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I have taken liberal advantage of the ease with which we can communicate with the President via email. I don't know how much good it does. I take it as a form of prayer in my civil religion.

I wanted personally to congratulate Mr. Obama on his win, but I also wanted to underscore that his win was a victory of Democratic values, framing, and policies over the values, framing, and policies of Republicans and Tea Partisans.

To that end, I wrote him the following letter. Thus have I spun my prayer wheel yet again.

Dear Mr. President,

Congratulations on your fantastic win last Tuesday. I was a small contributor to your campaign: I donated; I canvassed; I poll watched; and I monitored the transfer of ballots from the local precincts to the truck that took them to the counting site. I was excited but anxious throughout, especially, as you're probably sick of hearing, after your first debate. But I am so proud to have played my small part in both your presidential campaigns.

I was also thrilled to see the broader results, with more progressive Democrats in the House and the Senate. Heck, were it not for the decennial gerrymandering by Republican states, we would have won back the majority in the House. As it is, I'm gratified to see the return of Alan Grayson and the disappearance of Joe Walsh and Allen West. Democrats won, Republicans lost - badly, and I couldn't be happier.

I realize that you will still have to deal with a Republican majority House. But I do want to say one thing. I did not campaign nor vote for Simpson-Bowles the first time around, nor for any "grand bargain" this time around. I voted not for the hypocrisy and right-wing social engineering implicit in Republican deficit and debt malarkey but to approach and frame our fiscal status, problems, and solutions in an empirically and historically informed way consistent with Democratic principles and values. I did not vote for European-style austerity in any way, shape, or form. I did not vote for Democrats as stalking horses for attacking Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Tri-Care, or any other social safety net program. I voted, and the country voted, strongly Democratic, and I do not believe that we did that for any other reason than that we want to see Democrats act like Democrats and fight like hell to pass Democratic policies that actually promote the general welfare, unlike the perverse fantasy policies favored by Republicans for the last three decades.

Already, CEOs are banding together to try to frighten us with the fiscal "cliff." Fear. It's all they've got. Well, we're pretty damned sick of the well-heeled trying to manipulate us with their self-interested fear tactics. We saw through them last Tuesday, but they're relentless. I hope you ignore them and play a more hard-ball, less concessionary form of politics than you did last term.

I hope you really wanted this job, sir, because you have it now! Or it has you! Best of health and luck to you and to all of us.

At least this time around Rahm Emanuel is not in the White House to belittle the so-called professional left, i.e., ordinary citizens who actually intend to hold the president accountable to fight for the values, framing, and policies that he and Democrats won on and to fight against the values, framing, and policies that Romney and Republicans lost on.

I am under no illusion that our political struggle ended with the election. The ongoing frenzy over the fiscal "cliff" - a deliberately exaggerated right-wing meme intended to foment fear among the populace, panicked reaction among our representatives, and an easy, emotional narrative for the media - shows that the election has not made the Right even break stride in its relentless fight to dismantle the America that we have rebuilt since the Republicans' Great Depression. My writing to the president is one small thing I can do in our continuing struggle to save the country from the depredations of Republicans, conservatives, Tea Partisans, and other regressive fantasists.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (3+ / 0-)

    The GOP can't win on ideas. They can only win by lying, cheating, and stealing. So they do.

    by psnyder on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 02:28:38 PM PST

  •  Good letter. It seems to summarize (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...what so many are saying in their comments.

    I will just mention that I don't share your view of the fiscal cliff, although it is popular here.

    Two bills will be triggered on January 1, 2013. Should those not be mitigated to some degree beforehand, it will damage many of the world's economies. The G20 nations are pleading with the US to modify them. (They do not want taxes to go up across the board, and they do not want to see the sequestered cuts occur.)

    Why the panic? Because the world knows that legislation cannot take place at the Federal Government, which is hog tied for at least the next 2 years. They know that the only way the government can do anything is through secret backroom deals. That puts the US in failed-state status in this one area -- and that makes the world's central banks nervous.

    The overarching issue is the debt limit, which will impact the nation by mid February. That is really what is being negotiated here. Most foreign nations hold US debt in some degree -- and when that is accounted as part of a nation's real assets, its value is discounted when the US Federal Government is held hostage as a demonstration of failed-state inability to meet its obligations.

    A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five. -- Groucho Marx

    by Pluto on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 03:53:07 PM PST

    •  Thanks, and I don't disagree with you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      about the real aspects of the fiscal cliff, or as Lawrence O'Donnell has taken to calling it, the fiscal curb. My objection is to the way the term itself is designed to overheat discussion of the issue and overwhelm facts with fear. I'm also somewhat reassured by comments from respected economists and legislators that January 1 is not the date of Armageddon, although I would surely prefer that that particular trigger not be pulled.

      Nobody - not even many Republicans - knows how much they are going to be willing to work with Democrats to resolve the practical issues facing the country, the fiscal whatever and the debt ceiling among them, and how much they are going to be willing to lay aside their impulse to take every opportunity for what Gingrich called "right-wing social engineering." One would hope that the election might have chastened them, but that hope hinges on the assumption that they still maintain some linkages, however tenuous, to the real world. I'm not sanguine about the prospects, but I'm hopeful that somewhere inside enough of them, there are Americans who care about solving problems for the country and not just partisans who care only to advance their ideology.

      The GOP can't win on ideas. They can only win by lying, cheating, and stealing. So they do.

      by psnyder on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 04:16:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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