Monday, June 13, 2011

Let me introduce you to your Senator Sherrod Brown

Sherrod Brown was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006, beating incumbent Mike DeWine. Prior to being a Senator, Brown served in several federal and state positions including the U.S. House of Representatives, Ohio Secretary of State and the Ohio House of Representatives. Like the President, there was ample warning for voters in what Sherrod Brown stood for. His focus was on "social and economic justice." He talked about "Ohioans in their sixties, seventies, and even eighties who remember a better America, an America that kept its promises." Obviously this was before Sherrod Brown voted for Obamacare which cuts $500 billion dollars from Medicare, and created the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), which "will submit recommendations to slow the growth in national health care expenditures while preserving or enhancing quality of care." I'll leave it to your imagination what the IPAB will recommend. Sadly for these elderly Ohioans, the IPAB is not subject to elections, and their recommendations would be hard for Congress to overturn.

The American Conservative Union (not that kind of union) rates members of congress. The American Conservative Union tracks a wide range of issues before Congress to determine which issues and votes serve as a dividing line to help separate those Members of the U.S. House and Senate who protect liberty as conservatives and those who are truly liberal. Sherrod Brown got a score of zero from the ACU. This put Brown in some interesting company, including Barbara Boxer, Carl Levin, Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, Barney Frank, Nancy Pelosi and now famous Anthony Weiner.

Brown is obviously not a conservative. He is a Progressive. Some think that Progressives are just ordinary Democrats, if there is such a thing anymore. Sherrod Brown says that his political heroes include Teddy Roosevelt, Robert Kennedy, and Franlkin Delano Roosevelt. I am of the opinion that these three heroes would not agree with Sherrod Brown on his far left ideology.

So, what does it mean to be a progressive? You might be a progressive if:

  • So who is a progressive? You might be one if ...You think health care is a basic human right, and that single-payer national health insurance is a worthwhile reform on our way toward creating a non-profit national health care service.

  • You think that human rights ought always to trump property rights.

  • You think U.S. military spending is an obscene waste of resources, and that the only freedom this spending protects is the freedom of economic elites to exploit working people all around the planet.

  • You think political leaders who engage in "preemptive war" and invasions should be brought to trial for crimes against humanity and judged against the standards of international law established at Nuremberg after World War Two.

  • You think public education should be free, not just from kindergarten through high school, but as far as a person is willing and able to go.

  • You think that strengthening the rights of all workers to unionize and bargain collectively is a useful step toward full economic democracy.

  • You think that as a society we have a collective obligation to provide everyone who is willing and able to work with a job that pays a living wage and offers dignity.

  • You think that a class system which forces some people to do dirty, dangerous, boring work all the time, while others get to do clean, safe, interesting work all the time, can never deliver social justice.

  • You think that regulating big corporations isn't enough, and that such corporations, if they are allowed to exist at all, must either serve the common good or be put into public receivership.

  • You think that the legal doctrine granting corporations the same constitutional rights as natural persons is absurd and must be overturned.

  • You think it's wrong to allow individuals to accumulate wealth without limits, and that the highest incomes should be capped well before they begin to threaten community and democracy.

  • You think that wealth, not just income, should be taxed.

  • You think it's crazy to use the Old Testament as a policy guide for the 21st century.

  • You think that anyone who desires the reins of power that come with high political office should, by reason of that desire, be seen as unfit for the job.

  • You are open to considering how the privileges you enjoy because of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and/or physical ability might come at the expense of others.

  • You believe that voting every few years is a weak form of political participation, and that achieving social justice requires concerted effort before, during, and after elections.

  • You think that, ideally, no one would have more wealth more than they need until everyone has at least as much as they need to live a safe, happy, decent life.

  • You recognize that an economic system which requires continuous expansion, destroys the environment, relies on rapidly-depleting fossil fuels, exacerbates inequality, and leads to war after war is unsustainable and must be replaced.

My question to my fellow Ohioans, does Sherrod Brown share your political, economic and religious values? Again, like the President, you now know more about Brown that you did when you voted for him. If you feel that you do not want to be represented by someone who embraces these views, you'll get a "do over" in November 2012.


  1. I read this in an article on "Big Government," and it made me think of politicians like Brown.

    "The issue lost in the rhetoric of the traditional left/right argument is not about circumstances and poor people, but rather one of philosophy. Collective systems operate on a kind of “parent-child” philosophy. Citizens are told they are children who cannot take full responsibility for themselves and instead are taught to rely on their parents. Bureaucratic systems take care of them, decide the right choices for them, and always tell them that the system has their best interests at heart. The parent tells the child that they can’t be trusted. That the enemy out there will not protect their future but destroy their future. To the collective the enemy is the individual. And the individual is you! What has happened to the responsibility and empowerment of “doing it yourself”? We are not children and the parental control system is not taking care of us!"

  2. Good luck finding a doctor if this goes through:

    The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that, under current law, payment rates for physician services will be reduced by 29.4 percent in 2012. That large reduction called for under current law follows several years of legislative action to either maintain or increase physician payment rates under the Medicare program when those rates were otherwise scheduled to decrease under the provisions of law known as Medicare's Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) mechanism. Such legislative actions have overridden the SGR.

  3. Im trying to figure out a time where property rights should ever outweigh human rights. Property can be replaced, life cant be


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