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We Need More Wellstone/Tasini Democrats in the Senate!


This week Representative Raul Grijalva and 15 other Democrats sent a letter to President Obama urging him to do more to reverse the coup in Honduras. Specifically, it urged him to speak up against human rights abuses under the coup regime: at least ten Hondurans have been killed since the coup (not 2, mainstream media.) The sixteen Democrats also urged Obama to cancel U.S. visas and freeze bank accounts of officials of the coup regime.

But to my knowledge, there has been as yet no mention of this letter in the media outside of the Capitol Hill press. If you search on Yahoo News, you find three unique references to "Honduras and Grijalva": an article in The Hill, and two writers on Huffington Post.

Now do a search on "Honduras and DeMint." You'll find many media citations of Senator DeMint's support of the coup.

Even if you figure that individual Senators count more than individual Representatives, it's still disproportionate. If the two houses were equal, and 100 Senators equaled 435 Representatives, then 1 Senator would equal 4.35 Representatives. So 16 Representatives would equal 3.68 Senators. But on this issue, at least, one Senator seems to count more than 16 Representatives, so a Senator counts more than three times as much as a corresponding number of Representatives.

In May, Representative McGovern introduced a bill requiring an exit strategy from Afghanistan. The bill now has 95 co-sponsors. When there was a floor vote in the House, the majority of Democrats voted for McGovern's amendment. Recent polling indicates that a majority of Americans - and three-quarters of Democrats - now oppose the Afghanistan war.

But as of today there is not yet even a Senate companion to the McGovern bill.

If it were up to the House, the Employee Free Choice Act would already be law.

If it were up to the House, we wouldn't be talking about dropping the public option for health insurance. Maybe we'd be talking about Medicare for All.

We need more progressive fighters in the Senate, like Paul Wellstone.

Jonathan Tasini is running for the Senate in New York, for the seat vacated by Hillary Clinton. New York is a solidly blue state. It deserves a blue Senator, not a purple one. Tasini has been a long-time fighter for health care for all and labor rights.

And he has been long-time fighter against our endless wars. He even - chutzpah in our national political life - publicly praised Jimmy Carter for his efforts to promote peace between Israel and the Palestinians. How many Senators do we have like that?

I think we could sorely use a Senator like that. If you agree, show Jonathan some love.

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