Tag Archives: Progressives

The Post-Election, Progressive Pick-Me-Up

Weatherproof: Just like the Democratic Party.

After eating too much chocolate and staring dolefully at my bedroom ceiling for the last few days, I have finally dragged myself to the computer to write this post. None of us — especially those of us who invested countless hours into campaigning — want to acknowledge the Republicans’ sweep on Tuesday. While a GOP majority in the House doesn’t bode well for substantive policy over the next two years, it’s critical for us, as progressives, to recognize some of the positive things that came out of November 2, 2010.

Legalizing weed got more votes than Meg Whitman: Yes, you read that right. While Proposition 19 — the legalization of marijuana — failed to pass in California, the measure still received 321,439 more votes than GOP gubernatorial candidate, Meg Whitman. The corporate candidate shattered campaign spending records with a cool $160 million, including $141.5 million of her own funds. (That could pay my college tuition a couple times over, you know.) And despite her general election flip-flopping and heavy investment in wooing Latino voters, her Democratic opponent Jerry Brown cruised to victory with support of 64 percent of Hispanic voters.

People still have to be born in Colorado: In Colorado, Amendment 62 would have “would have outlawed abortion at every stage of gestation, would have outlawed all forms of hormonal contraception, and would have made it difficult if not impossible for pregnant women to receive medical treatment if there was any chance of harming the pregnancy.” Such legislation, which values the survival of a fertilized egg over a living woman’s, is part of the supposed “personhood” movement. It’s genuinely crazypants legislation, so as a whole-hearted pro-choice advocate, I am relieved that the Amendment failed (for the second time around!) by 72 percent to 28 percent, at last count.

But don’t worry, they’re going to try a third time in 2012.

Democrats did win — some tough races too: We don’t have to go very far to find one competitive race that Democrats won — just look at MI-09, where Gary Peters beat Rocky Ralksjdfa;ksdf-something despite the Republican party throwing thousands of dollars in negative everything. In Colorado, Democrat John Hickenlooper won the governorship over Palin-backed Constitution Party candidate Tom Tancredo and Republican Dan Maes. Moreover, Michael Bennet won the Colorado Senate seat over Republican Ken Buck — man who said he should be elected over his primary opponent because he “doesn’t wear heels.” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pushed to a victory over Sharron Angle. Pat Quinn in Illinois won the governor’s race over Bill Brady, despite series of polls leading to the election indicating otherwise.

Proposition 23 fails resoundingly in California: Delivering a decisive victory to environmental activists and the state’s clean energy economy, Prop 23 failed by an overwhelming 61 percent to 39 percent. Prop 23 — naturally filed by the oil industry — would suspend provisions of California’s greenhouse gas law until until California’s unemployment rate drops to 5.5% or below for four consecutive quarters. (As the current rate is 12.4%, the wording seemed to trick voters and many worried that it would freeze California’s regulations cutting carbon emissions indefinitely.)

It’s hard to look for the good in the post-election  drudgery, but it is nonetheless important for us to keep our heads up. There’s a lot of good happening in lots of places, and 2012 is just around the corner.

- Nina Bhattacharya

Posted in Blog, Call to Arms, Democratic Party, Elections, Progress | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shout Out to J. Schon

Justin Schon: Giant

From the Michigan Daily… great Letter to the Editor by Justin Schon. Good luck in South Africa friend!

Patrick Zabawa’s criticism of apathy on the side of progressive activists is unfounded and demonstrates a lack of understanding of what is truly going on (Hope not in Obama, 01/14/2008) . Yes, progressive activists are trying to get inauguration tickets. Who wouldn’t? However, there is a lot more that progressives are doing than just trying to go to Washington.

The College Democrats includes many of these activists. We are actively working on issues from health care, the environment, women’s issues and prison reform. For example, the Social Justice Committee is working on a postcard campaign to push Governor Granholm to fight for reforms in our prison system that have been recommended by the Department of Corrections. Issue-specific campaigns like these are what are necessary to work on right now, and they are not always out in the open. Unlike a campaign, they do not always involve people waving signs in the street. This does not mean we are any less active. It just means our work has changed, and we are adapting to that change.

Justin Schon
LSA Sophomore

Posted in Blog, College Democrats, Michigan Daily | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments