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Tauscher's take on people powered politics

by: jlwolff

Tue Dec 12, 2006 at 18:27:00 PM PST


(I did indeed encourage this story to be posted here. It is really is all about Tauscher's relationship with her constituents. - promoted by juls)

Before I begin I warn you I have never posted a blog before.  I have commented on a few posts at DailyKos and was told by juls that I should post my experience with Tauscher here so here it is.

I am a very active democrat, especially for my age group.  I am 18 years old and a senior at Acalanes High School.  I am the Youth Outreach Coordinator of the Lamorinda Democratic Club, President and Founder of the Acalanes Democratic Club, member of East Bay for Democracy and East Bay Young Democrats, and during the next several months will be working to create a Contra Costa County Young Democrats.  Despite all this involvement, I have only seen Tauscher speak once.  Maybe this is because, as a Congresswoman, Tauscher's in DC all the time (which I doubt is the reason because I've heard Miller speak 3 or 4 times) but I suspect that it is more because she does not like dealing with local clubs knowing that she will be put under the spotlight and actually asked tough questions.  Surprisingly enough she agreed to speak on the topic of Nuclear Bunker Busters and the Possibility of U.S. Intervention in Iran for the Mt. Diablo Peace Center on June 10, 2006.

jlwolff :: Tauscher's take on people powered politics
At the beginning she seemed a bit arrogant but with good policies.  She told us multiple times that we were a smart district and that's why we have a smart representative (as opposed to all the stupid districts out there) and stated that Kucinich ran for President in 2004 as a ploy to get a girlfriend.  That aside, her policies sounded good.  She made it very clear that she did not approve of how the War in Iraq was being handled,  that she opposed the testing of new nuclear technology, and even promised to sign on to Kucinich's Department of Peace bill (and she followed through on the promise).

Unfortunately, things began to deteriorate once she started taking questions.  She fielded her questions on Iraq, Iran, and Nuclear Bunker Busters fairly well but the topic soon turned to the midterm elections.  One person asked why the Democrat's didn't have a set, united platform.  Tauscher responded that they did.  After multiple people further questioned about what the platform was and why we didn't know about it, Tauscher expressed her disappointment that we (remember, we're a smart district) hadn't done our research and that if we simply went to her website we'd find her policies.  Now, of course this answered no questions because we wanted to know about a united Democratic platform not one Congresswoman's platform.  Finally one person got to the point and asked the right question.  He wanted a united Democratic platform that was simple and easy for Americans to understand, one similar to the Republican's Contract with America which helped them win in 1994.  Tauscher paused a moment and then asked the man if he was a professional activist or politician.  The man smiled, shook his head, and responded that he was a doctor.  Tauscher promptly replied that she doesn't plan on performing surgery just because she saw it on TV.

As you might assume, the meeting ended shortly after that and Tauscher did not stick around to shake hands.  After that meeting I swore I would never vote for Tauscher.  It didn't matter that she had well thought out answers to the topics of Iraq, Iran, and Nuclear Bunker Busters or that her record on social issues is quite decent.  I wasn't even taking into account her terribly pro-corporate stance on economics.  I could not and still cannot vote for Tauscher because she does not believe that we the people should run our government.  Her belief that government is for professional activists and politicians undermines all that netroots, grassroots, and the Democratic Party should stand for.  If we want to remain in control of the House and Senate, if we wish to take back the White House, than we've got to be the party of the people and it's Democrats like Tauscher that are standing in our way.

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An excellent first post (8.00 / 2)
It is wonderful to have some more youth around this joint.  Hopefully, you will come back and share the process of starting a new Young Dems chapter.  And more on Tauscher of course ;)

damn (8.00 / 1)
I have been working in politics for a long time, but this is an amazing account. How does it feel to be too young to drink but smart enough to understand the district better than the Representative?

Twitter: @BobBrigham

P.S. (8.00 / 1)
Please keep telling people why you are passionate. Thank you.

Twitter: @BobBrigham

[ Parent ]
wow, Ellen Tauscher (8.00 / 2)
must have been studying "how to win friends and influence people."

Great post!

k/o


is this a first? (8.00 / 1)
I don't think anyone has been given props for Kid O on a first diary.

Twitter: @BobBrigham

[ Parent ]
A great first post (0.00 / 0)
Hey JL —
I've attended a few Tauscher appearances, and your experience presents a pretty neat amalgam of the impressions that I've gleaned of her.  When she gets into Democratic circles in her district, she's learned to "talk progressive."  But if you probe a little under the surface, she quickly loses her composure and then lashes out. 

It must be hard to be that discomfited by your own base.

Thanks for all the work you do on behalf of Democrats in CoCo County — if we're going to successfully challenge her in the primary, we're going to need to clone you!


A small point (0.00 / 0)
It's nothing major, but it should be pointed out that the Republican "Contract with America" was only a pledge to ensure that a lot of controversial items would be voted on by the full House of Representatives, not killed in committee.  That is why a lot of Republican candidates that year were still able to run and win as moderates in marginal districts.  The bottom line in our system is that there is no per se "party platform".  Political parties exist so that there is an ongoing structure for people who don't have their hands on the levers of government power and have a way to get their views out.  Party platforms are always going to be either generic and nonspecific or ignored because in the end, elected officials are supposed to represent the people of their district, not activists of any persuasion.  If you think Tauscher doesn't represent the district, the answer of course is to primary her.

Welcome to the netroots (8.00 / 1)
Kathy Klein is going to be soooo proud of you. :P

Great post.  And an important example of why the blogosphere needs people on the ground.


Obviously politics is only for professionals (0.00 / 0)
what an assanine statement. Tauscher needs to take some time to consider who exactly she represents.  She represents CA-10, not K street, not paid political professionals. Grassroots, meet your Roundup, Ellen Tauscher.

Great post!!

I think?


Ellen Tauscher - is she really a democrat? (0.00 / 0)
Jeremy,

Great post.  It took me back to 1998 or 1999 when another group from Acalanes also met with Tauscher.  The verdict, as I recall, was that Tauscher was a Republican mascarading as a Democrat. Back in those days, that made sense as an election strategy for her District but perhaps not anymore.

Anyhow, keep up the great work.

John at http://beclear.blogs...


Pride goeth before a fall (0.00 / 0)
This is a wonderful post, and all too true a tale. The arrogance is stunning.

You can check out any time you like but you can never leave

Hey, let's not all forget... (0.00 / 0)
...California's 4th Congressional District, where we got within a donkey's nose of dumping Doolittle.

I'm no fan of Tauscher, believe me.  I agree with all the valid points raised against her.  But given the choice, would you rather have Tauscher in Congress? Or Doolittle?

Personally I think it's going to take a while for the wheels of justice to turn...and Charlie Brown will be running against an indicted yet stubbornly-refusing-to-leave-office Doolittle in 2008.  Let's make sure we don't focus everything we have on Tuascher, when Charlie is going to need our help to run again -- and win.


the only conflict would be a special election (0.00 / 0)
Otherwise, we'll have five months after beating Tauscher to focus on Doolitte. And the tactics and teamwork that would be refined during a primary would be a huge advantage in the 4th.

Twitter: @BobBrigham

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