Senator Stabenow spoke to an overflow crowd at the Otwell home on Saturday, Jan 27, including Mayor Carruthers, State House candidate Dan O'Neil and Congressional candidate Matt Morgan.
The event was a great success with fellow Dems expressing both solidarity and concerns about the future of our country.
Outside, a crowd of fellow progressives respectfully held signs expressing their concerns about the recent vote on a continuing resolution without a deal for the 800,000 dreamers fearing deportation as a result of the Administration's actions to discontinue DACA. When she arrived, Senator Stabenow greeted and spoke with the demonstrators about their concerns.
In her remarks, Senator Stabenow expressed strong support for DACA. She said she agreed with the demonstrators and was hopeful that a deal would be reached before the next funding continuation. She described the fight as one of difficult tactics. She felt continuation of a government shutdown would have been at greater cost to people who rely on government support and would erode national support for both Dems and those impacted by DACA. She pointed out that those who need government assistance for food and medical care were directly threatened by continuing the shutdown.
The Senator explained that the Democrats chose as a first step a modest shutdown over a weekend to get the message across that we were ready to fight. She feels hopeful that McConnell will keep his word and that a DACA bill will have a meaningful vote, not because she trusts McConnell but because there is a great deal of bipartisan support.
When asked why she was not more directly combative against Trump, the Senator described it as an unwise strategy. She said, "I am running in a state that Trump won." To win we must demonstrate we have a program that addresses people's needs. Trump won votes because people felt the need for change. In order to win, Democrats must demonstrate that they have economic programs that address the needs of the electorate.
To me it was obvious that Senator Stabenow was expressing her sincerely held sympathy and support for DACA. We must recognize that Democrats are in the minority and our tactics must reflect that reality. Personally I took the demonstration as encouragement for Democrats to both stand strong and together. I also hope we can give our leaders in the fight (in this case Pelosi and Schumer) the trust and room they need to find the most effective tactics in a difficult battle.
To see pictures of the event go to http://www.grandtraversedems.com/stabenow-fundrraiser-photos