DINOs Are Not Extinct

A DINO is not a dinosaur. A DINO is a Democrat In Name Only – those who align themselves with the political left in name but, at key voting times, leave some of us wishing that they, too, were extinct. That stated, the announcement by Senator Ben Nelson, ‘Democrat’ from Nebraska, that he will not seek re-election next term may turn into an example of liberals and progressives seeing that we should be careful of what we wish for.

Nelson isn’t someone progressives could count on; as one example, he helped do away with the single payer option in the healthcare reform debates and he supported the final bill only when he was able to ensure that Nebraska would be exempt from paying for expanded Medicaid coverage. But with his decision to not seek re-election comes a dose of reality: Nelson’s decision to depart pushes TeaPublicans Republicans closer to control of the Senate with that thought I think I just threw up a little in my mouth. Republicans need a net gain of four seats in order to become the majority.

Would it be such a bad thing if the GOP becomes the majority player in the Senate?  Well, no — that is, if you don’t mind a distracting daily clown show that would result in the nation being jettisoned to the past. Not those “good ol’ days” but just the past. Regression at its worst. If you don’t mind reliving the days of no worker protections, women having no say in the matter of what to do with their own bodies, voter suppression, and no real middle class then the choice is very clear. This isn’t alarmist thinking: the House GOP has done everything within their power to further the agenda of large corporations and protect the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans (despite seeing evidence of how costly those cuts are to the nation’s budget) while simultaneously blocking the payroll tax cut that helps middle-class families. The attack on women’s rights has been ramped up to levels not seen in recent history. Budget allocations for education and science are in jeopardy — all that book learnin’ is apparently not necessary for the nation’s children and it’s future employees and leaders. And, after all their bleating talk about prospective corruption at the ballot, they’ve introduced more legislation to make it difficult for citizens to vote — of course, in communities in which the votes would most likely not go towards the GOP.

So what’s next?  At this point no Democrat or progressive has stepped forward to say that s/he will run for Nelson’s soon to be vacated seat — and, unfortunately, cloning my progressive girl crush the future Senator of Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren, isn’t an option Oh, advanced science, if ever there were a time and need for that option!. Assuming President Obama is re-elected and with the GOP’s parade of clowns on display, I’m hoping sanity prevails and voters turn out in droves to support the only adult in the room are liberals/progressives prepared for four more years of gridlock and obstruction if the Senate falls into the clutches of a Republican majority? *Shudder*.  I’m not. So an active game plan is needed to ensure we do all within our power to elect progressives to keep the tide of backwards crazies and regressives extremist right-wingers at bay.

Progressives are needed…because DINOs are not extinct and it’s not too late to rebuild the American dream.