Two very smart folks conducted a very dignified discussion on FB, one arguing for Warren, the other for Bernie. Dignified on FB? This was the exception and was so well written and analytic, I thought I’d share.
Did You Miss Yesterday’s Post? Roxanne and I have been in Taos for a birthday weekend and to see Sting last night—an utterly amazing concert, way, way, way beyond our expectations. We head home as soon as this post is published. We encountered significant internet hurdles where we have been staying and so the post yesterday was posted at 1pm, far later than our normal 7am-8am. As a result many missed the Monday Look Back.
The post includes links to a post on New Energy Economy’s Supreme Court challenge of the Energy Transition Act and for those interested, I cut the added commentary on this lawsuit from the Thursday post on Public Banking and placed it within the Tuesday post on the lawsuit.
So you have a Tuesday post entirely devoted to the lawsuit and a Thursday post entirely devoted to Public Banking. I would also ask readers to reconsider if you chose to skip Saturday Your Weekend Reading if the Extinction Rebellion headline generated a thought like: eh, maybe not; I am as concerned as I can stand to be. The Saturday post actually finds considerable hope and practical strategies on an international level that could help us pivot from unenforced aspirations, i.e. Paris, to internationally mandated change of the scale required. I highly recommend reviewing the post from last Saturday, if you missed it.
Critical Retake Our Democracy Presentation and Panel
On Tuesday, Sept. 3 from 6:30-8:30pm at the Center for Progress & Justice, 1420 Cerrillos, Santa Fe, a presentation, panel discussion and audience dialogue: Retaking the NM State Senate.
If you don’t think this is important, consider this small sampling of good bills that passed the House and then were killed in the NM state Senate.
- Permanent fund funding for early childhood
- Decriminalization of abortion
- Funding for a state public bank study
- Legalization of recreational marijuana
- Community Solar and Local Choice Energy
- Two bills to advance planning for an economic and energy transition
- Any and all efforts to regulate, tax or penalize the gas and oil industry
Tuesday’s meeting will be streamed live on Facebook and we know we have viewers planning to watch from Taos, Dixon, Las Cruces, Silver City, Las Vegas, Albuquerque, Farmington, and likely many other regions of the state. We hope that this tool helps us to build a statewide community and base of power, focused on achieving greater and more rapid social, environmental, racial and economic justice in NM. Today’s presentation and panel discussion should help us begin formulating our plans for the 2020 legislative session and the June primary and our use of Zoom for action team planning meetings should allow people from throughout the state to become more involved.
The presentation will begin with a 45-minute presentation by Eric Shimamoto, an ABQ activist who has done some remarkable research about the way the NM state Senate and indeed, the entire legislative process is controlled by eight DINO Senators who routinely vote with the GOP. He then draws parallels between NM’s situation and how NY had been held hostage by the same exact dynamic with another eight NY DINOs controlling that state’s legislative process.
Eric also describes how NY Working Families Party led primary challenges in 2019 in the eight NY state Senate districts with DINOs. With wins in six, NY WFP completely changed the legislative environment in NY and a flood of great bills, some stalled for 20 years, were passed in the 2019 legislative session.
We will follow Eric’s presentation with a panel discussion of the implications of what was done in NY and how NM can learn from it. The panel includes Eric Griego, Director of NM Working Families Party; Jeremy Sment, as ABQ activist with powerful data on the eight NM Senate districts represented by DINOs. Sharla Parsons, chair of the NM Democratic Party Platform Committee and of the Adelante Caucus and Javier Benavidez, an ABQ Interfaith activist may also join the panel.
The Panel discussion will be interactive with the audience, as together we seek to better understand how to target resources in pressuring NM DINO Senators in the 2020 legislative session and challenging them in the June primary to follow. Please plan to join us.
An RSVP, even if you think we know you’ll be coming, would certainly help us with set-up. email RetakeResponse@gmail.com to RSVP.
Warren vs. Bernie: Astute pragmatic attorney vs. uncompromising visionary
An exchange between several members of Santa Fe Democratic Socialists of America caught my attention for two reasons. First both people made their points with great respect for the other position and second the ways in which the two captured the subtle but critical differences between the two candidates. I suspect that most readers of this blog would be delighted if either were the Democratic nominee but I thought it worth sharing the perspectives of Alex McDonough and David Best.
First, from Alex:
She’s a super bright lawyer. After learning about the lawyering profession as my sibling goes to law school, I think a hardcore lawyer is most ideally positioned to make important changes.
Bernie is like me, consistently grumpy about the same things in the same ways, forever; and with big plans about how to change it all. I love both of their ideas, I just think she’s better positioned to git it dun.
And then from David:
It’s easy to look back and call Obama a neoliberal now that we’ve all read the articles in Jacobin and Teen Vogue and whatever to that effect. But what did he look like in 2007? A movement candidate! A former “community organizer” with radical associations far more impressive than Warren’s. And remember, that was a time of crisis too. Banks were going bust, wars dragged on, and the outgoing president was regarded by liberals as perhaps the stupidest man to ever hold that office. It was not so different from today.
So how did you and I come to see Obama as a failure and a sellout–a “corporate sponsored neo lib”? Because as soon as he got elected he started governing like a smart lawyer. He bargained in good faith with racists and thieves. He was fair and reasonable and tried to bring people together and find compromise over bottles of Blue Moon. He stocked his cabinet with the smartest people from the best universities. And he disbanded the movement organization that had won him the 2008 election.
It turned out that Obama did not actually want to change the status quo in a serious way. He wanted to manage it more humanely, of course, but largely failed to do so because he would not fight power with power. He tried to fight power with eloquence and reason, as if trying to impress an invisible court. But it turns out that’s not how politics works!
And that’s about what I expect from Elizabeth Warren. She’s fiercer than Obama, but she still doesn’t get it. Remember when she launched her campaign with a video arguing that a DNA expert says she has an indigenous ancestor, therefore Trump can’t make fun of her anymore? Q.E.D., Bozo! That was some PREMIUM f*cking smart lawyer stupidity. I expect there’s more where that came from. And I believe her when she says she wants a cleaner, greener, and better-funded imperial military, and is capitalist to her bones. It’s really, really disheartening.
My View, In Brief
I’ve posted on many occasions my huge expectations from Obama. My son and I canvassed for him in Nevada and my firm hosted a phone banking calling center. For the same reasons posted by David, I thought: Chicago activist, African American, smart, articulate, and supported by a massive grassroots base of power.
And for the same reasons noted by David and many he didn’t include, I was hugely disappointed as he abandoned both his grassroots base and his commitment to “change we could believe in,” to negotiate with Republicans, bankers, fossil fuel and pharma industries and seek a middle course with that middle course being far from the change we could believe in.
I also continue to respect Obama’s dignified, respectful, tone and thoughtful manner, something so utterly absent from the Washington, D.C. generally and from the White House most specifically.
But is the behavior and decisions of one President an indicator of what another attorney candidate might do, if she were elected president? So what do you think? Does Warren’s having once been a registered Republican undermine the power of her plans, plans that put real bones on her policies and aspirations? Or will she, as David suggests, use her lawyerly skills to negotiate to achieve common ground and in so doing sacrifice the principles that ground her rhetoric?
Readers, please comment. If you had to vote today, what would you do? Today, let’s not get caught up in: what would you do if Biden wins the nomination. I think most of us support someone else, but would support Biden if nominated. There is too much at stake here. But for now, let’s not look beyond our primary in June. What are your thoughts and inclinations?
Hope to see you tonight at 6:30, either in person at 1420 or via Facebook stream.
In solidarity, Paul & Roxanne