Part of the reason Reversing the Handbasket has been born is to give the folks over at Facebook a break from my political rants. I need a social network site and a political forum. So here's the scoop if you missed what's been up at Facebook in the past month:
Reagan/Bush Appointees Bury McCain-Feingold
In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission:
Justices who voted to allow corporations to finance campaigns (basically voted that the Bipartisan Campaign Refrom Act is unconstitutional)
John Roberts, appointed by George W. Bush (R)
Anthony Kennedy, appointed by Ronald Reagan (R)
Antonin Scalia, appointed by Ronald Reagan (R)
Clarence Thomas, appointed by George H. W. Bush (R)
Samuel Alito, appointed by George W. Bush (R)
Justices voicing dissent:
John-Paul Stevens, appointed by Geral Ford (R)
Ruth Bader Ginsberg, appointed by Bill Clinton (D)
Stephen Breyer, appointed by Bill Clinton (D)
Sonia Sotomayor, appointed by Barack Obama (D)
Campaign for The Strongly Worded Letter
When the Democrats lost the filibuster-proof majority, I was really angry. I decided to write what I called The Strongly Worded Letter. I encouraged everybody I know on Facebook to do the same thing. The instructions were to write the letter, post it on Facebook, post The Strongly Worded Letter Flair, and pass it on so others would do the same. This led to Activism Wednesday, where I encourage Facebook friends to take political action of some sort once each week.
Incidentally, my letters to Congress and Obama came back to me, having been email forward to many people in Missouri. It was an odd experience. But never think that your little piece of activism doesn't matter. Below is my Strongly Worded Letter to Congress:
Dear Senators McCaskill and Reid and Speaker Pelosi,
I am from Ozark, Missouri in Christian County. This is in the far southwestern part of the state, way down here in Sarah Palin territory. I hope you know what that means when I say that I voted for President Obama in the last election.
I have a few words to say to you and your colleagues in Congress about how you are blowing it for us, the dedicated Democrats of America. Those of us who are working hard in our two-income families. Those of us who take our two children to school, and Cub Scouts and soccer practices, and still have to figure out how to pay the bills. Those of us who had a car accident, broken arm, and MRSA infection in the same year in our household, so even though we have “good” health insurance, we owe the local hospital thousands of dollars. Yes, the real people who stood with you and said “yes, we can!” and got you all elected.
You are blowing it because you don’t seem to be able to understand how to use your majority in Congress to get anything done. When the Republicans and President Bush had a much smaller majority, I had my public lands taken from me and warrantless wiretaps granted as a “security necessity.” Wars were fought for reasons no one has ever explained where no weapons of mass destruction were found. The CIA gained enormous power and I lost my civil rights. No one batted an eye.
You people have let the image of our party shrink in the eyes of the country to the point that last night in Ted Kennedy’s stronghold a man who formerly paraded naked in a magazine was elected to Senator Kennedy’s vacant seat. You should be ashamed! Every day I get emails from people who believe, they actually believe, in the death panel rhetoric spewed by the right regarding the health care plan. They believe the outrageous cost estimates that are blown out of proportion and inaccurate. They believe these things because you people have given them a vast lack of counter information! My liberal friends and I have tried to refer them to FactCheck.org and other locations for correct information, but the big question is, why aren’t you out there providing the accurate information in the quantity the misinformation is being provided?
You folks need to work on the basic image of the party and fast. I never thought Obama would serve more than one term, though I hope I am wrong. I knew everyone would blame him for Bush’s failed economy and expect miracles. And the so-called “liberal media” lets people get away with calling the stimulus package passed before he was in office the “Obama” package on a weekly if not daily basis. So you likely have just 3 years to get it together. Three years, (you just wasted one), and you’re losing seats every time there is an election. So let me offer some suggestions:
1. Get Nancy Pelosi off television every time health care is discussed. She may be charming in person, and her constituents must love her because she keeps getting elected. But she comes across as really scary on national television, even to other Democrats. As a feminist, I’m so glad to have a female Speaker of the House. But when she talks about healthcare on television it’s like listening to Charlton Heston tell us we’re going to get the plan she wants us to have if she has to shove it down our cold dead throats. And I’m a person who supports her plan.
2. Get some sort of panels on television discussing healthcare in prime time. Make it like a Presidential debate if the other side needs equal time, but get our side out there selling the pros of the package. In fact, so many things have been proposed, even those of us who support the public option don’t even know what we’re defending anymore. The current proposal is like a vast sucking hole of information void, and that’s hard for Joe Citizen to defend to Joe Skeptic.
3. Pass some legislation and make a big deal of it on television. Flex some muscle. Trying to take the high road and be bipartisan is an excellent way to win a peace prize. It is a very poor way win any public respect. We need to have a balance of both, and our party is suffering from a huge image problem. Pass some legislation on something, and put it on television when you do.
4. Stop reading polls and listen to people like me. Educated people who watch the Sunday morning shows, read blogs, have hundreds of friends on Facebook, and have some idea of what the American public really thinks. You all get stuck in Washington with each other and your pundits and your advisors and you are totally out of touch with reality. Surely you have relatives or friends or something you could ask.
5. Watch John Stewart. He’s rude and crude, but he’s got it right about 95% of the time. Especially recently with regard to your total impotence about being able to accomplish anything in Healthcare. Visit his comments about what you might be doing while the Republicans are playing chess.
6. When the Republicans lie on television and the media doesn’t call them on it, you call them on it. They’d call you out in a second. For example, if Rudy Giuliani says there were no terrorist attacks since 911 while George Bush was President and Stephanopoulos lets it go, you point it out. Likewise, if Liz Cheney implies that the Fort Hood incident is related to the underwear bomber and Stephanopoulos lets it slide (This Week, January 10), whatever Democrat politician is at the table needs to point it out. I do not understand why the Republicans are so good at this and the Democrats are so bad at it. It gives them an advantage in image that we just don’t have.
You all have to make changes in Congress. I did not spend all of those hours, and neither did my parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, in the Obama offices, and out knocking on doors and making calls in hostile Sarah Palin territory, so you all could throw it all away and accomplish nothing. Get on the ball. You have to do better. There is no other option if the lives of regular Americans are going to improve.