Friday, February 3, 2017

Governor Kate Brown Is No Radical Feminist

Oregon Governor Kate Brown is getting lots of props and kudos for her executive order protecting immigrants and her instructions to Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum to bring legal action opposing the federal government's recently announced immigration policies. This is all for the good, and CAUSA is asking everyone to call Brown and express support for her stand.

I'm good with calling Brown and expressing support on this all-important issue. I encourage everyone to make that call---503-378-4582. But I am not encouraging anyone to turn support on one issue, crucial as this is, in to support for Brown and her reelection bid, which she is is putting together now and building out of the anti-Trump movement.

Oregon is facing a budget crisis and there will be a tendency for Brown, ranking Democrats and the leaderships of public employee unions and liberal groups to rally around a feel-good posture which gives most every group a little and either splits or coddles Republicans and passes the most serious problems on. The road from here to there is Brown stepping into her reelection push early on, the various groups competing with one another for funding and interest blocs forming to shut others out. The unions and the top-down liberal groups will mobilize, talk tough for awhile and compromise absent a real push from the working-class and the people. Where are you in that process?

Brown has put together an anti-Trump squad as the dressing on her reelection effort. She is an uncertain ally and her anti-Trump squad idea is crass opportunism. A puff piece in the February 2 New Yorker magazine gives her progressive or radical credentials which she hasn't yet earned. She has no business giving advice 'til she gets right on wolves, the minimum wage and rent control and the Elliott Forest. She could have delivered the right pro-immigrant message on January 14; she's doing this now to help her re-election campaign after she licked her finger and put it in the wind. She could start showing up at NAACP events and listening. She could have given up her place at the recent womens' march to Teresa Alonso Leon or any of the brave young women in the people of color communities or a working-class woman fighting for a living wage and a union. Let's give her the opportunity to win her progressive stripes and let's not confuse Kate Brown with a radical.

I'm not saying not to vote for her or to abstain from voting. I am saying that "allies" like her need to earn the trust and earn the votes by being consistent and she's not there yet. More to the point, voting is one tactic among many and shouldn't replace being in the streets and holding all of the politicians accountable and putting forward a real all-peoples' agenda and demands. Our tent is big and the door is wide-open, and for those reasons we shouldn't acquiesce and either forego struggling for a better Democratic program and candidates or automatically fall in line behind establishment candidates.

A final question: will there be a Democratic Party, or a recognizable one, around in two years for Brown to run on?

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