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Beatriz09 On July - 3 - 2014

Warren Matthews

The Huffington Post just posted a link to a very interesting interview of Chris Matthews talking to Elizabeth Warren:


The reason this interview is so interesting is because it perfectly sums up the main problem on the left today and as a consequence, the main reason why a lot of progressive and even moderate issues that polls time and again show that a majority of the American people support, cannot be signed into law and implemented even with a Democratic President and only 45 Republicans Senators (i.e. a majority of Dems in the Senate).

As a progressive myself, I cannot but strongly support and stand behind everything Elizabeth Warren was saying we should do in this interview: we need to start acting based on the fact that the trickle down social experiment started by the Republicans in the 1980s has been proven wrong, we need to reinvest in our education and infrastructure and jobs again, we need to stop passing one law after the other shifting even more money from workers to the wealthiest stake holders, etc. And as Matthews himself admitted at the end: Elizabeth Warren is a fine Senator.

All these things we progressives know, and it’s not what made this interview so very interesting.

Just like when a conservative is interviewed by Fox News, Warren was clearly preaching to the choir. She knew from the very beginning that Matthews would agree with her on everything when it comes to policy, as well as most of the people watching the show.

What was so interesting, however, is the fact that on one point, Matthews and Warren were constantly talking past each other. Matthews would ask his question again and again, becoming each time more aggressive, while Warren responded by being even more fired up but nevertheless not answering it, and almost not addressing it directly.

And that question was perfectly clear: why is it that with a Democratic President and Democratic Senate, all the important job bills that are so urgent aren’t getting passed, even when many Dems are constantly telling us how important they are?

Today, four and a half years after Scott Brown became Elizabeth Warren’s predecessor and replaced Ted Kennedy as Massachussets Senator, Chris Matthews still asks this kind of question and many people (as polls show) agree which confirms that when it comes to the most important aspect of how a democracy works, Progressives, who adore to believe that they’re much smarter than conservatives, remain completely illiterate. And that illiteracy, much more than any power that the 1% could buy in DC, is the most important cause of the fact that the Congress that a majority of the American people elected, year after year sees its approval rate go down to historic, single-digit depths.

Of course, every cause is itself caused by another cause, so I’m not trying to blame one or the other group here. I’m just focusing on one specific element in the chain of causes, which is the blind spot in how many progressives tend to see politics and as such is risking to make the entire system dysfunctional. Changing this one specific element could take Congress – and as a consequence the country – into an entire different direction, if people accept to at least start talking about it.

So, what is that one single issue, that is crippling ordinary citizens’ power in DC?

What Warren repeated over and over again during the interview is correct: people have to start realizing that the solution that the GOTP continues to defend, will not create jobs and we need this awareness in order to build a grassroots movement that can convince those Americans who still believe in the trickle down myth or still hope that some day in the future, the trickling down will finally happen. But that’s a conversation we Progressives and moderates need to have, on a grassroots level, with those who still believe this kind of myths. Warren is right, having this conversation is absolutely crucial.

But it’s only one thing. What Chris Matthews was showing, is that we urgently need to have a totally different conversation, especially (but not only) among progressives, about a totally different issue that is not about policy (on which most of us agree) but on strategy: How do we use our constitutional power, as citizens of a constitutional democratic republic, in order to obtain new laws that correspond to what we want?

Of course, Warren knows the answer to this question, but Chris Matthews clearly not. How do we Progressives want to obtain any progress, if we can’t answer it? And how will we become a little bit more politically literate, if Democratic politicians (and ordinary, politically literate citizens) don’t see explaining the answer to this question as one of their biggest priorities?

Here’s the answer in a nutshell: in a democracy, the three branches of government are entirely independent. A President has no direct power on Congress, it’s his job to implement (= execute) the new bills Congress passes and the bills previous Congresses have passed, whether he likes those bills or not. He can negotiate with Congress, and try to find a compromise. But if Congress refuses to compromise, he’ll have no bill at all, or he’ll have to veto the bills Congress sends to his desk. Congress, on the other hand, has two houses. A bill has to get a majority of at least 50% in the House and the Speaker of the House has to decide to allow a vote on it, in order for the bill to get passed. The same bill also needs at least 50% in the Senate, and the decision of the Majority leader to start voting on it, and, as a third condition, the absence of any single Senator filibustering the bill, in other words, blocking the vote in itself. In case of a filibuster, 60 Senators have to support voting on the bill before the voting can start again.

Since Obama became president, the GOP Senators systematically filibustered the most important bills the American people wanted, but in 2009 Democrats and Independents together had the legal power to break a filibuster. As soon as Scott Brown was elected (Jan. 2010), however, Republicans also got the number of Senators needed to make it impossible to break a filibuster and start voting on a law, and they also used that power systematically. One of the most outrageous examples is the fact that they’ve blocked a vote on a gun control bill, even when more than ninety percent of the American people and a majority of their own base supported it.

There’s absolutely nothing illegal in doing so, even if it’s totally unprecedented. They’re still respecting the system and the way a democratic Congress works. So in this sense, you can not blame the Republicans for the fact that Congress is not doing what the majority of the American people want them to do. Once elected, every Senator and Representative has the legal right to do this.

It also doesn’t make any sense to blame the elected Democrats, however, as Chris Matthews continues to do (and as the HP often does too). As soon as you analyze the legal power the system gives them, you cannot but observe that they cannot possibly do more than writing bills that correspond to what the majority of the American people want, and try to start voting on it. In this country, a minority can legally block the majority from doing its job, day after day. All that is needed is a minority that has at least 41 Senators, and the decision to block the majority day after day.

Realizing this is crucial, because if we continue to blame Democrats for the fact that nothing happens, concretely, we are actually giving the GOTP a perfect reason to continue to block all bills, especially when a majority of the American people support those bills. Indeed, the more the GOTP blocks voting on such a bills, the more people will imagine that it’s the Democrats who ‘refuse’ to do something, as the Democrats control the White House and the Senate.

Realizing a second fundamental fact is equally crucial: we, ordinary citizens, have, already today, the constitutional power to change this absurd situation. And it’s only we who will be able to change is. How? The solution is simple: if we want the bills that Elizabeth Warren just mentioned to be signed into law and implemented, we urgently need to vote for a Senate where 60 Senators support the bills the majority of the American people support. As long as we continue to give the Democrats and Independents together less than 60 votes, we are not giving them the legal power necessary to pass a bill, even when Democrats control the White House.

Unfortunately, Elizabeth Warren did not focus on this issue. She rapidly mentioned it at the end of the interview but if you want to correct the error Matthews and so many other people have been making for years now, you will have to stop talking policy for a moment and start explaining strategy and the way a democracy is basically functioning. And Warren should do so not only during one ten minute interview, but time and again, until a majority starts to understand it, especially when she’s being interviewed by a Progressive and when repeating our ideas about policy means not telling anything new and merely preaching to the choir. Yes, the battle Warren is fighting is important, but it’s a battle that has as its main goal to inform ordinary citizens, and first of all non-Progressives, of the necessity of certain policies Progressives support. A totally different battle, however, is the battle among progressives themselves, in order to stop the horrible political illiteracy that characterizes many of us, so that we can finally start using our constitutional, democratic power, and learn how to write those policy ideas into law.

We still have four months to go.

Let’s hope that especially people like Warren will start to get it, and use their outstanding rhetorical talent and intelligence to fight against the most important form of illiteracy in our time.

40 Responses so far.

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  1. PollyTics says:

    Matthews is a Progressive?

  2. Pete Geller says:

    The one thing you forgot to mention is that both parties are beholden to corporate money. We need to reverse Citizen’s United and get the money out of our political system! http://www.wolf-pac.com

  3. monicaangela says:


    You wrote: And that’s the wonderful thing about living in this country (or at least it has been so far :-( ). We can each and all choose our own path, our own beliefs — or none at all. What a fantastic idea the founders had there, no?

    Answer: Yes, it is wonderful, yes it is fantastic, especially now that all of us can enjoy it, it wasn’t that way when they wrote it. A lot of people have suffered and died to make the powers that be extend that capability to everyone in this nation.

  4. repearwo says:

    Your expectation of a TV show is highly inflated. In Fact, your article did no more to enlighten the audience than did the interview.

    One has but to look at History to see that the Democratic Party died in 1968 on the streets of Chicago and has never been rebuilt. In 1972 McGovern rewrote the Rules for the selection of candidates for Office and shut down the smoke filled rooms. We have not had an insider Democratic President since. Carter, Clinton, and Obama are all outsiders that never really got along with Congressional Democrats, who really do not get along well with other Congressional Democrats.

    The Democratic Party is not really a party at all and is ill equip to lead. They are a herd of very powerful kittens who can not agree on much of anything much less lead.

    The single solution is to restore the smoke filled rooms with an air filter in them and let the dirty business of compromise, bargain, and shear force start getting this Party back into being a party that can step to the drummer of the progressive/Liberal agenda like the Republicans can stay in step to the Conservative agenda.

    We know where we want to go we just need a cadence to march to, and some consequence for not keeping in step. Candidates need some one to whom they owe their seats.

    • AdLib says:

      A very interesting POV, repearwo but no need to disrespect another’s post to assert your views. The post did indeed provide more enlightening information about our democratic process than the interview, your claim to the contrary is bewildering.

      I don’t see the disruption of the smoke filled rooms or “outsider” Presidents as bad for the Dems. For that to be true, it would have to be the case that Dems in Congress are more Progressive as a whole than Dem presidents and considering how many moderate and Blue Dog Dems there are, that would be difficult to document.

      Yes, the Dems are a party even though they aren’t as corrupt as they were in the past, they are a party even though they think for themselves (is lock step thinking what makes Repubs a party to you?), and yes, Obama has greatly advanced Progressive policies with the ACA, the stimulus, his support of equality for LGBT Americans and fighting for women’s rights via the ACA and Lilly Ledbetter.

      If you’re working backwards from a desired conclusion, that the Dems are a failed party, I suppose you can connect whatever dots you believe validate that but considering that Dems keep winning The Senate and White House and are again anticipated (so far) to retain the WH in 2016, I don’t see how the outcomes of elections validate your proposition.

      Wouldn’t it be truer to say that it is the GOP that most appears to be a destroyed party, in the midst of a civil war, unable to pass meaningful legislation and shrinking as it alienates a majority of the electorate to retain its shrinking base?

    • Welcome to the Planet repearwo. If the democratic party no longer exists, then who’s been passing all this legislation since 1968?

      Would you have any links to any facts that might support your opinions? If so, I would love to see them.

      I say we should NOT be like the republicans and all march in lock step. Marching in lock step is a big reason the GOP has no new ideas. They are told what to think and how to vote, almost strictly along party lines. Is that the sort of political party you would really want?

      • AdLib says:

        KT, exactly, the absence of links to objective sources that would validate such an ambitious proposition undermine it. When one can document all the successes of Dems since 2008, one would expect at least a little legit documentation for such a dubious claim.

        When so many here have worked hands on with fellow Progressives and Dems and achieved goals, it is kind of surreal to hear the claim that the Dem Party doesn’t even exist. Frankly, it sounds more like wishful thinking for some reason.

  5. sillylittleme says:

    Excellent article. But this MA native and lifelong resident needs to point out a few things. First, let’s start with Elizabeth Warren. To date the most proud I have ever been to cast a vote. But you term her a progressive. She is not. She is a populist. She can see the merits of both real conservatism and true progressivism. She works for the majority opinion. She knows what needs to be done and if the Senate is retained by the Ds in November, she should put in a bid to oust Mr Harry “I can get along with everyone” Reid. She is also a pragmatist. She understands what works and what doesn’t. Clearly trickle down doesn’t work. Just to be clear Scott Brown was a one-off. As residents we knew he would be a blip on the screen and his short term would be easier to overturn. Coakley ran a terrible campaign. Clearly she is an excellent attorney, although I don’t agree with all of her tactics. She also had the spectre of Louise Woodward following her. Many saw a young woman being tried for a death that was not her doing.

    As for Chris Matthews, he was a former Capitol Police Cop who met Tip O’Neill and the rest as they say is history. He acts as though he knows our government, but from the many times he has had to correct himself, I wonder whether the role he played in Tip’s office was as hands on as he claims.

    Frankly, I saw her taking him to the mattresses and schooling him on what needs to be done and the difficulties in an intransigent Congress (a pox on both houses). It is up to us to get as many people to vote as possible. I don’t think at this time we can do much more, unless you advocate revolution.

    One other item I take exception to is that the three branches of government are separate. True they are there to be a check and balance one against the other. But that doesn’t mean that they can’t work in conjunction with one another. A Congress that defies the policy of a twice duly elected President is going against the will of the people.

    • monicaangela says:

      Spot on sillylittleme !!

    • Great comment slm! I completely agree. EW’s pragmatism and courage are a rare thing in DC these days. Some want her to run for president, and I think she would makes a great president, but not in 2016. She herself has said she took on a job and fully intends to perform her duties as best and as honestly as she can.

      Matthews is just another symptom of the disease that runs through our corporate owned media. All the talking heads have their own “style,” and his is to be aggressive and not let his guests get the opportunity to fully say what they want. It’s not a very productive way of getting to the truth. I suspect, at times, that this is by design.

      I helped my mom vote to get EW nominated. I couldn’t vote in MA then because I wasn’t a resident of that state, but I was very glad and proud that my mom had the good sense to vote for EW.

      • sillylittleme says:

        I too would like to see her serve a full term. I think she can do a lot of good in the Senate. And even though she is definitely presidential material she, like the President, would be hamstrung unless she had a solid D in both houses of Congress.

  6. monicaangela says:

    Excellent article Beatriz09,

    I know that it appears simple in the eyes of many when you discuss elections and how to improve our government through electing those that best represent the people. I have to say though, electing democrats and independents isn’t quite the right thing to do unless you can be sure those democrats and independents don’t happen to be folks like Joe Lieberman, Mary Landrieu or Ben Nelson just to name a few. Is voting for these DINO’s better than voting for a republican? In my opinion it is just about the same thing as voting for a republican. It is tantamount to allowing the fox to caucus with the chickens IMHO.

    I believe Elizabeth Warren was correct to try to ignore Chris Matthews in that interview. I believe she understood what he was doing and was in a polite way trying to continue to speak on what she came to the interview to speak about without calling him out for the hypocrite he really is, some people are polite that way, however at the end when she had had absolutely enough she did use the phrase “Oh, stop it.” Which in my dictionary translates to how ignorant can you be, stop trying to sell that BS.

    Yes, we need to educate the voters of this nation, and the best way to do that I believe is to bring back the “Fairness Doctrine.” Get rid of Citizens United, and place limits on the time those elected to the Supreme Court can serve.

    “How do we use our constitutional power, as citizens of a constitutional democratic republic, in order to obtain new laws that correspond to what we want?” Stop allowing wealth to have a louder voice in our media stop equating corporations to people, stop allowing polls to decide if we like or dislike the President. Stop allowing the money of a few to speak louder than the rest of the citizens of this nation. Take money out of politics, now there’s a novel idea.

    In summary, I believe that if Elizabeth Warren had spent the interview talking about strategy and not policy that contrast with those of the GOP/TP, many would have labeled her a hack and switched the channel. I believe you actually need someone from both parties in an interview like that in order to allow the voting public the opportunity to see the difference between the two….BRING BACK THE FAIRNESS DOCTRINE. :)

    • sillylittleme says:

      So with you on the Fairness Doctrine. Take back our airwaves and we take back the discussion.,

      • monicaangela says:

        With those two things implemented, we can have a discussion. What we have now is politicians talking past each other, or expressing their one sided views. As we know, the country is ideologically separated and many who watch Fox News, or during some times during the day MSNBC, only get one side of the issue, it is time to have our politicians back up what they are saying, the Fairness Doctrine would accomplish that, not only over our airwaves, but also in newsprint etc.


    Great article, Beatriz.Yet if memory serves me correctly, it was also the progressives who begun throwing tantrums like spoiled children, when the President could not advance his goals, due the worst Congress in the history of your country.Shall we start with Glen Greenwald?? Going on HuffiPuffie and other blogs and TV shows constantly criticizing President Obama for not doing much for the Progressive party? What did they expect? Obama to walk on waters? Exactly what you referenced to: maybe it’s time for the progressive party to become more literate as how your democracy works.Congress, Senate and the W.H. itself. As per Mathews , he was always so impolite with his guests, I’ve stopped watched him years ago.When you have a journalist who is used to be so aggressive with his guests, you just end up behaving like the monstrous Bill O’.She might as well have gone to Rachel Maddow or Lawrence O’Donnel.KUDOS for all the comments here as well!

  8. Nirek says:

    Beatriz, excellent article! It seems to me that we need to educate the voters and get them fired up to VOTE for Reps. and Senators on the Democratic side. How do we get that done. I talk with my friends and relatives and even offer to drive folks to the polling place. But it seems I live in Vermont and we always vote the correct way. How can I help with states that don,t vote the correct way?

  9. kesmarn says:

    Thanks for a clearly written and genuinely informative article, Beatriz09.

    A while back I had a very “brisk” (to use a polite adjective) discussion with a long time friend over these same issues. He’s not stupid (has a PhD) and he’s not a conservative. But all I was hearing from him was that the President was “weak” and the Democrats in Congress were “spineless.” He was “fed up with all of them.”

    By the end of the argument (during which I asked many times for him to define precisely what he wanted the President and the Congressional Dems to do — to no avail) I said: “So let me get this straight. The “tools” that are available to the Prez and the Dems to get things done are as follows: a.) They can pitch themselves down on the floor in a prolonged shrieking tantrum until they get their way. and b.) They can bring guns to the Senate floor and hold them to the heads of GOP members until they vote the way they’re told to. Is that what you’re saying?”

    Because there was nothing else that was actually legal left for them to do.

    The discussion got very quiet after that. I wish Elizabeth Warren had been able to just turn to Matthews and ask: “What’s your suggested plan of action? Please proceed, sir.”

    But she did the next best thing. She said: “Oh, stop it!”

    I’m with her. Stop it, Chris. Remove yourself from the circular firing squad. You’re not helping.

  10. James Michael Brodie says:

    I have to stop and say this: I am truly in awe of the intelligence of the discourse on Planet POV.

    Beatriz09, you have hit on something that has bothered me for years. Progressives know what is the right thing to fight for. Most Americans agree. But time after time after time, we get bogged down in big words and clunky phrases that do more to make people feel left out than anything the 1 percenters can dream up.

    We need to talk to real people — not just about them as part of our speeches, but be engaged.

    When I was a reporter in Fairfax County, Virginia in the early 1990s, I remember how the local GOP leaders reached out to me while the Democrats did very little. The GOP folks even sent me get well cards when I took ill and had to be hospitlized.

    Little things, my friends. That is where we are losing the battle. That is where we won it back in the day…

    • Nirek says:

      Brodie, that is why you can find me here often. The discussions are intelligent and civil. I never fail to learn something from the people here.

    • kesmarn says:

      I hear you, Michael. These right wing fundamentalist churches use the same tactics (although that may be a harsh term for it).

      When a new potential member shows up, that person is greeted with a friendly smile and shown to a seat. Asked to stand and be recognized during the service. Applause. There will be offers to get coffee and/or a snack. The church offers child care during the service. There may be a food pantry, family counseling services, addiction treatment groups, welcoming in-home bible studies. Some churches even have car repair “ministries” for single struggling moms.

      Suddenly, you feel you’re in a family. These people like you! Once you’ve gone through the new member classes, there are only two things you need to do. Tithe. And vote the way you’re told to.

      What’s not to love? :-(

      • James Michael Brodie says:

        You nailed it. And we need to get back there as well. At the high point of the Civil Rights Movement, what you described is just what the Black churches did. They were involved, not just for votes, but for real change, living change. The Panthers, CORE, CNCC, NAACP, even HOI, did more than just talk. They were there.

        • kesmarn says:

          Exactly, Michael! Our side needs to be there for people.

          And we won’t even have to tell them how to vote, because we know that they’re smart enough to figure that out for themselves!

      • monicaangela says:

        LOL !!! Excellent analogy Kesmarn!!! :)

        • kesmarn says:

          Thanks,Monica! I do consider myself a Christian. But I don’t think these particular folks would bring out the welcome wagon for me — once they got the picture as far as my politics go. I don’t worship at the shrine of unregulated capitalism the way they do.

          • monicaangela says:

            I was also taught the value of Christianity, but have yet to recognize what I was taught in any church I have attended. For years I thought there must be something wrong with me. After having the opportunity to study other religions, I realized that religion Christianity or otherwise is a guideline, something to ponder/contemplate. I find that like all other religions Christianity has to be scrutinized. I realize through nature that I believe more in spirituality than organized religion. Oh yes, I know, Spirituality means something different to everyone. For some, it’s about participating in organized religion: going to church, synagogue, a mosque, etc. For others, it’s more personal: Some people get in touch with their spiritual side through private prayer, yoga, meditation, quiet reflection, or even long walks. I subscribe to the latter. :)

            • kesmarn says:

              And that’s the wonderful thing about living in this country (or at least it has been so far :-( ). We can each and all choose our own path, our own beliefs — or none at all. What a fantastic idea the founders had there, no?

  11. choicelady says:

    Thank you for this thoughtful assessment, Beatriz09. I agree that understanding useful strategy is critical to success, and in this respect far too many self-styled ‘progressives’ fail. It’s heartbreaking to listen to people demand outcomes that are proffered illegally and un-Constitutionally simply because they want them.

    I would argue, partly as a lobbyist myself, that policy also matters. The content of what we want is crucial as well. It serves us poorly to insist on things that are fundamentally never going to be part of a democracy or to ignore the way our economy, polity, and society are organized to proffer things that won’t work.

    We lack a grounding in history -- the SCOTUS decision against Harry S Truman on nationalizing the stubborn steel industry -- when we demand any president ‘nationalize’ something because we’re angry. We want ‘perp walks’ for bankers and others we hate, despite the fact that most progressives slept through the Clinton policy years and ignored the legislative changes that made what we hate today perfectly legal. We insist on single payer based on one model and cannot agree among ourselves what form it should take, how it would be paid, whether the regressive 17% VAT in Canada is ethical -- we don’t agree among ourselves so cannot shape a policy much less a practice that will stand the test of passage.

    Policy and process matter. Sitting on the sidelines screaming does not. We have to remember as a first principle that getting what we want takes wisdom and work. Democracy is NOT a spectator sport.

  12. RSGmusic says:

    HI Beatriz09, Yea i like your article it is refreshing to see you here and your correct. To many people have no idea how congress works, the presidents power and the supreme courts roles.

    As for Chris Mathews, He is a closet republican saying he is a progressive. He does not know how the congress and filibusters work.
    Filibusters are expensive and because the GOP use them so much NOTHING gets done.

    Now i do not profess to know everything and how it works but if you have an obstructionist party. nothing gets done.
    The Democrats need to get 60 senators badly and it is just as possible for the democrats to gain 5 seats in 2014. The Democrats may even get the house.
    For this to happen if the house does not pass, min wage hikes, unemployment extensions, equal pay for women. @5 million ticked of republicans will not vote GOP. 8 million may vote dem. this last SS court decision on hobby lobby will send more GOP women and more dem women to vote democrat.

    Total subsidies at 550 billion a yr is twice as much as all federal taxes collected from every business in the USA. The USA can lower or cut off subsidies to oil, power companies and farmers. Then billions can improve the public schools , then go to lower the cost of education and college loans. 30 billion can go into research. The remaining 300 billion can be put into infrastructure job creation bills.

    During WW2 well self tax the crap out of US by buying war bonds.
    well the result was we had Hugh spending power!!

    Thus comes the the biggest growth in USA history for the middle income and lower income families.
    From Truman thru DDE and into JFK we built and invested into the USA infrastructure. with a 90% tax rate for the rich all that time.
    They could write off more will the more deductions and loopholes as long as they invested in america corps and business keeping jobs in america. Now we need to do the same thing in vest large amount to infrastructure! The USA has been spending less on infrastructure since Nixon.
    The ratio of Spending versus supply side economics should be 65 to 35 %.

    So we need to restructure corp & big big biz so they pay around 10 %.
    50 % plus minus 7 % of corps pay Zero taxes federal taxes, the rest pay 5 to 8 % federal taxes.
    Total tax revenue of all business in the nation is 250 billion is less then 12 %.
    SO middle income and low income businesses get hammered in taxes!




    From Forbes
    Most of the 10 poorest states in the country are Republican.

    Mississippi is the poorest… followed by Arkansas, Tennessee, West Virginia, Louisiana, Montana, South Carolina, Kentucky, Alabama and North Carolina. Texas, where one in five people lives in poverty.

    IF you vote republican you become a poor state.

    If you vote democrat you state is better of and with less debt most of the time.

    • choicelady says:

      One caveat -- by the new standards of measurement, it is CALIFORNIA that has the highest rate of poverty in America. Prices so outstrip income that the capacity for self sufficiency is gutted.

      And progressives tolerate a governor who has become an enemy of the poor. He is a traitor to labor, to working people, to those teetering on the brink of disaster. He eliminated a funding line in our budget that was ENTIRELY PAID FOR BY THE CALIFORNIA ENDOWMENT to enroll more people in Medi-Cal because he does not WANT more people in Medi-Cal.

      Progressives will not call him out. Labor won’t call him out. He is a fraud but he has the aura of ‘progressivism’ from the past and because -- LIKE HIS GOP PREDECESSOR -- he supports a handful of good causes.

      If we’re that lacking in serious challenge to a real fraud, and if we do nothing to underpin the man in the White House because…something, then the term ‘progressive’ becomes as meaningless as any other phony label. It makes progressives just as craven as anyone they hate.

      • RSGmusic says:

        OK, i did say there where exceptions but California debt at 350 billion dollars was mostly accumulated under Reagen and the terminator governor. SO where did the GOP call them out.

        Texas is going to poor house !
        state debt $282,558,281,000[8]Texas’s total debt per capita was $11,178.30.[9]
        Bush 2 and Perry accumulated this.

        NJ debt grew $6.6 billion in 2013, Christie administration says | NJ …
        New Jersey On-Line
        Feb 20, 2014 -- TRENTON — New Jersey’s long-term debt rose to a record $78.4 billion in … Chris Christie and state lawmakers, coming just days before the …

        8.86 million NJ citizens 745 $ per person in the state man women and child.
        Taxes going up for the two lower brackets. Of course the chris will see not additional taxes.

        the amount of debt that each president created.
        2.0 means the debt doubled.

        Dem two JFK Johnson 285 b 348 1.22

        Dem three carter 699 to 998 1.42

        Dem four Obama 11.9 to 17.2 1.44

        Dem five Clinton 4.065 to 5.807 1.48

        GOP one DDE 259 b 285 b 1.10

        GOP six bush 1 2.350 to 4.065 1.73

        GOP seven Nixon 354 to 699 2.0

        GOP eight bush 2 5.8 to 11.9 2.051

        GOP nine Reagen 998 to 2.857 2.86

        debt by tax laws GOP 13.trillion
        Dems 4 trillion

        job creation
        bush 1 ——— 0.51 dead last at the time
        bush 2 ——-- 0.01 dead last.

        Clinton ———--2.9
        Obama ———- 4.0.

        SO choicelady says, How will you vote?

        Democrat? or GOP?

        • choicelady says:

          The issue of debt is obvious. The issue of debt used as a political weapon to cut social spending is NOT so obvious. When the ‘debt maniacs’ wring their hands and rend their garments, it’s all for show to force (they think) cuts in welfare for the perilously placed folks.

          We are hip to this manufactured crisis. We aren’t playing anymore.I have been ‘warned’ about the national debt since I was in 7th grade -- and that was a very long time ago. And America is still here.

          But that is a very different issue from poverty and the way even Jerry Brown has abandoned those in need. In the general election of course I will vote for him -- I lived under Schwarzenegger and saw the cuts his handmaiden GOP made to the budget, the blue pencils he took to essential programs. But Jerry is NOT BETTER because he’s swallowed the Kool Aid.

          We need to stop coronating people and ask them to live up to basic principles. Jerry is un-contested, and that, I think, is a damned shame. CA could have done LOTS better but didn’t have the vision or the nerve.

          • RSGmusic says:

            Hello ladychoice.
            Actually the measure of the state debt is not what matters as far as the state citizens salaries being low. California’s salaries are much higher then Mississippi and the 10 red states. OH you can say brown is not much better but he does have a surplus now. Since you are in California i think you have a better idea of how he has done. Who do you want in that state as governor? a republican or democrat generally. SO my question is are you voting dem in California the next cycle.

            National the debt has no meaning either although it is 17 trillion dollars. If we paid it off at 1 trillion every 10 yrs, which we can not do, that is 170 yrs or NINE GENERATIONS. SO to say we actually pay down the debt is not logic. The key is to balance the budget. That is why you need to generate revenue. Cutting taxes just lowers revenue and cut spending to much you lose revenue and lose to many jobs. SO that is why in the first note we must do what is asked for then.

            Yes every one can do better brown included.
            We must not de-fund the mandatory budget at all. It is the budget that makes you and husband/wife money and only you. Reducing the SS taxes to 10 % was a bad move for lower income families and 1/2 the middle income.
            families. Raising the SS taxes to the billionaire level will make SS solvent well into 2035 and beyond.

            • choicelady says:

              RSG -- I think we’re talking different points. I’m not disputing what you say but adding a different dimension.

              I’m a lobbyist for a justice oriented non profit w 1.5 million members. I do policy analysis daily including the budget and its impacts.

              Of course I’d vote for Brown -- did so against the execrable Meg Whitman. But I think we need not to be taken in by a bad Dem when good Dems exist. We have far better alternatives than Brown at least this time. But we’re too knee jerk about him, letting him rest on laurels from 40 years ago when he’s jettisoned those values years back.

              I never accept third parties in contested elections because the system is not built to accommodate them. Local elections perhaps, and that may be the way to build strength for them, but never in state or federal level work.

              What mattes to public sector wages is good union strength more than Dems who may or may not be truly supportive. Our public employees survived Arnold thanks to that. They will survive Jerry equally strongly.

              But we have to stop pretending he’s ‘the one’. He’s not. And we need to lift up good Dems from lower offices so that we can have truly principled leaders now into the future. Not just shadow ones.

  13. AdLib says:

    Thoughtful post, Beatriz09! And important because it is crucial to be self-critical to improve oneself or one’s group.

    To begin, I agree that the majority of Americans including a majority of Democratic voters still don’t understand the way our government works. Emoprogs are deluded into thinking The President is a dictator who can pass laws and do whatever he wants to do while poorly informed voters just throw their hands up and blindly claim both parties are to blame for what is in actuality, the Republicans blocking any progress.

    I’ve referenced the Pew poll from last week that showed 60% of Americans don’t know which parties control the two houses of Congress. If you don’t even know that Republicans control The House after all the repeal Obamacare votes, government shutdowns and extortion attempts…you sure aren’t going to have any awareness about Republicans filibustering every bill in The Senate.

    So I absolutely agree, it’s vital to educate voters about the way things are and how a 60 Dem majority and Dems regaining control of The House could solve the gridlock that’s harming our economy and society.

    At the same time, when it comes to hack pundits like Matthews, who worked for Tip O’Neil in The House, it defies believability that he doesn’t understand how filibusters work in The Senate or that Republicans have been blocking bills endlessly by using them. And I don’t know that I would blame Warren for not giving legitimacy to that obvious disingenuous question by answering it. Still, you are right, she could have knocked down that canard (and IMO, slapped Matthews around for being so disingenuous and pretending he didn’t know that Repubs were filibustering bills).

    Matthews and other pundits typically put ratings first, above any other principles. They seek conflicts because conflicts translate into ratings…especially Dem on Dem (or Repub on Repub) fights. Matthews also has a habit of trying to burnish his contrived “independently minded” credentials by periodically attacking those he supports on the Dem side.

    I.m aware of his many attacks on Obama that seemed arbitrary at best, interspersed with days where he greatly praised Obama. Same with Warren and the Dems in Congress, he’ll praise them 80% of the time then arbitrarily attack them 20% of the time. It’s a game, it’s about ratings and his constructing a public image of himself that he feels will keep him hosting his tv show.

    The fallout from such insincere punditry is that the public is misinformed. A poorly informed Dem watching that interview might immediately accept Matthews’ contrivance, “Yeah, that’s a good question! Why didn’t Dems get everything passed when they could in Obama’s first term?! They’re part of the problem too!”

    That’s one reason I have such disrespect for MSM hacks like Matthews who corrupt the public’s understanding of politics primarily due to their pursuit to promote their own careers.

    Here’s some background on Chris Matthews, it’s inconceivable to me that with his experience, Matthews has no clue about how Congress works:

    He served on the staffs of four Democratic members of Congress, including Senators Frank Moss and Edmund Muskie. In 1974, he mounted an unsuccessful campaign for Pennsylvania’s 4th congressional district seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in which he received about 24% of the vote in the primary.

    Matthews was a presidential speechwriter during the Carter administration and later worked for six years as chief of staff to longtime Speaker of the House of Representatives Tip O’Neill, playing a direct role in many key political battles with the Reagan administration.


    And Matthews represents that he doesn’t know what a filibuster is and it’s a legitimate question to ask why the Dems haven’t passed bills? I have a one word answer to that:

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