(This is part 1 of a 4-part series leading up to this Saturday's Endorsement Convention. Parts 2 and 3 will deal with the races for Secretary of State and Attorney General, while Part 4 will feature my thoughts on the race for Governor, even though we won't vote on that until August.)
We dodged a bullet here at CMU.
For the fifth and final time as an undergrad, last week I cast a vote in our Student Government Association presidential election. A former SGA Senator, I still care about what goes on in SGA - and was quite concerned by what might have happened had the wrong candidate won the SGA presidency.
That candidate's SGA experience consisted of one semester representing the "Campus Conservatives" (which the now-Cheboygan drain commissioner founded) in SGA. In true conservative fashion, he didn't do his job (he was subject to removal from SGA due to absences) and lied, lied, lied about his opponent. He also ran on a platform that, among other things, included "lowering tuition."
Had he won, it would have shown that people can get away with lying to people and not doing your job. Thankfully, he lost.
We at CMU dodged a bullet, but what if Michigan and America aren't so lucky?
What would it say if Michigan's next governor were someone like Mike Cox, who has sued to prevent people from getting the health coverage they need, or Pete Hoekstra, who capitalized on America's near-misfortune by fundraising off the attempted plane attack near Detroit? What would it say if teabaggers get their way in the election?
It would say that it's okay to attack the working class. It would say that lies are okay. It would say that carelessness, reckless, and incivility are to be embraced by all who wish to be in politics.
We have plenty of time to do something about that... but it's up to you and me!
This year does not seem like the best year to be a Democrat. To be perfectly honest, if you forced me to guess, I would say that Republicans are more likely to win the governorship and enough other top races to stop Michigan from moving forward on key issues. Look which party's candidates have the name recognition and monetary advantage - then add in the fact that a lot of voters are unhappy with how things are going, and look which party holds the governor's office. (It's a shame that governors and presidents are blamed and credited for things that the legislature and Congress do or don't do, but that's another story.)
But that in no excuse for anyone to not do their part to get progressive Democrats elected! 203 days before an election is 203 days too early to give up! After all:
- We have superb candidates. We have a couple of great candidates for governor, plus Andy Dillon. We also have spectacular candidates for Secretary of State, AG, and other offices. All of our nominees will surely be worthy of our support!
- Cox? Hoekstra? Really? No more embarrassments for Michigan!
- The Democratic Party is worth supporting. While the Democratic Party is far from perfect, it is the Democrats who have the great ideas needed to tackle great challenges. Democrats have been the ones leading the great transformations of American Policy - from the New Deal to the Fair Deal to the Great Society to the Big F***ing Deal. And while not all Democratic politicians are great, most great politicians we have nowadays are Democrats.
- Look what the Republican Party has become. Lies, ineptitude, and attacking and opposing progress are not what we need - but, sadly, that is what has become of the other party. What used to be the Party of Ford, Milliken, and Eisenhower is now the party of disaster, teabagging, insulting the meaning of freedom and liberty, and "Hell No You Can't!"
- The Republicans are divided as heck. You know how the 'liberal' media has spent so much time and effort telling us that the Dems are divided and in disarray? Well, I got two words for you: Michael Steele. Not to mention that, unlike in years past, the Republicans aren't outraising the Democrats by hefty margins. Of course, the impact of the activist Roberts Court's decision against democracy is yet to be known.
- Speaking of money, how's Governor DeVos doing? I mean, he must be governor, since he (a) outspent Granholm by oodles; (b) ran as a challenger in a beleaguered state; (c) ran in what is usually called a toss-up state; and (d) . So he must have at least eked out a win in 2006. Oh, wait... Granholm won? By 14 points?!?! Well, I guess money and anti-incumbent fever
- We have a good shot at holding the State House. In 2008, we won 67 House seats to the Republicans' 43. It would take an enormous shift for the Republicans to gain 13 seats and take back the House.
- We may very well take back the state Senate. The Democrats came within a few thousand votes of taking back the state Senate in 2006. While the Repubs have since gained a seat via Mike Nofs, Dems can gain control with four pickups. Casandra Ulbrich in the 12th (Bike Bishop's seat), Doug Spade in the 16th, David LaGrand in the 29th, Bob Jones in the 20th, Mary Valentine in the 34th, and Andy Newmann in the 36th are all running in seats held by Republicans that we may very well take - if they get our support!
This is our chance. Our chance to once again say NO to the politics of hatred and cynicism, and YES to progressivism and true public service. As I said, not all Democrats are amazing.... but I'll take an okay Democrat over almost any Republican.
Yes We Can once again bring about the change we so desperately need in our communities, our Great Lakes State, and this wonderful nation!