Trish and Harold's Weblog

News, information, and random thoughts from the busy lives of Trish Egan and Harold Phillips.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

A Man Of Means By No Means

A sad note to pass on for any of you who knew my brother-in-law Bob Smith... Bob passed away peacefully at Salem Hospital yesterday morning.
As you might expect, Trish and I are doing our best to help her sister Mary Lou during this difficult time. Don't be surprised if we're unable to get back to you as quickly as usual in the next few days.
We'll miss you, Bob - you were truly one of a kind.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

The Morning After The Morning After

Well then.

If you're a regular reader of my blog, then you probably have an inkling of which direction my politics run towards... and you can probably guess at the feelings of disappointment I was suffering yesterday as the full impact of Tuesday's election began to settle in. Now, I know plenty of people who aren't as disappointed as I am... and that's ok. I don't agree with them, but they're entitled to enjoy the GOP's victory... I myself see a rough two years ahead, full of partisanship and gridlock.

Welcome to 1996, ladies and gentlemen. The new Republican-led House of Representatives hasn't even been sworn in yet, and already two Republican Rep's are planning to open "Whitewater-style" investigations of the Obama administration.

Even before the election, Republican leaders were saying that their top priority was not to put people back to work, not to fix the US economy... but to stop Obama from being elected to a second term.

If my friends who helped put the new Republican majority in office are expecting to see movement in Congress... if you're expecting to see things "get done..." well, I think you should settle in for a couple years worth of disappointment. The kind of disappointment those of us who didn't vote for the GOP are feeling today. Like I said, Tuesday's election was just a return to 1996-style politics, and just like 1996's "Republican Revolution," this new Republican wave isn't going to "fix" anything. They've got one overwhelming goal - "Get the President!"

Before we fall into a post-election funk, however, I'd like to pass on some advice to my fellow liberals (yes, I happily wear that label. If it was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for me!) While organizations like MoveOn were moping yesterday morning and licking their wounds, CREDO Action took a pro-active stance. They sent out the word that, even in the face of disappointment, there are things we can and should do:

Click here to read the introductory paragraphs

...But now we need to brush off the dust, suck it up, and plunge back into substantive fights. Politics is not fair — indeed, U.S. elections are rigged in profound ways! But walking away is not an option at CREDO Action, and we hope you will join us in some of the actions below we think are strategic in the new political landscape:

1. Commit to Taking Down FOX News. So long as FOX News has any credibility within the Beltway, it will be a pipeline for malicious material that will poison our political culture. Join our friends at Color of Change:

2.Tell the Senate to pass the DISCLOSE Act during the lame duck session. We were able to defeat the Texas Oil Initiative, Prop 23 in California, in part because we knew who the enemy was — having disclosure of corporate contributions brings the enemy out in the open for us to take on and fight. The DISCLOSE Act passed the House and came within a single vote of passing the Senate. One vote. You can join this fight by taking action with Public Citizen at

3. Keep fighting to end the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. This issue will get resolved during the lame duck session. Take action at

4. Sign up for the fight for a constitutional amendment to reverse the Citizens United decision by declaring that corporations do not have the legal rights of humans. This may take years, if not decades, but we should start now. Please join Free Speech for People:

5. Tell the FCC to use its existing authority to establish and defend net neutrality. Our friends at Free Press are leading this charge:

6. Demand that the Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service investigate the political organizations set up by Karl Rove to launder millions of dollars in secret cash to change the outcome of elections. Act now at

7. Defend the EPA from castration by pro-coal interests in Congress. The EPA accomplished almost nothing during the Clinton years because the Gingrich-led Congress used the budget process to prohibit the agency from doing its work. This battle has already started. The Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign is a great way to join this fight:

8. Convince the Obama administration to stop appealing progressive court rulings on matters like the Defense of Marriage Act, Don't Ask Don't Tell, and the state secrets defense against torture and wiretapping. Urge the Department of Justice to change its approach at

9. Urge Democratic senators to do away with lifetime tenure for committee chairs and open up all chair positions to majority vote elections. This will go a long way towards more progressive legislation. Take action with us at

10. Demand that the Department of Justice enforce the provisions of the national voter registration law that require state governments to offer to register all voters at departments of public welfare and motor vehicles. Many state governments simply ignore these requirements and this is a cheaper and more inclusive way of registering voters than the campaigns of the now dead ACORN. Urge Attorney General Eric Holder to expand voter registration:

I suspect you are angry and exhausted at this point. I know I am. But let us not forget that the values and ideals we fight for are greater than any one election. They still endure, and so must our fight. We have a lot of work to do.

Michael Kieschnick, CEO
CREDO Action from Working Assets

I know. I know it's disappointing to see so many Americans turn off their critical thinking and allow themselves to be taken in by GOP and Tea Party marketing ("Obama bailed out Wall Street?" Really?) I know it's frustrating to see the Democrats cave (again) and talk about bi-partisanship (again) when they've received NO bipartisan effort from the Republicans for the past two years. I know it's tempting to hide in bed and pull the covers up over our heads... but we can't do that. If we care about the issues and we want to keep moving the country forward and not back to 1996, we have to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and get back on the horse. We have to keep pushing forward, keep making noise, keep bringing the facts to the attention of those countrymen and women who are more easily swayed by emotion.

It's what we do. We're Americans. We believe in a better tomorrow, and providing for the next generation. We believe that this country was, indeed, established to promote the general welfare of its people. We believe in the ideas that this country was founded on - but no one gave us the nation based on those ideas that we have today, while we sat back and waited for it to arrive. Our forefathers (and mothers) had to fight for it. They had to make it happen - and they had to stand up and pull the country back on course when they saw it sliding away from those founding principals. They had to push to move forward... to progress into the future. That's where the term "progressive" comes from, after all.

It's our turn. It may linger for a few more days, but the hangover's done. Now it's time to roll up our sleeves and get back to work. It's the American thing to do. (And to my Republican friends - you know who you are... push on back. That's what you're supposed to do, too. That push-and-pull is one of the things that makes our country strong!)

Labels: , , , , ,