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Report on the 2010 Washington State Democratic Convention

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Don Smith       (Page 5 of 5 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page.     Permalink    (# of views)   2 comments

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Wyden said that some people think Democrats will sit out this election, in frustration at the slow pace of reform. But Wyden thinks the voters should realize that even Obama can't solve all problems in 15 minutes.

According to Wikipedia's article, Wyden has been liberal on tax policy (he opposed the Bush tax cuts and the bank bailouts but he wants to eliminate the estate tax, for example); liberal on environmental issues; and mixed on health care (he supported Bush's Medicare Prescription Drug Act). He voted against authorizing the use of military force in Iraq.

Final thoughts

The WA State Constitution sucks, in some ways. It requires that all taxes be flat (non-progressive), that all gas tax money be spent on roads (not on, say, public transportation), and that the state government not extend credit. (Hence, it may be difficult to establish a State Bank, as in North Dakota, though perhaps the state can partner with local banks and escape Wall Street fees and corruption). It seems like the Washington State Constitution was written for special interests.

There's a perennial heated debate on the (further) left about whether to support the Democrats (which they consider the lesser of two evils) or whether, on the other hand, to vote for a third-party candidate or just not show up at the polls. Obama seems to be a particularly conservative Democrat, and I'm not sure that it's fair to compare Gore or Kerry to Obama.

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My insight, from attending the convention and hearing the candidates, is that the Democrats are mixed, both individually and as a group. On most issues most Democrats are significantly better than the Republicans. But some Democrats are progressive on some issues and conservative on others -- especially Democrats from conservative areas. And due to campaign spending, too many Democrats compromise. (Heck, they're human, and the system is broken.)

The problem is that the numbers just aren't there to pass progressive legislation. You can blame the politicians (especially the Republicans!), you can blame the press, you can blame Obama, you can blame the system, you can blame human greed, and you can blame the often stupid (or at least gullible) voters -- who sorely need to be educated about the ways in which conservative policies harm them and the nation.

The Left needs to build a viable progressive media.

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DFA organizer, Democratic Precinct Committee Officer, writer, and programmer. My op-ed pieces have appeared in the Seattle Times, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and elsewhere. See and for my writing, my (more...)

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