Tuesday, November 08, 2005

An Election-Day Message for New York City Democrats

I don’t live in New York City but, as a Democrat who can see the obvious pain that Republicans are bringing to our country on every level, I would never cast my ballot for Michael Bloomberg – or any Republican -- if I did reside in one of the five boroughs.

To those Democrats about to vote for Bloomberg today: It’s not too late. Please change your mind – now.

There has seldom been a time when the differences between the two major political parties were so stark and easy to discern and, by casting a vote for a Republican in America's largest city – and one of the biggest Democratic strongholds – you will participate in a huge victory for George W. Bush and the national GOP.

Is that what you want to accomplish when you leave the house to vote today? Because abandoning the Democratic fold and voting for the other side will do exactly that.

Democrats are pissed these days – really pissed. And in that context, it's impossible for me to see how any Democrat, anywhere, can cast a ballot for a Republican right now.

But, if you make that mistake, you can sleep on this for the next four years: Michael Bloomberg used to be a Democrat and, in 2001, he made a conscious decision to become a Republican. In other words, he chose to embrace everything the GOP stands for, while tacitly repudiating the beliefs of the Democratic party.

He made that bed and, despite the horrible track record of his new political family, you will have given him the convenience of not lying in it if you vote for him today.

Yes, we all know that Bloomberg is pro-choice and that his views in that area made him oppose the nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court. Good for him on that sudden moment of clarity
. However, in my view, if you become a Republican, you are a Republican – period. Once you go to the dark side, you don't get points because you once kinda, sorta wore a white hat.

But that one stance didn’t stop him from serving as the proud host for the GOP, when they gathered in New York in 2004 to lie about John Kerry, trash his record and help hand the presidential election to Bush. It doesn’t stop him from supporting a party that, with extreme prejudice, votes down every piece of Democratic-sponsored legislation in Washington designed to help children, the elderly, the poor and the disabled.

And you would think that being the chief executive of the city with one of the biggest collective hearts in America, would keep him from siding with a party that systematically keeps the minimum wage at a ridiculously low level and refuses to fund programs like Head Start.

One would really assume that being Mayor of the city attacked by Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda on September 11 would make him a little angry that the GOP-controlled Congress – and his president – opposed the creation of the 9/11 commission and have voted down every Democratic effort to fund police, firefighters and other first responders.

The Republican party is also the home of Tom DeLay, Pat Robertson, Karl Rove, Scooter Libby, John Bolton and the Swift Boat Liars -- It is the party of Michael Bloomberg.

Democratic mayoral candidate Fernando Ferrer recently drove home that point in a statement on Bloomberg's generous donations to the national GOP. “The stakes were very clear during the 2004 election and Mike Bloomberg made his choice,” said Ferrer

To be precise, Bloomberg gave $2,000 to Bush and $25,000 to the Republican National Committee in 2003 and $250,000 -- no, that's not a typo -- to the RNC State Elections Committee in 2002. (Source: PoliticalMoneyLine.com) As you can see, the line connecting a local Republican to President Bush is much shorter than you might imagine.

As I said a couple of months ago, it’s circle-the-wagons time, New Yorkers. It's time to go beyond being angry and act.

Vote for Fernando Ferrer. If you do anything other than that today, you should feel profoundly ashamed when you awaken tomorrow – and for the next four years.