Normally, I don't gear my blog posts to a specific audience, but this one has to be written. If you're not from Michigan, hopefully you can take something out of this one and prevent what happened in Michigan earlier this week.
How are you? How are the kids? Haven't heard from you in a while, so I figured I'd drop a line.
Listen, the real reason I'm writing is to set you straight on something. John McCain pulled up stakes and left Michigan earlier this week because he was no longer competitive against Barack Obama. Given how the state has leaned leftward in recent years, I'm sure a good number of you there think it's a good thing McCain's leaving. After all, why would you want someone who would follow the previous 8 years of economic policy, which have been disastrous for you?
Well, you might want to take a look at what got you here, and contrary to what you've been lead to believe, it's not George W. Bush at fault here. Sure, some of the things he's done nationally haven't been so economically sound, but he's not the one with his fingers in your wallets. He's no more responsible for the unemployment and tightened finances in your state than I am.
In fact, all you need to do is look to your capitol at your Governor, Jennifer Granholm, for the person most responsible for the economic woes you have. When jobs were getting scarce and your state's economy was tanking, she signed bills into law that increased your taxes. And it didn't help. Recently, she signed into law a requirement that 10% of your state's energy come from renewable sources. She's promising it will create jobs, but even if it does, the problem will still exist. The higher taxes are making it harder for people to be hired and to live on what they earn from the jobs they have. It's not Bush who signed those higher taxes into law; it's Granholm.
And have you checked with your unions lately? What have they done to help you in these tough economic times? Aren't they supposed to be fighting for you against the big corporations? Let me let you in on a little secret. They're not fighting for you nearly as much as you think they are. Right now, they're more about making sure their jobs are secure and keeping Democrats elected than they are about making sure you're represented at the workplace. Ask yourselves what unions have done for you in the past, oh, 20-30 years. They may have gotten you some things, like a bit more money in the retirement fund or a bump up on the insurance plan, but those are small things compared to what's needed now. An extra buck towards dental insurance doesn't mean that much when you're struggling to make ends meet.
Look at your Congressional representation. By my count, all but 52 of your Representatives and neither of your Senators are Democrats. What are they doing to help Michigan right now? I know that Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow have been attacking George W. Bush for one thing or another and demanding he be held accountable, but who is keeping them accountable for their actions or lack of them? How many Representatives agree with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's tactics to marginalize the Republicans as they tried to pass a bill that would have removed the Congressional ban on offshore drilling, an act that would have made gas more affordable and would have created jobs more than what Granholm suggested?
But it's easier to blame Bush than it is to dig a little deeper and find the ones truly responsible for the economic situation. And thanks to your unwillingness to consider John McCain, your chance to break the cycle and make a break for a different future has gone with him. Instead, you're solidly behind Barack Obama, a Democrat who has promised great things if he's elected. Just like, I'm sure, Granholm, the unions, and the Democrats you've put into political office have. But before you pull that lever for Obama, ask yourselves one question.
What has voting Democrat consistently actually delivered for you?
From where I sit, not a hell of a lot.