Tuesday, February 3, 2009


(Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama attend the Middle Class Working Families Task Force event in the East Room of the White House in Washington, January 30, 2009. Photo by Larry Downing for Reuters.)

The Senate is not listening. I'm willing to bet they never will, really. We have to replace them.

In the meantime, we have work to get done. And instead of doing that work, the Right is in lockstep to send our new President into Fail as soon as possible, no matter who goes down with him. (They have their money and protection already, thanks to Bush, and it will take more than short while to actually get them out from behind their gates.) While people all over this country are without heat or light, not eating reliably, being evicted and foreclosed on, losing jobs and not qualifying for ANY kind of assistance except the sporadic "faith-based" kind, giving up on college, sliding into disability and death because of no health care, afraid to eat peanut butter or spinach or (fill in the blank this week), worried about dams and bridges and overpasses -- while we are under SIEGE because of failed conservative policies, Republicans and some idiot Democrats are filling the corporate-controlled airwaves with bleating about how the economic stimulus package must not be passed for this or that reason.

The real reason behind their opposition is to strip President Obama of the power which we, the masses, awarded him in this election.

The stimulus package is definitely not a perfect bill. It definitely doesn't address the core issue, which is that the foundation of our economy has to change completely in order to meet the needs of this century. President Obama was stupid enough to toss out family planning funding with no gain at all as a result, and he may concede more until he learns that They see compromise as weakness.

But if we let him get hamstringed this early in his administration (think Clinton and health care), if we act like we as progressives can get people elected but not show up for the complicated issues afterward -- if we let the Senate think they represent anything more than a small minority of Americans -- well, it can and will get worse.

So, I'm asking you, despite your (and my) reservations about this bill, as a matter of principle, let's get it passed and, from that show of strength, gain increased leverage in the future. Call your Senators and tell them you want them to vote yes. No screwing around, just pass it. The Senate switchboard number is (202) 224-3121. If you can't get through or would rather send an e-mail, you can look up your Senator's contact information and web form at the Senate.gov site.

Many, many progressive groups are asking their members right now to call the Senate, including the AFL-CIO, Campaign for America's Future, the Center for American Progress, Health Care for America Now, MoveOn, and USAction. If you've already responded to one of their pleas, thank you right now. If you have your own blog, please consider posting on this issue today. Pass the word. At this point, the Right is logging more calls than we are, despite their much fewer numbers.

Just because they haven't been listening doesn't mean we can shut up.

[Cross-posted at Group News Blog.]

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