Democratic Party Values

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.

Hillary Clinton: “Above all, keep going”

Former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic Party presidential candidate (and popular vote winner!) Hillary Clinton spoke at the 2017 Wellesley College graduation ceremony. In her address, she exhorts the graduating class – and all of us – to engage and be active, to dream big and “above all, keep going”.

(Secretary Clinton is introduced at about 50 minutes in by Wellesley President Paula A. Johnson)

Hillary Clinton:

Here’s what I want you to know. We got through that tumultuous time [of the 60s and 70s], and once again began to thrive as our society changed laws and opened the circle of opportunity and rights wider and wider for more Americans. We revved up the engines of innovation and imagination. We turned back a tide of intolerance and embraced inclusion. The “we” who did those things were more than those in power who wanted to change course. It was millions of ordinary citizens, especially young people, who voted, marched, and organized. […]

You are graduating at a time when there is a full-fledged assault on truth and reason. […]

I believe with all my heart that the future of America—indeed, the future of the world—depends on brave, thoughtful people like you insisting on truth and integrity, right now, every day. You didn’t create these circumstances, but you have the power to change them. […]

Don’t let anyone tell you your voice doesn’t matter. In the years to come, there will be trolls galore—online and in person—eager to tell you that you don’t have anything worthwhile to say or anything meaningful to contribute. They may even call you a Nasty Woman. Some may take a slightly more sophisticated approach and say your elite education means you are out of touch with real people. In other words, “sit down and shut up.” Now, in my experience, that’s the last thing you should ever tell a Wellesley graduate. […]

Not long ago, I got a note from a group of Wellesley alums and students who had supported me in the campaign. They worked their hearts out. And, like a lot of people, they’re wondering: What do we do now?

Well I think there’s only one answer, to keep going. Don’t be afraid of your ambition, of your dreams, or even your anger – those are powerful forces. But harness them to make a difference in the world. Stand up for truth and reason. Do it in private — in conversations with your family, your friends, your workplace, your neighborhoods. And do it in public—in Medium posts, on social media, or grab a sign and head to a protest. Make defending truth and a free society a core value of your life every single day. […]

The day after the election, I did want to speak particularly to women and girls everywhere, especially young women, because you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world. Not just your future, but our future depends on you believing that. We need your smarts, of course, but we also need your compassion, your curiosity, your stubbornness. And remember, you are even more powerful because you have so many people supporting you, cheering you on, standing with you through good times and bad.

Our culture often celebrates people who appear to go it alone. But the truth is, that’s not how life works. Anything worth doing takes a village.

[Over the last 48 years], doors that once seemed sealed to women are now opened. They’re ready for you to walk through or charge through, to advance the struggle for equality, justice, and freedom.

So whatever your dreams are today, dream even bigger. Wherever you have set your sights, raise them even higher. And above all, keep going. Don’t do it because I asked you so. Do it for yourselves. Do it for truth and reason. Do it because the history of Wellesley and this country tells us it’s often during the darkest times when you can do the most good. Double down on your passions. Be bold. Try, fail, try again, and lean on each other. Hold on to your values. Never give up on those dreams.

I’m very optimistic about the future, because I think, after we’ve tried a lot of other things, we get back to the business of America. I believe in you. With all my heart, I want you to believe in yourselves. So go forth, be great.