Saturday, March 12, 2005

Defending Social Security March to Santorum's Office

I attended the Funeral March for Social Security in Philadelphia last night, and it was good to see 300 or so folks from all walks of life getting active to save that cornerstone of the New Deal, Social Security. The march went from 12th and Market in Philadelphia to gather on the street below Rick Santorum's Philadelphia office at Broad and Chestnut Streets. We even tied up rush hour traffic on Broad Street for a bit, with a couple helicopter roaring overhead.

Lots of folks were there, including representatives of the American Society on Aging and the National Council on the Aging, who were meeting at a convention in Philadelphia. Local groups included the Coalition to Defend Social Security, as well as Philly for Change and Americans for Democratic Action. I saw lots of seniors there, and also a couple folks familiar to you if you visit our links. Chris Bowers of MyDD was there, Tim Tagaris of the Pennacchio campaign, and Liz from Noblesse OBlog. The major speaker was Jim Dean of Democracy for America, in what he said was his first such talk at an event supporting Social Security. Yeah, that's Howard Dean's brother, and he acquitted himself well to the crowd clogging Chestnut Street.

I guess it is important to note that my chant of "Privatize Santorum" didn't take off. Instead there was a steady chant of "Hey hey, ho ho, Rick Santorum has Got to Go" throughout the march, and ordinary people observing honked horns and even joined in. For those who remembered the bit of controversy from Santorum's Town Meeting at Drexel University a couple weeks ago, when the College Republicans made fools of themselves chanting "Hey Hey Ho Ho, Social Security has Got to Go," the jokers showed up again. This time one of them had "Go Bush" drawn onto his belly. I am told they were the same group that embarrassed the Republicans at the earlier forum, and that there will be pictures to prove it. Still, I see that as a small issue, if typically crass on the part of the Republicans.

Interestingly, the only media I've seen to cover the march at all was ABC News. There were several photograhers there, so maybe something will surface on the local scene in the next few days. I guess Bush's Social Security Propaganda Tour will make much bigger news.

I had good strategic discussions with Tim Tagaris and Chris Bowers after the meeting when we all gathered at Independence Brewpub for a quaff or two. While I will not be supporting one Democratic candidate over another in the Pennsylvania Primary Race for Senate, I'll be watching that race closely, and hope to make contact with Bob Casey's people in the future as well.