What Can 1932 Tell Us About 2020; House Votes Today on Seven Bills We Support!

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!!!!

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?

Rodney King

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.

In solidarity,

Paul & Roxanne



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3 replies

  1. From Ocasio Cortez’s Twitter Feed

    “Reminder of what people are calling the “radical, extreme-left agenda”:
    Medicare for All
    A Living Wage & Labor Rights
    K-16 schooling, aka Public Colleges
    100% Renewable Energy
    Fixing the pipes in Flint
    Not Hurting Immigrants
    Holding Wall Street Accountable”

    Today’s local newspaper, https://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/some-democrats-fear-fallout-from-sanders-atop-the-ticket/article_5734bc6a-7957-5a5f-8cf9-925a706a9fcb.html

    They are still peddling Biden, doing the same thing they did in 2015, and 2016. We won’t be seeing much about any of their policies, some really don’t have one. The republicans are not the only ones who are brainwashed, a lot of democrats are too. The older retired ones, have the widescreen TV going all day long, listening to Stock Market updates to monitor their portfolios, republicans are on FOX, and democrats are on MSNBC. They both think that they are informed.

    Clearly this newspaper editor, does not understand what happened in 2016, and the media’s complicity.
    https://www.santafenewmexican.com/opinion/editorials/do-democrats-understand-the-stakes/article_2357cd72-4dd9-11ea-a25e-0385db951a4f.html The real question should be, Do Americans understand the stakes?
    “For many progressives, the thought of what they view as an “establishment” Democrat winning is enough to make them stay home come November. Many find Bloomberg — whose stop-and-frisk policy policies as mayor are particularly troublesome — the most offensive.”
    Clearly their only view of “progressives” is filtered through corporate media talking points, but they had to throw some shade at them. They have no idea what progressives are thinking, they did not bother to ask in 2106, so why start now. Democracy is unraveling, and fascism is creeping in, but they are thinking about pleasing a few advertisers and appearing to fair to “both sides.” The term for “establishment democrats” is corporate democrats, ones on the hook to the corporations. It looks like our democracy is under threat, so lets play both ends against the middle, it is good for the advertising metrics.

    We saw this unraveling occur here in New Mexico during the Martinez reign, but local media did not cover much of it. If they did it was to amplify “crime,” and fear, not anything insightful. No investigative journalism investigating CYFD, after the gruesome child murders. Only people with direct contact would know about the dysfunction. The public was not aware of how the agency was de funded, and employees were unqualified,and interested in saving money. Similar issues occurred at otehr agencies, but there was no media attention paid to any of that either.

    Anyone who turned to local media to find out what was going on here, would have found a lot of alternate facts. Local news followed the same template the national corporate media did, seeking out attention, by sensationtalization, and repeating certain themes. They saw ugly targeted comments on Facebook, that repeated talking points from extremist sites, but that was engagement, it meant more advertising dollars. To add weight to the “both sides” arguments, they sought out a Koch Brothers funded Libertarian, never a progressive. To the media the most corrupt corporate funded democrat, is a “radical” leftist.

  2. Hi Paul and Roxanne. Your analogy is better than you give it credit for. Gilded Age demagoguery, Dust Bowl, Haystack Rebellion, rampant poverty, malnutrition, debt-to-profit upside down.

    But you need to show that we ARE in a Depression, much greater than 1932. Who is the largest holder of corporate stock? The corporations. The only thing that dodges a crash. Only 1.5 percent of citizen households (116M) holds more than 3k$ in ANY kind of portfolio; stocks, bonds, real estate, etc. About 60 percent of citizens have less than 1k$, right now, in cash, for a crisis. More than 40 percent of population earns less than 18k$ a year.

    Consumer debt – 13+ trillion. Corporate debt – 15.5 trillion. Federal (citizen) debt 21.6 trillion.

    Three largest sections of the economy – military (hegemony and death), big pharma (addiction), dis-ease care (extortion), followed closely by anti-nutritional big AG (toxic polluters), energy (all polluters), cosmetics (poisons), booze and illegal drugs (poisons), mindless entertainment (intoxicants), insurance (parasites) and tax breaks and subsidies for the elite and corps (chemotherapy).

    You must show that the Depression Elephant in the room is the ECONOMY of the Ecology (how all things interact), the Environment (the things), the Atmosphere (what things live in), the dirt (what things live on), the Oceans (what lubricates all things) and the Polar Regions (what balances all the lubrication).

    The Economics of Life 101 is our Ecology, and it is haplessly and hopelessly in debt, bankrupt, out-on-loan, never to be repaid without staggering alterations in life, liberty and happiness. If it can avoid Extinction. Not good odds.

    Our collective life support has become Death Support, our governing behaviors imitate epileptic seizures, our social interactions devolve into the board game of Monopoly of One-upsmanship and domination.

    Our politics? To the Imitators belong the Spoils.

    This is the “It’s the Economy, Stupid” meme you must get out to your large and influential audience.

    Paul, you are now a somewhat larger fish in a bigger pond filled with toothy sharks. Most have big smiles. They have been highly evolved to do their thing, eat, for many millions of years. And they are much worse than the real things.

    Hopefully you will grow into a whale shark, a much larger, kinder, gentler version of your kin. All the other fishes need your protection.

    Myself, and some others, are owls. We sometimes hoot loudly in the silence, but do our hunting in the dark of night, soundlessly. Mostly, we watch, and listen and wait. We whisper into the waters above you, watching your back as we can.

    Mick Nickel

  3. One of the biggest battles in the primary is that the Democratic voter does not BELIEVE that they are worthy enough to have good health care, an education without crippling debt or even the ability to have an apartment they can afford and to get paid a decent wage. The “Centrist” Democrats tell them every single day that they not only do not DESERVE these things but that our country can only AFFORD to support our military. The Democratic National Committee is doing trump’s/GOP’s job for them. ONLY the DNC believes that rhetoric “Vote Blue No Matter Who” and it will be the downfall of the November election once the superdelegates vote in Bloomberg. Many registered Democrats here in NM with whom I am in contact are angry at OUR party more than they are afraid of 4 more years of trump. The Democratic party has their ear firmly at the lips of the elites and the other ear aimed at the actual VOTER has a finger in it.

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