I was going to write about Bloomberg & Buttigieg and the desperate effort to find a candidate, any candidate, who might stall Sanders’ momentum, but my heart wasn’t in it….So I wrote this. Plus a critical action alert.
This Is What We’ve Been Waiting For
Seven Retake Priority Bills on the House Floor Agenda Today. Time to call/email & voice your support for all these bills.
The House is in full gear. Its morning session begins at 10:30am and likely will run til 1:30-3pm. It will reconvene at 5 or 6pm and go into the wee hours of the morning. Yesterday, Speaker Egolf was taking bills in order, so it is highly likely that the first three bills below will be heard today, and perhaps a few more. So it’s time to voice your support for these bills and you don’t have to show up to do so. Links to Retake bill summaries are provided along with a link to a list of all House Reps. Let’s Do It!!!!
- HB 9 Community Solar Act, is first on the House Floor agenda, so it’s highly likely there will be a vote, maybe before noon.
- HB 148 Working Families Tax Credit is third.
- HB 233 Energy Grid Modernization Road Map is 7th.
- HB 217 Electric Vehicle Income Tax Credit is 20th.
- SB 1 Wholesale Prescription Drug Importation Act is 23rd.
- SB 5 Extreme Risk Firearm Protection Order Act is 24th.
- HM 9 Renewable Energy Investment Strategic Plan is 33rd.
These are all high priority bills for Retake. Click here to locate your House Representative. Please call the office and email now. If you have the time, call as many Democrats as you can without identifying if the legislator represents you. You don’t have to know a lot about the bill. All you need to say is: “I am a NM Democrat and there are seven bills on the House Floor agenda today that I support.” Then tick off the bill numbers and names. In two minutes you are done. This is important. They keep track of the number of calls for and against each bill. So your voice matters.
YUCCA Press Conference today, Thursday, February 13, 2:00 pm at Roundhouse Rotunda. YUCCA Press Conference about Oil Change Institute’s important report “Drilling for Disaster” and their subsequent analysis of the Governor’s Climate Plan. If you were unable to attend the “teach-in” last night this will be a way to find out more about OCI’s compelling research focused on the Permian Basin and NM’s contribution to the climate crisis.
Can We Just Agree to Disagree, But Keep Our Ears & Minds Open?
I was going to write about how surprised I am that Democrats appear to be considering the candidacy of a former Republican Mayor of NY who in 2015 was quoted as saying that to address crime you must go into communities of color and “throw them against the wall and frisk them,” and in 2009 formally endorsed President Bush for re-election.
But I hit pause. My heart wasn’t in it. Maybe it’s after spending almost a month at the Roundhouse, where too often we find “debate” devolve into trench warfare with both slides slinging rhetoric and no one really listening. Or maybe it is observing in social media how a post supporting Sanders inevitably elicits knee-jerk, uninformed replies about how Sanders was responsible for Trump or is the next coming of Stalin. Or maybe it was Retake being subjected to a full-on social media assault from pro-gun lobbyists and having to remove over 100 angry comments, very few of which included facts or interest in real dialog.
Whatever the cause, I came to a conclusion that too many of us feel we know the answers and thus no longer need to listen and learn to see things differently. Of all the people I know, I may be the one most guilty of this kind of reaction.
During this Roundhouse session I’ve been fighting that habit. I’ve spent time talking with GOP representatives from rural districts and to those who came to hearings to offer public comment expressing their opposition to a bill Retake supports. And I entered those conversations, not as I normally would — seeking to identify the weaknesses in their arguments so I could counter them. Instead I tried to really listen, with the goal of being convinced of their point of view or at the very least to respect and understand it.
I must admit, I am still not very skilled at this practice, but I am trying, and I plan to spend more time during the session connecting with rural representatives and making plans to meet with them once the session is over.
Which brings me back to my point for today. It feels as if the Democratic Party is no longer listening to each other and is about to commit suicide, with progressives and moderates digging in their heels and shredding whoever appears to be gaining traction. I’ve read two hit pieces against Buttigieg and another on Klobuchar, as well as several raising the red flag that nominating Sanders would be suicide.
None of the pieces delved into the ideas of any of these candidates, none was steeped in anything like an honest appraisal. They were emotionally drenched, overwrought attack pieces. Let’s not do that. I’d like to begin not doing that by pointing to the 1932 election.
In 1932, we had a President who had shredded the social safety net, who espoused “rugged individualism” as how America was built and the way it would survive. He vigorously defended capitalism in the face of a depression that was compelling evidence of capitalism’s failings. In the 1932 election, Hoover was challenged by FDR, who mounted a passionate campaign calling for an almost unimaginable number of government programs and interventions. An article from The Atlantic offers a retrospective view on that election:
Throughout the campaign, Hoover had attacked what he considered a “social philosophy very different from the traditional philosophies of the American people,” warning that these “so-called new deals” would “destroy the very foundations” of American society. As Hoover later put it, the promise of a “New Deal” was both socialistic and fascistic; it would lead the country on a “march to Moscow.”“Winter War: Hoover Roosevelt and the First Clash Over the New Deal.” The Atlantic
Does this rhetoric sound familiar? Most all of you know how that election turned out, but as a reminder, from US News & World Report:
He [FDR] won the 1932 election in a landslide with 22.8 million votes to Hoover’s 15.7 million. Roosevelt carried 42 states to Hoover’s six. Journalist William Allen White said FDR’s victory showed “a firm desire on the part of the American people to use government as an agency for human welfare.” The electorate had, in effect, taken nearly 150 years of tradition upholding limited government and, in their anxiety and anger, thrown it out the window. ““Franklin Roosevelt and the Election of 1932.” US News & World Report
We are not steeped in a depression, but we do have a president whose policies are only increasing the concentration of wealth in this country to a point that it now exceeds the gap in 1932. We have a president who employs the same belittling rhetoric to dismiss any candidate advocating for a social safety net. We have a president who now is launching an all out assault on some of the most revered social institutions in America: Medicare and Social Security. And we have a country deeply dissatisfied with government and its capacity to address the needs of its people.
We are also now seeing rhetoric, not from the GOP, but from the party of Roosevelt, predicting that nominating Sanders would result in electoral catastrophe and destroy our American foundations. Well, the FDR platform of 1932 looks an awful lot like either a Sanders or a Warren platform, and we are doing ourselves no favors to have Democrats summarily dismissing legitimate proposals supported by the vast majority of Americans.
We can’t stop the media from doing it, but we do not have to repeat fear-based tropes. It is very clear that the DNC and its corporate benefactors are aligned with Wall St., pharma, gas and oil, and other industrial giants, just as Hoover and his GOP were aligned in 1932. They are flooding the media with hysterical warnings about how we can’t afford four more years of Trump. I couldn’t agree more, so I’d just ask that you reflect on the similarities between 1932 and now and consider the results below.
- FDR 22.8 million votes, 42 states, 472 electoral votes
- Hoover 15.7 million votes, six states, 59 electoral votes
I close by just asking all of you to keep an open mind, to consider history. And to consider that most “advanced” nations embrace many of the policies that Sanders and Warren promote, and most of those countries have cheaper, better healthcare, more progressive tax structures, more developed renewable infrastructure, and a more satisfied citizenry.
I’d also ask all of you to ask yourself this question: How would you feel if you woke up on Nov. 4, 2020 to hear the news that Warren or Sanders had just been elected President and that the Senate had flipped Democrat? Make no mistake, whoever wins, we still have a very heavy lift. But wouldn’t it feel different if our new standard-bearer espoused our values and was ready to do battle on our behalf?
I don’t know about you, but I am thirsting for Bobby Kennedy, for FDR, and I am not real excited about accepting pablum when, if we all work together, we could elect a candidate who will fight for justice, not talk reform and negotiate with Wall St. for acceptable solutions.
Paul & Roxanne