Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Joe Biden in St. Clair Shores

"In John McCain’s America, we wouldn’t guarantee that more of energy would come from wind, solar, and other renewables. The minimum wage would still be $3.35 an hour. There would have been 100,000 fewer police on the beat. There would have been no national domestic violence hotline for the 1.5 million women who were in crisis and needed somewhere to turn."

Joe Biden was eloquent in St. Clair Shores on Monday, exposing the destructive policies of John McCain and advocating for the change we need. He and Barack Obama know that we're all in the same boat, and they want to steer us in the right direction!

Check out the complete speech at

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Plan to Renew the Promise

Published this month, Change We Can Believe In: Barack Obama's Plan to Renew America's Promise is a book that lives up to its title.

Following a foreword by Obama and an introduction entitled "Hope for America," four chapters in "Part I: The Plan" describe what his administration would work to accomplish: "Reviving Our Economy: Strengthening the Middle Class," "Investing in Our Prosperity: Creating Our Economic Future," "Rebuilding America's Leadership: Restoring Our Place in the World," and "Perfecting Our Union: Embracing America's Values."

The book's second part, "The Call," features seven speeches by Obama, from his "Declaration of Candidacy" in Springfield, Illinois in February 2007 to his July 2008 address in Berlin, "A World That Stands as One."

The four chapters in "The Plan" set forth a catalog of policy proposals and reforms that are almost dizzying in their number and variety. Each one is mentioned only briefly and is sure to tantalize readers who feel passionate about it. The seven speeches, elegant and energizing, offer an inspiring counterpoint to this program for action.

While the speeches are splendid, it was the contents of "The Plan" that had an abiding effect on me, an effect greater than the sum of its parts. For while the federal government under any administration engages in numerous activities, what the Obama campaign advocates is something more than tremendous variety. It proposes governance that is bold and beneficial, confident and humane. In sharp contrast to the dysfunctional, negligent administration of the last two terms, Obama communicates something exciting, a commitment to leadership not dominated by secrecy and fear and polarization, but one that respects and trusts the American people. Barack Obama believes that citizens and government can enter into a powerful partnership yet again for the benefit of the nation and the world.

"The Plan" is conservative in the best sense because it recalls moments in American history when ordinary people took risks on behalf of freedom and justice. It is also a progressive manifesto, inviting the America of today not to surrender to complacency or despair, but to walk with determination into a bright future of increased equality and opportunity for all people.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Liberals, Be Proud!

Here, verbatim, is Bob Herbert's column from the New York Times earlier this week. All liberals should read it carefully. It might help some of those people who call themselves conservative see things a little clearer, too.

Hold Your Heads Up


Ignorance must really be bliss. How else, over so many years, could the G.O.P. get away with ridiculing all things liberal?

Troglodytes on the right are no respecters of reality. They say the most absurd things and hardly anyone calls them on it. Evolution? Don’t you believe it. Global warming? A figment of the liberal imagination.

Liberals have been so cowed by the pummeling they’ve taken from the right that they’ve tried to shed their own identity, calling themselves everything but liberal and hoping to pass conservative muster by presenting themselves as hyper-religious and lifelong lovers of rifles, handguns, whatever.

So there was Hillary Clinton, of all people, sponsoring legislation to ban flag-burning; and Barack Obama, who once opposed the death penalty, morphing into someone who not only supports it, but supports it in cases that don’t even involve a homicide.

Anyway, the Republicans were back at it last week at their convention. Mitt Romney wasn’t content to insist that he personally knows that “liberals don’t have a clue.” He complained loudly that the federal government right now is too liberal.

“We need change, all right,” he said. “Change from a liberal Washington to a conservative Washington.”

Why liberals don’t stand up to this garbage, I don’t know. Without the extraordinary contribution of liberals — from the mightiest presidents to the most unheralded protesters and organizers — the United States would be a much, much worse place than it is today.

There would be absolutely no chance that a Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton or Sarah Palin could make a credible run for the highest offices in the land. Conservatives would never have allowed it.

Civil rights? Women’s rights? Liberals went to the mat for them time and again against ugly, vicious and sometimes murderous opposition. They should be forever proud.

The liberals who didn’t have a clue gave us Social Security and unemployment insurance, both of which were contained in the original Social Security Act. Most conservatives despised the very idea of this assistance to struggling Americans. Republicans hated Social Security, but most were afraid to give full throat to their opposition in public at the height of the Depression.

“In the procedural motions that preceded final passage,” wrote historian Jean Edward Smith in his biography, “FDR,” “House Republicans voted almost unanimously against Social Security. But when the final up-or-down vote came on April 19 [1935], fewer than half were prepared to go on record against.”

Liberals who didn’t have a clue gave us Medicare and Medicaid. Quick, how many of you (or your loved ones) are benefiting mightily from these programs, even as we speak. The idea that Republicans are proud of Ronald Reagan, who saw Medicare as “the advance wave of socialism,” while Democrats are ashamed of Lyndon Johnson, whose legislative genius made this wonderful, life-saving concept real, is insane.

When Johnson signed the Medicare bill into law in the presence of Harry Truman in 1965, he said: “No longer will older Americans be denied the healing miracle of modern medicine.”

Reagan, on the other hand, according to Johnson biographer Robert Dallek, “predicted that Medicare would compel Americans to spend their ‘sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was like in America when men were free.’ ”


Without the many great and noble deeds of liberals over the past six or seven decades, America would hardly be recognizable to today’s young people. Liberals (including liberal Republicans, who have since been mostly drummed out of the party) ended legalized racial segregation and gender discrimination.

Humiliation imposed by custom and enforced by government had been the order of the day for blacks and women before men and women of good will and liberal persuasion stepped up their long (and not yet ended) campaign to change things. Liberals gave this country Head Start and legal services and the food stamp program. They fought for cleaner air (there was a time when you could barely see Los Angeles) and cleaner water (there were rivers in America that actually caught fire).

Liberals. Your food is safer because of them, and so are your children’s clothing and toys. Your workplace is safer. Your ability (or that of your children or grandchildren) to go to college is manifestly easier.

It would take volumes to adequately cover the enhancements to the quality of American lives and the greatness of American society that have been wrought by people whose politics were unabashedly liberal. It is a track record that deserves to be celebrated, not ridiculed or scorned.

Self-hatred is a terrible thing. Just ask that arch-conservative Clarence Thomas.

Liberals need to get over it.