Tuesday, November 30, 2010

LePage Business 101

Expansion of the working poor appears to be the heart of the LePage business plan.

The actual quality of jobs, living wages, high pay, and substantive benefits are not now and were never on his agenda. It always has been all about bootstraps fantasies, ceding (our) state power to (their) market power, and setting us up to say, "I'm just so gosh darn thankful I have a job".

But there won't be much to be thankful for as families require perhaps up to three jobs per household to survive, place more cheap calories on their tables out of desperate necessity, lay awake at night (if that isn't today's shift) worrying about their health, and play out their role of economic serfdom by buying junk from far away at Marden's so that company and others like it can go "green" and recycle a few cheap labor dollars.

Movement of individuals off welfare to expand the workforce and ripping up regulations to enable the creation of low end employment will apparently be the GOP method of job delivery. The path not taken requires good education and winds through a good environment. But we can't have that!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Find Wall - Bang Head.

Can Senator Susan Collins get anymore wishy-washy with her pretend moderate stance? Apparently not according to this piece at Talking Points Memo:

Today in outrageous new benchmarks for bipartisanship, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) says she'd be more likely to vote to ratify the START Treaty if former Presidents, George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush were to speak out in support of it.

To which the Huffington Post has this on-the-mark reaction:
It's almost comical at this point. The typical Beltway cant on Ms. Collins is that her long political career is due to her propensity for being a gutsy, independent thinker. What are her independent thoughts on the START treaty?

Sadly, we have a United States Senator representing Maine in Washington who masquerades as an independent voice of moderation but who always needs cover whenever risk of the right's scrutiny here or there is possible.

OK, let's stop banging our heads now, be sure to tell everyone you know about Susan Collins' falsetto independent-moderate voice.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Snowe Sues to Overturn Rights for Maine Citizens

Senator Olympia Snowe now begins her journey from the hard right wing of the GOP to the ultra new and improved hard right wing of the tea party GOP alliance. Yesterday our US Senator from Maine signed onto an amicus brief in support of a Florida lawsuit's plaintiffs that challenges the Constitutionality of health care reform.

This is a dual announcement made in Florida to be heeded here in Maine. The first announcement is that Senator Snowe will run for re-election in 2010 and is beginning to position herself to blunt any primary challenge from the right. The second announcement by Senator Snowe is that she has abandoned any concern about poor and middle class Maine citizens and their need for a sane approach to health care rights which they need and support.

In post titled Lessons from the 2010 Maine elections, I submitted the following for consideration.

Snowe is safe.
With the tea party on the move nationwide, this may seem counterintuitive. However in Maine if you are a diligent incumbent Congressperson or Senator you get returned with a comfortable margin. That is our history and true to our nature we bucked a significant national trend that flipped the house and swept away two Democratic seats next door in NH. Snowe may draw a tea party primary challenger to crush in her primary but look to the GOP establishment and Governor LePage to assist her. The Democratic challenge to her needs to focus on her abandonment of moderation now and which is certain as the tea party pushes her further right which may be where safety meets reality.

Snowe is now abandoning the diligence and moderation noted above by playing into national out-of-state political gamesmanship to secure herself within the GOP. Snowe will be safe...within the GOP. However, over 60% of voters in the recent Governor's race rejected the tea party GOTP candidate who will slip into the back door of the Blaine House with a 38% plurality. Both Representatives Pingree and Michaud were returned to Congress by solid majority margins in a bad year for Democratic incumbents who voted for health care reform. Democrats need to focus on Senator Snowe now; she can be defeated by us if we forcefully and continually expose her abandonment of poor and middle class Maine citizens as so obviously apparent in her latest political maneuver.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Plan A

State Party Maine Democrats were rejected by Maine voters on November 2nd. It might be easy to say that we were swept away in a national red tide of tea but that does not account for the solid reelection of Mike Michaud and Chellie Pingree. They represent the perceptions, opinions, and political desires of Maine citizens in Washington but local Democrats do not in Augusta.

This sounds like a bitter reality pill that we are forced to swallow but silently accepting that or seeking excuses for it will lead to continued rejection. We are cast into a new role, that of minority, opposition, and most importantly of all, alternative. Redefining this moment as an opportunity seems perhaps trite but this is a time for an opening to be seized to renew our party in order to serve the people of this state with a vision for a prospective Maine that they will desire, support, and protect.

We need to adopt a plan to build an affirmation of aspiration with articulation yielding application.

These can be just a set of cliché words on a screen or paper if we dismiss November 2nd and go along with business as usual. To do so is to invite more November 2nds. With Republicans in total control of Maine state government, we must define ourselves anew. The Democratic Party needs to hold many local meetings and a state conclave tomorrow, not next year, to determine its direction.

We must do so not to merely attempt to position the party, not to craftily market ourselves to the electorate, but rather to know ourselves so we can build trust with Maine citizens and offer them effective solutions to Maine challenges, based on moral assurances that help all of us meet higher objectives. We need to search for what our vision is in governance both pragmatic and moral, agree on the broad brush stokes philosophically, and then employ effective constant communication to build alliances and obtain individual allegiances to not just win elections but mandates of ongoing actions.

Affirmation of our fundamental beliefs is vital to ensuring that we have identified the essential ingredients of both the moral positions and pragmatic governance principles we value for our state. It is essential that our core values are an expression of our deepest vision and not a whimsical reaction to polls, politicians, or perceived popularity.

Aspiration is what we need to shape from our core beliefs. We can say “no” today to Republican rule with authority if we reject their recently used tactic on the national level of saying “no” to obstruct and destroy. It may have yielded electoral success fleetingly for them but is a cynical strategy that contributes nothing to the common good. We can do better; we will say “no” because we aspire to a finer alternative that we will define completely.

Articulation of our message is critical to connect to Maine citizens and of far greater vital consequence, to earn their trust. We must not solely wallow in the mechanics of communications which are certainly also due to be reviewed. We have to express our message as the best possible, well thought out, and pragmatic but visionary alternative vision of Maine governance. And to greatly impact the electorate, we need to stick to it and avoid sugarcoating Republican-lite repackaging with a laser like focus on being absolutely and directly on message. We must express beliefs that can be believed in not puffery to perform for the present.

Application of our principles is our ultimate goal. We are not seeking a reactive moment of affiliation with us in the voting booth for a foundation to reelect individuals for the sake of triumph without reward to the voter. We need not cringe at the concept of voter reward in our politics if it is delivery of an exceptional and equitable life in Maine. We seek voter affiliation for the long term to govern well with trust to achieve worthy objectives and will invest the time and energy to earn it.

Democrats form the party that looks forward; let’s move forward.