Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Winning stump speech for Democrats, 2010

Yes, America, we know. Times are tough.

But listen now. Let’s remember who got us into this mess: the Republicans, with their irresponsible deregulation, handing incredible power to corporate criminals, and racking up gigantic deficits. The Republicans got us into this recession, they did virtually nothing to get us out of the recession, and when the Democrats took over, the Republicans BLOCKED the efforts to get us out of the recession, for crass political reasons.

The Democrats wrote a jobs bill, the Republicans fought it, and we finally got it signed.

Health care, to protect you from exploitation by your insurer or your boss: Democrats launched it, the Republicans blocked it, we got it signed.

The stimulus package, which saved a million jobs: the Democrats launched it, the Republicans fought it, we got it signed – and then the Republicans began taking credit for a bill they opposed.

Unemployment benefits – the Republicans blocked it twice now.

Student loans, a plan to see to it that more kids go to college, and the taxpayer is no longer taking the risk while the bank gets the profits: the Democrats launched it, the Republicans fought it, we got it signed.

Mortgage law, a plan to make it harder for banks to foreclose on your house if you’re having trouble making ends meet: we got it signed.

Bank reform, to bring the crooked bankers under control: the Democrats wrote the plan, the Republicans won’t even negotiate.

It is the Democrats who are doing all this work to help you through these tough times; and time and time again, it’s the Republicans who are blocking our efforts to help you. The Republicans think it’s more important to attack America’s Democrats than to attack America’s problems, because to them, YOU DON’T MATTER.

But now it’s an election year, and suddenly they decided that you do matter – because you vote.

So remember who started the fire, who is putting it out, and who is interfering with the fireman. And then decide whether you want to vote for the fireman, or the arsonist.

The Republicans want you to forget where they failed, and Obama succeeded.

They want you to forget that Obama saved the economy by using the stimulus plan to save a million jobs; he saved the auto industry, the financial industry and the housing market, he got banks to pay back bailout money, he stopped the slide in GDP and the stock market and unemployment, and he cut the budget deficit by 200 billion a year. He helped American families to survive the recession: he gave food and support and health coverage to the unemployed, he helped people to save their mortgages, he expanded loans to small businesses, he established the homeowners credit, and CUT our taxes. He fixed roads, bridges and power plants, and built schools. He went after the people who helped get us into this mess: employers who ship our jobs overseas, firms that cheat on their taxes, credit card companies that exploit consumers, people who commit fraud. The Republicans didn’t do these things when they had the chance, so we had to clean up their mess.

They want you to forget that Obama brought back honest government with spending cuts, more transparency, less secrecy, more press conferences and town halls, support for the Freedom of Information Act, and less access for lobbyists. He cleaned up defense spending, overhauled procurement, and blocked no-bid contracts and unnecessary programs. The Republicans were incapable of running honest government, so Obama had to clean house.

They want you to forget that Obama supported the troops. He pulled troops out of Iraq and ended the stop-loss system; he increased pay, benefits, housing, better hospital care, and body armor for troops and veterans, and hired military spouses; he stopped the media blackout on war reporting, and brought families of soldiers to Dover when the coffins arrived. He made our troops proud to wear the uniform: again: he stopped the torture, and he directed the closure of Guantanamo and the secret prisons in Europe. The Republicans talked the talk on supporting the troops, but Obama walked the walk.

They want you to forget that Obama made America Number One again. He won a Nobel Prize for getting the world back on track, on arms control, Middle East peace, relations with Muslims, Cuba, climate change, war crimes, torture, diplomacy. He reengaged with the world and improved our image, he persuaded Pakistan to go after the Taliban, freed prisoners in North Korea and Myanmar, used more troops and smarter policy in Afghanistan, and killed Somali pirates. The Republicans truly believe that only they can be trusted in foreign affairs, but Obama showed who the real pro is.

The Republicans can’t lead, they won’t follow, and they won’t get out of the way.

So what will happen, if the Republicans regain power next January?

The Republicans have promised us that will seek to repeal a health reform law that covers young adults until they are 26, cuts drug prices; helps seniors buy medicine, helps employers cover employees and retirees; shifts more disabled people from institutions to home care and community care; simplifies health-care records to save costs and prevent mistakes; offers more insurance choices in exchanges that offer credits and subsidies; and expands Medicaid. If they can’t repeal all this, they will simply refuse to fund it.

The Republicans will try to repeal a law that prevents insurance corporations from dropping you if you’re sick or have a preexisting condition, or denying you without an appeals process, or imposing caps on coverage, or denying preventive care. They will leave you more vulnerable than ever.

They will undo everything Obama did even before the health reform bill: he expanded health care for 4 million children, expanded vaccinations, cut drug costs for seniors, saved hundreds of millions by allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, led the fight against the swine flu, and stopped pharmacists from cutting women off from birth control. This is what the Republicans want to take away.

If the Republicans regain power, this will be a vivid lesson to all our leaders and future generations, that using the sledgehammer tactics of political gangsters and thugs is a winning strategy. Because we will be rewarding the Republicans for all their lies about birth certificates, about Sotomayor, about the stimulus, about torture; and the warnings that Obama the Kenyan Muslim Marxist will kill seniors, kill our troops, kill Republicans, promote suicide, let people go blind, invade your home and decide how to raise your kids, impose martial law; the unconquerable myth about the government takeover plan that will decide when you get to live and die, and take health care away from white folks and give it to blacks and gays and illegals. If you vote to put the Republicans back in power, you’re telling the world – “We believe this stuff and it must be true.” You will be affirming the Republican sentiment that Democrats are traitors and any effort by Democrats to govern even when they are elected to do so, is illegitimate.

You will be rewarding the Republicans for sending armed thugs to Obama events, launching violent attacks, shouting down all real debate, committing acts of vandalism, smashing our windows with bricks, trying to bomb the homes of the relatives of Congressmen, painting swastikas on the doors of black Congressmen, making death threats, joking about killing Democrats, screeching insults during a Presidential address to Congress. And all the while, the Republican leaders applaud the attacks, and excuse the violence either by blaming it all on the Democratic victims themselves, or by claiming that “the Democrats do it too”. Vote Republican, and you’re saying “It’s okay to use violence to destroy the government, as long as the government is being run by people we don’t like.”

If they regain power, the Republicans will go right back to doing the same things they condemn Democrats for doing, with no apology for their laughable hypocrisy. It was Republicans who caused government spending to explode, who repeatedly used reconciliation and deem-and-pass, who wrote the infamous “death panel” language, and who advocated a lot of the ideas that are in the current health reform plan – but now they’re condemning the Democrats for their own work.

They want to bring back the Republican thugs who condemned any and all critics as “unpatriotic” and “traitors”, smeared war veterans like Kerry and Murtha and Cleland; attacked the Clintons for 15 years; declared war on gays and lesbians; and declared war on centrists and moderates.

They want to bring back the Republican thugs who allowed their evangelical allies to seize unprecedented power, to drag us away from critical challenges like the economy, so they could screech condemnations at the rest of us about their own top agenda items -- abortion, school vouchers, school prayer, intelligent design, putting the Commandments in courtrooms, stem cell research, euthanasia, cloning, civil unions, HPV shots, contraception, sex education, faith-based initiatives, banning books, assisted suicide.

They want to bring back the Republican incompetents who botched the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security; ignored the threat of Iran; ignored the Middle East peace process; botched Katrina and then deliberately smeared Kathleen Blanco because she was a female Democrat; destroyed our military and ignored the needs of our veterans, all while screaming “support the troops”; ran up trillions in debt which our kids will be paying for; wrecked our international reputation; and set us back a decade in fighting global warming.

They want to give the Pentagon back to the Republican thugs who lied about Iraq; botched the Iraq invasion, stupidly disbanded the Iraqi army, lost track of billions in reconstruction money, created the infamy of Abu Ghuraib, and missed the estimated war costs by about two trillion dollars.

The Republicans who are now screaming about Obama’s alleged violations of the Constitution, want to hand our government over to the same criminal syndicate that spent eight years violating the Constitution by ignoring Congress’s prerogatives -- launching an unprecedented campaign of obstruction in Congress and by lying to Congress to get us into a war, blackmailing Congress into funding unnecessary troop deployments, defying subpoenas, and using illegal signing statements.

This is the same criminal syndicate whom we all saw, perverting the executive branch into a partisan political weapon to attack enemies with, illegally prosecuting Democratic politicians and firing Democratic attorneys, directing government offices to spread dishonest political propaganda, failing to uphold Article II responsibilities by keeping our financial system safe or enforcing product safety laws, sending thugs to disrupt officials from counting votes while screaming “don’t count the votes!”, trying to convert the Vice Presidency into a fourth branch of government with no oversight, violating the prerogatives of the courts by defying orders to preserve emails and concealing evidence, illegal spying and secret prisons and torture, and keeping innocent people behind bars indefinitely.

They want to give power to people like Romney the flipflopper, Alberto Gonzalez, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, Delay, Lott, Harriet Miers, Dick Armey, Gingrich, Ted Stevens, Brown at FEMA, George Allen, Rick Santorum, Cheney, Larry Craig, David Vitter, Mark Foley, Jack Abramoff, Scooter Libby, and Karl Rove. They want John Boehner to be Speaker Boehner, and they want Mitch McConnell’s obstructionists to command the Senate. They think Sarah Palin is a great idea for the presidency.

In short, they want to make America into Teabagger Nation.

But they need your vote to make their “dream” come true.

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