Okay, it has been an utterly crazy week, both politically, and in my life, non-politically. We had Cancun, the tax ‘compromise’, Wikileaks, the little-noticed South Korea free trade agreement (more on that sucker later), and today, it’s looking like both House and Senate will be taking up BOTH the DREAM Act and a repeal of DADT (Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, for those of you who don’t obsess over Democratic waffling like I do). Today. At 6:30- for DREAM Act.
As such, CALL YOUR SENATORS AND REPS, EVEN IF THEY ARE REPUBLICANS, and tell them to support the DREAM Act (which offers a difficult, but as yet, non-existent, path to documented citizenship for undocumented immigrants brought here as a child, who want to graduate college or serve in the military here) and the Pentagon-endorsed repeal of the odious Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy. This may well be our last chance to give our queer allies, and those allies in the immigrant community anything before the Republicans ensure that nothing of value passes before 2012. It is a matter of justice and it is urgent as hell.
I would also strongly encourage you to tell your legislators to stand against Obama’s ‘tax compromise’. It’s terrible both as policy and as politics, as one of my favorite Senators (who I’m proud to call my own), Senator Sherrod Brown lays out below:
It is a sad state of affairs in our party that Sherrod Brown is one of the only people to make these points. As though it’s really hard to make the connection between Bush’s economic regime and utter disaster.
There are cases to be made for the compromise, including particularly the extension of unemployment benefits, but what I would say is do not expect those Bush tax cuts to ever go out of effect if it doesn’t happen now. I see no reason to believe that Obama is going to actually advance and re-visit a position two years in the future. When I think about what that money could do, properly deployed, I am appalled at the thought of that waste continuing into the future. As far as I’m concerned, Robert Reich is right, it’s an abomination.
Finally, I went through my email log to check, and I’m really fucking disappointed with the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Democracy for America. I see emails from them over the past month regarding:
- DADT Repeal (good)
- Resistance to the tax compromise (good)
- Worrying about Keith Olbermann’s suspension (meh)
- Resistance to the deficit commission’s contract on America, I mean, recommendations for austerity and misery, I mean, plan to bring down the deficit (good)
However, NOTHING on the DREAM Act. Come on people, this is freaking embarrassing! I know there is a strand of progressives that want to avoid ‘cultural’ or ‘divisive’ issues; who want to stick to straight progressive/populist economics; who advocate avoiding issues of race as so-called ‘pragmatism’. But that is stupid. Progressives are disproportionately people of color (not necessarily in terms of self-identification, but certainly in terms of ideological match), youths and people of color are clearly the future of this country, and you are not going to impress anyone by ‘forgetting’ issues this important to them. This is life and death.
The only groups that do not have an explicit racial justice orientation that have been going to bat (messaging-wise) for the DREAM Act has been the labor movement, especially the AFL-CIO, SEIU, and UFCW. Good for them- they see the writing on the wall and are well aware that they cannot take people of colore for granted and remember a viable progressive movement. Let’s see some other progressives wake up to that fact.