See, 16 Democrats voted to pass HR3 through the house. 16 Democrats voted to ban all federal funding for abortion, to sneakily redefine rape (yes, still) and to essentially slowly strangle private insurance funding for abortion as well.
Most recently, of course, a third target has appeared front and center in the battle to defund the left: public-sector unions, the only sector of organized labor still thriving. New Jersey governor and presidential almost-hopeful Chris Christie was one of the first to gain notoriety for taking them on, but by February, the spotlight had turned to Wisconsin.
That fight, despite Walker’s protestations, had almost nothing to do with the state’s budget deficit and everything to do with decimating a pillar of Democratic Party support. Longtime DC reporter Howard Fineman explained the raw math: Republicans had hoped to take away as many as 20 governorships from the Democrats in the 2010 elections, but in the end they only won 12. Why? “Well,” reports Fineman, “according to postgame analysis by GOP strategists, the power and money of public-employee unions was the reason. ‘We are never going to win most of these states until we can do something about those unions,’ one key operative said at a Washington dinner in November.”
So I’m really, really sick of having to point out over and over again that the “Union-busting is defunding Democrats!” argument is only half the story.
This piece even manages to take several paragraphs to focus clearly on things that aren’t attempts to “defund” Democrats, but rather to disenfranchise voters of color. And yet it’s still titled “Defunding the Left.”
Let’s point out for a second that anyone who’s watched politics over the last I don’t know how many years but it’s longer than my lifetime, Democratic party politics have had little to do with “the Left.” Heath Shuler and Bill Clinton? Not so much.
Let’s also note that right now, union-busting is a bipartisan affair. Andrew Cuomo may not be taking on unions by trying to take away their collective bargaining rights, but yielding to “pay freeze” language is still making unions take it on the chin. And let’s not forget privatizing services like security guards (Pennsylvania’s Ed Rendell, several years ago) and janitors (New Haven, CT’s John DeStefano), which reduces union workforces to much lower paid subcontractors who often have no paid sick days. And Michelle Rhee and Arne Duncan’s obsession with “school reform” and non-union charter schools? Democratic. Bipartisan.
In the run-up to the 2010 election, Melinda Henneberger at Politics Daily wrote of Joe Donnelly:
Democratic incumbent Rep. Joe Donnelly and his Republican challenger in next month’s election, state Rep.Jackie Walorski, have a fair amount in common: Both are pro-gun, pro-life, and oppose climate change legislation, though it’s Donnelly who has been endorsed by the NRA, and he, too, who emphasizes his stand against illegal immigration.
Meet Mark Critz. He got a huge chunk of cash from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee last election to hold the seat he’d won in a special election after the death of his old boss, John Murtha. How huge? $2,107,202.86
So! H.R.3 supposedly won’t redefine rape anymore, but the fight’s just getting started. We learned last week that the new Congress followed H.R. 3 with H.R. 358, the Protect Life Act, which would redefine “conscience” clauses to allow pregnant women to die if saving them would require harming the fetus.
The Winter Olympics are headed to Vancouver, British Columbia, but activists are pointing out the way international sporting events lead to police crackdowns and displacement of locals. Thanks to our friends at the Vancouver Media Cooperative for the video.
President Obama promised change in Washington, but one year in we’ve got nothing but gridlock. Professor Lawrence Lessig has known Obama for years, and in this video from our friends at The Nation, Lessig calls on Obama to push for real change: change in Congress. We’ll be discussing this issue with Lessig and others on the show soon!
From Media Matters for America, we have this new video on the way the right-wing media remains able to shape policy even while the Republican party’s support plummets and Democrats maintain control of Congress.
The public option: is it dead? Is it alive? Who’s going to kill it this week? These are the headlines nearly every day, but the rest of the story is rarely told. Joe Lieberman may have replaced Olympia Snowe in the news, but the story remains the same; left vs.
New York City children celebrate International Walk to School Day, learning about the importance of walking and keeping healthy as well as keeping the streets safe, clean and green for years to come.