Friday, August 31, 2007

Edwards for President

At some point we all have to make a decision. And for quite some time I have sat on the fence in the Democratic race for president. That was largely because even though I like John Edwards, I worried that he and Obama would split the anti-Hillary vote. I was looking for some indication that either Obama or Edwards would solidify their position as the alternative to Hillary. But the longer I waited the more I realized that it was fence-sitters like me who were further delaying this process.

I also believe that in making a choice to support a candidate we must look not only to issues like electability (let's face it, Rove got an inarticulate draft dodger elected twice), but to our passions and our beliefs. And only one candidate moves my emotion meter, and that is John Edwards. I feel that Edwards "gets it" more than the other major candidates. No one else speaks so passionately about poverty and the need for systemic change.

Edwards has said, "We cannot replace a group of corporate Republicans with a group of corporate Democrats, just swapping the Washington insiders of one party for the Washington insiders of the other." He has demonstrated that he understands the nature of the problems we face, and that simply electing any Democrat would be like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Despite his wealth, Edwards is not a part of the elite class that has steadily increased its influence on the levers of our government for the past few generations to a point where it is now so rigged in their favor as to have established a stranglehold on our society.

John Edwards gives us the best chance to reclaim our democracy from moneyed elites. We will take back our democracy from those who have profited from their influence and status, while the rest of us have been shut out. We will again have an America that all of us can proud of- where hard work is valued over soft money; where the rule of law applies to all, regardless of their connections; where we come together because of our shared humanity, rather than driven apart by petty prejudices and those who exploit them; where our Constitution and Bill of Rights are respected and not made irrelevant by stoking our irrational fears.

In short, John Edwards will return America to her core values of liberty, tolerance, equality and justice.

What is Strength?

Democrats, or at least most of them in DC, are confused as to what the meaning of strength is. For at least the past thirty years, Democrats have been labelled as weak-willed, soft, lacking resolve, etc. Rather than fighting back against these stereotypes, many Dems have instead accepted this as their fate by adopting Republican frames and being cowed into submission by the Right Wing Noise Machine.

I give you, as an example, the current debate over the War in Iraq and what is soon to be another $50 billion requested for the surge. Before the administration has even made the request, some Democrats are falling all over themselves to support the request, lest they be labelled anti-troop or pro-terrorist or some other catchy slogan dreamed up by Frank Luntz and Karl Rove. For those who might have forgot, this is the same Democratic Party who said that they would get tough (or have tough votes or some other tripe) in September.

But, as always, they have misplaced their spines in another failed attempt to look tough for the American people. But supporting this ill-fated War (and make no mistake, by continuing to fund the War, these Democrats are supporting Bush's Iraq debacle), Democrats are actually showing their lack of resolve. Or their wimpiness, if you will.

What the American people see is a Congress afraid to stand up to a tremendously unpopular president and put an end to an extremely unpopular war. This despite what voters were led to believe prior to returning Democrats to power in November 2006. What is so baffling is that it does not take much courage to stand up for what is the position of a majority of Americans.

We are not looking to write a new chapter of Profiles in Courage. That time has long since passed. What we seek is a Party and leadership that is willing to actually represent the will of the people. Is that really too much to ask?

Thursday, August 30, 2007

What's the Difference?

Imagine, if you will, a situation where two sitting US Senators have engaged in unlawful sexual acts. Both are members of the Republican Party; both are married. One senator paid for heterosexual sex with a prostitute (and apparently has a diaper fetish, to boot); the other senator was seeking homosexual action in a public restroom.

Arguably, both senators were engaging in improper and illegal acts. Yet, only one has been stripped of his committee assignments and called upon to resign. Can you guess which one? If you guessed the one whose transgressions were homosexual, give yourself a gold star for today.

But another difference has been largely ignored by the media- the gay sex senator represents a state with a Republican governor, while the diaper aficionado comes from a state governed by a Democrat. In other words, if Senator Craig were to resign, he would be replaced by another conservative Republican. But, if Senator Vitter goes, his governor would appoint a Democrat to fill his seat.

So, for those who worry that the GOP is obsessed only with gay sex, take heart. They are equally, if not more, concerned with their ever dwindling numbers in Congress.


This blog will contain my thoughts and takes on politics, current events, books and music. Some posts will be short and random; others will be meandering missives, complete with links, and maybe even citations. I hope you enjoy my new home. Posting to begin very soon.