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Some day, once the current GOP dominance collapses under the weight of their corruption, we'll have Dems playing the same dirty game. Republicans rally around their sleaziest bad-government practicioners, as we know the elephant flies above the Stars and Stripes to the typical Bush/DeLay apologist.

The moral imperative behind a "clean government" crusade is self-evident. But there's also a practical reason to oppose corruption even amongst Democrats -- it's a sure-fire way to lose elections. Rampant Democratic corruption cost us Congress in 1994, and we've yet to recover. And continued Democratic corruption has made House Dems wary of charging ahead with the "corruption" theme to hard, lest some of the current members get snared in the web.

Good. Let those who sit in Congress enriching themselves go down. They are supposed to be doing the people's business, not their own. Unlike the GOP apologists, I consider corruption a non-partisan issue. I'd like to see them all thrown out with the Capitol trash.

If anyone wonders why I'm such a Schweitzer fan, here's another reason:

Gov. Brian Schweitzer has asked Democrat Bob Rowe, the former chairman of state Public Service Commission, not to work on the governor's upcoming energy conference because Rowe is associated with a lobbying firm that represents several energy companies.

The governor's office had previously hired Rowe to help organize the conference. Rowe has been released from that job.

"It's simply policy," Schweitzer said. "I believe passionately that you can only serve one master. When we have chosen people to work for us, we have chosen people who will commit themselves to working for all the people of Montana, not a special interest." [...]

Schweitzer said he found out late last week that Rowe was listed as a Gallatin Group lawyer. He said he felt removing Rowe from his position with the symposium was in keeping with his policy of not involving lobbyists to be involved in state government projects.

That's clean government in action.

(Oh, and Kerry is trying to capture a bit of the Schweitzer magic. Man, if two politicians were ever polar opposites...)

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 10:11 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Kos, you're such a breath of fresh air. (4.00)
    Corrupt Dems are not our friends. Let's purge all who would use their power for personal gain.

    --
    The neocons will not give us our country back. If we want it back, we'll have to take it.
    --Lila Garrett

    by peacemonger on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 10:14:57 PM PDT

    •  This country won't survive if Dems are corrupt too (none)
      I'm for getting rid of all the corruption. I'm just not as aware exactly where it is on the left side of the aisle. Given how corrupt I know the Repubs to be, there must also be significant corruption on the Dem side too. It's just harder for me to identify because of my biases.

      If Dems win a big comeback due to Iraq backlash, and there is too much corruption under the surface of the Dem party, we will not get the reforms needed to save this country. Watered down investigations of Bush's war crimes, no meaningful voting reform, etc.

      Sometimes I fear that we may only have 1 more chance to get a Dem president, but that she/he won't be progressive enough to reform voting or the media, and that the next neocon warmonger president will just pick up where Bush left off and get us into an irreversable and endless war.

      "Blogging doesn't make it so" - Rep. Hayworth (R) AZ 1/6/2005. Oh yeah?

      by bejammin075 on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 10:49:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Lieberman's wife works for Hill & Knowlton.. (4.00)
      the PR firm that brought us the "story" of Iraqis throwing incubator babies onto the floor-- to die! (Only the story proved to be false.)

      Hadassah Lieberman now is in the Pharmaceutical/Health Care division of Hill & Knowlton. Guess who she is representing? (The People of CT?!? LMAO.)

      Our other CT Senator, Chris Dodd, has a second wife name Jackie Clegg. Jackie runs her own "consultancy", Jackie Clegg International. Unknown people pay her undisclosed sums of money to sit down and "consult".

      Me, personally, I'm exceedingly upset with both my Senators. But as they are both recent graduates of the Tom Daschle's "How to Whore your Wife" School of Politics, I'm not sure if I should hold them individually accountable, or blame instead the inside-the-beltway, all-too-glad to sell-my-soul wing of the Party.

      God save us from ourselves.

      If a Dem wants to be "good friends" with that hate-mongering liar, Sean Hannity, well, he deserves a primary. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DumpJoe/

      by DeanFan84 on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 11:13:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Local housekeeping (none)
      Kos's point on corruption is great -- and you're right to bring up local and state corruption.  

      While Democrats do not control the Federal Government, we control the executive and legislative branches of most major cities.  And for the most part, the results are not pretty.  It's hard to convince suburban voters that the party of local corruption and mediocre schools is the national party of clean government and education.  

      In addition, executive leadership begets winning campaigns for executive office -- Ed Rendell did a great job in Philadelphia; he's now Governor.  History seems to suggest that Governors go on to become Presidents.  But too many Democratic mayors and other local politicians are, at best too beholden to the local interest groups and unions who elect them, and at worst incompetent, corrupt or both.  

      Cities are overwhelmingly Democratic, so officeholders are essentially selected in the primaries, which are in turn too often controlled by the machines that can garner the signatures and get out the vote.  In NYC, Bloomberg had to leave the Democratic Party and become a Republican to bypass the primaries -- by almost all accounts he's become a very good mayor, one we Democrats should have been able to call our own.

      This is not to say there's not local Republican corruption too -- but we're mostly Democrats on DK, and this post is about taking care of our own housekeeping.  

      Corruption is a great issue.  But for it to really resonate with voters as a hallmark of Democrats, we must demonstrate that we are the party of clean government at the local level as well as the national.  And that is no small task.

  •  Schweitzer in 08 (4.00)
    I wish he would be in the straw polls. Alot of us Western Dems want him to run. Just listen to him talk and look at how he conducts his administration. He ooozes populist.

    FrontierPac.com and Left in the West have been early supporters of Gov. Schweitzer.

    •  Not just Western Democrats! (none)
      ;-)

      "We can win elections only by standing up for what we believe." --Howard Dean

      by Jim in Chicago on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 10:56:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'd rather wait and see (4.00)
      The man has been governor for not even a year. It's not that hard to win an election when you pick a Republican as your running mate and your predecessor was loathed by most of the state. And that Air America interview of his confused so many people about his views on social issues and I think on Howard Dean, it didn't suggest a very clear public speaking style.
  •  Revolution (4.00)
    The shortest path to victory in 2006 and 2008 is to out every corrupt politician in D.C.

    If they're GOP fantastic.  It only helps our cause to out them.

    If they are Dems, We all will be cleansed by outing our own corruption which is the most valuable form of government in a democracy.

    A failed President= August 6 PDB, Bin Laden? DSM, WMD's? Abu Ghraib, Rove/Plame

    by Gator on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 10:18:24 PM PDT

    •  Should be... (none)
      self-government

      A failed President= August 6 PDB, Bin Laden? DSM, WMD's? Abu Ghraib, Rove/Plame

      by Gator on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 10:34:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Absolutely.... (none)
      As Kos noted, it's the corrupt Dems in our midst that are preventing us from taking the fight to the republicans.  Time to clean house.....like Robert Johnson once said....."I'm gonna get up in the mornin', believe I'll dust my broom"....Time for we dems to do just that.
  •  schweitzer doesn't look like (4.00)
    a man whose magic is being captured.

    schweitzer isn't a corrupt politician.

    kerry and schweitzer polar opposites.

    kerry....

    i'm sorry.  that bugs me.

    and i agree with just about everything else about this diary.  without question.

    (OPTIMISM IS THE OPIUM OF THE PEOPLE! THE HEALTHY ATMOSPHERE STINKS! LONG LIVE TROTSKY!)

    by BiminiCat on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 10:19:25 PM PDT

    •  Kos is referring to Kerry's charisma and persona (none)
      not corruption.
      •  then an update to the diary (none)
        is probably in order.

        (OPTIMISM IS THE OPIUM OF THE PEOPLE! THE HEALTHY ATMOSPHERE STINKS! LONG LIVE TROTSKY!)

        by BiminiCat on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 10:34:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Please read the diary a second or third tiime (none)
          There's no need for an update... the diary is very clear. I hope you get Kos' reference this time. And yes, make sure you reference the bottom link also.
          •  done (none)
            it's a diary about corruption in politics being a non-partisan issue.

            schweitzer getting rid of Rowe is held up as an example of a politician who is not corrupt, and will not tolerate any conflicts of interest whatsoever.

            and then the diary concludes thus:

            That's clean government in action.

            (Oh, and Kerry is trying to capture a bit of the Schweitzer magic. Man, if two politicians were ever polar opposites...)

            i've read the diary.  

            (OPTIMISM IS THE OPIUM OF THE PEOPLE! THE HEALTHY ATMOSPHERE STINKS! LONG LIVE TROTSKY!)

            by BiminiCat on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 11:09:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  oh good grief (none)
              That's clean government in action, and Kerry is aligning himself with it.
            •  So what's the problem? (none)
              They ARE polar opposites.....Schweitzer is a genuine, cool, ordinary guy.....Kerry is a piece of wood with no personality at all.
              •  Oh, bullshit. (none)
                "Kerry is a piece of wood with no personality at all."

                There's plenty of folks who disagree with you (not many of them here at dailykos, but gee that isn't fucking surprising is it?).

                I was at the Philly rally on 10/25. Definitely not a "piece of wood" there.

                I saw the 3 general election debates, and several of the primary debates. Nope, not a piece of wood there either.

                Then when he's actually not working, like at the Tour de France, or when he's riding in charity bike rides (like he's been doing for years, not to "fucking pander" before you fucking say it), YES he's a normal guy. And you know what else? My solidly middle-class coworker - gasp - windsurfs! Just like that "fucking elitist" Kerry! (Try being a "piece of wood" while windsurfing. Doesn't work well.)

                You obviously don't know anything about him. Why are you repeating right-wing talking points? Is it because they happen to be Markos' talking points too?

                </rant> (and sorry if I imposed any additional talking points on you that you didn't say, it's just economy of effort on my part. As far as I can tell it's all of the same cloth.)

                •  Thanks..... (none)
                  you did read my mind pretty well.......

                  Kerry was a horrible candidate.....you have to face up to it.....in this day and age the american people like pap, plain and simple.

                  Worst of all, why the hell didn't kerry respond in kind when the swift boaters started in on him??????  Why did he wait so long?  I rest my case.

            •  Either/Or (none)
              I read the diary in the same way you did, Bimini Cat, although I thought Kos either was saying that Senator Kerry did not have a "clean" image like Governor Schweitzer or was simply engaging in gratuitous Kerry bashing.

              The linked story made it sound like Governor Schweitzer and Senator Kerry actually enjoyed each other's company.  I am looking forward to seeing Senator Kerry on the Senate floor wearing his bolo tie.

              •  that's true. (none)
                that's why upthread i pointed out how schweitzer didn't look like he was getting his toes stepped on by someone trying to usurp his magic.

                in that picture, he looked genuinely happy to have kerry there.   surprise, surprise, markos chose to spin it otherwise.  

                (OPTIMISM IS THE OPIUM OF THE PEOPLE! THE HEALTHY ATMOSPHERE STINKS! LONG LIVE TROTSKY!)

                by BiminiCat on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 11:22:00 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  I want a picture (none)
                of Kerry in that bolo tie.

                ;-)

        •  Oh, the 'majic' Kos is referring to is (none)
          Schweitzer's authenticity.
          •  i guess that's clear to you (none)
            it wasn't clear to me.

            oh and to prove the point...

            http://www.dailykos.com/comments/2005/8/15/11158/0610/41#41

            markos leaves it open.

            if people walk away from this diary thinking kerry is corrupt, this appears perfectly acceptable to the blogger.

            no accusations.  no proof.  just give people enough to run with it.  it's punditry politics.  i'd say it's FNC but they're not smart enough to be that subtle.

            what's a shame is the point being made in the diary is a very good one and would have stood on it's own without setting up the kerry/shweitzer false dichotomy as it's contextualized within the topic of corruption.

            (OPTIMISM IS THE OPIUM OF THE PEOPLE! THE HEALTHY ATMOSPHERE STINKS! LONG LIVE TROTSKY!)

            by BiminiCat on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 11:17:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  it doesn't prove your point at all (none)
              Do you disagree with what Harrison points out?  Or are you demanding that we all be corrupt and ignore any of Kerry's failings?
              •  it proves my point (none)
                frankly, i do disagree with what harrison points out if it is some accusation that kerry is corrupt.  it's just inuendo, it's suggestion.  and markos supports it.  markos encourages it.

                (OPTIMISM IS THE OPIUM OF THE PEOPLE! THE HEALTHY ATMOSPHERE STINKS! LONG LIVE TROTSKY!)

                by BiminiCat on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 11:26:51 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Personally, all I want is for Kos (3.00)
                and anyone else still stuck in a time warp to get the fuck over the fucking primaries already. I can tell y'all are still stuck there, because everything Dean does is still golden, and Kerry is still gratuitously slammed even when there's no need.

                You don't have to ignore his failings, but neither do you need to continually bring them up over and over and over. A majority of Kossacks don't like Kerry. We get it. Move on.

                "Hey, did you hear that we think Kerry is wooden? Well we do. We really think he was stiff as a board. ... Yep, still think so. Wanna hear about it again? Dean's great, by the way. Not like Kerry. Kerry should just crawl in a hole."

                Hello, and welcome to today. Today, I support Kerry, and Dean, and Clark, and anyone else who's doing positive things, even Hillary, who makes my teeth itch most days.

                Btw, reading the article linked, it sounds like Sweitzer rather likes Kerry. So I suppose that means people shouldn't vote for him, as his judgement appears to be faulty. After all, Kerry's shit. Maybe someone should tell the poor guy so he can have nothing more to do with him.

                "My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

                by Kerrycrat on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 04:17:41 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  Although some of us remember (none)
        Kerry not exactly complaining when some of his (and Gephardt's) fundraisers got together with (poster child for Democratic corruption) Bob Toricelli to produce ads comparing Howard Dean to Osama Bin Laden before the Iowa caucuses.  Not the cleanest politics that...

        "We can win elections only by standing up for what we believe." --Howard Dean

        by Jim in Chicago on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 11:05:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  How do you know he didn't complain? (none)
          This is total speculation on my part, but everytime someone bitches about Kerry not going after Bush viciously enough, I wonder if the alleged bin Laden thing against Dean (which btw I never saw) was done without his knowledge and consent (in fact I'd put money on that part, if it could be proven) and he consequently told his team that shit had better not happen again.

          It's a debatable point whether those tactics, unacceptable (at least to folks here) in the primaries, should have been applied against Bush in the general election. But those who want to claim some nefarious motive on Kerry's part for not repeating that tactic with Bush, have no more proof than I do for my more generous interpretation.  It's just that I have seen a lot of evidence that Kerry is a genuinely decent guy, so to me my interpretation makes a lot more sense to me.

          •  The thing that upsets me the most (none)
            is that Kerry -- or his surrogates (wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more) -- were more than happy to pull this shit against Dean but it was pure Queensbury rules against Bush.  

            The proverbial observer from another planet would have concluded that Kerry was more concerned about beating "Dean, Dean, Dean, Dean, Dean!" (actual Kerry quote from when he was trailing in the polls) than about beating Bush.

            I think losing to Dean would have been a bigger blow to Kerry's ego. Notice that Kerry borrowed $6 million dollars against his home to stay in the race against Dean but failed to spend over $10 million that he had on hand for the general election....

            "We can win elections only by standing up for what we believe." --Howard Dean

            by Jim in Chicago on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 11:03:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  if Schweitzer were the nominee (4.00)
    Think of the possible tickets:

    Schweitzer/Obama
    Schweitzer/Reid
    Schweitzer/Ryan
    Schweitzer/Richardson
    Schweitzer/Nunn

    And throw into the mix a commitment to make Patrick Fitzgerald the U.S. Attorney General.

    Rrrrrringgg... Time to change the government.

    by Carl Nyberg on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 10:21:10 PM PDT

    •  If we're going on a non-corrupt ticket (none)
      ...Reid is far from the ideal candidate for VP.

      How about Feingold?

      Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. - Thomas Jefferson

      by jorndorff on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 10:23:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Reid brings other stuff (none)
        Reid brings that Beltway legislative know how.

        Also, he's anti-abortion and Mormon.

        If the Dems are gonna pursue a western strategy going after Mormons makes sense. Mormons could help tip Nevada, Arizona and Colorado.

        Percent Mormon
        Nevada-9%
        Arizona-6%
        Washington-5%
        Oregon-4%
        Montana-3%
        New Mexico-3%
        Colorado-2%

        Mormons comprise 1% of the U.S. population.

        Rrrrrringgg... Time to change the government.

        by Carl Nyberg on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 10:46:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm curious (none)
          What do you see the Dems offering Mormons that the Republicans can't and/or won't?

          I've only lived in the West for 10 years, but in that time I've come to think the vast majority of Mormons lean the same way politically as Evangelical Christians. I'm sure some small percentage might be responsive to the Democratic message, but I don't think it's worth a special, intense effort to get them.

          •  a little here and there (none)
            Nominating Reid isn't exactly an "intense" effort. It's not a gimmick like putting Geraldine Ferraro on the ticket.

            I've only talked politics in depth with one Mormon and he lived in the Fargo/Moorehead area.

            He voted Republican because of the abortion issue. Although he was for publicly funded elections, environmental considerations trumping agriculture and radical equalization of school funding formulas at the state level.

            I imagine Mormons vote GOP 63-74% outside of Utah. Having Harry Reid on the ticket could reduce that to 51-62%. This could swing Nevada and maybe Arizona. It would help nail down Oregon and Washington.

            Rrrrrringgg... Time to change the government.

            by Carl Nyberg on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 11:14:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Yep (none)
            There's absolutely no reason to pander to the religious nuts.....and I don't know why the hell we'd want Fitzgerald as AG?????  HUH??  HE'S A REPUBLICAN PEOPLE!
      •  Explain (none)
        I'm not aware of any corruption close to Reid. Everything I've read says he hates corruption - including trying to choke someone on videotape for trying to bribe him while he was in charge of the Nevada Gaming Commission. Reid is clean.

        I said it. I meant it. I stand by it. - Major Paul Hackett

        by joejoejoe on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 10:52:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Reid and Dario Herrera (none)
          Reid pushed Dario Herrera for the U.S. House in 2002.

          Herrera was pretty darn sleazy.

          Rrrrrringgg... Time to change the government.

          by Carl Nyberg on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 10:55:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Abramoff ties (4.00)
          ...however indirect, for starters. According to a June 3 WaPo article:

          The Indians' largess flowed to higher-ranking Democrats as well. Senate Democratic leaders Reid and Daschle each received more than $40,000 from the tribes and from lobbyists on Abramoff's team during the period. Gephardt got $32,500.

          That's $40,000 each for Daschle and Reid.

          James Patrick Manley, Reid's spokesman, also asserted that Reid's connection to tribes was remote from Abramoff. He said that Reid does not know Abramoff. But Abramoff did hire as one of his lobbyists Edward P. Ayoob, a veteran Reid legislative aide. Manley acknowledged that Ayoob helped raise campaign money for his former boss. Lawyers close to the Abramoff operation said that Ayoob held a fundraising reception for Reid at Greenberg Traurig's offices here.

          According to a June 4 Las Vegas Review-Journal article:

          Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid will not return campaign contributions he received during the past five years from lobbyists and clients associated with Jack Abramoff, a Reid spokeswoman said Friday.

          ...

          Reid received $6,500 from Abramoff's associates at the Greenberg Traurig law and lobbying firm from 1999 through 2004, The Washington Post reported Friday.

          During the same period, Reid received $40,500 from Indian tribes that were Abramoff clients, the paper reported based on research of federal records.

          Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. - Thomas Jefferson

          by jorndorff on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 11:13:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If you are,,,,,, (none)
            going to discount anyone who's taken corporate money, you're pretty much reduced to Russ Feingold.  At least I don't know of any others - names?  Bueller?  Anyone?

            Any pol that's taken corporate contributions can be tied to corruption.  Doesn't mean they are, but the argument can be stretched.

            Feingold/Schweitzer ticket has been my choice since 2004.  If only.

            "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine Pay attention Georgie - 1840+ dead Americans, 100,000+ dead Iraqis, all on your head. WWJS?

            by Miss Blue on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 05:38:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  If a Dem wins the White House. . . (4.00)
      . . . then Richard Ben Veniste (9/11 Commission Member) will be the Attorney General, IMO.

      Oh when the frogs. . Come marching in. . Oh when the FROGS COME MARCH-ING IN!

      by pontificator on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 10:27:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Obama would be the best choice (none)
      Schweizer / Obama :

      New Leadership for a Stronger America

      "We can win elections only by standing up for what we believe." --Howard Dean

      by Jim in Chicago on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 11:10:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I dig Obama (none)
        but give him more time in the senate to put action behind words. Eventually I say he would be a good choice, just not yet.

        Can anyone tell me why my American flag was made in China?

        by Skid on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 11:07:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I like both of those gentlemen, but... (none)
        Someone else said it first: give them time.  My governor seems to be a great guy, and Obama is a credit to the state of Illinois, but both have been in office less than a year.  Let's see how their respective terms play out before dealing the next hand.
    •  Schweitzer/Nunn, what a ticket! (none)
      Schweitzer, if I remember correctly, said he opposes equal marriage rights and civil unions.

      Sam Nunn was so virulently opposed to allowing gays in the military that he helped bring us "Don't Ask Don't Tell".

      So I guess populist = straight people yay, gay people go away.

  •  This is where recruitment comes in (none)
    the Republicans retook the House in 1994 in part by cultivating a stable of quality candidates who could hammer Dems as being corrupt and institutionalized.

    We need a corresponding list of Dem candidates who can hammer Delay, Burns and all the rest of the K street Republicans.

    Of course, once they're elected, we need to make sure they don't fall victim to the lure of money and power, the way the fabled class of '94 did. (How many of them pledged 2 terms and are actually living up to it?)

    Ann Arbor is a city, not my name

    by AnnArborBlue on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 10:21:48 PM PDT

    •  they won't do it on their own (none)
      they'll need to know we're watching them, and that we won't shrink from taking them out in primaries if they cross whatever lines we set up, be they ideological or WRT corruption. we need to emulate the religious right in this regard, despite the fact that our political ideals are diametrically opposed to theirs.

      the virtue of a clear democratic or progressive manifesto or contract is that we can make those criteria clear at the beginning not only because of the selling point clarity, but more importantly as a way to keep them in line.

      voters who refuse to discipline wayward politicians will get corrupt politicians. as kos rightly points out, committment to a political party entails a committment to culling the sick in the primaries so that the right doesn't get a chance to. the lotyalty is to the party and the values and policies it represents, not to individual politicians who use the label to excuse their transgressions.

      crimson gates reek with meat and wine/while on the streets, bones of the frozen dead -du fu (712-770)

      by wu ming on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 10:40:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Dem corruption only part of the 1994 story (4.00)
      Let's not forget that redistricting following the 1990 census massively helped the GOP cause. They hammered the Dems as corrupt, but this resonated in part because there were so many more suburb-dominated districts after 1990. Because Poppy was such a drag on the GOP in the 1992 election, they were not able to capitalize on the more friendly electoral maps in many states until 1994.

      Take my own district in central Iowa as an example. My 36-year incumbent representative Neal Smith was defeated in 1994 (barely) by Greg Ganske. Ganske ran a great campaign, driving around a 1958 car to drive home how long Neal Smith had been in power and connecting Smith with everything people didn't like about Congress at the time.

      But, after 1990 Smith's district was redrawn significantly. Suddenly he was no longer representing the Democratic stronghold of Story County, home to Iowa State University in Ames, to which Smith had brought countless dollars in pork over the decades. Suddenly he was representing a bunch of rural counties in southwest Iowa he had never represented before--he had never done them particular favors, and they leaned more conservative anyway.

      In 1992 the GOP didn't put forward a strong challenge to Smith, and he cruised on name recognition. There is no question that he would have handily defeated Ganske had his district included Story County in 1994.

      This pattern was repeated in many other House districts.

      I can't remember where I read this, but in many other states majority-minority districts were drawn after 1990, which increased the size of the Congressional Black Caucus but also created a large number of districts that leaned Republican.

      Obviously, the Republicans couldn't have done so well in 1994 without challenging virtually every incumbent Democrat and without nationalizing the election in a favorable way.

      I do support copying elements of this strategy (especially challenging Republicans EVERYWHERE), but the current electoral map makes me much less optimistic about our potential to ride this issue to sweeping victory in 2006.

  •  My litmus test (4.00)
    I may vote for an anti-abortion Democrat.  I may vote for a pro-war Democrat.  I may vote for an anti-welfare Democrat.  I may vote for an anti-environment act.  I might even vote for Joe Lieberman.

    However, I will NEVER vote for a corrupt Democrat.

  •  Oppose corruption "even" among Dems? (none)
    This is even subject to question? We need "practical" reasons to condemn corruption within our own party? There are circumstances under which we ought to condone corruption, if it's by Democrats? I'm appalled that these qualifiers even need to be applied.

    For relaxing times...make it Suntory time.

    by Schadenfreude on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 10:23:21 PM PDT

  •  That's odd! (none)
    It's a little weird for Schweitzer to have a statue of Kerry in his office. *

    * For the record that's the only evenly remotely negative thing I've ever written about Kerry.

  •  Here in Illinois (4.00)
    the next gubernatorial race (and probably the mayor's race in Chicago) is going to revolve entirely around corruption.  It may even install Jesse Jackson Jr. in the mayor's office (although I'd hate to lose him from Congress.)
    I have no clue as to why this issue has suddenly gained traction with the electorate; business has been done this way in this state since Christ was in short pants.
    Suddenly I find myself surrounded by Inspector Renaults who are "shocked, shocked!" to find contracts being doled out to contributors.
    Whatever has caused folks to wake up to this it can only bring about better government and a better place to live and work.

    Nero fiddled. Bush bicycles.

    by jazzmaniac on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 10:24:52 PM PDT

    •  It always works that way (none)
      The Progressive Era was in large part about cleaning up corruption in government. But, funny thing - it's not as if the newspapers and the reformers all of a sudden discovered corruption when waking up one day in August 1901. It had always been there and they always knew it. Something just somehow changed so that the corruption was laid bare, and people reacted with shock, and then, with anger.

      Always happens like that. Dunno why.

      I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

      by eugene on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 10:27:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  tipping point (4.00)
        A little corruption is tolerated as it greases the works, too much floods the engine and everything grinds to a halt.

        It is like the different between taking a pencil from work or a computer.

        SOCIAL SECURITY: Invented by Democrats yesterday, Protected by Democrats today

        by mollyd on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 10:35:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Nope (none)
          Comparative wealth and security. The last anti-corruption wave followed the 1990-93 recession. Then it was tolerated during the go-go dotcom era, and now the backlash hits.

          In anutshell, folks who think they are making the bucks and are on a rocket upward don't care as much that someone is cheating. But when they feel at risk and downtrodden, they lash out at crooked pols with their hand in the cookie jar.

    •  Didn't Fitzgerald have (none)
      something to do with going after corruption in Ryan's and Daley's administrations?

      What FDR giveth; GWB taketh away

      by Marie on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 10:30:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The more I read about Schweiker, (none)
    the more I like him.

    Just waiting to see what his stance is re:  social programs.

    "I'm fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in." George Mc Govern

    by Street Kid on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 10:25:19 PM PDT

  •  amen markos!!! (4.00)
    corporate cronyism is the BIGGEST long term danger to our democracy whether it be by dems or repubs.
  •  That's it! (4.00)
    The only position acceptable. Throw the corrupt out with the trash, dems and republicans alike. As they say on previews for the upcoming ROME on HBO, 'Our beloved Republic is in the hands of madmen.'  And I'm sure their corrupt loonies were from both toga parties.

    Darkness washed over the Dude...darker than a black steer's tookus on a moonlight prairie night...there was no bottom

    by moon in the house of moe on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 10:35:15 PM PDT

  •  We need an anti-corruption enforcer in Congress (none)
    Someone to hammer home weekly to Democrats in Congress that corruption in any shape or form will be met with the harshest of punishments.

    Can we trust Reid and Pelosi to do this? I hope so.

  •  Another Reason to Get Involved in Local Politics (4.00)
    (if you needed one)

    Much of local politics is about fighting against corruption. At least in my town, what are often spoken of as "growth issues" are really not so much questions about growth per se, but rather about whether developers can simply buy the set of policies they most desire, or whether other parts of the community get a say as well.

    As kos suggests, this is a completely nonpartisan issue.  The folks buying access in my town include powerful Democrats and Republicans. And those of us fighting the corruption include a lot of Democrats, many Republicans, plenty of Independents, and at least one Green ;-).

    Good post, Markos!

    Support IWT
    Independent World Television
    The Alternative to the Corporate Media

    by GreenSooner on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 10:39:13 PM PDT

  •  Corruption isn't quite as (4.00)
    black and white as we'd like to think it is.  There are the obvious ones like Duke Cunningham and DeLay.  Schweitzer is one of the few politicians that even begins to understand that nobody can serve two masters, but this form of "corruption" is business as usual in DC.  If Congress didn't have lobbyists writing legislation would they even have any bills to vote on?  Then there is the influence peddling that few lawmakers see anything wrong with, if they are even conscious of it -- they're just representing the views or common interests of their supporters.

    But I'm with Kos -- there is absolutely no excuse for any Party (or any institution for that matter) to tolerate corruption.  They should boot out those people before the opposition starts looking at them -- and never ever try to cover for them.  Then they need to get to work and shut down that revolving door between government and corporate lobbyists.  And finally, public financing of elections will save use ten, twenty, thirty or more times what it would cost us.  

    What FDR giveth; GWB taketh away

    by Marie on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 10:43:56 PM PDT

  •  change (none)
    Im certainly not a starry eyed idealist, but I do think,with the political atmosphere developing as it is,that one of the main factors of the 06 elections will be a backlash against dishonesty in government as not seen in recent times,thus opening up a chance to in fact 'clean house',so to speak.

    it tastes like burning...

    by eastvan on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 10:45:18 PM PDT

  •  change (none)
    This time around there will be opportunities for more cantadates like Hackett in OH,more of a chance
    for fresh blood than there has been in a long time.

    it tastes like burning...

    by eastvan on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 10:50:02 PM PDT

  •  Kerry trying to pick up Schweitzer's (none)
    authenticity reminds me of Martin Mull's line about comedian Robert Klein constantly rehearsing his spontaneity. '-)

    "We can win elections only by standing up for what we believe." --Howard Dean

    by Jim in Chicago on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 10:58:12 PM PDT

  •  Schweitzer has no magic (4.00)
    These establishment politicians need it beaten into them, violently with a blunt heavy object if necessary, that there is no magic to people like Schweitzer or Hackett.

    It's simply good, solid policy.  When forced to choose between the people and special interests, if you choose the people, the people will go to the wall for you.  If they think they can play their usual games and yet somehow get that grassroots mojo, they're doomed to lose.

    YOU CAN'T FAKE INTEGRITY!!!

    My taxes support the troops, not a yellow sticker.

    by Dragonchild on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 10:58:14 PM PDT

  •  some added thoughts (none)
    conflict of interest is a huge weakness, it's not just bad in terms of perception politics, it's bad in terms of determining sound policy.  obviously, it offends our very sensibilities.

    at the same time, maintaining some bizarre expectation of purity of interest can be debilitating as well.

    i take it, implicitly, that schweitzer knows this.  if he ended up choosing someone who was unprepared to do the job only cause that person could display a higher purity of interest.

    i think that would be dumb.

    let me explain.  there's a crapload of conflict of interest in the medical industry right now.  doctors are given HUGE perks by medical hardware manufacturing and drug companies and thus those doctors are highly motivated to prescribe surgeries, and drugs that mean big bucks to those companies.

    and, as it turns out, those doctors end up being better qualified to perform those surgeries, their rate of success is simply better.

    with all this in mind, if i had a heart condition that required surgery and an expensive implant, i would be sure to get whatever different opinions i felt i needed, but in the end if surgery became absolutely necessary i would go to the doctor best capable of performing that surgery regardless of any conflict of interest.

    (OPTIMISM IS THE OPIUM OF THE PEOPLE! THE HEALTHY ATMOSPHERE STINKS! LONG LIVE TROTSKY!)

    by BiminiCat on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 11:00:23 PM PDT

  •  Now THAT is the kind of presidential (none)
    candidate I could work quite hard for.

    "Aure entuluva!" [Day will come again!] -Hurin

    by davidincleveland on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 12:17:29 AM PDT

  •  Kerry going to Crawford to meet Sheehan! (4.00)
    Suckers.

    That's what we all are.  All of us who voted for this cat in the last election.

    All the Dems acting high and mighty.  "Bush won't meet with a grieving mother!  Bush won't meet with a grieving mother!"  Meanwhile, they're calling for a bigger armed forces, more defense spending, more troops in Iraq, anything and everything that could possibly trick the general public into thinking these gutless Dem politicians are not gutless.  And, all the while, more kids like Casey continue to die for this ignoble cause.

    Listen, I'm not some gutless libertarian who only enjoys ripping both sides while acting as if I'm better than everyone else. I realize there are some differences between Dems and Rethugs, but on some of the most important issues of the day - like war and peace - those differences are increasingly difficult to see. Democrats - help me to see that difference - go meet with Cindy Sheehan!

    Can someone please explain to me what is keeping Kerry from taking a detour from his vacation for a day and heading down to Crawford to meet with Cindy Sheehan?

    Kerry does, after all, bear some responsibility for Casey's death.  First, it's irrelevant whether or not Kerry thought there were WMD or not - he still voted for the war, and thus, still shares responsibility for Casey's death.  Second, the idea that Kerry - who does have massive bandwidth, unlike Bush - was unable to conceive that this WMD ploy was a massive farce, is just beyond believability.  Kerry's the guy who led investigations into Iran/Contra, BCCI, etc.  The dude knows about government corruption at the highest levels (aka el Presidente) - corruption willing to get thousands of innocents killed.  Kerry lead the charge against the Vietnam War - he's no stranger to the propaganda tactics used by the U.S. government to rally the public to war on false premises.  There's no way he was fooled.  Not a chance.  He was taking the safe route, and that's exactly what Bushco was trying to provide - enough of a cover for gutless politicians on both sides - and they succeeded, obviously.

    So, let's have it, Democrat supporters.  Top ten reasons why Kerry and other so-called Democrats are not going to Crawford...

    p.s.  Is Kerry your representative?  Then call that mf up and tell him to get his skinny ass down to Crawford, stat!

    p.p.s.  Are you secure in your manhood, or are you a Republican?

    Push for indictments in the murder of four African American

    by shmooth on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 12:21:33 AM PDT

    •  if we're sharing blame (none)
      anyone who voted for nader in 2000 should probably have their airfare for crawford booked by now.

      (OPTIMISM IS THE OPIUM OF THE PEOPLE! THE HEALTHY ATMOSPHERE STINKS! LONG LIVE TROTSKY!)

      by BiminiCat on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 01:32:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Dude, (none)
      are you kiddin? Do you realize that if Kerry shows up there, that it will be Swiftboat 2005 and that the press will focus on Kerry and not on Cindy's mission? They'll make comparisons between her and Jane Fonda and all focus would be taken off of what Cindy is trying to do. She does not need Kerry to show up, and if she did she could personally invite him.

      He is just going to be accused of grandstanding and auditioning for 2008 and this will be the for the MSM excuse to get attention of off Cindy.

      This is a stupid idea.

    •  Wow (none)
      Can someone please explain to me what is keeping Kerry from taking a detour from his vacation for a day and heading down to Crawford to meet with Cindy Sheehan?

      Wow, that's just an incredibly braindead stupid idea... It would totally destroy whatever legitimacy Sheehan has as a protester and turn this into a blatantly partisan spectacle.

      Unbelievable.

  •  They are All Corrupt!! (none)
    The reason Bush gets away with lying is the congress is gone!

    There is law on the books, I have referred to it here, another poster has as well.

    But, it is ignored in the entire federal government.

    18 USC 1001, you can read it on several links to united states code, states it is a crime punishable by fine and jail for a federal employee to lie.

    Bush is federal employee number one.  He has gotten about a thousand "looks the other way" on that one.

    It is congress who put party before truth where corruption lives.

    Party before truth means the servants are pursuing  self interest rather than duty.

    We must toss the whole corrupt lot out.

    Who knows when the republic died.  It is now a thing of history.

    "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be." Thomas Jefferson

    by RetLtCol on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 03:59:02 AM PDT

  •  No corruption (none)
    isn't a partisan issue, but the wingnuts carry it to a new level and procecute others to the max while ignoring themselves and their supporters at every turn.
    PEACE!
  •  Corruption does sit on both....... (none)
    sides of the aisle unfortunately.  I agree.....it's time to send them all packing.  Lieberman we can do without anyway, he's not much of a Democrat from where I sit.

    If we are to take back the White House and maybe the Senate, this will be our battle cry......We want "clean government".  We the people will not support corruption.

    I agree with what Howard Dean said:

    "We have not spoken about moral values in this party for a long time," Dean said. "The truth is, we're Democrats because of our moral values. It's a moral value to make sure that kids don't go to bed hungry at night. ... It is a moral value not to go out on golf trips paid for by lobbyists."

    We must start talking about moral values, that's one of the things that lost us the last election.  The Rethugs keep talking about moral values like they own it, and we have been silent on the issue for too long.

    The Rethugs have people like Rush Limbaugh talking about moral values.....good god.....that's the last person on God's green earth that I would want talking about moral values.  The GOP talks a good game, but they are not good practioners of moral values.

    If we are to win in 2008, we have to start talking about "clean government" and "moral values" amongst other issues.  But these 2 should be in the forefront of any Dem message.

  •  Thank you Kos for hitting this head on (none)
    The dems need to also consider that the appearance of corruption is a no-no as well.  People get caught up in the beltway way of thinking and forget that their deliberations affect real people, not just poll numbers.  They forget that they, not the lobbyists are the ones who are supposed to craft the legislation.  They forget that just because everyone does it, that "it" might not be right for them or the country.  It is way past time sunshine was let into the beltway and a good fumigating as well.  The Boston Globe had a series about how lobbying really does impact how the congresscritters do business, surprise, surprise.  Now what are the dems proposing to clean house eh?  I haven't heard a broom sweep yet.
  •  most corruption in government is corporate (none)
    The only way you are going to reduce corruption in government is if the Supreme Court quits ruling that a corporation has the same rights as an individual. Then some sane laws can be made to reduce the power of corporations.

    In every moment of every day one only has two choices. To act in love or fear.

    by Jlukes on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 05:13:43 AM PDT

  •  I like Schweitzer very much. (none)
    I think he has done a lot of great things for Montana. The one thing that would be a real problem for him if he ran is his experience. That would be an issue. But if Feingold runs and wins, he would be a great choice as VP candidate.
  •  For those Kossaks that argue for (none)
    a take all prisoners approach in fighting the neofascists, this should give you pause.

    It is important to win, but equally important is how that battle is waged. Employing the same sort of hate speach, smear tactics, dirty tricks, etc. only taints the progressive movement.

    •  agreed (none)
      i have long argued like kos is here that we can only speak with authority on ethics issues when our own house is clean.  we need to be the good guys, not the people that play at being the good guys when it is politically convienent.  ethics is not something you discover, it is something you live everyday with each decision.

      Yeah the revolution starts now..So what you doin' standin' around? -Steve Earle

      by juls on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 09:38:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bull's eye! (none)
    Corruption at every level is causing great damage to the political process.

    I just got back from a trip through  Western Tennessee and Kentucky. At the annual Fancy Farm Picnic - a great local tradition attracting politicos and wannabees from throughout the state - the corruption fighting KY AG Greg Stumbo's work was the talk of the picnic. Although Dems applaud his fine work in rooting out political corruption in the current Republican administration, the Repubs rightly note that corruption also characterized the way that many Dems ran the state when they were in charge.

    Here in Detroit, our Mayor, City Council, and former School Board have routinely hired family members. Mutual "back-scratching" is the long-time order of business for too many. No code of ethics is apparent in any form.

    This really isn't just a national issue, it has to be faced where we live every day. If we can't or won't confront it locally, then how can we expect to have any will to deal with it in state houses and in Washington?

    This is one of your timeless pieces, Kos. Goes in the book.

    •  Local corruption impedes dems national success (none)
      Kos's point on corruption is great -- and you're right to bring up local and state corruption.  

      While Democrats do not control the Federal Government, we control the executive and legislative branches of most major cities.  And for the most part, the results are not pretty.  It's hard to convince suburban voters that the party of local corruption and mediocre schools is the national party of clean government and education.  

      In addition, executive leadership begets winning campaigns for executive office -- Ed Rendell did a great job in Philadelphia; he's now Governor.  History seems to suggest that Governors go on to become Presidents.  But too many Democratic mayors and other local politicians are, at best too beholden to the local interest groups and unions who elect them, and at worst incompetent, corrupt or both.  

      Cities are overwhelmingly Democratic, so officeholders are essentially selected in the primaries, which are in turn too often controlled by the machines that can garner the signatures and get out the vote.  In NYC, Bloomberg had to leave the Democratic Party and become a Republican to bypass the primaries -- by almost all accounts he's become a very good mayor, one we Democrats should have been able to call our own.

      This is not to say there's not local Republican corruption too -- but we're mostly Democrats on DK, and this post is about taking care of our own housekeeping.  

      Corruption is a great issue.  But for it to really resonate with voters as a hallmark of Democrats, we must demonstrate that we are the party of clean government at the local level as well as the national.  And that is no small task.

  •  Speaking of corruption (none)
    Montana Senator Conrad Burns has received more than $47,000 in free trips according to today's Helena Independent Record.

    This is compared to only $7,000 in free trips accepted by the other Montana congress people Senator Max Baucus and Rep.Denny Rehberg.

    Conrad is having fun and livin' big, and is expected to raise millions of dollars for his 2006 re-election bid, shaping up to be the most expensive senatorial campiagn in Montana history.

    More on Kerry's Montana visit here, in my Friday morning diary.

    Governor Brian Schweitzer on seeking the presidency; "I'm not half that smart and I'm none too pretty."

    by Ed in Montana on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 06:14:26 AM PDT

  •  Schweitzer (4.00)
    is a breath of fresh air. Although Kerry is a totally different politician, the article shows him as knowledgeable, solicitous and interested in Montana. He should be given credit for this. I think Kerry could still be a great candidate in '08, although it might be a longshot for him to get the nomination.

    Canada - where a pack of smokes is ten bucks and a heart transplant is free.

    by dpc on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 06:23:21 AM PDT

  •  Corruption? (none)
    Corruption will always be there.  Always.  If and when the Dems take control, there will be corruption and then there will be Republican prosecutors taking down Dems and the GOP will run on a "reform" platform and get power back.

    The idea of running on a "reform" and anti-corruption party now is tactically effective, I suppose in the short term.  But until the Dems are able to convincingly articulate and sell their ideas, it's just a ping pong game of who's-in-power v. who's-looking-to-reform-Washington.

    It's a short term move.  Articulate a convincing ideology.  And that can't just be "clean up government" or "we aren't them."  Voters are cynical about politicians and that won't change.  

    What they will look for is the answer to this:  "What will that party do for me and my family?"

  •  Corruption bi-partisan, anti democracy (none)
    The Drug War is the biggest corruption in America's government. And its totally bi-partisan.

    Republicans use the drug war to mass disenfranchise nonconformists and minorities while loading up their gerrymandered districts with nonvoters in prisons. Nonvoters who are counted in apportionment allowing the GOP to gerrymander districts to rural right wing sympathetic areas. SEE: How America's right wing has successfully subverted our democracy The castration of the Voter Rights Act

    The right wing of the Democrats use the drug war to mass disenfranchise nonconformists and dissident minorities while the right wing Democrats curry favor with police, prison guard and construction trades unions that all benefit from more and more lock them up laws and prison building programs.

    In reality drug users are simply the drunkerds of our times. They have been demonized since Nixon and the Wallace wing of the Democrats in 1970 viewed drug use as a litmus test for conformity to the status quo. And they used it then as the right wing uses it today, as a way to split the social justice, anti war  and minority rights activist communities from mainstream Democrats.

    A classic divide and conquer strategy that has worked perfectly for the right wing if not for the Democrats. Well over seven million Americans are disenfranchised by the drug war. The presidential elections of 2000 and 2004 were decided by three million or fewer votes. Critical mass.

  •  slightly OT, on the 94 corruption theory (none)
    But there's also a practical reason to oppose corruption even amongst Democrats -- it's a sure-fire way to lose elections. Rampant Democratic corruption cost us Congress in 1994, and we've yet to recover.

    If anything, the Dems' corruption served as a catalyst to Gingrich taking the House in 94 ... but it was bound to happen given the infrastructure which conservatives had put in place. Clinton's win in 92 was a wake-up call to the right that they had to buckle down -- and they did. Conservatives had gotten close enough by 92 (yes, 92) that their national campaign (which by that time was actually well over a decade and a half in progress) was able to pay dividends. The left had no equivalent, as we all now realize (well, at least I think all of us here, not so much the left's "leaders" in DC.)

    But by 94 the corruption only served as a catalyst for the inevitable.

  •  Bravo, Markos (none)
    And AMEN from this corner.

    "Good. Let those who sit in Congress enriching themselves go down. They are supposed to be doing the people's business, not their own. Unlike the GOP apologists, I consider corruption a non-partisan issue."

    If Democrats took this seriously, they'd get back in power.  And a great government would be possible.

    Well said.  Please remind us of this theme as often as possible.

  •  THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. (none)
    Now I don't have to write a diary about this!

    "In such a world of conflict, a world of victims and executioners, it is the job of thinking people not to be on the side of the executioners." -Albert Camus.

    by BrianL on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 07:13:41 AM PDT

  •  Is it really fair ... (4.00)
    to say that Democrats are as corrupt as the GOP?  Is it even a good idea to pen a sentence such as this: "Rampant Democratic corruption cost us Congress in 1994, and we've yet to recover," which puts the sins of Dems -- Rostenkowski's postal franking stupidity, for example -- in the same league as Tom DeLay's outrageous, arguably illegal redistricting schemes, corrupt involvement with Abramoff and his oily allies,support of anti-women policies by Saipan textile manufacturers, and use of foundation supposedly devoted to children's rights as cover for golf-playing, fund-raising boondoogles?  Are those Dem "sins" in the same category as, to give another example, the Bush Administration's use of lies and paid propaganda agents to force a war of choice down ours -- and the world's -- throats, and to countenance unbridled war-profiteering and corruption by firms (e.g., Halliburton) with close ties to various Administration figures?  Aren't we just giving distorted, ill-considered ammunition to our enemies?
  •  Yeah, well... (none)
    There was a day when Kerry was a passionate, anti-war, anti-corporate "good democrat," but look at what he's now.

    I think it's a good thing he and other insider democrats are feeling the pressure of change within the party. Why react negatively to this? It means that we're having a massive impact on the way this party regards itself, and Kerry taking what may be the first step in abandoning the old ways is, in my eyes, a victory for us.

    Should we manage to find and support a reform Democrat for president in 2008, there is a big chance that "civil war," so to speak, will break out in the Democratic Party--between us and the establishment. It's been said to be a possibility with a candidate like Al Gore, or another one like Howard Dean now that reform Democratic politics have become a true force to be dealt with.

    Having more people who see our side as the stronger one, and therefore something of an ally, can't hurt. Maybe we can even force Kerry off his ass and get him to publicly support withdrawal from Iraq, like he did so patriotically during Vietnam.

  •  To those who say (none)
    That we should ignore corruption, because both parties do it.

    I say a pox on their house!

    Corruption is wrong.  I don't care who is doing it, it is wrong, and I don't want it.

    The reason I'm beating up Republicans now is because they have power to actually do something about it, and they're not.  Instead they are doing the opposite and institutionalizing the corruption by revoking ethics rules which get in their way.

  •  From Ralph's Mouth to Kos' ear (none)
    Ah... Democratic "corruption" was to blame for the loss of congress in 1994, eh?  Funny, that's EXACTLY what Nader used to say...  
    •  Nader is famous (none)
       for doing his ground work.

      As I understand Nader his argument is not simply a money  corruption issue but a moral corruption issue. He, and I agree with him, sees the Democrats as purely opportunistic without any respect for their own core values. This corrupts the entire democratic process.

      Look at the Pennsylvania senate race. The Democrats are even willing to back bench the abortion issue to win. In the 1960-70's the Democrats were perceived as the civil rights party. But since then they have, and Kerry is a great example of this, become the Jim Crow drug war prosecutor party. So much so that the Voter Rights Act is nothing but a waste of paper.

      The Voter Rights Act helped empower some 20 million American in 1965. The drug war and other Jim Crow criminal disenfranchisements have disenfranchised more than 13 million. Add the 3-5 million estimated disenfranchisements due to subversion of the voting system like lines and machine manipulations and the Voter Rights Act is shit today. Democratic support for the Drug War has done a lot to make this so.

  •  I hate to have to keep saying this over and over (none)
    again, but the pre-1994 Dems who controlled Congress weren't nearly as corrupt as the GOP is now, so they really shouldn't be compared.  
  •  Greedy Old PayToPlay-Party (none)
    The CORRUPT GOP stands for "Greedy Old PayToPlay-Party". Let us crush these corrupt republicans everywhere in 2006 and 2008.
  •  Hey, Kos: Would Schweitzer come to NH? (none)
    Some Hillsborough County Democrats (the county that has Manchester and Nashua, the two largest cities in the state) would like to hold a fundraiser sometime later this year for the party.

    Would Schweitzer be amenable to coming to visit for a fundraiser? Or would he be nervous about the interpretation some would make ("he's running for President, blah blah blah")?

    We Democrats in New Hampshire are on a mild anti-corruption kick, but it needs to be revved up. We could use a talk by Schweitzer discussing what he's done in Montana.

  •  Schweitzer was on the Today Show (none)
    this morning as well.  They interviewed a couple of Governors (I believe the other one was Ed Rendell)about the price the states are paying for their military reserve forces being in Iraq.  It was short & sweet, but national exposure none the less.  I told my daughter - watch this guy, he's going places!

    Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare!

    by 1040SU on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 09:54:59 AM PDT

  •  Lobbyists: The bane of our democracy... (none)
    Some people may complain about corporations and how they impose their agendas on government policy, but the problem as I see it is the role of the lobbyists.

    Here is where I really appreciate what Schwietzer has done here and some of what I hear Russ Feingold making some great points.

    http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0726-24.htm
    (Source: Star Tribune)

    This issue is probably one of the most overlooked issues.  Along with election reform, and campaign finance reform, lobbying is of the most important issues to me.  I say this because they are at the root of our representation.  

    Without these issues being corrected the will of the people is not going to be assured it's priority over any other interest.  Period.

    Laws regarding these issues must leave no doubt that they are functioning in the best interests of the people.  The word doubt is probably the most important regarding the efficacy of any of the issues mentioned here.  This is where you get all of the conspiracy theories whether they are justified or not.  The reforms must leave no doubts; i.e. voting process tranparencies and severing corporate ties to politics.

    Forget about policies.  If you elect people with the existing system in place regarding these issues, you can forget about any significant change from the status quo legislation. This will prevent any possible progressive change in policies that actually reflect the will of the people, not corporations or any other special interests.

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