For nearly two years, 10,000 children are poisoned. Many permanently damaged. Not through the scourge of war, civil strife or natural disaster. Not in a place we see in ads from international relief charities. Here. In the United States. Through the willful destruction of public safety by right wing politicians.
The water poisoning crisis in Michigan had its roots in Michigan's "Emergency Manager" law. In April 2014, Flint's emergency manager - for all intents and purposes the city dictator unaccountable to the voters of Flint - Darnell Easley, appointed by Republican governor Rick Snyder, ordered that water supply in the city come from the Flint River rather than from the Detroit Water, without the state's Department of Environment Quality requiring the addition of chemicals to neutralize the lead in the Flint River water. Why? Because of the all-consuming mandate of an ideologically charged, Republican legislature-forced, Emergency Management legislation: cutting costs.
Darnell Easley, the man who poisoned children in one city in Michigan, is now in charge of all of Michigan's children, as the Emergency Manager of Michigan's public schools. Maybe he can substitute steamed lead pencils for school lunches to cut costs there.
But I digress. Let's get back to the point. 10,000 American children are poisoned, and right wing Republicans are to blame. So what do the Lefties have to do with this?
These "Emergency Manager" laws, granting dictatorial powers to gubernatorial appointees to ignore local elected leaderships or even the voices of the people and do as they please, began after large Republican victories in 2010 in state houses and state legislatures, and in the aftermath of the 2014 elections keeping those Republican majorities and governorships for the most part intact and even expanding them, those laws are now starting to sweep through states with GOP in charge.
Again, what's the Left got to do with this?
Everything. In the elections of 2006 and 2008, Democrats had made major advances, and with the election of President Obama in 2008, they got to work. They passed major reforms. With the help of Democrats in Congress, President Obama delivered health care reform that presidents have been talking about for 50 years but never been able to deliver. He expanded children's health insurance. He delivered the strongest financial market re-regulation since the 1930s. He rescued the American auto industry. Together, Congressional Democrats and President Obama enacted women's pay equity legislation, student loan reform, credit card reform, and more.
For all President Obama accomplished, he failed to warm the cockles of Left wing revolution-peddlers and ideologues who saw the President's pragmatic leadership responsible for all these reforms as inadequate, betrayal, and selling out.
Health care reform did not included the public option pony, although it included the largest expansions of public health programs such as Medicaid and Community Health Centers. Sellout!
Financial reform did not ipso facto break up the banks, although it gave the regulators just that power, created the nation's first regulatory agency dedicated to protecting consumers against financial games by big banks, and required the largest financial institutions to prove their viability without public assistance (and they did). Outrage!
No bankers or financial criminals went to jail, even though they actually did, and even though the government collected the largest financial penalties from big financial institutions in history. So mad!
The President wouldn't halt DADT by executive order allowing his successor to put it back in place when Congress was actually repealing it by law. Not a True Progressive (TM)!
After his re-election, Barack Obama actually succeeded in raising taxes on the rich, but not enough (well, it's never enough). Having been responsible for the largest expansion of the social safety net since Medicare, he even offered a grand bargain that would make small changes to Social Security and Medicare that would strengthen the programs contingent on more tax increases on the super wealthy and reforms that would ensure no senior lives in poverty. Republican!
I could go on. But suffice it to say that the Leftist ideologues' berating, belittling, and contempt of President Obama, reflected in their spokespeople everywhere - whether on large "Lefty" blogs or their TV anchors - including, but not limited to telling Democrats not to vote, were in major part responsible for the depressed Democratic turnout in 2010 and 2014, which allowed the Tea Party to take over state houses and pass these arcane "Emergency Manager" laws that are now poisoning our children.
Yes, we are here today because of the right wing's reprehensible governing philosophy, because of Republican policymakers' utter disregard for democracy and for public safety.
But we are also here because influential ideological voices on the Left saw the President's pragmatism as weakness. We are also here because these voices saw - and still see - the president's accomplishments for the American people as insignificant at best. We are here because the Left has time and again refused to have President Obama's back, to celebrate what he has accomplished. So much so, that even today, voices on the Left are threatening to elect more Republicans if Democrats support the President's agenda.
So who brought us the Michigan child poisoning crisis? Republicans did. Leftist ideologues who beat up on the president every chance they got did. Those who choose revolution over progress did. Those who ignore the fierce urgency to do whatever is possible now in favor of the pipe dream of an ideologically pure revolution did.
That is why all the candidate of these revolution-peddlers could do in response to the crisis is call for the resignation of the governor of the state (so much for changing the system, I guess), whereas another candidate sent in her campaign team to investigate and help, and used her media commanding powers to put the crisis on the front page.
But. She's a pragmatist.