Buyer’s Remorse

Like a lot of people, I get a certain amount of ‘junk mail’ in my email inbox, some of it wanted, like the various eclectic, innocuous but interesting things such as A Word A Day and The New Zealand Week and my second favourite aviation newsletter, AVWeb. I even – god help me – knowingly subscribe to a few of the more rabid rightwing websites just to keep myself informed about whatever the other side is foaming at the mouth over today. (Think I’ll just mention them in passing without giving any the benefit of a link, however). Sometimes I sign an on-line petition or make a donation and inevitably end up with endless newsletters soliciting more money and more signatures from me, like from – which the other day sent me yet another plea, this time to help defeat Republican Olympia Snowe who opposes the public health insurance option.

So over my morning toast and coffee, I read BoldProgressives’ article on Nancy Randolph, who with her husband were a modestly well-off married couple from Maine, and had paid for what they had thought was excellent health insurance… until Mr. Randolph was diagnosed with cancer and the insurance company denied him coverage. He died, and the couple ended up in bankruptcy. Heartbreaking, gut-roiling stuff. And my heart truly does go out to Nancy Randolph, hers is a terrible tragedy made so much worse by knowing it was preventable. But there was one small point that bothered me...

Nancy Randolph voted for Republican Olympia Snowe.

In the clip, Nancy explains she voted for Snowe because she thought the senator would be ‘independent’. What, she didn’t notice the great big R beside the candidate’s name on the ballot? She didn’t notice how ‘independent’ a certain senator from a nearby New England state has been?

Far, far too many people in this country have either voted Republican, or worse, didn’t vote at all, because they didn’t think all those issues progressive have been so annoyingly vocal about for years would ever affect them. They’re hardworking middle class folks with decent jobs at good pay; why should they worry WalMart threatening their workers with violence if they dare to unionize? They’ve kept themselves in decent shape, watched their diet, exercised, stopped smoking, been responsible for their health and the worst medical problem they’ve had to deal with has been a bad cold or a sprained ankle, why should their hard-earned taxes go into paying for treating someone else’s kid with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria… whatever the hell that is? They’ve been upstanding citizens responsible and financially prudent, just as the conservatives have always claimed they should be, been loyal employees for stable companies and managed their pensions and modest investments carefully, saved up to put their kids through college. So why should they care about other people who weren’t as sensible, why should they care about tuitions skyrocketing and universities cutting back on such rubbish as the arts or adult education? Why should they worry about companies that go under from mismanagement, why should the government imposing regulations on the banks and investment firms that have done such a good job of safeguarding their retirement? They’ve been conscientious about donating to proper charities, like their church or Girl Scouts or those little brown kids in far away countries, but resent one penny of their tax money being used to help deadbeats or drug addicts or criminals in prison or single mothers or high school dropouts – those people get what they deserve… don’t they?

It’s not even like Olympia Snowe is on the same level of revulsion and incompetence as is Mean Jean Schmidt or Michele Bachmann or Sarah Palin, either. Snowe has earned her respected reputation, rarely missing a vote. She and fellow Republican Maine Senator Susan Collins went against her own party to vote to acquit Clinton, adamant his perjury didn’t warrant his being hounded from office. She’s angered the GOP enough times for them to have accused her of being a RINO, and she has shown genuine bi-partisanship in the past. Her reluctant opposition to the current attempts at health care reform has not been as dogmatic and irresponsible as all too many of her colleagues’, either. As Republicans go, this country can and has done a hell of a lot worse than Olympia Snowe, some of them even being our own Blue Dogs… haven’t we? We can live with a compromise, better we get a little something rather than nothing at all… right? Right?

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Blue America: Holding Rahm Emanuel Accountable: UPDATED

(The Accountability Moment) Updated: Here's some pics from ICIRR folks that have joined Blue America. And here is an audio report from Chicago Public radio on Joshua Hoyt's reaction...Many of you have probably heard that Rahm is backing the extreme right wing Tom Tancredo and his hateful stance on immigration. C&Lers have made their voices heard loud and clear on this issue and understand the need for good border security, but with a comprehensive---humane plan in mind. We're human beings after all. The Republicans need a wedge issue to run on like they did in the '04 election with "gay marriage" and now they've picked--Immigration. Because as you know they're stealing all our jobs, plan to blow up our malls and will be illegally voting...<snark> I've been following the Voter ID bills (Indiana is coming up and Kevin Drum has some important graphs) and immigration will be the major reason the Republicans give to try and scrub the voter rolls to steal as many elections as they can. Have they produced any illegals that have actually voted? It's all a straw man story, but you know that already.

After the blowback from the base around comprehensive immigration reform (and the loss of any hope of splitting the powerful growing Latino voting bloc) they are going back to the tried and true. Vote suppression and bogus accusation of voter fraud. They've been doing it for years and now that they've had access to the DOJ and trained a whole new generation of Monica Goodlings, I have no doubt they've devised some great new techniques.

Rahm's play feeds into the Voter ID/fraud meme and it is truly disheartening to see so we at Blue America have decided to send Emanuel a message.

We've joined with the ICIRR (Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights)


Blue America PAC supports Chicago immigrant grassroots in Cong. Emanuel’s home district, in a fight for the soul of the Democratic Party on immigration issue

PAC launches ads in Spanish, Polish, and Korean press in Congressman Rahm Emanuel’s district

Chicago November 15, 2007 — The Blue America PAC is joining today with ICIRR (Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights) and Chicago grassroots immigrant groups to demand accountability from Congressman Rahm Emanuel. The PAC is funding ads and robocalls calling on Emanuel to:

“Stop being afraid to fight for immigrants, and start acting like a real leader.”

And no matter where you’re located, you can join the Accountability for Rahm campaign with a donation at Blue America’s Accountability Moment.

Digby has a wonderful post explaining it all

So why in the world do Democrats believe that they'll benefit from a new enforcement only bill so harsh that it even calls for legal family members who help an undocumented worker to get a year in jail for doing it? This isn't like welfare reform at all. There's no "taking it off the table." This is an issue that hits directly at the largest and fastest growing new voting bloc in America.

The report documents how Hispanics have gone from a group trending Republican to a group overwhelmingly Democratic; one whose percentage of the American electorate has increased by 33 percent in the last 4 years; and one poised, because of the structure of the Electoral College, to determine who the next President will be in 2008.

Telling these people to suck it up, as Carville and Greenberg, in their ever more desperate quest to recover the aging "Reagan Democrat" are doing by urging Democrats to pass legislation virtually designed to suppress their vote, is nothing short of political malpractice. It is the equivalent of the Republicans telling the Christian right to stay the hell out of politics back in the 1980's....please read on

Paid for by Blue America PAC,, not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.