Tag Archives: middle class

Lilly Ledbetter and a Pro-Woman President

5 Sep

Last night, there were several amazing speeches given at the DNC.  How you could anyone not be in love with First Lady Michelle Obama?  Another particular speech that really resonated was that given by Lilly Ledbetter, who has been celebrated before on TSM.

Many of you may remember that Ledbetter had the courage to fight for equal pay when she learned that her male peers were earning more than she for the same work at the Good Year Tire and Rubber Co. Finally the case went to the Supreme Court in 2007, where the Fecal Five told Ledbetter: “Sorry, but you should not have waited so long to file the lawsuit–deal with it.”  Fortunately in 2009, President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which now allows women and all Americans to challenge unfair pay practices.

Not only am I consistently impressed with Ledbetter, but I love that we have President Obama who is not afraid to stand up to bullies and is working to protect women, the LGBTQ community, marginalized populations, and the middle class. Ann Romney can take her token role to promise that her husband is kind of okay once you get to know him. The dozens of women appearing onstage at the DNC tell the compelling story of a party and a president that really want to make this country fair for all. Not such a hard choice, is it?

Bigot of the Week Award: August 3, House Democrats Opposing Tax Fairness

3 Aug

Bigot of the Week

This week 19 House Democrats put self-interest ahead of leadership and bailed on a key piece of legislation. Last week Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid exceeded all expectations and crafted a brilliant deal that allowed a great tax cut compromise to pass the Senate. The bill extended the cuts for taxpayers making less than $250,000 a year, protecting the middle class during the fragile economic recovery. By ending the cuts for those with higher incomes, it also introduced greater fairness into the tax system–truly a broken clock moment for our Harry Reid.

The bill was unlikely to pass in the House, of course, but it sent a strong message. The Republicans in the House shot it down on Wednesday — big shock. Sadly, 19 Democrats voted against the bill, joining the Republican chorus of class warfare. The majority of the 19 Representatives who crossed the aisle were so-called Blue Dog Democrats (or what I like to call Tea Bag Democrats), a loose caucus of “moderate and conservative” Democrats. Many are also in tight re-election contests or in badly gerrymandered new districts. These are not sufficient excuses.

It is a given that most Republicans will not vote for the Democrat. It is also true that the Senate approach to the tax cuts is very popular (polling at or above 60%), especially with independent voters and in swing states. What these 19 cowards have done is sold out the middle class and the most vulnerable for a callous political calculation. Why should Democratic voters in their districts care about showing up at the polls if they are offered a choice between two people who vote against them? Why should independent voters prefer a Democrat if that person voted against their preferences? Shame on you, Representatives! Bad dogs!

Personally, I am sad to see Rep. Kurt Schrader from Oregon’s 5th District on this list and grateful that the recent redistricting moved me into Rep. Blumenauer’s district. Oregonians are hurting, Rep. Schrader; why did you vote against 98% of them?

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