The PCCC sent out a survey regarding the elections and the apparent failure of the Democratic party. I thought I would post the questions here along with my comments. The title of the survey was “It’s a tough night. What are you thinking?” Three questions were asked.
In general, what are you thinking tonight?
Well, we tried hard to re-motivate the base. However, the Democrats didn’t make it easy. By prioritizing compromise over principles, many 2008 campaign promises didn’t even make it to the table. Sure, there were good things that were accomplished, but some big items, such as EFCA and the public option in healthcare reform, were summarily dropped. Additionally, many progressives were still sore from being slapped in the face by this administration when the administration suddenly realized that they still needed the base (that got Obama elected in 2008) to get out the vote again in 2010. I think that many of the voters were not really supporting right wingers, but were punishing the Democrats in this election.
What do you think the progressive movement should do next? As in, immediately…
The state of affairs is certainly not going to get better over the next couple years. Sure, Democrats kept the Senate, but the Senate was already dysfunctional and will most likely stay that way. The House is now also going to be gridlocked. Nothing will get done in the next two years. The next election will come down to either blaming Obama or the Republicans for the impending failure. We need to get sincere progressive candidates lined up for the next election and a plan to show how the imminent failure over the next two years will be caused by the Republicans and not Obama.
Do you think Pres. Obama and congressional Dems should fight harder for progressive policies or seek middle ground with Republicans? (Please elaborate.)
For one, Republicans are not interested in “middle ground”. Obama already tried ridiculously hard to compromise with the Republicans, against the behest of his base, and got nowhere. It is crucial that Democrats stick to progressive ideals. They must appear genuine in representing the working people in this country. They must stand up for Democratic principles and not just let the Republicans pass regressive policy after regressive policy like they did so often during the Bush years. The Democrats cannot give up on the American people. They need to show loyalty to their constituents and not to corporate interests. If they do this and show respect for their base, they will certainly be much stronger in 2012.
Here it is, the long awaited 31st episode. This is a big episode packed full of audible goodness. In this episode I share stories of American IT workers who are jobless, homeless, or are on the verge of being homeless. Here are links to items discussed within this episode:
I also discuss 2 other stories. One about a Microsoft Product Manager who was laid off from Microsoft by a guest worker/manager on a L-1 Visa. I call her Alice to protect her identity. The second is a story about Diane Drozdowski, an IT worker who was tortured at American Express by an Indian manager until she had a nervous breakdown and then was forced to train her replacements from India.
I also play audio from a fan (a young one) who called in to my comment line.
I apologize for the audio not being as high of quality as I would like it to be, but I do have software on order which I hope will help with future episodes.
The Free Traders are getting the economy that they have been wishing for: cheap labor, disappearing unions, a killer trade deficit, and runaway corruption due to the lack of regulation and Laissez-faire economics.
In this episode I talk about the auto industry bridge loan and GM’s promise to restructure. GM promises to become a sustainable American company and build “a bridge to a sustainable American auto industry”. GM has already cut wages to $14.20 for new workers. The number of workers at the Flint plant where my Dad worked for decades has already gone from a peak of around 6,500 workers to merely 900. Now GM is planning more cuts, including eliminating 35% of its dealerships by 2012. With so many people either making close to poverty wages or kicked out onto the street, there is not going to be many customers for GM’s new “green” cars. So just how is this going to be sustainable for GM or the automotive industry? How is this supposed to help save the economy as GM claims in their blog? You can view the “Bridge” YouTube video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rqo2uwA-_eE. They turned off comments so no one can comment on their YouTube posts. They also have several other posts there to review.
One thing that wasn’t so bad in the last contract negotiation between the UAW and GM was the VEBA (Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association) solution for retiree medical benefits. This benefited GM in that they no longer had to record retiree medical benefits on their books, as well as took retiree benefits off the table and out of jeopardy during future contract negotiations and potential bandruptcy proceedings.
Happy Holidays and I wish you the best in what promises to be a very bad new year.