The Johnson County, Missouri Democratic Club meets monthly on Thursday evenings in downtown Warrensburg. The membership of the club includes Democratic Party activists and a significant number of the members of the Johnson County Democratic Central Committee. A motion addressing health care reform, and specifically, Senator Claire McCaskill’s (D) recent statement, in the aftermath of the Massachusetts special senate election was offered under new business by a member of the club and central committee.
The monthly meeting of the Johnson County Democratic Club in Warrensburg, Missouri.
January 21, 2010
We, the members of the Johnson County Democratic Club, are disappointed by the recent statement Senator Claire McCaskill made after the special senate election in Massachusetts. We are especially disappointed in the following:
As I said to somebody last night:, everybody needs to get the Washington wax out of their ears and listen and pay attention that people out there believe that we are going too far, too fast. (January 20, 2010)
Actually, the results Massachusetts indicate that by not passing health care reform and proposing a watered-down version the Democratic-controlled Congress has not gone far enough and has gotten there much too slowly.
First, polls show that a majority of voters for the winning Republican candidate support a single payer option.
More importantly, voting patterns reveal that the strongest areas of support for President Obama in Massachusetts had a turnout lower than the statewide average. In other words, the results in Massachusetts suggest that Democrats did not vote in necessary numbers because the democratic-controlled Congress has not gone fast enough and far enough in enacting the agenda we elected them to pass.
We, the members of the Democratic Club of Johnson County, worked last year for health care reform and regulation of our financial institutions and government support for working people.
If our elected officials do not feel that the Democratic agenda is worth fighting for after the loss in one special election, we will surely lose in November.
We, the members of the Johnson County Democratic Club, call on our elected officials in Washington, Senator McCaskill and Representative Skelton to remember that they are Democrats first and enact the agenda we all fought for in 2008.
If they fight for us in Washington now, we promise we will fight for them in Johnson County in 2010 and 2012.
There were approximately forty individuals in attendance. These are the local people who go door to door, make the phone calls, make the literature drops, register new Democratic Party voters (in large numbers), and write the campaign contribution checks. These are also some of the people who know people without insurance or have family members without access to affordable health care or who are without access to affordable health care themselves. And they didn’t just work their tails off in 2008. These are the people who are and were the lead volunteers who do and did the heavy lifting in 2004 and 2006, too.
After extensive discussion the motion passed overwhelmingly by a voice vote. There was some dissent.
The club will forward the motion to Senator Claire McCaskill, Congressman Ike Skelton (D), and Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan (D).
As Richard Trumka of the AFL-CIO said a while back:
…but to our friends, the leaders in every level of government who aren’t afraid to stand up for workers, well we want them to know that so long as they stand with working people the American labor movement will always, and I mean always stand with them. [applause]
And then there’s that other group. Those fair weather friends who can’t seem to decide, quite frankly, which side they’re on. I’m talkin’ about politicians who love to have our help come election time. They love to see us makin’ those door knocks, those telephone calls and passin’ stuff out on their behalf, and tellin’ all our members how they ought to jump up and down and vote for them. But then they seem to forget about us after the votes are counted. Now you know who I mean. They’ve been in the news a lot lately. They’re the ones who say that they’re all for health care reform so long as it doesn’t offend the insurance companies and the drug companies. They get those big contributions from both and then they pretend this is somehow about principle, that they just happen to be defendin’ those big companies.
They’re the same people who say that the way to pay for health care isn’t to tax the rich, it’s to tax our health care benefits. They’re the ones who lack the guts to tell the truth. That the only way that we’re ever gonna get a handle on the health care crisis is by creating a public system that puts people before profits, not the other way around. [applause]
Well…, we need to send them a special message. That is, you may have forgotten what labor, the labor movement did for you when you got elected, but, by God, we’re not gonna forget. And if you stab us in the back on the Employee Free Choice Act and health care and a bunch of other things don’t you dare, don’t you dare ask for our support next year, whenever you’re running. [applause] We need people who stand up for workers. [applause]….
Massachusetts is what happens when a very unhappy base sits on its hands come election time. It ain’t pretty.