Feb 25, 2007

Britt and Anna overshadow Iraq and MDP convention

Michigan’s Democrats heard from its national leaders at the Michigan Democratic Party Convention Saturday at the Cobo Center, but the news from Washington, D.C. was not nearly as earth shattering as what’s going in a Florida Probate courtroom.

“I usually talk about the important news in the headlines, but the two most important issues are who is the father of Anna Nicole’s baby and why did Brittany Spears shave her head,” said U.S. Sen. Carl Levin. “So, we will have to talk about less important issues.”

The convention was the first time Democratic leaders, party faithful and activists got together since last summer’s convention in August, and it was the first time we had to celebrate the stunning November success that saw Democrats take control of the U.S. House and Senate and state House.

“We need to pat ourselves on the back, but as we go out the door we need to start recruiting candidates and begin working hard again,” said U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow.

Levin, who is up for reelection to his sixth term in 2008, echoed the sentiments of his Senate colleague, and he acknowledged the hard work of the party volunteers and the forward thinking of the American people.

“If you want to go backward you put the car in R for reverse,” he said. “If you want to go forward you put the car in D for drive; last November the America people put the car in drive.”

Stabenow talked about the successful first 100 hours of Democratic leadership of Congress that included implementing the 9/11 Commission recommendations, increasing the minimum wage, approving funding of stem cell research and the Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation. She also talked about her two most memorable moments of her six years in the Senate; seeing Attorney General Alberto Gonzales actually being sworn in when he gave Congressional testimony and seeing Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi take the gavel.

“Nobody has been sworn in for the past six years,” she said.

Stabenow said the non-binding resolution denouncing the plan to send 21,500 additional troops to Iraq would continue to go forward until they get the necessary 60 votes to bring it to a vote. The House has already passed it, but the Senate fell four votes short to bring it to the Senate floor for an actual vote. But Stabenow said the tide is turning as more people see the folly of the Iraq civil war occupation. The first vote only had two Republicans cross over and vote for the resolution, but the latest vote saw seven Republics come to their senses.

“The 23 of us who voted no on the Iraq Resolution authorizing the war are going to go back and stop the escalation,” she said. “It’s not about resolve; it's about votes.”

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