Monday, February 04, 2008

"Nostalgia" for the Clinton Administration; Yes on 93 and other Unsolicited Advice on the California Primary Tomorrow

1. The Democratic presidential primary. I loved the L.A. Times Editorial for Obama on Saturday (link above and here). I can't possibly improve upon how they said it. This is a historic choice and the right choice is Obama.

I can't resist, however, a little last minute reminder in case anyone is having nostalgia for the Clinton administration. In the Bush era, believe me, it's easy to have nostalgia for Bill Clinton (hell, under Bush, I've even had nostalgia for Richard Nixon) but the time to wax nostalgic for just any Democrat is not in the primary, it's the general election.

Get a cuppa, relax and let's enjoy a trip down memory lane with the Clinton administration, some highlights:

**"don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays in the military
**welfare "reform"
**passage of NAFTA and paving the way for free trade agreements that run roughshod over the environment, health and safety rules, and consumer protection (can anyone say lead toys from China? A direct legacy of this administration)
**weakening the enforcement of clean and safe food regulations, so that we began to have ecoli outbreaks in burgers, fear of mad cow disease, and many other problems in food safety that hadn't happened since the laws were strengthened in the early 70s.

and the number one legacy of the Clinton administration (drumroll please):
losing Democratic control of the Congress for the first time in 40 years!

No. Obama's not perfect. Many of his positions seem a little too calculated, mainstream and corporate-oriented for me. But here's what I believe about him. He has been against the Iraq war from the start. His record as a legislator in Illinois and in the U.S. Senate shows that he is a progressive (he started out as a community organizer). He is smart enough to create enough of a makeover for him to win the White House in November. He is an orator. He is a leader. He is inspiring. His very name, his very skin, his very being will be a healing presence for the nation and hence the whole world. Vote for Obama tomorrow.

And remember, the delegates are awarded congressional district by congressional district, so Clinton could win the popular vote in California but Obama could still get a delegate from your congressional district (for example, it's neck and neck in Sacramento Matsui's district here). So every vote matters. And if you're in a Republican district, don't despair, they only count the Democratic votes in the Democratic primary!

2. On the rest of the ballot. All you need to remember is Yes on 93, no on all the the other California propositions. Regardless of what you think of the current leaders of the legislature, it will bring increased sanity to California government to have legislators develop greater expertise and stay in one house for longer instead of hopping from Assembly to Senate.

I have worked in and around the California legislature for almost 10 years and I have seen speakers come and go. We need to retain experienced legislators and the only way we can tackle any of the big intractable problems in California is to develop a consensus over time. The current term limits law doesn't allow that to happen.

No on the Indian gaming pacts. No on the education initiatives because it unfairly ties their hands.

Re-read my husband's recommendations for more details on these if you like.

Bill Magavern's ballot recommendations.

See you at the Obama victory party!


shoister said...

Yes on 93??? I love you, and I disagree. As a delighted and fulfilled victim of Prop 140 (hey, I landed on my feet, unlike that supah slackah Don Perata) I continue to be all Not In My Name on term limits, preferring, however quaintly, to believe that that People Have The Power to limit terms on a routine basis by exercising their right to vote. Lack of expertise may... or may not have been at the root of legislative dysfunction (I tend to think lack of campaign reform -- your favorite subject! -- is to blame). Meanwhile let's use the nuisance of 93 against its owners. If you want someone experienced walking the halls... tell me those aren't the clowns of which you speak!

Selliot said...

Hey--how come you didn't link Krugman's column yesterday--huh? I think we both know why! Wellesley, Class of 83--Eat that!

Anonymous said...

Looks like your mother was wrong again.