It will be weeks, if not months, before the analysis of 2009′s off year election results fade from the forefront of political commentary, particularly among conservatives. While the White House spin machine is content with downplaying the results as purely a function of local issues, conservatives have attempted to paint these contests as a referendum on the Obama Administration, or more bizarrely, the next step in “the American people taking back their country”. Most seasoned political observers know that off year, special and mid-term elections are characterized by low voter turnout and that party activists play a much greater role in determining the outcome. Viewed through that prism, the 2009 contests fall clearly into the pattern of typical off year elections. Thus, the primary question is this: If the 2009 elections exhibit all of the characteristics of other off year elections, how can they logically be seen as a referendum on the Obama presidency or the opening volley in some great populist uprising. After all, if the American people are so disgusted with the Obama Administration, would the rising chorus of conservative opposition not propel them to action and would we not observe a significant up tick in voter turnout? [...]
There’s plenty of reasons to support Martha Coakley beyond the fact that she’s a woman. But with passage yesterday of the Stupak/Pitts amendment, the biggest setback to women’s reproductive rights in decades, there’s a wise purpose in supporting Martha Coakley as a women's advocate.
Capuano, voting against the amendment and for the (health care reform) bill, hails the bill’s passage but remains silent on the gross infringement that will deny millions of women access to safe, affordable reproductive health care. Coakley came out with an unequivocal message defending women’s reproductive rights:
“The House’s vote is in many ways a significant step toward the goal of health care reform. However, I am deeply disturbed that the House adopted the Stupak/Pitts amendment, which would deny millions of women access to reproductive services. The inclusion of the Stupak/Pitts amendment violates the very intent of health care reform, which is meant to guarantee quality, affordable health care coverage for everyone. I believe that the Senate has a responsibility to fix this by eliminating the provision in whatever reform legislation moves forward.”
The League of Women Voters and NPR affiliate WFCR sponsored the Massachusetts Senate candidate forum last night at UMass Amherst.
The Daily Collegian had this write up.
I jotted a few notes below and will search for video.
Alright everybody, are you ready to take climate change action to the next level? Tonight and tomorrow is destined to be the biggest and most exciting sleep-out yet. Here's why: Dr. James Hansen, lead climate scientist at NASA will be sleeping out with us tonight and testifying before the Senate Global Warming Committee on Monday. Grab your sleeping bag, grab your hat and head on down to the Commons. This is going to be awesome. Here's the schedule of events: When: Sunday, November 8th Where: Boston Common, in front of the Statehouse 3:50pm: Rally on Boston Common 5:30pm: Tent set up Monday, November 9 8:00am: Wake up, pack up tents 10:00am: Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change Hearing with Dr. James Hansen, Bishop Bud Cederholm, Economist Frank Ackerman, and student leader Dominique McCadden. Join the Facebook event, follow our Twitter feed and we'll see you there!
According to the roll call of yesterday’s crucial vote, thirty nine “Democrats” voted “no”. All Republicans (save one, Cao of La) voted “no”.
In the thirty six years that I have been eligible to vote, there has not been a vote that more starkly contrasts the choice between the vision, values, and ideals that the Democratic Party represents and the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the rightwing. This was a deciding moment, and thirty nine “Democrats” failed this crucial test.
In my view, we should draw two key conclusions from this vote. Now is the time to:
- Shut the door to the GOP: Enough blathering and posturing about “reaching out to the other side.” The GOP has demonstrated that their only goal is to obstruct and destroy anything the Democrats propose. It is long past time for we Democrats to close ranks and move on. Our focus should be on advancing the agenda of the overwhelming majority of Americans who we represent. Further efforts to accommodate the GOP are wasted and counterproductive.
- Replace the DINOs: The thirty nine “Democrats” who voted “no” hurt the party more than they help. They should receive NO more DCCC or other party funding. They should be stripped of ALL seniority and returned to freshman status. They should be opposed in primaries by candidates who support Democratic Party priorities, values, and principles. If it means that we lose those seats, so be it.
The roll call follows below the fold.
The business section of www.nytimes.com ran an article on October 30 titled, “Mass. Dem. Senate Hopefuls Differ on Casino Gaming“.
Here is how the article characterized their positions:
The Stupak-Pitts amendment to the healthcare reform legislation means women who currently have insurance coverage for abortion services could lose this coverage in the new system. This amendment makes it virtually impossible for private insurance companies that participate in the new system to offer abortion coverage to women. It forbids any plan offering abortion coverage in the new system from accepting even one subsidized customer. This vote is a reminder that despite recent gains in the last two election cycles, anti-choice members of Congress still outnumber our pro-choice allies. See our previous post on this issue. Learn more from our national organization, NARAL Pro-Choice America.