Monday, September 05, 2011
MoveOn.org, it’s time to please move on…
by Larry Geller
I got an email from MoveOn.org today. They want me to write a letter to the editor of my local newspaper because
I have some tremendously upsetting news: Late Friday, President Obama overruled EPA science and blocked crucial new protections against smog pollution that have been years in the making.
Yeah, well, we got the news on Friday. Today’s Monday.
Here’s what they want me to do:
Will you write a letter to the editor of your local paper reminding folks that environmental protections like these smog rules protect our health AND strengthen our economy?
Our website will give you some tips and make it easy for you to submit the letter to a newspaper near you. And your letter will help persuade folks in your community that we shouldn't be tearing our government down—we should be making it work.
President Obama tried to bury this news by announcing it hours before Labor Day weekend. But on Labor Day we need him standing up for the kinds of health and safety protections that working folks and labor unions have spent decades fighting for, not repeating Republican talking points about how we don't need them.
What's more, Nobel-Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman pointed out that this anti-smog rule would actually create clean energy jobs: "It would have forced firms to spend on upgrading or replacing equipment, helping to boost demand. Yes, it would have cost money—but that's the point!"
Dear MoveOn: do you think my letter to the editor will change Obama’s mind? Do you think a thousand or ten thousand letters will do any good?
We need to stop trying to influence this guy as our only strategy, especially with weak efforts like this. My time would be totally wasted writing a letter to the editor, it won’t change a thing.
Obama will do whatever he wants to do. He’s counting on winning re-election by spending big money which he will collect not from the likes of us but from corporations and banks. In the absence of a credible primary challenge, it could work. I’d vote for Obama over Perry, for example. He could actually save his money.
I shudder to think that I’ll have to listen to all his lies as we get closer to November 2012. Here’s the transcript of Obama’s Labor Day speech in Detroit (the city that has been devastated by the recession that he has done not enough to alleviate):
So that’s what we’re fighting for, Michigan. We’re fighting for good jobs with good wages. We’re fighting for health care when you get sick. We’re fighting for a secure retirement even if you’re not rich. We’re fighting for the chance to give our kids a better life than we had. That’s what we’re doing to restore middle-class security and rebuild this economy the American way -- based on balance and fairness and the same set of rules for everybody from Wall Street to Main Street. An economy where hard work pays off and gaming the system doesn’t pay off, and everybody has got a shot at the American Dream. That’s what we’re fighting for.
Can you count the lies? He hasn’t fought for good jobs with good wages. Ok, give him something for health care, although his plan is a windfall for the insurance companies many of us would like to see disappear. And "fighting for a secure retirement even if you’re not rich”??? That’s such a big fat lie. And so on. Don’t miss the part about the same set of rules for Wall Street as for Main Street.
Dear MoveOn, you could help by helping your followers find an alternative to Obama in 2012. We need to do something that has a chance of success. I may not know exactly what that is, but I know it isn’t writing letters to the editor.
Let’s get real.
Good points. Corporatists of any party are the problem. The solutions will not be neat or easy. And elections are way to far away to not be discussing issues. The two party political horse race as theater show has as much legitimacy as American Idol. At least the Repubs are trying out new branding strategies for its Christo-fascists and co-opted Libertarians, while the Corporate Dems give their Liberals and Progressives the finger. Greens an options? Uhg. The only idea I've heard that is viable is for Dems is to cross over in the primary and vote for Paul as a means of getting Obama to have to at least have to talk about actual ideas leading into the general. Or would he just smile his way deeper into meaningless centrism? Double uhg.
Sorry for coming late to the party. but I just came across the comment above. Democrats crossing into the Republican primary is not "viable" on its face. In Hawaii, the "presidential primaries" are private, internal party gatherings, only open to members. It is deeply unethical for members of one party to interfere with the internal decision-making of another party. Ooops, I forgot. "The ends justifies the means." Of course. My bad.
Let's see if we can find a "viable" path for our politics which is also ethical. I mean, isn't that at least PART of our complaint, that politics is rarely ethical?
The Republicans have slipped over the edge into irrationality and semi-fascism, while the Dems are dominated by the monopoly capitalists who fund campaigns designed to deceive working and middle-class folks into thinking that electing corporatist Democrats is the best we can get.
Is there a "viable" solution? I can only recommend remaining skeptical of all politicians, vote for the lesser evil only when you have no real alternative and "speak truth to power" AND to each other. Unless the public makes more serious demands on the leaders, they will continue to represent fractions of the corporate elite and treat the rest of us without respect.
"Oh Barry, you're so smooth. Tell me lies, tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies."