Cartoons and comments
Next, the Peoria Journal Star printed my letter to the editor:
Michael Ramirez's cartoon in the Feb. 5 Journal Star, which implied that the Democrats have no response to the president's agenda other than to say that they hate the president, is both unfair and false.
Democrats have many ideas and have attempted to introduce them in both chambers of Congress. Some of the ideas, such as one which would help fix some of the gaps in Social Security coverage, aren't allowed to go to the floor to be debated. Other times, Democratic ideas are merely voted down along party lines. A quick glance at the Journal Star's Roll Call column will reveal that.
The "my way or the highway" style of governing displayed by the Republican Party is the primary reason for the highly partisan atmosphere that was on display during the president's State of the Union address.
And here is the cartoon. As far as Michael Ramirez: from looking at what he writes, he appears to be one of those in the mainstream media who routinely gets the Republican talking points memos and then says "aye-aye-sir". This is very different from the liberal cartoonists, who tend to have massive independent streaks. As far as what I am refering to, the "Roll Call" is a feature in the paper which shows the vote in each chamber and how Illinois Senators and Representatives voted. As far as my other remark, I'll place the source below the cartoon.
Here are a couple of examles of what I am talking about and why the above cartoon is unfair and false:
Democratic members in congress have tried to bring this legislation to the floor. In fact we've had a majority of the house of representatives as co-sponsors on it. For three years, the republican majority and chairs of this committee have refused to even hold hearings. The issues is spousal benefits, my wife was a 26 year high school algebra teacher, we've been married 36 years and she would substantially loose her right to her spousal benefits if i died because she served that 26 years and was not covered by her district under social security.
-Hon. Gene Green (TX-29)
Hi Bob. My name is Xavier Becerra. I'm a member of congress from Los Angeles, California (CD-31). You ask the question most folks pose at every one of my town halls. Remember that it was Democrats under FDR and then successfully under President Johnson who pushed to have America provide comprehensive health care to it's people. Republicans fought those efforts and medicare in 1965 was the fruit of all those fights with Republicans who opposed even universal healthcare for elderly Americans. Remember also that it was Democratic leadership that gave us the CHP's program, which was healthcare for children whose families could not afford health insurance in America. So a direct answer to your question is that Dems have come up with concrete and comprehensive health care proposals over the years. I'll tell you the one I support- medicare for all. Medicare has worked for over 40 years, it is universal health care for all seniors and except for this recent privitization tampering by the President and republicans in the recent perscription drug bill Medicare has been the most successful program to assure quality and accessable health care for anyone age 65 or over. Nothing else in America has worked as well. It may suprise you to know that there is some 100 other members of congress who co-sponsor this legislation. Unfortunately the President is trying to take us down the path of privitization. As we saw with the date on social security, the President would love nothing more than to leave the decisions on how, when, and where we get our health care to private insurance companies. And you know what the result has been for those who are dependent on health insurance from a private heath insurer. I along with many of my democratic collegues believe health care should be a right and not a priviledge in this country. The only way to corral the costs of health care, as most industrialized countries have proved, is to pool your population in need of healthcare and insure that all have equal access to care. Otherwise the haves will be able to afford to pay for any and the best type of healthcare while the have-nots will have to depend on the goodwill of the people to subsidize whatever care they may get (that's our current system!). Bottom line, for this to change we need you and folks of like mind to continue e-mailing, continue writing, continue calling and continue voting to move policymakers toward the goal of universal access to health care in America.
-Hon. Xavier Becerra (CD-31)