CARTWRIGHT OPENS HEADQUARTERS
REMINDS DEMOCRATS OF ROOSEVELT ROOTS
As I was driving home from the Cartwright event, I had an inspiration of what a great photo this would be for LuLac. Thanks to my friend Scott Cannon of Video Innovations for making the magic happen.
Congressman Matt Cartwright opened up his campaign headquarters on Monday evening. The 17th District Congressman drew a decent crowd with various people from all walks of life cheering him on for a second term. I saw young people there, Attorneys, laborers, senior citizens and people willing to make an effort to show up for an event for a Congressman that is regarded as a virtual lock for re-election.
Why would any person do that?
Maybe Cartwright’s little speech will shed some light on the reason. Cartwright began his remarks by referencing the 14 hour documentary on PBS by filmmaker Ken Burns. The Congressman said that for him the series was in effect the kick off to a fall campaign that is in desperate need of FDR pragmatism and commonsense. Cartwright noted that all the Democrats were now housed in his district as a majority courtesy of GOP gerrymandering in Harrisburg. Noting that he could relax a bit and just coast to victory, the Congressman urged those in attendance to work on races that usually aren’t competitive for Democrats. Cartwright also recounted the story of Owen Roberts, a prominent Philadelphia Attorney who later served on the Supreme Court under FDR. Roberts switched his vote a few times to make sure Social Security and a few other rulings become the law of the land. Roberts was known as “the switch in time that saved nine”. Roosevelt wanted to add justices to the Supreme Court to get the populace agenda that was needed in this country. Roberts is said to have prevented that confrontation by sane judgments.
At the end of his speech, Cartwright advised that sign up sheets were available. After the applause died down, those sheets started to get signed. That brings me to my earlier question as to why people showed up for an event where a Congressman was quite formidable.
Democrats of all stripes are sick and tired of loud mouth, bullying talk show hosts decrying the very foundations of The New Deal. Most right wing Republicans think that history began when Ronald Reagan got elected. Democrats have been stampeded into believing that the FDR program was socialism. That the Obama programs are socialism. That our freedoms are being stripped away. It has been more than a year since the GOP and some weak Democrats stopped Gun Registration. Has anyone come for anyone’s guns? Nope.
If you look at what progressives have done for this country it is staggering. From Teddy Roosevelt’s meat inspections (I wonder why any Republican in the last thirty years has not had the balls to run as a Teddy Roosevelt Republican!), his championing of child labor laws, to other programs passed and implemented by Democratic Presidents, things like Social Security, meaningful Civil Rights, Environmental Protections, Medicare, and now the Affordable Health Care Act. All of these benefits the Republicans use, take for granted but decry because it costs too much. Yet this new era GOP has spent billions on two wasted wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They’ll go against welfare for a struggling family (remember these guys refused to extend unemployment compensation over and over again) defying logic that the unemployed actually stimulate the economy. The GOP said it cost too much.
What I saw at the Cartwright event is this. The sons and daughters, as well as the grandchildren of those who benefited from Social Security, Civil Rights, The GI Bill, Higher Education grants, decent working conditions have not forgotten their history. These Democrats ranging from ages between 21 and 81 are sick and tired of having what made the middle class in this country great in the last century chipped away bit by bit by lies, lack of perspective and even political entities trying to take them away.
FDR might have been on PBS last week. But his spirit is alive and well in generations born after his death that understand what he did for working people. Unlike the GOP crazies who worry more about saving the unborn while living and breathing children go without nutrition and educational opportunities, these Roosevelt Democrats get it.
Successful or not, they’ll be coming for those who will lie the Roosevelt legacy away. That’s why the Cartwright event was worthy of note.
Our "In Focus" logo.
Wilkes Barre Area School Board member Shawn Walker with the Congressman. I had a very long conversation with the Reverend and he actually gave me hope for the Wilkes Barre Area School Board.
The Congressman and I had an extended chat about his opponent, the NFL, Soup and the Governor's race.
Attorney Marion Munley Cartwright chats with former Kanjorski aide Paul Maher.
Mr. Tom Bindus took this photo of me, Cartwright staffer Bob Morgan and Bob Caruso.
Photos taken by Brian Dowd.
Cartwright office is located at 220 Carey Avenue in Wilkes Barre.