Wednesday, December 30, 2009

To POLITICO: on "Anxious Democrats"

POLITICO posted a story discussing Democrats in Congress supposedly dithering over whether to tack to the left or center in the upcoming 2010 election. I posted this in the comments:

Unlike the Republicans who must choose between their base of racists, religious extremists, and economic royalists and independents who find them morally repulsive, the Democrats could easily appeal to both their progressive base and independents by implementing progressive policies that broad majorities of Americans would support:

  • Reregulate Wall Street & prosecute and imprison those at the top who knowingly committed fraud.
  • Break up any business big enough to buy or intimidate our democracy.
  • Enact a Wall Street transaction tax steep enough to kill speculation, and force investors to place long term bets on companies they actually hope will succeed (instead of creating one pump & dump bubble after another).
  • Base our trade policy on what is good for American families, not speculators on Wall Street.
  • Pass health care reform that does more to help middle and working class families than it does to protect and enrich insurance companies.
  • Enact a separation of corporation and state when it comes to foreign policy, so we don't overthrow governments or invade countries just because some oil company, banana plantation, or sweatshop owner got their panties in a knot because the leader of a country drove a hard bargain for their natural resources or raised the minimum wage. This change alone would make it harder for terrorist groups to recruit.
  • End privatization of government functions that are invariably the result of corruption that in turn then uses our tax dollars to fund further corruption.
  • Invest more in alternative energy than we do in invading and occupying oil producing and pipeline countries. Besides giving us an endless supply of nearly free energy, it would break the power of oil companies to dictate our foreign policy and impoverish countries like Saudi Arabia that use their oil wealth fund terrorist groups.
  • Listen to teachers for advice about how to fix schools instead of scammers who hope to make money on privatizing them.
  • Legalize marijuana and deal with other illegal drugs by reducing demand and through treatment--exactly the way the wealthy and politicians deal with their kids when get caught with the stuff.

And that is the bottom line to all progressive positions. Treat your fellow citizens the way you would members of your own family, not overly indulgent, but not as sheep to be fleeced or led to the slaughter either.

If Democrats did things like this, were guided by that principle, or even appeared to be, they would not have to worry about 2010 or any election after that.

Unfortunately, by trying to split the baby between the needs of the working and middle class and the rapacious, insatiable demands of the sociopathic trust fund babies on Wall Street, they look weak and unwilling to stand up for their core principles at best, and at worst, as corrupt as the Republicans only with the lipstick of soothing social justice platitudes instead of the shrill, sharp absolutes of the religious right.

Neither option will get the Democratic base out, nor will it inspire independents to vote for Democrats unless they decide based on a coin toss.

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