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                                       politics + culture

Monday, August 14, 2006

Stem Cells, Chevron and Saudi Arabia

You can express most everything essential about the contrast between the Democratic Party and the GOP with three concrete examples understandable by Americans in every district in the nation: Stem Cells, Chevron and Saudi Arabia.

A). Stem Cells

Stem Cells represent one of the most promising scientific breakthroughs of our times. Research into embryonic stem cell therapy offers hope to millions of Americans faced with chronic and debilitating diseases like Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and Diabetes. Like so many breakthrough moments in our nation's history, from Dr. Salk and the Polio Vaccine to Thomas Edison and the Light Bulb, innovative science has offered American citizens the promise of a new day.

Science and innovation reside at the heart of what has made our nation great. Unfortunately, President Bush and the GOP Congress have stalled the funding for research into embryonic stem cells. Science and hope have taken a back seat to Republican special interests and pressure groups. Now, that's nothing new in American politics. But, in 2006, this much is clear, there is only one political party that will put science above special interests. Americans can trust the Democratic Party to advance the science of stem cell research.

B). Chevron

Chevron made a $14.1 Billion profit in 2005 and they are still at it.  Heck, Chevron is not alone:

Exxon Mobil Corp., British Petroleum PLC, ConocoPhillips and Royal Dutch Shell PLC reported second-quarter [2006] profits ranging between $5.18 billion and $10.36 billion.

Now, the GOP will tell you that those profits have nothing at all to do with the price that American consumers pay at the pump or the donations made by special interests to GOP members of Congress. Of course, those same politicians will tell you that Social Security is broken and the only way to fix it is for every day Americans to play their hard-earned retirement savings on the Stock Market!

You can't blame Chevron for making money. Chevron is a corporation, that's its job. However, there's another group of Americans who haven't been doing theirs. You see, it's the job of the United States Congress to pass laws and regulations that put the long-term interests of American Citizens over the short-term profits of Big Corporations. Now, that's a simple concept; Congress should pass laws and regulations that work for everyday Americans. Our Founding Fathers expected no less.

And that gets to the heart of the difference between the Democratic Party and this GOP Congress. Next time you fill up your tank, ask yourself, has George Bush's GOP Congress done anything to address your family's energy needs? Hell, believe it or not, this Congress is still giving big oil companies billions of dollars in tax breaks while we pay double at the pump. h/t Buffalo Girl.) You can ask the same question about education, the Medicare drug plan or our health care crisis. The answer is clear. If you want Congress to do its job, you should cast your vote for a Democrat.

C). Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is an oil-rich monarchy in the Middle East.  What does an oil-rich country run by kings and princes have to do with American politics? That's a good question. Of course, since the tragedy of September 11th, 2001, we've all  had to learn much more about the complex politics of the Middle East.

We have a long history of strong, sensible, bi-partisan foreign policy in this nation. Americans should expect nothing less than just that from either political party. Every patriotic American knows that is true.

American foreign policy is at its strongest when it best expresses our national values. Democracy is one of those values. Two other bedrock American values are freedom and independence. This GOP Congress, however, like the Bush Administration, can't bring itself to talk about freedom and independence when it comes to energy and oil.

This failure to address our dependence on foreign oil explains why President Bush gives glowing speeches about "democracy in the Middle East," but fails, time and again, to stand up to the monarchy of Saudi Arabia. Under the current leadership of the GOP, the United States is, sadly, neither independent or free when it comes to our energy needs.

We all know that energy independence will take shared sacrifice and innovation. Energy independence will take conservation, long-term planning, investment in innovative energy initiatives and a careful accounting of how our nation uses it energy resources. That is language, however, we Americans haven't heard from this President or from this GOP Congress.

The world's beacon of democracy should not have to tip toe around an oil-rich monarchy. We are better than that. And that is a crucial difference between the Democratic Party and this Republican Congress. Simply put, the United States will never end its dependence on foreign oil under GOP leadership. The Democratic Party is the only party in the United States serious about energy independence.

D). Conclusion

Stem Cells, Chevron and Saudi Arabia, these are three concrete examples that express values Americans already intrinsically knew about the Democratic Party. They are narrow particulars that express broad themes.

  • Democrats put science that helps people above special interests.

  • Democrats put laws that favor the long-term interests of everyday Americans above easy corporate profits.

  • Democrats stand for a strong, sensible, bi-partisan foreign policy that reflects our nation's deepest values; the Democratic Party will put the core American values of independence and innovation at the heart of our foreign policy by working to make our nation energy independent and free of foreign oil.

  • These three examples epitomize the difference between the two political parties. They represent a way to get a discussion started at a point where the difference between the Democrats and the Republicans is crystal clear.

    There's a clear choice facing American voters this fall. We can choose more of the same from this GOP Congress under whose leadership we remain mired in Iraq, inactive on global warming and ineffective on core issues that face everyday Americans like health care and education, or we can embrace the leadership and values expressed by the Democratic Party.

    We're Democrats and, in 2006, we are the change you're looking for.


    • I will Democratic, but I'd sure feel a lot safer if I'd seen them make a serious effort to impeach Bush.
      If they do gain power, I will look forward to their trying Bush/Cheney for War Crimes.

      Clarence in Kansas

      By Anonymous Pachomias, at 6:44 PM  

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