Young Democrats of Harford County

For Democrats of all ages and other like-minded folks in Harford County, Maryland.

“Barack, you ignorant slut”

Posted by trumanesque on September 10, 2009

President Obama just can’t win with some people.  By “some people” I mean the distinct minority of members of Congress who are Republicans, their conservative shadows whose views are way overrepresented in mainstream media, and the 21% or so of the country who identify as Republicans.  If there was ever any pretense of willingness to work with, or even respect, a Democratic president, this past week has blown it away.

It’s bad enough to spend a month just making stuff up to scare people away from no-brainer health care provisions.  Now the conservatives are bashing even the most innocuous actions the president takes.  A message to school children, for crying out loud.  A pep talk to work hard and stay in school.  “Indoctrination”?  Where do they get these people?  And Harford County Public Schools, by buckling to these unhinged conspiracy theorists by refusing to show the president’s speech live, has embarrassed our county.   

Now Rep. Wilson of South Carolina, by his intemperate outburst during the president’s speech, has finally shown the country what this Republican minority is all about:  pure and intense opposition to everything Obama and everything Democratic.  If Obama commenced it, they’re against it.  If he single-handedly captures or kills bin Laden, the Republicans would say Obama was wrong because his mission cost too much money and grew the deficit.  It’s just like the Saturday Night Live Point/Counterpoint segment with Dan Akroyd and Jane Curtin.  It’s knee-jerk, it’s personal, and it brings out the worst in that minority.

Which raises the question, why is anyone listening to these people?

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Thoughts on Specter the Defector

Posted by trumanesque on April 29, 2009

Senator Arlen Specter’s announcement yesterday that he was switching from the Republican to the Democratic Party was more than some craven political maneuver.  (True, it was that, but I’m saying it was more than that.)  With one stroke, the Republicans’ Senate Caucus lost 33 percent of its moderate voices.  Only Sens. Snowe and Collins from Maine are left, and we’re not sure for how long.

Behind Republican leaders’ “good riddance” posturing, they have to be concerned.  Specter argued that the party has moved further to the right since his election in 1980, and it clearly has.  RNC Chairman Michael Steele can call Specter a left-winger all he wants, but he can’t credibly spin the party’s problems as just “packaging” or “marketing.”  Only when (if) national Republicans take a hard look at their anti-government, socially oppressive message will they recover as a national party instead of just a regional one.  And that won’t happen unless the party’s moderates  rise up–as Specter suggests–and take back the microphone from the party non-leaders, who have zero credibility on anything.  I put these non-leaders into three categories:  Bloviators (Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck); Castaways (Gingrich, Rove, Cheney); and Marionettes (Boehner, Cantor, Steele, McConnell).  In the meantime, only 21 percent of the country identifies as a Republican.  This figure will likely shrink as the non-leaders drive the party further and further to the extreme right.  Their agenda has been proven wrong; it’s also proven unpopular.

But the Specter defection poses challenges for Democrats as well.  Majority Leader Harry Reid is running out of excuses for not getting key legislation passed.  Even if Specter remains fairly independent, most party-switchers do shift their voting patterns, and Specter will have to do some of that to position himself against a Dem primary challenger.  So this is the window of time for the Dems to do some good governing.  If they fall down, even the moribund Republicans will gain more power in 2010, and will use that power to champion a return to the good ol’ days of bad government under the Bush administration and the Gingrich/Delay Congresses.  The best thing recommending Arlen Specter as a Democratic Senator is that he was there for those times, and he doesn’t want to go back either.

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Posted by piperj3cub on February 17, 2009

Dear President Obama,

Among the Bush policies that have been the most ‘anti-constitution’ was his policy allowing federal (taxpayer) dollars to be given to religious institutions that discriminate their hiring based on religion. On the campaign you promised to overturn this policy, but now it appears that your administration has reversed itself. Here is an excerpt of your own words on the subject: “if you get a federal grant, you can’t use that grant money to proselytize to the people you help and you can’t discriminate against them — or against the people you hire — on the basis of their religion”. I cannot help but feel that this decision is completely contrary to the message of openness and inclusion that our government must be sending. It is unimaginable that the federal government would hire or support companies that discriminate on the basis of race or sex, so why is your administration now supporting the practice or discriminating on the basis of religion. PLEASE reconsider your position on this issue… those of us that so strongly supported you and consider ourselves progressive are seriously unable to understand this decision, particularly with respect to its constitutionality.


An Active Democrat

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Let’s get real

Posted by trumanesque on February 10, 2009

Try this out. Assume you have $1.00 and have the choice of buying one of two stocks. The first stock will appreciate in value so that you have $1.57 within a couple of years. The second stock will immediately drop in value, but will eventually increase to about 98 cents. Knowing this, you would rather buy the first stock, correct? Pretty basic. You want to get a positive return on your investment, and the more positive, the better.

This is why the debate over the President’s recovery plan is so infuriating. Any economist worth his or her salt will tell you that a dollar invested by the Government adds more to the GDP than a dollar not invested at all. The first dollar is actually spent–for labor, goods, services–and has a ripple effect throughout the economy. The laborer has more money to spend on groceries, a house, a TV, etc. which also increases demand for those items and for labor to produce them. This is why it is important for the dollar to be spent.  The spending is the stimulus.

The second dollar, on the other hand, is likely to be pocketed or used to pay down debt–for something already purchased. This is why most recent tax cuts–remember your 2008 stimulus check?–haven’t really stimulated the economy. They’re usually used as a blunt instrument by politicians who want to keep their jobs. But a few hundred extra bucks in most people’s pockets isn’t going to make any difference:  maybe another month’s rental or mortgage payment, or a partial payment on credit card debt. A few thousand bucks in a small business owner’s pocket probably doesn’t mean much more, because nobody else has the money to buy her product.  It certainly won’t permit her to hire more people, even if she were so inclined. So the multiplier for Government purchases is projected to be 1.57, while our GDP is not likely to increase at all because of a tax cut.

Republicans in Congress therefore have zero credibility when they advocate mostly tax cuts as their idea of “stimulus.” They know all of the above, and yet the only idea they’ve had–now or ever–is a tax cut. They even tried to pull the whole recovery bill and replace it with a permanent, $3 trillion (!) tax cut. Don’t look for fiscal discipline, or serious arguments, from this crowd.

Why are Republicans fighting this bill so hard, or at least trying to junk it up with tax cuts? Because they know if it succeeds, their entire philosophy will come down like a house of cards. We’ve seen this movie before (see:  Health Care Reform, 1993).  The Republicans–at least on economic matters–have long believed that less is more. Don’t regulate, don’t oversee, don’t invest, contract everything out, let the market adjust itself. Mr. Obama and most Democrats think that notion is flawed and want to reverse it. You see, the President, like most Americans, believes that government can and should actually help people with their problems and make their lives better. If he’s able to prove that, the modern Republican Party–or what’s left of it after the Bush years–is dead.  What will they have left to say?  “Yeah, but . . . Look, terrorist!” 

The stimulus fight could be the Republicans’ last stand. I just hope they don’t take the rest of us down with them.

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Obama in Edgewood

Posted by Annie on January 17, 2009

Click here to see Barack Obama’s train rolling through Edgewood.

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Get the -ic in there!

Posted by trumanesque on January 9, 2009

Last night on Hardball, Chris Matthews twice corrected Sarah Palin’s taped interview when she referred to the “Democrat ticket.” Matthews said something like, “What school do these Republicans go to where they’re taught to say ‘Democrat Party’ instead of ‘Democratic Party’?”

Good for Matthews for pointing this out. Way too few news sources in any medium make a point of correcting some Republicans who intentionally mispronounce the opposing party’s name. All the print media would have to do is put “[ic]” at the end of the misspoken word, as in “The Democrat[ic] leadership is wrong,” said Bush. Instead, the slur is permitted to stand hundreds of times a day.

I would go further than to rap someone on the knuckles for saying it wrong. Anyone who publicly uses “Democrat” as an adjective instead of “Democratic” is an illiterate and therefore unqualified to hold elected office. Anyone who does so more than once has a mental age of less than 8, which would also disqualify that person from elected office.

Using this simple test will enable you to weed out the worst choices when you vote next time. You could dismiss John McCain, Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney at the national level, and David Craig and Barry Glassman at the local level. (If only more people had used it when George W. Bush was running!)

Remember your fourth-grade grammar, and we’ll do alright.

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Right idea, wrong guy

Posted by trumanesque on December 19, 2008

The furor over President-elect Obama’s choice of Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration raises many interesting issues, but I’ll try to focus on only one.  When I first heard the news, I thought OK, this makes sense.  Mr. Obama has always tried to bring people together who don’t agree on many things, and to invite an “evangelical” opposed to reproductive choice and gay marriage to take part in his inauguration is a logical extension of his approach.  (I will put “evangelical” in quotes because I haven’t yet seen a decent definition of the term that properly distinguishes an “evangelical” from any Protestant denominations.)  Watch his 2004 and 2008 DNC speeches, and you will see this move is not a surprise.  The point is, we disagree on those issues, but there is much we can agree on that is also spiritually significant–fighting poverty and disease, climate change, social justice to name a few.  Mr. Warren has shown some breadth in extending his theology beyond the two hot-button issues, which is refreshing to say the least.  If he and Mr. Obama simply had a good-faith disagreement on where the Scripture leads each to his position on reproductive rights and gay marriage, I’d say the LGBT outrage was unwarranted.  If Mr. Obama ruled out somebody otherwise qualified because of these two issues without regard to their many other areas of agreement, he would not be practicing what he “preached” during his campaign. 

However, I had not heard what Mr. Warren said in an on-line interview with Beliefnet (apparently the interview occurred December 17, the same day his inauguration role was announced, but I could be wrong on that):

“The issue to me, I’m not opposed to that as much as I’m opposed to redefinition of a 5,000 year definition of marriage. I’m opposed to having a brother and sister being together and calling that marriage. I’m opposed to an older guy marrying a child and calling that marriage. I’m opposed to one guy having multiple wives and calling that marriage.”

BELIEFNET: “Do you think those are equivalent to gays getting married?”

“Oh , I do.”

In Mr. Warren’s book, any homosexual relationship is the moral and legal equivalent of incest, pedophilia, and polygamy.  (This last one is funny, because the Old Testament seems to have no problem with multiple wives.)  This statement is so wrong that I believe it to be a violation of the Ninth Commandment, which prohibits bearing false witness against one’s neighbors.  Of course Mr. Warren’s attitude contains the assumption that homosexuality is nothing but a lifestyle choice (itself a prideful and therefore sinful assumption), but even if he’s right it does not excuse his making such a prejudicial statement.  We’re getting into Rick Santorum territory here.  Would Mr. Obama have chosen Mr. Santorum to give a speech at his inauguration?  What about George Wallace, if he were living?  (I mean ’50’s and ’60’s George Wallace, not his later-in-life, somewhat reformed self.)

Having an “evangelical” pastor give an invocation would have been fine, based on Mr. Obama’s political approach.  But Mr. Warren is not the person I thought he was, and maybe not the person Mr. Obama thought he was.  Anyone who harbors such bigoted, degrading views of law-abiding Americans is not qualified to have a role in the inauguration of the first African-American President.  To permit such a role would be to excuse intolerance.  Mr. Obama should rescind this invitation based on the recent statements that Mr. Warren obviously–and perhaps because of Mr. Obama’s courtship–felt empowered to make.  This time, he’s got the wrong guy.

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Of course it’s a mandate

Posted by trumanesque on November 6, 2008

The rationalizing has already started from the right on Barack Obama’s decisive election to be the 44th President.  Although he won by (so far) 349-173 electoral votes and 7.5 million popular votes, won in every region (including the South), dominated among young adult voters (by 2 to 1) and minorities and was about even in most mainstream demographics, the pundits and party leaders are quick to pooh-pooh this result as some sort of a middling victory.  We’re still a “center-right” nation, they say to comfort themselves.  He only won because Bush is so unpopular, they point out.  If we weren’t center-right, Obama would have turned the entire map blue. 

Oh really?  Let’s point out a couple of things.  First, these are the same people who spent the summer and fall claiming that Barack Obama is the “most liberal Senator” in the U.S. Senate.  John McCain repeated that charge on the campaign trail right to the end.  If that’s true (and who hasn’t heard that claim?), then a majority of the U.S. electorate just voted for the most liberal U.S. Senator.  Doesn’t that mean something about our country’s leanings?

Also, these are the same people who claimed Bush’s eked-out 51-48% 2004 election to be a mandate.  Assuming that was a legitimate election–and much scholarship has called that into question–Bush was about 120,000 votes away from losing Ohio, and therefore the election.  Of course Republicans were excited their guy actually won the popular vote the second time, but as he learned, that didn’t give him license to privatize Social Security, for example.  Still, if that was a mandate, isn’t 2008 much more of a mandate when Obama’s margin of victory is more than double Bush’s?

Finally, there’s a reason George W. Bush is so unpopular.  He has been wrong about pretty much everything, and has been proven wrong.  Wrong about unpreparedness for 9/11, wrong about Iraq being related to 9/11, wrong about WMD in Iraq, wrong about invading Iraq, wrong in thousands of command decisions relating to Iraq, wrong about abandoning Afghanistan, wrong about tax cuts, wrong about deregulation of markets, banks and everything else, wrong on global warming, wrong about emergency preparedness (see: Katrina, Hurricane), wrong about Supreme Court justices and other federal judges, wrong about domestic spying, wrong about torture–I could go on, but my fingers are tired from typing.  The point is, you can’t just chalk up an election loss to Bush’s unpopularity as if the reasons are inconsequential, like bad personal hygiene.

Barack Obama was right about these and other things, and Bush and McCain were wrong.  Obama won the argument, and he won it convincingly with empirical evidence.  That’s a mandate for the next President to behave differently from Bush and McCain.  We should be ready to push back against anyone who claims otherwise.

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Open Letter to Peter Feldman, the McCain spokesman who hawked the fake Ashley Todd attack story

Posted by trumanesque on October 25, 2008

Dear Mr. Feldman,

Bet you couldn’t believe your candidate’s luck.  Here he is, getting crushed in the polls both nationally and in Pennsylvania, where you represent the local McCain campaign.  Then, suddenly, one of your volunteers, a cherubic-looking Southern white girl, says she’s been brutally attacked by a menacing, 6 foot 4 inch black man.  Even better, she says that he blurted out his motive, that he’s a Barack Obama supporter and she was obviously a McCain supporter.  Being both black and an Obama supporter, he could not contain his rage at the sight of the other side, and so he robbed her, beat her, fondled her, and carved a “B” into his face with a four-inch knife, yelling “You’re going to support Barack!”  That’s one version of what she said.

This is manna from heaven.  This shows to whites in Western Pennsylvania how really dangerous Obama and his kind are:  Lawless, violent, “disrespectful,” oversexed.  Can’t keep their hands off our women.  This is “Birth of a Nation” all over again.  It’s a turning point for McCain in PA and maybe among the rest of white America.  No way they’re going to vote for the big, scary black guy now–look what happens.

So you immediately rush this story out to at least two local news outlets, and on it goes.  Your version is more incendiary than the police version:  “It’s because she’s a McCain supporter!  He carved a B in her face!”  you cry.  Soon every right-wing radio talk show host and FOX news (aka Old Faithful) are breathlessly reporting this story as a turning point in the campaign.  Not that they’re racist, they insist, but because people will think they don’t know enough about Obama.  (“How can we be sure he won’t do the same thing?”) 

You’re feeling pretty good about yourself.  Never mind that you didn’t wait until the police finished their investigation, or that the “B” on her face was backwards, or that the whole story seemed really, really, really outlandish.  It played to the fear of many whites, especially older whites, who were born to a country where the Negroes were kept separate, where they were taught to fear integration, miscegenation, mongrelization.  You knew instinctively that this incident, if publicized just enough, is good for John McCain the Republican candidate.  Racial fears have been good for Republicans since the Civil Rights Act, especially since Nixon used them to pull Southern whites away from voting Democratic.  You can see yourself moving up party ranks, maybe even a position in the McCain administration, as the secret hero of the surprise McCain comeback.

Now it’s been revealed as a hoax.  Before it was, John Moody, the VP of FOX News, wrote in a memo that if this story was a hoax, the McCain campaign would be finished, forever linked to race-baiting.  What could he have meant, other than your hawking of this fake story to McCain’s advantage?  Isn’t that the campaign race-baiting he’s talking about?  Isn’t your status as an agent for the McCain campaign the only “link” to this absurdedly ugly, so-slimey-I-need-to-take-a-shower episode?  Yes, the girl was primarily to blame, but she’s a clearly disturbed College Republican volunteer.  You’re the one who ran with it, you’re the one who tried to give the story “legs.”  And you did so in your capacity as spokesman for the John McCain for President campaign. 

If you do not immediately resign, or are not immediately fired, the McCain campaign will be guilty not just of your actions (which it already is), but of validating them.  The defense that “Oh, it was just an honest mistake” won’t cut it.  You advanced an unconfirmed but racially charged story for the benefit of your candidate.  That candidate is rightly judged by the people he hires and their actions.  This type of mud sticks, and is hard to get off.  Every American who heard that story before it was debunked has a right to feel that he or she has been “played” by the McCain campaign.  Again.

Just when I think it can’t get any worse, somebody from the McCain campaign pulls this crap.  It now reeks of desparation, and you have driven the final (I hope) nail in the coffin of John McCain’s once-tenable reputation.  Pleasant dreams.

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Looking for an Obama sign?

Posted by Annie on October 14, 2008

If you’re one of the many people seeking Obama yard signs in Harford county and aren’t having much luck finding information online, here’s some help.

There are two Obama offices in Harford County: one in Aberdeen and one in Bel Air. The Aberdeen office is at 401 Market Street (either Suite 400 or 401, I have two different addresses in my emails) and the phone number is 410-297-8530. We’ve also received a comment on this blog that you can go to the Obama office in Bel Air on a weekday between 9 and 5 for a sign.  That office is at 137 Alice Ann St # B.  The office at 202 South Main St, at the corner of South Main and Churchville Road (Route 22) is the office for Frank Kratovil (thanks for the correction).  I’m unable to find a phone number for the Bel Air office but you can always stop by during the hours I mentioned.  One last option: you can email

Don’t feel too badly about the lack of signs in Harford County; part of the issue is that since Maryland is a strong blue state, there aren’t many free Obama signs floating around.  If you lived in Ohio and wanted a sign, it’d be much easier to get one!  Many of the signs that are available were paid for by donations from the individual folks involved in the Harford for Obama campaign; thanks for all your work and dedication!  I’ve been thrilled with the number of people asking me about getting Obama signs, in my daily life, when they see my bumper sticker in a parking lot, as I worked at the Democratic Party table at the Darlington Apple Festival…it’s makes me hopeful for Harford County!

Posted in Barack Obama, Harford County Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »