20 Leading Democrats Urge Party To "Get Back On Offense"
Protect Democracy; Reich, Lear, Dinkins, Granholm, Spitzer, Hart, Galbraith, ( Ron) Reagan urge party to declare that "Republican Extremism Takes Us Back" and "Progressive Patriotism" can produce a winning mandate this Fall
WASHINGTON, Sept. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Worried about Democratic congressional prospects this Fall, 20 prominent Democrats sent an open letter (http://protectdemocracy.org/) to the Democratic Congressional leadership urging that they "get back on offense" by exposing the GOP as "more extreme than mainstream" and proposing a "positive program of 'Progressive Patriotism'."
The letter went to 10 party leaders including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid , House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and DCCC chair Steve Israel , and was signed by, among others, Norman Lear , Robert Reich , Jennifer Granholm , Eliot Spitzer , David Dinkins , Gary Hart , Ron Reagan and Jamie Galbraith (emails available on request).
In response to GOP "falsehoods and nonsense", the former Democratic elected officials and authors ask, "Where are the Democrats? The surprising answer -- often defensive, defeatist and reactive." Why? Answers the Open Letter: "a TV cable network that's a conveyor belt of falsehoods; a reactionary Tea Party tail wagging the GOP dog; billionaires flooding elections post-Citizens United; a national party paying homage more to Ayn Rand than Abe Lincoln -- with malice towards all and charity for none -- [while] too often the (fat) cat's got our party's tongue. But wars are won not by Dunkirks but by Normandys..."
Letter organizer and signer Mark Green , former NYC Public Advocate, explained the group's premise: "We think it's crazy that reactionary Republicans can pretend to save the damsel in distress when they tied her to the tracks in the first place. Instead of only responding to the river of lies flowing out of Tampa, aggressive progressives need to fundamentally reframe the choices and offer a positive vision that can help congressional Democrats both win and govern."
The 20 Democrats urged "Democratic Party leaders to hit the gas not the brakes and show leadership in at least three ways:"
*Frames: Let's reframe issues so that platitudes and metaphors don't pass for analysis...The opportunities are endless to retake the offensive. If corporations are people, can they run for office? To stop Republicans from buying or stealing elections, a viral mantra should be MoneyOut/VotersIn – overturn Citizens United, enact public funding and expand the franchise. More jobs now reduce deficits later...Because consumer demand is the real job-creator, it would reduce economic growth to increase the overall tax burden on middle class families to finance cuts for the rich.
Party leaders need to declare that the issue in 2012 isn't the size of government but our common purpose. Which is democracy, prosperity and security. In America, you can't love your country and hate your government since we are the government, as the Oklahoma City bombing made fleetingly obvious. Yes the issue is freedom…freedom from e coli bacteria and from health care bills that bankrupt families.
With Romney-Ryan's unpopular views on tax cuts for the wealthy and "VoucherCare" for the elderly, now's the perfect time to frame this election as between John Galt and Modern Family – the 1% who believe "we're all in this alone" (Sen. Durbin's phrase) versus "everyone's better off when everyone's better off." With reactionaries dominating the policy, language and financing of the GOP, the best way Democrats can win is to hit the gas not the brakes.
*Ideas: Among the things that make Democrats exceptional is FDR's axiom that we pursue "bold, persistent experimentation." Where are the successors to Social Security, GI Bill, the Americans with Disabilities Act? To help Democrats win and govern, what can be the positive mandate?
JFK wanted to "throw our hat over the wall of space." We can do that here on earth with a living wage, a carbon tax, a Mortgage Refinancing Trust agency, progressive tax reform, filibuster reform, corporate pension reform, public funding for public elections, universal voter enrollment – and with clear explanations how inequality retards the GDP, education investments advance growth, and a high-tech Pentagon can be smaller and more effective."
A full copy of the letter is available at: http://protectdemocracy.org/
SOURCE Protect Democracy
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