Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Progressive Update--01/26/2010

It’s been awhile, so I will ramble a bit in this post.

President Obama Update—Let me begin with my premise that Democrats who are disappointed in what the President has done in the past year may have forgotten Obama’s campaign slogan, and most importantly the middle third. Yes, WE Can. Obama has not lied to us, or failed to get good health care reform passed, WE have, thus far, failed. WE have failed to have our US Senators act responsibly. WE have failed to define and execute a strategy to handle the Republican Party of NO.

So what do WE do? You can choose to be an ostrich. I refuse. I am committed to ensuring that my actions are worthy of the hopes and dreams that this country selected in November 2008. I begin tomorrow night at 7:45pm, when the President will give his State of the Union speech. I’ll be going to Timothy’s restaurant in Newark, which is an Organizing for America event (http://my.barackobama.com/page/event/detail/stateoftheunionwatchparty/gp8k5s). Find (or better yet host) an event that’s convenient to you at http://my.barackobama.com/page/event/search_simple?source=mybobar

We have long understood that the media is largely a waste of time. One of the fictions they have been spreading is that the Democrats had 60 votes in the Senate (until this month). That is false. There are two or three liberal Democrats (Franken, Feingold, any others?), about thirty moderate Dems, about twenty conservative Dems (BlueDogs, including Delaware’s Tom Carper who never met a lobbyist he didn’t like), and a few sellout Dems (such as Nelson) who are quite willing to threaten to withhold their vote on a core Democratic issue in order to extort money from the US treasury for their state alone. Don’t get me started on Lieberman. The US Senate is not led by a majority party of Democrats. Rather there is a loose coalition of factions, and lately it’s been quite ugly.

I don’t know the solution, but I know the problem. I believe that we need to 1) get better Democrats elected to the US Senate, and 2) to be clear about the impact that the Republican Party of NO is having on the country. Come to Timothy’s tomorrow night, and let’s discuss your ideas for solutions!

Delaware’s US Senate Race—We found out yesterday that Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden will run for re-election this November, and will not run against Republican Mike Castle for the US Senate seat. I expect that we will shortly hear of a leading Democratic candidate for US Senate, perhaps New Castle County Executive Chris Coons. I like Chris, and hope that he runs. Chris is smart and sharp, and won’t be afraid to call Castle on his Republican party-line voting record as our US Representative, despite his self-description as a moderate.

Castle would like nothing better than to follow in Massachusetts’ Republican Senator Scott Brown’s footsteps, and to campaign without mentioning that he is a Republican. We need a candidate who is smart and aggressive, and who will call ‘shenanigans’ on Castle’s lies.

Castle is well-known by Delaware voters (even if most don’t realize the fiction of his ‘moderateness’—Castle has been as moderate as W was a ‘compassionate conservative’). Castle is also well-financed. For Delaware to avoid being a Massachusetts, and giving the Republican Party another NO voter in the US Senate (a NO to a real energy policy, a real education policy, a real withdrawal from Iraq), WE need to select our Democratic nominee for US Senate from Delaware and WE need to contribute time AND money to them. If in 2008 you said ‘Yes we can,’ then THIS MEANS YOU.

Campaigns—I have agreed to chair the campaign of Carol Boncelet, who is a Democratic candidate for the 3rd district of New Castle County Council. Expect to hear more about this in the future, including how you can help. Email me if you are interested in contributing time or money to this campaign.

Progressive Democrats of Delaware—I am co-chair of the endorsement committee of the PDD (http://www.progressivedemsdel.com/). I am very excited about the current committee, and our plans to build upon the strengths of our efforts in 2008.

State Legislature—There is much going on in Dover in the coming months. We are hopeful that Governor Markell includes progressive ideals in his proposed budget, ideals that were largely absent in last year’s budget, which was largely inherited by Jack last January.

I am working on two initiatives, Senate Bill (SB) 20 (http://legis.delaware.gov/LIS/LIS145.nsf/vwLegislation/SB+20?Opendocument) would end the insane district gerrymandering, by establishing a non-partisan commission to update our state legislative districts. This would TREMENDOUSLY improve our government, by making our representatives much more responsive to their constituents, by ending the ‘safe seats’ that many now occupy.

House Bill (HB) 10 (http://legis.delaware.gov/LIS/lis145.nsf/vwLegislation/HB+10?Opendocument) would provide benefits to domestic partners the same way that benefits are provided to spouses. In Delaware (at this point), same gender partners are forbidden from being ‘married,’ which makes such benefits unavailable to them. This is simply unfair. Until we permit marriage equality, we need to provide this equality of benefits to state workers.

Equality for All, Relationship Equality—We have made good progress in the past year in relationship equality, although we have also had some setbacks. Two groups that I really like, due to their work on this area is www.hrc.org, and www.aclu-de.org.

Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT)—It appears that this is close to moving forward (repeal of DADT). There is a petition at http://votevets.org/pages/?id=0026. A bill is in the works in Congress. This awful policy is WAY overdue to be eliminated. I hear that the word could go out in the coming months, at which time WE all need to speak up immediately and LOUDLY to help repeat DADT.

Uniting American Families Act (UAFA)—This bill will permit same-gender partners to sponsor their partner to become a US citizen, in the same way that an opposite gender partner can currently sponsor their partner (spouse) to become a US citizen. Visit http://www.immigrationequality.org/template.php?pageid=2 Contact your Congress members and urge them to support the Uniting American Families Act in immigration reform. Make a donation to Out4Immigration or Immigration Equality so others can be informed of the issue and encouraged to work for fairness. Check with Tom (tptierney914@yahoo.com) if you are able to help bring equality to our immigration policy.

Keeping Up with Paul—It is much easier to update Twitter than to send out these emails. You can find me at http://twitter.com/PBaumbachDE, and if you’d like, you can ‘follow’ me, and get my postings emailed or text’d to you. I posted yesterday morning about Beau Biden’s decision to run for AG rather than US Senate.

I also am a regular reader of www.delawareliberal.net, and a frequent contributor. This website is dynamite for keeping readers informed on primarily state, but also national, issues, from a liberal perspective. The primary contributors are GREAT (the conservative trolls are mostly annoying but sometimes amusing/pathetic). I have begun infrequent reading of www.dailykos.com, which is a national liberal site. My (thus far only) posting can be found at http://www.dailykos.com/user/GrapeSodaMan . I plan to post on DailyKos in the coming week or two on how WE have thus far failed to deliver on OUR campaign promises.

I continue to post all of these blast emails to my blog, http://paulprogressive.blogspot.com/, and I also post there at times without sending emails, since sending blast emails is quite time consuming.

I therefore expect to stay in this current mode for now, posting regularly to DelawareLiberal (PBaumbach is my name there), Tweeting occasionally (twice a month?), adding to the blog (monthly?), and sending a blast email (every other month)? Given that, consider how you would like to be kept in the loop, if at all.

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