Progressive challenge: defeat GOP in November elections

PollingPlace

Defeating the Republicans in November must be the top priority for all progressives. The pundits tell us incessantly that Democrats will lose seats and possibly control of Congress because usually (but not always) this is what happens to the party in power in midterm elections. The Republicans hope this narrative will help demoralize Democratic voters, but their main message is that President Obama and the Democrats are responsible for the unrelenting economic crisis.

This crisis was caused by the Republicans and the Republicans are doing everything possible to sustain and aggravate it. If they do gain seats in November, we can expect further gridlock in order to set the stage for a return to power in 2012.

Given the fierce resistance the Republicans have mounted to all steps to relieve the crisis, the claim that the Democrats are responsible for the continued high unemployment and despair is nothing but Big Lie propaganda. It is the Republicans, not the Democrats, who have blocked extending unemployment benefits and further stimulus packages like the Brown-Miller jobs bills.

The Republicans justify their sabotage of relief measures by shedding copious crocodile tears over the deficit. But they are the ones responsible for the deficit when they controlled Congress during the Bush administration and bestowed unconscionable tax breaks on the super-rich, massive unfunded outlays for two unnecessary wars and huge unfunded handouts to insurance and drug companies under the so-called Medicare Modernization Act.

Anyone who blames the Democrats for the ongoing crisis or accepts the phony concern about the deficit has fallen victim to cynical Republican Big Lie propaganda.

Unfortunately this includes some on the left who seem more inclined to attack Obama and the Democrats than to build the movement to defeat the ultra-right. That movement depends on electing Democrats, some of whom may in fact be less than inspiring. But only if Democrats are elected will the progressive movement have the time and space to grow. The 30 years of increasingly rightwing governments, beginning with the Reagan administration, were very difficult for labor and all its allies, including the progressive movement.

If the right wing returns to power, the situation will be much worse. The Bush-Cheney administration will be mild in comparison. The rightwing is hell-bent to destroy the current administration and guarantee that nothing like Barack Obama happens again. They will mount an unprecedented attack on the living standards and rights of labor and the American people. The assault on the environment and the military threat to all nations on earth will escalate. Given the blatantly fascist orientation of the corporate-funded Tea Party and their cheerleaders in the media and much of the Republican Party, the dangers inherent in the November elections must be a clarion call to action for all of labor and all democratic and progressive-minded people.

Those who minimize the importance of the elections or, worse, have already accepted defeat, are irresponsibly playing directly into the hands of the enemy. An all out effort is needed to defeat the Republicans in November.

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