Friday, June 20, 2008

Please don't abandon the Democratic Party in our time of need

Before I get to the post below I want to say something about the loss of a very progressive voice here in Duluth. Richard Gose passed away recently. Tomorrow (Saturday) morning at 10 A.M. his remains will be scattered at Mesaba Cooperative Park near Hibbing. Many of you remember Richard's commitment to social justice and change. Richard was often heard on the radio talk programs in the area taking on the voices of war and reaction. It is with a deep appreciation for his courage and commitment to social activism we mourn his passing. Richard was a very kind, gentle and caring person. I felt I had to say something. Richard was a very good and close friend.

Below is a blog posting from Alan Maki. When I got home this afternoon my mail had at least 25 copies of this posting from friends telling me things like, "Rita you have to read this I feel the same way."

Somehow Alan has this ability to put into writing how many people are feeling and not sure just how to express these ideas on their own.

Just read this and you will see what I mean.


Friday, June 20, 2008

Please don't abandon the Democratic Party in our time of need

A Democratic Party hack called me two days ago with this "request;" then the same issue was brought forward on a progressive list serve/discussion board to which I have been posting my views on Obama and progressive politics:

Alan, please don't abandon the Democratic Party in our time of need.

My response---

Don't abandon the Democratic Party in its time of need?

The fact is the Democratic Party abandoned the working class long ago... when Harry Truman replaced Henry Wallace.

I thought I made it very clear; I work "in the Democratic Party," not FOR the Democratic Party.

I work "in the Democratic Party" for the singular and sole purpose of bringing specific issues and their solutions forward concerning the problems working people are experiencing.

If the Democratic Party, their politicians and party hacks were the least little bit concerned with "being abandoned in time of need," perhaps they should have given this some thought when:

1. They refused to stand up and defend Al Gore's victory over Bush and ABANDONED US to the likes of George Bush--- knowing full well what Bush was about;

2. They should have fought for a minimum wage that is a real living wage based upon the actual cost of living factors and the Democrats should have invited us all to march on Washington to back up this demand;

3. They should have brought forward legislation for single-payer universal health care as the first step towards socialized health care;

4. And, finally, the Democrats should not have abandoned the American people in their full and complete opposition to this dirty war in Iraq.

Just yesterday, the Democratic Party once again abandoned the working class and the American people by groveling at Bush's feet for a "bi-partisan compromise" that includes fully funding this dirty war while attaching extended unemployment compensation benefits, veterans' education benefits, and funding relief for flooding victims; as if the working class thinks it is appropriate to receive a few "bones" as this barbaric carnage and destruction continues in Iraq.

To make matters worse, as far as I am concerned, since I represent some 250,000 casino workers employed in the Indian Gaming Industry who work in smoke-filled casinos at poverty wages and without any rights under state or federal labor laws; these same Democrats continue to approve more of the "Compacts" which have led to some 400 (four-hundred) "right-to-work-for-less without-any-rights" Colonies spread out across the entire United States; now employing over two-million workers under these most Draconian conditions... not one single Democratic politician has had the moral or political courage to stand up and say that this wholesale abuse of the human rights of working people must end. The Indian Gaming Industry is nothing but a front for some of the most violent and vicious mobsters--- including the Kansas City Mob. By the way, the Democratic Party and Barack Obama are reaping millions of dollars in campaign contributions from the likes of Frank Fertitta and his "Family," which owns the huge Station Casino empire which is a "management firm" for the Indian Gaming Industry.

Check out the law-firm/lobbyist of choice for the Indian Gaming Industry and the mobsters in this country: Brownstein/Hyatt/Farber/Schreck and then come back and talk to me about who is abandoning whom. Check out the campaign contributions being made to the Democratic Party coming from this group of law-firm/lobbyists.

I am not ruling out supporting Obama IF he comes on-side on the three core progressive issues and their solutions which I will recapitulate here for you since you seem bent on avoiding and evading their discussion:

1. The war in Iraq. End it on the day of taking office;

2. A minimum wage that is a real living wage as calculated by the United States Department of Labor and its Bureau of Labor Statistics taking into consideration real cost of living factors and legislate a mandatory recalculation every three months based on these cost of living factors;

3. Single payer universal health care based upon the Canadian example using the Canada Health Act as a "template" because this is what Americans say they want more than any of the other fraudulent health care schemes.

After being under attack without let-up since the day Harry Truman assumed the Presidency, the working class is entitled to something in return for votes for Democrats; don't you think?

Corporate lobbyists purchase the votes of Democratic politicians every single day just as they do the Republicans... now, it is time for Democrats to buy the votes of working people... the price is a real bargain: Peace, living wages and health care.

By the way, it is only fair that I declare my own "conflict of interest;" I am the Director of Organizing for the Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council so we have a real ax to grind here with the Democrats and Barack Obama, and you better believe we intend to "make some political hay" during this election cycle.

Yours in the struggle,

Alan L. Maki