Feb 12, 2011
MDP Convention energizes base
DETROIT – Reverend Wendell Anthony, the President of the Detroit Branch of the NAACP, fired up the crowd at Detroit’s Cobo Hall on Saturday at the Michigan Democratic Party Convention, giving the party faithful the zeal they will need to take back the country and the state in 2012.
“We are letting Glenn Beck steal the dream of Martin Luther King and turning it into a nightmare,” he said.
Thousands of people turned out fore the winter convention, and they spent the day in constituency and district caucuses, and they heard from Democratic leaders, both state and national. Party faithful had to get over their disappointment in November, and they talked about defending vital programs for the middle class and the poor and look to 2012 to re-elect President Obama and take back the Michigan and U.S. House.
“I say I’m the leader of the Senate Democrats not the minority leader because we are not the minority party in Michigan,” said Sen. Gretchen Whitmer, D-East Lansing. “We don’t go from been an overwhelmingly blue state in 2008 to being the minority.”
Democrats simply did not turn out in 2010, and we have to do a better job energizing our base. The fact remains, when more people vote, Democrats tend to win.
“My opponent (in November) got four more votes; four votes more than the college kid who ran against me two years ago; I got 5,000 votes less this time,” said Rep. Mark Meadows,” D-East Lansing. “Now, that may be my fault, but there were 5,000 Democrats that did not come out to vote.”
Thursday will be, to quote extremist Republican Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, like an atomic bomb was dropped in Lansing when Gov. Rick Snyder unveils his Top Secret budget recommendation. He has never said what will be cut, not during the campaign and not after elected, but pundits expect the cuts to be deep and extreme. His opponent in November, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero, thanked people for supporting him, but he also said we must fight the cuts that mortgage Michigan’s future for some short term cuts.
“We are not going to let this crew come in and dismantle Michigan,” he said. “They say they are going to take back Michigan; they mean they are going to take it back to before the New Deal.”
Whitmer said the first goal is to defend against the elimination of the popular and effective Michigan Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), what former Republican President Ronald Reagan called “the best anti-poverty, the best pro-family, the best job creation measure to come out of Congress.”
They have established a web site to protect the tax credit Snyder wants to kill that helps reward 800,000 people who go to work everyday and helps families make ends meet by keeping more of their paycheck.
“He says it’s a handout, but it helps people who work 40 hours a week put food on the table,” Whitmer said. “He wants to take that and give it to his rich friends.”
The situation is not much different on the national level where Republicans want deep, damaging cuts after giving tax breaks to the wealthiest 2 percent that will deepen the budget deficit.
“Our Congress is in the mode of a reverse Robin Hood; they want to take from the poor to give to the rich,” said U.S. Rep. Dale Kildee, D-Flint.
U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Detroit, said the situation is not much different in the Senate, but the good news is it is controlled by the Democrats.
“The party of nope has been happy just to stop progress; now, they want to turn back progress,” he said.
Levin also said Republicans are more interested in grabbing more power than solving the country’s problems.
“The Republican leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, has said his top priority is to make Barack Obama a one-term president,” he said. “The top priority of Senate Democrats are jobs.”