Saturday, January 17, 2015

Tom Hayden's California Way For 2016

Published first in DelawareLiberal on 1/17/2015 by Progressive Populist

I listen to this guy a lot and suggest you do too.  He's smart and by no means schooled only in anti-war politics.  An author, student of gang life in L.A., a former State Senator and respected seer in the progressive world. California and Jerry Brown might have shown us the way forward for a progressive Democratic 2016  victory in Tom Hayden's considered view.

Tom's latest thinking is that even by blowing off what he calls the nostalgia for the New South and coal, Democrats can win 318 electoral votes in 2016 with a progressive platform, even without Florida if Jeb is their candidate. The minimum required to get the necessary 271 electoral college votes includes a Blue west that also wins Colorado and New Mexico, strong work in Minnesota, Illinois and Ohio and the entire northeast from Virgina north.

The priority positions for both California and the nation according to Hayden include climate action via clean energy initiatives and opposition to Keystone, measures to reverse the continued erosion of income equity and diplomacy as our primary national security thrust for a war fatigued nation.   Immigration reform, continued improvement toward universal healthcare and counter measures to voter suppression and Citizens United  become highly  important secondary issues in Tom Hayden's opinion.

He emphasizes the need for clarity without ambivalence, particularly on the implications of these priorities for Main street over the wishes of wall street.

His strategy ideas reflect the success Governor Jerry Brown enjoys with a 60% margin of victory.  Brown unequivocally ran on higher taxes from the wealthy in California while showing an  equally strong commitment to restraint on government growth and rebuilding the California economy by supporting clean energy policies and  its business development.

Yet he successfully  emphasized his commitment to restoring California's leadership in public and university education through increasing financial support for public schools K through 12 serving those most in need and working on college/technical school affordability and student debt reduction or elimination.  California used to offer tuition free education for its best and brightest, a policy totally tanked by Ronald Reagan.

Governor Moonbeam disappeared long ago and what you have in Brown is no classical progressive; he is a very complex mixed bag of policies.  I can attest to that having known him at Santa Clara University in our undergraduate years.

Yes, Democrats in Delaware can learn from Brown and the California turnaround.  Yes, they're really big and we're really small but our histories in environmentalism are parallel and the clean energy business development message seems to make sense for us.  So do clean air and water.

Just maybe the Delaware Dems  can be inspired to actually refresh itself and introduce its policies and message to Delawarians from its current status of sullen silence on about anything except the message from its legislative leadership that it is silencing about the only Delaware voice advocating remedial financing for high needs public schools.

Rep. Kowalko's position is very similar to that of Governor Brown in the California public school crisis turnaround.  The Speaker's derision of progress in education is not heartening news for Democrats in Delaware, let alone those wondering how Democratic policy differs from the party of  the few.

And for sure, the DNC should take notice of the Democratic party and its leadership in California as model for its own barren messaging program.  Debbie Wasserman Schultz's message that all is now well with the American economy is completely tone deaf and devoid of understanding of the systemic hurt still felt by the barely middle class and below, the life blood of her Party's voters.  She needs to go as do the rest of the Wall street pimps and sell outs diminishing our chances for success in leading America out of this funk with fresh thinking and restorative policies.

Let's renew here like Jerry Brown is doing in California.  It might turn around the erosion of Democratic power in Delaware.