Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Back to Politics

I happened to flip onto C-SPAN radio last night, and they were replaying part of "Washington Journal" from earlier that morning (find the Nov. 8th clip). On the show were Harold Ickies and Seth Rosenburg who are both being considered for the chair of the DNC. (Of course, Howard Dean is my choice.)

A woman, who I think was from Pennsylvania, called into the show as a Bush supporter. She unitelligibly discussed for a bit why she really wanted to vote for Kerry because of the war, but couldn't because the war was a "cause", or something. I didn't quite get it. Her lack of coherence makes me wonder if she ever considered Kerry at all.

Regardless, she got to the meat of her argument by saying something to the effect of, "The problem with you Democrats is morality. You believe in gay marriage. You believe in partial birth abortion. Blah, Blah, Blah." Both of these potential DNC chairs completely missed the answer. They gave some platitudes on Iraq. They wish-washed on gay marriage, saying something to the effect of believing in civil unions but not marriage (although they did sort-of link the idea to slavery and civil rights). They completely avoided talking about partial birth abortion. WTF? These are the people who are supposed to lead my party. I want a leader, not a panderer. I don't want the DNC chair making nice with stupid ladies that call into C-SPAN. I want someone who calls ignorance ignorance, and hate hate. I certainly think that Howard Dean is the best person for that right now.

In the spirit of imagination, here's the answer that I was considering while sitting in my truck,

Thank you mam, for calling in with your opinion. It's suprising to me that you raise the question of morality when you discuss how you voted for George Bush as opposed to John Kerry, particularly given the issues you cite. I don't quite understand how morality is exhibited by the leadership of the Republican Party. George Bush lied to the American people about the presence of WMD in Iraq. Dick Cheney lied to the American people about a connection between Saddam and Osama. Over 1000 American soldiers have now died as a result of these lies. Is that moral. Further, although you may consider it moral to oppose the gay marriage, many Democrats consider freedom to be the highest moral. Why do you stand in the way of people's freedom to visit loved ones in the hospital, or care for their families through sickness? I don't care whether people are straight, gay or whatever, it just seems to me that these should be fundemental rights for all people in stable, committed, loving relationships. It was not long ago that it was "immoral" for white people to marry black people, or for black people to sit in the front of the bus. Because of Democrats, millions of people in this country possess the freedoms promised to them in the Consititution and Delaration of Independance. Finally, on abortion, I would like to know if the caller has an explanation as to why the party that believes in protecting the reproductive freedoms of women and families saw a decline in the number of abortions, while George Bush who has taken freedoms away from families, has seen the number of abortions increase in the past four years. Bill Clinton and Al Gore talked about making abortion safe, legal, and rare, and they came through on that promise. As it has always been in this country, extending freedoms to more people makes our country stronger. George Bush, unfortunately, is learning that by taking freedom away from Americans, the world becomes a much more dangerous place.

If you'd like some more Democratic fire and brimstone, here is an excellent posting about washing our hands of the red states.


At 5:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...



Over the next two months, you will be bombarded with suggestions on how you should vote when it comes time to decide the direction of the Democratic Party. As you consider who should lead our Party, please keep in mind the following observations:

Evaluating 2004The Democratic Party did not "come close" to winning in 2004. This is a zero-sum game and we need to measure our position against that of the GOP. Democrats would have needed a 10 point across the board increase in support to have done as well as Republicans. True, Kerry came close to scraping together an electoral vote win, but Democrats did poorly and Kerry lost. We lost. We are in worse position than we were before the election. As Mayor Gavin Newsom is fond of saying, "Do what you've done and you'll get what you've got."

Choosing a new DNC ChairWhen choosing a new leader for our Party, please make your choice based on your own decision of who will take the steps necessary to modernize the Party. We must have a full-time leader with the vision necessary to restructure our organization. We can't let our Party serve as a golden parachute for those who lost in 2004 -- we need the DNC staffed by the best and the brightest not the oldest and best connected. Our next Chair needs 100% dedication to the effort and must put the Party before any other concern. Recently there has been talk of a candidate running to protect his home state's antiquated primary tradition -- we can't afford to elect somebody with a conflict of interest and ulterior motives. We need reform.

AccountabilityOnly by deciding our goals and quantifying our methods can we determine what is working and what isn't. We need to hold programs and people accountable. We lost and we can't be afraid to fire losers. The campaigns of tomorrow are far different from the campaigns of a decade ago -- we need to evaluate individuals by their value in a modern campaign. The railroads didn't hire the fastest Pony Express riders; they hired people who made good railroad engineers. Campaigns have gone through a similar sea change and our Party's future depends upon intelligent reaction to the new rules of politics.

ReformWe are reforming our local central committees but we need your vote to reform the Democratic National Committee. We are waiting for systematic reform, but the Party needs the grassroots more than we need the Party. We want to win and we will support the best vehicles for victory. We would like to continue our support for the DNC, but we're also members of Democracy for America and Moveon and the New Democrat Network. If the Party won't stand up for us, we know they will. We know they were built as modern organizations and a far more efficient than the Democrat Party. DNC members need to elect a new Chair who can compete with DfA, Moveon, and NDN or the party will be relegated to only hosting the convention. We are Democrats and we don't want the most moderate or least controversial Chair, we want a leader. So lead us or we will follow the visionaries at the reform organizations.

For more information, read I am a Reform Democrat on Daily Kos, the NDN Blog, Blog for America, Change for America or Democrat Blog Swarm.

If you have additional ideas on modernizing and reform the Democratic National Committee, please email me at bob.brigham [at] gmail.com. I am a Reform Democrat.


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