Here's one of many reasons we on the real left need to take back the Democratic Party. 13 Democratic senators just nominated themselves for replacement by screwing the American people. They voted against Bernie Sanders' and Amy Klobuchar's bill that would have allowed importation of lower cost pharmaceuticals. This bill would have passed if they'd supported Sanders and Klobuchar, since a dozen Republicans voted for the bill.
Here's one of many reasons we on the real left need to take back the Democratic Party.
Here's the list of sell-out Democrats:
Michael Bennet of Colorado,
Bob Menendez and Cory Booker of New Jersey
Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray of Washington
Tom Carper and Chris Coons of Delaware,
Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, J
oe Donnelly of Indiana,
Martin Heinrich of New Mexico,
Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota,
Jon Tester of Montana
Mark Warner of Virginia
and let's not forget Dianne Feinstein, of California, who abstained.
The INTERCEPT reports,
"The policy has widespread support among Americans: one Kaiser poll taken in 2015 found that 72 percent of Americans are in favor of allowing for importation. President-elect Donald Trump also campaigned on a promise to allow for importation."
Some of them made excuses that importing such drugs was not safe for Americans. The problem is, that's an echoing of the same argument Big Pharma makes. Bernie Sanders' according to USA Today, ""said he agrees the medicine should be safe, but he believes that can easily be accomplished.
"If we can import vegetables and fish and poultry and beef from all corners of the Earth, please don't tell me that we cannot bring in, from Canada and other major countries, name brand prescription drugs of some of the largest corporations in the world," he said. "That's a laughable statement.""
The INTERCEPTarticle added this perspective:
"A second amendment Wednesday, authored by Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden, would have allowed importation pending a safety certification, just like the previous laws passed on the subject. It also failed. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., used that amendment to claim on Twitter that he voted "to lower drug prices through importation from Canada," and Booker referred to the Wyden amendment in his statement as well. This is a well-worn tactic from opponents of importation to mislead their constituents, as they know such certification will never occur. The safety excuse is mostly a chimera, as most of the drugs that would be imported from Canada were originally manufactured in the United States; they're just cheaper there, because the Canadian government uses a review board and price negotiation to make drugs more affordable."
The INTERCEPT points out that many of these Democratic senate sell-outs have received big bucks donations from Pharma. Cory Booker heads the list, with $267,338 in donations over a six year period. That's less than $45,000 a year. Think about it. If the pharmaceutical companies spent that much on every senator, annually, the budget would be $4.5 million a year. Pharma sales in the US in 2015 were just over $250 billion dollars. But remember, most of the senators were "bought" for less. That makes them lower budget, sell-out shills.
We-- the 99%, we the middle class, main street, we-- liberal and progressive independents-- need to take back the Democratic party. We need to replace sell-outs who do not represent their constituents' interests.
What's crazy is the money-- how cheaply a US senator can be bought-- assuming there's no illegal funding of Senator's relatives or vacation homes and the like.
Let's assume that there are ten industries, nah, go with 20 industries that would be willing to invest $45,000 a year. That would be $1.8 million a year per senate seat. Thirty three or thirty four senators run for office every two years. Do the numbers and you get about $1.5 million if each one gets $45 thousand, or if there were 20 different industries giving that kind of money, a paltry $30 million.
In 2015-2016, OpenSecrets reports that $770 million was given to all senate candidates. That's why I say $30 million is a paltry sum-- when it comes to buying senators. It really shows how little it takes to buy a senator, persuading him or her to betray constituents. OpenSecrets reports that individuals gave $586 million to senate campaigns, almost 20 times more than a reasonable speculation of donations by the biggest 20 industries.
These senators sell out even though their constituents carry most of the weight for their campaign funding.
It's time we end this chronic abuse. One step is to let constituents know they are being betrayed-- and that they have options to elect candidates who care about them.
We need to take back the Democratic party from the bottom up-- running in local elections to be committee persons, so when state leaders are elected, they are elected by people who reflect the interests of the 99 percent.
Let's be clear. I do not believe that major change happens through the electoral process. Working on electoral politics alone will not produce major change. But I still believe that it is worth investing some time in it. We also need to be active in supporting protests, boycotts and the like.
Meanwhile, sign up with the Facebook Group I created: Take Back the Democratic Party.