Progressives Need A Lobbyist. Forget the DNC, Let’s Use the A.I.P.A.C. Strategy

June 21, 2010

Abusive Spouse-The Dems

The White House is the abusive spouse of its own progressive base.  Democrats are a bunch of constituencies: women, minorities, LGBT, various labor groups, environmentalists, health care advocates, etc.  None of these groups have gotten squat from the White House after two years of donating and campaigning and a year and a half of dickering and petitioning.  Obama has coldly turned his back  while serial abuser, White House Chief-of-Staff Rahm Emmanuel  taunts supporters as “f*cking retards” and Cheeto eating basement dwellers.

What went wrong?  Why do these Washington power players hold progressives in contempt and treat us with scorn?

Obamrahm discuss next progressive abuse

Democrats are constituencies, not  lobbyists.  Lobbyists for the health, pharmaceutical and oil industries pack a huge punch on Capitol Hill, while, despite Obama’s promises, voters and constituent groups are ants at a picnic.  Constituent groups raised money and walked the precincts to elect Democrats, mostly incumbents, expecting those efforts to translate into advocacy.  Quelle imbeciles!  The Dems took the money and Obama decided which candidates the Party would support: the ones he wanted not the one’s progressives wanted.

Lobbyist groups take no such chances.

I think everyone can agree that AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, is an inordinately successful lobby group.  Let’s see how they work.

It has been described as one of the most powerful lobbying groups in Washington, DC, and its critics have stated it acts as an agent of the Israeli government with a “stranglehold” on the US Congress.

No one says no to Israel.

House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi,… stated that “America and Israel share an unbreakable bond: in peace and war; and in prosperity and in hardship”
I would love to hear her swear fealty to any Democratic constituency that has shown unswerving loyalty.

First, AIPAC lobbies for itself and its own interests, not for parties or candidates.  From a critic, Wikipedia:

AIPAC’s success is due to its ability to reward legislators and congressional candidates who support its agenda, and to punish those who challenge it. … AIPAC makes sure that its friends get strong financial support from the myriad pro-Israel PACs. Those seen as hostile to Israel, on the other hand, can be sure that AIPAC will direct campaign contributions to their political opponents. … The bottom line is that AIPAC, which is a de facto agent for a foreign government, has a stranglehold on the U.S. Congress. Open debate about U.S. policy towards Israel does not occur there, even though that policy has important consequences for the entire world.

This agenda comes straight from the AIPAC website, describing its specific goals and interests:

  • issues
    • Gaza
    • Iran
    • Palestine negotiations
    • U.S. aid to Israel
    • legislation
      • U.S.-Israel energy cooperation
      • condemn Iran
      • 10 exercises that the U.S. and Israeli air forces conduct together annually
      • U.S. non-engagement with Hizballah

    AIPAC uses at least as much “stick” as “carrot” to get what it wants.  It will target an unwilling politician, run candidates against him/her, perhaps embroil them in scandal,  use the press for attacks.

    Progressives can’t get single payer, an end to wars, main street bailouts, unemployment extensions or aid to the states, an end to DOMA, environmental protection; nothing, diddly, zilch.  Do we have specific, non-negotiable goals?  Will we take down the power players with scandal and arm twisting when they treat us with contempt?

    It’s time to forget giving money to nincompoop leftist organizations that don’t get the time of day from anyone in power, who are willing to get kicked in the teeth just to sit at the master’s table.

    Kick the door in with demands.  Run progressive candidates funded by progressives. Punish the Dems when they betray. If you want action from the power players, play with power.


    Obama Says “Get A Mop”, Complainers

    October 18, 2009

    Poor Obambi.  Where is the love these days for the Dear Leader?  Where’s the adulation? From Chicago to Oslo he’s getting the fat tomato. This must be tough to take for the do nothing, empty suit, Messiah cum president, who also did nothing of note at Harvard Law Review, the streets of Chicago, Chicago University, Illinois state senate or anywhere else, for that matter. His answer to his critics? “Get a mop”. Help me clean up after the other crooks; I want to make my own messes!

    They paid HOW much to hear THAT?

    He didn’t mention he hired the same people from the mess maker administration to run his government.

    On Monday Obama, addressed a crowd of angry LGBT on the Washington Mall.  They asked, nay screamed, about his failure to fulfill his campaign promises on  DADT and DOMA.  His answer was: I’m with ya in spirit but ya just may have to wait until 2017 before I get around to ya. Right wing extremists must be accommodated, too.

    Doesn’t he know, according to the Maya calender, the world will end in 2012?

    There are tough love messages for “Leftist” agitators. The administration point man , Barney Frank, who apparently speaks homo better than the president, warned gays to pipe down;  complaining to Obama might annoy the very busy president, who might dig in his heels and do nothing.   No new message there.  Since the presidential primaries, when Obama’s surrogates told the “Bitter Knitter”, Hillary supporters to get with the program or take a hike, it’s been plain Obama doesn’t care what the Democrats who elected him want. He’s the president of the Republicans.

    Lately, progressives from the single-payer, public option crowd have challenged Obama on comprehensive health care.  It is said he canceled public appearances to avoid protesters over Guantanamo and his beefed up Afghan war.The president has warned his loyalist critics to get out of his bi-partisan face while he hands over the keys to Joe Lieberman and Olympia Snowe. Rahm Emmanuel suggested that progressive bloggers should get out of their PJs and smell the strong Political Reality coffee.

    Poor Obama. His mask is beginning to slip.  The most awesomist  Black man since Hannibal crossed the Alps is starting to get dissed.

    What to do? Take the show on the road.

    Find a Black audience (carefully salted with Whites). They’ll try to love him in spite of himself. Since they’re used to getting nothing but talk, they won’t know the difference.

    How about Nawlins?  Why not stage a little boy asking ‘why does everybody hate you?’  The subtext of “racism” will be understood without further ado while playing the martyr. He can counsel patience, mock his critics, talk in riddles, commend the Negroes on their patience and perseverance, so much like his own half-baked Negritude, give Republican Governor, Bobby Jindal, a rousing intro in a public forum.  After a couple of hours Obama is back aboard Air Force One on his way to meet with his real peers at a $34,000/plate dinner in San Fransisco.

    But maybe the stagecraft is beginning to fail.

    Even with the Elmer Gantry style intonations and con man delivery, a few in the audience seem skeptical of his empty promises.

    They should all get mops and sweep the phony back to Chicago.


    PEPFAR-Rick Warren’s HIV/AIDS Africa Program

    March 9, 2009

    Rick Warren is a jerk.  I don’t care what Obama says about his good pastor friend, or how many excuses Melissa Etheridge makes on the man’s behalf.  Finding a reason to respect him can be a problem and it’s not because he’s narrow and bigoted against women and the LGBT communities. It’ s becasue those qualities in a person with that much power can be and have been lethal.

    Much has been said about Warren’s HIV/AIDS work in Africa.  Obama praised the pastor to the rafters for his drug treatment efforts and outreach to the vast number of AIDS related orphans

    But the faith-based solution naturally brought with it skewed policies that limited prevention options and led to what Jacobson calls the “profoundly ineffective” spending of AIDS money: with $20 billion spent on treatment over the past five years, but six new infections for every person treated. “No one doesn’t want people to have access to treatment,” she says. “But my argument is about the tradeoff. You can’t treat your way out of this epidemic.”

    The new faith-based arm of the AIDS movement Warren had energized asked for, and got, a number of obstacles to prevention services: a prohibition on needle exchange programs for drug users; a ban family planning services in Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission clinics; and the anti-prostitution loyalty oath, which required all groups receiving PEPFAR funding, including those that work with sex workers, to condemn prostitution.

    Warren’s assurances to the backers of World Net Daily, a conglomerate of wealthy, religious reactionaries intent on converting secular/governmental institutions into  those with a religious agenda

    his number one priority in his AIDS work was the salvation of non-Christians.  Warren has made clear that his collaboration with non-evangelical AIDS activists wouldn’t lead him to compromise on his biblical convictions.

    Efforts were made by progressives to change Warrens faith based focus to a science based criteria

    The response of Warren and his fellow conservative PEPFAR supporters was cynical and swift. Staging a press conference on the day of the National Prayer Breakfast, four days before Lantos’s death, Warren joined a menagerie of stalwart anti-choice leaders, including Reps. Chris Smith, Marilyn Musgrave and Joe Pitts, and activists Wendy Wright, Chuck Colson and Day Gardner. The group declared that the Lantos revision would “pour billions into the hands of abortion providers with little or no regard for the pro-life, pro-family cultures of recipient countries,” strip abstinence programs of their funding and, by lifting the prostitution pledge, enable the sex trafficking of women. Lantos’s reauthorization bill lost every point on reproductive health, and PEPFAR was reauthorized in its flawed state.

    It would be interesting to find out how this exceptionally flawed bill passed again with a majority of Democrats in the congress in 2008.

    The HIV/AIDS programs instituted by Warren’s proteges included these:

    offering faith-healing to disease-stricken congregants. Other PEPFAR grantees, as Jacobson’s colleagues in the global AIDS movement have witnessed, use their funds to promote fundamentalist interpretations of marital roles, advising women that if their husbands beat them, they should try harder to please them.

    And this is the kicker:

    Warren further entangles religion and treatment in his very own “Purpose-Driven Nation,” Rwanda. He offered to extend an undisclosed amount of aid to the country if it adopted his bestselling book as an action plan for the nation, using churches as centers for capacity building and American evangelical leaders as medical and development advisors to the Rwandan parliament.

    Read the entire article here.

    Obama has renewed PEPFAR with some of the same restrictions which existed in the Bush program, but Dr. Dybul, who headed the funds dispersals, and controversial in his own right resigned his post after Hillary Clinton was confirmed as Secretary of State.

    Dr. Dybul’s departure was both celebrated and condemned.

    Jodi Jacobson, a former head of the Center for Health and Gender Equity, which wants financing for all aspects of women’s reproductive health, including abortion, wrote a blog post titled “Dybul Out: Thank You Hillary!!!” It argued that he had worked too closely with the far right, and she accused him of lobbying to please the Roman Catholic Church by letting its relief groups refrain from distributing condoms.

    Michael Gerson, a former Bush speechwriter and Washington Post columnist, shot back that “blogging extremists” like Ms. Jacobson had lied about Dr. Dybul’s record.

    At the heart of the debate was the difficult bipartisan compromise behind Mr. Bush’s AIDS plan. It is the darling of two groups that normally oppose each other: foreign policy liberals who want to help Africa and evangelical Christians who support mission hospitals there.

    Dr. Dybul was straddling some personal fences too: he was one of the Bush administration’s few openly gay officials, a doctor who had treated AIDS patients in San Francisco and Africa, and he had donated to Democratic causes.


    Fallout from Prop 8-Analysis and Revenge

    November 24, 2008

    Now that proposition 8, the constitutional amendment retracting the marriage rights of same-sex couples, has passed, the parties on both sides of the debate will assess what their next steps should be.  Regardless of the outcome of the California Supreme Court’s review of the constitutionality of the measure, one side of the debate or the other will carry on the fight. In the meantime, angry gay rights groups are wondering who their enemies are and thinking about revenge.

    Much has been said about the impact of the high African-American turnout for Barak Obama and the exceptionally high number of those Obama supporters who voted to reject gay marriage rights.  The argument has been made that proposition 8 supporters were deceived about the measure, but that just doesn’t wash.  In fact, it’s rather patronizing to think that of all the persons who voted yes, a large proportion of minorities just didn’t know what they were doing. Probably the most painful aspect of the outcome for white gays wasn’t just the relative numbers who voted yes, but that their “friends” did it.

    The truth is that the reasons for the high yes vote on Proposition 8 are complex and sometimes difficult to articulate.  Conservative religious feeling, shame about sex and sexual mores which have been historically used to de-humanize African-Americans, economic resentments aroused when gays “gentrify” inner-city neighborhoods and drive them out, the notion that gays have hitched a ride on the civil rights train, all play a role in black resistance to the gay civil rights movement.  It may also be true that African Americans are relatively covert and oppressed within their own community and, therefore, less effective in delivering a pro-gay message than are white gays in liberal communities.  The negative attitudes are not universal, and are held more often by older African-Americans, but they are there.

    For the white gays, who overwhelmingly supported Barak Obama from the outset, not Hillary Clinton, as some have suggested, there was shock and anger at the African-American support for Proposition 8.  The African-American numbers may not have been the decisive, or even the tipping point of the loss, but that was not really the issue.  White gays, without making any real analysis, just assumed they were going to get the Black vote.  Did they canvas African-American neighborhoods?  Did they have cadres of Black gays prepared to make an out reach in Black communities?  Not for me to criticize because I didn’t participate. But probably not as much as they needed to, because the results came as a big surprise.  If Black and other minorities are as invisible in the gay community as they are in the “straight” community, it’s easy to see how this could happen.  Let’s see if their is more cooperation for the battle of 2010.

    This Article in the L.A. Times is interesting although the political coverage of that newspaper has been despicable and biased.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-2008election-prop8prop22,0,333635.htmlstory

    My concern reading the article is that it suggests that the 1st Amendment right of free speech is under attack now from both the Left and the Right.

    The Right, especially the religious Right, has always used group pressure tactics and the power of the boycott to force society to bend to its will-isolating and dehumanizing gays.  Gays in the past faced ostracism, job loss, rejection from their families, and even physical harm if they were “exposed” by curious or hateful individuals within their communities.  Usually, the heterosexuals, who weren’t affected or didn’t think gays mattered, didn’t care.  A gay person had a hard time speaking up to defend herself or anybody else.

    Now, it seems, gays have learned how to wield these weapons, too.  They are going to expose and ostracize the people, who not only don’t agree with them, but have stripped them of their civil rights.

    But there is another issue here.  Now that the donations made for political causes are accessible to everyone, anyone can be ostracized for their political views.  Everyone can lose his job or career.  Maybe it’s payback.  Maybe “they” should learn how it feels.  But going too far can have unintended consequences.  Let’s remember that we’re Americans first.