Saturday, March 28, 2009

Resources for the NY 20th Congressional District Race

Here’s a neat compendium of specific steps that led to the current economic catastrophe:.

[H/T to Avram]

While I have criticisms of Barack Obama's approach to certain aspects of this multidimensional train wreck (i.e., I think the government should take over, clean up & sell off the zombie banks ASAP; I also think he asked for too small a stimulus package at the outset), I think he's trying, in general, to do the right things in the right ways. (Contrast his approach to that of the GOP, which is continually pressuring Obama to cut taxes & spending--a guaranteed recipe for total economic collapse.)

Speaking of the GOP, Representative Patrick McHenry, their head of messaging, declared today that the GOP doesn't care whether their criticisms of Obama are accurate or not--their aim is to continually bombard Obama with charges from now until the 2010 elections, based on the idea that sheer repetition will make those criticisms sink in. Sort of like Joseph Goebbels, actually.

The other day, the GOP released their idea of a budgetwith no numbers.

The focus of their 18-page document was attacks on Obama’s proposed budget due to its higher projected deficits (interesting, given the GOP record on financial matters), healthcare spending, lawyers, unions, and of course, ACORN. In short, it was an excuse to attack the Obama plan for problems created largely by the GOP (when they were in power), important supporters of the Democratic Party, and their perennial favorite red herring, ACORN.

To the extent that there was anything one might call specific in the GOP document, it was pretty extreme stuff, and certainly not the sort of thing one would expect them to want to run on in the next election.

Meanwhile current healthcare coverage in the U.S. is unavailable to 18 percent of the population, according to the National Coalition on Health Care:.

It is also far worse than that offered by other industrialized countries:.

Moreover, healthcare is projected to be the biggest component of future deficits:.

Yet the GOP (predictably) omits healthcare reform from their so-called budget document (and given the way they’ve performed for the past 29 years, they can be predicted reliably to make a bad situation worse).

In short, if we want to deal with the ever-worsening healthcare and economic crises, we have to address them in combination. The only approach available to us with a reasonable chance of success is Obama’s. It is a simple matter of national self-preservation to support it.

To that end, we need to get progressive Democrats and other like-minded people into Congress. The election Tuesday in the NY State 20th Congressional district race to succeed Kristen Gillibrand features Democrat Scott Murphy against Republican State Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco and is being framed as a referendum on President Obama’s stimulus bill and budget priorities. Murphy is an entrepreneur who founded Small World Software and a venture capitalist, who worked for the late Democratic Missouri governor, Mel Carnahan. Tedisco is a long-time fixture in Albany politics who has emphasized the issue of missing children.

Obama will probably be able to get legislation through the House without a Democratic victory in this race; the implications for the Senate, where the Democratic majority is much smaller, is quite another story. The GOP sees this as a must-win election. Let’s give them indigestion.

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