Part 1–Independent Thinking: PARTISAN NO MORE

Editor’s Note: Originally planned as a double post on the subject of “independent thinking” in the wake of the Democratic Party’s recent actions, we’ve decided to post each piece individually since each has it’s own distincet tone and content. Part 2 will appear on Friday…

Partisan No More

~~By kenosha Marge

When you discard something that has been a part of your identity for all of your adult life it’s frightening. It’s a lonely feeling when you abandon your tribe. It was home. It was comfort.

That was what it meant to me to leave the Democratic Party. It was not a decision I made lightly. It was a long lonely process that ended on May 31st 2008. That was the day that the Democratic Party, the DNC and the RBC decided that democracy didn’t matter anymore. That was the day I became an Independent.

Clicking around the Internet I find many people like me. Many of us now feel free to pick and choose when casting our votes. We do not feel bound by partisanship or loyalty to a party. I also see people who are just waiting for the party to come to its senses so that they can rush back home. I will not do that.

I found out a fundamental thing about myself this election cycle. For years I cringed as fellow liberals called conservatives horrid names and impugned their intellect. I cringed because I had family and friends who were good, decent people and, horror of horrors, Republicans. My maternal Grandparents, who were two of the best people I have ever known, were Republicans. Evil Ratfuckers? That I did nothing but cringe is shameful.

Taking a step back and looking around I began to wonder how many of my other preconceived notions were wrong. This election cycle has challenged the core beliefs for many of us. We look around without the bias of our partisanship and we don’t like what we see. We have had the nastiness and name-calling turned on us by fellow Democrats/Liberals and we are outraged.

Partisanship forces people to hang onto the most outrageous nonsense in an effort to avoid admitting they’re wrong. Some will refuse to see what is indisputable simply because they don’t want to see. What’s the old proverb; “None so blind as those that will not see”? I used to think that only meant Republicans.

We on the left like to pretend it’s only those stupid Conservatives who just won’t wake up and smell the coffee. They have a chance to be right, as in correct, if only they thought like us.

Partisanship allows people to do and say things they would find detestable if done by others.

Senator John W. Warner of Virginia was a man I respected even though I often disagreed with him. I thought him a good, decent man. So I ask myself how could this good, decent man go along with the Bush Administration so over and over again? Did he become evil over night? I don’t think so. I think that he simply put his party before everything else. In doing so he allowed his partisanship to compromise his integrity.

I believe most politicians put their party and their own re-election chances before their country and their integrity. Therefore they don’t actually represent the people who elected them.

I confess that I used to believe, and believe profoundly that all Democrats were better than all Republicans. I still believe that one of my Senators, Russ Feingold, is better than most Republicans. I’m also convinced he’s better than the majority of Democrats. Any time I become upset when he doesn’t vote exactly as I want him to vote, I remember the vote on the repulsive Patriot Act. The vote was 98 to 1. Clinton voted for it. McCain voted for it. Biden voted for it. The one man, with the integrity to stand alone for what he knew was right was Russ Feingold. (Landrieu (D-LA) did not vote.)

Just FYI, when reauthorization came up on March 2, 2006 the vote was 89 to 10 with Daniel Inouye not voting. Voting for? Most of the same cast of characters voted aye with the addition of the Junior Senator from Illinois, Barack Obama. Clinton, McCain, Biden all voted for the reauthorization. Daniel Akaka, Jeff Bingaman, Robert Byrd, Tom Harkin, Patrick Leahy, Carl Levin, Patty Murray and Ron Wyden had the integrity to join Russ Feingold. As I am a supporter of the 30% solution it’s nice to see at least one female Senator with the integrity to vote against this atrocity.

My other Wisconsin Senator is Herb Kohl. How could he be better than a Republican when he basically is a Republican? I really dislike DINOs, RINOs, and Blue Dog Democrats more than any other political critters. No one should vote for people that lack the courage to state who and what they are when running for office.

Another example of someone unafraid to be who and what he is, is Senator Bernie Sanders. He calls himself a Democratic Socialist and is classified as an Independent. Listen to what Bernie Sanders says sometimes and you’ll discover a man of integrity and decency. Men like Sanders and Feingold are few and far between. They do offer hope that people of integrity can be elected, just not many or often.

Partisan Republicans will vote for Republican Crooks over good decent Democrats; indeed they will deny that such a creature exists. Partisan Democrats will vote for Democratic Crooks over good decent Republicans and insist from their partisan viewpoint that there are no good Republicans. Partisan voters insist there is no good to be found in the other party.

And elected officials will follow the party line, with a few exceptions, whether the party line is good for the country or not. Our country is going to hell in a partisan handbasket.

Profile on Senator Jeff Bingaman, Latest on the List of the Obama Diversion Team…

It’s tough being in NM these days, what with Gov. Bill and Harry Teague cavorting in NM CD-02 and now Senator Jeff Bingaman donning the official uniform of the Obama Diversion Team. Both of these “leaders” seem to ignore the fact that voters in NM voted for Hillary Clinton…it was close, but they did choose Hillary over the others on the ballot. (Editor’s Note: At the time of the primary in February, John Edwards had just left the race, so his name was still on the ballot…he got my vote.)

Following in the footsteps of David L. Boren/Sam Nunn’s (see my post here , here , and here ) joint endorsement right after Obama’s poor debate performance in PA and Oklahoma super delegate Reggie Whitten’s ode to small-town America right after Obama’s insensitive comments about people in those towns and Obama’s loss in the PA election (see here), Senator Jeff has decided that NOW is the right time to endorse Obama as Rev. Wright ratchets up the noise and Obama reacts with sudden “outrage”. To add insult to injury, the spin has been that Bingaman’s endorsement has enabled Obama to pull ahead among the Senate poobahs.

Someone is directing this parade, but if were a smart politician/super delegate, I wouldn’t be following any directives to endorse at this moment. Of course, Senator Jeff has been in office for AGES (first elected to the Senate in 1982) and has plenty of energy industry money alongside the union cash that comes into his campaign coffers, so he doesn’t have to be worried. (In fact, he had a load of cash left over from his last campaign where he had an almost non-existent opponent.

The biggest problem for Senator Jeff in my opinion? He has no political courage. He fails miserably on Project Vote Smart’s Political Courage test (click through the link on this page to see his positions) and because:

Senator Jeff Bingaman REPEATEDLY REFUSED TO PROVIDE ANY
RESPONSES TO CITIZENS ON ISSUES THROUGH THE 2006
NATIONAL POLITICAL AWARENESS TEST WHEN ASKED TO DO SO BY:

Key national leaders of both major parties including:
John McCain, Republican Senator
Geraldine Ferraro, Former Democratic Congresswoman
Michael Dukakis, Former Democratic Governor
Bill Frenzel, Former Republican Congressman
Richard Kimball, Project Vote Smart President

Over 100 news organizations throughout the nation also urged their candidates to supply their issue positions through the National Political Awareness Test.

He sits on a lot of important committees, too:

Finance, Member
Health, Education, Labor & Pensions, Member
Joint Economic Committee, Member
Subcommittee on Energy, Natural Resources, and Infrastructure, Chair
Subcommittee on Health Care, Member
Subcommittee on International Trade and Global Competitiveness, Member

A lot of people have never heard of this Senator, probably because he his very quiet and doesn’t go after a lot of press. I saw him speak in 2004 at a Kerry event and comes across as “nice” and “folksy.” He can afford to do that, because he garners a lot of campaign money, from various groups, energy-related industry as well as his Senate colleagues and he’s as comfortable as an old shoe.

I’m beginning to wonder if it may be time investigate getting a new pair of shoes that might actually start walking a little differently. It’s just a dream, of course. Bingaman seems to have his feet firmly rooted in his Senate seat for life…