Wednesday, January 28, 2015

New Mexico's Consevative Legislators

No New Mexico federal legislator belongs to the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Zero.

It's not that they don't know about it. There are 76 congress members in it and it's been around since 1991, when it was created by Bernie Sanders, the Social Democrat from Vermont who caucuses with the Democrats, when he was a House member. He's now the only senator in the caucus.

So why isn't anyone from New Mexico's delegation in the Progressive Caucus?

"Progressive," to clarify that term, became popular as a term for a liberal Democrat after Ronald Reagan successfully demonized the word "liberal." Progressive Democrats aren't radical, aren't socialists, aren't communists. They're simply what Democrats used to be, except for white Southern Democrats who were always conservative.

I can think of two possible reasons New Mexico's delegation aren't in the Progressive Caucus. One, they're conservative. That is, they think it's OK that the rich are getting richer and they think the rest of us should be happy with two part time jobs at minimum wage, and that our kids should forget about college and having a happy life. Two would be that for strategic purposes, i.e., for the sake of holding on to their status and fancy titles, they don't want anybody to know they're liberals.

Taken together those two things account for most of why the American people are in the shit hole they're in, with declining living standards, declining wages, and no prospects for their children to live a better life than they did.

Recall how Democrats responded to Ronald Reagan's two landslide victories. You had people like Bill Clinton and Al Gore arguing that the party should become more conservative -- remember their Democratic Leadership Council and recruiting conservative Democratic candidates? -- and you had Liberals running away form the word Liberal. Remember how Michael Dukakis, in the 1988 presidential campaign to decide who would replace Reagan, wouldn't admit to being a Liberal? He kept repeating, "It's about competence, not ideology."

With those two things -- with some liberal Democrats being cast aside the rest ashamed of being liberal -- Democrats conceded the war of ideas to the Republicans. It left Democrats in a position from which it was, and still is, impossible to argue the Liberal cause. Democrats simply abandoned the American people for their own self interest.

Democrats today, those not in the Progressive Caucus, which is the vast majority of them, are essentially Republicans who are slightly liberal on social issues. They always vote with Republicans on economic issues in the end, after some posturing for the TV cameras, they vote to continue Reaganomic policies that transfer wealth upward, they have walked hand in hand with Republicans in returning the US to a level of economic inequality not seen since the days of railroad tycoons and oil barons in the 1920s when workers slept next to their machines. Democrats are essentially running a scam on voters in order to capture the liberal vote.

You can make up your own mind whether New Mexico's two Democratic senators, Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, and it's two Democratic representatives, Ben Lujan and Michelle Grisham, are so cynically self interested that they run as Democrats because they see that as their ticket to being big shots, or whether they are so weak and pathetic that they're afraid of being called liberals. Either way, you'd be justified in thinking of them as pretty damn pathetic. You'd be justified in wondering why some good Democrats don't take them all out and give them a good beating. And you'd be right if you said the reason is that there aren't any Democrats in New Mexico any more.



The Congressional Progressive Caucus

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