Why Are So Many “Progressives” Helping Citizens United Win?

I am so tired of having to write this sort of piece. I need to be in full campaign mode, as does everyone else who calls themselves either "liberal" or "progressive." There's a point, every other year, when you put aside your whining about your pet issues that most other people couldn't care less about, and put yourself fully behind the most progressive candidate available to you. Yes, I'm sorry to say, because we elect our representatives through democratic means, it's unlikely that many of the candidates we choose from will be raging lefties. But that doesn't mean you don't have a choice. 

There are less than five months to go. That means we have less than five months to create a meme that will encourage swing voters to show up at the polls and vote Democratic. 

There is only one issue this election year, and probably for the next few election years, and that is money. I'm not talking about the deficit and the national debt. I'm talking about campaign financing.

Now, as I've said previously, money itself is not as influential with regard to electing people as many assume. if it was, we'd have had President Perot a long time ago. I think we can overcome the influence of money during election campaigns. But what we can't necessarily overcome would be the influence that will absolutely accompany a President Romney once he takes office and starts preparing to win a second term.  If the professional left continues to be anything less than enthusiastic about a second Obama term, Willard Romney could squeak by and become president, and he will believe it was the post-Citizens United money that put him there. The Kochs are apparently prepared to spend $400 million to help Romney, and if you don't think Romney will be made to feel beholden to them for that contribution, well, there's this bridge in Brooklyn I could sell you for a song.

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Learning From Our Mistakes: A Recall Post-Mortem

If we progressives learn nothing else from the aftermath of the Wisconsin recall election last night, we have to learn that strategy is far more important in politics than emotion. As I said in a previous post, politics itself is not personal, and taking an emotional approach to it will almost always result in frustration and loss. Just because you think a cause is right doesn’t mean everyone else thinks so. More importantly, you have to understand that not everyone has the same priorities as you, and they don’t resent the same things you do. We’re all different, and we think differently. Politics is about seeking out the common ground and appealing to people using that.

I knew I had to write this piece last night, when my Twitter feed was filled with puzzlement over the fact that exit polling showed Walker surviving recall, even as a majority of Wisconsin voters favored President Obama in November. This was seen by many liberals as a "contradiction." But it's not a contradiction at all. In order to believe it's a contradiction, you have to believe that everyone who cast a vote for Walker was actually in favor of Walker. 

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Cut Your Strings, Stop Being Puppets!

We all have that friend or relative who is so incredibly serious about everything, it makes us laugh. If  you don’t know someone like that, there’s a good chance you're that person within your family or group.

Anyway, this is the person we all love to tweak when we’re in a somewhat aggressive mood, right? I'm not personally mean, but it’s fun sometimes to wind them up by saying something about a subject or issue that you know will make them react,  then sit back and let the fur fly. I have one friend who goes absolutely ballistic whenever I say something negative about President Obama, so I say something bad about him whenever I’m in the mood to wind her up. I don’t mean what I’m saying, either; it’s just fun to watch her go off. She gets very animated and goes on about all the good things the president has done, and she doesn’t even notice my reaction until she sees the grin overtaking my face. It's then that she realizes how silly she’s been (I mean, after all, I wrote a pretty big list of the president’s accomplishments), and she smacks me on the back and tells me to stop it.

This could very well be the best analogy to what the far right does to us continuously. Except for one thing: our side never seems to notice their grin, and never realizes we’ve been had.

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Money Is Important in Politics, But Not As Important as You’ve Been Told

I’ve taken a lof of heat over the last couple of days, because many lefties are incensed and upset at the Democratic National Committee alleged failure to send $500,000 to support the Wisconsin Recall Walker effort, and I’m not. In fact, I don’t see the point in redirecting funds donated to help us win in 2012 to the state’s effort to fix a mistake they made in 2010. That should be a separate issue, with a separate funding stream.

Once again, the far left is mad at Democrats for not doing what the far left outrage patrol should have been doing all along. I mean, if you knew you needed money to conduct a campaign, why were you not raising it all along? I know for a fact that Recall Walker has been colllecting money, because I've donated; why not just collect more, instead of whining and trashing "the Democrats" again?

This is a crucial election season; a post-Citizens United election season, in fact, in which every dollar raised has to be spent wisely, to take back the House and to keep the Senate, against all odds. It seems to me the people heading the Recall Walker effort should have just assumed that national party money would be hard to come by, and used their impressive grass roots acumen to take the pressure off.

I’m not sure the money is all that necessary, anyway. I know that statement is verging on blasphemy these days, but it's true.

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A Simple Explanation of North Carolina’s Amendment 1: Vote AGAINST

If you live in North Carolina, you're about to vote on a ballot measure that is so poorly crafted, it could end up creating chaos in the state. 

The ballot language that voters will face is this: 

Constitutional amendment to provide that marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.

If this measure is approved, it will add the following to Article 14 of the North Carolina Constitution 

 
 

Sec. 6. Marriage.

Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State. This section does not prohibit a private party from entering into contracts with another private party; nor does this section prohibit courts from adjudicating the rights of private parties pursuant to such contracts.

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Right Wingers: So Desperate to Be Relevant, Stupidity Reigns

Sometimes the sheer desperation in the RW's quest for relevance is too funny to pass up. This is a response to my List of President Obama's accomplishments:

From: Mike Garcia [mailto:xxxxxxxxxxx@xxxxx.com]
Sent: Thursday, May 03, 2012 4:58 PM
To: milt.shook@gmail.com
Subject: Obama accomplishments

Funny how you're trying to name everything wrong Obamas done to make them seem like positive achievements. Everything listed is not an accomplishment, they are in fact the opposite, or an exaggerated view of a partial fact. The economy is failing, gas is going up, unemployment will average 8% for his first term, and government and their salaries have gone up. Also, it wasn't his plan that found and killed Osama, or brought our troops back. It was him following the initiative that Bush started, these are his own words. But just by reading what you wrote I can see you're not interested in facts, you're just blindly following who will go down in history as the worst president ever. The man who incurred a debt higher than all his predecessors combined. Or maybe you're part of his propaganda crew SEICU, Acorn, or Media Matters. Either way you're credibility and lies are showing. 4 more years of him and we can kiss the American Dream and our way of life goodbye. Maybe that's what you want, in which case he has been successful. The fundumental transformation of America.
I pray he does not…

Sincerely,
Mike G=

 

It is as it does. 

Why We Lose: This Earth Day Obama Doesn’t Beat Climate Change Dead Horse, Left Pounces

I never cease to be amused by the lengths some "liberals" go to in order to bash President Obama. Take this article, from Joe Romm at the Think Progress Green Page, in which he rails about changes in the president’s Earth Day proclamations between last year and this year.  His complaint? That last year’s White House proclamation contained the phrase “climate change,” and this year’s (GASP!) DID NOT!

It’s quite the shocker, isn’t it? Apparently, if Joe Romm doesn’t see the words “climate change” in every annual proclamation, he assumes that no one in government believes it’s actually occurring. This sort of argument reminds me of Bill O’Reilly’s annual lament about the “war against Christmas,” which is based on the retailers' alleged failure to wish everyone a “Merry Christmas.” Apparently, that failure means there is no Christmas in those years.

And no, I’m not exaggerating. This is how Romm starts the article:

You’ll be glad to know that in the last 12 months, that whole climate change problem went away. At least that’s the impression left from comparing President Obama’s 2012 Earth Day proclamation with the 2011 one.

Like I said; if the president doesn’t mention it, Romm thinks people will cease to believe it’s a problem.

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Trayvon Martin and Fear of Black Men: This Happens too Much

I think everyone should be able to agree that freedom should include being able to walk down the street innocently without being shot. When it does happen, freedom should include authorities seeking justice for your death. While some are using the example of using drone strikes to take out people who are committed to mass killings of Americans (and it’s a valid question to be debated), few if any of those same people are using the same energy to confront a problem that is far more threatening to the freedoms of a great many more people, and which is far more common. Apparently, black men are so threatening to the (mostly white) populace that they are being shot with alarming frequency, and many are getting away with it. We all know “Driving While Black” is a crime in a number of jurisdictions. But “walking while black” apparently too often carries a death sentence.

One thing that bothers me most about the shooting of Trayvon Martin is that it doesn’t seem to bother enough people.

The short version of the story is, on February 26, Trayvon and his father were visiting friends, who live in a gated community in Sanford, Florida, a community near Orlando. Trayvon, who was black, decided to take a walk to the local 7-11. As he was coming back, a 28-year-old white “neighborhood watch captain” in an SUV, George Zimmerman, decided the unarmed black teenager pictured here looked “suspicious”, and called 911. The 911 dispatcher promised to send police and told Zimmerman to do nothing. Zimmerman apparently ignored the admonition and went after the kid anyway. Trayvon was armed with a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea. Zimmerman was armed with a 9mm handgun. By the time police arrived, Trayvon was lying face down in the grass, fatally wounded in the chest.

Again, that was February 26, and to date, Zimmerman is free, and there is talk that he may skate by claiming self-defense. Yes, self-defense. A 28-year-old man was so AFRAID of that 17-year-old kid that Florida authorities will let him stay a free man.



Now, I want you to read up on this case, because it’s fascinating. Listen to the 911 calls, which are chilling, because they show Martin calling for help before being shot. Also, you should call everyone you can, and demand that this Zimmerman person pay with a considerable amount of time in a prison. Here is a list of authorities to contact to do so.  There’s a lot of talk about this case right now, finally, after three weeks of inaction by Sanford, Florida police. But what’s most bothersome about this case is that it’s not as unique as it should be. As I said, black men are still really scary to white people and police, and that fear apparently creates something of a license to kill.


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Government, wealth, and jobs

I'm sure you've heard the claims many times:

1) Government can't create jobs

2) Government can't create wealth

3) Government workers are just overheard, and a drain on the economy

Variations of this quasi-hardline-libertarian material have been promulgated ad nauseum over the last few years.  We heard it this very morning, as Senator John McCain claimed on Meet The Press that government can't create jobs.

Other lawmakers and Right Wing commentators have gone full in with all three claims, of course.

So, is there any truth to them?  In a word, "no".

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Pro Lefty Uses Bovine Fecal Foundation to Manufacture Outrage Against… Obama?

One of the problems with the concept of "manufacturing outrage" is that many of its biggest manufacturers build it out of bovine fecal matter.  

If one was to read or listen to some on the professional left, one might think President Obama was routinely rounding up Americans and throwing them in secret prisons, or that he's become a rogue agent, targeting US citizens all over the world and taking them out with drones. It would actually be funny, if such rhetorical garbage didn't make the entire progressive side of the aisle look like a bunch of idiots. Consider this, folks; when people read progressive media, then figure out Obama's actually doing no such thing, what do you think happens to their opinion of progressive media?

Whether you like it or not, we are in a fight with terrorists. While I disagree with the concept of calling it a "war," because theword is misleading and too easy to manipulate, there really are rogue bands of thugs who would like nothing better than to commit another attack as they did on 9/11, or something far worse, and kill as many of us as possible. Some scenarios, like the concept of someone carrying a nuclear bomb in a briefcase or backpack, are absurd. But there is no doubt that like plots are being planned as we speak. And while they call themselves "freedom fighters," it's absolutely unclear whose "freedom" they're "fighting for." They seem to be little more than religious extremists, with zero political affiliation, except to other extremists.

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