I'm repeating this because we're at that place again and if we couldn't afford to lose in 2010 we really, truly can't afford to lose in 2012.
We all know that certain people who make it a practice to depreciate the accomplishments of labor - who even attack labor as unpatriotic - they keep this up usually for three years and six months in a row. But then, for some strange reason they change their tune- every four years- just before election day. When votes are at stake, they suddenly discover that they really love labor and that they are anxious to protect labor from its old friends.
I got quite a laugh, for example - and I am sure that you did - when I read this plank in the Republican platform adopted at their National Convention in Chicago last July: "The Republican Party accepts the purposes of the National Labor Relations Act, the Wage and Hour Act, the Social Security Act and all other Federal statutes designed to promote and protect the welfare of American working men and women, and we promise a fair and just administration of these laws."
You know, many of the Republican leaders and Congressmen and candidates, who shouted enthusiastic approval of that plank in that Convention Hall would not even recognize these progressive laws if they met them in broad daylight. Indeed, they have personally spent years of effort and energy - and much money - in fighting every one of those laws in the Congress, and in the press, and in the courts, ever since this Administration began to advocate them and enact them into legislation. That is a fair example of their insincerity and of their inconsistency.
The whole purpose of Republican oratory these days seems to be to switch labels. The object is to persuade the American people that the Democratic Party was responsible for the 1929 crash and the depression, and that the Republican Party was responsible for all social progress under the New Deal.
Now, imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery - but I am afraid that in this case it is the most obvious common or garden variety of fraud.
FDR, September 23, 1944
The press is profiting from the looniness of the Right Wing and spends almost all of their time mooning over them. Meanwhile, the good folks with mountains of practical, beneficent ideas but no talent for hawking them sit around and wait their turn. Still, I'm seeing encouraging signs of a momentum building. The Huffington Post, for example, has a new page called "Third World America", where real people talk about real problems and real solutions. Elizabeth Warren finally has the president's ear, and someone is actually quoting the irrepressibly sensible Bernie Sanders. Al Franken's heart is a hit on the senate floor. Rachel Maddow has become an unlikely and refreshingly brilliant star. Lawrence O'Donnell--smart guy in his own right--has his own show. Michael Moore gives the Dems five steps to a win and in his follow-up he sees some progress. And President Obama is beginning to sound like his old self.
So what's it going to be? The Republicans taking over congress and making sure none of our programs ever see the light of day? Or the Democrats winning a clear majority, sending a message to the entire country about where our priorities must lie?
I'm declaring a moratorium on Democrat-bashing until the elections are over. It's only another month. If the Democrats win, we'll have a chance to hold their feet to the fire to get things done. If they lose, we'll have no chance at all.
I'm going for that chance, whatever it takes, and I hope you will, too.