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Press Democrat Guest Opinion: Solomon Offers Doubletalk on Huffman
By STEPHEN GALE and PAUL COHEN
April 16, 2013
With the possible exception of L. Ron Hubbard, the science fiction novelist who founded Scientology, it's not often that a writer gets the opportunity to test their own theories in the real world. But Norman Solomon seems intent on creating that opportunity for himself.
In his mass-market paperback, "Power of Babble: The Politician's Dictionary of Buzzwords and Doubletalk for Every Occasion," published in 1992, Solomon advised, "Don't shy away from timeworn doubletalk, any more than you would avoid bullets in a gun because others just like them have been used before. It's true that the wrong cliché, ill-chosen and poorly aimed, can shoot you in the foot. But the right one will find its mark: the voter."
In March, Solomon began a campaign apparently intended to scare seniors, create division in the Democratic Party and discredit Rep. Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, for not signing a pledge which only 25 of the 535 members of the 113th Congress chose to lend their name. He claimed that Huffman was throwing seniors under the bus.
The truth is that Huffman, who defeated Solomon in the June primary election last year, was one of the first members of Congress to make clear his strong support for protecting Social Security and his opposition to the chained CPI that is included in President Barack Obama's budget proposal. In fact, Huffman had already signed a letter along with a majority of the House Democratic Caucus -- more than 100 signers -- stating their unequivocal and specific opposition to any cuts to Social Security and Medicare benefits, including chained CPI.
Solomon's "pledge" is a ruse. During his campaign, Huffman made a promise to voters that he would not engage in politics based on any "Norquist-style" pledges. But Solomon knows that. That's why he continues to babble even though his original approach has been proven false by Huffman's steadfast leadership to maintain the integrity of earned benefits such as Social Security.
Perhaps that is why, in a recent opinion piece ("Promise not to cut is nothing like tax pledge," Close to Home, April 10) Soloman resorts to "double speak." He appears to be taking credit for the fact that Huffman is opposing the cuts proposed by the president; even though he never signed a pledge to do what he was already doing.
Confused? That's the point of "double speak." It is a technique intended to confuse and to frighten.
Claiming someone wants to cut Social Security is a "hot button" issue. When the claim is untrue, it's a lie.
Claiming credit for pressuring a member of Congress to take a stand that he or she had already taken in public and numerous times is doubletalk of the worst kind.
At some point, enough is enough. As chairmen for the Marin and Sonoma County Democratic parties, we feel it is necessary to call this kind of destructive babble what it is and to make clear that this type of rhetoric, designed to divide Democrats and to scare senior citizens, has no place in local politics.
Stephen Gale is chairman of the Sonoma County Democratic Party.
Paul Cohen is chairman of the Marin County Democratic Party.
California Democrats State Convention
April 12-14, 2013
Sacramento Convention Center
Only a few more days until the start of the 2013?California Democrats State Convention, when delegates elected or appointed for the 2013-2015 term will meet for the first time, gathering from across the state to make plans for upcoming elections.
The Sonoma County Democratic Party Central Committee will be sending 18 delegates to the convention in Sacramento. Additional Central Committee members will be attending as AD delegates or delegates of local elected officials.
At this year's convention, delegates will be electing Statewide Officers and Regional Directors; adopting resolutions; attending caucus meetings, committee meetings, and training events; and networking with fellow Democrats and elected officials from throughout California.
California Democrats?achieved huge victories in the 2012 election. We picked up six Congressional seats and won supermajorities in the state legislature, but we are not taking anything for granted. There is much hard work ahead for the 2014 and 2016 election cycles, and that work starts now!
For delegate registration and more information on the 2013 convention, click here:
SCDP Resolution Moratorium on Hydraulic Fracturing
WHEREAS, hydraulic fracturing, commonly referred to as ?fracking,? is a technique that injects water, sand, and toxic chemicals at high pressure deep into the ground, often traveling horizontally, to extract oil or gas from shale or other dense rock; and
WHEREAS, fracking uses large amounts of water, thus reducing its availability for agriculture and other public use; uses chemicals that can contaminate the water supply and can cause cancer; creates wastewater that can bring deep earth contaminants to the surface; releases methane gas that exacerbates climate change and pollutes the air with asthma-causing smog; can induce earthquakes; and continues our dependence on fossil fuels; and
WHEREAS, fracking is currently exempt from regulation under the Safe Water Drinking Act and is not yet regulated in California, and as a result the chemicals are treated as trade secrets and the location of fracked wells is not made public.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Sonoma County Democratic Party supports an immediate moratorium on fracking with such a moratorium to remain in place until (a) legislation, ordinances, and regulations are put in place that guarantee public health and safety, and address the impacts of climate change; (b) immediate testing and disclosure of all sites currently being fracked or that have been fracked in the past; and c) substitution of renewable energy wherever feasible; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Sonoma County Democratic Party send a copy of this resolution to the Governor of the State of California, United States Senators representing California, Members of Congress representing any part of Sonoma County, members of the state senate and state assembly representing any part of Sonoma County, and all members of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, asking them to take action.
Resolution adopted by the Sonoma County Democratic Party on March 12, 2013 ?
Resolution Calling for Overturning of Proposition 8 by U.S. Supreme Court
WHEREAS, the California Democratic Party, which has a long and proud history of standing up for the rights of all people, has taken an official stand against Proposition 8, which denies marriage equality to same-sex couples; and
WHEREAS, California?s Attorney General Kamala Harris, Speaker of the Assembly John A. Perez, and many other prominent Democratic elected officials have made their opposition to the discriminatory law quite clear; and
WHEREAS, the U.S. Supreme Court has received and will hear eloquent arguments as to why this discriminatory law is unconstitutional and must be overruled.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the Sonoma County Democratic Party is united and speaks with one voice as it calls on the U.S. Supreme Court to recognize the validity of the plaintiffs? arguments seeking to overturn Proposition 8 in order to guarantee full equality under the law for same-sex couples; and
THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this resolution by the Sonoma County Democratic Party be widely publicized by the Party and its officers.
Resolution adopted by the Sonoma County Democratic Party on March 12, 2013 ?
Resolution Calling for an End to Extrajudicial and Indiscriminate Drone Strikes
WHEREAS, the U.S. government has set a dangerous precedent as it continues to conduct drone strikes on people in countries with whom America is not at war, the majority being ?signature strikes,? where drone operators fire upon groups of men whose identities are unknown to them, but are deemed targets based on vaguely defined suspicious behavior or ?signatures,? including being a male of ?military age,? while also utilizing the practice of ?double taps,? where rescuers of victims of initial strikes are killed; and
WHEREAS, the constant overhead presence of U.S. drones engenders hatred and the desire for revenge among the communities under attack by injecting terror into the daily lives of ordinary civilians beyond death and physical injury, including undermining cultural practices associated with funerals, weddings, everyday community activities and the lives of children, many who are so traumatized they cannot go to school, and are unable to eat, sleep, play, socialize, or function normally, the experience amounting to a form of physiological torture and collective punishment, all the while making the world and even our nation less safe; and
WHEREAS, the ratio of civilian to ?high-level? target deaths has raised serious concern, as independent studies of total casualties reveal that only an estimated 2% are those who are considered ?high-level,? and that anywhere from 36-50 civilians to 1 ?militant? are killed, giving credence to a study which found that 74% of Pakistanis considered the U.S. an enemy and fitting within a growing consensus that extrajudicial assassinations by weaponized drones violate U.S. and international law.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Sonoma County Democratic Party stands in opposition to the use of drones as described herein and urges that our policies be structured within the framework of international law, Constitutional checks and balances, transparency; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we call upon the Congressional delegation and the White House to conduct a fundamental re-evaluation and overhaul of current practices by reforming the policies authorizing the use of American military force along with reinstituting Congressional authority and oversight with regard to war-making powers.
Resolution adopted by the Sonoma County Democratic Party on March 12, 2013
2010 Sonoma County Democratic Party