Sunday, October 31, 2010

Before You Vote 2

A community organizer was reminding grassroots folks about how they learned to vote for the party of Thomas Jefferson, founding father, Franklin Roosevelt, friend of the working man, and John F. Kennedy, "the saint." The Democrats, he said, come to pick our fresh votes like ripe tomatoes every election season, then they go away and everything stays the same.

That was how the late William Velázquez spoke last I heard him several decades ago. The founder of the Southwest Voter Registration Project liked to shock his mostly liberal, Hispanic audiences in hopes of spurring the realization that voting was not necessarily about voting Democratic.

White liberals have had a way of overpromising and underdelivering. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are the poster children of this bad habit. President Obama should have taken both to the woodshed a year ago.

I think, I still want to believe, that Barack Obama is just about as genuinely well-intentioned a politician as we're likely to see. But, OK, he does appear bought and sold.

Still, we don't have a choice between Obama and anything else. It doesn't matter that he's only offered too small a stimulus, piecemeal health insurance reform and minor tweaks to the finance industry, when government intervention in the economy and major overhauls are needed.

We can protest and cajole and feel a bit silly.

The Democrats may well pick the field clean of our juicy grassroots votes. But the other guys, they want to set the field ablaze.

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