Category: The Democratic Perspective

 

Posts by members of the Stafford County Democratic Committee on important public issues.  These posts do not necessarily reflect the views of the Stafford County Democratic Committee, the Democratic Party of Virginia, or the Democratic Party of America.

Muslim Cemetery Issues Show Vanuch Must Go

Image courtesy of: https://potomaclocal.com/2019/04/22/vanuch-vows-to-curb-stafford-residential-growth-traffic-congestion/

By Michael Spragins, Stafford County Democratic Committee Issues Committee Chair

You know when you have been sued by the Trump Justice Department over discrimination that the problem must be unbelievably bad. Stafford County was sued last year by the U.S. Department of Justice and the All Muslim Association of America because of actions taken by the Stafford Board of Supervisors to stop a Muslim cemetery on Garrionsville Road. In brief, Stafford County Supervisor Crystal Vanuch led the effort by the Supervisors to prevent the cemetery from opening. She happens to live across the street from the proposed cemetery. She claimed that there was danger to wells and drinking water by the proximity of the cemetery. The Virginia Dept. of Health recommended a 100-foot setback. However, Vanuch and the mostly Republicans Board of Supervisors approved a 900-foot setback. This was, strangely enough, large enough to encompass the entire proposed cemetery and prevent it from being developed. Last August, after spending $35,000 on a study, the Board amended the setback to 656-feet. Vanuch voted against it. The lawsuit has not gone away either. The county has spent $523, 945 fighting it so far.

Is bad water the only reason Vanuch does not want a Muslim cemetery across the street? The Free Lance-Star of Feb. 2 reported that Supervisor Tinesha Allen said, in a deposition filed in the case, that Vanuch told her that she “doesn’t want to see a [expletive] Muslim cemetery across from her and she would rather die before she allowed her husband to be reminded of those people.” Vanuch denies that she said this, but her actions on the Board speak otherwise. It appears, due to their approval of the 900-foot setback, that the Republican Board probably agrees with her.

Regardless of the reasons for the Republican Board’s decisions, the result is that the county is being sued and must defend the suit or settle it. Either way it will cost us all potentially millions in unnecessary expense. We need to replace these expensive, prejudiced Republican supervisors at the next election.

This is a post by a member of the Stafford County Democratic Committee. This post does not necessarily reflect the views of the Stafford County Democratic Committee, the Democratic Party of Virginia, or the Democratic Party of America.

Republicans Two-Pronged Strategy: Suppress and Intimidate

Image courtesy of: https://potomaclocal.com/2019/04/22/vanuch-vows-to-curb-stafford-residential-growth-traffic-congestion/

By Michael Spragins, Stafford County Democratic Committee Issues Committee Chair

Republicans are faced with a popular president who is passing extremely popular legislation that they have been fighting tooth and nail to keep from becoming law. They have no platform, ideas, or proposals for what they would do if they held power again. So, their strategy for the near future boils down to two things:

1. Suppressing the vote. Republicans know they cannot win if people are free to vote. So, they will continue to try to pass bills that keep people, particular minorities, from voting freely.

2. Attacking a vulnerable population to enrage their base. They will continue to attack immigrants, as always. The border will be their go-to argument for bringing them back to power. They will argue, as Tucker Carlson has, that there is a plot to “replace” true Americans (read white Americans) with immigrants. This “replacement” argument is a true white supremacist theory that Fox News and other conservative sites have come to embrace. And, additionally, they are now centering their attacks on trans-children. Many states are trying to enact legislation to prevent medical treatment of trans-children or to report “gender nonconformity” to parents. This population is one of the most vulnerable to attack. They really cannot fight back. There are millions of children living in poverty in the U.S. with no available health care, yet this is the issue Republicans want to spend their time on.

That seems to be it. Nothing else matters. Power for the sake of power. This, unfortunately, is what Republicans have come to.

This is a post by a member of the Stafford County Democratic Committee. This post does not necessarily reflect the views of the Stafford County Democratic Committee, the Democratic Party of Virginia, or the Democratic Party of America.

Biden Delivers Help with American Rescue Plan

Image courtesy of: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-56903805

By Michael Spragins, Stafford County Democratic Committee Issues Committee Chair

A great thing happened the other day. The American Rescue Plan proposed by President Biden was signed into law. Not only does this provide much needed money to speed vaccination plans and help Americans meet the devastating economic costs of the pandemic, but this is the most comprehensive legislation to improve childhood poverty in 50 years!

Most Americans will receive a check for $1,400 in relief benefits. Additionally, there is $160 billion for vaccination distribution. The plan also provides $300 per month in unemployment benefits through September 6. There is $130 billion to help fully open schools. Homeowners receive $25 billion in rental assistance, $5 billion to help pay home energy and water costs and workers get $50 billion in paycheck protection. Healthcare can be more accessible with the $34.2 billion for expansion of the Affordable Care Act. And the plan allows a child tax credit of $3600 per child under the age of 6 and $3000 per child up to age 17. This increases the credit from only $2000 per child.

It should be noted that the plan is supported by 70% of the American people. Despite this overwhelming approval by the public, not a single Republican voted for the plan in Congress. This colossal failure to act includes our First District Representative Rob Wittman. When you receive your check for $1,400 remember that Republicans did not want you to receive them or any of the help offered by the Biden plan for that matter. They should be held to account for their failure.

This is a post by a member of the Stafford County Democratic Committee. This post does not necessarily reflect the views of the Stafford County Democratic Committee, the Democratic Party of Virginia, or the Democratic Party of America.

Wittman Must Go NOW

Image courtesy of: https://bluevirginia.us/2021/01/rep-rob-wittman-r-va01-gets-absolutely-ripped-on-his-facebook-page-for-voting-against-impeaching-trump

By Michael Spragins, Stafford County Democratic Committee Issues Committee Chair

Many Republicans are saying that we need to heal and unify after the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. But, before there can be healing there needs to be an accounting. As Republicans like to say, there must be “personal responsibility” taken for this tragedy.

Representative Rob Wittman of the First Congressional District of Virginia, there are two things you can do to salvage the tattered remains of your rapidly diminishing reputation.

  1.  Tell the truth to the American people. There is no election fraud and there never was any election fraud. This was a lie concocted by Donald Trump and perpetuated by you and other enablers in order to sow division and to raise campaign funds. The actions on January 6 of several Senators and the majority of the Republican caucus, including you, to try to decertify the electoral votes of several swing states, were based on this lie and were merely a stunt. It was performance art, again designed to sow division and raise funds. You did it because you thought there would be no consequence and it would entertain your constituents. It would have no effect on the outcome of the election because more responsible representatives would not go along with it. But, there were consequences. I invite you to view the photograph of a policeman being savagely beaten on the Capitol steps by a murderous mob. This is your legacy: sedition, insurrection and death. I hope you will spend the rest of your life thinking about this man and his family. I hope you have called the families of the five persons who died to inform them that you are sorry for the deaths of their loved ones caused by an irresponsible act.
  2. The second thing that you can do is to resign your office. Because you engaged in an attempt to disenfranchise the voters of Pennsylvania based on lies known to you and because you perpetuated the lies of Donald Trump about non-existent election fraud you have violated your oath of office to the Constitution. You have encouraged sedition and insurrection which resulted in death, destruction and personal injury. You have lost the trust and confidence of the people of the First Congressional District. You are not worthy of the high office which you occupy. Your last official act can be one that actually benefits the people. Resign now and begin the healing.

This is a post by a member of the Stafford County Democratic Committee. This post does not necessarily reflect the views of the Stafford County Democratic Committee, the Democratic Party of Virginia, or the Democratic Party of America.

Wittman’s Undemocratic Act

Image courtesy of: https://bluevirginia.us/2021/01/rep-rob-wittman-r-va01-gets-absolutely-ripped-on-his-facebook-page-for-voting-against-impeaching-trump

By Michael Spragins, Stafford County Democratic Committee Issues Committee Chair

First Congressional District Congressman Rob Wittman joined 125 other Republican members of Congress to sign an amicus brief in support of the lawsuit brought by the State of Texas. It was an attempt to overturn the results of the popular vote in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. This case was brought by Texas along with 17 other Republican state Attorneys General. The suit, not based in law or fact, was doomed to be dismissed by the U.S. Supreme Court, which occurred on Dec. 11 in a 9-0 unanimous vote.

This was a profoundly undemocratic and seditious lawsuit. The avowed purpose of the suit was to deny the lawful votes of millions of citizens in four states simply because Republicans did not agree with the result. The House Republicans, including Mr. Wittman, signed onto the amicus brief, in part, to avoid being criticized by President Trump. But, more importantly, they all agreed that the votes of millions of Americans should simply be discarded. These are the acts of persons who have relinquished all the principles and integrity that they may have once had in servitude to a cult of personality. They once claimed to be constitutionalists, but this is definitely an anti-constitutional act in support of an authoritarian mission to overthrow an election.

I deplore the action taken by Rep. Wittman. This is not the sort of act that any American politician who claims to believe in democracy and free and fair elections should take part in. Republicans who believe in the rule of law should join Democrats to denounce Rep. Wittman and show the world that we believe in the peaceful and lawful transfer of power to a duly elected president.

This is a post by a member of the Stafford County Democratic Committee. This post does not necessarily reflect the views of the Stafford County Democratic Committee, the Democratic Party of Virginia, or the Democratic Party of America.

New America

By Richard Coleman, Stafford County Democratic Committee Member

I have just read another article arguing the concept that white working middle-class America has been abandoned by the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party did not abandon them, white working middle-class America abandoned the Democratic Party. The reason, I think, is that white working middle-class America showed stagnant or declining opportunities while there were improved opportunities for some minorities. In response, that large segment of white America blamed minorities for their predicament. They chose to abandon the party because they felt that the Democrats devoted too many resources to groups in which they did not feel included.

The point is not whether the Democratic Party should reach out to these groups, but rather the proper messaging that should be used to pull the white middle-class back to the Democratic Party. The Republican Party works to divide Americans and offers a pro-business message. Their message is anti-worker because it maximizes profits at the expense of workers. The Democratic Party can utilize a pro-business message but needs to educate workers about the advantages of maximizing profits by increasing the spending power of workers.

Trump accelerated the transformation of the Republican Party into the monster that promised to advance the needs of one group at the expense of other groups. The Democratic Party worked to defeat that monster, not to takes its place. Divisive philosophies should not be used, and no group should be excluded from the support of the Democratic Party.

The availability of resources, advanced technology and social conditions were factors that built the America of the past. I think the party should reach out by demonstrating a willingness to use those factors today to build a better future for all Americans.

This is a post by a member of the Stafford County Democratic Committee. This post does not necessarily reflect the views of the Stafford County Democratic Committee, the Democratic Party of Virginia, or the Democratic Party of America.

Peaceful Transfer of Power

By Michael Spragins, Stafford County Democratic Committee Issues Committee Chair

Joe Biden has won the Presidency. For that we are thankful. We are now in that “in-between” time when we have elected a new president, but he cannot take office yet and we are seeing the very worst of Donald Trump. From his false claims of electoral fraud and his incompetent legal team to his rage-filled tweets he is showing his true colors as an anti-democratic authoritarian. Does anyone now doubt that, if he could be helped by Republican legislatures in swing states or a compliant court, he would overturn the will of the electorate and install himself as “El Presidente” for another four years or perhaps longer? His war against democracy continues and the Republican Party is complicit.

Outside of a few Republicans who are in charge of the actual electoral processes in some swing states, the vast majority of elected Republicans in Congress and elsewhere are silent in the face of the most coordinated attempt at a coup that the United States has ever seen. This craven and cowardly group led by Mitch McConnell, who for years have been singing the praises of “constitutionalism,” have done more damage to our republic than any foreign actor. They have yet to learn that doing the right thing is always the best policy.

What is even more chilling is that there seems to be a constituency for authoritarianism. More than a few on the right appear to want a charismatic leader who flaunts the law and the popular vote simply to take over and take charge. In fact, Michael Flynn, the now pardoned former general and National Security Advisor, has suggested that Trump declare martial law and have the military run a new election. Others on the President’s side have asked that enemies be beheaded or drawn and quartered or shot. These are not the words of “constitutionalists.”

Republicans who believe in the rule of law should join Democrats to denounce these tactics and help the new administration show the world that we believe in the peaceful transfer of power to a duly elected president.

This is a post by a member of the Stafford County Democratic Committee. This post does not necessarily reflect the views of the Stafford County Democratic Committee, the Democratic Party of Virginia, or the Democratic Party of America.

Will We End Racism, Bigotry, and Intolerance?

By Richard Coleman, Stafford County Democratic Committee Member

For all human history there have been robbers and murderers, yet society has not found a way to prevent robbery or murder. Society realizes that robbery and murder are undesirable, so society has come to an agreement that such acts should be discouraged. Recognizing that we or our loved ones can be victims has been sufficient motivation for even those who have never been victimized by robbery or experienced the loss of a loved one by murder to support actions to discourage these crimes.

I believe that all are victims when racism, bigotry and intolerance deny any member of society the opportunity to be a fully contributing member. But my belief is not the question. Nor is the question whether we will end these outrages. The question is, are we going to choose to be a society that considers such actions as undesirable, or will we ignore it when only others are affected. Tightly closing our eyes to avoid seeing, insulating our lives to muffle the stories, or being silent is no guarantee of protection. Even those who are not today’s victims of racism, bigotry, and intolerance, should realize that actions to discourage such practices are the best path to guarantee protection for all.

November 2020 is a pivotal point for our society. Either a majority of the country makes a statement that racism, bigotry and intolerance are undesirable, or we take a step towards more of the same. The concepts of liberty and justice for all as envisioned in the Constitution have not been perfectly implemented, but either this society stands ready to continue fighting for that perfect implementation or we surrender to authoritarian rule that condones these abhorrent practices.

This is a post by a member of the Stafford County Democratic Committee. This post does not necessarily reflect the views of the Stafford County Democratic Committee, the Democratic Party of Virginia, or the Democratic Party of America.

Assurances

By Richard Coleman, Stafford County Democratic Committee Member

On election day most of us go into the voting booth with a select few issues on our minds. We seldom find a candidate that supports every issue we support, and with the same priority that matches ours, so we select the candidate that matches most of our issues with a priority order that we can accept. In today’s environment there are major issues that divide America, but I question if the greater divide is not the positions we hold regarding issues, but rather how we handle the fact that others have different positions.

A vigorous and passionate debate on what issues America faces, the priorities we set for responding to those issues, and the methods most appropriate for resolving each issue is needed. But fighting in support of issues is not the same as fighting against those with different positions. The tactic of attacking and destroying those with different positions is not the same as working to convince others that a selected position is a reasonable option to help some fellow Americans. Denying support for one segment of America is not the same as providing support for other segments of America. Going down a path that drives us into smaller and smaller warring camps, fighting for support, will rob us all of the strength found in unity.

There is no way to know which issues America will face in the future, but November 2020 is a point where we can give assurances that we want civility from our political leaders. We should refuse to accept leadership that tells us we need to choose between destroying fellow Americans and implementing policies we support. We must demand leaders who will put in the effort to both deliver on the needs of America and unity for Americans.

This is a post by a member of the Stafford County Democratic Committee. This post does not necessarily reflect the views of the Stafford County Democratic Committee, the Democratic Party of Virginia, or the Democratic Party of America.

The Supreme Court and the ACA

By Michael Spragins, Stafford County Democratic Committee Issues Committee Chair

The recent passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has focused attention on the Supreme Court.  A case will be heard in the Supreme Court on Nov. 10 that will probably declare the Affordable Care Act (ACA) unconstitutional. The conservative Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has already declared the law unconstitutional in a suit filed by Republicans. Whether a new justice is confirmed in time for the arguments or not, the vote will probably be a majority against the ACA or, at best, a tie, which would leave the Fifth Circuit decision as controlling authority for the entire country.

What this means is that the ACA will no longer provide health care insurance for millions of Americans. It also means that the expansion of Medicaid around the country will be reversed. And all of this will happen in the middle of a pandemic.  Republicans do not have any replacement plans for the loss of your health care. This will throw the medical insurance industry into chaos as well as exposing millions of uninsured Americans to the ravages of Covid-19.

If Trump is re-elected along with a Republican senate you can expect more months of misery with no health insurance. Let me also remind you that our First District Congressman, Rob Wittman, voted against the ACA when it was first introduced and has voted to eliminate it ever since. You can expect no help from him on health care.

A Democratic president and senate will be able to provide legislation to remedy whatever the Court finds objectionable about the ACA. Republicans are incapable of doing anything for health care. If you want to keep your health care and want millions of other Americans to keep theirs, elect Joe Biden for president and Qasim Rashid for First District Congressman.

This is a post by a member of the Stafford County Democratic Committee. This post does not necessarily reflect the views of the Stafford County Democratic Committee, the Democratic Party of Virginia, or the Democratic Party of America.