How Does An Actual Progressive Campaign In A Red State?
Ex-Republican/BRAVO TV star Tom Ravenel announced he is running as an independent against Lindsey Graham in the general election. If he manages to pull just 10% of the anti-Graham votes, the Democrat will win the U.S. Senate seat. Last year, when no one wanted to Democratic nomination, Blue America endorsed progressive outsider Jay Stamper but when Ravenel made it public he was going to run the Democratic state Party Establishment got behind hopeless conservative, Chamber of Commerce state Senator Brad Hutto who is hoping that Ravenel can deliver the Senate seat to him.
In the video above, which Jay posted this morning, he is very clear that the last thing South Carolina Democrats should be doing is "abandoning our principles and throwing middle class and working families under the bus because we think it will help get us elected." He's obliquely referring to Hutto, a prime example of a terrible fake Democrat from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party. Jay eloquently makes the case for giving voters a real choice, not a pale echo of the Republican Party. "I’m running," he starts, "because with all the challenges and opportunities ahead, and with the President looking to the future, Republicans in Congress are stuck in the past and holding us all back."
Stamper doesn't have to campaign on the Affordable Care Act; he wasn't in Congress to vote for it. But he's talks about-- even calls it Obamacare-- at every stop, touting the benefits for working people and thumbing his nose at the Koch brothers and the predatory Republicans who want nothing more than to deny health insurance to poor people and continue to strip benefits from the middle class. Jay understands something that many southern Democrats don't want to understand. Voters may not like Obamacare but they like everything about it. In today's Washington Post Greg Sargent pointed out that polling shows that most voters in 4 red states-- Arkansas, North Carolina, Louisiana and Kentucky-- support the basic goal of government action to expand coverage to those who need it-- and support expanding Medicaid. Although South Carolina wasn't polled, there's no reason to believe results there would diverge from the results in the 4 other red states.
"When people," he wrote, "are given a range of choices about the proper role for government in health care, one in keeping with what Obamacare actually does, the picture changes. Large majorities support either government giving people without workplace insurance financial assistance to buy private insurance, or government providing coverage as it does for seniors and the poor. Only small minorities say government should not be involved and that getting coverage is people’s own responsibility. The total who envision one of those two government roles, versus those who see no role at all, breaks down as follows: Arkansas (55-36); Kentucky (63-29); Louisisana (58-35); and North Carolina (61-32)."
Hutto stood with the South Carolina extreme right Republican Party and the NRA to allow guns in bars and he's proud of his 100% rating from the crackpot and very partisan Chamber of Commerce. Jay:
Unfortunately, there are still people in our own state party establishment who think you have to act like a Republican to be elected as a Democrat; that we should be dictating women’s reproductive choices, telling people who they can and can’t marry, even siding with the NRA. They think that to win, we need to distance ourselves from President Obama, his positions and his accomplishments.If you'd like to help Jay accomplish a really incredible feat in South Carolina-- replacing Lindsey Graham with a fighting progressive true to the values of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt-- you can contribute to his campaign here. It's a feisty, grassroots campaign and he can really use some help!
I couldn’t disagree more. I’m proud to be a Democrat. I’m proud of President Obama and what he’s accomplished. And I’m not gonna spend a second of this campaign apologizing for it.
This President has done an incredible job for all of us, even in the face of Republicans in Congress who just want to see him fail. Now, he needs our help to keep the US Senate from falling into Republican hands. We need to get out the vote, beat Lindsey Graham and give President Obama the votes in the Senate he needs…
To raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.
To fight for equal pay for women.
And to defend the Affordable Care Act.
I’m not gonna to run away from Obamacare when there’s so much to be proud of.
Now is not the time to back down. It’s time to hold Republicans accountable.
Let’s hold them accountable when they cut benefits for seniors, veterans and the disabled in the name of fiscal conservatism-- and then spend over a trillion dollars on wars and nation-building.
We’re 43rd in education, 46th in health care, 45th in personal income. We need nationbuilding right here in South Carolina.