Thursday, February 14, 2008

I'm sorry, Senator Schumer, but...

Please don’t take this the wrong way, Senator Schumer. I lived in New York for the first 35 years of my life before moving to New Jersey in 2006. You were my Senator for a good number of years and you were a damn fine Senator. As are a good number of your colleagues.

Generally speaking.

Many of us, myself included, know the value of “more Democrats in Congress”, and I have personally been preaching the value of getting involved with Congressional races, some of whom we have had the opportunity to hear talk about in their own words how they will help make Congress more progressive.

You are absolutely right that winning the Presidency isn’t enough. And you make mention Jon Tester, Jim Webb and Sherrod Brown – three people who we are (by and large) very proud to call our Senators. Three people that we here in the netroots put a large portion of our time, energy and money towards helping win very important seats in the Senate – replacing three very odious republican Senators.

We worked so very hard in November 2006 to help elect Democrats. To get BOTH houses of Congress to Democratic majorities for the first time in well over a decade. And promises were made to us by yourself, by Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and many others in leadership positions.

Promises were made to America.

And almost immediately after we helped elect a Democratic majority in Congress, the promises were broken with a huge slap in our collective faces. Impeachment was suddenly "off the table" before the table was even set for the first time.

We were told that “there’s a new Congress in town”. We were told that there there would be a new direction on Iraq. We voted for, and convinced many others to vote for Democratic majorities so we could see accountability for Bush administration misconduct, thereby not setting a precedent of law breaking going unpunished - especially for politically calculated reasons.

You see, yesterday’s FISA vote in the Senate was just the latest in a long string of disappointments that we have been on the receiving end of from actions by Congressional leadership.

Even you, Senator, must have known about the dangerous precedent that you helped set when you allowed Michael Mukasey to be appointed as Attorney General despite his disgusting stance on torture. Quite ironic how far the bar has moved since Kimba Wood and Zoe Baird’s nominations were withdrawn over household employment taxes.

And now, we have a precedent of torturing individuals with no accountability, as well as the ability for evidence obtained via torture to be admissible for a death penalty sentence. Granted, if Khalid Sheik Mohammed is responsible for masterminding the 9/11 attacks, then he should get whatever justice is due. But to have this tainted by allowing for torture, let alone evidence obtained through torture is something that your decision to let Mukasey’s nomination through to the Senate floor helped accomplish.

So, I do apologize, Senator, if I am a bit disturbed by your post, even as I do give you major credit for coming here and asking our opinion. Your diary says the following:

Whether it's President Obama or President Clinton, they are going to need a Democratic Senate that can pass, instead of obstruct, a progressive agenda.

This is a two way street. We will continue to support your efforts to recruit more progressives for the Senate, just as we will continue efforts to recruit more progressives for the House. But we expect something in return – after all, you are supposed to be elected by US to serve US.

Allowing for retroactive immunity in a FISA bill that had no business even being brought to the floor is not progressive. Folding to Mister Bush on Iraq over and over and over when the vast majority of the country is on your side is not progressive. Sending a big “F-You” to on the Senate floor is not progressive. Allowing extremist appointment after extremist appointment by Bush is not progressive. Caving to an unpopular President and an even less popular Congressional minority is not progressive. Allowing non-progressives to continuously set the tone of the debate is not progressive.

I, personally, will be working my butt off to get my Representative, Scott Garrett, out of Congress. I will donate my time, effort and money to the Democratic challenger. Scott Garrett is one of the worst enemies of the progressive movement, yet I don’t know that your counterpart in the House has any intent of helping to remove this ultra right wing extremist.

And I sincerely hope that we can recruit more progressives for the Senate, and win more seats. However, we also expect more from the lion’s share of the current Democratic Senators – on the very issues that we were promised results on. Blaming republican obstruction is part of it - but we know better. There is much more that you and your colleagues could have (and still can) accomplish if you were to keep your promises made to us back in 2006.

You can do better. We did our part for you. Now it is time that you and your colleagues really do what you promised us. If I can't trust the DSCC and who it represents to keep up your end of the deal, then you'll have to excuse me while I work for and donate money to true progressives.

No hard feelings, though...


Anonymous said...

Did Schumer get money from the phone companies? How much? Who else got money? Who got the most money?

If you follow the money, you will see a light that shows we need the type of CHANGE that minimizes the influence of lobbist money.

Question vote? Especially on core constitutional issues.

The world is a dangerous place; not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.


clammyc said...

not sure about the telecom companies giving Schumer money, but take a look at this organization that Schumer serves on the board of.

Also note who ELSE serves on that board.

Interesting who he associates himself with....