Art offers his perspective as a movement progressive activist.
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Houston), and others rally against cuts on the backs of the poor and middle class at the Capitol this week.
Congressman Conyers (D-Mi) held a press conference with other progressives and laid into the GOP and Obama over this debt ceiling grand bargain on the backs of the poor jargon. Some very quotable stuff here from a very important member of congress:
Focusing on Obama, .. “We want him to know from this day forward that we’ve had it. We want him to come out on our side not to watch and wait”¦ We’re suffering,” Conyers said. Several members of the CBC, including, Reps. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas), Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), and are beginning to speak out more publicly on jobs and the White House policy. Many have called for a targeted approach to the problem.
Conyers and others appear to really have finally had it. This is scathing:
“We’ve got to educate the American people at the same time we educate the President of the United States. The Republicans, Speaker Boehner or Majority Leader Cantor did not call for Social Security cuts in the budget deal. The President of the United States called for that,” Conyers, who has served in the House since 1965, said. “My response to him is to mass thousands of people in front of the White House to protest this,” Conyers said.
Read and watch the whole thing. Conyers notes every proposal he has sent to Obama, some of them were items he passed with Sen. Humphrey, have of course been ignored.
Liberal groups, under the umbrella of Rebuild the Dream, held protests at the Hill over proposed cuts to programs. MSM didn’t cover it of course:
…liberal organizations and unions gathered outside the Capitol Building to demand Congress not gut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid while keeping the U.S. from going into default.
Van Jones, co-founder and president of the new group Rebuild the Dream, introduced speakers at the rally including Reps. Keith Ellison (D-MN), Shelia Jackson Lee (D-TX) and Donna Edwards (D-MD). Also in attendance were representatives of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), MoveOn.org, Planned Parenthood and Jobs with Justice.
While MSM props up the Tea Party, Rebuild the Dream’s rally had some 500 protest at the Capitol. You would not know it watching CNN however. Oh and some 20,000 liberal activists showed up at congressional offices pushing for a clean debt vote.
As the national MSM ignored what progressives were doing at congress members’ offices, local media has picked it much of what Rebuild the Dreamers were doing. I’ve bold faced the towns were scores showed up with fury:
In conservative Kingwood, Texas, progressives outnumbered Tea Partiers:
Protestors in opposition of the U.S. debt-ceiling stalemate are lined up
outside of Congressman Ted Poe’s Kingwood office. By noon Tuesday, around 46 people were lined up outside Poe’s office for a protest and counter-protest.
In Winchester, Virginia, protestors stood outside Republican Frank Wolf’s local office even though staffers appeared to have hidden in the back of the office:
A group stood holding picket signs expressing their views and demands, which included protection of Medicare and Social Security. One participant noted none of the congressman’s aides were in the office when they gathered for about an hour.
In downtown Casper, Wyoming, protestors called out Republican Cynthia Lummis for her refusal to look at tax increases on the wealthy:
Protesters complained that Republicans have steadfastly resisted taxing the wealthy while pushing for cuts in programs that help low-income Americans. They criticized Sen. John Barrasso as well as Lummis.
“We have to raise revenues,” said small business owner and Democrat Forest Irons. “Any economist worth their salt will say that.”
Protesters said they were frustrated with Lummis for what they described as her unwillingness to compromise with Democrats.
Rallygoers in Norwich, Connecticut asked the district director for Democrat Joe Courtney if he would sign on to the CPC letter pledging to defend Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid in any budget negotiations:
The group stood on the sidewalk soliciting honks of support for Medicare, Social Security, jobs and public education at noon today. Then they marched up the two flights of stairs at the Thames Plaza on Water Street and into Courtney’s office.
Contois told the group she could not answer whether Courtney would sign the Progressive Caucus letter, but he did sign a letter with 32 other members of the Congressional Task Force on Seniors on July 15 urging Obama to reach a deal to avoid defaulting on U.S. loans while keeping a “commitment to the well being of older Americans.”
In eastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey, rallygoers and callers inundated local offices:
“Time for Washington to grow up and do its (expletive) work.” That was a typical posting that appeared on a Twitter feed.
All over Capitol Hill, members of Congress reported that their websites were slowed or even knocked out by the flood of emotion.
More than 50 people of sharply-varying political stripes massed outside of Republican U.S. Rep. Jon Runyan’s office in South Jersey.
In northern New Jersey, people lined up in front of Republican Rodney Frelinghuysen’s Morristown office:
About 40 members of the Morris Council for the Rebuilding of the American Dream, an affiliate of the liberal advocacy group MoveOn.org, carried signs outside the Schuyler Place office reading “Rodney, Will You Stand Up for the Middle Class?” and “Frelinghuysen Don’t Default on Us.”
“We want the Republican Congress to vote to make a compromise,” said Truscha Quatrone of Montville.
In Franklin, Tennessee, people stood out in scorching summer temperatures to ask Republican Marsha Blackburn to stop holding the federal credit rating hostage:
Many chanted “raise the debt ceiling,” while others waved signs reading “Holding America Hostage” and “Save the American Dream”.
Linda Lee is a 65-year-old teacher. She said she’s afraid because she’ll soon be eligible for Social Security, and she’s uncertain how it would be affected if the debt ceiling isn’t raised.
“My mother “¦ would not be able to make it if she didn’t have hers (Social Security),” Lee said. “It’s a scary time. I’ve got our country in my prayers.”
As the Left is being hit with it’s “epic migraine,” talk of growing angst amongst the base is growing. Senator Sanders called for Obama to face a progressive primary challenger. Meanwhile angry Dems have formed a organization to field progressive primary challengers against Obama in the Democratic Party due to his violations of key party principles.
On Current’s July 29 edition Nader is interviewed on plans to have progressives primary Obama to try and push Obama away from the Right. Watch the lively back and forth between Shuster and Nader :
It is not surprising we are seeing among elite Dems in the media attempt to discount what is going on within the party. Glenn Greenwald refutes the elites and shows us polling clearly indicating major problems for Obama going forward from the most important part of his base and thus re-election. He notes Washington Post/ABC’s poll this week and its finding that 69pct of liberals disapprove of Obama on the economy. Moreover:
The Post-ABC poll found that the number of liberal Democrats who strongly support Obama’s record on jobs plunged 22 points from 53 percent last year to 31 percent. The number of African Americans who believe the president’s actions have helped the economy has dropped from 77 percent in October to just over half of those surveyed.
Another poll of interest Greenwald highlights is from December. It shows 41pct of Dems wanting a primary challenger. And who most wants this?:
… a majority of Democratic-leaning independents, 56 percent, want him challenged, while 33 percent don’t.
Among pro-Democratic voters who want him challenged: pluralities of women, voters younger than 45, and those without a college degree. Those who don’t want him challenged include majorities of pro-Democratic men and college graduates, and a plurality of those 45 and older.
Gallup also showed a downturn among liberals for Obama, and CNN. CNN showed a uptick in liberal disapproval as 1 in 4 say he is not liberal enough. Due to the “grand bargain” talk Obama’s disapproval is at 54pct largely due to liberal angst.
So Greenwald concludes that yes, most on the Left will fall in line for Obama in 2012. He notes how many on the Left have been silent on Obama’s talk of cutting the Big 3. But, Obama will need every vote and as he continues down this austerity path he surely will enrage more and more of his base, perhaps enough to cost him the 2012 race.
Kudos to the 11 rabbis and others clergy who got arrested protesting austerity!
Real Democrats are fighting the good fight in the states. On the good news front North Carolina Dems stopped the GOP controlled legislature from overriding Governor Perdue’s veto of the just passed voter i.d. bill.