Progressive Revival

I got this impassioned plea in my in-box from Rabbi Arthur Waskow of the Shalom Center to support the house stimulus package instead of the senate.

From the standpoint of all our religious and ethical traditions and communities, what the Senate did to the stimulus bill is a disaster, the exact reverse of putting “the common-wealth” first.  The exact reverse of making new jobs and restoring confidence  so as to get the economy working. The exact reverse of moving toward a green America to protect our children and grandchildren from climate disaster.

The “deal” struck to prevent a filibuster has deeply damaged the Recovery Act.  It has put every state government in deep peril by smashing aid to them, forcing civil servants to lose their jobs, forcing crucial governmental services to be abandoned.   It has struck a blow against both jobs and education by cutting out money for building new schools that are deeply needed.

In the slightly longer run, this economic crisis and the health crisis just behind it, and the global climate crisis that has already devastated two continents and will shatter ours as well unless we act, cannot be addressed so long as 41 obstructionist US senators out of 100 (representing an even smaller proportion of Americans) can prevent action by filibustering. The filibuster must go, or this society, and of course with it any hope of decent reform, will crash. We need a national movement to put democracy back in the Senate.

But first it is necessary to get the damage done by the Senate reversed. We must urge the House of Representatives to stick by its much better version of the Recovery Act.

I agree with Rabbi Waskow but I am more concerned that we get some legislation that can pass.


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