The Campaign Begins
The Campaign Begins
Now is the time to get excited
The Enthusiasm Gap
A liberal is someone who can't admit that they've won.
A conservative is someone who can't admit that they've lost
Much as been made of The Enthusiasm Gap. Essentially, Democrats aren't as excited about their candidates as Republicans (or teabaggers) are about theirs. That's because Democrats, at least the ones on the left, can't see their great success for the missed opportunities. Meanwhile, the Republicans, at least the ones on the right (or the ones on the extreme deep end) just can't see that everything they have done in the past thirty years has been a major failure.
Ronald Reagan, who had a terrible first two years, kept his base active by the by reminding supporters, We are the change.
Of course, Reagan and the right changed the US from being the world's largest creditor nation to the world's largest debtor. As I wrote here in 2003, Reagan campaigned for 16 years as a staunch defender of a balanced budget, but changed instantly to shove the largest budgest deficits up to that time, which created Cognitive Dissonance in his supporters: He literally drove the right crazy. By firing striking air traffic controllers, he helped change America to a place with strong workers into a trickle down nightmare that has done nothing but help the rich get richer while moving jobs overseas. He changed Carter's successful campaign to diminish the Soviet Union into one where he had to prop them up to justify his obscene debt. The Soviet Union eventually collapsed anyway, and Reagan's sycophants have been misassigning credit ever since. Reagan changed Carter's successul policy of not negotiating with terrorists which led to the suicide bombs in Beirut and eventually Al Queda and 9/11.
But I digress. A good list of Reagan's failures (and a few successes) in The Reagan Legacy. This is old news, but needs mentioning because Fox "News" and the mainstream media have been lying about Reagan/Bush/Bush for so long. The left, despite winning the last two elections, hasn't controlled the debate.
The right and the extreme right is not so much enthusiastic as angry. Angry at being so wrong. Angry at people who don't look like them. Angry at losing. So far, this is translating into votes.
Remember: Obama and the Democrats are the change. We want to continue moving forward.
So it's time. Time to A) revel in our victories, which have been many and B) time to be active, not reactive.
Be passionate! We're the good guys!
The accomplishments of President Obama and the 111th Congress controlled by the Democratic PartyThe 111th Congress was very busy. Democrats did very well. Major accomplishments were many. A few highlights:
- Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009: When the conservative judicial activists on the Supreme Court ruled that there was a statute of limitation to be able to file an equal-pay discrimination suit, Congress stepped in an amended the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Republicans defeated an earlier version of the bill, and the new version was the first act of Congress signed by the new president.
- State Children's Health Insurance Program which provides matching funds to states for health insurance to families with children.
- American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 aka The Stimulus. This is not to be confused with the Troubled Asset Relief Program aka TARP or The Bailout, which passed under Bush. By all measures, the stimulus was a success, heading off the worst of the Bush recession. Many economists thought it should have been larger, and many think more capital should be pumped into the economy. Unlike TARP, the stimulus was well thought out beforehand and well managed after passage.
- Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act aka Health Care Reform. This is a major step forward, even if it didn't have everything it could have. The bill passed the Senate and the House without a single Republican vote. And they can't admit they lost, much less admit they were wrong. Republicans want to repeal Health Care Reform, even though HCR reduces the Federal deficit and saves lives. Right now, the conservatives are the baby killers. Thanks to large Democratic majorities, the United States is finally catching up to the rest of the world.
Quietly returning to a reality-based system of governmentThanks to Fox "News" and the 24-hour news cycle that covers the immediacy of the horserace and ignores context and consequence, Americans have a very short attention span and a very short political memory. Remember how bad Bush was? Remember than he just ignored the law and made signing statements and Executive Orders even if they were the opposite of what the law said? (Bush is another Big Government Republican who doesn't believe in State's rights... )Fortunately, adults are in the White House now. Some people were paying attention but the Democrats didn't control the debate enough to make more than a splash for doing the right thing. A few examples:
- Obama overturns Bush policy on stem cells (There's more to this story, later.) In addition, Obama set standards for hiring people who actually know what they're talking about: Obama Puts His Own Spin on Mix of Science With Politics
- Obama Overturns Bush Exec. Order on Project Labor Agreements
- Obama overturns Bush order on access to White House records
- Obama reverses 'global gag rule' on family planning organisations
- Similarly, Obama Proposes Overturning Bush's 'Right to Conscience' Rule. Bush and the radicals restricted your right to know about your own medical treatment. Obama restored your rights.
- Executive Order -- Presidential Records governing assertion of executive privilege by incumbent and former Presidents
- New Obama Coal Regulations Would Overturn Weaker Bush-Era Plans, EPA Says
- Obama Stands up for State Authority; Overturns Bush's Suppression of States' RIghts
- And perhaps the purest example of the difference between Big Government Republicans who want to control every aspect of your life and the Democratic Party, which wants all citizens to thrive, Obama overturns Mexico City Policy, pro-lifers react:
Pro-life leaders reacted critically to President Barack Obama's Friday reversal of President George W. Bush's ban on federal funding for international groups that promote or perform abortions. One Latin American commentator charged that the policy weakens anti-poverty efforts and had enabled a coercive sterilization campaign in Peru under the Clinton administration.
The ban, known as the Mexico City Policy, earned its name from a population conference that took place in the Mexican capital in 1984, where it was introduced by President Ronald Reagan. It was reversed by President Bill Clinton in 1993 and then reinstated by President Bush in 2001.
A similar take on the same story: Obama reverses 'global gag rule' on family planning organisations
We are the change. In a very short amount of time, the good guys have undone a lot of damage created by the Bush administration and the Gingrich Congress. Obama and the Democrats have accomplished a lot. This isn't television where everything gets wrapped up in an hour and all issues come to a resolution before the credits. Politics is messy and ofttimes unpleasant. But you can't let go, or the bad guys win.To be a conservative these days, one must believe lies and not believe the truth. As liberals and progressives, you have to live in the world G_d made; and you have to live in the country governed by people. My plan: Pay attention to people who were right in the past and marginalize those who have been consistently wrong. And let's face it: In almost every issue, liberals have been right and conservatives have been wrong. Say this often.
I'll have more of this later. For now, you need to start getting your dander up. This is an important election; they all are. You have an advantage over your right-wing friends: All you have to do is speak the truth.
If the Republicans take either the House or the Senate, disaster looms. Ensuring large majorities of sane legislators is the only way to keep America strong. Do your part.
Baron Dave Romm is a conceptual artist and a noble of Ladonia who produces Shockwave Radio Theater, writes in a Live Journal demi-blog maintains a Facebook Page, plays with a very weird CD collection and an ever growing list of political links. Dave Romm reviews things at random for obscure web sites. You can read all his music recommendations from Bartcop-E. Podcasts of Shockwave Radio Theater. Permanent archive. A nascent collection of videos are on Baron Dave's YouTube channel. More radio programs, interviews and science fiction humor plays can be accessed on the Shockwave Radio audio page.
Thanks to everyone who has sent me music to play on the air.