Wed Market Highlights Week 1

Hi all.My one volunteer effort in this election cycle is to person the table at the Wed Market from 12-1 each week.
I have modest goals but a big vision.  How do we turn a red state blue?  Or more accurately, how do we grow local progressives? This has been on my mind since 2004.

Here is a brief summary I posted on FB on the UCDC’s Facebook page.

During my hour and a quarter at Wed Market:

Roughly 10-12 visitors. No one said unregistered. All said they know about photo ID.

One Mifflinburg supporter asked me “Do you believe in the NEw World Order?” “The Bildenburg Group?” “Have you seen Jesse Ventura’s video about the six FEMA camps?”

When I didn’t jump on her conspiracy theory bandwagon she said “You’ll probably laugh at me.” I told her I would not. I pointed out that FEMA probably makes camps to help people for disasters.

I tried to say that the powerful are rigging the system, but they don’t need to meet in secret club and smoke cigars to do it.

Then a couple tried to do a drive-by insult fest. “Are you better off now than four years ago?” “We have to get rid of BHO!”

I crossed the ten feet and tried to engage them in discussion. “What is BHO?”(I thought it was a government agency).

The pair, mostly the man continued on about how their small business is being crushed, how we should be ashamed for supporting Obama, how we should be doubly ashamed since we were next to the prayer tent (not sure what that meant and I apologized to the nice prayer folks after), how ACA will cost $2,200 per person, how the economy is in the tank. They left with a final “Baby killers!” insult.

I tried to engage the man saying “Let’s talk about policy, about issues.”

Barbara said “You will never convince people like that.” I know. But my point is how did it look to the watchers? TO the people around there? I have no idea if it will work, but if we can use the Wed Market to find ways to talk progressive values in local speak, we will do more to make America a freer place than we may know.

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Rep Carney Ignores What is Politically Popular (why?)

So, our Rep, Chris Carney is a member of blue dog coalition (I just checked).

I know that others have done the critical work of organizing and delivering the signatures to Rep Carney (thanks y’all).

Despite the baying on the megaphones, the radial right is not relevant to the debate on health care reform. Sam Tannenhaus discussed this idea with Bill Moyers last week. He said:

Either the Republicans or Democrats have ruled since the Civil War for periods of some 30-36 years. And in those periods, all the great debates have occurred within a single party. So, if you go back to the 1980s, which some would say was the peak of the modern conservative period, the fight’s about how to end the Cold War, how to unleash market forces– were really Republican issues.

Today, when we look at the great questions — how to stimulate the economy, how to provide and expand and improve a sustainable health care system, the fight is taking place among Democrats.

The chance of a public option, which I think is more about whether a politician can imagine a more radical restructuring of our society versus a kind of apologist, window-dressing, don’t-shake-the-table approach, will be fought out WITHIN the democratic party.

So, the health insurance industry is against a public option. Who is for it? The public in 91 swing districts.

The poll, by respected Dem pollster John Anzalone, finds that 54% of these swing district voters support the public option, and makes the case that these voters emphatically don’t want a “trigger,” the compromise of choice in some quarters:

Geeky stats note- that is 54% with a 2.5% margin of error at 95% confidence interval. In plain English- it is 95% likely that the real support is between 51.5 and 56.5%.

The polling memo does not indicate if they can break it out by distircit, but given they covered 91, I doubt it. So, we don’t know or sure if our swing district is like the rest of these.

Some polling of specific swing districts found support for the public option (from a plurality to clear majorities) AND LESS for Obama by name. The message: campaign on the details in these types of districts.

Meanwhile, the DCCC raises money for vulnerable “frontline” dems, like the Blue Dogs who almost always get an allergic reaction to progressive ideas, with appeals to health care reform from Bill Clinton:

It’s up to us to prevent the Republican Party and their special interest backers from doing whatever they can to prevent this historic opportunity to make quality health care affordable and accessible to all.

On the bright side, the progressive hosue caucus is holding firm.

For the first time since they formed in 1995, the Blue Dogs have been out-organized by their liberal counterparts. The Congressional Progressive Caucus completed its first survey and began whipping back in the spring. They launched a final whip count last week that will be finished by Wednesday evening.

Maybe they can do so until the Blue Dogs realize that at the end of the day, they want to be on the right side of history here.