Their reason for doing this is so progressives remain without a power base after Election Day 2008 without any more influence than now.
We saw how the so-called "center" of the Democratic Party turned on those who exposed General Petreas.
This "center" is now taking clear aim at the issues holding together the progressive forces inside and outside the Democratic Party.
These issues are:
1. Ending the war in Iraq
2. Single-payer, universal health care
Below are two examples and my responses:
Published November 28, 2007 12:19 am - Brian Melendez, chair
Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party
In Response — Coleman’s lack of action on Iraq speaks louder than words
In a recent letter published by The Free Press, Minnesota GOP Chair Ron Carey took aim at Democrats and their position on the war in Iraq.
How ironic. When most Minnesotans want a responsible end to this war, and when Democrats like the First District’s Rep. Tim Walz are working to safely and responsibly redeploy our troops from Iraq, Sen. Norm Coleman continues to stand in the way, supporting this failed president and his war in Iraq.
Coleman was elected in 2002 as a strong supporter of President Bush and the war in Iraq. Not until the war became unpopular did Coleman publicly express doubt.
But express doubt is all that he did. Actions speak louder than words, and when it comes to the war in Iraq, Coleman says one thing but does another.
Despite claiming that it’s time for a change of course, Coleman consistently supported this failed president and the war in Iraq, voting 10 times this year alone against changing course or setting a timeline for bringing troops home.
No matter what he says in front of the cameras, Coleman walks into the Senate and casts vote after vote for what the president wants and against what Minnesotans want.
But Minnesotans need real leadership in Washington — leadership to end this war and to change the direction of our state and our nation.
Unfortunately, Coleman does not provide leadership; he simply follows the orders of the president and vice president who hand-picked him to run for Senate.
Minnesotans are ready to end this war, Sen. Coleman. What are you going to do about it?
Brian Melendez, chair
Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party
To the Editor, Mankato Free Press;
I read the article by Brian Melendez concerning Norm Coleman's support for this dirty war for oil and regional domination in Iraq.
As far as I am concerned the position taken by Brian Melendez and the DFL Congressional delegation is not that much different from Norm Coleman's position.
These Democrats have voted to continue funding this war that is robbing us of our own needs for housing, education, and health care.
They also voted to give Bush the right to go to war based upon lies and deceit.
I would point out that during the last DFL state convention I made a motion to suspend the rules of the convention in order to formulate a clear position in opposition to this war; Brian Melendez opposed this motion. Now, here comes Brian Melendez talking about "re-deploying troops" when he should be clearly calling for cutting all funding for this war and bringing these troops home immediately.
Alan L. Maki
Member, MN DFL State Central Committee, Roseau County
Single-payer, universal health care:
This one you just sent me… are you saying this is the resolution passed at the 2006 State Convention; or, is it one you intend to submit at the upcoming caucus in February?
What I would like to know is if the one passed at the 2006 state convention used the term “single-payer”?
As you are fully aware, the resolution passed with 72% delegate support at the 2006 Minnesota State Democratic Farmer-Labor Party Convention called for "single-payer, universal health care."
This is all getting very interesting. What I can’t understand is why not one single reporter has asked any of the candidates for U.S. Senate where they stand on H.R. 676; nor has a single reporter stuck the resolution from the last MN DFL state convention under their noses asking where they stand.
Also, why is the word “affordable” in the title of the resolution you have attached? Who authored this resolution with that word “affordable” in the title?
UNIVERSAL, AFFORDABLE SINGLE-PAYER HEALTH CARE
Whereas, 475,00 Minnesotans don’t have health insurance, a situation that increases their risk of illness, death, and financial insecurity; and
Whereas, a single payer system is the only system of health care that can dramatically reduce administrative costs, provide quality universal coverage with comprehensive benefits and control health care spending.
Therefore, be it resolved that_____________ supports and works for a universal, single payer health care system in Minnesota.
Have you looked at the MN DFL website and what they have for health care under the action agenda? It says nothing about single-payer. It talks about “affordable health insurance.”
It has been difficult enough getting people out to vote because they feel like all politicians are being deceitful and dishonest. What you people are doing by bringing the term “affordable” back into this discussion is setting things up for a reactionary “compromise” claiming it is the best you can get instead of mobilizing people to bring pressure to bear to force the politicians to do what is right and you are going to subvert the national movement for H.R. 676 in the process. But, that is what you want to do for Hillary, isn’t it?
The fact is, Minnesotans are fully in support of “no fee, comprehensive, all-inclusive [from prenatal to dental and eyes to prescriptions], single-payer, universal health care that is publicly administered and publicly financed.” Thousands of people in Roseau County signed petitions stating this already almost 8 years ago! If we were to re-circulate that same petition today support would be even stronger.
I find it very insulting that you, the MUHCC, and the MN DFL will now work together in collusion with these reactionary ultra-right elements in the MN DFL in the name of being “progressive” while you are undermining what the delegates to the last DFL state convention voted for. Not only that, but you are being completely inconsiderate of all those outside the DFL who have a right to have a say on this health care issue, too.
I expect the resolution passed by the last MN DFL state convention by an overwhelming 72% of the delegates to be posted on the MN DFL web site verbatim and not dishonestly twisted and perverted to please those who are pandering to the insurance companies, HMO’s, doctors, and hospitals.
It is pathetic that you and Melendez and these other party hacks would go to such lengths to undermine the vote of the convention.
How convenient you have this “new” resolution ready to go which is in opposition the resolution of the last state convention.
Every step of the way you people are manipulating and maneuvering in opposition to what the majority of the people want even after they have voted.
I am going to take your resolution, together with what is presently on the DFL website, and I am going to go across this state just weeks before the election exposing this betrayal of the people just like Huntley did in opposing single-payer just prior to the last election as he tried to work with the Republicans. I anticipate a very close election as it is and 150,000 leaflets talking about this betrayal could very easily determine the outcome in some close races selectively targeted. Do you people really think you can continue to betray Minnesotans and get away with it?
Every step of the way you people are undermining every single thing working people need… whether it is the betrayal of the auto workers losing there jobs at Ford or refusing to address the deplorable and disgraceful situation that has over 20,000 Minnesotans going to work in smoke-filled casinos at poverty wages without any rights under state or federal labor laws to continuing to fund this dirty war in Iraq as you sit in silence as our fresh water aquifers up here in northern Minnesota are destroyed by peat mining and the taconite industry.
What the hell is the matter with you people that you can not just accept what people are telling you they want?
I have been calling people to come out for the precinct caucuses and they are already telling me to go to hell… that they are a waste of time… they tell me they take their time to draft resolutions based on what they feel is needed to solve their problems and if the resolutions don’t go missing they end up being ignored.
You can count on me talking about that word “affordable” now being injected in order to create an atmosphere enabling the profiteers to continue ripping people off.
It is pathetic and shameful the way you people are playing games with peoples’ lives.
I don’t want to hear from anyone during this election that I am not being “a team player.” You people are the ones who are on the corporate team.
You organize “debates” for the candidates and you have to protect them from the public by not allowing people to ask their own questions. What a farce.
If the Democrats can hand over more than a trillion dollars to the Bush administration to murder people in Iraq and create so much human misery they provide the funds for free health care for its own people.
Joel, everyone knows that you are nothing but a liar, just like Melendez, when you say you don’t have the copy of the resolution 72% of the delegates voted for… you people wrote your “new” resolution with the 2006 resolution in hand carefully analyzing how you had to write it in order to create the right wording so you could say you are living up to what the delegates want. Very clever… all you are doing is playing the rest of us for suckers and fools.
Alan L. Maki
Member, MN DFL State Central Committee
This is what happens when we fail to adequately educate, organize and mobilize around the problems working people are experiencing while advancing concrete solutions to our problems as we leave the political field open to these kinds of shysters always looking to maneuver, manipulate and control.
We see these big-money, corporate interests who are the dominant force in the Minnesota DFL represented by the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce, the MN DFL Business Caucus, and the "Summit Hill Club" who tell us the solution to all of our problems is to simply "Pass out our leaflets, contribute your money, vote Democrat, and leave the thinking to us because we are going to take care of you after we get elected." Ya; sure, you betcha.
I wrote the following letter to the Editor which has now been published in numerous newspapers:
Letter to the Editor Grand Rapids Herald:
The war in Iraq continues with no end in sight.
A new study by Democrats themselves puts the economic cost of the Iraq occupation at $1.6 TRILLION, or $21,000 per family. Every single penny has been wasted - not to mention the human cost to Americans and Iraqis and global hatred of the USA.
Why would Democrats want to give Bush one penny more?
This war makes no sense at all.
We could use this money to create a world-class, no-fee, comprehensive, all inclusive--- from prenatal to eye and dental along with all medications, single-payer, universal health care system which would be publicly administered and publicly financed; such a health care system would even be the envy of Canadians.
We could also use some of this money to establish a federal bank to take over the mortgages of working class families facing home foreclosures, lower the interest rates to something reasonable like 3% so people have homes to live in.
We would have enough money left over to save the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant through public ownership; saving 2,000 jobs as we protect one of the main pillars of Minnesota’s industrial base.
And, we would still have money left over; maybe a few road repairs could be made.
Why are politicians constantly telling us there is no money for these things we need when they have all this money to continue a war based upon lies and deceit? Even Alan Greenspan has stated this war is about oil and regional domination.
We are paying a terrible price for this war in so many ways: the death and destruction, not to mention paying through the nose every time we fill our gas tanks.
Let your Congressman/Congresswoman and United States Senators know it is time to stop all funding for this war in Iraq.
The only way to support the troops is to bring them home now.
Alan L. Maki
58891 County Road 13
Warroad, Minnesota 56763
Cell phone: 651-587-5541
Unless people begin to speak out vigorously now that election activities are upon us and people are thinking and focusing on issues and problems; we are going to continue to get saddled with ultra-right governments and it doesn't make any difference if these ultra-right governments are Democrat or Republican in name. What matters is that the peoples' progressive agenda for social change be placed up front and center stage.
Ultra-right governments, whether of the Democratic or Republican variety--- they serve their corporate masters and the military-financial-industrial complex; they have but one main aim: to place the burden of all the problems on the backs of working people as they squeeze the working class of every last drop they can get out of us in quest of their ultimate goal: profits.
When asked by a group of well-heeled businessmen in Oregon to speak about World War I, the famous American writer, John Reed--- author of "Ten Days That Shook The World" and "Insurgent Mexico" and a founder of the modern day socialist movement, upon being introduced as the main speaker who would explain what the war was all about; Reed rose to speak and said, "PROFITS;" he then sat down. The ultra-right agenda remains the same 85 years later: PROFITS.
Something to think about while sitting around the dinner table as you are waiting to be evicted from your home.
If you are going out shopping for Christmas or Hanukka gifts, you might want to consider putting a few movies on your shopping list:
"Reds" the powerful movie about John Reed and the "Ten Days that Shook the World."
"Prairie Giant: The Tommy Douglas Story" about the socialist chosen to be the greatest Canadian.
"Bethune" starring Donald Sutherland as the heroic communist Canadian, Dr. Norman Bethune.
A couple good books you might want to put on your gift-giving list:
Working Class USA: The Power and the Movement by Gus Hall, Minnesota's most famous "Red" Finn and Finnish-American author
"Super Profits and Crises: Modern U.S. Capitalism" by Victor Perlo the most respected Marxist economist of the 20th Century
You will need Perlo's book to understand this book, which I highly recommend, "The Age of Turbulence" by Alan Greenspan