Continued from Taking a look at the 2012 Democratic party platform part 1.
III. America Works When Everyone Plays by the Same Rules
“For too long, we’ve had a financial system that stacked the deck against ordinary Americans. Banks on Wall Street played by different rules than businesses on Main Street and community banks.”
What we need to do is break up the banks. Then put regulation into place that will keep banks from becoming too large. Take the power away from the few barons that control everything and distribute it among many, encouraging healthy competition.
“Mitt Romney’s opposition to common sense campaign finance is nothing less than support for corporate and special interest takeovers in our elections.”
A. Wall Street Reform
“A strong middle class can only exist in an economy where everyone plays by the same rules, from Wall Street to Main Street. That’s why President Obama and Democrats in Congress overcame fierce opposition from the financial industry to pass the most far-reaching Wall Street reform in generations.”
This is true, but we need more. Still, Romney would have all of the new regulations stripped and allow Wall Street free reign. Maybe term two will see some greater reform, though he can’t really talk about it much if he has to spend all of his time justifying what’s already been done.
B. 21st Century Government: Transparent and Accountable
“We are committed to the most open, efficient, and accountable government in history, and we believe that government is more accountable when it is transparent.”
Let’s hope this continues on a path toward more transparency.
C. Lobbying Reform and Campaign Finance Reform
“Our political system is under assault by those who believe that special interests should be able to buy whatever they want in our society, including our government.”
What we need to do is very simple; outlaw lobbying by organizations, outlaw corporate campaign donations, and limit personal donations to an amount a middle-class citizen could reasonably part with for a cause they believe in.
IV. Greater Together
“Republicans like Mitt Romney want to turn back the clock on the progress we’ve made, telling people whom they can marry, restricting women’s access to birth control coverage, and going back to the same economic policies that benefited the wealthy but crashed our economy. Their narrow vision is of an America where everyone is left to fend for themselves and the powerful can write their own rules.”
This is all completely true. Republicans will, of course, spin it differently, but that is the platform they’re running on.
A. Strengthening the American Community
“We need an immigration reform that creates a system for allocating visas that meets our economic needs, keeps families together, and enforces the law. But instead of promoting the national interest, Republicans have blocked immigration reform in Congress and used the issue as a political wedge.”
This shouldn’t be a political issue that’s as divisive as it is. The reason Republicans use it is to fire up the racism in their lower-class base. Hatred convinces people to vote against their own best interests.
“ It’s time we stop just talking about family values and start pursuing policies that truly value families.”
All families, regardless of the number of parents or the gender make-up of the parental units. The Republicans want every family to be one male, one female, 2.5 kids, and a white picket fence. We aren’t all the white picket fence type.
3. Supporting Troops, Military Families, and Veterans
“We will not only continue to support them in the field, but we will also continue to prioritize support for wounded warriors, mental health, and the well being of our military families and veterans. We will keep working to give our veterans the health care, benefits, education, and job opportunities that they have earned.”
Actual support for the troops, Republicans think supporting the troops just means supporting war.
4. Americans with Disabilities
“We will continue to oppose all efforts to weaken the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act, and we will vigorously enforce laws that prevent discrimination. And the President and the Democratic Party will fiercely oppose the harsh cuts in Medicaid that would inevitably lead to no or significantly less health care for millions of Americans with disabilities, workers with disabilities, and families raising children with autism, Down Syndrome, and other serious disabilities.”
All good, and all very much not conservative values.
“We believe in constitutionally sound, evidence-based partnerships with faith-based and other non-profit organizations to serve those in need and advance our shared interests.”
The big part here is “and other non-profit organizations.” No God test, just “evidence-based.”
6. Rural Communities and Agriculture
“We are committed to creating a rural economy built to last—one focused on reclaiming the security of the rural middle class by growing the food, fiber, and fuel that the rest of the world buys and restoring the basic values of hard work and fair play that made our country great.”
The biggest problem the family farm faces these days are the mega-farms. In agriculture, just as in the rest of the economy, a rich elite run the show.
“An agricultural economy built to last is integral to the affordability of our food, the independence of our energy supply, and the security of America’s middle class. Democrats support agriculture from the small farms that feed the community to the large farms that feed the world.”
How about a little less support for the large ones? They don’t need it as much.
8. Tribal Sovereignty
“President Obama and Democrats in Congress, working with tribes, have taken unprecedented steps to resolve long-standing conflicts, finally coming to a resolution on litigation—some dating back nearly 100 years—related to management of Indian trust resources, administration of loan programs, and water rights.”
Obama has issued an executive order requiring greater support and communication between government agencies and tribal officials when those agencies are considering something that might affect the tribe or tribal lands. He signed the HEARTH Act, giving tribes more control over developing their lands. And yes, he settled lawsuits against the government with 41 tribes over the federal mismanagement of trust funds and resources.
9. Puerto Rico
“It is time for Puerto Rico to take the next step in the history of its status and its relationship to the rest of the United States.”
Promoting Puerto Rican statehood? That is a popular position in Puerto Rico in recent years.
10. Guam, American Samoa, U.S. Virgin Islands and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
“We will work as partners to the people of Guam on military matters, and take seriously the unique health care challenges that Pacific Island communities face.”
Oh yah, we have these other territories, too. Better say something nice.
11. Arts and Culture
“Democrats are proud of our support for arts funding and education. We are committed to continuing the policies and programs that have already done so much for our creative arts industry and economy.”
The greatest thing that can be done to save arts education is to save education in general. Art and music programs are the first to get cut in a struggling school district.
B. Protecting Rights and Freedoms
1. Civil Rights
“At the core of the Democratic Party is the principle that no one should face discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, language, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability status.”
The Republicans had a much shorter list. The Democrats are coming out in full force for LGBT rights now.
“The President and the Democratic Party believe that women have a right to control their reproductive choices.”
Republican policies seems to lead toward barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen as their preferred treatment of women. Why else would they fight so hard to keep birth control away from poor women?
3. Protecting A Woman’s Right to Choose
“Abortion is an intensely personal decision between a woman, her family, her doctor, and her clergy; there is no place for politicians or government to get in the way.”
Very clearly stated.
4. Voting Rights
“Democrats know that voter identification laws can disproportionately burden young voters, people of color, low-income families, people with disabilities, and the elderly, and we refuse to allow the use of political pretexts to disenfranchise American citizens.”
We do not have, nor do we want, federally issued IDs.
5. District of Columbia
“Every citizen of the United States is entitled to equal citizenship rights, including the 638,000 residents of the nation’s capital who pay federal taxes without representation.”
Why is this still an issue?
6. Freedom to Marry
“We support marriage equality and support the movement to secure equal treatment under law for same-sex couples.”
They said it. They officially said it.
“We can focus on effective enforcement of existing laws, especially strengthening our background check system,” sounds good so far, “and we can work together to enact common sense improvements—like reinstating the assault weapons ban…”
But what if the military falls into the hands of a Republican. The second amendment was designed to protect us from the government.
C. Ensuring Safety and Quality of Life
1. Cities and Metro Areas
“We will continue to partner with local communities to support their sustainable developments such as passenger rail, bicycle and pedestrian paths, and other projects to support livable cities.”
Support for decent, useable public transportation in every metropolitan area would also help make us more energy independent.
“Democrats believe that we must raise the minimum wage and index it to inflation.”
Inflation is very clearly tied to the top wage earners, not minimum wage. How else can you explain skyrocketing inflation when the only wages keeping pace are at the very top?
3. Public Safety, Justice, and Crime Prevention
“We will continue to fight inequalities in our criminal justice system. We believe that the death penalty must not be arbitrary. DNA testing should be used in all appropriate circumstances, defendants should have effective assistance of counsel, and the administration of justice should be fair and impartial. That’s why we enacted the Fair Sentencing Act, reducing racial disparities in sentencing for drug crimes.”
The prison-industrial complex won’t like this.
4. Service, Volunteerism, and Social Innovation
Encourage community service, help AmeriCorps VISTA and the Peace Corps, more of that socialist community organizer stuff.
“Our opponents have moved so far to the right as to doubt the science of climate change, advocate the selling of our federal lands, and threaten to roll back environmental protections that safeguard public health.”
All true, it’s right in the Republican Party platform for 2012.
Read on. The next section, Stronger in the World, Safer and More Secure At Home, is covered in Taking a look at the 2012 Democratic party platform part 3.