NEXT KCDW MEETING NOV 19TH Location: Red Lobster in Silverdale. This is our reorganization meeting. During the election process, we will discuss what happened Nov. 4th. NO RSVP required.
CAN’T LET THEM KILL HOPE
by Jo Fox Burr
We’ve been here before. Remember Reagan. Remember Bush II. Remember the 2010 election. We do still suffer repercussions from these elections. Reagan cynically taught too many to think government was the problem, not the solution. Bush, well what didn’t he do wrong – failed to prevent 9/11, got us involved in two disastrous wars setting off a series of ricocheting problems in the Middle East and Afghanistan, failed to act to stem climate change, AND brought down the economy. As for the 2010 elections, we lost too many state legislatures to the Republicans – which led to seriously gerrymandered Congressional Districts making it unfairly easy for Republicans to maintain control of the House. But we bounced back. Clinton beat Reagan’s successor – Bush I. Bush II’s failures helped Democrats take control of all branches of the Federal Government in 2008. While we lost control of the House in 2010, we maintained control of the Senate and Obama won re-election big in 2012. We will bounce back again – but only if we believe in the power of hope to make positive change and are ready to do the necessary work. As Churchill said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
Alec MacGillis’s book on Mitch McConnell, called “The Cynic,” writes about McConnell’s stated plans at a retreat early in 2009 to take down Obama’s issues one at a time, labelling each as an Obama loss, until Obama becomes vulnerable enough to be taken down personally. MacGillis summarizes this as follows, “In other words, wait out Americans’ hopefulness in a dire moment of the country until it curdles to disillusionment.” I fear this might be where we are, or at least it’s where those who didn’t vote are. What angers me most is that we, Democrats, let it happen. We wanted perfection and when we didn’t get it, many of us got angry and started also blaming Obama for what went wrong. What we failed to do, was adequately acknowledge what went right – which is more than most realize as Paul Krugman detailed in his Rolling Stone article “In Defense of Obama”(10/8/2014).
The Affordable Care Act is not the single payer system many, including Krugman, wanted. Still it is more successful than even many optimists expected –coming in below budget, reducing overall health cost more than predicted, and insuring about 10 million who were previously uninsured. As for Financial Reform, more could have been done, but Dodd-Frank is not toothless. Heck, Wall Street used to give nearly equally to both parties, but now gives primarily to Republicans. Their dislike of Dodd-Frank indicates it is more effective than most pundits acknowledge. Krugman thinks it could make future crises less severe and easier to manage. Then we have the Economy, which has actually recovered faster than the historical average, despite Republican obstructionism. Our unemployment rate is much lower than Europe’s. And while still way too big, the income gap between the rich and poor has lessened. The rich are being taxed more and the financial aid available through Obamacare has substantially augmented the financial situation of the poor. Concerning the Environment and mitigating climate change, Obama has made significant progress. Through stimulus funding, he has helped to enable more growth in renewable energy than was thought possible. Costs have dropped so significantly that the Koch brothers are panicking since non-renewable energy is one of their mainstays. Energy conservation has been boosted by new fuel-efficiency standards Obama put in place. The EPA has proposed new rules requiring large reductions in emissions from power plants. And now we have this new agreement with China to curb carbon emissions. On National Security, Krugman simply compares Obama to what could have happened with all the current world strife had either Romney or McCain been elected. Regarding Social Change, given the country’s surprisingly swift shift toward open mindedness about gay marriage, Obama was courageous enough to reconsider and change his own position on this. He has also been successful in helping to turn women’s rights issues against Republicans, though much of that is self-inflicted by the Republicans themselves.
In electing Obama, we became the change we were waiting for and we need to remember and acknowledge it. We cannot let Republicans turn out the light of optimism for a better more progressive future. This ‘hopey-changey stuff’ Sarah Palin complains about is really good stuff and Obama did bring much of it to us. To succeed in the future, we need to embrace and work with the hope that we can do more.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Kitsap County Democratic Women
Date: Nov 19th (Wednesday)
Time: 11:30 a.m. lunch; 12:30 meeting.
Place: Red Lobster
Purpose: Reorganization and a
discussion of Nov. 4th Election
Kitsap County Dem. Central Com.
Date: Nov. 17th (Monday)
Time: 6:30 p.m. Desserts; 7:00 p.m. mtg.
Place: Eagles Nest
23rd Legislative District Democrats
Date: Dec. 9th (Tuesday)
Time: 6:30 p.m. social; 7:00 p.m. mtg.
Place: Poulsbo Library
26th Legislative District Democrats
Date: Dec 4th (Thursday)
Time: 7-9 p.m.
Place: Kitsap Rm, Givens Center
1026 Sidney Rd, Pt. Orch.
35th Legislative District Democrats
Date: Dec. 6th (Saturday)
Time: 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Place: North Mason Sch. Adm. Bldg.
Hwy 3, Belfair
KCDW REORGANIZATION MEETING:
Positions up for election are President, Vice President, Treasurer, Deputy Treasurer, Secretary and 3 At-Large Executive Board Members. Note: This meeting is being held a week earlier than normal – on Nov. 19th.
Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014 - 11:30am to 2:00pm; Ambrosia Catering Co.
More information will follow.
"The folks on the other side, they’re counting on you being cynical. They’re figuring you won’t think you can make a difference. Don’t be cynical. Be hopeful…Cynicism is a choice. And hope is a better choice.” – Barack Obama