Our Common Good


In a stunning upset Saturday, Herman Cain won Florida’s Presidency 5 straw poll, a vote of 2,657 Republican activists that in past years has predicated the party nominee.

Cain, the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza who charmed the three-day Republican conference’s delegates, took 37.1 percent of the vote, with Texas Gov. Rick Perry second with 15.4 percent.

The rest of the results: Mitt Romney, 14 percent; Rick Santorum, 10. 9 percent; Ron Paul, 10.4 percent; Newt Gingrich, 8.4 percent; Jon Huntsman, 2.3 percent; and Michele Bachmann 1.5 percent.

This is not good news for Rick Perry, who has been leading the pack in Florida polls, but has had two poorly-reviewed debate performances in the Sunshine State.


It’s quiet now in Ames, Iowa. The last corporate candidate jet just blasted off. We are left to contemplate the silliness of the Republican fundraiser, aka the Straw Poll.

If there is anything we may be able to agree on as Americans it’s that a lot was said today about not much. But truthfully, given the so-called candidates, all that was missing was the swimsuit competition.

But enough about small minds. Let’s take a moment to remember when America soared. Tomorrow is the 76th anniversary of one of our nation’s greatest pieces of legislation, the Social Security Act which President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed onto law on August 14, 1935.

I believe that no other piece of legislation has meant so much, to so many, for so long. For multiple generations this law has done exactly what it promised by providing financial security for the millions of Americans who have no access to private pensions and incomes that make saving an unrealistic act.

Social Security’s only downfall is that it did not make bankers and other profiteers rich. That fault has made these elites very angry.

Sure Social Security is in trouble, as the corporate fallers never tire of telling us, but for the reasons they have trumped up.

With ordinary Americans as the Act’s most faithful constituents, Social Security does not have an army of hacks, flacks and myth-makers to trumpet its humble virtues.

So once again, the job falls to us ordinary Americans to speak truth to corporate power and greed. We must let people know right now that, at the dawn of the 21st century, with Social Security and its younger sibling Medicare covering our backs, less than 1 in 10 elderly Americans live below the poverty line. Contrast that with the pre 1935 numbers where half or more of elderly Americans were poor.

What the pretenders in Ames want to be sure we do not remember is that Social Security is a positive social force created by the people’s elected representatives on behalf of the people themselves. The faux candidates running around our town today crying for attention want us to forget that when politicians look beyond their own election and reelection and come together to solve a real social problem, great, even memorable things can happen.

Bachmann wins Iowa Straw Poll

Take that Rick Perry.

The rest of us better start gearing up.  We will have a lot of media and money working against working Americans.  If we don’t want Perry or Bachmann nominating the next Supreme Court judge, filling tons of federal judicial seats (many now empty because the GOP is blocking Obama’s nominations), the disintegration of our new Consumer Protection Act, and so very much more, we are going to have to fight like Wisconsin for every Congressional seat and the White House.