Democratic Party Values

Barack Obama: “This moment is too important to sit out.”

Former President Barack Obama spoke at the University of Illinois on Friday, accepting the Paul H. Douglas Award for Ethics in Government from the U. of I. system’s Institute of Government and Public Affairs – and announcing his entry into the midterm election fray.

I’m here today because this is one of those pivotal moments when every one of us as citizens of the United States need to determine just who it is that we are. Just what it is that we stand for. And as a fellow citizen — not as an ex-president, but as a fellow citizen — I’m here to deliver a simple message, and that is that you need to vote because our democracy depends on it. […]

Look at this crop of Democratic candidates running for Congress and governor, running for the state legislature, running for district attorney, running for school board. It is a movement of citizens who happen to be younger and more diverse and more female than ever before, and that’s really useful. We need more women in charge. But we have first-time candidates. We have veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. Record numbers of women. Americans who have previously maybe didn’t have an interest in politics as a career but laced up their shoes and rolled up their sleeves and grabbed a clipboard because they, too, believe this time’s different. This moment’s too important to sit out.

And if you listen to what these candidates are talking about in individual races across the country, you’ll find they’re not just running against something, they’re running for something. They’re running to expand opportunity and running to restore the honor to public service. And speaking as a Democrat, that’s when the Democratic party has always made the biggest difference in the lives of the American people. When we led with conviction and principle and bold new ideas. The antidote to a government controlled by a powerful few, a government that divides is a government by the organized, energized, inclusive many. That’s what this moment’s about. That has to be the answer.

VNV Tuesday – 147 Days Until Midterms; Time to Set Our Hope On Fire (A Call to Action) 6/12/18

Father Time Overcome by Love, Hope, and Beauty (1627, oil on canvas)

Today’s inspiration came from this song by Vienna Teng about a nascent activist, as well as Rebecca Solnit’s book Hope in the Darkness: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities.

So what is this “hope” of which I speak? Solnit says it best:

It’s important to say what hope is not: it is not the belief that everything was, is, or will be fine. The evidence is all around us of tremendous suffering and tremendous destruction. The hope I’m interested in is about broad perspectives with specific possibilities, ones that invite or demand that we act. It’s also not a sunny everything-is-getting-better narrative, though it may be a counter to the everything-is-getting-worse narrative. You could call it an account of complexities and uncertainties, with openings. “Critical thinking without hope is cynicism, but hope without critical thinking is naivete,” the Bulgarian writer Maria Popova recently remarked. And Patrisse Cullors, one of the founders of Black Lives Matter, early on described the movement’s mission as to “Provide hope and inspiration for collective action to build collective power to achieve collective transformation, rooted in grief and rage but pointed towards vision and dreams.” It’s a statement that acknowledges that grief and hope can coexist. Source: Hope in the Dark by Rebecca Solnit, pp. xiii-xiv

Grief and rage when I see this:

Visions and dreams lead me to support this:

Set your hope on fire/action item
Call your senators, particularly if you have D senators, and encourage them to vote against cloture on all of 45*s judges; Senate comity has been abused (blue slips, anyone?) by the Republicans, and it’s long past time to fight back with all the tools we have.

Grief and rage when I see this:

Visions and dreams lead me to support this:

Set your hope on fire/action item
Call your House member and senators, and let them know that this is a deal breaker; demand that they make a public statement, so that voters will know their position. Supporting a D candidate for the House or Senate? Contact them, and demand that they address this issue loudly and proudly.

Grief and rage when I see this:

Visions and dreams lead me to support this:

Set your hope on fire/action item
See that tweet above? Those are your beginning talking points. Now get on the phone, and let your righteous anger loose.

Grief and rage when I see this:

Visions and dreams lead me to support this:

Set your hope on fire/action item
“I’m also pressing for a simple one-sentence law that says it is the policy of the United States not to separate children from their parents,” Merkley said. (Southwest Key Programs regrets denying Sen. Merkley entry ) Your action item in one sentence.

Grief and rage when I see this:

Visions and dreams lead me to support this:

Set your hope on fire/action item
Need some help in crafting your talking points? Read this: Evidence That New Tariffs, Not Immigrants, Are Costing Jobs Or maybe this will help: Car bosses round on Trump over threat of tariffs

Grief and rage when I see this:

Visions and dreams lead me to support this:

Set your hope on fire/action item
Given the botched and frankly, inhumane, response to the crisis in Puerto Rico, a foreclosure moratorium should be the minimal response. #CanceltheDebt is another ask, as is a repeal of the provisions of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 (the “Jones Act”) which place such a burden on Puerto Rico.

With the rampaging destruction being carried on by the Republicans, this diary could be never-ending. But while we’re all helping in some form or another to make the Blue Wave happen in November, I wanted to illustrate that hope isn’t a state of being; it’s a series of actions that we take today. Preparing for November is, sadly, not enough. We must be working the phones, educating our friends and neighbors, and committing to act now. While no one person can do all of the work, together we create the ripples which will lead to the wave.

Fighting Back: Rep. Joe Kennedy III – “This is not right, this is not who we are”

Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-MA) speaking from Fall River, Massachusetts gives the Democratic Party response to the State of the Union Address:

Many have spent the past year anxious, angry, afraid. We all feel the fault lines of a fractured country. We hear the voices of Americans who feel forgotten and forsaken.

And [we have that] nagging, sinking feeling, no matter your political beliefs: this is not right. This is not who we are.[…]

This administration isn’t just targeting the laws that protect us – they are targeting the very idea that we are all worthy of protection.

For them, dignity isn’t something you’re born with but something you measure.

By your net worth, your celebrity, your headlines, your crowd size.

Not to mention, the gender of your spouse. The country of your birth. The color of your skin. The God of your prayers.

Their record is a rebuke of our highest American ideal: the belief that we are all worthy, we are all equal and we all count. In the eyes of our law and our leaders, our God and our government.

That is the American promise. […]

Bullies may land a punch. They might leave a mark. But they have never, not once, in the history of our United States, managed to match the strength and spirit of a people united in defense of their future.

Politicians can be cheered for the promises they make. Our country will be judged by the promises we keep.

THAT is the measure of our character. That’s who we are.

Out of many. One.

Ladies and gentlemen, have faith: The state of our union is hopeful, resilient, enduring.

Full text of speech is below

It Takes A Village – VNV Tuesday: The ReSisterhood (Happy Birthday, Auntie Maxine!) 8/15/17

By slowking4 (Own work) [GFDL 1.2 (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.2.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by a comment made by bfitzinAR and the encouragement of WYGalinCA, today’s post is all about Maxine Waters (CA-43), one of the leaders of the ReSisterhood. She’s 79 today, and as a self-described “strong black woman,” she’s been controversial, contentious, courageous, and a clarion of truth.

This article, How Maxine Waters became ‘Auntie Maxine’ in the age of Trump gives a nice overview of her background without shying away from her more controversial moments.

For a less biographical, but hilariously righteous take, I suggest reading this: Maxine Waters Is Back and She’s Not Here to Play

But really, I can’t say anything that Rep. Waters couldn’t say better, so today let’s just listen and learn.

It Takes A Village – VNV Tuesday: We Are Dems/Work Those Phones Day! 7/25/17

Let’s kick some ass today!

BEFORE ANYTHING, CALL YOUR SENATORS TODAY! DEM OR REPUBLICAN, THEY NEED TO HEAR FROM US.

It Takes A Village – Thursday Special: We Are Dems (Part 3.5) 7/20/17

Knowing who we are is half the battle…

I’m continuing my look at the healthcare planks of both the Democratic and Republican Party platforms, despite the fluid events in the news about the status of BCRA[p] and the ever-changing Republican plans to destroy the ACA. We need to know just what the Republican positions are, not matter how unworkable, because if we know anything, it’s that they don’t quit. And if by some miracle a chance for bipartisan fixes to the ACA comes about, we need to know what fixes, additions, and changes Democrats might have in mind; Medicare for All is still unlikely, even if a push to work together somehow comes about.

It Takes A Village – VNV Tuesday: We Are Dems (Part 3) 7/18/17

Senator McCain’s surgery and his as-of-yet unknown date of return to the Senate; a BCRA(p) bill that must be passed under the FY17 budget resolution, using the reconciliation process (thus preserving a FY18 budget resolution/reconciliation process for tax reform); senators announcing they are no votes on the MTP for widely-varying reasons; and a squabbling Republican caucus that is being “enticed” by McConnell in any way possible have combined to create a perfect storm for the Resistance. Every delay enables us to make more calls and create more pressure, and every delay brings us closer to the end of FY17, the adoption of a FY18 budget resolution, and the resulting loss of the ability to use FY17 reconciliation for the repeal and replacement of the ACA. In the event you’re starting to feel the Resistance Burnout Blues, today I’m comparing and contrasting the Democratic and Republican platform planks related to healthcare. Because of the timeliness, detail, and complexity of the topic, I will be covering healthcare in two separate posts, today and on Thursday.

It Takes A Village – VNV Tuesday: We Are Dems, and That Means We Want to Raise Incomes and Restore Economic Security for the Middle Class 6/27/17

Before I start today’s look at the Democratic and Republican Party platforms, your Resistance reminder to call, call, and call again. Yes, even if you have Dem senators and even if you know your senator is a jerk who is in favor of #Abomnicare:
Information for contacting those senators on the [allegedly] wavering list…

…or click on the link in this tweet for all the information your heart could desire.

Barack Obama: “No tweaks can change the fundamental meanness at the core of this legislation.”

President Barack Obama took to Facebook yesterday to weigh in on the Republican Party’s legislation to repeal healthcare:

“Our politics are divided. They have been for a long time. And while I know that division makes it difficult to listen to Americans with whom we disagree, that’s what we need to do today.

I recognize that repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act has become a core tenet of the Republican Party. Still, I hope that our Senators, many of whom I know well, step back and measure what’s really at stake, and consider that the rationale for action, on health care or any other issue, must be something more than simply undoing something that Democrats did.”

It Takes A Village – HNV Tuesday: We are Democrats, and That Means Something 6/20/19

It’s often said, probably with a great degree of accuracy, that a party platform is forgotten soon after a convention is over.  For the next few weeks, I intend to turn conventional wisdom on its head and will be exploring, comparing, and contrasting elements of our platform with the Republican Party platform. Because the platforms are lengthy, with the exception of today, I won’t be covering them word for word.  For those who want to read ahead, the Democratic Party platform is here:  2016 Democratic Party Platform and the Republican Party Platform can be found here:  2016 Republican Party Platform.