Taking Action on Multiple Fronts

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March 14, 2018 by stephenshubert

Who should we support?  

Carefully choosing which candidates, in which state, against what opponents is an important goal for me and, I hope for you as well.  We must try to mold the electoral process   to create a political system than matches our values.  We are lucky to live in Washington, a liberal “blue”state, and it is easy to just sit back and let it all play out.  My preference is to support Progressives, but also support Democrats who are moderate, particularly in states and are either “red”, “purple” or starting to turn bright blue. Although I have highlighted races  in which that I think progressives should become involved, I am researching the National field and will be publishing candidate recommendations, links to contests, and highlighting issues that I think should be addressed.  The Federal Budget is one area that should receive a lot of focus because it contains major national issues, priorities and goals.   I will be publishing information about those areas of interest to me, and I hope, to you.

Please feel free to send me comments, make comments on the Facebook page, and state your own preferences.  I am hoping we can gather enough consensus to

“There’s very little evidence that “electable” moderates do better.”

That’s the conclusion of Vox’s Matt Yglesias, himself a generally moderate Democrat, about the DCCC’s flawed strategy. He is challenging all of us to reject the conventional wisdom about how we defeat Republicans and win control of Congress.

For years we’ve been told that in some districts, a progressive candidate just can’t win on a progressive message. The best we can hope for, the DC leaders tell us, is a corporate-friendly centrist candidate.

As Yglesias explains, the facts prove otherwise:

“In 2015, Brendan Pablo Montagnes and Jon C. Rogowski studied congressional challengers’ platforms and “uncover[ed] no evidence that challengers increase their vote shares by adopting more moderate platform positions.”

Chris Tausanovitch and Christopher Warshaw [a former DFA staffer] in 2016 found, again, that “ideological positions of congressional candidates have only a small association with citizens’ voting behavior,” largely because detailed assessments of individual candidates are swamped by basic partisanship.”

What this means is that the DCCC is simply wrong — and should stay out of primary elections. The DCCC often pushes corporate friendly, centrist candidates in primaries. But those candidates don’t fare well in general elections. Most of the Democrats who lost their seats in 2010 were DCCC-friendly moderates.

DC hacks will keep telling us that the only way we can win key swing districts is by “moving to the center” and abandoning progressive policies. That’s the argument being used right now in the Senate to justify inaction on the Dreamers and a huge giveaway to Wall Street.

The truth is that the DCCC’s model is broken. They want candidates to raise gobs of money from big corporations and then vote like moderate Republicans. They tell candidates to chase conservative voters rather than appeal to the New American Majority — young people, people of color, and working families.

The DCCC actively discourages Democratic candidates from taking bold positions on economic and racial justice. They even told candidates after last fall’s mass shooting in Las Vegas to offer “thoughts and prayers” instead of calling for new gun violence prevention laws.

Unfortunately, even some progressives buy into this flawed thinking and assume that we have no other choice but to back a centrist candidate instead of the progressive. Yglesias’s article makes it very clear that is a bad strategy, and that we should vote our values:

“This suggests primary voters should probably be inclined to vote for candidates who they think will be smart, hard-working advocates for causes they believe in rather than focusing too much on “electability” concerns.”

2018 could be a wave election. The Texas primary proved voters want progressive candidates who reflect their communities and will fight for racial and economic justice, rather than just do the bidding of billionaires and big corporations.

Thank you for supporting progressive candidates.

– Robert Cruickshank, Senior Campaign Manager
Democracy for America

Changing the Federal Budget –

 We should work towards reducing the cushy lifestyle politicians have voted for themselves.  They should have the same benefits and pensions as the rest of us (social security, Medicare). Let them experience the same life pressures as their voters, perhaps they will be  more responsive in their policies and expenditures.

Let’s start with The BUFFETT Rule
Let’s see if these idiots understand what people pressure is all about.
Salary of retired US Presidents … .. . . .. . . . . .. . $180,000 FOR LIFE.
Salary of House/Senate members … . . . .. . . . $174,000 FOR LIFE. This is stupid
Salary of Speaker of the House … .. . . .. . . . . $223,500 FOR LIFE. This is really stupid
Salary of Majority / Minority Leaders . . .. . . . . $193,400 FOR LIFE. Stupid
Average Salary of a teacher . . … .. . . .. . . . . .. .$40,065
Average Salary of a deployed Soldier . . .. . . .. $38,000
Here’s where the cuts should be made!
Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers one of the best quotes about the debt ceiling:
“I could end the deficit in five minutes,” he told CNBC. “You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election”.
The 26th Amendment ( granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds ) took only three months and eight days to be ratified! Why? Simple! The people demanded it. That was in 1971 – before computers, e-mail, cell phones, etc.
Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took one (1) year or less to become the law of the land – all because of public pressure.
Warren Buffett is asking each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise.
In three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message. This is one idea that really should be passed around.
Congressional Reform Act of 2017
1. No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman / woman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they’re out of office.
2. Congress (past, present, & future) participates in Social Security.
All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.
3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.
4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.
5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.
6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.
7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen/women are void effective 3/1/17. The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen/women.
Congress made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and go back to work.
If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people, then it will only take three days for most people in the U.S. to receive the message. It’s time!
THIS IS HOW YOU FIX CONGRESS!
If you agree, pass it on

2 thoughts on “Taking Action on Multiple Fronts

  1. maclangford says:

    Stephen, thank you so much for this commentary. Those of us who were involved in creating the original Islanders’ Voice were hoping that in addition to being a place to repost commentary which had already appeared elsewhere this outlet would also become an avenue for exchanges of views among local county residents.

    Regarding what you say here, I disagree with the idea that Democratic candidates that are “progressive” (whatever that means to you) are equally or even more electable than “moderates” (which are unfortunately defined as “corporate-friendly centrists”). The nature of the district or state still determines the type of candidate who could be electable. I can think of no better example than Mr. Lamb’s victory in Pennsylvania this week. Though a “moderate” on many positions, he will be welcomed into the Democratic caucus in the House.

    There are several other good Democrats now serving with whom you may disagree on certain issues. They support many other positions that you also support. And without them the Democrats would remain a permanent minority. There are regions of the country that as of now will not elect extremely progressive candidates. But good Democrats can still win in many of those places, and they too must have our support.

    Have faith. As today’s youth grow old enough to vote and as our contemporaries die off, progressive candidates will have a better and better chance of victory. In the meantime we should do all we can to achieve and maintain Democratic majorities wherever possible.

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  2. Susan Grout says:

    I agree with Mac. If a candidate isn’t “progressive enough” what does that mean? We must get over this either /or mentality and find and support very good Democrats that do not necessarily support each article in the “progressive” camp. Example being that in the countries where there is free college and universal health care the tax rates are 40% and higher. That is not going to fly with the general public. …

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