I am endorsing Amy Klobuchar for President.
What do I want in a candidate? I want authenticity, a strong work ethic, a scandal free past and a Progressive vision for the country. I think Amy Klobuchar fits that profile.
We have two competing desires when we choose a candidate in this political year. Policy and electability. Let’s talk electability.
Klobuchar is the most qualified candidate to capture the voters in the critical midwestern states. She has the chops to win big majorities with women and rural voters in these states.
With this administration’s assault on women in America, Amy can point to years of fighting for women’s issues. She received an award from the Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN) for her work to fight sexual assault in the military. She has a 100% rating from NARAL Pro Choice America and Planned Parenthood. And she led the fight for the passage of the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015. Women should be very comfortable voting for Amy Klobuchar.
As a senior member of the Agriculture Committee, Amy worked to write and pass three farm bills that included financing and grant support for rural manufacturers to grow and expand. She authored several provisions that would expand loans and land transitions to beginning farmers. And she has proposed a massive program to connect rural American to the internet and implement the recommendations of the Precision Ag Connectivity Task Force to help farmers fully realize the potential of broadband in their operations. Rural voters and farmers can see that Amy understands their plight and will make it a major focus of her administration.
She is electable.
Now, let’s get the revolution vs restoration trope out of the way. Democrats need to realize that when Clinton went down in flames in 2016, so did the Clinton coalition. The centrist “New” Democrats that had dominated the party since 1992 were swept away in the whirlwind of the Trump victory. As a partisan Democrat, who is a true believer, I came to realize that Bernie would have won against Trump in 2016. He stood far out on the Progressive wing with his hordes of young supporters and called for the leaders to join him. They, like me, thought he was nuts. Well, he wasn’t nuts.
Since 2016, the Democrats have articulated more progressive ideas. More radical ideas. More “socialist” ideas than ever in my political lifetime. Since 2018, Congress has passed more progressive legislation (which is sitting on Mitch McConnel’s desk) than it has since LBJ and the Great Society. So, when I talk about why I am supporting Amy Klobuchar, realize that I am not voting for the status quo ante. Klobuchar, like all the other “moderate” candidates, are miles to the left of where Clinton and the Democratic party sat in 2016.
So, let’s look at her platform.
Amy supports a public option. She has authored proposals to lift the ban on Medicare negotiations for prescription drugs. She will make recovery and mental health a priority by expanding access. And will protect the health and lives of women.
Klobuchar would rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, restore the clean power plan, end fossil fuel subsidies, and set an ambitious plan that would put the country on the path to 100% net zero emissions by 2050. And she will propose legislation that provides investment in clean-energy jobs and infrastructure.
One of her top priorities will be to create federal incentives so that states can reform mandatory sentencing. She will also create a clemency advisory board and develop a White House advisor on criminal justice reform. She will end the Justice Department’s reliance on private prisons. Amy will also reverse the Attorney General’s memo directing federal prosecutors to seek the most severe penalties in all cases.
Klobuchar will introduce gun violence legislation including putting universal background checks in place, closing the gun show loophole, and banning bump stocks, assault weapons and high capacity magazines. She will also direct the CDC to treat gun violence as a public health issue.
Rather than try to make college free for all, Klobuchar supports a plan to make One- and Two-Year Community College Degrees and Technical Certifications tuition free.
Raising the minimum wage
Amy supports raising the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour.
Ok. I could go on and on about her plans and policies, but you get the picture.
As stated in an earlier post, my ideal candidate would support and promote heavily the following:
1) A public option for Obamacare
2) Raise the minimum wage
3) Investment in the new green economy
4) Legalize cannabis
I think that is a winning strategy.
Amy is a little soft on cannabis. She made one statement to the Washington Post saying she is in favor of it. But I think this issue is a sleeper that, like gay marriage, will shoot past the politicians before they even know what’s happening.
OK — now let’s talk about the negatives.
Klobuchar is tough on her employees.
OK, in comparison, this is a ridiculous thing to talk about. Her opponent is a self-professed sexual predator. He can’t keep employees in the West Wing because nobody will work for him. And there are 197 Republican members of Congress and 53 Senators who are terrorized by the Chief Executive. I think Amy would be….umm, better than that.
And then there is the case of Myon Burrell.
Burrell was convicted, by Klobuchar, in the death of Tyesha Edwards, an 11-year-old girl who was studying at her dining room table when a stray bullet struck and killed her in 2002. There is a lot of conflicting information available about this case; much of it pointing to the possible innocence of Myon Burrell. Please see the AP article that is the most complete report on this issue. The one thing that is clear to me from this article is the utter corruption and racism of the police department in Hennepin County.
What I found incredibly frustrating about this case is the complete lack of news reporting on the second trial provided to Burrell which also found him guilty. Klobuchar did not prosecute this case. But you have to ask. Why was he convicted the second time?
I don’t know if I want to defend Amy, but I can tell you that I remember the day I “woke up white”. It was the day I saw the video of Laquan McDonald being shot down like a dog in the streets of Chicago. On that day, I realized that I lived in a society dominated by white supremacy and it was my responsibility to right this wrong. Defeating Donald Trump would be a good start.
Amy Klobuchar is not a superstar. She is a hardworking, dedicated, progressive Democrat who can win in the Midwest. Put a lefty on the ticket as VP and they would be unbeatable.
We all have to pick somebody to vote for. But let me be perfectly clear. If this thing drags out. If we have the nightmare that we all want to avoid; a brokered convention, I will stay up until three in the morning to watch the umpteenth ballot vote that gives someone else the nomination. And when you pass my house the next morning, there will be a handwritten lawn sign letting the world know I support the Democratic nominee.
I plan on voting for Amy Klobuchar on March 3rd in Maine’s first in a while primary. Mainers! We have a primary on March 3rd. Don’t forget to vote.