Doing my part on election day
It damn near broke my heart that I wasn't at the Rally to Restore Sanity this weekend, because ten years ago, there wouldn't have been a doubt in my mind that I'd have found a van or a train ticket, made my way down there, and camped out on my brother's floor brainstorming signs.
My favorite of the weekend: I may disagree with you but I don't think you're Hitler.
My second favorite: God hates Snuggies.
Today is election day and I'd imagine it's not going to go the way I'd make it go, if I were a supreme being and had the ability to knock sense into people who like the sound of that nice Sharon Angle in Nevada who doesn't believe in the silly old constitution, thinks that Latinos are Asians, and doesn't think she should have to tell voters about her policies. You can find out after you elect her! See, it's like a game? Isn't that fun?
I am coming to terms with the fact that this may be the decade of crazy.
So today I want to go out on a limb (with encouragement by Julie and Jon Stewart) to take on the crazy. Because the only crazy I like in this country is on Bravo every night around 9PM and involves Botox.
I have also been prey to the media narrative Congress has been totally ineffective! It's hard to avoid it actually. And because I may not be the only person out there who wants to be able to respond uh, no they haven't, here's an incomplete list of all the lame things our Democratic-run congress accomplished in just 21 months. With thanks to Rachel Maddow and Julie Pippert (another great Julie).
-Extending government health insurance for 4 million uninsured children
-Passing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act
-Passing landmark credit card reform legislation to protect consumers from sudden, undisclosed rate hikes among other things
-Passing health care reform that now gives 95% of our country health insurance and controls costs for the first time ever
-Passing the single largest tax cut ever: The Stimulus Bill
-Passing the sweeping financial reform bill to curb Wall Street excesses while protecting average consumers so we never go through 2007-2009 again.
-Making the single largest investment in clean energy and education
-Giving power to the FDA to regulate tobacco including stronger labeling
-Passing of the Hate Crimes Bill
-Passing Veterans Health Care Budget and Reform Act of 2009, plus the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010 to offer more services for women veterans and for veteran caregivers.
-The strongest bill to increase government transparency and ethics ever created by an administration to self-regulate, including a ban on lobbyist gifts.
-Ending taxpayer subsidies to private banks who earned interest on government-backed college loans, so more money can be put into the loans that we back in the first place.
-Passing the Edward M Kennedy Serve America Act tripling the size of our national service program
-Initiating Cash for Clunkers which restarted auto sales
-Bailing out the American auto industry (which worked, ahem)
-Passing the most significant consumer protection bill in history
-A total of 25 tax cuts
This, all while reducing America's inordinate deficit and taking us out of the recession.
[edited to add: another good resource to check out: WhatTheFuckHasObamaDoneSoFar.com, courtesy Laid off Dad, which is not limited to congressional measures that have passed into law]
Now these initiatives may not line up with your values, and in that case, I will try to respect that. But they certainly line up with mine.
I like how Rachel Maddow put it: Our congress spent their political capital to tackle major, challenging, longstanding problems and actually get get things done. The Democrats were "the party that took on political problems when they had a chance," even if it meant losing the midterm elections.
Policy over politics. Man, I wish we had more of that around here.