Saturday, September 06, 2008

Annette Taddeo Wins The Blue America Competition

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Yesterday GOP propagandist David Frum was whining in the NY Times about the vanishing Republican voter. Although from my perspective it couldn't happen fast enough, his point seems to be that the greater the income disparity in a city, the more likely it will be to vote Democratic and the less income disparity, the more likely it will vote Republican. He pulled it all out of his ass... completely. His ideas about income disparity and about voter preferences are all wrong. He refers to Phoenix, Ft. Worth, Indianapolis and Anaheim as Republican. Once they were; they're not any more. In 1996 Democrat Loretta Sanchez beat far right incumbent Bob Dornan by a few votes. These days she wins over 60%. I don't know when Indianapolis was Republican but it certain has had Democratic congressmembers for as long as I can remember, voted strongly against Bush both times he ran, and votes strongly for Democrats running for the Senate and the governor's mansion. Same story in Phoenix, where Democrat Ed Pastor is the congressman, where Janet Napolitano racked up huge margins in her run for the governorship and where Bush took 35% of the vote in 2000. But Frum's other premise-- about equality of opportunity-- goes right to the reason why right wing fanatics need to be taken out of society for some serious re-education before they do even more damage than they already have.
My fellow conservatives and Republicans have tended not to worry very much about the widening of income inequalities. As long as there exists equality of opportunity-- as long as everybody’s income is rising-- who cares if some people get rich faster than others? Societies that try too hard to enforce equality deny important freedoms and inhibit wealth-creating enterprise. Individuals who worry overmuch about inequality can succumb to life-distorting envy and resentment.

All true! But something else is true, too: As America becomes more unequal, it also becomes less Republican. The trends we have dismissed are ending by devouring us.

Right wing ideological precepts, enacted into public policy by Reagan, two Bushes, and, to some degree by Clinton, have led to the worst income disparity since the late 1920s. Frum looks for other excuses but he's wrong about everything and simply wants to avoid what he and his co-ideologues have brought-- and are bringing. They had better hope that Obama has what it takes to fix it, the way FDR did.

Today Blue America concluded a week-long competition between 9 strongly progressive House candidates from across the country. None are in the DCCC Red to Blue program and, with the exception of one (Jared Polis) all are considered long shots. DCCC chair, Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), was so impressed with the response-- nearly $40,000 from over 1,850 online donors-- that he offered to match the $5,000 "prize" Blue America had put up.

Although it was a neck-and-neck, see-saw race, in the end Florida grassroots progressive and small businesswoman Annette Taddeo won. She'll walk away with another $15,921 to use in her contest with corporately funded, right-wing extremist Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. The contrasts between Annette and Lehtinen couldn't be sharper or clearer.

Annette wants to end the occupation of Iraq as soon as it can be done safely. She is a signatory to the Reponsible Plan. Ros-Lehtinen has been a faithful rubber stamp for Bush and has no opinions other than "stay the course. She has participated in 63 House roll call votes regarding Iraq and the only time she ever went against the Bush-Cheney line was, in October 2003, when she joined 83 other Republican agreeing with the Democrats that a grant (i.e.- a bribe) Bush wanted to give Iraq be made into a loan. Other than that she's never wavered from the strict party line.

Annette believes in the Constitution and strongly opposed the FISA bill Ros-Lehtinen pushed that permits the president to spy on American citizens without court warrants and that granted retroactive immunity to corporate executives who broke the law to tap the phones of Americans, again, without warrants.

Annette strongly supports a woman's right to choice, unlike Ros-Lehtinen who opposes choice, even in the cases of rape and incest!

Annette's father was a veteran and she is very insistent that America honor the promises made to military vets, especially in terms of health care, education and housing. Since 2002, Ros-Lehtinen has participated in 23 roll call votes regarding veterans' benefits. Shockingly, she voted against veterans all 23 times! Her values are not the same as the values of the people in Miami-Dade; hers are handed down from Washington GOP insiders. She has accepted $69,340 in "contributions" from Big Oil and Gas. In return, she has voted for billions of dollars in tax breaks for them and voted for virtually every single policy they pushed that have led directly to $4/gallon gasoline.

Ros-Lehtinen is a walking conflict of interest when it comes to special interests. She takes money from any corporate group looking for a cheap vote. She has been a strong voice against the kinds of federal regulatory policies put forward by FDR to protect workers and consumers against the runaway power of predatory Big Business. If you want to examine Ros-Lehtinen's role in the mortgage crisis, start by looking at her donor list. Commercial banks ($9,450), investment firms ($14,650), the real estate industry ($43,700) and the lobbying industry ($44,866)-- that's $112,666 from the folks who were constantly pushing Congress to loosen up the regulations that were in place to prevent the kinds of dangerous crisis that caused the 1929 Depression and that Ros-Lehtinen and her cronies, in their ideological mania, have exposed us to again.

By all means, take a look at what netroots readers of this blog, Crooks and Liars, Firedoglake, and Digby donated. If we're going to take our country back from the Ileana Ros-Lehtinens-- and the David Dreiers and Dana Rohrabachers, the George Bushs, Dick Cheneys and John McCains, it's a job for all of us. There are many ways to go about it. This week 1,857 blog readers thought this one worked for them.

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2 Comments:

At 10:41 PM, Blogger Bryan said...

This blog has tons of crazy stuff on Palin… http://liz-seattlespeak.blogspot.com
Like 50 thousand dollars spent on CARPET during renovations on the governor’s mansion
http://www.gov.state.ak.us/omb/09_omb/budget/Admin/Veto/2008proj45391.pdf

 
At 12:41 PM, Blogger Superdestroyer said...

I believe that Frum was talking about metropolitan areas when disucssing voting and just not a single city. I believe that the county can contains Phoenix went for Bush both times and had one of the largest margins of victory for Repulbicans. I believe the same goes for the entire Orange County. However, in DC the first two ciricle of adjoining counties also vote very Democratic. Montgomery County Maryland is one of the richest counties in the U.S. but votes overwhelmingly Democratic.

Frum is just writing about the red/blue county maps from 2000 and 2004 that show that where the Democrats win, they win by a huge margin (See DC, Baltimore, Philly, NYC, Boston) but where the Republicans win, the margin is more narrow.

 

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