West Virginia is now a red state
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Some people have been asking me to run for the U.S. Senate. At the risk of boring you, here are the facts:
In the changed environment in West Virginia wherein Democrats of yore -- as in the 1960s -- have abandoned the state and/or morphed into crypto-Republicans, there is very little chance that a truly progressive, knowledgeable person can win in West Virginia politics. That is one reason Sen. Rockefeller chose not to run again. And that is why Natalie Tennant, the presumed Democratic nominee, is pandering so much to the far right in her denouncing of President Obama to try to defeat Shelley Moore Capito who is supported by BIG COAL and other moneyed interests. So, too, is Manchin.
These are the facts and they are indisputable. Friends, West Virginia is a lost cause for true Democrats who remember the days of JFK, Lyndon Johnson and even FDR. Those days were heady because the UMW was strong, chemical plants were thriving in the Kanawha Valley, jobs were plentiful and there was hope for the future. That day is over. The plants are gone, the union has been decimated, the biggest private employer is Wal-Mart and coal is in decline. The unwillingness of leaders to transform the state, diversify the economy, streamline the county system from 55 to about 14 -- all these things must be taken into account. Let us not be naive.
This is a Red State in every sense of the word. And no politician in his right mind will enter the fray without knowing that he or she must bend to the backward interests of satisfied power brokers in order to win. To think otherwise is to risk being seen as a fool.
Republicans are a bunch of sore losers
Today we're seeing what a bunch of sore losers in Congress will do to make political points. Hundreds of thousands will go on unpaid leave and non-essential functions will cease. Why? Because the radical tea party wing of the Republicans fueled by their billionaire bankrollers have decided it's time to withhold life-giving medical coverage to over a hundred thousand West Virginians and millions of Americans or shut down the government trying.
Get over it, Republicans. The public voted for it twice and the Bush Supreme Court upheld it. Obamacare is now the law of the land and the American thing to do is to work with the other side to make it better for everyone. That is what the Dems did on the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug plan, so stuff it and let's work on getting America working again.
No, instead Republicans are throwing a tantrum and saying "if I can't get my own way, I'll take the government down." Remember, Reps. McKinley and Capito were elected to run the government, not run it into the ditch.
Obamacare is not the reform that I wanted either. The public option, and with it any hope of single payer, was thrown out at the beginning. The insurance industry, big pharma, and other medical profiteers were protected so House Republicans should be happy. Their campaign donors are still in the game.