Day: August 10, 2011

President Obama: Why Are You MIA, When We Need You To Demonstrate Courage And Conviction For The Middle Class And The Poor?

As anyone who reads this blog knows, the author is a great fan and supporter of President Barack Obama.

The author is very pleased with a lot of the reforms that President Obama has helped to bring about in his two and a half years as President, but it is disturbing that he seems to be MIA (Missing In Action) at a crucial time like now, when the stock market is going awry after the Debt Ceiling Controversy, and the decision of Standard and Poor’s to lower the credit rating of the US government from Triple A to Double A Plus.

President Obama, you are rapidly losing the faith and support of many labor union members; blacks; Hispanics and Latinos; the young; the progressive base in the media, the universities, and Hollywood; Independents; suburban voters; the unemployed; those losing their homes; and all others who were inspired and motivated to vote for this passionate, seemingly committed progressive, when he ran for President in 2008.

What has happened to this man? He is not out there fighting against the Republicans like Harry Truman would. He is not committing himself to help the Democrats in the recall elections going on this week and next in Wisconsin, where if he had intervened in the past week, we might have seen THREE Democrats or more win, instead of two, leaving the State Senate in the hands of the Republicans who are loyal to Governor Scott Walker. Obama always said he believed in labor rights, but has done nothing this whole year to step into the battles in Wisconsin or in other states, such as Florida, New Jersey, Ohio, Michigan, and Maine. What is he afraid of? That he might be attacked for speaking his mind and showing his principles and beliefs regarding the middle class and the poor?

It would be far better for Barack Obama to fight tooth and nail than to seem ineffective, seem wimpy, seem scared of a challenge from the extreme Right, seem defeatist!

How can he expect us who want to support him to back him if he will not openly back us and give the opposition HELL as Truman did, or welcome the attack of his critics as Franklin D. Roosevelt did during the Great Depression!

Mr. President, respectfully, it is time to get out of the White House and show the fighting spirit we expected from you, and have not seen occur!

It is time to fight for the American people, and even if you lose the Presidency in 2012 for some reason, you would go down as a statesman who did his best, rather than go down in history as a loser in every respect!

Mr. President, IMMEDIATE ACTION for a jobs program proposal and fighting openly for the people in Wisconsin and elsewhere is REQUIRED NOW!

The Death Of Former Senator Mark Hatfield Of Oregon: A Great Public Servant And Mainstream Republican!

The death over last weekend of former Senator Mark Hatfield of Oregon reminds us of just how far the Republican Party has shifted from the 1960s through the 1990s mainstream historical tradition.

Mark Hatfield was a Senator’s Senator, one of the giants of the Republican Party, much admired and respected by Democrats, as well as mainstream Republicans.

The fact that South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond in the early years of Hatfield’s Senate tenure, and newly elected Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum in 1995 moved to harm Hatfield’s seniority over different issues such as civil rights and the so called “balanced budget” amendment, only adds to his historical stature. And today, we have people of the ilk of Thurmond (Rick Perry, for instance), and Santorum himself attempting to be the nominee of his party for President on a platform promoting hate and lunatic ideas, demonstrating the moral crisis in the GOP these days.

Hatfield believed in government, supported social programs with vigor, and opposed defense spending and intervention in foreign lands, having the distinction of NEVER supporting a Pentagon spending bill in his thirty years in the US Senate.

Hafield was a religious man, a Baptist, but believed in separation of church and state. He was the true image of a really religious man, who believed that we are here to help our fellow human beings, not be mean spirited and uncaring about those less fortunate. He was the true follower of the beliefs of Jesus Christ, not phonies such as Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, and Herman Cain, among others in the GOP Presidential race.

Mark Hatfield was a principled progressive in the Republican tradition, and was willing to cross the aisle to work with Democrats for the good of the nation.

How can we mark his death at age 89, without a sense of mourning that the party he was a proud member of, has become a disgrace, an embarrassment, a dinosaur, as the party has allowed itself to be taken over by greedy, selfish interests, and Tea Party radicals that are anarchists, with willingness to destroy the American economy in their hatred of those less fortunate, and particularly their despising of the first African American President, who if he were white, would not have as much poison and venom directed at him, as Barack Obama has to bear daily from despicable talk show hosts and bigoted, right wing corporate spokesmen, and most Congressional Republicans.

Mark Hatfield will be remembered as in the best tradition of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Robert La Follette, Sr., George Norris, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and numerous other moderate progressives, including Jacob Javits, Nelson Rockefeller, Charles Percy, Charles Mathias, Lowell Weicker, Edward Brooke, Clifford Case, William Scranton, Bob Packwood, George Romney, Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. and others not mentioned here.

So may Mark Hatfield rest in peace, and we should continue to honor him, and teach about his principles and contributions to our political history!

The Wisconsin Recall Elections: Good Sign For The Future

In the past 100 years before yesterday, there were only 20 state recall elections, and only 13 officeholders were removed.

Yesterday, in Wisconsin, in reaction to Republican Governor Scott Walker’s anti labor, anti education, and anti public worker legislation forced through the legislature, we saw six Republican state legislators in the state Senate face a recall, and two were defeated, narrowing the Republican edge to one vote, 17-16.

While it was disappointing that the Democrats failed to win control of the state Senate by one vote, needing three seats, and only winning two, one must recognize the massive amounts of money brought in by corporate interests, including the Koch Brothers, and the fact that the six state Senate districts had been solidly Republican for years, in some cases more than a century.

So winning two seats was close to a miracle, and it shows that the labor and progressive movement in Wisconsin begun more than a century ago by Robert La Follette, Sr. is alive and well.

It is a sign that when people organize and fight, progress can be made, and the hope is that the recall movement can lead to an election to attempt to force Governor Scott Walker out of office next year, instead of completing his term at the beginning of 2015.

It is also a warning to John Kasich in Ohio, Rick Scott in Florida, Rick Snyder in Michigan, and Paul LePage in Maine, as well as Chris Christie in New Jersey, that the middle and working class will fight their reactionary, fascist like attack on ordinary citizens and workers!