Friday, April 05, 2019

What Conservative Dems-- The Republican Wing Of The Democratic Party-- Don't Want


The Green New Deal is complicated and partially abstract and certainly not easy to understand for an idiot. It's aspirational too. Medicare-For-All isn't as complicated, but it's complicated too. You know what's not complicated? Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, a semi-livable wage. That;'s pretty straight forward. But it's something that infuriates conservatives almost as much as the Green New Deal and Medicare For All do. Conservatives have always opposed the minimum wage and always opposed raising the minimum wage.

In the late 1800s anti sweatshop activism began gaining strength in Australian, the U.K. and the U.S., leading to calls for minimum wages. Massachusetts passed the first minimum wage legislation in the U.S. in 1912. A decade later there were 15 states with minimum wage laws. The very conservative Supreme Court kept striking them down, declaring them unconstitutional, because they interfered with the ability of employers to freely negotiate wage contracts with employees. And then came the bane of every conservative heart: the New Deal. The Supreme Court struck down the first national minimum wage in the '30s. After FDR was reelected in the biggest landslide in history in 1936 and started discussing putting more justices on the court, the conservatives on the court finally saw the light and ruled a minimum wage law constitutional. The federal minimum wage started at 25 cents an hour and by 1990 it had grown to $3.80. Today the federal minimum wage is $7.25, although only $2.13 for "tipped labor."

Most of the states in the Old Confederacy-- particularly where Republicans have complete control-- don't have any minimum wage at all, of course-- Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, Louisiana, Tennessee. Georgia's is $5.15. California, Washington and Massachusetts have the highest minimum wages among states-- $12.00 that will gradually rise, along with New York's and New Jersey's, to $15.00.

Every passage in every jurisdiction and every increase has been fought by conservatives. That has usually broken down to meaning that nearly all Republicans oppose it and nearly all Democrats support it. But something's changing. Not in the Republican party; they're as opposed to workers' having the ability to live with any sense of dignity as they ever were. Unfortunately, the change comes among Democrats. Starting with Bill Clinton, the Democratic Party began catering more to corporate and financial interests and less to unions and workers. That ugly neoliberal trend has accelerated since Clinton's presidency and now we have immense power resting in the hands of the Blue Dogs and New Dems in Congress, perhaps enough to kill the super-popular calls for a $15 national minimum wage. Let me start by making sure you know who, very specifically, the New Dems are. Almost every Blue Dog is also a New Dem; the only 6 who aren't are Jeff Van Drew (NJ), Filemon Vela (TX), Sanford Bishop (GA), Mike Thompson (CA), Collin Peterson (MN) and Dan Lipinski (IL). This is, at least in the House, the Republican wing of the Democratic Party:
Pete Aguilar (CA)
Colin Allred (TX)
Cindy Axne (IA)
Ami Bera (CA)
Don Beyer (VA)
Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE)
Brendan Boyle (PA)
Anthony Brindisi (NY)
Anthony Brown (MD)
Julia Brownley (CA)
Cheri Bustos (IL)
Salud Carbajal (CA)
Tony Cárdenas (CA)
André Carson (IN)
Ed Case (HI)
Sean Casten (IL)
Joaquin Castro (TX)
Gil Cisneros (CA)
Gerry Connolly (VA)
Jim Cooper (TN)
Lou Correa (CA)
Jim Costa (CA)
Angie Craig (MN)
Charlie Crist (FL)
Jason Crow (CO)
Henry Cuellar (TX)
Joe Cunningham (SC)
Sharice Davids (KS)
Susan Davis (CA)
Madeleine Dean (PA)
Suzan DelBene (WA), vice-chair
Val Demings (FL)
Eliot Engels (NY)
Veronica Escobar (TX)
Lizzie Fletcher (TX)
Bill Foster (IL)
Vicente Gonzalez (TX)
Josh Gottheimer (NJ)
Josh Harder (CA)
Denny Heck (WA)
Katie Hill (CA)
Jim Himes (CT)
Kendra Horn (OK)
Steven Horsford (NV)
Chrissy Houlahan (PA)
Bill Keating (MA)
Derek Kilmer (WA), chairman
Ron Kind (WI)
Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ)
Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL)
Ann Kuster (NH), vice-chair
Rick Larsen (WA)
Brenda Lawrence (MI)
Al Lawson (FL)
Susie Lee (NV)
Elaine Luria (VA)
Tom Malinowski (NJ)
Sean Patrick Maloney (NY)
Ben McAdams (UT)
Lucy McBath (GA)
Donald McEachin (VA)
Gregory Meeks (NY)
Seth Moulton (MA)
Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL)
Stephanie Murphy (FL)
Donald Norcross (NJ)
Tom O'Halleran (AZ)
Chris Pappas (NH)
Ed Perlmutter (CO)
Scott Peters (CA), vice-chair
Dean Phillips (MN)
Mike Quigley (IL)
Kathleen Rice (NY)
Cedric Richmond (LA)
Max Rose (NY)
Harley Rouda (CA)
Raul Ruiz (CA)
Adam Schiff (CA)
Brad Schneider (IL)
Kurt Schrader (OR)
Kim Schrier (WA)
David Scott (GA)
Terri Sewell (AL), vice-chair
Mike Sherrill (NJ)
Elissa Slotkin (MI)
Adam Smith (WA)
Darren Soto (FL)
Abigail Spanberger (VA)
Greg Stanton (AZ)
Haley Stevens (MI)
Tom Suozzi (NY)
Norma Torres (CA)
Xochitl Torres-Small (NM)
Lori Trahan (MA)
David Trone (MD)
Juan Vargas (CA)
Marc Veasey (TX)
Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL)
Jennifer Wexton (VA)
Susan Wild (PA)
It's Wall Street financed, pro-corporate, anti-labor organization, but not every member is anti-worker-- or at least not every member can manifest anti-worker tendencies given the constituencies they represent. And these are the people, for the most part, who went whining to Pelosi and Bustos about being protected against primaries. Some aren't even members because of the ideology but because of the corruption, since the New Dems are the nexus of bribery in the House.

Now, with all that in mind, let's consider how the New Dems are leading the opposition to the progressive plan to pass a $15 minimum wage bill, which the Democrats can certainly do and which Democratic and independent (and even Republican) voters very much want. The big campaign contributors who pay for the cushy careers of the New Dems don't want it. Take a look at this polling of registered voters. The majority of Americans want that raise of $15, which Bernie has already proposed in the Senate and has integrated into his presidential platform and campaign.

According to these pollsters 70% of Republican voters want a higher federal wage floor, with 36% supporting $15 per hour. Thirty percent of GOP respondents said they wanted to keep the amount the same, reduce it or eliminate it. A majority of both Democratic (73%) and independent voters (53%) support a $15 rate. Minimum wage increases are broadly popular across all demographic groups. The $15 proposal was supported by a majority of all age groups in the Hill-HarrisX poll. Now read this carefully, because it's going to help you understand what the New Dems are all about and who they really are and why it's foolish to help get them elected:
Support for a higher minimum wage also is strong across the ideological spectrum. Seventy-seven percent of self-described "strong liberals" supported an increase to $15, as did 66 percent of respondents who said they lean liberal. Sixty percent of moderates backed the proposal as well.

Among those who described themselves as strongly conservative or leaning conservative, support for increasing the wage to $15 did not reach majority levels; however, a majority wanted an increase to an amount above $7.25.

Seventy-two percent of respondents who said they leaned conservative indicated they wanted an increase of some amount, as did 67 percent of strongly conservative respondents.
Goal ThermometerEva Putzova, who is running for Congress against an "ex"-Republican Blue Dog/New Dem, Tom O'Halleran, is the chair of the Flagstaff Living Wage Coalition. She reminded us that "Not a single ballot measure raising the minimum wage has ever failed-- not in a blue state or a red state. In Flagstaff, we raised the minimum wage to $15 per hour through a local initiative that was on the same ballot in 2016 as the increase of the Arizona's state minimum wage to $12 per hour. Raising the minimum wage is simply what people want. When the Raise the Wage Act passes (and I hope it will), it will be the first time in the history of this country that at least one chamber of Congress legislates the full minimum wage for tipped workers, most of whom are women and many are people of color and immigrants. The federal subminimum tipped wage has been frozen at an exploitative $2.13 since 1991 thanks to the power, money and influence of the "other NRA." Living mostly off tips forces tipped workers to tolerate sexual harassment and leads to economic instability for millions of families across the country. If Congress cares more about working families and women than short-term corporate interests, $15 per hour will be the new minimum wage floor. In the long run, even corporations benefit from stronger consumer purchasing power that comes with higher wages and more economic security."

Writing for Politico yesterday, Sarah Ferris reported on the New Dem/Blue Dog push to kill the $15 minimum wage legislation, calling it a broadening rift between the party’s progressive and moderate members, insisting on calling the conservatives from the Republican wing of the party, "moderates," the most admired political term among American voters and an implication that progressives are something other than moderate-- like extreme or radical. That's ALWAYS the Beltway media. Watch how Ferris subtly frames the news against progressives, even knowing that a majority of Americans want to $15 minimum wage.
Progressive leaders in the House are attempting to stamp out a push by some red state Democrats to soften the party’s $15-an-hour minimum wage proposal, which they see as a betrayal of last fall’s campaign promises.

Leaders of the Congressional Progressive Caucus are now lobbying fellow Democrats to help extinguish a competing plan backed by more than a dozen moderates that would permit lower hourly wages in more rural areas. And they’re prepared to wield the power of the 96-member caucus to ensure their full $15-an-hour proposal reaches the floor.

“We want to pass a full $15 minimum wage bill. Not a regional bill. We’re very clear about that,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) said in an interview. “Being in Congress means leading, and we need to lead on minimum wage.”

Democratic leaders have publicly and privately committed to passing a universal $15-an-hour wage, a priority that they say helped deliver the House majority. But the idea is running into some resistance from moderates in red states like Georgia, Iowa and Alabama, who have balked at doubling the federal minimum wage over a five-year stretch because they fear it will cost jobs, and votes, back home.

And with the $15-an-hour proposal still short on votes, some progressives fear that Democratic leaders will be forced to soften their signature bill to win over moderates, even though it will still go nowhere in the Senate.

A group of Democrats, led by Rep. Terri Sewell of Alabama, plan to introduce their own bill Thursday morning that would create a “regional” minimum wage-- based on local cost of living-- instead. Thirteen Democrats have signed on as co-sponsors as of Wednesday afternoon, but that number could grow, according to Sewell’s office.
Sewell is a corrupt conservative who represents the 431st (out of 435) poorest district, in terms of median income. 64% of her constituents are African-Americans and the PVI is R+20. Do you think Blue America should tell her constituents with radio and TV ads that she's leading the fight against increasing the minimum wage to $15 on behalf of her corporate campaign donors? I suspect they wouldn't be all that pleased. A vice-chair of the New Dems, she's more loyal to them than to her own constituents. Just outrageous!
Supporters include freshmen Democrats like Rep. Lucy McBath of Georgia and Dean Phillips of Minnesota-- who is a small business owner who pays his own workers $15-an-hour but has said it is not a “one-size-fits-all wage.”

Sewell’s bill would dramatically slow the wage hikes in hundreds of smaller cities from Cincinnati to St. Louis compared to metropolis areas like San Francisco and New York.

But many other Democrats-- including House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott, the chief author of the $15-an-hour minimum wage bill-- detest the idea.

“Low income areas would be locked in to lower wages. We don’t have differentiated payments for Social Security,” the Virginia Democrat said in an interview.

The introduction of Sewell's bill on Thursday will intensify a brewing clash between progressives and some moderates that has taken mostly behind the scenes.

Tension erupted last month at a meeting of New Democrats Coalition, as Scott dismissed the idea of a regional bill-- in a roomful of moderates [not moderates-- conservatives], many of whom supported Sewell's bill-- as he sought to sell his own.

Supporters of Scott's bill-- including virtually all CPC members, who got a private briefing from Scott on the bill in January-- have argued that the competing proposal is costing votes and stalling the party’s hallmark $15-an-hour policy from reaching the floor.

“The regional minimum wage proposal is a clear attempt to water down the Raise the Wage Act,” an aide to one progressive member said. “Poverty wages shouldn’t be acceptable anywhere in America.”

Progressive leaders are now stepping up the pressure on Democratic leaders to fend off changes to the $15-an-hour bill, possibly hinting at the first time the CPC decides to go to the mat to defend a progressive priority.

So far in the majority, the CPC has mostly refrained from aggressive tactics to ensure their top agenda items make it to the floor. But some members and aides are eying the battle over the minimum wage bill as the first real test for Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her lieutenants to prove their commitment to a progressive agenda, even if it means cornering moderates on a difficult issue in their districts.

"We're getting to get a vote on the $15-an-hour. I think there's just too much pressure that's going to build up on our caucus to do that. That was the commitment," Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) said in an interview. "We need to follow through on that."

They argue that Sewell's bill would also raise wages, only more slowly. Cities like El Paso, Texas, and Topeka, Kansas would need to raise their wages to $8.10 next year, while wages would jump to at least $10.60 in sprawling cities like San Francisco, Washington and New York City.

“More than doubling the wage over five years is going to result in lost jobs,” an aide to a member in favor of a regional wage bill said. “A lot of people would prefer to have a $10 wage than no job.”

Scott and other critics of the idea are quick to point out the flaws of the bill, as well, such as a congressional district in New Hampshire that would have three different minimum wages. Critics have also pointed out that Sewell's bill would result in sharp spikes in the minimum wage in certain areas, like a $3 increase in Virginia next year alone.

Some moderates have argued that Sewell's bill has interest from Republicans, unlike the Democrats' dream proposal, but long-time Democrats argue they need to send the message to their base.

“I think if it's not gonna go anywhere, I think we’ve got to make a statement. We’re for living wage everywhere,” said Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY), who is a cosponsor of Scott's bill.
Marie Newman, a champion of a $15 minimum wage is working on a rematch with reactionary Blue Dog Dan Lipinski in a solid blue Chicagoland seat. She nearly beat him last time and his fellow Blue Dogs fear she will easily do so this cycle. This morning, she told us that "One of the things I am most proud of about my 2018 primary challenge to Dan Lipinski, is that we forced him to change his stance on $15/hr. He went from contending '$12 is enough', to signing on to the current $15/hr legislation in the last 6 weeks of the campaign. The district and I pushed him hard. It was worth it. I cannot stress how important this legislation is to our country. In an environment where 80% of the country is living paycheck to paycheck and we have an ever-escalating patchwork of jobs phenomenon (the situation where people must cobble 2-4 jobs together to make ends meet on a consistent basis), we need hardworking folks to be paid for their efforts. The dignity of work is our bedrock in the U.S. We must give hard work dignity. We must."

Tom Guild lives in a red district based around Oklahoma City. His freshman Rep, Kendra Horn, is a big disappointment to Democrats nd many have been urging Tom to primary her. I suspect that her posture on the minimum wage legislation is going to be a key determinant for him. Early this morning, he told us that "It’s easy for members of the U.S. Congress to pontificate on a $15 minimum wage. After all, each member of the U.S. House or Senate is guaranteed $285,000 in salary and benefits each year. They are guaranteed the same lofty compensation shortly after joining Congress, even if they are involuntarily retired from the House or Senate by voters who think they did a lousy job of representing them. For folks with a golden spoon in their mouths and a lucrative retirement to die for, it’s apparently easy to be hard. Phasing in a $15 minimum wage is the right thing to do. The longer we wait, we may need to phase in a much higher dollar amount. In Oklahoma, a relatively low cost of living state, $15 an hour would allow an individual to survive and to take an annual three day vacation-- to Tulsa! $7.25 an hour is a starvation wage. A person can’t survive anywhere in the country on $7.25 without roommates, second or third jobs, or a patron saint helping them along the way. It’s easy to be hard. It’s apparently easy to be hard-- especially if you have a guaranteed $285,000 job at taxpayer expense. It sounds suspiciously like “socialism” to me. It is way beyond time to bring hard working Americans, many of them single parents with hungry mouths to feed, up to a level where they are not living in poverty while working full time. If not now, when? If not us, who will do the right thing to help our beloved neighbors?"

If you know who Randy Bryce, you know that when it comes to working people, he knows what he;'s talking about. Last night, he told me that "Republicans view average citizens as 'money farms' instead of people. They all believe that they are destined to win the lottery and when they do-- you’d best be ready to help them maintain their lavish lifestyle. We have a few Democrats who also don’t seem to see things as the rest of us do. They view the .01% as benefactors who donate to their campaigns which allows them not to need a job that may require them getting their hands dirty. The same party that rails against socialism for people is fully complicit allowing corporations-- who they see as people-- to receive handouts. That doesn’t make any sense to me especially considering that we have an existing tax code that allows for loopholes that don’t require people to pay into the pot that their hands are continually taking things out of. When it comes to fair pay for a day’s work it shouldn’t be too much to ask for one full time job to be enough to pay one’s bills. A livable wage will keep people from needing government assistance but it won’t keep corporations from grabbing every penny that they can. What will it take to start seeing the companies that get tax breaks but refuse to pay their employees a fair wage as a freeloader instead of the woman or man trying to feed their child? Raising the minimum wage isn’t about getting wealthy. It’s about dignity. Every time I hear a rich CEO state that 'hard work has gotten me where I am,' I follow with the question" 'who’s hard work'?"

Is this part of why Hillary Clinton lost Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, North Carolina...? Sewell and the New Dems are taking a position identical to the one that just about mandated that Hillary Clinton lose the 2016 election to... Trump.

UPDATE: From Texas

Mike Siegel: "I support a $15 minimum wage, period. We need a living wage for American workers, and $15 will be a strong step in the right direction. We need to address the massive wealth inequality in this country, and a $15 wage will help. We need to address homelessness, access to transportation, and mental health-- and $15 an hour make an impact. No one should be forced to work two and three jobs just to survive. Raising the minimum wage is one of the most important things we can do to guarantee the economic security of our workers."

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At 10:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

overly long, redundant and pedantic.

1) there is no republican wing. the whole party is republican. The more correct term would be fascist. There are a very few, a couple really, who can still be viewed as more-or-less progressive, but they supported Pelosi for speaker, which was self-repudiating.

"Conservatives have always opposed the minimum wage and always opposed raising the minimum wage."

Why yes, they have. but you didn't take it to its trivially logican conclusion. The reason all conservatives (probably 528 of the 535 congresswhores -- 98.7%) oppose the minimum wage is CORPORATIONS HATE PAYING THEIR LABOR! And, as we all should know by now, both parties are bought, paid for, owned and OPERATED by corporate bribes.

the rest is superfluous fluff so they don't have room for a full and true exposee on the democrap perfidy and corruption.

At 2:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

$15/hour is NOT a living wage. If you believe what you're told on this page, you're perfect for the democraps -- dumber than shit.

maybe a little math? that would be $30k/year; $2500/month.

For a living wage, it needs to cover taxes, rent/mortgage, insurance, utilities, food, clothing, transport to/from work (car payment?), debt service (student loans?), medical (insurance, out-of-pockets or private pay) and so forth.

Please, anyone reading or writing here... just jot down your personal numbers, add them up and post how well you would live on $30K/year. Please mention how many dependents you can support with that as well. Also useful would be to mention WHERE in this shithole you live, as that has a huge impact.

At 3:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a good thing in principle to add to the House majority in the next election even if Pelosi will rule as the Republican asset she is bought to be even if in effect we aren't helping ourselves much.

What is being done to take over the Senate? None of these issues is going to go anywhere in this Congress. It's the next one that needs the focus, and it's not getting it for the Senate races.

At the rate the House isn't even doing the most basic and obvious steps to expose Trump and the Republicans for the criminals they are (professional courtesy?), why would anyone even care much about which party dominates when nothing which benefits We the People will be passed?

At 3:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't lump Adam Smith (WA-09) in with Larsen, Heck, DelBene, and Kilmer just because he calls himself a "New Dem." Adam Smith supports the $15/hr minimum wage bill.

At 7:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

3:05... the cacaphony of noise in your brain must be maddening.

Is not the point of elections to put good people in place to address your needs?

Your first and last sentences say opposites. Do you believe both? Is that even possible?

At 10:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's all to keep you confused, 7:32. It's what good little DNC sheep need so that they can be easily led astray. Now go tell your mother she wants you.

At 2:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I keep telling you assholes that my mother is dead. find another ad hominem insult.

And you seem to be doing just fine in the DNC subterfuge department. well done.

At 3:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go tell your mother she wants you anyway. You are not accomplshing your task for the DNC by being that asshole youn love to be. You never tell us any good reason why we should support Republican-lite over real Republicans. The democraps will always do what Republicans tell them. You so-called arguments to support them are thus meaningless lies.


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