Sunday, August 14, 2011

To Bonnie

“Obama hasn’t exactly delivered. And if we’d elected a President McCain, at least there’d be no Tea Party”
-Bonnie Blodgett, Opinion Page, Minneapolis Star Tribune 8-07-11

Dear Bonnie


In late 2006 and early 2007, we stood for our children, our grandchildren, our neighbors, and our friends. We stood for those who could not stand for themselves. Thousands, then hundreds of thousands, then millions joined us.

And, together, we are still standing.

We have all been horrified by the personal attacks by the Republican Tea Party on our shared values. They have been relentless, determined, and unforgiving; some would say bordering on immoral. Since 1-20-09, the Republican Tea Party has based their strategy on one thing only; as Mitch McConnell said, to make Barack Obama a one term President. To do that, they have attacked our core values; more importantly, they have attempted to sow doubt and confusion amongst us, friends, neighbors, and allies who together elected Barack Obama President.

The intent of the Republican Tea Party is clear; eliminate the enthusiasm we have for our shared values, believe we are beaten, depress turnout in November 2012, and elect a Republican President.

Bonnie, the statement above cannot be real. You are tired, worn out, sick and we know tired of the attacks. But we don’t believe you really believe what you have said.

Because, a President McCain would have;

• Nominated TWO Supreme Court Justices that would be in the mold of Justices Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, and Alito
• Withheld TARP and plunged us into a deeper and wider economic malaise in 2009 and 2010. (Remember “I don’t really understand economics much”?)
• Never signed a Lily Ledbetter Act into law
• Never pursued the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”
• Likley embraced continuing attacks on Women’s rights , from the Right
• Never pursued Financial Reform
• Never pursued Health Care Reform

In short, our world would look different. It would be darker.

And Sarah Palin would be one heartbeat away from the Presidency.

So Bonnie, we say with respect and humility; you have to be kidding.

"I am a Idealist without illusions", said John F Kennedy.

So are we.

And so is Barack Obama.

The American people have been hit from all sides. Particulary from the Republican Tea Party who want us to believe the Depression-Recession they caused, was caused by Barack Obama, in one way, shape, or form.

Finally, The Tea Party Downgrade of America stands as a unique insult to all Americans. The same S&P that couldn’t figure AIG or the Great Mortgage Fraud out, proclaims itself expert on our political system. Same old stuff. A $2 Trillion mistake? Doesn’t matter. And then they have the nerve to make threats of more downgrades to come.

The past three years have been extremely difficult. Predictably, our friends and neighbors reaction is one of disappointment, and great stress. And that’s just our friends. The Republican Tea Party wants us to think Barack Obama, and by extension we, are to blame for it all. Including the very wars that George Bush started in Afghanistan and Iraq; and didn’t pay for.

Remember this; in January of 2009, on the day Barack Obama was inaugurated, we were in a national economic emergency. National debt was $10.7 Trillion. Government debt at the time of George Bush’s Inauguration ( January 20, 2001) was $5.8 Trillion. That’s + $5 Trillion for George Bush, or a nearly 100% increase in government debt owed while the Republican Tea party controlled Congress for 75% of his term. We doubled the national debt during a time of mild recession or prosperity, as we fought two wars and reduced taxes at the same time.

In the last week, numerous economists have likened the Republican policies to actions taken during the Depression that casued a worsening of conditions; even Bill Gross of PIMCO, said on Friday that Republican Tea Party economic strategies were a recipe for failure.

Bonnie, you really wouldn’t want them in control of our economy, would you?

Now, we are paying the price for this false promise. As our parents often told us, “you can’t have everything”.

Each of us remembers that time; we recall the gut ache as we saw George Bush reduce everyone’s taxes as he took us to war. We allowed fear and anger to rule our judgement and put our better Angels in a closet.

Frankly, Washington isn’t broken. The Republican Tea Party has pushed this nation towards and further into economic turmoil as a direct tool to further their political agenda. Nothing new about that. They impeached Bill Clinton over personal matters. They used fear and hate of Other to take us into unmamanaged wars. So doing these kinds of things may seem unbelievable, but manipulation for political gain is a continued part of their behavior as thoroughly demonstrated in the 90’s and 2000’s.

Unlike you, we look back on the last two years 7 months with great pride.

Were mistakes made? Sure.

If we were standing in a boat with 1,000 holes in it, and had 10 fingers to plug those 1,000 holes, each and every one of us would have made mistakes in the effort to save the ship of state. That is the reality of the humanity of the Team. Note that our boat is still floating; damaged, but floating.

Barack Obama and the Team executed with great skill and perseverance in a supremely difficult situation. In the face of a national emergency, President Obama ;

• Was elected with no lobbyist or PAC monies.
• Arrested a Depression
• Successfully nominated two Supremes who share our values
• Saved the American auto industry.
• Implemented Financial Reform.
• Passed Health Care (no, he did not campaign for Single Payer Option only. That is not true.)
• Created and executed the strategy that resulted in “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” being repealed with full military support.
• Passed Lily Ledbetter
• Created a Consumer Protection Agency.
• And the list goes on.
• Oh, yeah. He eliminated Osama Bin Laden, the greatest direct threat to our national security since Adolf Hitler.

Did we get everything we wanted in every bill passed? No, Bonnie. That is the difficult and messy nature of our democracy. And that was true as well, when we controlled both houses of Congress until November 2010.

So, if we all curl up and pull the blankets over our heads now, we will wake up in November 2012 facing a political disaster. The stakes couldn’t be higher; each and every one of our shared values is under attack by a determined and funded opposition.

We could not disagree more with the notion that politics is just sport; elections have consequences. As November 2010 has amply demonstrated.

So we are getting up tomorrow and going to work in each and every way possible. We are going to work, and work, and work, until, on election eve of November 2012, we stand exhausted knowing we could not have done one more thing. That each thing we could have done, we did.

We ask you to do the same to defend our shared values from the oncoming attack, and to recognize that we cannot turn back now. And we have great confidence that if you do choose to stand with us, on election eve you will be similarly exhausted, as will millions of others in homes, offices, and halls across America. And the next night, together, we will celebrate , in unity and common purpose, the re-election of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States.

And then, together, we can continue the task of healing our nation.

We Are In,

Lou and Carol Frillman

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