As the article points out, the Democratic party in Maryland has failed to pay adequate attention to the concerns of AA voters. Meanwhile the Republican slate is looking increasingly diverse. What can Democrats do to stop the migration of the AA vote?
Well, first, we can vote for AA in the primary. Kweisi Mfume and Stuart Simms are two AA running for statewide office, and with them on the slate, diversity no longer remains as a huge issue. Whether these men win or not, the Democratic party must still court the AA vote.
As dailykos poster ademption has made some great posts and diaries on the Covenant with Black America, the bestselling book and nationwide movement by AA to bring issues important to their National Community to the political forefront. The thing is, these aren't just issues that affect AA, but all lower-to-middle-class Americans. Things like Universal Health care, support for small business, judicial reform, and education reform.
To win back the trust and loyalty of the AA community, the Democratic Party must embrace the CWBA platform and promise to address these issues. Not only should we embrace the issues alone, but with a clear intention to work with CWBA.
Maryland Democrats should have a statewide platform. This platform should include these specific points:
-Maryland Democrats will insure all Marylanders. Federal Candidates should run on Universal Health Care, State candidates on improving health care access for those in our poorest communities.
-Maryland Democrats will ensure a quality education for all Marylanders. Federal candidates should run on increasing federal scholarships to minority students and reforming No Child Left Behind. State candidates should talk up lowering tuition at state colleges and increasing salaries for our educational workers in the trenches, Teachers, Principals, Counselors.
-Maryland Democrats will fix the broken justice system in our state and our country. Federal candidates should talk about increasing funding for effective juvenile justice programs, and possible reform of our outdated drug enforcement policy. State candidates should talk about searching for new alternatives to incarceration for non-violent offenders, restoring the moratorium on the death penalty, about reforming the police system to spend more money on community policing and officer's accountability to the community, and about possible decriminalization of soft drugs such as marijuana.
-Maryland Democrats will make Maryland a powerhouse of Minority Business. Federal Candidates (Mfume is great on this one) should focus on grants for minority business and easing the tax burden on small start ups. State candidates should focus on grants and tax relief for minority business owners
-Maryland Democrats will make your hard work valuable again. Both State and Federal candidates need to talk up a Minimum wage increase big time (Steele says he supports it, but his Governor veto'ed it and Steele stayed quiet). They can also focus on making home ownership more affordable for AA by giving a tax credit to low income home buyers.
-Maryland Democrats will take ALL Maryland citizens fully into the 21st century. Federal candidates should talk about net neutrality and federal grants to AA tech businesses. State candidates can talk about ideas like free wireless for all in certain urban areas, as well as increased technology funding for public schools. The could also talk about increasing scholarships for AA seeking degrees in the tech sector. I don't think it would hurt to propose some sort of program to provide free or heavily discounted pcs and internet service to low income families.
I say the words "talk about" a lot, because all Democrats can do now is talk. The thing is, once we get elected, we actually have to DO these things. Honestly, I think it is a great and very progressive platform. I still need to buy the CWBA book, I recommend that anyone interested in the future of the African-American community and it's relationship with the Democratic party does the same.
Bill Clinton NEVER blocked attempts to kill Osama Bin-Laden.
The Bush administration has concluded that Osama bin Laden was present during the battle for Tora Bora late last year and that failure to commit U.S. ground troops to hunt him was its gravest error in the war against al Qaeda, according to civilian and military officials with first-hand knowledge.
Intelligence officials have assembled what they believe to be decisive evidence, from contemporary and subsequent interrogations and intercepted communications, that bin Laden began the battle of Tora Bora inside the cave complex along Afghanistan's mountainous eastern border. Though there remains a remote chance that he died there, the intelligence community is persuaded that bin Laden slipped away in the first 10 days of December.
It really is amazing that ABC has gotten things so horribly wrong. Perhaps ABC has some vested interest in lying to the American people. What's funny, is that the same Conservative's who "hate the mainstream media" (including ABC and everyone who isn't FOX or Talk radio) will be glad to laud this movie as a victory. I give ABC two weeks until all these Conservatives hate them again.
Will most Americans ever learn that this movie is a lie? Most likely not. Don't worry though, its just an admittedly fictional movie, its not like it's being
taught in school or anything...
statement on the matter.
Somehow, Steele has convinced Russell that he cares about poverty:
That night Steele announced, “I declare a new agenda for America; an anti-poverty agenda – an economic empowerment agenda that I will take with me to the United States Senate – because empowerment creates opportunity that poverty will never let you see. To tell you the truth, not enough people in either party are willing to even say the word ’poverty’ ….. much less do anything about it. To begin, unlike a lot of Republicans, I believe we need to raise the minimum wage.”
Great movements for change always require taking risks and acting outside the close-minded boxes of society. Building an effective anti-poverty movement will need many elected officials like Steele and many others from different constituencies from across the nation and throughout the world. Let’s stay focused. Don’t get distracted by party labels. Let us all work together and share responsibly in God’s love for all. Let’s end poverty and ignorance!
Oh puuuh-lease! I wonder if all the Conservative Republicans who will be voting for Steele are aware of his super-liberal plan to fight poverty? Most likely this is because either Mr. Steele wants to play boths sides of the isle (my bet) or he really has no plan to fight poverty at all.
Now, I will give Mr. Steele the benefit of the doubt. Lets say he really is interested in fighting poverty by increasing the minimum wage. How in the hell will Mr. Steele make any solid progress on this issue as a Republican? Is George Allen going to run to his aid to help the impoverished in America? Is Ted Stevens or Conrad Burns going to work hard with Mr. Steele to get a true minimum wage bill through the Senate? HELL NO, NEVER, EVER in a MILLION YEARS (unless it includes huge tax cuts for the rich as well).
Russell also has been duped by Mr. Steele's Bush bashing:
Steele’s criticism of President Bush and the war in Iraq further exemplifies that Steele is an independent thinker and leader who is not chained or bridled by the neoconservatives of the Republican Party.
This is worst. Are you crazy Russell? Have you not seen where Mr. Steele's money comes from? From fundraisers hosted by Karl Rove, by Dick Cheney, by GW BUSH. He just takes their money right, he doesn't actually SUPPORT THEM. How did Russell miss the "Bush is my Homeboy" line? How? HOW? HOW?!
I am only hoping that by trying to "outdemocrat" a Democrat, Mr. Steele will lose his base. Republicans are already unhappy and lacking enthusiasm. Hopefully, after hearing about Mr. Steele's election year love-fest for seemingly liberal politics, they will just stay home. Steele can fool as many Independent and Democratic as he wants, and he won't fool many (they aren't all millionaires getting republican created tax cuts like Mr. Simmons), but if Republicans don't come out in droves, he is finished.
Instead, I am thinking most voters will see beyond these lies and empty promises. Steele is a Republican, and hearing Republicans talk about raising the minimum wage during an election year is like hearing the Orioles management talk about taking the pennant this year, IT JUST AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN, NOT WITH THIS TEAM.