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Hullabaloo


Sunday, July 21, 2013

 
Let's keep blue Hawaii blue

by digby

Here's a smart take on the Hawaii Senate race from an FDL diarist named paiagirl. This seat will not go to a Republican. But, by God, there's no good reason it should go to a New Dem centrist sell-out either:
In D.C., Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa of Hawai’i is known as a leader of the New Democrat Coalition. New Dems describe themselves as “centrists.” Pro Publica describes them as “The Coalition Pharma and Wall Street Love”. New Dems urge other Democrats to be more open to compromising with John Boehner, Michele Bachmann and other Congressional Republicans.
[...]
She recently participated in an economic forum with Wall Street shill and former GOP presidential candidate, Tim Pawlenty. Pawlenty is president and CEO of Financial Services Roundtable, a Washington, D.C.-based Wall Street lobbying group. That’s one bipartisan position the New Dems and the GOP can agree on — supporting Wall Street by gutting regulations.

After that lovefest, she joined Republican Congressman Randy Forbes in a defense forum. Forbes is founder and chairman of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, formed for the purpose of encouraging prayer through legislation and fighting for school prayer. He’s also virulently anti-abortion. And once again, the New Dems “bipartisanship” the heck out of defense contractors – even going so far as to vote for armaments that even the Pentegon doesn’t want. But supporting defense contractors keeps the donations flowing from this rich well.

In case her fondness for Republicans isn’t clear, she uses Twitter hashtags like #bipartisanshipworks. (Works to move the country even farther to the right.)
[...]
Sort of like Henry Higgins singing, “Why can’t a woman be more like a man!” We Democrats, according to these “New Democrats” just need to be more like Republicans.

One of the leading items in the New Dems’ domestic agenda is to “fix the debt” through a “grand bargain” that includes cuts to Social Security benefits. Indeed, Adam Pase, the New Democrat Coalition’s Executive Director, is lobbying for cuts. Adam Pase has been described as a “toady for the banking industry“.

As a loyal member of the New Democrat Coalition, Hanabusa has diligently furthered this objective in D.C.

Hanabusa appeared at a post-election press conference last fall with New Dem Chair Ron Kind and other coalition members, where they announced they were “ready to deal” and that “everything was on the table.” Pictures from that press conference, including Hanabusa, are prominently displayed in all the New Dems’ online venues.

The New Dems reiterated their message a few months later. Former Sen. Alan Simpson and Morgan Stanley director Erskine Bowles – who have been advocating Social Security cuts for years – issued a new budget-reduction proposal in February. Once again, they called for benefits to be cut. The New Dems immediately and formally praised the new Simpson-Bowles initiative in a letter, signed by Hanabusa, to Obama and Boehner.

Hanabusa also voted this year against the budgets proposed by the Congressional Progressive Caucus and the Congressional Black Caucus – both of which would’ve preserved Social Security.

She’s made it apparent to the Beltway: Hanabusa is willing to cut Social Security. She’s been rewarded by receiving tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the New Dems’ PAC and others sympathetic to the Simpson-Bowles worldview.

She has given herself a fig-leaf, however, in the form of co-sponsoring a bill that says she is against cuts. Despite her clear collusion with the Fix the Debt wrecking crew, she uses that back home on the stump to mislead her constituents into thinking she will protect Social Security.

Defenders of Social Security around the nation contend that the strongest and most unequivocal action that can currently be taken on this issue is to sign the “Grayson-Takano letter,” which stands against any and all Social Security cuts

She has not signed it. And she probably won't. She's made it quite clear by her actions and active participation in the New Dem sell-out coalition what her agenda really is.

Here's the rub: she was anointed by the sainted Daniel Inouye as his preferred successor. Brian Schatz won it instead. Unfortunately, that anointment has some juice in Hawaii politics and the Hanabusa people are playing it for all its worth in their opportunistic campaign to unseat the liberal Schatz in the primary.

But the fact is that Hawaii is one of the bluest of blue states and the incumbent Brian Schatz is a real progressive and will represent his constituents far batter than she will. We cannot afford to lose Democrats like him. Allowing New Dem sellouts to take away what should be a very progressive seat is almost as bad as letting a Republican do it.

She's shilling for dollars, basically, and playing the worst kind of insider game even though it isn't necessary in a blue state like Hawaii. That's the worst kind of Democrat there is as far as I'm concerned.

If you'd like to support Senator Brian Schatz for re-election, you can do so here.

Update:
Former Vice President Al Gore is weighing in on Hawaii's 2014 Senate race, throwing his support behind Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) for his work on environmental issues.

"Thanks to Brian's visionary leadership, Hawaii implemented its own groundbreaking Clean Energy Initiative. As a result, Hawaii has tripled its renewable energy production from 6% to 18 %," said Gore in a statement on Sunday morning. “And we're going to need Brian's strong, outspoken leadership in Congress for many more years to get the job done.”


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