with the rest of Canada is a fairly poor country. Living Standards in Canada is comparable with America, they are one of the wealthiest countries in the World. But Quebec's Living Standards are about 50% of the rest of Canada, which is something I bet quebecers consider. When they are considering Quebec Independence, do they want to part of one of the wealthiest countries in the World. And continue to develop in Quebec economically and just Montreal which has always done pretty well. But develop the rest of the Province or do they want to be a somewhat poor country in North America. That even though they have a lot of land, has a fairly small population. Physically and in population, Quebec is pretty similar to Libya and Libya is going to able figure out how to develop. A very large country but with only 6.5M people but with a lot of Natural Resources. And quebecers are going to be able to decide for themselves, do they want to represent 25%. Of one of the richest countries in the World of 35M people but that could easily expand and develop. Or do they want to be a somewhat poor country of 8M people surrounded by two of the wealthiest countries in the World. In Canada and America, so far they've chosen to be French Canadians.
I believe Quebec's future is in Quebecers Hands and up to them what they want to do. Declare Quebec Independence by letting quebecers decide or continue to be French Canadians. In a country where they represent 25% of the population and I believe the largest Ethnic Minority in Canada. Where they have plenty of influence on the Quebec Provincial Government as well as the Federal Government. And if they continue to stay, I'm sure the rest of Canada will be happy to have them. But if they decide to go by choice meaning the people, then they should be able to do that. Without the Canadian Government trying to block them by force.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
I don't see any good news or bad news from the Congressional Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction as far as them not reaching an agreement. Because I wasn't expecting them to reach any agreement, I do see Congressional Democrats looking very good coming out of this. They knew going in that Congressional Republicans weren't going to agree to any Tax Hikes, probably not even Tax Reform. But they look good to their base which they'll definitely need in 2012 to take back the House and hold the Senate. By not agreeing to any Entitlement Reform without more Defense Cuts and Tax Hikes on the wealthy. I don't believe President Obama looks good because its one more time he tried to bring democrats and republicans together and they failed. I don't think that will hurt him in the election, he can easily back up Congressional Democrats on this. I believe once again Congressional Republicans look stubborn and unable to work with democrats, with their our way or the highway approach. When it comes to Tax Reform and caving to Grover Norquist again and they may have given democrats an issue to hit them with in 2012. With as divided as the country and republicans and democrats in Congress are right now. Deficit Reduction is going to need at least one General Election to get it done. With one party having enough power to put their plan through, I don't see how another Divided Government. Especially a Divided Congress gets the job done, unless both sides see it in their Political Interest to do so. Which is something that only President Obama seems to grasp right now.
To State the Obvious, this is no longer the late 1990s where you had the Leadership in both parties understanding. That they don't have all the power, that they can't force their own plans through Congress. And get the President to sign what they want, I believe Barack Obama is that type of Leader. I really do but he doesn't have a counterpart on the other side of the table that feels the same way. Instead of bashing each others head in and both sides looking bad politically. Lets work together and reach an agreement thats obviously not perfect but a good agreement that can work. And would be good for the country and let the next election decide who has more or less power. I believe Speaker John Boehner could be that type of Leader and before he became the Republican Leader in the House. Was that type of Representative as Chairman on the Workforce Committee and wanted to right laws. Not just pass things out of the House to see them die in the Senate because they were partisan. But right now its his job and the ability to keep it thats driving him right now and its the House Tea Party thats driving their agenda. And the Senate Republican Leadership led by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell that have picked up that ball and have run with it in the Senate. Blocking Senate Democrats whenever they can.
The partisanship of the mid and late 1990s is nothing Minor League compared with how it is now. Bill Clinton and Bob Dole are actually friends, same thing with Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich. At least at one point, after the Federal Government Shutdown, because President Clinton and Speaker Gingrich. Both understood that they were Public Officials as well and not just Politicians and their job was to govern especially in non Elections Years. And together got a lot done, if you look at the 104th Congress as partisan as it was. They actually got a lot done because they worked with President Clinton. And those days are long gone which is why we need another election to sort these issues out.
Saturday, November 19, 2011
|Source: RT America-|
It looks like Occupy Wall Street finally has an agenda and it's pretty clear where they are coming from on the political spectrum. Their leadership (if you want to call it that,) they are really made up of a bunch a different progressive (actually social democratic groups. Has put something on the table an agenda that I'm assuming they want to see passed. It clearly won't happen in this divided Congress, but in the future if that I would label their agenda that Harry Truman and others having been trying to pass since the FDR New Deal. And the LBJ Great Society, what's been called the Fair Deal, which is the next step after the New Deal and Great Society. Universal health care and health insurance provided by the Federal Government through a single payer health insurance. What's called Medicare For All and outlawing the private health insurance industry and all other health insurance plans. Putting the entire country of over 310M people on Medicare. As well as forgiving all consumer debt in what's called debt forgiveness for the middle class.
They want higher education for all again provided by the Federal Government. What OWS calls tax fairness returning to the days when they believed the economy and society had more equality and repealing all of the Bush tax cuts, of the last ten years, the Reagan tax cuts of the 1980s and the Kennedy tax cuts. JFK who was a Liberal Democrat and a political hero of mine from the 1960s. Returning to the days of 90% tax rates with lowest tax rate starting at around 25% . And establishing what's called employee ownership of private industry. Making employees stockholders of the company's that they work at. So now we have what the Tea Party agenda is, going back to the Federal budgets of 2008, getting the Federal budget at around 18-20% of GDP. And perhaps taking it farther back then that to pre-New Deal of the 1930s. Turning Medicare into a voucher system, establishing private retirement accounts for Social Security.
OWS and perhaps the Tea Party, would like to pull out of Afghanistan and Iraq, repealing the Patriot Act, basically making the Federal Government about 50% of the size that it's now. Repealing most if not all tax deductions and corporate welfare and moving to a flat income tax system. And Occupy Wall Street wanting to make the Federal Government at least twice the size that its now. Perhaps even taking authority away from state and local government's to give to the Federal Government to take care of a lot more people as they would put it. So we have the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street representing both ends of the political spectrum. Clearly giving American voters especially Independent voters a choice in who to vote for. Probably not a choice that they want and would choose something else, but at least it's a choice. The advantage that the Tea Party has over Occupy Wall Street is that they have a lot more sway in the Republican Party.
Occupy Wall Street has has a lot less influence over Democratic Party Leadership. Now that Occupy Wall Street has an agenda, they'll be able to recruit their candidates around it. And have something to run on in 2012. Because part of this is definitely taking the House of Representatives from the Republican Party. And perhaps helping the Senate Democrats hold on to the Senate. They haven't been very serious about recruiting a presidential candidate to run against President Obama. Which gives them more credibility in the Democratic Party, because that would probably crush whatever momentum they have. But to get their support, Democrats now know what to support to get it. I'll give OWS credit for one thing. hell of a lot easier to bitch and complain about what you're against. Especially if what you're against is unpopular and you're somewhat of a populist. But leadership wouldn't be difficult if it didn't require laying out your own ideas and a vision that you want followed. And taking the risk that it could be unpopular. And OWS at least has somewhat of an agenda now.
Friday, November 18, 2011
I love it or actually find it humorous when socialists in America or outside of America, who don't like our form of government. Our Governmental System or Economic System, try to put down America. By saying that we should do things more like Europe, we should design our system around these Socialist Democracy's. And they make their points by saying we have all of these free services, apparently not understanding what the word free means. That alone would get me to doubt them because none of those services are free for anyone who pays taxes. And they also say that the reason why these countries are better, is because the people are happier. As if they have anyway of knowing that, which of course they don't. Unless they asked everyone in America and these Euro States, which of course they didn't. America and Europe for the most part are both great places to live, americans generally speaking love America. There even some socialists and theocrats who in America who believe we have too much freedom love America. Europeans from what I here love Europe as well, of course I haven't asked all of them. And haven't even asked all americans as well and if I couldn't live in America, I would move to Canada. And if I couldn't get into Canada I would move to Europe but thats not the question. The question is what works for America, Canada and Europe and works for those countries. And what works in one country may not work in another, they have to figure out what works best for that country themselves.
The culture and people in America are much different in Europe and I'm not talking about race or ethnicity. Because 70% of America are of European Ethnicity but I'm talking about National Culture. Europe for the most part is made up of Socialist Democracy's, culturally these countries tend to be socialist and collectivist. Which is why their taxes are so high compared with America and even Canada, because their Welfare States are so big. Especially compared with America. While America is a Liberal Democracy as much as conservatives, socialists and theocrats may hate that. We tend to be individualist, big believers in Individual Liberty both Economic and Social Liberty, Self Reliance. That if we get into trouble, we can get ourselves out of it. As a Liberal Democrat myself I'm a perfect example of this, europeans may want government taking care of them. Be able to make a good living collecting Unemployment Insurance and that sorta thing. Americans by in large don't trust government, hate paying taxes and hate the idea of going on Unemployment Insurance. While europeans may pay their taxes with smiles on their faces. We are just two very different cultures and if socialists believe America is a such a materialistic place thats so selfish. Because we like to keep the money we earn and produce, then why stay here and move to Europe instead.
One way to look at how countries are doing and what people think about them, is to look at their Immigrant Population. In 1990 America was a country of 265M people, 2000, 300M people and today approaching 315M people. If you look at out physical size, we are actually under populated and could house more. If some of our Rural States were more developed. Immigrants come to America because they want Individual Liberty and Economic Liberty. And come from countries that don't have much of either from all over the World including Europe. We still have europeans immigrating to America, while Europe's population has been in decline. Germany has lost 5M people the last ten years., they've gone from 85M people to 80M people today. People are immigrating to America instead of Europe, we have Waiting Lists of people that want to get into America.
Am I'm saying that America is perfect, of course not, am I'm saying we do everything right, of course not. But neither does Europe, what I am saying is what America does for the most part, works for America. And what doesn't work for America, we can fix ourselves with what does work with America. As President Bill Clinton said in 1993 when he was sworn in as President. And what works for Europe, works for them but what doesn't work for them. They may have to become more like us with a little more Individual Liberty as they are already doing with their Welfare State.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Talking Points Memo: Video: "Senator Barack Obama Confesses to Socialists Leanings": Who Isn't a Socialist in America?
I’ll admit as a Liberal Democrat I’m not completely satisfied with the politics of President Obama. I didn’t like his politics as primary candidate Obama in 2008. I thought he was running to the Far-Left as a McGovernite New-Left government can do everything for everybody Social Democrat. I like him more as Democratic nominee Obama in the general election. When he ran as a New Democrat Liberal to get independent voters to vote for him. As President Obama he’s been a bit too weak and timid for me. But the results so far have been pretty good,
Especially comparing where the country was three years ago and where we are today as President. But three years ago the economy was collapsing, so it is not hard to much better than that. It would be like saying you inherit a winless football team and than you win four games the next season and you say, “see, I told you things would get better”. President Obama has governed as a moderate Progressive. Somewhere between Lyndon Johnson and Bill Clinton. Not as a Liberal Democrat in the JFK sense, which is what I was hoping for.
The first Liberal Democratic President since Bill Clinton or even Jack Kennedy. But JFK at least as far as I’m concern is the God of modern liberalism in its realest form. So saying you are not as good as a Liberal as Jack Kennedy, would be like saying you are not as good as a quarterback as Joe Montana. Anything close to that, is more than acceptable. I’ve been with the President for the most part on economic and foreign policy. But I’ve been disappointed with him on national security, especially with the Patriot Act and Indefinite Detention.
President Obama hasn’t eliminated big government when it comes to civil liberties. He’s grown it like plants use water to grow to the point that he makes Dick Cheney look like small government Libertarian when it comes to civil liberties. Dick Cheney is actually a secret admirer of Barack Obama in this area and writes him love letters about it. Which scares the hell out of Barack and Michelle, but not to the point he changes his policies about security, privacy and liberty.
The Patriot Act and indefinite detention, two things that then Senator Obama used to be against as well, but now as President he’s for them. “I’m against these policies when I’m running for office and need votes. But now I have to govern and look strong on national security, so I’m for them”. President Obama on truth serum. I disagree with President Obama on the War on Drugs. I think as a lawyer as skilled as the President is, that he would be against the War on Drugs. Especially with his liberal leanings, but the President has escalated the War on Drugs. Which tells me again that Barack thinking with his head, knows the War on Drugs is a failure. But Barack the politician believes he needs the votes of Independents who perhaps are more big government on this issues.
Anyone who understands socialism, understands that Barack Obama isn’t one of them. Which is why Today’s so-called Progressives, who are really locked in the closet Socialists, don’t like him. And anyone who understands liberalism, probably generally likes Barack Obama, but are disappointed with him as well. To describe Barack Obama’s politics I believe is fairly simple. In his heart I believe he’s a Liberal Democrat who considers Jack Kennedy to be one of his heroes. But as President he’s a moderate Progressive who rather govern, then fight the good fights and not come up with nothing. Making him a pragmatist, which is what most successful Presidents are.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
|Source: Reel Talk-|
We are going to find out in the next few months as the weather gets cold, especially in the Northeast and Midwest, if the Occupy Wall Street movement is here to stay and will be a factor in 2012. Or will it fade out like other social democratic movements in the past. Especially that were dominated by young people. As they got older, finished school, went to work, got married, had kids, etc, became part of the economic establishment they claimed to be against. For OWS and I know I've blogged about this a lot lately and said this a lot before, but for them to become something and to effect the 2012 elections, which I'm assuming is their goal, to bring what they call Progressive Change (or Socialist Change) to America, which I'm assuming they are for, they have to be for something, they have to lay out what they say Progressive Change is. It's obvious what they are against. Wall Street, corporations, lobbyists, our campaign finance system.
Perhaps even profit motive and American capitalism all together, the Tea Party, the Republican Party, Perhaps even the Democratic Party. Which as a Democrat myself I hope they are against us. Because maybe that will get them to take a hike and form their own social democratic/Socialist Party. Which I believe is possible because the Democratic Socialist Party and the Green Party, both socialist parties are clearly involved in this movement. But for them to be a factor and to effect the 2012 general elections they also have to be for something as well to get people to vote for their candidates. To tell people vote for A and they'll support this, etc. From what I see so far and have seen in the media for the most part, is that Occupy Wall Street looks like a three-stage movement. This is what they are against, which I believe is pretty obvious. Next stage will be about recruiting their so-called progressive candidates, who will obviously support this movement.
But recruit candidates who'll also be for whatever alternative agenda they develop if they develop one at all. Their "Pledge to America" so to speak. And their third stage will be their agenda. What I've heard so far, they want to roll back both the Bush and Reagan tax cuts. And perhaps even the Kennedy tax cuts and go to an income tax system with the bottom tax rate starting at 20-25% and going up to 70-90%. Which what it was in the 1950s. Good luck passing that and making that law. Telling someone who is making 50K$ a year lets say a teacher with a spouse and a couple of kids, who is currently paying 10% that they are going to get a 100% Tax Hike. And then use this new tax revenue to finance universal health care and health insurance, universal higher education, Debt forgiveness, infrastructure investment, national banking system, etc. But at least they would have an agenda that they could try to sell and recruit new members.
The Tea Party when it started out in late 2008-09 started off as a reactionary movement to bailouts, deficit spending, high debt, against socialized health care, etc. And by the time 2010 came around they were still against those things, but had their own alternative agenda to offer as well. What became the Pledge to America that the House Republican Leadership developed. Balance budget, balanced budget amendment, entitlement reform, tax reform, etc. And that's how they were able to recruit so many members and candidates who became members of Congress. Because they had something they could sell to voters. Whatever OWS becomes they'll start with a much smaller territory to start with, because they tend to be anti-business and anti-wealth. And represent a lot of if not mostly political activists instead of people who know how to raise money and financially back their movement. Whatever you think of the Tea Party they were able to raise money, because they have a coalition of Caucasian working-class Americans and wealthy people who raise money for their movement.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
|Source: Mark Belfast- Tony Benn-|
The meaning of socialism as it was in 2010 and is now going into 2012, has the same meaning in Britain as it does in America. And it's democratic socialism meaning that the people have some personal economic liberty and there's private enterprise, but that it's heavily regulated and taxed to finance a large welfare state.
To provide a lot of social Insurances. Like health care, health insurance, education, pensions, transportation, etc, even media. Basically the economic system that Sweden has.
But democratic socialism is not just an economic system, but a full-functioning political ideology. Where Socialists tend to be socialist of course on economic policy, but somewhat liberal to libertarian on social issues as they are in America. But socialists in America preferred to be called Progressives. Which I believe is for political reasons, because of how unpopular the term socialist is in America. And American Socialists tend to be Socialist Libertarians/Socialist Liberal like the Dennis Kucinich, Noam Chomsky and others.
Actually, Noam Chomsky defines his politics as socialist libertarian. And Socialists tend to be isolationist on foreign policy just like Libertarians. Actually democratic socialism is a version of socialism. Which again is a very diverse political ideology, just like neoconservatism is a version of conservatism.
This is what socialism looks like in the 21st Century. Even the Communist Republic of Cuba is moving away from Marxist-Socialism where the state owns the means of production in society. President Hugo Chavez of the still Bolivar Republic of Venezuela is trying to establish a Neo-Marxist socialist economic system there. But is having limited success at best in achieving that. I believe socialists have figured out that Marxist-Socialism doesn't work. When you essentially try to put the central government in charge of the entire country. Especially in large countries, or have figured out that there are just not enough people to support an economic system like that.
So Socialists have moderated (if it's possible for Socialists to moderate) into what's now called democratic socialism and social democracy. That I just laid out, but that the goals and principles are still the same. But the policy's to achieve those goals are different.
Socialists still believe in collectivism. That if you give people too much liberty, they'll either take advantage of it, or not know what to do with it. Which is one reason why they believe in the need for high tax rates in Sweden and Britain. Someone could be paying as much as 60-70% in taxes and that Socialists believe the private sector simply can't be trusted to perform certain services because of it's profit motive. So they believe you need the Central Government to step in and take control of those services. Like health care, health insurance, education, pension, etc. And that you need the welfare state again financed through high tax rates to be generous to lave a level playing field. The goals and principles of socialism will always be the same, a collectivist not individualist political ideology, unlike liberalism.
Socialists believe you need a very strong Central Government to provide basic human services. To prevent society from being as unequal as possible and that the private sector simply can't be trusted to perform certain human services. Which is why you need a strong Central Government to perform these services. But that the policy's to achieve these goals are different from the past, recognizing that the old policy's don't work and to obtain as much political support as possible.
The main differences between a social democracy like Britain and a Marxist-State like North Korea, gets to democratic control and how much control the people have over their own lives. Marxists believe that all forms of individualism are immoral and dangerous. Social Democrats/Democratic Socialists believe that you have to have a functioning growing private sector to have a strong economy. And then you can use a lot of that revenue to finance basic human services that all people need to live well.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
America today is made up of three major Political Parties as I see it. Two of them organized and one of them not. The Democratic Party my party that represents the official Liberal Party in America the Left of Center party of America. The Republican Party the official Conservative Party of America the Right of Center party of America. And what I would call an Independence Party essentially the Independent Voters of America who represent the Centrist Voters in America. Who tend to be liberal to libertarian on Social Issues and agree with democrats there. But tend to be Fiscally Conservative and tend to agree with republicans on Fiscal Responsibility and taxes. So independents tend to be with democrats on Social Issues. But are scared off from joining them because of what I would call the Democratic Socialist Faction of the Democratic Party. The Far Left "Tax and Spend" crowd. And tend to be with republicans on Economic Issues. But are scared off by the Christian Right the Far Right what I would call the theocratic crowd. So Independent Voter tend to independent goes without saying and centrist in their Political Views.
Rebirth of the Democratic Party
The Democratic Party not the Democrat Party my party is made up today as I see it into three Political Factions. Liberal Democrats such as myself, President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Sen John Kerry, former President Bill Clinton and others.
Then there's was I would call the Democratic Socialist Faction of the Democratic Party. Thats made up of people like Sen Bernie Sanders, Rep Dennis Kucinich, Rep Jim Mcdermott and others.
Then there's the Centrist Faction of the Democratic Party people like Sen Joe Lieberman and now former Sen Evan Baygh. Who tend to vote with liberals but talk like centrists and tend to be more Bi Partisan.
Liberal Democrats as I see it make up the brains of the Democratic Party as well as the leadership generally. Ever since the early 1990's. A big reason why democrats are back in power. Because we were no longer viewed as Tax and Spend, Soft on Defense, Soft on Crime and Welfare etc.
Democratic Socialists as I see it even though they've made positive contributions to the Democratic Party. Like getting our base to the Voting Polls and energizing them. As well as representing the heart of the Democratic Party. To me represent the Negative Stereotypes of the Democratic Party that I just mentioned soft on this or that. Which makes them seem extreme. Especially when were running for Governor, Senate or the Presidency. Liberal Democrats and Democratic Socialists are similar if not identical on Social Issues. But we differ on Economic and Foreign Policy.
Centrists Democrats who vote and govern like liberals but talk like centrists and tend to be more Bi Partisan. And tend to take weaker stands on issues without a strong Political Core as far as what they believe in. I believe tend to be better suited as serving as Department or Agency Heads. Rather then as Elected Officials.
What I mean by Democratic Socialists are people that believe in Democratic Socialism. Which is what they have in Europe. Where there is still a vibrant Private Sector but its heavily taxes and regulated. By American Standards and where the Federal Government has a larger role in providing goods and services to the society. Financed through High Taxes again by American Standards. And where they have more of a collectivist approach to society and politics. Where no one should have much more in Material Wealth then others. Where we have more an individualistic approach in America to politics and society. That people should be able to have as much Material Wealth as their able to produce for themselves. But we also have a progressive Tax System where the amount of taxes you pay is based on your ability to pay taxes without getting hurt by them. What I would call the Democratic Socialist faction of the Democratic Party is still very strong. But not in charge of the Democratic Party.
In 1968, 72, 84 and 88 the Democratic Socialist faction ran the Democratic Party. Kinda of the way the Christian Right runs the Republican Party today. And look where the Democratic Socialists took the democrats. We lost all for Presidential Elections and three of them in landslides. In those elections American Voters saw democrats as Tax and Spend, Anti Success, Class Warriors, Soft on Crime, Soft on Defense, Soft on Welfare. Anti Business, unpatriotic, Anti Apple Pie , Anti Testosterone etc. I could go on but in the interest of time and keeping you awake I won't. To put it bluntly democrats in these elections were seen as Candy Asses. But perhaps used a softer term. To be fair I think Vice President Hubert Humpfrey would've made a good President. Had he not been nominated in 1968 I think he would've gotten that opportunity. But the fact was he was LBJ Vice President and was seen as loyal. Like all good Vice Presidents are. Something that the Democratic Socialist left in America couldn't stand.
I think GOV Mike Dukakas would've made a good President. He was a Northeast Liberal but that wasn't his problem. A majority of American Voters in 1988 agreed with the him more then they did with Vice President George Bush. Mike Dukakas's problem wasn't his politics but his Presidential Campaign and how he ran it. Perhaps the worst in World History and he has plenty of competition. I'm thinking of Sen John Kerry in 2004. GOV Dukakas had a 17 point lead over Vice President Bush going into September 88 and he blew it. Over a bogus (for lack of a better word) Political Ad. The problem was that GOV Dukakas didn't take the ad seriously and didn't think many people would believe it. And that was a devastating mistake that he didn't recover from. Because after the Willy Horton ad GOV Dukakas's numbers fell faster then a boulder being dropped from the San Francisco Bay Bridge. Also lackluster performances in the Presidential Debates didn't help either.
Oh but wait in 1992 a little known Governor from Arkansas named Bill Clinton came on the national scene when he ran for President. He was a Liberal Democrat but he was from the South. But he didn't meet the traditional stereotypes as a Liberal Democrat. Because he was the real thing when it came to liberalism. Clinton wasn't viewed as Tax and Spend, Soft on Crime, Soft on Defense etc. I'll spare you the rest you should get the idea by now. Instead GOV Clinton ran on cutting taxes for the Middle Class, expanding the the American Dream for millions of americans. Expanding trade for America putting people on Welfare to work. Safer streets with the Crime bill and preparing America for the post Cold War era.
Clinton wanted to cut taxes for people who were hit hard by the recession of the early 1990's. Expand trade for American Workers and Business's. Because he knew America could compete with anyone in the World. Putting people on Welfare to school so they can get the skills that they need to get a good job. Move to the Middle Class and be Self Sufficient. Cutting the historical Crime Rate with the 1994 Crime bill. Which had restrictions on Hand Gun purchases as well as a Weapons Ban. But also has a 3 Strikes Law and then 25-Life in Prison Law for Violent Criminals. Bill Clinton wanted to prepare America for the post Cold War era by by trying to keep actual Weapons of Mass Destruction out of the hands of Bad Actors States and private Terrorist Groups. This was pre 9/11 by the way. Clinton at the time campaigned on cutting the then record Federal Budget Deficit of 290B$ in half within four years. With steep Budget Cuts and raising taxes on the wealthy who could afford to pay it. And making the Federal Government more effective.
But even though cutting the Budget Deficit, passing the Crime Bill, and trying to reform our Health Care system. Were the right policy decisions to make. The 1993 Deficit Reduction Act did have a large Tax Increase even though it was on High Earners. The 1994 Crime Bill did have new Gun Regulations. The 1993-94 Health Care reform debate was handled so badly. That it was viewed by many voters as "Socialized Medicine" which killed the bill in the Senate. But President Clinton did manage to accomplish three difficult things. The 103rd Congress of 1993-94 at the time might of been the most productive Congress going back to the LBJ Presidency. It also included Family Medical Leave in it as well. So the Clinton Administration managed to accomplish on policy in its first two years. Went a long way in making President Clinton a very successful President. And why he was overwhelmingly reelected in 1996. But they paid a heavy price in the 1994 Mid Terms when they lost Congress to the Republicans. Because not enough americans saw the progress that was being made. And some of that had to do with bad communications from the White House. One of the reasons why they changed Chief of Staff at the White House in 94 just one year into the Presidency. And another reason why they lost Congress because of the legislation they passed. They managed to unite the entire Republican Base against the White House and the Democratic Congress. Who before didn't know what to do after losing the White House in 1992. While democrats held on to Congress.
The Deficit Reduction Act united Corporate America against democrats with the Tax Increase. The Crime Bill united the NRA against democrats with the new Gun Regulations. Don't ask don't tell united the Christian Right against democrats. Because it allowed homosexuals to serve in the military as long as they kept they're sexuality a secret. The failed attempt at Health Care reform united the Insurance Industry against democrats. Because that bill wanted to crack down on abuses by that industry. Plus Bill Clinton being a progressive Baby Boomer from the 60's and a big supporter of Civil Rights and equality for all didn't make him popular with the Christian Right. Who tend to be a lot more conservative on Social Issues to put it mildly. All these factors some of them which couldn't be helped like the generation first Baby Boomer ever elected President of the United States. But some of them were part of the White House's undoing. Like bad communications from the White House. As well as President Clinton managing to offend his Far Left base. With the NAFTA and GAT Trade Deals. As well as the tough Crime Bill with the Three Strikes Law for Violent Offenders. Contributed to Bill Clinton being the first Democratic President since Harry Truman in 1946. To lose control of both Chambers of Congress.
With all the so called Clinton Scandals of the 1990s, whether it be Whitewater Gate, File Gate, Lewinsky Gate or whatever gate. The only two that bothered me, were the failed Health Care reform attempt of 1993-94 and the China Scandal. Involving the 1996 Reelection Campaign. But especially the Health Care failure, because without that failure, republicans would've probably still picked up seats in Congress 1994. Unless President Clinton had an excellent Approval Rating like in the high 50s. But they probably would've picked up around twenty seats in the House. But would've still fallen twenty short of taking the majority. Similar with President Carter in 1978, because generally in a Mid Term Election, the Opposition Party picks up seats in Congress and in a lot of times a lot of seats. There's only a handful of examples in the 20th Century, where the Ruling Party picked up seats in Congress in a Mid Term Election. With Jack Kennedy in 1962 and FDR in 1934. Mid Term Elections are seen as a check on the President to prevent the Presidet from going too far. And maybe the GOP picks up 3-5 seats in the Senate, which would've left the Senate GOP a few seats short of taking the Senate Majority. Meaning that Newt Gingrich and Bob Dole would've been Minority Leader of the House and Senate in the 104th Congress. Instead of Speaker and Leader. And President Clinton would've still gotten reelected President in 1996. Because the economy was improving, the Federal Budget Deficit and Debt were falling. And America was at peace. And Democrats would most likely with a popular President once again retained control of Congress for the 105th Congress as well.
See the Crime Bill and the Deficit Reduction Act of 1993-94 were both very unpopular with the Republican Base. But not enough to give the GOP a 52 seat gain in the House and a 7 seat gain in the Senate. Its the Clinton Health Care failure that won them Congress in 94.
Another Clinton Scandal that bothered me was the October Nightmare of 1996. Not October Surprise but Nightmare. When it was leaked to the press that the Chinese Government might of influenced the Clinton Reelect Campaign. With Campaign Contributions which at the very least would be treason. The idea that a Foreign Government could influence a US Presidential Campaign is frightening. If the Chinese Scandal is true, then that would be an Impeachable Offense. Going into the Fall of 96, President Clinton had a sold lead over Leader Dole. And the House Democrats were on pase to win back control of the House. They only needed to pick up about twenty seats in 96. They were on pase to pick up twenty five. Because of the China Scandal they came up ten short. Because of the 1993-94 Health Care Fiasco and the 96 China Scandal. Democrats weren't able to fully win back the support of the American People. They weren't seen as responsible enough to be a Ruling Party and a Congressional Majority Party at the same time. Which would've made them a Governing Party with a United Government. This is something fifteen years later that the Democratic Party hasn't fully recovered from.
And then the millennium happened the birth of the 21st Century. To paraphrase a famous Ex President, a year that would go down in infamy the year 2000. Or that could be simply summed up as Bush V Gore. The problem with that like most things is that its not that simple. The year 2000 can't be summed up in a few words or a trendy Catch Phrase that you here from some Cookie Cutter sticom. That election like most things is a lot deeper then that. I'm going to make the argument that the US Supreme Court case of Bush V Gore should've never happened. That the American People should've never been exposed to a Florida Civics Lesson on how to run elections or not run elections. That americans should've never been exposed to terms like Hanging Chads or Partial Votes. That there should've never been committees put together to decide when someone intended to vote or not, because they couldn't read the Voter Card. That americans should've never been exposed to Justice Antonin Scalilla saying that the reason that the Florida Recount should be stopped is because the result may hurt then GOV George W Bush.
One simple reason why the Florida Recount should've never happened is because that thousands of Jewish American Voters, enough voters to give the Vice President Al Gore the Florida Election. And in result the Presidential Election. Accidentally voted for Far Right Presidential Candidate Pat Buchanan. A man who wrote a book arguing that America shouldn't of gotten involved in World War II in Europe. Where we saved millions of more Jewish Europeans from being murdered. If those Voter Cards would clear, then most if not all of those votes most likely, would've gone to Vice President Gore. And there's your Presidential Election with Al Gore being elected the 43rd President of the United States. Because Al Gore would've had more then enough Electoral Votes with Florida, to win the election.
In the 2000 Presidential Election on the republican side you had GOV George W Bush of Texas. The son of President George HW Bush, a Governor of a State where the job is not very powerful. Even though the Governor is the Chief Executive of the Texas Executive Branch. Where a lot of the power in the Texas Government resides with the Lieutenant Governor. Which is like the Vice President of Texas, who presides over the Texas Senate but has real power. There in running the Senate unlike the Vice President of the United States. The Lieutenant Governor is an actual President of the Senate. GOV Bush had only been Governor for five years by the time the Presidential Primary Season started in January 2000. The Governorship of Texas is the only Public Office that GOV Bush had ever had. And he was 53 years old at this point, five years of Public Service thats it. Which hurt GOV Bush when he had to answer questions in an in depth way. Actually pre 1986 GOV Bush never had a regular job and wasn't sure what he was going to do with his life. Even though he had a Business Degree from Yale but in 1986 he and his friend Don Evans started their own Texas Oil Company. Where they made a nice fortune together. If George W Bush was named George W Smith or George W Jones. Son on a mechanic or a Construction Worker, not that there's anything wrong with those jobs. Nobody outside of Texas would've probably ever heard of him. His father has played a huge role in his life and in the success he has achieved.
On the other side you had Al Gore two term Vice President of the United States. I believe the most successful Vice President of the United States. As far as his partnership with his President, his influence on the President. And his ability to carry out the President Clinton's policy's. All things that Vice Presidents have to do now going back to Vice President Walter Mondale in the Carter Administration. Who I believe is the Architect of the Modern Vice Presidency, which may be a future blog someday. So stay tune to all of you Political Junkies, if your not a Political Junky. Check it out anyway if your having a hard time sleeping. Vice President Gore was essentially the Chief Operating Officer as well as Chief Counsel on Policy of the Clinton Administration. With access to the same information as President Clinton with real responsibility outside of Congress. Like helping to put together the Clinton Administration back in late 1992 and 1993. Actually ran that operation as well as running President Clinton's Reinventing Government Program in 1993. As well as selling the Clinton Policy's through the media. As well as responsibility in Congress like counting votes and trying to secure votes one way or the other. Depending on President Clinton's positions. January 1993 when Al Gore was sworn in as Vice President of the United States. Is not where Gore started is Public Service career.
Al Gore's Public Service career goes back to the late 1960s early 1970s when he volunteered for the Vietnam War. Same thing with John Kerry, when most people in their generation including George W Bush and Bill Clinton were doing. Whatever they could to avoid serving in the Vietnam War. Then Gore after Vietnam got a job with a local Nashville Newspaper and in 1976 ran for the House of Representatives and was elected. I believe holding the same seat in the House that his father did like twenty years later. He served in the House concentrating on communications and Foreign Policy, as well as Energy Policy. And served four terms in the House and then in 1984 runs for the Senate again taking his father's old seat in the Senate. A Liberal Democrat from Tennessee getting elected to the US Senate. The same year that a Conservative Republican Ron Reagan. Gets reelected in a landslide including winning Tennessee. Sen. Gore concentrated on similar issues in the Senate, as Rep. Gore did in the House. Then in 1988 Sen. Gore believing he was hotter then he was politically runs for President. Lasting only a few months, bombing as bad as a Demi More Movie Festival. But Sen. Gore got a few things from that Presidential Election, that he wasn't ready to be President. And that he wouldn't make the same mistakes the second time he enters National Politics. Do you like the lead in, any idea where I'm going next. Lets end the suspense, after deciding not to run for President in 1992. Probably believing President Bush would get reelected and also believing that GOV Bill Clinton. Another Southern Liberal Democrat would run for President. GOV Clinton nominates Sen. Gore to be his Vice President. Where Al Gore provided the perfect lets say balance, sorry I'm not going to say ying to his yang. Damn I just did but you get the idea, Bill Clinton an Executive, twelve years as Governor of Arkansas. Al Gore a Veteran Members of Congress 16 years in the Federal Government. They both had what the other didn't. They were also very similar politically. Gore also Military and Foreign Policy Experience, very important for a Vice President. And was a Intellectual Rival to Bill Clinton. They would get elected in 1992 and reelected in 1996 both Electoral Landslides.
So on one side you have a Presidential Nominee who didn't grow up until he was 40 years old. And on the other side you have a Presidential Nominee who was ready to serve by the time he graduated college. A mismatch on paper right, surely the 2000 Presidential Election couldn't of been as close as two people freezing together. Unfortunately for my party the 2000 Presidential Election was a close as Siamese Twins. But the 2000 Presidential Election better known as Bush V Gore wasn't just about the recount. There were a few steps on the road to recount that happened for both sides.
One one side you have George Bush running the smoothest Presidential Election. Since Ronald Reagan's 1984 Reelection Campaign. Where he won 49 States and about 59% of the Popular Vote. This is where George W Bush shows his ability as a manager and a businessman in a positive sense. And why people thought he could become President of the United States. And why he was the overwhelming Frontrunner going back to the Summer of 1999. Except for one little problem, a nagging little nat. A little Senator from Arizona but little in Physical Stature only. Who had a long Conservative Record going back seventeen years in Congress. Who had both Barry Goldwater and Ron Reagan as his heros. As well as a distinguished Military Record including serving in the Vietnam War and being a POW. But telling them nothing despite being tortured over and over. One thing that was missing from George Bush's resume was a Military Record. Also Bush's Conservative Record or lack of one, consisted of five years. As Governor of Texas where he had a Democratic Legislature or at least a Democratic Senate to contend with. He was more of a Right of Center Pragmatist then anything else. Showing the ability to work across the isle to get things done. But Right of Center Republicans aren't exactly as popular as Free Trips to Hawaii in the Republican Party. So GOV Bush had a couple of big strikes going against him.
So what did George W Bush have going for him, you might ask. (or could care less) George W Bush's father of course was George HW Bush former President of the United States. Who W Bush worked for his father's Presidential Campaign in 1988. And the Reelection Campaign in 1992 where they of course lost. HW Bush also had a long and good career in Public Service and was well respected in both parties. I have a lot of respect for George HW Bush as well. GOV Bush was Governor of the 2nd largest State in the Union. Which is very important because of the National Media that brings. With two of the largest Media Markets in the country in Texas, Dallas and Houston. George Bush has his personality, love him or hate him. He's very likable with a quick wit. I actually personally like the guy myself, not enough to vote for him. He also has a fairly Mainstream Record as Governor of Texas for the reasons I laid out. And because of all of these things he could appeal to Independent Voters. And also with with Economic Policy, appeal to Economic Conservatives as well. Bush had the entire Republican Establishment behind him because of his name and position. He was an outsider but with some Washington Experience and was seen as electable. GOV Bush had Karl Rove, again love him or hate him, Karl Rove is the new Lee Atwater of the Republican Party but probably even more clever.
On the other side you had the most qualified Presidential Candidate, at least since George H.W. Bush. For the Democratic Party. In Vice President Al Gore but a man who was finding himself or wasn't confident enough in himself, to share with the American People. As being in charge of the most dysfunctional Presidential Campaign since George McGovern in 1972. Vice President Gore had to fire his National Campaign Manager, Tony Coehlo. Right before the 2000 Democratic Primary Season. Gore had trouble answering the question, why he was running for President. Even though he was thinking about being President of the United States. At least since 1987 when he was still a Senator and ran for President the first time. The Vice President also had President Clinton's Monica Lewenski Scandal to deal with. And how to handle or use President Clinton in his Presidential Campaign. the Lewinski Scandal of course was not Al Gore's fault but he could never figure out how to use President Clinton. A very popular and successful President, that he served loyally as Vice President. And played a major role in running the Clinton Administration for eight years. This is going to sound like 20/20 hindsight but Gore could've used Clinton. In the background, as a fundraiser and help unite the Democratic Base behind him. That would've taken advantage of Clinton's Political Skills but kept him in the background. Not thinking about Monica Lewinski. Al Gore from his sixteen years in Congress and eight years as Vice President. Had strong ties in the Democratic Party sorta like Walter Mondale. With his ties to the Civil Rights Movement, Environmental Protection and Organize Labor. As well as the Washington Democratic Establishment behind him. As well as a solid Primary Challenger from former Democratic Senator Bill Bradely to push him. Which made Vice President Gore a stronger Presidential Candidate in the General Election. But despite all the success that Vice President Gore had in winning all of those Democratic Primaries in 2000. The old cheesy expression, take one step and take two back. Fits Al Gore very well with his 2000 Presidential Campaign. Right before the Democratic Convention, Gore nominated Sen. Joe Lieberman to be his Running Mate. Twelve years later as it turns out Sen. Lieberman is a Neoconservative on Foreign Policy and National Security. Even though he's still a Democrat but backed everything that the Bush Administration did. On Foreign Policy and National Security, now I don't believe Gore would've selected Sen. Lieberman as his Running Mate. Had he known Lieberman was a Neoconservative but one of the roles of selecting a Vice Presidential nominee. Is to assure your party that your one of them, someone who can excite the base. Especially in Presidential Elections as tight as the 2000 Election. You don't get that with Joe Lieberman and someone who'll take on the other parties Presidential Nominee. You don't get that with Joe Lieberman, who now serves as an Independent in the Senate. Even though he votes with the Democratic Leadership on most issues. That don't relate to Foreign Policy or National Security. What Lieberman did was to assure the Democratic Base, that Al Gore was a Moderate. He's not but with a pick like Joe Lieberman, that gives Democrats suspicion of that. The last thing you want to do when running for President. Is to make your party think your not one of them, which is what you get with Joe Lieberman. You have to win a majority of Independent Voters while winning your base overwhelmingly and getting them to the polls and working for you. Democrats did have a good convention in 2000, President Clinton did pass the baton so to speak to President Clinton. Gore gave an excellence Nomination Speech and found the message of his campaign, he was going to fight for America and the Middle Class. After the 2000 Democratic Convention a very important thing happened for the Gore Campaign. They finally took the lead over George W. Bush in the polls. After going into the convention 8-10 points down and left 2-3 points ahead. Which is more then a bump, more like a shove from a Grizzly Bear. Gore cleaned Bush's clock, (for lack of a better term) in the first debate on substance. But there was a little problem and it gets back to that old expression. Take one step forward and two steps back. He kept making these sighing gestures and came off as rude and in a culture thats become. So superficial where American Voters now probably weigh as much or more. Whether they actually personally like a politician, rather then who's more qualified for the job. Gore's rude behavior cost him the first debate. And in the 2nd debate, Gore and Bush were both sitting down at a table. And Gore came off as real friendly to a fault and almost bored. Not the fighter he was in the first debate and gave voters a feeling who is this guy. Its not the same guy we saw in the first debate. Then there was the third debate a Townhall Format, which you would think would benefit. George W. Bush, with his folksy charming Texas demeanor. But Bush seemed unable to fill his tim alloted and was speaking in sound bite answers and Gore seemed very prepared, ready to win the debate and election. Too bad this is not the whole story for Al Gore, because this debate is known as the Invasion of Space Debate. Where Bush is answering a question and Gore steps in right where Bush is sitting. As if he was going to interrupt Bush and Bush looked at him. And gave him a humorous nod. As if to say how are you, do you mind, I'll be with you in a minute, I'm talking to someone. This is an example of how superficial our politics have become in America. In our sound bite short attention span culture. Of course there were screw ups on the Florida Election but I don't blame that for Al Gore losing the Presidential Election. I blame Al Gore for losing that election and the people who voted for George W. Bush twice. And now believe he was a bad President. Part 2 Post Bill Clinton Democratic Party President George W. Bush's first two years can be summed up in two numbers. Any guesses, to spare time 9/11, people tend to believe that President Bush had a Republican Congress his first six years in office. They are half right, actually Senate Democrats controlled the Senate. The Upper Chamber in Congress for basically the first two years. They had an Ideologically Majority for the first five months in a 50-50 Senate. And then when Sen. Jim Jeffords switched Caucus's in May 2001. Senate Democrats gained a 51-49 Majority and held that until January 2003. After Congressional Republicans won the Mid Term Elections in 2002. South Dakota Democrat Tom Daschle became the Senate Leader in May 2001 Made for interesting governing with a Divided Congress. House Republicans controlling the House, Senate Democrats controlling the Senate, with a Republican President. The 2002 Mid Terms were about one thing and one thing only, 9/11 and Radical Islamic Terrorism. And how as a nation we were going to combat it and thanks to Nationwide Gerrymandering from both parties. It wasn't a matter if House Republicans were going to keep their majority and if Dennis Hastetert was going to get reelected Speaker or not. But whether Speaker Hastert was going to add to his small majority or not.. The Senate was a different story where Senate Democrats had a bare majority but where Senate Republicans. At least going in, had more vulnerable seats up for reelection. Which was going to make electing Minority Leader Trent Lott the next Senate Leader, a little more difficult. So the 2002 Mid Terms was about which party was going to do the best job in defending the United States against Islamic Terrorism. So since the Mid Terms were about fighting the terrorism, the Congressional Candidates and Incumbents from both parties. That did the best job of convincing their voters that they were stronger to fight terrorism. Were the Candidates that were going to get elected and reelected. Even though the 2002 Mid Terms were about terrorism, there was one big looming distraction just over the horizon. ANy guesses. If you said a War in Iraq, your American History is pretty good up to this point. As it turns out the Bush National Security Council, was preparing to go to war with Iraq. At least since the Invasion of Afghanistan back in 2001. President Bush wanted a Congressional Resolution to give him the authority to Invade Iraq in October 2002. To force the hand of Congressional Democrats, especially Senate Leader Tom Daschle. Senate Democrats controlled the Senate. Bush already knew that the Republican controlled House was going to approve the Resolution. The only qustion was how many House Democrats led by Minority Leader Dick Gephardt. Were going to vote for it Minority Leader Gephardt had already given his approval of the Resolution. And was going to bring House Democrats with him on the Resolution. But the Senate was a different story, because Leader Daschle could've just said no. Or moved to postpone the vote to after the Mid Terms. Which looking back at it now with 20/20 hindsight, would've been a smart play. Because it would've given Senate Committee's with jurisdiction over a possible war. Breathing space to look at the "Slam Dunk"evidence for an Iraq Invasion. And to determine whether this was a good idea or not, instead of rushing into it. And what we would be getting ourselves into.