Progressives Every Day: Deliver Their Resignations
Lots of mail, polls, and ol' fashion sinning to discuss
Welcome to the Monday edition of Progressives Everywhere!
Tonight is the first night of the Republican National Convention. Considering the fact that we are still in the midst of a public health crisis, I suggest not watching even one minute of the RNC. The anger and nausea you will feel almost immediately are likely to weaken your immune system and aggravate any pre-existing conditions.
I know there is a temptation to ferret out the secrets of the other side, but there’s really nothing to get or understand — it’s a group of remarkably stupid, self-dealing grifters spewing hate speech and conspiracy theories. Instead, watch this movie — I watched it last night and really enjoyed it.
Also, shortly after I hit send on yesterday’s newsletter, news broke that a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin shot an unarmed Black man seven times in the back as he attempted to get into his car. Jacob Blake had just helped break up a fight in his neighborhood and was returning to his vehicle when he was chased and shot execution-style at point-blank range. He’s now in critical condition, fighting for his life. This is nothing new for Kenosha, a city with a famously corrupt police department. It feels impotent to just say this is a terrible tragedy — we need to tear down and reimagine the entire criminal justice system in this country.
OK, now to the news…
Elections and Voting Rights
National: I never expected the United States Postal Service to be such an integral part of this beat, but Donald Trump’s true talent is that he can wreck absolutely everything, so here we are, devoting days of our lives to trying to save the mail.
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testified in front of the House Oversight Committee today. The enormously wealthy Trump donor could hardly be bothered to put in any effort throughout the hearing, providing a smug smile that stood in for answers to most Democratic committee members’ questions.
Throughout the hearing, DeJoy steadfastly refused to even consider reinstating the hundreds of mail sorting machines that he’d ordered taken offline (or destroyed).
It was instructive to watch some of the senior Democrats on the committee question DeJoy and then watch the freshman class of Democrats get in their questions.
Long-time members like Reps. Stephen Lynch (MA-8) and Gerry Connolly (VA-11) mostly waxed poetic about the history and purpose of the USPS, with Lynch even referencing a Ken Burns documentary he’d watched that included some anecdotes about the old patronage system.
First-term members, on the other hand, were incisive and savage in their questioning. Rep. Ayanna Pressley (MA-7) went in on the USPS’s terrible internal COVID epidemic and told him “the only thing you should be delivering is your resignation,” a gimme joke that she delivered with straight fire. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14) pinned DeJoy against the wall in demanding that he turn over his email records on the USPS server and secured a handicapped ramp for a historic post office in her district through sheer shaming.
Katie Porter (CA-45), well… you should just watch the video below for the full effect. More than anything else, Louis DeJoy just clearly does not give a crap about his job beyond how he can use the power it offers to destroy democracy, as Porter so expertly reveals.
Ohio: Members of the state legislature have drafted articles of impeachment against Republican Gov. Mike DeWine. The catch? Those lawmakers are also Republicans.
Why are they so mad at DeWine? Well, unlike his fellow GOP governors in Florida, Texas, and Georgia, DeWine took action to stop the COVID-19 crisis early before it became a full-blown plague in his state.
They filed 10 articles of impeachment, citing logical decisions such as shutting down schools, issuing shelter-in-place orders, and requiring face masks in houses of worship.
DeWine is pretty damn conservative, but as you can see, he had an impressive response to the pandemic, especially compared to the rest of the GOP.
Under pressure from even fringier right-wing lawmakers in his state, DeWine started reopening the state in May, which was definitely too soon. There was a big uptick in cases in July and August, but it’s starting to decrease again.
Speaking of Ohio, with disgraced and indicted Republican Speaker of the House Larry Householder still running for re-election, the Democrats are now running a write-in candidate. This is why you should run a candidate in every district!
Ohio: OK, one more story from the Buckeye state. In a poll released on Friday, Joe Biden is leading Donald Trump 47-46% amongst registered voters.
As always, women and voters of color are leading the way: Biden leads with women 52-40% and with people of color 65-28%.
Surprisingly, Trump leads Biden with white voters by just two points, 48-46%, which is well within the margin of error.
The generic state legislative ballot is tied. Unfortunately, the GOP has gerrymandered the state to the point where they basically win a majority in any race where the overall vote is just about even.
North Carolina: How about another poll? In NC, Biden leads Trump 49-46%.
Even better, Democratic Senate nominee Cal Cunningham leads Sen. Thom Tillis 47-39%.
In both cases, self-described moderates flock to the Democrat — Biden leads 67-26% and Tillis is up 62-22%.
Other News and Notes
Florida: A judge has placed an injunction on a state order that schools reopen for in-person classes right away.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and his education commissioner essentially overrode local decisions by requiring every school to offer in-person instruction from the very beginning of the school year.
Hillsborough County, near Tampa, wanted to hold off until September 14th, but the state threatened to pull its funding.
The teacher’s union filed suit, which is how the injunction came to pass. The state government will appeal the ruling.
New York: Senator Chuck Schumer, who will be the Senate Majority Leader if Democrats take over the chamber, swears up and down that he’s a real liberal now.
Schumer has long been known for his close ties to Wall Street and ability to gobble up vast sums of money (and time at the podium). He sounds like he could be my uncle and I like watching him yell, but all told, he’s never exactly been a progressive — he even called himself an “angry centrist” in the past. And look at this juicy pull quote:
“Schumer voted for the Iraq War in 2003 and opposed the 2015 Iran nuclear accord. He voted against gay marriage as a House member in 1996, only to reverse his position 13 years later as New York Democrats shifted on the issue. Schumer closely aligned with the financial services industry in his home state by backing repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999, and he raised tens of millions of dollars from Wall Street as the Senate Democrats’ campaign chair... In 2006, Schumer supported a border fence between the United States and Mexico, and on other occasions, he’s called for a national ID card to reduce illegal immigration…”
Ultimately, Schumer is a post-Nixon Democrat, a social liberal who believes in targeted individual progressive policies (generally involving funding things) while largely tacking right on national security and corporate matters.
Hopefully, we have every opportunity to push Senate Majority Schumer left on policy next year.
Heaven: Jerry Falwell Jr. is in big trouble.
Junior, who took over for his bible-thumping pops as the angry arbiter of far-right morality in the United States, has long been rumored to have more than a few illicit skeletons in his closet.
One of them, a former pool boy, came forward in a long Reuters story today.
To be clear, there’s no kink-shaming here. It’s the hypocrisy and hatred he spewed for so many years that gets me so angry and makes me want to post jokes like this one:
Texas: Remarkably, over 350,000 unemployed people in Texas do not qualify for the reduced $300 unemployment enhancement dictated by President Trump.
Why? A technicality, mostly — they didn’t indicate they were jobless due to COVID-19.
Let’s be honest, even if you didn’t lose your job directly because of the pandemic, it’s likely the reason why you’re still out of work.
Thankfully, they can change their application, but that certainly takes work and weeks of going without desperately needed cash.
Some Texans receive as little as $69 a week in unemployment. Not nice.
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