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John Garamendi Vs Barack Obama?

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"I attended a very small junior high, and, especially in the end, that became a disaster. The principal was pretty senile and a drunk;, so the children more or less runned the school."__ Jonathan Brandis , actor, from the February 1, 1997 issue of Hitkrant, a Dutch teen magazine and 7 years before his suicide


How prescient in terms of what the United States House of Representatives has devolved into today: a romper room, overwhelmed with brats and the adults too stoned or afraid to intervene. Their tea party is making the Mad Hatter's seem like a stamp collectors' brunch.

Yet those of us in struggles to preserve the purity of our Progressive ideals against assaults by the Great Compromiser Obama, appeaser Progressive bloggers and MSNBC prime time sycophants; those of us at our wits' end, find ourselves reduced to our own inner childish tantrum when the strain to find a cure for the madness would drive us to self mutilation.

What a conundrum we Progressives face: (a) voting to reelect a President who prefers to brag about beating us up instead of those who would destroy the nation to make him a one-term failure; (2) finding and backing a 3rd party candidate in spite of the historical vanity of such efforts; or (3) sitting the next Presidential election out completely and letting others decide between continued misery or total national ruin.

Or, maybe, there's a 4th choice of finding and promoting a real Progressive Democrat who can mount, within the party, a very strong challenge against Obama.

I know, I know: Bernie Sanders, Denise Kucinich, Howard Dean redux; my personal favorite Alan Grayson--all mighty fine choices, but so branded as eccentrics by the corporate media that their odds of defeating Obama are less than you or me hitting a multi-million dollar lottery, twice.

Have we been so narrowly focused on the most visible, most obvious Progressives that we have suffered a critical loss of farsight? The wild card? The potentially successful dark horse galloping gracefully in the background?

I first became aware of California Democratic Representative John Garamendi when he made a brief appearance on MSNBC's The Ed Show last Thursday night. He emphatically demanded no cuts to social security even in the unlikely passage of tax increases on the rich; that it was the Wall Street barons who have ripped this country off and should, therefore, make all the sacrifices needed to spur jobs and restore the economy.

Then last Saturday, C-Span broadcast the July 22, 2011 dais of the New American Foundation on Jobs , with John Garamendi serving along side Senator Tom Harkin as a principal speaker. Garamendi didn't even try to suppress his contempt for those in the halls of Congress in both parties for failure to focus on jobs for Americans instead debt ceilings and cutting debt. Drawing from his experiences in the California legislature and as the state's former Lt. governor, he presented his prescription for restoring the economy through job creation:

(1)   provide the best education in the world

(2)   fund the best research in the world

(3)   actually make things derived from that research in the United States

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Retired, Robert Arend was president of an AFSCME local from 1997-2007.
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