John GaramendiWhat a conundrum we Progressives face: (a) voting to reelect a President who prefers to brag about beating us up instead of those who would destroy the nation to make him a one-term failure; (2) finding and backing a 3rd party candidate in spite of the historical vanity of such efforts; or (3) sitting the next Presidential election out completely and letting others decide between continued misery or total national ruin.

Or, maybe, there’s a 4th choice of finding and promoting a real Progressive Democrat who can mount within the party a very strong challenge against Obama.

I know, I know: Bernie Sanders, Denise Kucinich, Howard Dean redux; my personal favorite Alan Grayson—all mighty fine choices, but so branded as eccentrics by the corporate media that their odds of defeating Obama are less than you or me hitting a multi-million dollar lottery, twice.

Have we been so narrowly focused on the most visible, most obvious Progressives that we have suffered a critical loss of farsight? The wild card? The potentially successful dark horse galloping gracefully in the background?

I first became aware of California Democratic Representative John Garamendi when he made a brief appearance on MSNBC’s The Ed Show last Thursday night. He emphatically demanded no cuts to social security even in the unlikely passage of tax increases on the rich; that it was the Wall Street barons who have ripped this country off and should, therefore, make all the sacrifices needed to spur jobs and restore the economy.

Then last Saturday, C-Span broadcast the July 22, 2011 dais of the New American Foundation on Jobs with John Garamendi serving with Tom Harkin as a principal speaker. Garamendi didn’t even try to suppress his contempt for those in the halls of Congress in both parties for failure to focus on American jobs instead debt ceilings and cutting debt. Drawing from his experiences in the California legislature and as the state’s former Lt. governor, he presented his prescription, based on what he learned from the flawed tax policies and out-sourcing of his home state, for restoring the national economy through job creation:

(1)   provide the best education in the world

(2)   fund the best research in the world

(3)   actually make things derived from that research in the United States

(4)   create and heavily fund a national infrastructure bank

(5)   recognize U.S. manufacturing is vital to our national security

After pointing out that tons of taxpayer dollars went into solar research, yet only one company, SolarWorld, remained to compete with the solar panel manufacturers that outsourced plants to China, Garamendi spoke of his legislation in the U.S. House of Representative which would require manufacturing derived from research and development funded by American taxpayers be done in the United States of America.

“What’s wrong with protecting American jobs?” he demanded. “Why reward with lower taxes the off-shoring of those jobs? Why not adopt the same policies China unfairly utilizes under the WTO?”

So I checked out this guy’s voting record. On all attempts to legislate away women’s reproductive choices, Garamendi voted no. He voted for the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act. He voted in favor of prohibiting funds from being used in contradiction of the War Powers Act. He even voted against extension of the Patriot Act.

I even checked out Garamendi’s You Tube page.

I think we FDLbaggers should keep an eye out and an ear pointed toward John Garamendi. He may be the best-overlooked real Democrat to challenge the pseudo Democrat President Obama out there.

Maybe he’s available.