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,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.
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.
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.