Archive for the ‘Democracy Means You’ Category

The Bush-Boxer Voter

The Democrats’ real dilemma

I’m still in a mild state of shock after the re-selection of Dear Leader and company. Like many Democrats, progressives, moderates, and varied sane people, I’m trying to wrap my brain around enough people casting their ballots for the crew that’s eviscerating our economy, demolishing the federal budget, betraying our fundamental values at home and abroad, getting the troops “we support” killed by the Bushel, and otherwise making an utter and unholy mess of everything they touch. Confusing me further is a phenomenon I am at a loss to explain: California voters who chose Bush for President but also helped reelect Barbara Boxer.
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Liberty and Justice For All: A Frame for Democrats

So the early conclusion on the election is this: We Need A Coherent Message. I couldn’t agree more. Now the big question is, “what is our message?”

Simple. Liberals, progressives, and Democrats as a whole can differ on various aspects of the philosophy, but the basic meme is fair play. Republicans and the conservatives who enable them (not to be confused with classic conservatives) like to say “life is not fair.” We need to respond “we can make it fair.” The package for this is simple: the classic phrase “liberty and justice for all.” How does that fit? Again, simple.

Liberty is, hopefully, self-explanatory. Civil rights, equal rights, and most especially the basic freedoms granted by the Bill of Rights. You can say what you want, write what you want, believe what you want, and get together with any willing group you want, as long as you don’t hurt anyone doing it. The modern Republican party is, basically, against this now. We need to point out the large freedom gap.
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Whither Democracy?

…as democracy withers…

At the moment, the message throughout the liberal/progressive end of the blogosphere is “don’t give up.” We lost the Big One, but built the foundations to counter the right wing Scaife/Limbaugh/Newsmax/Fox/Washington Times noise machine. This Is Only The Beginning.

Well…maybe.

As much of an incurable optimist as I usually am, I can’t help but see the fundamental flaw in such thinking: movements only matter if those in power can be removed by them. Optimism about our infrastructure would be justified if we could reasonably believe that we will have freedom of speech, press, assembly and petition in the years to come.
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The Betrayal

Remember. Then Vote.
Part three of three

There are so many reasons to vote Anyone But Bush Again. From abortion to war and everything in between — and I hate to sound like a party shill, but it is so true — W really does mean “Wrong.” Though I am proud to be able to support a candidate like John F. Kerry, I would be fighting hard for the Democrat, whether we had Dennis Kucinich or Joe Lieberman.

(Well, okay, if Lieberman had been the nominee, it would be tough to put my all into the campaign. Fortunately, that is not the case.)
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Damsels in Distress

Liberty and Justice need you!
Part two of three

We all have issues near and dear to our hearts. Even those whose beliefs pretty much run the progressive gamut (like myself) tend to worry about certain topics more than others. For me, there is nothing more important than protecting the basic rights that form the core of the American dream.
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Why You Should Vote Kerry

(Hint: He’s more than just Not Bush)
(First of a three-part final push into Election Day)

It is heartening for me to see progressives — former Nader supporters in particular — line up behind John Kerry. No matter how much they might like Nader, Cobb, or other great leaders on our side, they see the danger of a Bush administration and want to help take our country back. And certainly, the complaining has subsided somewhat after the way Kerry demolished Dubya in the first debate.

Still, why is a legitimate hero of the Vietnam War, a man who served to prevent some poor kid from having to and then came home to tell the truth, a man who chose a life of service instead of a life of luxury, who helped drag the Iran-Contra affair into the light of day, who brought down BCCI, which Washington Monthly describes as “the terrorists’ favorite bank,” and who has consistently and reliably fought for the environment, women’s rights, and social justice, still facing such reluctance from the left?
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Dear Customer

[Dear Taxpayer] A Modest Reminder of What Your Taxes Pay For

Dear IRS:

I would like to cancel my subscription. Please remove my name from your mailing list.

Dear Customer:

We’re sorry you wish to leave us! Before you finalize your decision, we’d like to take this opportunity to remind you of all the benefits of being part of our service, the United States of America.
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Not Taking It

It has been truly fascinating, in a darkly humorous way, to watch Republicans whine about Democrats being “divisive” during this election cycle. Translation: “hey, you’re not supposed to fight back when we hit you!” As usual, they can dish it out, but they sure can’t take it. Bullies never can.

Kevin Drum put it extremely well in a recent post of his:
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The Case Against Iraq

Or, Why Bush Is Still Wrong

You’ve heard the bleating from Bush and Cheney. “World safer without Saddam,” “Mushroom clouds if Kerry wins,” blah blah blah. In spite of the overwhelming evidence that Iraq was a horrible mistake and Bush is a freaking moron, they keep using the bloody place like a cudgel. We tough, them weak. We Texans, them French.

The sick, sad thing is, people are buying it. I actually got into an argument with a relative over whether or not hitting Iraq was a good thing because — I swear to God, this was his argument — we had to hit somebody, and it didn’t matter who.

Never mind we had already “hit” Afghanistan. Never mind that we can’t “hit” anyone else while we’re stuck in that damn quicksand pit. Never mind the blood and tears and death. We had to hit someone. I was flabbergasted into silence by the horror.

Well, here’s a handy guide in case you ever find yourself in such a situation. Plenty of reasons why going into Iraq was unutterably stupid.
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The Still-Conservative Media

[television finger] Conservative Media Owners for Swift Boat (and other) Bullshit

It’s time to stop pussy-footing around and speak truth to power. They’re not the “so-called liberal media.” That’s being too kind. Anyone watching the Swift Boat Veterans for Bile coverage knows that it’s time to call them what they are: the conservative voice of corporate America.
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