Thursday, September 20, 2007

F*ck the Senate Democrats

Twenty-two Democratic Senators voted to condemn MoveOn's General Betray Us ad. Of course, all but three GOP Senators supported the measure. That came right on the heels of an alternative measure that would have also condemned the folks who slandered Max Cleland in 2002 and John Kerry in 2004. So, in other words it is perfectly acceptable to question the patriotism of Democratic veterans, but not to criticize Republican generals.

That Republicans supported this patently ridiculous resolution is certainly not a surprise. But what is amazing is that Senate Majority Leader Reid even allowed this to come to the floor. And that 22 Dem senators were craven enough to vote yea. What a bunch of cowardly jackasses.

It's nice to know that the Senate finds it more important to condemn a fucking newspaper advertisement than to end this war. Shame on them.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A Plan for Progressives in '08

What do we, as progressives, do in 2008 if Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama are our party's nominee? Do we meekly fall into line and toil in the hopes of an end to the GOP occupation of the White House? Do we work against our Party? Or, do we instead focus on Congressional races, leaving the race for the White House to be run by the typical DC insiders?

I would suggest that the latter is our best option. We ought not waste our precious resources electing a person who embodies the worst of our Party. Hillary Clinton is no progressive. If you weren't sure of that before, just look at her recent fundraiser targeted to homeland security contractors. These folks not only got access to Senator Clinton, but to other members of Congress who sit on committees that determine homeland security policy. Now, when Bush and Cheney do that we call it selling policy to the highest bidder. It is no different in this instance. Team Clinton has vacuumed up bundles of campaign cash from corporate special interests and their lobbyists. It is the classic case of insideritis. And it is beyond naive to believe that Hillary will clean up DC.

Although Barack Obama sometimes talks like a progressive, he suffers from the same disease that many Democrats contract once they spend time in Washington- lackus backbonicus. At times Obama comes across as bold and decisive, but more often he seems timid and unsure of himself. It should come as no surprise that his advisers consist of the typical DC Dems. It is hard to be bold when you're counseled by Tom Daschle.

Luckily, we have an alternative (assuming my own choice, John Edwards, does not win the nomination) and that is to use our power to elect more progressive Democrats to Congress. This means supporting progressive challengers to Democratic incumbents, as well as against Republican incumbents. We have the ability to defeat Bush Dog Democrats and Republicritters. A more progressive Congress is the only bulwark against both a triangulating, corporate Democratic administration and a Republican one.

A more progressive Congress would also equal more power for us in the long run. Breaking the stranglehold of cowardly, corporate DC Dems is a long term project. We cannot expect change overnight, nor can we afford to be discouraged by the short term failures we might encounter. In the end, we will be judged by the quality of the democracy we turn over to future generations.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

What Have I Become

Something struck me the other day. I have become a radical. And it is an evolution that took a mere five years. What shocked me was that not only did it take such a short period of time, but it has happened while living in a purple and then a red state. Growing up in Massachusetts, and living most of my life there, made me no more liberal than average. In fact, much of my late teens and twenties were spent working in Republican politics in the Bay State.

But the past several years have simply left me with no other option than to embrace my newfound radicalism. See, it wasn't just the Republican control of our government with their trashing of the Constitution or their pathological lying to the American people that pushed me over the edge. It was actually the feebleness of the Democratic Party that sent me down this path.

With almost no exception the Democratic Party has been ineffectual, corrupt and cowardly. They have sit idly by while BushCo has sent our troops off to die for a war based on lies, while the real culprit for 9-11 bides his time in the hills of the Pakistan/Afghanistan border. They have failed to show even one iota of courage or convictions. They do not to speak truth to power. Not only are the Democrats weak-willed, but they suckle from the same corporate teat as their GOP comrades.

Where is the outrage? Where is the leadership? How is it that at this moment in time, when our country is in such a crisis, that one entire Party sits silently and fails to exercise its power to make change?

I am sick and tired of Democrats telling us to sit tight, that they will get tougher tomorrow. Too many tomorrows have passed and I, like many Americans, am out of patience. It is past the time for those of us who care about America to take the Democratic Party back. It will no longer suffice that someone has a D beside their name. If they vote to continue this war, to continue eviscerating the Bill of Rights, to continue to finance tax cuts for the rich on the backs of the poor, then they do not deserve our support. If they want to act like a Republican, then let them be a Republican.

The time has come to challenge EVERY fucking Democrat complicit with this administration. The blood of thousands of our young men and women is on their hands. And they must be made to pay for their transgressions in primaries. We need to take back our party from the corporatists and the cowardly. America deserves no less.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Vote, Vote, Vote .... and Pledge

Tired of DC Democrats bending over for Bush? Then vote at MoveOn to support progressive challengers in primaries. And while you are there, be sure to pledge your financial support.

Friday Letter Section

To Congressman Brian Baird, the Democrat from Vancouver, Washington who since returning home from the Green Zone has become a surge cheerleader:

You should be ashamed of yourself for falling for BushCo's dog and pony show in the Green Zone. All objective evidence has shown that there has been no progress in Iraq. The surge has been a failure.

Your reliance on the Pottery Barn theory to justify our continued occupation of Iraq is simplistic and wrong. Certainly we are responsible for breaking Iraq, but to use that as an excuse to continue our failed policy is absurd. Do you believe that the Pottery Barn would allow you to keep breaking items so long as you paid for them? No, they would throw you out of the store.

Along with this administration and its enablers, you will bear the responsibility of your votes to continue this failed war. I do not know how you are able to sleep at night, knowing that the blood of US troops and Iraqi civilians are on your hands.

Friday Food for Thought

One virtue is more powerful than a thousand vices.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Party Discipline

The GOP has it; we don't. Not only do Republicans possess extraordinary message discipline, but when the chips are down, even those who stray from the Party's talking points come home to their elephant roost. Folks like Olympia Snowe, Sue Collins, Arlen Specter, Chris Shays et al express "independent" ideas on the Sunday morning talking heads shows only to fall right into line with BushCo when the actual votes are being tallied. (That the media constantly fall for this schtick just goes to show how incredibly dumb or lazy our press is.)

On the other hand, Democrats cannot even seem to agree on the color of the sky. There is absolutely no consequence for people like Brian Baird or other Bush Dogs to abandon the Party (and their constituents). It is simply amazing that Joe Lieberman still has committee assignments (not to mention a chair) from the Democratic Party. If he were a Republican he would have been purged a long time ago.

I wonder whether the leadership is either that impotent or is simply unwilling to play hardball with people who forget that the D after their name means something. Either way it only supports the meme of Democrats as ineffectual and WEAK.

Time for a Change

As alluded to in my post supporting John Edwards, it is time for drastic change in America and her politics. Our most obvious problems, things like the Iraq War and the economy, are merely surface manifestations of a much deeper malignancy. Our true ailment is the ever increasing power of elites to determine the shape of our society.

This power manifests itself in our government and in our economy. Powerful elites have always held much sway over America. And to ignore their historical power would be folly. However what we have witnessed in the past thirty or more years has been a centralization and consolidation of that power. Moneyed interests have not only gained access to our public institutions (government, universities, media), but they have, in some instances, purchased them.

Elites have come to amass so much power through a series of incremental steps. Little noticed provisions in spending bills or reauthorization bills or the tax code. On the surface they may seem benign to the average citizen, but their cumulative effect has been enormous. We now have a democracy that is enslaved to corporate and elite interests. Just take a look at our lack of universal health care or high-quality public schools or a truly progressive tax system.

Progress towards each of these three policy goals has been held up by corporate elites, whether it is Big Pharma and HMOs blocking health care reform, or multinational corporations more concerned with a steady supply of drones rather than informed citizens, or very wealthy CEOs demanding ever more tax cuts at the expense of those who labor. All of this has been wrought by a political system for sale to the highest bidder.

This bought and paid for government provides us with crony capitalism, no-bid contracts, and a yawning gap between the haves and the have-nots. And it is well past time for average Americans to take our country back from the elites. Let us not be ignorant of the reality of class warfare, for it has been with man since the dawn of time. It is being waged against the middle class and the poor, as it has been for over thirty years. And it will continue to be waged until either we all succumb or we fight back.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Food for Thought

No real posting over the weekend, but just a few words of wisdom to ponder.

A man of quality is not threatened by a woman for equality.

Just as many kinds of garlands can be made from a heap of flowers, so also much good can be done by a mortal being. - Buddha