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Hullabaloo


Thursday, July 28, 2016

 

The real work ahead

by Tom Sullivan

Secretary Hillary Clinton has some tough acts to follow tonight when she accepts her party's nomination for president. There were too many "moments" to count at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia last night.

Vice President Joe Biden's celebration of the American spirit:

The 21st century is going to be the American century. Because we lead not only by example of our power, but by the power of our example. That is the history of the journey of Americans. And God willing, Hillary Clinton will write the next chapter in that journey.

We are America, second to none, and we own the finish line! Don't forget it! God bless you all and God protect our troops.
There was former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (of all people), a self-made billionaire unloading on "dangerous demagogue" Donald Trump, several times Bloomberg's lesser in net worth (that had to sting):
I'm a New Yorker, and New Yorkers know a con when we see one! Trump says he'll punish manufacturers that move to Mexico or China, but the clothes he sells are made overseas in low-wage factories. He says he wants to put Americans back to work, but he games the US visa system so he can hire temporary foreign workers at low wages. He says he wants to deport 11 million undocumented people, but he seems to have no problem in hiring them. What'd I miss here?!
Democratic nominee for Vice President, Sen. Tim Kaine, made a case for why voters can trust Hillary Clinton, and then took down Trump with his own words:
And as he's serving our nation abroad, I trust Hillary with our son's life.

You know who I don't trust? Donald Trump. The guy promises a lot. But you might have noticed, he has a habit of saying the same two words right after he makes his biggest promises. You know the words I mean? "Believe me."

It's gonna be great — believe me. We're gonna build a wall and make Mexico pay for it — believe me! We're gonna destroy ISIS so fast — believe me! There's nothing suspicious in my tax returns — believe me.
And finally, President Barack Obama's remarkable valedictory speech and his full-throated endorsement of Hillary Clinton: "[T]here has never been a man or a woman — not me, not Bill, nobody — more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as president of the United States of America." Obama stunned the audience when he referenced Donald Trump (not by name) in the same sentence with fascists, communists, jihadists and "homegrown demagogues."

But there was something else Obama and several other speakers mentioned last night. Obama said (emphasis mine):
So if you agree that there’s too much inequality in our economy, and too much money in our politics, we all need to be as vocal and as organized and as persistent as Bernie Sanders’ supporters have been. We all need to get out and vote for Democrats up and down the ticket, and then hold them accountable until they get the job done.

If you want more justice in the justice system, then we’ve all got to vote – not just for a President, but for mayors, and sheriffs, and state’s attorneys, and state legislators. And we’ve got to work with police and protesters until laws and practices are changed.
Nick Rathod, an Obama White House veteran, echoes what speakers reminded us last night, that there is much more to this election than the marquee race at the top of the ticket. “Trump and Hillary are taking up all the oxygen [but] really where policy making is getting done is the states.” Democrats' 2010 losses were catastrophic:
In Rathod’s opinion, Democrats have only themselves to blame. Even though both President Obama and outgoing Democratic National Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz started out as state legislators, “The Democratic Party has effectively ignored down-ballot races,” he says. The situation has become so dire that Politico reports the president will campaign for state legislative candidates this fall. He has a lot of catching up to do. Republicans “have made smart and large investments in both state races and infrastructure building that has allowed them this historic control of state legislative chambers and policymaking at the state level,” Rathod says.
This is why (other than Supreme Court picks) our fixation on the top of the ticket – on a savior from the left or the right – is misplaced. Ask me. I live in North Carolina. Ask friends in Michigan, Wisconsin, or Kansas, or those fighting noxious, revanchist legislation in other states.

Mad at the DNC? Fine. Since they abandoned the 50 State strategy they don't exist out here. Take Obama's advice and get out and help Democrats win those down-ticket races. The only way you'll save your state and reform the DNC is from the ground up, not from the White House down.