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If ever the Democratic Party found itself closer to the precipice of nonexistence, there is one sherpa with the instinct to reach deep into the haze of the darkening blizzard and pull us through to a sunlit summit: Wes Clark. Am I biased? Hell yeah! Because he's got the best resume EVER? No. Because he's got Clintonian charisma? No. Because I was fortunate to stand face to face with the General and hear what echoes in the depths of his brilliant mind for 3 solid hours, and let me tell you, with every fiber of my being - this man could be the Cincinnatus of the modern world.

I was invited to a small roundtable meeting with the General, to a subsequent speech, and to an event later that evening where I was able to ask him things that were on my mind. I was direct, and so was he...

I, and Kossacks Hekebolos, Alysheba, and Shockwave who were also there, can say with conviction, that not only is Clark no DLC shill, you will be amazed by how truly progressive his policies are.

Now let me just start by making one thing perfectly clear - General Clark is hell bent on the Democrats winning back at least one house of Congress - at stake he says - American democracy itself. `We all warned,' stated Clark `that if Bush won the presidency we would lose the court. Bush won. We lost the court. But if we lose in 2006, losing the courts will seem insignificant.' Democracy itself, freedom and liberty, our way of life, the very brotherhood that binds America together as a nation, that is what General Clark passionately urged those present to defend. That, he made crystal clear in somber tone, was on the verge of vanishing from the face of this earth; brought to this point by a power-crazed Republican leadership that seeks nothing less than total domination.

Now here's where the General earns his pension. I asked him straight up how the Democrats, prone to reason and debate, could compete with a Republican machine that exploits fear and crafts strategies to manipulate the instincts of our reptilian brain. I made the point that a proportion of the electorate was wired, through conditioning, so that any attack or threat to the nation would default them into the Republicans' hands. His response was quick, and deliberate: 'the Democrats need to get out there and engage the Republicans head to head on national security! We need to take the fight right to them! The Democrats need to make that the focus of their being; that the Republicans, who have so completely sacrificed the security of this nation through incompetence and willful indifference have not only failed to secure America, they have unified our enemies, depleted our resources and stretched our military to the brink. All before the watchful eyes of the world and our enemies. Enemies that will now see America as more vulnerable in the inability of our leadership to succeed.'

His passion was clear and real. `If the Democrats were in power,' he strenuously argued, `we would have gone after Bin Laden, we would never have wasted over $200 billion of the nation's wealth, we would never have ignored the threats of North Korea and Iran, we would never have ignored Putin's power grabs and suppression of Russian Democracy, we would never have completely ignored China's growing economic threat, and we would never have undertaken a policy of such ill repute that it creates more enemies in the world than friends. Only by directly engaging the Republicans on national security,' he stressed, `can the Democratic Party hope to win.'

He also made clear that the Democrats at large do not need to elaborate specific plans of action for specific aspects of the war in Iraq. Why? Because not having control of any part of the government, and facing a Republican Party that keeps all possible knowledge from the Democrats' purview, the Democrats have little or no knowledge of what is actually going on at the front lines of the battle. And with communication of the command structure clearly compromised and top-down only, even many in the Republican leadership are unaware of the details of the conflict. However, we certainly understand the political forces involved, the parties engaged, and the stakes at risk, and with that knowledge, we can and should argue a course of action to maximize the favorability of the outcome. In an evolution from previous statements, the General entertained an exit strategy predicated on `the ability to engage the Sunnis in the new government within a four month time frame'. He explained the necessity to `empower the Sunnis to prevent the fracturing of Iraq, which would precipitate massive ethnic cleansing, a Shia alignment with the militant factions of Iran, and the Peshmerga's withdrawal from Iraqi security forces to defend an independent Kurd movement eliminating the possibility of a unified nation.' The General suggested that an effort to emend the Iraqi constitution to increase the Sunni's role would yield what he deemed "the C- result." Anything less would be "an F" for it would precipitously lead to failure. He was not keen on failure, given that the possibility to avert disaster still existed, but for the immeasurable incompetence of the Bush administration.

Furthermore, he expounded the importance of the Democrats not sinking to the bitter and divisive political vitriol of the Republicans. That `we need to take a step back to a time of civility because any victory won by the Democratic party with such tactics would further poison American society to the point of irreconcilable divisions.' And that in itself `could alter the very nature of America enough to threaten the continuity of our democracy and the hope and prosperity of a stable nation.' The key was in winning on the issues, and there, we needed to extol the strengths our record demonstrates. We cannot back down in the interest of reconciliation or expediency. We must engage in this fight of ideas, illuminate the Republicans' failure of leadership and put forth the Democratic vision for America, a vision complete with the balance of power restored, and the focus of the government returned to the welfare of its people.

Later in the evening, he also personally expressed to me his concern about the integrity of the voting machines, the discrepancies of the optical tabulators, Republican led voter suppression, and complete awareness of county level irregularities. It's on his mind. Believe me. He knows what's at stake and he's not afraid to say it.

Over and over, he stated "country before party" alluding to the Republicans who have so recklessly put their party over America. A party with no low to which they are willing to sink. No vitriol, shame, or mean-spirited, divisive tactic they would be unwilling to employ in pursuit of power. He read from a memo that he surmised as the inner voice of the Republican Party. It delineated a willingness to engage in fear mongering, the discarding of diplomacy, and a preemptive attack on Iran within the next few months. An attack that would serve to rally the nation behind President Bush in time for the 2006 elections and make unnecessary the Congress and courts as a unitary executive rises to take total control of all in the name of security. The Democratic Party would never again see the light of day - it would simply cease to exist. He said this with measure and gravity. 'Fighting for American democracy doesn't start on the streets of Iraq or Iran. Fighting for American democracy starts right here - on Main Street America.'

Now many may understand this as the Republican endgame. Some, who probably prefer watching the Anna Nicole Show to Keith Olberman, might not see the signs - Alito, warrantless wiretaps, the Plame leak, fabricated terror alerts, indefinite detentions, withholding of counsel, Constitutional abandonment in the name of "security"...  But never have I seen someone in the political realm articulate it with such clarity and conviction; with the concern of someone who served 34 years in the name of freedom, or the confidence of someone who has walked among the highest corridors of power. I also had the privilege of meeting General Clark a year ago at the California Democratic Convention. He was fresh off the campaign trail, and determined to engage the Republicans in their own back yard. But I have to say, what a difference a year has made! I knew he was intelligent then, though politically green at the time, but the past year has served him well. He has found his voice. He speaks in language with near universal appeal. He speaks as an American above all with ideas as his weapons and facts as his shield. And he now has a new determination, to preserve the very being of the country he loves.

Now there are some who may doubt the General's motivations, his political savvy, or his ability to play with the big boys of the party. I am not one of those. Not any more. I have seen most of the party leaders of the past few campaigns up close and personal. Met and greeted them, heard them talk live, looked into their eyes, and watched from afar on C-SPAN speech after speech after speech. I've seen Clinton, Gore, Kerry, Edwards, and Dean up close and personal - but I've never seen anything like Clark! Is he a politician - yes. But he's an American first, and the things he said today... with the exception of Al Gore's recent speeches, never before have I seen a politician with the guts to so lay it on the line.

It would take dozens of pages to expound on all that he said, idea after idea, from progressive education reform to single payer healthcare reform to empowering American research and innovation, especially American universities, to ways we can help disabled veterans, to countering the threat of Chinese and Indian economic growth through European and Latin American alliances, to South American political movements, to solutions to Middle East conflict in detail and nuance that I was truly amazed by. He expounded in detail the situation in Iran, that the United States must spend the next 30 days engaging the Iranian government in diplomacy, he predicted a possible 14 day bombing strike by the Bush administration and said it would serve only to elevate Ahmadinejad to Bin Laden status for bearing the bullying of what is perceived to be a Muslim hating America. I'm not going into further detail on the dozens of other topics he covered in the time I was there. For that, I suggest reading the diary of Hekebolos (who elaborated on some additional topics of discussion), and visiting http://www.securingamerica.com/ and reading General Clark's January 30th address to the New America Foundation titled "The Real State of the Union 2006."

To those who would argue that this is merely some kind of idol worship, I say this to you - I challenge you to meet General Clark in person and make the same judgment. Until you do this, until you've spent even an hour with this man, you cannot understand how serious he is about preserving America from the mortal threats within, the drive of his mission, and the incredible depth and expanse of his knowledge on all matters foreign and domestic. You cannot comprehend the sincerity of his convictions and genuineness of his character. There was no topic he was unwilling to discuss and he made no attempt to equivocate or evade any question.

Wesley Clark is a one man movement. A modern visionary with the rare capacity to envelop a world of complex issues and synthesize, codify, organize and deliver. His message was so powerful, so well thought out, so precisely articulated, and so heartfelt that even a singe drop could tinge a candidate like aniline die. To which I ask this: What is the point of all this if it should wither away in a vacuum? The point is that General Clark is willing to meet with Democratic candidates and engage them in the issues. He wants to do this! He is willing to spread the wealth of his knowledge and message, and it is a rich wealth to spread. I can guarantee you that any candidate at any level who has the opportunity to spend any time with General Clark, who is open-minded enough to keep their ears clear and their attention focused, will come away with an understanding of issues, framing of language, unity of message, and confidence in the Democratic Party's ability to go head to head on matters of national security like they have never had before.  

I would implore anyone with any rapport with any Democratic candidate to reach out to General Clark, to hear his message, to consider his language, and to heed his warnings. In this, I cannot have any more conviction.

Originally posted to Reality Bites Back on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 12:42 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (4.00)
    comments?

    I think, therefore I am NOT A REPUBLICAN!!!

    by Reality Bites Back on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 12:42:26 PM PST

    •  re (4.00)
      Clarke '08!

      (Ciro Rodriguez in 30 days!)

      Steve Holt says "Steve Holt!"

      by cookiesandmilk on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 12:48:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The real problem then (4.00)
        THE MEDIA. This is a very good diary, I believe you, that all of this is true of Clark, and he has excellent ideas. But the stumbling block on the campaign of ideas, of taking on the Republicans, taking the fight to them, as Clark spoke of, will not be heard, will not allowed to be aired...and it's making me crazy! If the people heard it night after night, no doubt they would get it, be on board..but the news isn't even news most of the time, and I really don't trust Hardball or CNN or by ANY means, Fox, to keep the Dems out in the forefront taking them on issues of facts that matter.

        I'm glad there is a man out there like this trying, but the powers that be will not let the people hear it. How do we fight this really? And then, like the General said, there's those Diebold machines....

        it's overwhelming, seriously.

        •  Clark said the other night (4.00)
          in San Francisco that he has a contract with Fox that constrains his ability to be on other stations and that it runs until May of this year.  It bothered him that Democrats didn't hear him because they rarely watch Fox.  I didn't hear him say it, but I hope he becomes a free agent after that.  He said he felt it was necessary to be heard on Fox by the other side.

          Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities-Voltaire

          by hairspray on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 06:30:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Octavian huh? (none)
      Wasn't that, like, Caesar the Second?

      Your diary reads like that of a star-struck lover. I love the Lennon song, "All You Need is Love." And I like a cigar, but I take it out sometimes. And sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

      The name is not the thing named, the map is not the territory. -- Gregory Bateson

      by semiot on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 01:38:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Octavian (none)
        later taking the name of Augustus, the most successful and well-loved ruler in history.
        •  great diary (4.00)
          but Octavian!?! The ruthless, murderous, dictator who plunged the nation into civil war, who consolidated Caesar's destruction of the Republic, expanded the empire with the blood of hundreds of thousands, while keeping Republican forms so Romans could pretend to themselves they still had a say in government?

          Horrible, grossly horrible, choice of parallel given our current circumstances. I'd hope you'd think about that and remove it from the diary. It's a hugely discordant note.

      •  To be clear about this (none)
        I am not a troll. I have nothing in particular against Wes Clark. If fact, I admire him. I must say though, I am naturally wary about the "Man on the Horse" syndrome. I prefer a republic, and would like to keep ours. Thus the octavian thing hit me at gut level. So I guess I'm calling for some deep breaths here amid the breathlessness I see for Clark in this diary.

        The name is not the thing named, the map is not the territory. -- Gregory Bateson

        by semiot on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 01:50:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Cinncinatus (4.00)
          How about Clark as Cinncinatus, the General who accepted the mantle of ruler only as a temporary measure, for the good of Rome? It is a noble tradition; Ike did his best, too, even though he was on the Republican side. Eisenhower's finest moment came when he tried to warn us about the Military-Industrial complex.

          The Cinncinatus meme is worth promoting.

          -8.0, -7.03 don't always believe what you think...

          by claude on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 02:03:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  There's more to like about Ike (none)
            than his valedictory warning.

            He got us out of Korea, kept us out of Vietnam, made Israel, Britain and France pull back from Suez; he knew what war is, and managed to avoid it.

            Ike wasn't perfect, but he was the best post-war president so far, Clinton included.

            And I'm as blue as you can get.

            The Republicans want to cut YOUR Social Security benefits.

            by devtob on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 04:03:05 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Not Octavian, please (none)
            Octavian completed the destruction of the Republic and established the Imperium-- just as George W. Bush did.

            I hope he isn't Gracchus, either-- a populist reformer murdered by the oligarchs.

            Cincinnatus is just right.

          •  Great point! (none)
            Made the change and thanks for the suggestion!

            I think, therefore I am NOT A REPUBLICAN!!!

            by Reality Bites Back on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 04:07:36 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Cinncinatus (none)
            This was the meme that was pushed for G. Washington. I suppose we are all quite frightened, to need these sorts of historical charismatic personifications to give us a sense of stability in the chaos pushed by the BushCo.

            For my part, I'd like to see a bit more regular old normal courage amonst the political class. What is everybody so afraid of? Losing the privilege of office? Is it time to invent some new offices, e.g., Imperor of America? Get a grip, people.

            The name is not the thing named, the map is not the territory. -- Gregory Bateson

            by semiot on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 04:33:22 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Marcus Aurelius (none)
            Since Wes Clark used to teach philosophy, I have always seen a parallel between him and Marcus Aurelius, the great Roman philosopher-general-emperor.

            In fact, I'm shocked nobody has yet tagged Wes with the moniker, "Clarkus Aurelius."

        •  Atticus comes to mind (4.00)
          Atticus Finch from "To Kill a Mockingbird"
          That's who came to mind when thinking about what I believe is Clark's commitment and the courage to stand up for what's right.
          Here's an interview from back in the 2004 primary where Clark responds to Democratic voters' possible wariness about the "man on the horse syndrome"
          EDWARDS: Are the Democrats prepared to support a general for president?

          CLARK: Well, I don't know. We'll just have to find out. I think it's mixed reviews. On the one hand, they like the idea that I'm strong on defense and that I've served my country. And on the other hand, people want to be sure that I'm compassionate and have concern for the issues that are near and dear to the heart at the very center, really, of what the Democratic Party stands for. And when you've served in uniform and particularly when you've been a general, there's a certain air of authority there that's in some respects the opposite of what many Democrats might have believed their party stood for, which is ordinary people. But I think the answer's very clear. I do stand for ordinary people. I worked for the troops my entire time in the United States armed forces because we know in the United States armed forces that it's not the generals and the colonels that win battles, it's the soldiers, it's the people at the front, the mechanics with their wrenches, the drivers moving the logistics back in the rear. The generals and the colonels are dealing with pieces of paper and computers, but they're not actually affecting the outcome of the war directly. You can lose it at the top, you can't win it.

          It's that kind of intellectual honesty that stands out with Clark. I feel that had he not been drawn to the military when he was seventeen years old, but instead had chosen another path in life, he would have excelled at that too. If you read the last chapter in his book "Winning Modern Wars" he comes across as a very enlightened and well meaning man who also happens to be a retired 4 Star General.

      •  Thanks! I am a star struck lover. I love... (4.00)
        my country. I hate what's happening to it under Republican domination, and I believe General Clark is, at this point in our history the best chance for a reasonable, intelligent, patriotic person to defeat the lies and smears of the Republican political machine. I believe he is the best person to call the Republicans on their attempts to terrify our citizens by exploiting terror into voting for them and hating us. I believe that if he gets to power, he has our nation and our fellow citizens in mind enough to solidly fight the linger of Republican corruption and criminality and to lead and inspire average Americans towards a better future with a LONG TERM PERSPECTIVE. Nearly everything he talked about yesterday was looking 20 and 30 years into the future - not just to the next election cycle.

        Thanks again!

        I think, therefore I am NOT A REPUBLICAN!!!

        by Reality Bites Back on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 04:37:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Deep Breaths, Deep Breaths (none)
          Wes Clark is not a god. Wes Clark is not a god.

          Seek salvation in yourself and your fellow, fallible humans.

          As much as I'd like to have a hero save us, I think we don't need this sort of hero worship to survive the BushCo era.

          The name is not the thing named, the map is not the territory. -- Gregory Bateson

          by semiot on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 04:50:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  So then who do you support? (none)
            Who do you believe is our best chance to defeat Rove?

            (asked with sincerety)

            I think, therefore I am NOT A REPUBLICAN!!!

            by Reality Bites Back on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 04:55:08 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I support anyone and everyone (none)
              who stands up against tyranny. To the extent that Wes Clark is doing that, I support his efforts. To the extent that he is espousing other progressive policies, I support him even more enthusiastically. To the extent that he is working assiduously to support other Democratic and progressive leaders in the 2006 election, I admire and honor his good sense.

              My point here is that no one person can save us, and that believing so is a a mistake. Perhaps my objection has to do only with the tone of this diary and many of the accompanying comments. I'll close with this: the future of democracy is in our hands, and we should trust it to any politician with a great deal of caution, lest we make more of a man than he make of himself.

              The name is not the thing named, the map is not the territory. -- Gregory Bateson

              by semiot on Mon Feb 06, 2006 at 03:58:24 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  not a god (none)
            Wes is a leader.  He's been building teams and helping team mates be better since his high school swim team days at least.  This is exactly the kind of leader we need. Did you notice what a great job Kerry did in the foreign policy debate with Bush?  Clark prepped him. Wes Clark can make all of us better!  

            Winning without Delay.

            by ljm on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 05:48:26 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Let's be Practical (none)
          I think many of my fellow Democrats, in their quest for ideological purity, completely overlook pragmatic politics.

          At this point in the game, there is no other Democrat (other than perhaps Warner) who is a viable Dem contendor in 08.

          Moreover, what's wrong with hero worship?  I see nothing wrong with it, esp. when its exercise can overcome the GOP.

          I agree with Reality.  Let's think LT.

          •  Charisma (none)
            Clark has it. The Dem party is rich with people with great records and intellectual depth, but lacks a "face" with truly broad appeal AND charisma.

            To be crude, Rock Star quality.

            Some would argue Dean, Feingold, or Edwards have it, or possibly Warner. Maybe, but not with the possible broad appeal of a Wes Clark. Bonus: He presents a smaller target than others with long records (ahem, Senator Kerry, ahem).

            To be honest, I haven't decided on a favorite for 08 yet. There's a lot to like about Feingold, especially his pending grilling of Abu Gonzales tomorrow. But we need him in the Senate, and besides, when's the last time a Senator was elected President? Uh, um, er, ummm...

            So Clark has a lot going for him if he decides to run. In the meantime, he's right, we need one house back this year. That would be ideal. But just getting closer to even would be helpful to slow down the Borg.

            •  Wes Clark (none)
              isn't tall or physically imposing.  In fact he is a little on the slight side.  I've stood next to him few times.  What I have been impressed with is the feeling I get of his total honesty.  There doesn't seem to be any pretense.  He is plain spoken and incredibly clear and honest.  And he appears to be incredibly smart.

              Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities-Voltaire

              by hairspray on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 06:36:06 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Yes, broad appeal... (4.00)
              If Atilla the Hun could win against the Rethugs in '08 I would support him. This is not the time for any type of "purity test" regarding the potential candidate.

              Let us be honest here. If 38% of the American people (according to new polls) still think that Bush's second term is a "success" thus far, we cannot take any chances giving the electorate the benefit of the doubt to "do the right thing" and elect superb potential candidates like Feingold or Dean.

              Sorry to sound snobbish, but in my opinion the average backward baseball cap wearin', SUV drivin', beer swillin' workin' stiff (if his job has not already gone to India or China) can only see the least subtle things and is generally nuance free.

              SO LET'S GET RID OF OUR DEATH WISH AT THE POLLS + NOMINATE A FOUR FUCKING STAR GENERAL + EX NATO SUPREME ALLIED COMMANDER FOR FUCK'S SAKE and nobody will have to know right away that his dirty little secret is that he is one of the most intelligent, thoughtful, progressive, and truly compassionate people of influence in U.S. politics today.  

    •  Could you add a "Recommended" tag? (none)
      Thanks!

      The American taxpayers wouldn't object to free transportation for certain government officials if they'd go where we wish they would.

      by PatsBard on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 01:49:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  All Dems she same convictions and passion,as Clark (4.00)
      And all Dems are also no less passionate and committed;  we all share the same sense of urgency to convey our message and confront the GOP and neocons head on.  And, not just within our local party, but directly upfront to the right-wing and conservative media, like FOXNews, newspapers and radio. Clark is right,..there are bigger issues at stake; but we must convey it, unified; especially on broader national security issues.

      One of my favorite quotes from Wes Clark was his call to action, back in September '04...

      "I Challenge you! Participate!
      ...Call FoxNews, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh, write your editors
      ...Change the Political Culture! You CAN DO IT,.. if you ENGAGE!!..."

      -WKC, Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, MD.

      Clark not only talks the talk,.. he walks the walk!

      Reality Bites, Outstanding post!

    •  Silly, Absurd and Dangerous (none)
      Jeebus H.  Here we have Reality Bites Back and Hekebolos going ga-ga today over their hero on a horse, Octavian Wesley Cinncinatus Clark. The Great Man, with no chinks in his armor.

      It's kinda cute to see puppy love.  But put your pants on, fellas. Jeez.

      The Greeks used to encourage this kind of hero worship; it helped instill high ideals of conduct and life goals in young men.

      But it's silly and dangerous in a political campaign.

      We Americans are not following a hero on a patriotic mission to take back the country.  We are hiring an executive to carry out the laws of this country, and look out for the people of this country.  He's going to work for us, not lead us and our glorious Republic to everlasting whatever. To hell with that.

      Wesley Clark says stressing national security is the way to take back the White House? Feh. It's past time for America to be ruled by generals and masters of war. That business is fading as oil reserves fade. We are entering an entirely different energy future than the General describes.

      Our Empire is stillborn, fellas. Either we power down our military over the next decade, or we go out in mushroom clouds from trying to attain "full spectrum dominance" over every nation on Earth.

      We either turn our full attention to getting America off the SUV's and Wal-Mart standard, and get ourselves energy independent, and in control of our exploding population -- or we keep on with guys like Wesley Cinncinatus Clark pushing a program of enhancing our international prestige and power. To hell with that, too, because it's done with guns, for the benefit of big business.

      Gore is a far better candidate, because he will tell us we have to power down. He'll tell us we have to take the Pentagon down to a third its present size, and put it on a defensive basis only. He will take us out of the Empire business.

      Wesley won't.

      Fellas, the proper title for the General is Achilles.

      "Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play." --Joseph Goebbels

      by antifa on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 02:37:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Obviously (none)
        you have never delved farther into Clark then finding out he is from the hated military. I'm no fan of hero worship but blind hatred is far worse.

        "I was Rambo in the disco. I was shootin' to the beat. When they burned me in effigy. My vacation was complete." Neil Young. Mideast Vacation.

        by Mike S on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 02:43:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Nice Backhand Slap . . . (3.00)
          But seriously, I have a CD full of info on each of the 2008 contenders.  I've had Clark's entire career in view since Kosovo, and consider him a Company Man for the military industrial complex.

          And I consider war a corporate racket.

          Wesley Clark is running for President to put his military industrial machine back on a sound footing, so America will be great again.

          But his time is already past.  America has run out of borrowed money; we are never going to be Wes Clark's Mighty Nation again.

          The age of militarism is over.  The age of sustainability is here.  If we proceed into this new era on a military basis, we will burn the planet down.

          No more heroes. No more generals.

          No more Company Men.

          "Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play." --Joseph Goebbels

          by antifa on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 03:28:09 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Strong Military for a Strong America (none)
            As a Jack Bauer Democrat, I applaud General Clark for underscoring the importance of a great military.

            What's wrong with the military-industrial complex, as long as we're in charge, and were speding money effectively.

            With respect to borrowed money, you are right, to an extent.  The thing is, China NEEDS to continue lending us money.  If it doesn't, our interest rates would spike up, and we would no longer be able to buy so much from them.

            Besides, I'd bet that the FED will inflate us out of any possible debt crisis, a development that I'm certain that the Chinese are aware of, but have decided to countenance.

            •  A 900 Pound Gorilla Sleeps Where It Wants To (none)
              No one has ever been in control of the military industrial complex.  It just gets bigger, spreads further, costs more, and crushes more liberty in more lands every year.

              Our American military has not been for our self defense since 1943.  It has been an instrument for keeping other nations in line, and keeping other nations from challenging us. It's been in that racket for over sixty years now.

              And it costs whatever it costs, and we live on the table scraps. We, the people are not consulted, or asked, or given any choice.

              The Cold War ended 17 years ago. Our military only got bigger. The "great military" you get such a thrill from is really just a great BIG military.

              Those of you who find no problem with that "great military" are going to lose it anyway.  We cannot afford it any longer.

              Clark is not the man who is going to shrink the Pentagon or our war machine.

              "Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play." --Joseph Goebbels

              by antifa on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 04:03:51 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  WRONG! (none)

                "How smooth must be the language of the whites, when they can make right look like wrong, and wrong like right." Black Hawk

                by Gabriele Droz on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 04:14:01 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Goose. Step. Goose. Step. (2.40)
                  C'mon, now. Think before you type. Monosyllables don't cut it.

                  Your parents and grandparents watched Hitler build the biggest army in the world, and then acted surprised when he used it.

                  What the hell do you think will be done with our "biggest in the world" military? A bake sale?

                  Wesley Clark has never been against our war of aggression against Iraq. He still wants to "win" there, where no victory is possible.

                  Fortunately, as all his campaign efforts have shown, only the starry-eyed few among Americans are willing to goose step behind General Clark, a true stallion of the breed Pentagonus uber alles.

                  "Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play." --Joseph Goebbels

                  by antifa on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 04:43:34 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Just Me (none)
                    If we don't have the largest military in the world, the Chinese will.

                    I feel much more comfortable with the Dems at the helm of the Premier Military Power, than of a Chinese in China.

                    Or do you honestly believe that the Chinese would cease their militarization efforts if they believed we were about to.

                    But that's just me.

                    •  The Republicans' cowboy antics have... (none)
                      actually caused Russia to redeploy its nuclear assets, threatening the security of loose radioactive materials. Every nation in the Middle East and China have all fired new urgency into their militaries due to US posturing and aggression. Clark pointed out last night that we cannot win a war of attrition based on constant military domination of the world. As our economy slips beneath China's and India's, we won't be able to afford our military, let alone manufacture weapons as our industrial base flees of shore. He argued that we need to embrace diplomacy in order to protect our military dominance.

                      I think, therefore I am NOT A REPUBLICAN!!!

                      by Reality Bites Back on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 05:08:19 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  Filthy lies. (none)
                    "Wesley Clark has never been against our war of aggression against Iraq."

                    Wes Clark opposed invading Iraq from the begining.

                    It never never fails to amaze me, you'll can make any unsubstainiated claim you like but you can never provide links to back up your ridiculous arguements can you?!

                    It's a despicable smear campaign, if it were anything more you could back it up, but you can't can you?

                    Shameless, you have to cover your opponent in mud just to prop your guy up, comparing Gne Clark to the Nazi's. what's next, you compare him to Bin Laden like the Repugs did to Max Clenland.. absolutely shameless!!

                    I hope your proud of yourself..

              •  On the contrary, my dear Alfonse! (none)
                It is a military man who CAN have the knowledge, power and confidence of the people to lead the country into a non-war future and draw down the military-industrial complex while maintaining strength as needed.

                The country would not allow a non-military-knowledgeable person to pursue that goal. I agree with what you are saying about the stupidity and wrongness of the m-i complex, and the way it drains off resources that could be put to much better use. Much of that money is going to profit individuals I believe with very little return to the country. But it needs to come from a strong leader whom the people trust greatly in that area. You can see now how people let their fear take over so you have to address that.

                •  Thirty Eight Years Down The Tubes? (4.00)
                  A primo West Point grad puts thirty eight years into building up the greatest military machine the world has ever known, and after retiring he decides it is the problem with America and needs to be shrunk?

                  That's a fairy tale.

                  Mr. Clark will make America's military machine more streamlined, cut out some of the $600 hammers, and fire all the Rumsfeld minions, but his beloved military will be rebuilt and polished and put to work making this a better world.

                  And that right there is the problem.

                  The age of domineering the planet are over with the age of cheap gasoline. It will only take a year or two more for $12 per gallon unleaded to convince even you that we cannot afford our Empire.

                  Bring the troops home from Iraq? That's peanuts.  We need to bring them home from everywhere.

                  The nations that prosper in the 21st Century won't be the conquerors.  They will be the nations that put their emphasis on their citizens education and know-how, and on putting their own house in order.

                  We don't need a super soldier running our show.

                  "Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play." --Joseph Goebbels

                  by antifa on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 04:59:13 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  An Inevitability (none)
                    Antifa, do you honestly believe that the Chinese would curb their military ambitions if the US opted to?

                    Always, there has been one premier military power.

                    I'd rather have General Clark in charge than a Chinese General.

                    •  It is always the same argument (none)
                      They are going to try to dominate us, so we have to dominate first.

                      This is the argument that was used to maintain and build up the military-industrial complex to begin with, with the start of the Cold War; it is the argument that Bush 2 used to attack Iraq; and it is the self-justification that Republican operatives gave in 2000 and 2004 to steal those elections.

                      The difference between a liberal and a progressive is that a progressive thinks for himself, whereas a liberal lets the Republicans do his thinking for him.

                      by Alexander on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 06:35:30 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  We've Got Twenty Years (none)
                      You know those oceans of oil underneath the Middle East?  At a daily consumption rate of 83 million barrels every day (thirty thousand million a year)they will be dry in less than twenty years.

                      More to the point, oil will be more expensive and scarce from today on. The era of cheap and easy gasoline is behind us; it's uphill from here.

                      The nations of Earth can burn up all the remaining oil fighting over all the remaining oil. A twenty year war ought to do it. The last man standing will be standing on the last barrel of oil, and it will smell like . . . victory.

                      America can continue to take the lead on that, as we are currently doing.  Or, America can put the effort into getting ourselves out of the oil trap during these twenty years.

                      The biggest user of oil is America, and we are keyed up to fight for it at the drop of a hat.  With the biggest military in the world.

                      When the oil runs out, what will we do with the biggest military in the world?

                      Where do you think this debtor nation will find the $200 billion a year for the next twenty years to rebuild our oil-based infrastructure into a renewable one?

                      From cutting Pell grants and making seniors pay more for pills? From higher taxes on small business? From China?

                      Only one place -- the grossly bloated Pentagon budget.

                      We have so many nukes that no nation on Earth would dare attack us.  What we actually maintain our monstrous military for is to discipline and hold down other nations.

                      If we stopped holding others down and devoted that money and effort and genius to making ourselves better, and better for this planet, we wouldn't need the military machine.

                      We need an about face. Not a populist hero on a mission to make America all shiny and dressed in uniform all over again.

                      General Clark will not cut his beloved military.

                      That makes him the wrong man for the job we are hiring for.

                      "Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play." --Joseph Goebbels

                      by antifa on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 06:43:09 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  We agree on so much, just not (none)
                        about Wes Clark.

                        You know, we could ask him. I just don't think it is correct to assume that he would spend lots of money on the military.

                        After all, who was it who warned the US about the military-industrial complex in the strongest of terms? General Dwight Eisenhower. Doesn't that tell you that not every single general is going to fit the mold? Some very few are amazingly going to be thinkers who see and tell it like it is. I think Clark is like Ike in that way, and I liked Ike too.

                        •  Not to mention, Jimmy Carter. (none)
                          Carter was a Naval Academcy grad and a career Naval Officer who had to cut short his eleven year career to run the  family business afer his father died.

                          I think it is fair to say that as President and as retired Presidnet, the retired militaty officer from Plins, GA has been a peacemaker and certainly not a warmonger.

                          (-2.75,-4.77) "Whenever we dumb down the political debate, we lose." Senator Barack Obama

                          by Sam I Am on Mon Feb 06, 2006 at 03:18:48 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                •  On fighting the Military Industrial Complex (none)
                  This from the film "Why We Fight," spoken by Susan Eisenhower:

                  "On at least one occassion, [my Grandfather] was heard to say "God help this country when someone sits behind this desk who doesn't know about the military as I do."

          •  Clark's not militaristic. (4.00)
            He is a sincere patriot but has the great intelligence to have the right priorities. Still, with his background and status in the miliary he can allay the fears of those who need that while also knowing how to deal with problems in the world in a reasonable, non-aggressive way. He would be progressive and cares about people and their needs which is what I like best about him. He is no phony like Bush.
          •  Sorry (none)
            Maybe it's time America had another hero.

            What is it that makes some folks recoil in horror over the word?

            Maybe the same thing that makes them recoil at the word General?

            Only fatalists fear heros I would surmise.

            One can have "Clark's entire career in view" yet still not see. A jaundiced eye seldom holds an unobstructed view.

            If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck it's probably a chicken hawk in disquise.

            by witchamakallit on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 05:02:40 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Any old time . . . (none)
              Any old time you have something to add to this conversation, in place of ad hominem and dismissive verbal attacks, why you just join in.

              Okay?

              "Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play." --Joseph Goebbels

              by antifa on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 07:04:13 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I think witch's criticism... (none)
                May have been too subtle for you.

                She (he?) wasn't making an ad hominem attack.  What witchamakallit was saying, quite clearly to me, is that you are dissing a very good man, with a very good record, who is standing up for all the right purposes, just because he's a general and a bona fide hero.  That when you look at that record, you see only what you choose to, based on preconceptions of the military that you are unable or unwilling to abandon.

                But ad hominem is exactly where you are going with your "goose step" remarks.  Not sure whether you are attacking all of us who support Clark or Clark himself.  In either case, there is no basis for the implied Nazi analogy.

                I'd suggest you reconsider whether you really want to call this particular kettle black.  You might also google "Godwin's Law" some time.

          •  Baby and Bathwater (4.00)
            anitifa, I could not disagree more with your reading of the tea leaves or the future.

            The Democrats are faced with a very stark decision:  Are they willing to put aside their unbendable revulsion with the realms of conflict and violence for just a moment in our history in order to avoid future violence and conflict that will make today's look like a birthday party?  Or are they going to bury their head in the sand regarding these ugly, ugly facts of life, and thereby assure that our nation is doomed to fall, I'm afraid, into its own civil violence and conflict?

            National security is THE key to the Whitehouse (and Bill Clinton said the same himself in 2003 and 2004), and this is why Kerry lost; he wasn't trusted as the warrior who could defend a very frightened and manipulated electorate, and he chose a vice-presidential candidate who confirmed people's fears that his was not a platform that could protect them from the "boogey man" in the dark.  I'm not talking about the Democrats, a shrinking force and party (review the research as to what proportion of the electorate define themselves as conservative or liberal), I'm talking about the Independents in this nation.  INDEPENDENTS ARE KEY TO TAKING BACK THE WHITEHOUSE, AND PREVENTING THIS NEOCON, FUNDAMENTALIST CULT FROM TAKING AMERICA INTO THE ABYSS of authoritariansim.

            The key to the 2004 election can be found in the work of Ernest Becker, particularly "The Denial of Death", a seminal work that has spawned a growing province of study within psychology.  This psychology is basic to our species, and Rove and company know very well how to use it to their own destructive ends.

            The Democrats need to figure out how to use it to prevent the utter destruction that we're just beginning to get a taste of.  Should the fundamentalists in our nation continue acquiring power, we will not only find ourselves continually at war with other nations/non-nation groups, but I fear our nation will also find itself at war internally.

            We need a Warrior in order to avoid war.  If you can think of someone better suited, by all means offer him/her up; I'm willing to listen.  But DO NOT MAKE THE CRITICAL MISTAKE OF THINKING NATIONAL SECURITY IS PASSE AND MEANINGLESS; such a thought is utter nonsense and will ultimately lead this nation to ruin at its own hands.  

            I want the Democrats to win and prevent war; your proposed road-to-travel will, in my opinion, lead only to more victories for the fundamentalists, and more violence and destruction.

            "Life is forever menaced by chaos and must restore balance with every intake of breath"-- Jean Gebser

            by rangemaster on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 05:03:19 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Raw Miliatry Might (none)
              Some of my Democratic friends really believe that we can achieve global harmony.

              Face it, harmony is achieved through raw military might.

              For any of you to deny this is to be in hopeless denial.

              •  I agree, but I would also say... (none)
                that a nation must use ALL of its resources to maintain dominance - being military and diplomacy and innovation and technology, and constantly pushing the boundaries of new markets, increased efficiency and conservation, and lower global impact. Today - we are doing NONE of this. We're just walking around the playground punching smaller kids. Let's just hope that when we come back from playing hookie with the Bushies, they haven't outgrown us and taken karate lessons. I believe a nation that can take a minimal amount of resources and create the most bang for the buck will be the nation whose citizens are best served for the future battle for earth's dwindling resources. Only such a nation can maintain its global dominance if resources are free to flow across borders. Can that be America?

                I think, therefore I am NOT A REPUBLICAN!!!

                by Reality Bites Back on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 05:17:33 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Allocating more resources to education (none)
                  I think the most serious challenge to our nation (outside of surviving Arbusto) is enabling our workforce to add more value to the global supply chain.

                  Thanks to global labor arbitrage, our workforce must compete against those of other countries.

                  40 years ago, it was possible for a highschool dropout to join the MiddleClass through a great job at GM or Ford.  This is no longer the case.

                  We must allocate more resources to education, so that America's cream can rise to the top, enabling America to remain more competitive.

            •  Clark Isn't Just a General (none)
              The whole issue of military vs. non-military person is, to me, beside the point. It's really about the issues. Clark knows his facts cold and has what I consider the right answers. He is able to be strong on national security without being blinded by the military and just caving in to its demands.

              When Kerry tried to articulate a strategy distinct from the Republicans he failed. That may be because his advisors kept warning him not to go too far, lest he turn off the great centrist voter, or maybe because his view wasn't all that different from Bush's on many of the key issues.

              I have yet to detect any such failing in Clark. Given the same opportunity, he simply charts a sensible course that's differentiated from the conservative babble. I have no doubt that's because he really differs from them in his own philosophy.

              I have grave misgivings about anyone who proposes military might as a kind of patriotism. But by the same token we all know that our freedoms would be instantly annihilated by virtually all of our opponents. The Iranians would turn us into black-clad robots. The Chinese would send us out on the farms for re-education. The Russians would bring in their own mafia to exploit us. At least those are the common stereotypes.

              The only solution is to chart a middle ground of encouraging the dominance of our culture while keeping our military under close guard by a civilian government. But that only works if we have a competent civilian government. That means a government that's military savvy without being military star-struck. In that, I think Clark is perfect.

              Liberal Thinking

              Think, liberally.

              by Liberal Thinking on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 10:29:40 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  You know nothing about Wesley Clark (4.00)
            You simply do not know what you are talking about. Clark opposed going to war in Iraq before Bush started it. He believes that we should only go to war when all attempts to prevent it have failed.

            I have never heard anyone but you accuse him of being a "company man for the military industrial complex". What's your proof? That he was a career soldier?

            It sounds to me that you are a Republican provocateur. Or someone who so hates the military that you are unable to objectively evaluate someone like Clark who has made the military a career. People like you permit the Republicans to claim that Democrats hate the military and are weak on defense.

            Clark would be a great leader in combatting terrorism. He is a proven coalition builder and diplomat, who understands that we should have captured Bin Laden and had no justification for invading Iraq.

            He ran for the Democratic nomination in 2004 only after many grassrooters pleaded with him to do so.

            If you took the time to read up on his positions, you would find that he is a progressive Democrat. I don't expect you to do so.

            •  Clark Was and Is for Empire (none)
              Positions are positions.  Bush takes positions.  Every politician runs on positions.

              Look at the man.  He is a multilateralist.  Read his website.  Read his latest positions.  America takes the lead, always. America comes out on top, always. We have partners, but we don't follow anyone.  We cooperate, but we drive the agenda.

              My argument is that he is wrong for the era of sustainability that we are already entering.  All the Clark sycophants on this thread are bowing to their newfound Emperor, currently running at 3% in the straw polls, when the Empire he's supposed to kick start and lead to glory is already a dead letter.

              America is going to contract severely in the coming Presidential term, 2008-2012, no matter who is President, or what that poor sod does.  All the ways and means of continuing our economic and military and political conquest of Earth are broken, worn out or spent or already in Cayman Islands or Swiss bank accounts. We been robbed for five years now, we have worn out our military, we have broken our economy, all in pursuit of Empire.

              Clark will take positions, but he will pick up right where George Bush left off, putting America on top of the world.

              We need to look for national leaders who will get off the white horse we don't own anymore.

              "Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play." --Joseph Goebbels

              by antifa on Mon Feb 06, 2006 at 05:03:46 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Since when did valuing alliances (none)
                Make someone an imperialist?

                Yes we are in trouble with oil, and we are going to need massive spending to pay for an energy shift. Clark epmhasised in his recent speech to the New America Foundation the need to bring in financial resources, and he has a plan to do it.

                Eliminate the Bush tax cuts for the rich and close all corporate tax loopholes, that is what brought us from 5 trillion dollar surpluses to a 5 trillion dollar deficit, we still have financial resources, we just have to start collecting them again. Not to mention cleaning up all the pork barrel spending the republicans have been doing.

                And my support hinges on who can handle climate change and and the impending oil crisis best, I trust General Clark to do that at the moment, I do expect a full in depth deep and detail plan as to how he intends to do it. The devil is in the details as Wes is so fond of saying, and I do expect those details, but I think I will get them.

                If you want Gore, fine vote for him if he bothers running, which I doubt he will. But you don't have to come in and start comparing us to Nazi's, we can at least maintain something resembling civility...

      •  Wanting Politician (none)
        Gore was barely able to beat Arbusto, even with 8 years of Peace and Prosperity.

        Gore is an exceptional policy wonk, but very wanting as a politician.

      •  Well Bush sure talked about alternative energy ... (4.00)
        Look - personally, I believe the single greatest threat to the planet is overpopulation. The second greatest threat is environmental destruction, both as a result of overpopulation, and our ever growing per capita use of resources. Everything else will seem insignificant in years to come. Now I would love a President who could come out and say this, act on it, and get something done. In fact, I think Al Gore has it EXACTLY right, and would COMPLETELY support him as a Democratic nominee (and would be thrilled with a Gore/Clark ticket).

        However, given the fact that Rove and Co. are determined to bend America over a barrel with highly crafted fear mongering and psychological warfare, I believe it is critical that we have someone with the credentials to call Republicans on their 'security' lies. Like every emerging dictatorship, the Republicans are hammering on security as if the word "Democrat" itself was a booby-trapped bomb.

        Furthermore, I have seen Clark talk about the massive opportunity alternative energy research and industries can offer America, especially to maintain our global competitiveness. I've seen him on the Discovery Channel discussing revolutionary new brushless radial electric motors that are super quiet, zero emission, and would make a Toyota Prius seem like a Humvee. I believe he is aware of the seriousness of the global environmental crisis and the importance of protecting the environment. But he recognizes and argues that unless we focus right now on regaining our voice in matters of national security, the Democrats won't be around to do anything about anything - period.

        I think, therefore I am NOT A REPUBLICAN!!!

        by Reality Bites Back on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 03:08:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Declining Birth Rate (none)
          Reality, I agree with you with respect to framing a Pres. candidat.  We are at war, and will forever be at war, as far as I'm concerned.  (Dems, don't despair, we can use this to our advantage.)

          Therefore, we need someone with impeccable wartime credentials.

          Clark fits the bill.

          As for overpopulation, do you realize that within 40 years Mexico will begin to experience a pop. decrease?

          Overpopulation is no longer a problem.

          •  Boy - I wish I could believe (none)
            that overpopulation would not be the problem I think it is. But you have to look at it not in the context of population growth or the rate of population growth, but by how many people are on the face of the planet. Remember that every human being represents some component of planetary biomass. The physical weight of your body is the result of consuming physical resources of the planet. Every human takes the same resources to make as a third of a tiger, a single gazelle, or a thousand hummingbirds. We consume the resources that other animals cannot then consume. Because we consume at a rate faster than the earth can replenish, we mine the earth itself for nitrates and fertilizers to grow more biomass to consume and turn into ourselves. We are literally turning the earth into humans, not unlike bacteria in a petri dish (and at 1.3x the rate earth can renew itself).

            With 7 billion humans on the plant, with emerging resource hungry economies like China and India, and with inefficient and wasteful economies like America, we will consume the earth until it can barely support human life - if at all. Nothing short of an asteroid impact will stop that. It's like putting a hundred top level predators in a tiny windowsill biosphere.

            And I sure hope I'm wrong!!!

            I think, therefore I am NOT A REPUBLICAN!!!

            by Reality Bites Back on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 03:55:21 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  As for Overpopulation (none)
            This is one of the least talked about problems. No, I don't think overpopulation is no longer a problem.

            Let's just take Mexico. At current levels of increase there might not be a Mexico in 40 years.

            Why do I think overpopulation is still a problem? Well. . .

            Right now we don't have enough arable land in the world to feed our population except that we are using irrigation, fertilizers and pesticides to artificially keep production up. Those means are totally dependent on cheap energy. As soon as cheap oil runs its course the cost of producing food will skyrocket.

            Right now fish catches in two out of three of the world's major oceans are declining. That's not because there are less boats out there fishing. It's because the oceans are overfished and those boats are catching less.

            Why are they catching less? Because the top two predation levels (out of about nine) have all but disappeared and been replaced by a new preditor--humans. That's right, we are now the biggest fish in the ocean--and the next biggest. At the rate we're depleating the oceans we will be eating plankton in the next fifty years. Remember that the next time you have popcorn shrimp!

            Virtually all of the fresh water resources in the western U.S. are in use--or oversubscribed. We don't have enough water to meet our Colorado River treaty obligations to Mexico. We are shorting the Salton Sea because there isn't enough water to go around, which means that we are depleating the wetlands used by millions of migratory birds.

            Water is now so scarce in California that we are literally taking land out of farm production to water humans. Where I have a house in Placer County they've been paving over one hill after the next with commercial centers and retirement communities. That use to be all cattle ranches. The cattle are gone because you have a choice: you can raise cattle or humans. As a result, in the not too distant future the U.S. will be a net importer of food. Despite subsidies. (If this coincides with when we run out of domestic oil, about ten years from now, heaven help us.)

            How this squares with using more land for ethanol to run our cars I haven't been able to figure out. I guess, since I don't eat beef I don't mind if they feed cars rather than cattle. But as a national policy, this is going to take some getting used to.

            Over near Sacramento, along the river, they are taking rice patties out of service and planting houses. Now, growing rice in a desert probably makes no economic sense anyway, but it's a soggy place for a house. But, as long as the Army Corp of Engineers or whoever will put up dikes they can probably put houses in what used to be rice patties and before that was a large inland lake. (People have great confidence in levies, but I've never felt comfortable living where water could wash over me in, say, the middle of the night.) The point is that they can put houses there because they are giving that water to humans instead of rice plants. Before you can put in housing in California you have to secure water rights for the people who are going to live there. You can only do that if someone else gives them up because there are no free sources left.

            Which brings me to housing, generally. Housing prices have skyrocketed in California. People are living in places like Bakersfield and Lodi and Stockton. When people are living in the Central Valley, but they aren't farming or ranching, you know there's a population problem.

            I won't hang this on Clark's neck. I don't know if he has a better plan the Republicans to deal with overpopulation. But please don't buy in to the idea that overpopulation is passee. It isn't. It's just not in the big corporate interest to bring it up in the early 21st century. Because if population growth went down, so would corporate profits. So, you aren't going to hear about the population problem on Fox.

            Liberal Thinking

            Think, liberally.

            by Liberal Thinking on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 11:14:17 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Both And (none)
          We will probably need both of them to restore this country after the damage done by Bush.

          And, you are absolutely right about population. Population is the most urgent problem of all. It totally trumps national security and everything else because it threatens to kill us all. In many ways it's the driver behind the problems in the Middle East. After all, no humans, no problem. As long as populations are expanding land in Palestine is a zero-sum game.

          And, you are absolutely right that the population problem is off the radar screen. You couldn't get a politican to touch it with a ten-foot battle lance.

          But the neocon megaphone has conditioned everyone to think that national security is the big issue. For that we need someone with credibility. And that person also has to understand the other problems, like the population problem, and be prepared to do something about them. Hence Clark.

          Liberal Thinking

          Think, liberally.

          by Liberal Thinking on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 10:39:53 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  wrong, wrong ,wrong (4.00)
        Clark has articulated better than any other candidate why it's imperative for us to turn to sustainable, green energy. He believes that new sustainable technology could be the engine that vitalizes our economy.
         I wrote this after his 2004 presidential campaign  : "His platform included a $100 billion jobs program directed through state and local government and paid for through a rollback of taxes on those earning over $200,000 plus a surcharge of 5% on incomes over $1,000,000. (Some of the increased revenue would be used to pay down the federal debt.)  His long term solution was directing government policy to benefit research and development on new renewable and sustainable technology. The benefits, besides a growth industry for new jobs, from industrial to service to computer-technology, included the social savings of hundreds of billions of dollars now directed toward subsidizing the fossil fuel industry, including the military expenditures to safeguard oil supplies in the Middle East and elsewhere. Other long term social savings include reduced health costs accruing from a cleaner environment. General Clark was the most progressive candidate we had. He actually lived this solution, after he retired from the army and before running for president as chairman of a company, WaveCrest Laboratories,  that designed and produced non-polluting electric motors."
      •  proper title (none)
        for you, since all you do is sling mud and offer no alternative solutions, is troll.
      •  Silly, Absurd and Dangerous--Not (4.00)
        While I have some sympathy for your argument, and I'd love to have a President who considers himself an employee of the people, this just misses the point with Clark. It's not hero-worship to accept a leader who understands the real dangers in what Bush and his zombie Republican Party have been doing and wants to put a stop to it.

        There's a clear difference between Gen. Clark and generals who are out for "full spectrum dominance". This is very specifically what Clark rejected in his book. He said that the U.S. cannot dominate the world on its own. It needs the financial support of other countries, which we've made partners in our defense structure.

        We have led the world since the end of WWII because Marshall and the other wise men made us the head of a coalition. We succeeded, at least in part, because we did not go out and try to do it all ourselves. Clark understands that when Bush abandoned this doctrine he started the ball rolling toward bankrupting the nation.

        As for Gore, I'm sorry. He had his shot at it. Both Gore and Kerry were unable to really confront the Republicans. They are essentially centrists. Being a centrist is bad for our party and ultimately bad for the country because it tends to legitimize right-wing ideology. We need someone like Clark who can pick a progressive un-conservative strategy but has the fight in his belly it takes to win. Clark went on national TV and said, "I am a liberal. There's nothing wrong with being a liberal. We live in a liberal democracy."

        This is precisely what this party has needed for the better part of thirty years.

        I'll start to consider Gore or Kerry or Clinton or anyone else as a legitimate contender for the Democratic nomination the moment they have the balls to do the same. You get one of those guys to go on national TV and say "I am a liberal." They can't. They're all afraid of their shadows.

        We are an empire, like it or not. As an empire we have an obligation to act like one, in the best sense. The best sense is that we are firm in pursuing our best interests, but we don't overplay our hand and we cooperate with the other empires. That may sound very real-politic and callous, but very tragic things happen when empires don't pursue their interests wisely.

        We saw one such alternative when Bush invaded Iraq. He overplayed our hand and effectively walked into a trap. That was, on the face of it, a terrible idea, and it's turned out to be a truly horrid idea. It's cost a lot of lives and probably ended up handing Iran a huge political victory (by letting Iraq fall completely under their control).

        Not understanding our huge economic weaknesses against the insurgent empires in the Far East is just as dangerous. As my employee, I expect the President to find and implement a plan to address this. That would start with the insistence that all products sold in this country be made according to our labor and environmental standards. That's the minimum needed to staunch the flow of red ink and start to rebuild America's strength.

        This is not optional. It's a matter of national security. We can't go on shipping manufacturing jobs overseas. What if there were a war or some significant hostilities? If the Chinese stopped exporting to us right now, even for a couple of months, there would effectively be no hard goods available in the U.S. You couldn't buy a stick of furniture, a car, a computer or a piece of clothing. Every aisle at Wal-Mart would literally be empty. Sure the Chinese would suffer, because their flow of dollars would radically decrease. But they've suffered far worse hardships and their political system is set up to endure such a hardship.

        Our corporate leadership has put us in this extremely vulnerable position. Why would they do that? Well, because they don't have any allegiance to the United States any more, or even to the Western World. An increasing number of their stockholders are from overseas. They have no reason to side with the U.S. if selling us out would increase profits. They've gone Ferengi on us.

        So, when Clark talks about being an American first and taking on the Republicans on national security, I listen. National security is important to our freedom. We can't afford to have it wrecked, which is exactly what the Republicans have done over the past five years. It is truly incredible the degree to which the Republicans under Bush have taken a commanding position and turned it into a debacle. We have not done worse and with such potentially dire consequences since Washington tried to defend New York against the British.

        I guess you can surmise from this that Clark is one of my heroes. The reason is pretty simple. He went into the military and it didn't corrupt him. I suspect that's because he had an idealism about what it means to be a patriotic American, and it didn't have to do with killing people. It had to do with defending our core values. Those core values always come back to freedom. That freedom has to do with our society's willingness to level the playing field and defend the weak against the powerful, to give people rights that are based in the law and not subject to interference by the privileged. In that, he is a kindred spirit and that's the reason he's my hero.

        Liberal Thinking

        Think, liberally.

        by Liberal Thinking on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 10:05:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Great post - from my perspective. (none)
          I have to say that I share your philosophy to a great degree. Perhaps that is why I am also drawn to Clark. I'm sure there are people out there who would rival his intellect, but I doubt there are any with his credentials and charisma to boot.

          And I completely agree to all these people who view him as to military-centric or too new to politics - he is one of the only ones that I have seen who has the guts to go on Fox news and flat out declare himself a liberal and say that he's proud of it; who has the guts to argue against the actions of the Bushgod right in the heart of the beast. Yesterday, he went even further than Gore, not only stating what is occurring under Republican occupation, but elaborating iterations into the future on the dark places we are headed if we fail to get up and fight. He's not just one of the only Democrats who's crying out "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!" He's one of the only Democrats willing to say that AND who has very liberal and very progressive views that would serve America well.

          Anyway, at this point, having been intimately involved in campaign 2004 across the country, in my opinion, Clark is the best chance we've got - and someone, who if the rest of the party would really listen to, can lead in the way a great general does, and inspire us all to fight the fight of our lives to preserve our freedoms. He's literally calling us to battle like William Wallace in Braveheart. He's literally telling us that "it's all for nothing if you don't have freedom."

          I think, therefore I am NOT A REPUBLICAN!!!

          by Reality Bites Back on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 11:33:10 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thank You (none)
            Unfortunately, metaphors for Clark don't seem to work, though. He isn't a stalwart opponent of the plebians (like Cincinnatus, or Washington, for that matter) and I hope he and his cause come to a better end than Wallace.

            Maybe he's unique. I'd liken him to FDR, except I think it might jinx him. Perhaps he's something new, a person who can use his military experience to turn the country toward peace.

            Liberal Thinking

            Think, liberally.

            by Liberal Thinking on Mon Feb 06, 2006 at 06:22:56 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  In times like this, we require a leader, not a CEO (none)
        You're wrong. We are following a leader to restore our beloved-though-often-not-so-glorious Republic--or we would be if we could find a leader to do it.

        We are not hiring an executive to carry out the law. You know why?

        Because things have gotten so extreme that we are no longer living in the country we grew up in. Because the executive is now considered to be above the law. Because the executive has gotten in power by suppressing and rigging the vote. Because the executive controls the media sufficiently to prevent public outrage from becoming a powerful tool against it.

        You would have been right at any time up until 2000. Politics-as-usual, politics-as-a-business, our relationships with politicians being business relationships--that all worked back then.

        It doesn't work in a crisis. It doesn't work when Haliburton gets a contract to build detention centers within the United States. It doesn't work when there is a debate on as to whether or not George W. Bush can order you shot down on the street because he decides you are an enemy combatant. It doesn't work when apparently no one has the authority to tell him he can't do that.

        I think you mistake where we actually are. The Republic isn't dead--it's still in us. But we are no longer in it.

        Yes, we need a leader--or, rather, we need leaders.

        But--although I understand the passion true leadership and patriotism can inspire, it's really important to continually try and inch your leader down off the pedestal you have him on. Gently. So he doesn't fall off and break, and break your relationship with him, and possibly your heart, too.

        I do this all the time with John Kerry, who is my leader. I remind myself of his faults and his mistakes and that he puts his pants on one leg at a time like everyone else. I try to keep his pedestal short. He's tall enough as it is.

        I'd suggest the diarist do the same thing in relation to General Clark. I'd also suggest that those who feel they don't need a leader might act with a bit more gentleness toward those who do. It's not contemptible to need a leader. I worked without one for about twenty years. It's a lonely thing.

        •  The problem is... (none)
          when you have a party like the Republican party - it is top down and dictatorial. Hence the government under them is as well. I mean can you even imagine what would happen to a typical Republican party operative if they disobeyed an order from Rove?! The Democratic party is a lot more... Democratic. There are many more points of view and people do not take orders from Howard Dean as if he is the Almighty. Hence, leadership is not quite so much rank and muscle as it is an ability to generate money and votes. Those who inspire generate more money (like Howard Dean did) and more votes (I'm excluding corporate donors from this and the skewed primary system). Anyway, when you have someone who is in a position to actually rally the rest of the party - to change people's minds - to inspire and set in motion, I believe they deserve our full support. It's not about Clark. It's about what Clark is willing and able to do for the Democratic Party. I didn't write this diary to get Clark on the ticket - I wrote it to get every Democrat I can on every ticket I can across the country. And of all the voices I've heard in this process, only Clark is willing to grab the bull by the horns and pull the party off its feet. He's the only one I've seen who is urging other candidates EVEN HIS POSSIBLE COMPETITORS to get out there and take the fight to the Republicans. For that, I have to give him my highest respect! What he does is selfless. It would have been the easy thing for him to just become a Republican and give in to the machine.

          Furthermore, in our Democratic society, leaders only rise with the will of the people, and that takes inspiration and action. We need to find those we feel are the best of the best and elevate them with all our might through the clutter of deception so that they can rise above the slime of Republican politics and into positions of leadership where they can actually effect change. If at that time, they prove to be just another politician, they lose our confidence and eventually their power.

          The odds are against us here. We are Seabiscuit with a broken leg going up against War Admiral. We are Rocky versus the Russian. In this uphill battle against rigged voting, fear mongering, biased media, the bully pulpit, and a Republican party able to use the US Treasury as a campaign fund, we as Americans need to give those who fight in the face of such nefarious odds the will and support to fight for us. That is why I am willing to fight for Clark - because he is not only willing to fight for us, but he is willing to help us all fight for ourselves.

          I think, therefore I am NOT A REPUBLICAN!!!

          by Reality Bites Back on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 11:58:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  well, sure (none)
            But which part of the fight are you talking about?

            Are you only talking about '08? Who we should support as our presidential candidate? In that case, yeah, we need to narrow it down to one, but I think that discussion's a lot less important right now than some other, more immediate things.

            And often, the debate over who should run for President gets conflated with the debate over who our leaders should be--it's not the same thing. The '08 primaries are not the same thing as the fight for the Republic. They are part of it. When I speak of having many leaders, I'm talking about in the overall fight. We need as many good ones as we can get.

            Whoever is not against you is for you.

            I know I'm getting tired--I'm quoting Jesus. :-)

            •  The NOW part of the fight... (none)
              As I said: "I didn't write this diary to get Clark on the ticket - I wrote it to get every Democrat I can on every ticket I can across the country. And of all the voices I've heard in this process, only Clark is willing to grab the bull by the horns and pull the party off its feet. He's the only one I've seen who is urging other candidates EVEN HIS POSSIBLE COMPETITORS to get out there and take the fight to the Republicans."

              At the events I went to, Clark was rallying the Democrats right now to get off their asses and go out and take on the Republicans on national security, and every issue. He is wholly focused on 2006 - on taking back at least one house of Congress. He made it clear that failure to do so would leave the Republicans in a position to bury the truth and crush the Constitution into non-existence. He wants to inspire every Democrat and every Democratic candidate. He wants to lead not for the sake of 08, he wants to lead for the sake of America, today.

              Because he wants to fight right now. I'll start thinking about the ticket this time next year - provided we'll still be having elections in 2008.

              I think, therefore I am NOT A REPUBLICAN!!!

              by Reality Bites Back on Mon Feb 06, 2006 at 12:33:04 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah. Gore is a FAR better candidate.... (none)
        ....who couldn't beat Bush when he was just a retard rather than an incumbent retard.

        And don't correct me on on "but he did beat him" because it never should've been close.

        Clark-Warner : The Experience to Lead. The Courage to Unite.

        by alexm on Mon Feb 06, 2006 at 12:41:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  What have you been reading on Clark? (none)
        Don't you get it, we like Clark because he's working for us to get our country focused on the things that matter: like renewable energy, a single payer health care system and managing our role in the world through diplomacy first, and war only when threatened and even then only as a absolute last resort.

        Wesley Clark does not and will not believe in Empire, he spent two decades opposing an Empire. And he's spent the past several years opposing the Empire this country has become.

        And quite frankly it's going to take a hero to throw of the dictatorship that has been forming in our midst, they have consolidated power over every branch of government, the unitary executive in now a reality.

        Where was Al Gore when Bush stole the 2000 election?! He balked like John Kerry did, maybe not as badly, at least he had the guts to call for a recount, BUT he didn't follow up, and even though HE WON, he let Bush in anyway and the past six years are the price we all paid for that and don't think for an instant I'm ever going to forget what Al Gore did to us and this country by not fighting tooth and nail to stop Bush at any cost BEFORE he destroyed our republic.

        I like what Al Gore says and does on the stump, but I don't trust him to stand up next time they steal an election, he's got a  track record of failure on that point.

        I don't partake in "Clark Worship" he's still a man, and men are fallible corruptible creatures and make mistakes, I'm sure Clark has had his share of mistakes, he often stresses to us that he isn't perfect, something all of us need to remember, but it's also a reason I trust him more than I do most politicians.

        I think he's a leader who has the guts to sock it to the Republicans on every issue. Sorry to break reality to you but Al Gore 1: isn't running and 2: even if he did he wouldn't win the GE against McCain and we know it's going to be McCain, you better not kid yourself about that and 3: even if he actually won the GE they'd just steal it anyway and Gore has proved he doesn't have the guts to finish the job.

        The age of Al Gore as president is over, he did it to himself, you don't have to blame anyone else, he had his day in the sun and he blew it. You want to support a liberal progressive with guts and you can't stand Clark, go and back Feingold at least he won't wimp out when the Republicans steal it again.. And you accuse us of "Hero Worship" look in the mirror and smell the hypocrisy.

        "Fellas, the proper title for the General is Achilles."

        I'll pretend I didn't read that... next time you could try attacking Clark based on facts rather than your prejudice toward military officers.

        They aren't all Empire mongers you know, usually it's the civilian politicians that start wars, and it's usually the soldiers and and low ranking officers that do the bleeding in wars, Clark did his share in Veitnam.

    •  stop the wiretap crimes (none)
      see this post on new revelations on the NSA scandal. This should be diaried/FPed, but I used mine already today.

      An election does not make a democracy.

      by seesdifferent on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 03:30:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Great summary Reality! (none)
      Pleasure meeting you.

      Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

      Who is that between hekebolos and alysheba?

      Dailykos.com; an oasis of truth. -1.75 -7.23

      by Shockwave on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 03:54:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That is a phantom mystery... (none)
        Great to meet you there shockwave! The event was an unexpected meeting of the minds. I look forward to talking more with you and alysheba in the future...

        RBB

        I think, therefore I am NOT A REPUBLICAN!!!

        by Reality Bites Back on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 04:00:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Phantom checking in (none)
        C'est moi-- ms in la!

        You can check out my blogs on the Clark events of that Saturday at Wes's blog by scrolling down the front page of "Community". There are three chronicalling the days/ evening's events.

        I have supported the General for years now and you will find me present anytime he's in the vicinity.

        And thanks to all Kossacks who invited Wes to blog here.  Can't wait.

    •  need 2 take back media, gov, country+leave Iraq. (none)
    •  You're a master rhapsodist, RBB (none)
      Wow, your everything runneth over!

      Seriously, this diary is a delight. Your account of Gen. Clark's galvanizing effect upon you is a wonderment, a throwback to the days when political oratory was an art and the people cared about it because it really did have the power to touch and uplift, to nourish the human spirit, to inspire the hero in all of us and even, on occasion, to change the world.

      Since Dean is out (I'm a Deaniac from way back so believe me I understand your passion), starting now I'll be taking a much closer look at Clark. 1. Because I suspect he's got it right about national security and 2. because a true blue idealistic patriot like you believes in him. As always, of course, I'll do my due diligence and learn about all the candidates, but you have put a very hopeful spotlight on Clark for me.

      Cheers,

      Is nothing secular?

      by aitchdee on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 06:53:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  When is the General... (none)
      Going to lead a march on Washington? And not just Washington. When is he going to organize a shut down of CNN and MSNBC? By peaceful means of course. When is he going to start mobilizing all of us? We need someone out in front who is strong enough to not only lead but also withstand the personal attacks from the right? We can talk all we want about campaigns and elections, but until someone mobilizes the people, it will only be a rhetorical exercise.
    •  When is the General... (none)
      Going to lead a march on Washington? And not just Washington. When is he going to organize a shut down of CNN and MSNBC? By peaceful means of course. When is he going to start mobilizing all of us? We need someone out in front who is strong enough to not only lead but also withstand the personal attacks from the right? We can talk all we want about campaigns and elections, but until someone mobilizes the people, it will only be a rhetorical exercise.
  •  Thanks for posting this n/t (none)
  •  Thank you, thank you, thank you. (4.00)
    I love Wes Clark, I really do....he inspires me in the same way that Al Gore inspires me, and that is what we need in a candidate, somebody who can inspire people, not just make them follow you (like Kerry)....Wes is the real deal, I hope he runs in 2008 and I will support him all the way to the White House!

    I HATE REPUBLICANS, HATE HATE HATE THEM!!!!!!!!! UGHHHHH [-5.50, -4.69]

    by michael1104 on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 01:03:17 PM PST

  •  Is a shame that Clark or Feingold (4.00)
    were not tasked to deleiver the Dem response to the SOTU last week.  The tepid response we heard was almost worse than no reponse at all.

    -4.63,-3.54 If the people will lead the leaders will follow

    by calebfaux on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 01:03:27 PM PST

  •  Wonderful articulation (4.00)
    of the essence of Gen. Clark.  I too think he's THE man for our times.  It will take far more than a politician to re-build the countless disasters brought upon us and the world by this group of mass-murderers, liars and thiefs.  He definitely is the most qualified.

    "How smooth must be the language of the whites, when they can make right look like wrong, and wrong like right." Black Hawk

    by Gabriele Droz on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 01:04:11 PM PST

  •  So thorough, So detailed... (4.00)
    ...So absolutely right!

    Here's some more from Wes Clark's appearance in San Francisco, two days before the LA events.  I was a pleasure and honor to be there.

    Stan Davis
    Lakewood, CO

    The General in San Francisco (or, "Mother Spiegel's Report")

    February 2nd, 2006.  It was a memorable evening.  The Hotel Monaco in San Francisco provided a stunning setting for the approximately 90 people in attendance.  There was a roaring fire in a huge fireplace in the fancy foyer/party area.  Vegtarian egg rolls with orange and honey sauce, chicken satay, and mushroom caps stuffed with something yummy, were among the delicious appetizers.  We were all blissfully ignorant of an explosion scare less than a block away, only noticing the TV news trucks that showed up later.  (No boom, so we assume all was well.)  

    General Clark arrived at the reception about 6 p.m. and, after graciously greeting people in the crowd for a while, he spoke to all of us from in front of that massive fireplace.  He looked terrific, although fighting a little cold.  He started by reading from an amusing script,  portraying it as a spin created by Karl Rove to turn the current governmental disasters into positive outcomes.  He claimed that these words just came to him in the middle of the night, and he wrote it all down because it "just flowed," but it wasn't really him, of course, who was behind it.  Then he took serious questions.  Many were what we have already heard him speak about, but his answers to two questions (one he asked himself) stood out for me.  He was asked how his patriotism was formed.  He relayed stories from his childhood, and his warm sincerity and commitment to loving our country was truly touching.  One could see so clearly the seeds back then of who he would eventually become.

    Before being asked, he said he knew we were wondering if he was running for President again.  He gave the most open and detailed response I have yet heard reported.  Would he like to be President?  Yes, he would.  (That was reinforced several times during the evening.  And, earlier during the reception, someone told him how great his "real" state of the union was last Monday, and another said, "So when will you be President so you can give the REAL one", and he replied that he would like to give the REAL one someday.  That had everyone within earshot very excited.)  However, expressing an interest is very different from declaring that he is going to run.  He noted several factors that would determine the answer to that question.  Examples:  Can his family be financially secure enough to get through it?  (He noted that he didn't have the advantages of many other candidates.)  Next, what will the country be like when the right timing to declare (or not) occurs?  Will his skills and expertise be what the country needs? (And, as an aside, he does not fear running against John McCain.)  So far, you and I don't have much of a role here (although I cannot imagine that the country will not desperately require his skills in 2008).  The next items on his list of unknowns DO involve all of us.  He needs funding (although he is trapped in a Catch 22 here--if he said more definitely that he was running WesPAC would probably attract more donations).  And, he needs a widespread grassroots organization set up much earlier. He said "Check out my web page," so I hope the grassroots tools that I know have been created get posted right away.  I also think that what he means has to happen is that we, as VISIBLE Clark supporters, get organized and in contact with each other and then become very actively involved in our state and local political organizations and elections.  (At least ONE house of Congress needs to turn blue.)  

    He was very funny last night (don't know how he does it--getting off a plane, driving to the hotel, and being "on" for 5 hours--but he does it, and he does it very well.)  One amusing example was his interpretation of how people saw him in 2003, and how so many said he couldn't be President because he had never run for any office.  He said is was like if somebody read that the Los Angeles Police Department needed help because it was having  problems and then walked into the Police Deaprtament off the street and said, "I want to be Chief of Police."  (But, of course, he hopefully assumed we all knew the truth--that his leadership experience in action far exceeds that of virtually all living politicians.)    

    After a short break, about 28 of us went to a smaller room for dinner.  I was at his table at his left side--great view!  Because I knew that is where I would be seated in advance, my earlier mulling over what to talk about (e.g., the Patton book in his edited series coming out next week, what he thought of the new President of Chile, how he would deal with China if he were President) proved to be an unnecessary rumination because the room was small enough for him to talk to the whole group the whole time (taking questions mostly).  He spoke on a variety of subjects, and the questions were more direct than at the reception.  Again, he spoke of wanting to be President, but also needing to be very realistic.  He also noted that he thought that anyone "running" now was providing a disservice to Democrats because we needed to focus all of our resources on turning at least one House blue.  (I had not yet fully considered this angle.)

    At dinner he spoke more about domestic policies, especially health care (moving towards a single payer system, maintaining options for those who could afford more).  He is a realist.  He noted that there are people with money who will always be able to purchase better health care, and that is just the way it is.  He told a story about a wealthy man who just paid for a one million dollar cancer treatment that most all of us in the room would simply not be able to get under any program or under any other conditions.  He is as good and sensible about domestic policies as he is about military strategy (which, of course he also spoke about).  I wish there was a good venue for getting domestic policy ideas out.  You can sense his military strategy models in his domestic policy planning--organized, efficient, effective, looking beyond immediate gains or consequences, and best bang for the buck.  We spoke a bit about the VA as an example of a single payer system that has worked well for the most part.  But now funds are being cut, making the VA difficult to shine (perhaps because the current administration would like to see it privatized, so the VA has to appear to be less functional?)

    At the reception (and more so at dinner) he covered a sensitive subject--an enormous elephant in the room that the Democrats fail to acknowledge.  Someone had to do it.  He said that Democrats are seen as the party that takes care of the poor and disadvantaged (noting overwhelming Democratic support of families making under $27,000 a year), BUT that this has lost many in the middle class, especially while middle class men. The middle class is now also vulnerable, and they don't want to see ONLY a bunch of programs for the disadvantaged as "the Democratic message." He noted how the Democrats are making mistakes here, and that they must also forcefully tackle issues that the middle class can relate to and appreciate. Some of these were discussed.  Then somehow we got onto guns and duck hunting that had us all in stitches (how some duck hunters don't care about ducks, they just want to be with guys and drink and watch porno afterwards.)  Speaking of guys with guys, he reported that  Brokeback Mountain was a wonderful film and wanted us all to see it if we hadn't already.

    The most profound story of the evening was what he billed as "the worst day of my life"--one he thought was going to turn out to be a relaxing day of golf.  It was that standoff with the Brit General Jackson (the incident involving the Russian helicopters and the airfield at Pristina where Clark's critics claim he almost started WW III).  The true story was harrowing.  The pressure and stresses from the Americans (Pentagon v. State Department), the Brits (some of whom were disorganized) and the Kosovar leadership going round and round, trying to push one way and the other, and the decisions he had to make under such stress led him to understand better than any politician ever could what it means to be in that kind of crisis.  The story was so exciting (I could never give it its due--he told it in great detail), and I hope that there is a way to tell it more widely.  He said that stress has colors, and the most intense color is red--where you can see all of the red corpuscles in your face.  This was red stress.  I still like the idea of a BIG movie (Stephen Spielberg, are you listening?) called "Kosovo" where this and other stories about General Clark's experiences with this whole conflict can be told ACCURATELY.  It would be an exciting movie--a real winner.

    He discussed Iran and how the military option could be used, of course, but the after-effects might be horrendous.  How would the Middle East and the rest of the world see us then?  Who would come to Iran's aid?  He noted that what kept him involved in politics (and not closing off the Presidential option) is because we are making so many mistakes.  It is clear that he loves our country above all and wants to be part of making it strong and highly respected again.

    Now comes the Mother Spiegel story, as an aside.  We were all finishing dessert (it is now 10 p.m.), and because he was talking constantly from the minute we sat down at the table he ate only two bites of his steak and a tiny piece of bread.  (Remember, his plate is 8 inches away from mine, so I could see everything left on it.)  He was looking tired, and I was sincerely worried about him and trying to figure out how to allow him to eat something--like maybe taking a break for a few minutes.  So, when he called on me I said, "There is only one thing more powerful than a Four-Star General and that is a Jewish Mother, and General Clark hasn't touched his vegetables and only two bites are taken out of his steak and he needs protein."  Everyone laughed, including him (thankfully).  Alas, he explained that he doesn't eat much and he would rather "eat ideas"--and, in fact, he did not eat any more food and was never even served the delicious desserts.  I REALLY don't know how he does it!  (Lewis Cohen, who was sitting on the other side of him at dinner, came up afterwards to dutifully report to me that he had eaten all of his vegetables.  LOL!)

    It is so hard to remember everything that was said in the almost 4 hours he spoke during the evening.  What stands out most is the clear statement that he wants to be President (again, noting that is different from saying he will run), an even stronger conviction on everyone's part that he SHOULD be President, and the clear understanding that we grassroots folks have a big role to play (and that we need to move faster!) to get his name out there and get some organizations set up with things for people to do.  Again, we need to be highly visible Clark Supporters working for House and Senate candidates and also attracting funds into WesPAC.  I truly believe that the world may depend on it!

    Tricia (aka Mother Spiegel)

    If not us, who? If not now, when?
    BE THE CHANGE you want to see in the world. [Gandhi}

    by Stan81747 on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 01:04:21 PM PST

    •  Wish I could have been there! (none)
      You just have to meet him in person! He comes across great on TV, but you can never grasp the depth and determination he has from 2 minute segments on Fox. He can't elaborate on policies in a 15 second TV response like he does to your face. He has no qualms about laying it on the line in great detail and with global context. This guy is the real deal!

      I think, therefore I am NOT A REPUBLICAN!!!

      by Reality Bites Back on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 01:25:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  So then, Clark/Fiengold? (4.00)
        Clark bringing us back the Middle Class and the Security-minded and Fiengold keeping the progressives aboard?

        Could be a Grand Alliance amongst the Kossians, no?  Clark is definetly fresh horses, untainted by "Democratness", if you'll parden my neologism.  I really don't see any others of the present crop of potential Democratic Presidential candidates as catching on fire and inspiring a movement. Clark's lack of history as a Democrat may be the best thing he has going, after his natural leadership qualifications. He doesn't have big corporate ties that I've heard of, and he'll have basic street cred with Joe Sixpack because he's a General, four stars and all.

        Mind you, I am not a Clark fan, never been part of the Clark Brigade that keeps Clark high on the Kos polls. I am an old-line progressive and social libertarian hippie, and I'm hip to the the War Machine, and all that.  While I haven't gotten the kind of personal hit the diarist has obviously gotten, I appreciate his input. It sounds genuine. I can get behind Clark on a theoretical level; I like what I'm hearing.

        -8.0, -7.03 don't always believe what you think...

        by claude on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 01:53:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's my ticket (none)
          Clark/Feingold

          Not that I get to decide.

        •  I'll just say this... (4.00)
          Clark did not evade any question he was asked - and I'm not one to hold back. I've been direct with candidates before, and Clark looked me right in the eyes and directly addressed what I asked without anything that resembled political obfuscation. No other candidate has been so forthcoming with me before. He may be calculating - he may think in both macro and micro terms simultaneously, but he is not one to run and hide behind a sound bite. And he is not one to question your patriotism or hide behind the troops if you engage him on his ideas.

          That is my personal assesment from my personal interaction with him.

          I think, therefore I am NOT A REPUBLICAN!!!

          by Reality Bites Back on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 02:12:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Been thinking along this line myself (none)
          Both are willing to stand up for the little guy, both willing to charge into the fight....

          Yeah, I've been thinking a lot recently that this could very much be a winning ticket....

          "Life is forever menaced by chaos and must restore balance with every intake of breath"-- Jean Gebser

          by rangemaster on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 05:17:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Clark Before Country (none)
            When the opportunity came up in 2004 for Clark to runs with Kerry as VP -- oh, no.

            General won't serve his country unless he gets to be on top.

            That put the lie to it right there.

            "Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play." --Joseph Goebbels

            by antifa on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 07:23:24 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  um...when? (none)
              When, exactly, was Clark offered the VP spot?  'Cause, aside from Dean, he wasn't.  In fact, if asked, I'm sure that Clark would have felt it his duty to serve even though the VP spot isn't the best fit for him (he's better suited to Pres. or SoS...or SoD if you can get past those pesky rules that bar him from being SoD till 2010).
            •  antifa, now I know (none)
              that you don't know what you're talking about.  There were quite a few of the wiser analysts who were pulling for Clark to be the VP... hell, rumour even had it that Teresa K. and the kids were pulling for Clark as well.  But Kerry made the decision, and stated such with respect to Clark, that he himself had the national security game in the bag by virtue of himself.  No, Clark would have taken the VP spot in a heartbeat, and quite frankly, if he had been offered it, we would be listening to President Kerry now and not Senator Kerry.

              "Life is forever menaced by chaos and must restore balance with every intake of breath"-- Jean Gebser

              by rangemaster on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 10:56:32 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  no we wouldn't (none)
                Diebold, Diebold, Diebold

                lather, rinse,, repeat

                •  You may be right, but let's face it: (none)
                  Senator Edwards v. VP Cheney

                  or

                  Supreme Allied Commander Clark v. VP Cheney

                  I think Clark with his 4 stars and Purple Heart would have been able to look Cheney in the eyes and tell him what's what when it comes to fear mongering the public. It would have significantly changed the dynamic of the race to have Rove hinging the entire Republican campaign on security and having 2 draft-dodgers up against 2 decorated war heroes. Kerry thought he had the security thing in the bag. He thought the folksy optimism of Edwards would counter Bush and contrast Cheney, but Rove new different. He had is finger on the fear button. And his fingers are bleeding from pushing it.

                  If anything, the returns would be that much more skewed from the exit polls...

                  I think, therefore I am NOT A REPUBLICAN!!!

                  by Reality Bites Back on Mon Feb 06, 2006 at 12:08:00 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  I wish Kerry had offered Clark the VP slot (none)
              We'd still have the courts.. we'd be on our way out of Iraq, Katrina wouldn't have been bungled, if only we could rewrite history...

              But we all know that didn't happen, usless of course you have a linky perhaps? no? oh too bad yet another smear bites the dust..

              I'd be interested to read your CD of lies about Clark, I wonder how many were written by counterpunch...

    •  Thanks Stan. I almost feel like I was there. (none)
      I sat at the same table with you and Pat Spiegel last July at the NCCM meetup.

      The ...Bushies... don't make policies to deal with problems. ...It's all about how can we spin what's happening out there to do what we want to do. Krugman

      by mikepridmore on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 01:48:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Stan... (none)
      we know how amazing the General and Gert are!  I remember how they entered the room in Arizona when he was running prior to speaking to the crowd and you FEEL their presense before they actually come into a room...

      I am so thrilled he is going forward!!!!

      I know you are!

    •  I came to the reception (none)
      and am sorry we couldn't do the dinner.  However, you captured the part I knew and so I trust you did a competent job on the dinner.  He is a slight man and I wish he had eaten his vegetables and steak.

      Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities-Voltaire

      by hairspray on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 06:54:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank-you so much for this. (4.00)
    Your account leaves me speechless.
    •  No, no!!! Go out and make speeches!!!! (none)
      Thanks for the kind words.

      And I really want to emphasize that Clark's whole focus was for us as Democrats to go out to the streets and engage in the battle. He literally said that - go out and take it right to the Republicans' doorsteps. Call them on their lies, and the administration's incompetence and never cede that the Democrats are in any way inferior to Republicans on security - or any issue for that matter. We're not - so start acting like it. Get out there and fight for America! And I will!!!

      I think, therefore I am NOT A REPUBLICAN!!!

      by Reality Bites Back on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 01:29:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Clark was my choice in 2004 (4.00)
    I thought that he stood the best chances of winning.I feel that his long, unblemished military career would make certain conservative elements in the country (older veterans, moderate Republicans) who are fed up with Bushco, trust him enough to vote for him. Maybe he isn't as progressive as  some other Dem candidates on some issues (I really don't know) but he is definitely a moderate, not some right-wing wacko, with deep lobbyist connections. Will the Repubs offer better? Yeah, right. Lets face it, we need a candidate who can win, and I think he stands the best chance, besides, I also think he is sincere and honest, and that's worth a lot to me, cause I am sooooo sick of corrupt oil barons.

    I'll have the Milquetoast Fascism with a side order of revisionist history, please.

    by J G M on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 01:17:02 PM PST

  •  Amen..! (4.00)
    I liked Clark for president in '04 and I like him more today.

    "country before party" and "American first"

    He speaks for me...

  •  The country desperately need this man (4.00)
    He's the ONLY one that can heal this country.

    Country before Party!

    What a concept!

    "You cannot successfully run the world on comic book slogans and third rate biblical homilies."...Digby.

    by pelican on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 01:21:47 PM PST

    •  well, OK (none)
      That is a bit more leader-worship than is
      probably healthy.

      the only one who can heal this country?

      It will take far, far more than one.

      We are not a monarchy. One man on a white horse
      will not ride in to save us.

      Love your leader, work for him, fight at his
      side--but understand that he is not the one
      savior from on high who will save us all.

  •  Southern Split (none)
    My hope is that Warner, Edwards, and Clark dont ALL run. If we have a southern split that could theoretically kill the chances of one being selected, and that leaves us with people like HIllary and Biden.

    If, at some point, say Edwards were to say "I'm not running," and endorse someone, that would sure make things a hell of a lot easier..

    On the other hand, ...maybe i'm wrong. Clark seems to be a good national security guy, where Warner is more of a "good economy" guy. Maybe people will vote on qualifications rather than geographic regions.

    As for my perfect ticket, i'd like Clark/Warner or Warner/Clark.

  •  My wish (4.00)
    I wish all the non-Hillarites could get together and have our own primary to determine who matches up head-to-head against her, otherwise I can see the primary coming down between Hillary on the right and with media support, a moderate candidate like Warner or Edwards, and Feingold on the left. The press gives Hillary the "electability" mantle while the rest of us split between the two other choices and Hillary gets the nomination but then loses to George Allen... ugh.

    Clark was my #2 pick after Dean. Clark did better than anyone except Kerry and will certainly be an early favorite of mine going into '08. I don't even care about his resume. I just think he says what needs to be said and is doing what needs to be done to win. Plain and simple. I think he gets it.

    •  Go Clark (none)
      On tradesports, HC has fallen from about 53 to 42.  Not very pronounced, but a decline nonetheless.  I'd vote for President Clinton in a NY minute, but not for Hillary.

      Something about her is off-putting.

      By the time primary season comes, Hillary will be a non-factor.  In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if she withdraws.

      Anyway, go Big Clark.

      •  She yells (none)
        Doesn't anyone else notice that when she gives big speeches she yells... and it's a shrill yell at that. Not very ear-friendly. And she does kind of have a tin ear when it comes to framing it seems- though I do have to give her credit for Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.
    •  Here's a clue (none)
      Pre-Super Tuesday Votes

      Kerry: 42%
      Edwards: 24%
      Dean: 12%
      Clark: 11%

      Clark came in fourth in the primaries (also was the first to drop out of the above).

      So, you may want to look up history before you spread such falsehoods.

      Clark is also abt about 3% in the polls among Democrats for 2008.

      Democrats are the party of those who are working, those who have finished working, and those who want to work. -- Elizabeth Edwards

      by philgoblue on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 08:00:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Who's spreading falsehoods? (none)
        In this case, someone who's manipulating the statistics to leave the wrong impression.  Ummm... that would be you.

        There were six primaries between the day Clark dropped out and Super Tuesday, and three between Dean's withdrawal and the same date--those you include in your vote count.  Super Tuesday was the day Edwards got whacked across the board--those you leave out.

        The fact of the matter is Clark, Dean, and Edwards were all out of the running from NH on.  Clark just figured out there was no reasonable chance of reversal sooner than the others.

        I don't have the percentages handy, but I do have the placements.  So I'll do a little data manipulation of my own, because I think mini-Super Tuesday results are instructive.  It was the only day when there were primaries held in multiple states, in multiple regions, while all four were still in the race.

        In alphabetical order:

        AZ -- Clark beat Dean and Edwards, neither of whom met the 15% threshold for delegates, which is all that really matters.  Clark did.
        DE -- Clark lost to both.  None of the three met threshold.
        MO -- Clark lost to both. Neither Clark nor Dean met threshold.
        ND -- Clark beat Dean and Edwards.  Neither met threshold.  Clark did.
        NM -- Clark beat Dean and Edwards.  Edwards did not meet threshold.  Clark and Dean did.
        OK -- Clark beat Edwards, Kerry and Dean.  Dean did not meet threshold.
        SC -- Clark beat Dean and lost to Edwards. Neither Clark nor Dean met threshold.

        Seven primaries, and Clark beat Dean in five, beat Edwards in four.  Clark received delegates from four states, Edwards from 3 states, Dean from one.

        Obviously, some states awarded more delegates than others.  But all were contested at the same time, requiring essentially the same effort.  I would point out that SC didn't take much for Edwards, since it's where he was born and nextdoor to home.  Also worth noting that Dean is probably unfairly represented by this "snap shot," since only Delaware was anywhere close to his primary constituency.  But those are factors that will count next time too, possible more so if the DNC pulls off its plan to fill in with between Iowa and NH with caucuses from the different regions.

        I'm not sure whether any of this, your data or mine, is relevant to 2008.  But it's wrong to imply that Clark is some sort of loser who doesn't stand a chance.  Afterall, we're not even counting the "seasoned" politicians (Graham and Gephardt) who had already dropped out, or Lieberman, a former VP nominee, who was never in serious competition anywhere.

        There's another falsehood in your estimate of '08 polls among Democrats.  Clark is holding his own in the scientific polling, considering his much lower name recognition.  The latest, from Michigan (not exactly one of the most Clark-friendly states based on '04) shows him tied with Kerry at 6%.
        http://www.strategicvision.biz/...

  •  Excellent assessment (none)
    I feel the same way, though wouldn't be able to articulate it so clearly.  Thanks for posting.  

    I'd urge everyone to support WesPAC and '06 Dem candidates, like Eric Massa and Jim Pederson.  Also Bob Gammage and Juan Garcia in Texas.

  •  It's too early for (none)
    me to pick a horse for 08, I'll do it around this time next year, but I've always liked Wes. I also hope that his supporters aren't uunder the illusion that he is bullet proof since he is a general.

    Bosnia Veterans for Truth is guarenteed.

    "I was Rambo in the disco. I was shootin' to the beat. When they burned me in effigy. My vacation was complete." Neil Young. Mideast Vacation.

    by Mike S on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 01:33:07 PM PST

    •  I agree with you (none)
      and as could be discerned from some comments to the diary I had about the General, the "Bosnia Veterans for Truth" will come much more from the left than the right, I think.
      •  good point (none)
        Funny that.

        Taking it from the left and the right.

      •  Agreed. (none)
        There are a bunch of fools trying to swift boat him from the left as well as the right.

        To the other response to my comment. Kerry had a friggin Bronze Star. Truth is not a defence against th new GOP.

        "I was Rambo in the disco. I was shootin' to the beat. When they burned me in effigy. My vacation was complete." Neil Young. Mideast Vacation.

        by Mike S on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 01:44:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  so true (none)
      Hopefully the medals and commendations he won from all across Europe for his handling of the Kosovo conflict will help.
      •  don't forget (none)
        We won in Kosovo and no Americans died.  After living through Iraq, Afghanistan and all the scandals and death involved with them, Kosovo looks good, very good. The Serbs didn't like the outcome and there stuff is on the internet against Wes.  What do you expect?

        Oh and for the person up thread, he's not a company man.  Even as his star rose in the military, he was often an outsider with the other brass.  Those who served under him loved him.  The other brass thought of him as too much of an intellectual.  

        Winning without Delay.

        by ljm on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 04:10:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  jaysus, elect him IF he runs. (none)
      Right now I believe he's looking to stop them. He's looking for a public out-pouring of indignation! Public awakening...something. No one can do this single-handedly. This is our country too. Where's the outrage?!?

      Until the real Revolution begins
      focus on '06
      and bring down the House of Corruption!

      I saw Wes Clark speak in S.F. Thursday past. The man is on fire! I've been with Wes Clark since the '04 draft movement and finally got to meet the man!  

    •  but, ... (none)
      the difference will be that Gen Clark will stand up to any "Bosnia Veterans for Truth" attacks much better than Sen Kerry did, IMO.  (i can't figure out why Sen Kerry didn't defend himself better)
  •  Yesterday (none)
    I saw Wes Clark at the rally in LA yesterday and really liked what I saw.  He came off as real, sincere, smart, and he also has the resume that seems bulletproof to the typical rethug smear campaign.

    He's not the only one.  I'm a huge fan of Russ Feingold for going out on a limb when  most of the mainstream Democrats were afraid to stand up.

    The Bush White House: How many Muslims do we have to torture and kill before they decide we're their friends? -5.25, -4.51

    by Tod on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 01:39:29 PM PST

    •  More (4.00)
      One thing Clark did at the rally yesterday, and I bet he does it every time, is he asked all the veterans in the audience to stand up.  There were quite a few.  Then Clark told the story about going to Falwell's university last fall (or was it Pat Robertson's) where he did the same thing and almost nobody stood.

      The myth is that only Republicans can really protect the country from bad people.  Of course it's not true - it's just an advertising slogan.  With Wes Clark, all the Fighting Dems, and guys like that we may get to the stage where the Democratic Party is branded as the party of the troops.  How will the Repubs convince everybody that THEY are the ones who can be trusted to protect the country from bad people when the troops who actually do it are more and more Democrats.

      The Bush White House: How many Muslims do we have to torture and kill before they decide we're their friends? -5.25, -4.51

      by Tod on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 01:45:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  He always commends the veterans (4.00)
        At every event, every speech, Clark asks those who serve or who have served to stand, and asks the audience to show appreciation.  He and Gert have cared about and worked for veteran issues their entire 30+ years in the military, and continue to do so to this day. He recently spearheaded an effort to have the Armed Forces Radio carry Ed Schultz.  Of course, our troops hear Rush on a daily basis, but Ed was prohibited from being carried. Until Clark got involved.  Now, thanks to Wes and lots of citizens who stood with him, our military serving abroad get at least a semblance of progressive thinking and not a steady dose of Rush.

        It was at an event at Regents Unviersity last October, in Norfolk, VA that General Clark participated in a forum called Clash of the Titans.  He and Paul Begala "took on" Ollie North and Newt Gingrich.  That is where he asked for veterans to stand, but, unlike most of the audiences in the heavily populated military community there, very few at Pat Robertson's event.

  •  Focus on 2006, not 2008 (4.00)
    This is a moment for the Democrats much like 1966 was for Republicans.  

    It only matters a little what positions Wes Clark enunciates today (but thanks for the information).  What really matters is which Democrat is going to get out on the stumps all around the country, taking the message to the voters that will enable us to retake Congress.  

    In 1966, that person for the Republicans was Richard Nixon.  Two years later he was the nominee and of course, elected (sorry to say).

    In 2006 we Democrats face a similar and in many ways more daunting vacuum.  If Wes Clark gets out there and busts his butt to help us retake Congress, he will have an important leg up.  Same goes for Al Gore, or any others.  If not, it's all talk.

    If he walks the walk in addition to talking the excellent talk described, I'll have no trouble supporting him.  But it's not time - YET.

  •  Save American Democracy... (none)
    ...How!? General Clark no doubt has the intellect, courage, wisdom, and level of national standing that gives him access to information the vast majority of citizens do not. Knowing that and his past dedication to this nation and its better nature I have to give his words broad latitude in todays battle over truth, justice, and the real American way of life.  That General Clark is willing to put his personal life in focus for the rethugs to target and attempt to distroy is further proof of his dedication to our nation.  Before reading the text of this meeting I listed GenClark as one of three candidates of equal magnitude to win in '08. Now I believe he is the point man.  If he survives the run up, he will win it all.  

    Our nations quality of life is based on the rightousness of the people.

    by kalihikane on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 01:41:32 PM PST

    •  Georgetown Law Prof (4.00)
      on CNN - TUcker? - one of those that had testified to the Democratic hearing is saying bluntly

      The President is breaking the law.  

      His actions violate the Consitution.  

      It is frightening to see Republicans APPLAUDING this.  

      This is NOT soemthing the writers of the Constitution EVER expected.

      WHERE are the Democrats in opposing this?

      WHY haven't they stood up to this?

      The Democrats should be shutting down the Senate, House, whatever, REFUSING to cooperate with this government.

      THAT is how you save the Constitution - short of armed revolt in the streets.

      Sadly, I'm not sure EITHER is going to happen.

      •  Democrats should be shutting down the Senate... (none)
        ...House, whatever, REFUSING to cooperate with this government."

        EXACTLY! The Democrats have been shut out of every decision. The Republicans have disenfranchised fully half of all Americans and our Democratic politicians play along with them.  They should walk out NOW, hold a press conference telling the American people why, and let the Republicans take ALL the blame for screwing up America.

    •  He laid out a pretty clear strategy yesterday: (none)
      It involved:

      a) an assessment of where the Republicans have brought us thus far and the incompetence and criminality surrounding them.

      b) his belief, in detail, of what the Republicans were planning to do in Iraq, Iran, etc... in the near future.

      c) an assessment of the immediate and long term disastrous repercussions should the Republicans carry out their plans.

      d) how the Republicans would try to manipulate and frighten the American public into both supporting their plans and their party after they were executed.

      e) that the Democrats, knowing what will likely happen, can let the public know what will likely happen so they can see the subterfuge for what it is when it does happen and hopefully prevent the administration from acting where the disastrous consequences are apparent.

      f) that the Democrats must immediately and broadly argue that they are in fact the party of national security, and the Democrats would put the welfare of America above party politics and not drag us deeper and deeper into a world of threats, especially with such ill advised actions as Clark believes the Republicans are planning.

      There were certainly additional points, nuance, depth, and an explanation of both political and geopolitical dynamics that fuel the process. But he did lay it out very, very clearly. Not only do I completely agree with what he had to say, but I share the urgency that he expressed in his demeanor.

      I think, therefore I am NOT A REPUBLICAN!!!

      by Reality Bites Back on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 02:30:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  WES CLARK: Too good to be true? (4.00)
    No.....Clark's the real deal.  There isnt a soul out there that can hold a candle to him.  

    Its time to do everything possible --namely send him money---to get him from under the radar and back out where he can be seen and appreciated.  

    We Dems have to start keeping our eye on the prize....WINNING!  No Northeastern liberal is going to be president....sure, they can be nominated but NEVER elected.  Mark Warner is a lightweight, Feingold and Clinton are unelectable, Kerry and Edwards are jokes(damn, I wish I had my $1,000 back!)  Let's get serious about a candidate we can all back and one that can hold his own with ANYBODY.  We've got to stop shooting ourselves in the foot and take a lesson from the republicans who understand the value of unity.  

    •  As one Clark supporter to another... (none)
      It serves no one but the Repugs to take pot shots at other Democrats.

      ANY of the people you mentioned above would be vastly superior in the Oval office to ANY Repug.

      (-2.75,-4.77) "Whenever we dumb down the political debate, we lose." Senator Barack Obama

      by Sam I Am on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 03:29:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  How do you define "jokes"? (none)
      The reason I ask is I have tremendous respect for John Edwards and can only surmise that you know very little about him.

      The name-calling is inappropriate in any event.

      BTW, I agree Clark is very impressive.

    •  thanks a lot (none)
      For calling a man I deeply respect and trust
      a "joke."

      Could we stop the factional bashing and be
      at least a bit polite about each other's leaders?
      Or must we replicate what happens in the upper
      reaches of the party--a hundred fiefdoms, all
      the energy spent on intra-party turf wars...

  •  Thanks so much for sharing this. (4.00)
    I just got off the phone with a friend who also attended and he said Clark was absolutely on fire.  Something seems to have really inspired him over the last couple of weeks, even more so than usual.  

    Alas, there are those, some of them I consider friends (Are you listening Bob Johnson?) who can't get past the fact that Clark isn't calling for withdrawal from Iraq. To them I have to say that this isn't political posturing on his part but that Clark is calling for what he thinks is the best thing to do.  To put it bluntly, Clark almost always says what he really thinks and doesn't care what the best political thing to do is.  When he was running for President this gave his political consultants fits, but it can be both a weakness and a strength.  

    Back to the Cali event, my friend says that right now Clark seems more concerned about taking back control of at least one branch of congress than about his presidential ambitions, even though he does want to be president one day.  There is an definite urgency to his voice these days.

    The ...Bushies... don't make policies to deal with problems. ...It's all about how can we spin what's happening out there to do what we want to do. Krugman

    by mikepridmore on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 01:46:11 PM PST

  •  Wonderful account! (none)
    You have described the Wes Clark I know and have supported from the start. He has dedicated his life serving the country because he truly believes in all that America represented (before the current Admin sullied our nation's reputation at home and abroad). He was made for these times.
  •  Leaders with charisma (none)
    should be welcomed, more than feared.  We already have the "crowned monkey" who is more dangerous than any demagogue in office has ever become.

    I believe it will require a Citizens' Movement, demonstrating its power outside the normal passive channels of voting and letter-writing (hah! as if...) -- in other words, nonviolent Civil Disobedience -- to bring this shallow junta to its deserved disgrace.

    But -- we have been so starved for real leadership and real public service these past decades -- perhaps we shall re-acquire the taste, and the ability to recognize it, in this man.

    It would certainly save a lot of the inevitable blood in the streets I see ahead of us...

    If a thousand men were not to pay their tax bills this year, that would not be a violent and bloody measure, as it would be to pay them, and enable the State...

    by HenryDavid on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 02:39:48 PM PST

  •  Go Clark (none)
    I'm a huge Clark supporter.  It'll be either Clark or Warner for me, in that order.

    With respect to the DLC, what's wrong with it.  The DLC gave us President Clinton, a man who would trounce ANYONE in 08.

    •  True, but I would say... (none)
      President Clinton gave us President Clinton. He didn't win because he was with the DLC. He won because he is the most charismatic, intelligent, and best communicator of our time. Aside from President  Clinton, what has the DLC brought - another Democratic president? A Democratic House? A Democratic Senate? Democratic Governorships? If anything, they sacrificed the party to move from populist to centrist.

      It's just my personal opinion, but I don't think the future of the party lies in trying to determine what is 50% +1 vote of the way between Kucinich and Buchanan. I think it is in embracing all the things in America, diligently fought for by Democrats since the turn of the last century, that make America great. A return to populism and principle, and away from corporatism and centrism that gives us the pandering and corruption of the Republicans.  

      I think, therefore I am NOT A REPUBLICAN!!!

      by Reality Bites Back on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 03:23:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm talking to you America (4.00)
    Uncle Wes want you to stand up and fight


    "The mark of leadership is not to standup when everybody is standing, but rather to actually standup when no one else is standing."

    Wes Clark


    The 100 Year Vision
     by Wesley K. Clark

    Looking ahead 100 years, the United States will be defined by our environment, both our physical environment and our legal, Constitutional environment. America needs to remain the most desirable country in the world, attracting talent and investment with the best physical and institutional environment in the world. But achieving our goals in these areas means we need to begin now. Environmentally, it means that we must do more to protect our natural resources, enabling us to extend their economic value indefinitely through wise natural resource extraction policies that protect the beauty and diversity of our American ecosystems - our seacoasts, mountains, wetlands, rain forests, alpine meadows, original timberlands and open prairies. We must balance carefully the short- term needs for commercial exploitation with longer-term respect for the natural gifts our country has received. We may also have to assist market-driven adjustments in urban and rural populations, as we did in the 19th Century with the Homestead Act.

    Institutionally, our Constitution remains the wellspring of American freedom and prosperity. We must retain a pluralistic democracy, with institutional checks and balances that reflect the will of the majority while safeguarding the rights of the minority. We will seek to maximize the opportunities for private gain, consistent with concern for the public good. And the Clark administration will institute a culture of transparency and accountability, in which we set the world standard for good government. As new areas of concern arise - in the areas of intellectual property, bioethics, and other civil areas - we will assure continued access to the courts, as well as to the other branches of government, and a vibrant competitive media that informs our people and enables their effective participation in civic life. And even more importantly, we will assure in meeting the near term challenges of the day - whether they be terrorism or something else - that, we don't compromise the freedoms and rights which are the very essence of the America we are protecting.

    If we are to remain competitive we will have to do more to develop our "human potential." To put it in a more familiar way, we should help every American to "be all he or she can be." For some this means only providing a framework of opportunities - for others it means more direct assistance in areas such as education, health care, and retirement security. And these are thirty year challenges - educating young people from preschool until they are at their most productive, helping adults transition from job to job and profession to profession during their adult lives; promoting physical vigor and good health through public health measures, improved diagnostics, preventive health, and continuing health care to extend longevity and productivity to our natural limits; and strengthening retirement security, simply because it is right; first for our society to assure that all its members who have contributed throughout their lifetimes are assured a minimal standard of living, and secondly to free the American worker and family to concentrate on the challenges of today. Such long-term challenges must be addressed right away, with a new urgency.

    We have a solid foundation for meeting these challenges in many of the principles and programs already present today. They need not be enumerated here, except to argue for giving them the necessary priorities and resources. We can never ensure that every one has the same education, or health care, or retirement security, nor would we want to do so. But all Americans are better off when we ensure that each American will have fundamental educational skills and access to further educational development throughout their lives; that each American will have access to the diagnostic, preventive and acute health care and medicines needed for productive life, as well as some basic level of financial security in his or her retirement.

    To do this we will have to get the resources and responsibilities right. In the first place, this means allocating responsibilities properly between public and private entities. Neither government nor "the market" is a universal tool - each must be used appropriately, whether the issues are in security, education, health or retirement. Then we must reexamine private versus public revenues and expenditures. We need to return to the aims of the 1990's when we sought to balance our federal budget and reduce the long- term public debt. Finally, it means properly allocating public responsibilities to regulate, outsource, or operate. This means retaining government regulation where necessary to meet public needs, and balancing the federal government's strengths of standardization and progressive financing with greater insights into the particular needs and challenges that State and local authorities bring.

    As we work on education, health care, and retirement security we must also improve the business climate in the United States. This is not simply a matter of reducing interest rates and stimulating demand. Every year, this economy must create more than a million new jobs, just to maintain the same levels of employment, and to reduce unemployment to the levels achieved in the Clinton Administration, we must do much more immediately. This is in part a matter of smoothing the business cycle, with traditional monetary and fiscal tools, but as we improve communications and empower more international trade and finance, firms will naturally shift production and services to areas where the costs are lower. In the near term we should aim to create in America the best business environment in the world - using a variety of positive incentives to keep American jobs and businesses here, attract business from abroad, and to encourage the creation of new jobs, principally through the efforts of small business. These are not new concerns, but they must be addressed and resourced with a new urgency in facing the increasing challenges of technology and free trade. And labor must assist, promoting the attitudes, skills, education and labor mobility to enable long overdue hikes in the minimum wage in this country.  

    "War is the enemy".

    by BOHICA on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 03:13:34 PM PST

  •  if you noticed Fox does not use Clark (none)
    very much. Did they buy him to keep him off the other cable networks? Probably not but it is a good thing for the Repug cause

    Bu$hCo. has a pre-1776 view of the world.

    by Jlukes on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 03:29:07 PM PST

    •  really? (none)
      I've seen him about 5 times in the past week.  You can catch the videos and the transcripts here.  Maybe they're on when you're not able to watch.
      •  and (none)
        his Fox contract is up in May.  

        Clark has said that he's gotten great exposure from being on Fox - he was riding in a cab in Colorado and the cab driver says "hey, I saw you on O'Reilly last night" or someone working at a restaurant that he goes to...he's not speaking directly to us at Kos, but he's getting his message out there and building a broader base.

    •  Fox has Clark on its shows (none)
      about 2-5 times each week.  In the last 2-3 weeks, it's been closer to 5.  He's taking his message of intelligence and reason to an audience that would normally not listen to any Dem.  The contract is up in May, and we'll see what he decides to do after that.  
  •  He's a great candidate. (4.00)
    He's a good solid common sense progressive with the experience necessary to better resolve Bush's messes than anyone I know of.

    He'd also be very appealing to moderates and independents... and all the disgrutled republicans out there.

    By nominating Clark after this Bush debacle, we could change the public's view on Dems wrt National Security for all time. And that quite literally could funamentally change the ability of Rethugs to get elected. They're down to abortion and gay-hating.

    Clark really is a very very smart choice for progressives in my view.

    I'm behind him 100%.

  •  3 Things.. (none)
    One, I think you deserve to feel a lot of enthusiasm for a potential Democratic prez candidate. It's been so long since many of us have had that kind of passion. And it's not like he's some inexperienced nobody coming out of the woodwork sounding good. Clark has been around for awhile and people who have scrutinized him closely can see he's got the creds. He's on the correct side of all the issues (rather than being a sellout like Biden and Hillary too often are), and he knows how to fight a damn war (and to fight for peace). He's tough and he's consistent and he's from the South!

    Also, don't listen to the people who knock him because he's a General. The Repigs have won twice (2002, 2004) by fearmongering and exploiting the tensions of terror and war. We need to take that away from them. Also, the military mess W is creating needs someone with a lot of experience to help extricate us with some grace.

    Ok, second, Feingold for sure deserves a place on a VP ticket, but is he nationally electable? Would Obama be a more charismatic and strategic choice, especially if the Repigs get REALLY cynical and roll out Condi for VP?

    And third, how do we get Clark out there stumping for Dems in important 2006 races? He's right that at this point, it all hinges on 2006, and we need his help, and badly. How do we help him boost the 2006 Dem candidates?

    "objective truth is not the same as the consensus reality"--djheru

    by rhetoricus on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 03:45:36 PM PST

    •  stumping (none)
      Clark IS out there stumping for '06 Dems.  Check his website to see where he's been and where he's going.  Here or here.
    •  i can't think ... (none)
      ...of a better candidate for president than Gen Clark to make me feel safe (from terrorists and neo-cons).  in the meantime, he is out there trying/campaigning to get the house for democrats.  i really admire the man for all he is doing for his country...for OUR country.  he is a true, blue PATRIOT!!
    •  rhetoricus (none)
      Clark has been traveling the country literally non-stop for many months.  He's stumped for candidates, done fundraisers for State Dem Parties as well as for candidates, given speeches in universities where people will be more exposed to his thinking on the issues...but all this takes money.  Many of the independently wealthy contenders, the long standing politicians who's PACs are well oiled machines, or who have ties to the corporate world have lots of money.  Clark is depending on our contributions, and spreading the word so that others will join in and contribute.  Go to www.securingamerica.com to contribute what you can.  Check the new section titled "On the Road with Wes"...it isn't complete since its a new work in progress.  It will give you an idea of what he's done and where he's been.  

      Democracy ain't cheap.  Help Wes deliver the message by contributing something to his efforts.  Sign up to be a part of this.

    •  No Obama (none)
      1)he's too green
      2)he seems pretty much untrustworthy--
      he talks like Jesse Jackson but votes like
      Joe Biden.

      At the very least, I'd want to watch him
      longer in the Senate before putting him up
      for the Presidency.

  •  Fawning over Wesley Clark (2.33)
    The gushing over Wesley Clark here has me perplexed.

    Here's a guy who has pussyfooted around on Iraq for more than a year, even going so far as to advice a group of House Democrats last summer to forego their plans for offering a withdrawal timetable in favoe of talking about "diplomacy."

    Like "diplomacy" has any chance at all with the current power elite.  They're about as interested in diplomacy as they are in fuel conservation/economy.

    I am constabtly amazed at the folks here who want to see an end to Iraq yet support Clark.  Talk about a disconnect.

    I could go on, but last November, one of the very finest writers to grace Daily Kos, Meteor Blades, wrote about the problems with Clark better than I ever could:

    Timetables and A Tale of Two Generals

    Take a few moments and read Meteor's piece.  Clark may be the smartest guy in the world, but great plans and big ideas don't mean squat with the current lunatics in charge.

    Another poster in the Clark worship diary that was up last night and this morning patronizingly had this to say about Jack Murths:

    Jack Murtha is a good man and his heart is in the right place, but I really couldn't disagree more.

    The poster went to articulate a regurgitation of Colin Powell's inane "Pottery Barn" analogy.

    Yeah, we broke it, and please tell me even a single improvement in the situation in Iraq since we marched into Baghdad.  And how dopes that get better, again, with our continued presence?

    But the condescending attitute towards Murtha andholding up Clark in contrast to Murtha is, in my estimation precisely where Clark fails as a leader on this issue.

    Sure, his plans for Iraq are terrific.  But he is not in charge.  The courageous stance (and how the Clark-o-philes loev to go on about his courage) would be to stand with Murtha and admit that we are done in Iraq as an occupying force.  No good will come from our continued presence in Iraq.

    As Meteor Blades wrote in his post linked above:

    It can't just be out now. America does have a responsibility to try to clean up the mess George Bush and his pals have created. Withdrawal should not mean abandon. We do owe the Iraqi people assistance, tens of billions in economic aid and whatever other help may be appropriate given unfolding developments. But it is ever more apparent that progress can't be made so long as the U.S. occupies Iraq and creates a rationale for the jihadist wing of the insurgents who unhesitatingly blow up babies.

    Getting the troops out, of course, is only one piece of what fresh, Democratic-inspired foreign and defense policies must entail. Those policies must be multilateral. And they must be based on acknowledgment that military power is scarcely the sole component of national security. We need a new energy policy, a new human rights policy, a new trade policy as well.

    I'm not a pacifist, isolationist or ostrich. Nor am I a Pollyanna about what constitutes real and lethal threats to both America and the rest of the world. Sometimes, we must use force, and not only when there is a direct threat to our "interests" within our borders. However, the Bush Administration's policies - in many places, but especially in Iraq - have made the task of building genuine national security so much more difficult. Every time right-wingers throw up that "weak on defense" canard, they should be reminded of just who recklessly put us between this rock and that hard place.

    Go read Meteor's piece.

    I remain perpelexed...

    Visit Satiric Mutt -- my contribution to the written cholesterol now clogging the arteries of the Internet.

    by Bob Johnson on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 03:48:36 PM PST

    •  your posts (none)
      You've been smearing clark posts for like, 2 days straight now.

      What's the problem? I mean, if you dont like him, fine. You dont need to keep trolling his threads. I think, for example, that Hillary is a poor excuse for a New York Senator and would make an abosultely horrible candidate, but i dont troll her threads like this. What's in it for you?

      •  Grow up. (1.87)
        If you can't handle legitimate criticism of your hero then you aren't tough enough for this place.

        "Smearing" Clark?  By discussing his position on Iraq?

        A might sensitive, eh?

        If you think my post is a troll, then troll rate it, pal.

        Otherwise, quit your whining.

        Visit Satiric Mutt -- my contribution to the written cholesterol now clogging the arteries of the Internet.

        by Bob Johnson on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 03:59:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  OK, Troll (none)
          I read your posts, pal, and I see nothing but semars. you have nothing to offer as better alternatives. And, pal, I see your myopia, pal, and i think you post your rants, pal, caue you're a repug troll, pal.
      •  It's not new. (4.00)
        Bob hates Clark, for whatever reason.  He does it in EVERY Clark diary, and no matter how much information/proof of his unwarranted opinions he gets, he's just stuck there.  Poor guy.  It's his loss after all.  Move on, nothing to see here.

        "How smooth must be the language of the whites, when they can make right look like wrong, and wrong like right." Black Hawk

        by Gabriele Droz on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 04:12:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Get back to me when you give out zeroes. (1.00)
        Silly boy.

        Visit Satiric Mutt -- my contribution to the written cholesterol now clogging the arteries of the Internet.

        by Bob Johnson on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 04:24:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  difference (none)
      IMO, the difference between Clark and Murtha's position on Iraq is really not all that different.  Clark is proposing specific action steps (change the constitution within the next 4 months <less now> and federalize oil revenues)  I don't think that Murtha would be opposed to either step, but I think Clark's position is more realistic and less politically opportune.  Clark's thinking about the "what next".  Say we pull out now, then what?  We get US troops out of the fray and follow with "air support"?  I'm not sure that's the best outcome.  Clark is proposing coming to the C- solution diplomatically without leaving himself open to the 'cut and run' argument.
      •  I have to agree. I felt that Clark was saying... (none)
        that complete withdrawal to the periphery was more treating the symptoms and not the disease. That while Murtha (who I believe he respects) proposed a disengagement from the situation, Clark was advocating that the US get more engaged in the diplomatic battle BEFORE full scale withdrawal, and work to create a power balance between the Shias, the Sunnis and the Kurds to prevent a disastrous breakup of the nation upon the removal of US forces. Failure to do this could rapidly result in serious issues with Iran, Turkey, and an explosive escalation to the civil war and ethnic cleansing.

        I think, therefore I am NOT A REPUBLICAN!!!

        by Reality Bites Back on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 04:26:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Exactly my point. (2.00)
          Murtha deals with the relaity of the siituation as it exists with the players involved (the current administration).

          Clark wants to talk about his plans that will never happen under this administration (i.e. diplomacy), in effect, delaying the real pressure point where Murtha is pushing.

          That's what I don't undertsand about Clark.  He seems to be far more about showing the world how smart he is than in dealing with reality of the situation.

          Murtha is a realist.  Clark is a theorist.

          In this case, I prefer the realist.  And I wish Clark would join the reality-based community.

          Visit Satiric Mutt -- my contribution to the written cholesterol now clogging the arteries of the Internet.

          by Bob Johnson on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 04:36:44 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  What alternatives? (none)
            What Clark is advocating is the only real option to full-scale civil war, followed by regional war as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Syria enter (initially).  I do not follow your logic as to what's "reality" and what's "theory".  Clark's "theory" is the only option left that doesn't end in regional war.  Please explain your position so that I can understand it.

            Thanks.

            "Life is forever menaced by chaos and must restore balance with every intake of breath"-- Jean Gebser

            by rangemaster on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 05:32:15 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Clark is advocating common sense. (2.00)
              Something this administration will never do.  Never.

              Murtha, on the other hand, is advocating for exit.  And more Americans lining up with him everyday.

              Now, if only more Dems would, Clark included.

              Visit Satiric Mutt -- my contribution to the written cholesterol now clogging the arteries of the Internet.

              by Bob Johnson on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 05:42:22 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Bob (none)
            I don't think that it's completely out of the realm of possibilities for the administration to attempt to follow Clark's suggestion.  And I think that it's worth a try - Clark's a realist, he knows we're not going to leave with an A+ solution, best we can do is probably a C-, but C- is still better than an F.  And why not try?  Why do you refuse to look beyond the day that the last soldier leaves?  You're in favor of "air support" and civil war taking out even more innocent civilians?
            •  News flash. (2.00)
              There's already a civil war.

              Go read Meteor's post I reference in my originial post.

              As Odom has noted, no one in Iraq is fond of al Qaeda.  It's a marriage of convenience at this point.  The day we leave is the day the SUnnis and the Shiites turn on the outside forces and kick them out of the country.

              We stayed at least five years too long in Vietnam.  And guess what?  The outcome at the end of those five years was exactly the same as it would have been had we left five years earlier... except that we lost tens of thousands more American lives, hundreds of thousands of additional Vietnamese lives, and flushed hundreds of billions of dollars down the toilet.

              Clark is out howling at the moon.  That's about it.

              Visit Satiric Mutt -- my contribution to the written cholesterol now clogging the arteries of the Internet.

              by Bob Johnson on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 06:18:41 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  News flash (none)
                The civil war is because the Sunnis are still fighting for power.  We need to use our military leverage (and yes, we do have military leverage) to enact political change - we need the constitution amended to include more Sunni participation in the government.
              •  al Qaeda would be destroyed, (none)
                in Iraq, I agree with you on that point.  But al Qaeda coming to power in Iraq is not what's dangerous.  What would be dangerous would be the region-wide war, which is sure to happen if we were to withdraw.  Destruction of the oilfields in Iran and Saudi Arabia... the world economies plummetting into deep recession.  And then the U.S. has to send in the 1/2 to 3/4 million soldiers that should have been sent there in the first place, given that the friggin fundies had made up their minds to go into Iraq come hell or highwater (and Conress gave them permission).  

                And how do nations such as China and India react?

                The real danger is the civil war.  And I agree, it's already on-going, but its scale now would pale in comparison to what will come.

                This is why I felt so damned betrayed by the cowardly opposition party (Democrats), including our two flag bearers in the last election, when the only thing that could have stopped Bush and this fucking mess the world is now in, was a voting-down of the Iraq War Resolution.  I feel historians will look at that Bill as a critical nexus in our nation's history.

                This thing is so hard to crystal-ball, but one thing's for certain, our nation has been done great harm by her own actions regardless of what happens from here on.

                "Life is forever menaced by chaos and must restore balance with every intake of breath"-- Jean Gebser

                by rangemaster on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 07:23:24 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  Brook no criticism of your hero. (1.42)
      The funny thing is, you downrating cowards can't even give me a zero.  You're all too new.

      I'm starting to think these gushing Clark diaries are part of some sort of "Pump-Up-Clark" campaign.

      All the new posters...

      Makes me laugh.

      Visit Satiric Mutt -- my contribution to the written cholesterol now clogging the arteries of the Internet.

      by Bob Johnson on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 06:05:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

        •  Wow. (1.66)
          Aren't you tough.

          Congrats on getting your ass kissed in your tip jar.

          Visit Satiric Mutt -- my contribution to the written cholesterol now clogging the arteries of the Internet.

          by Bob Johnson on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 06:20:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, FOR GOD'S SAKE!!! (4.00)
          I guess we do have to spend all our energy taking potshots at each other's heroes.

          Because the party has so many heroes to spare. We need to eliminate all of them but one.
          Just like in Highlander.

          We have so much principled, passionate, intelligent leadership in the party right now that we can sit around on DKos bashing Democrats who have done good and courageous things in support of the Republic. I guess.

          You know what?

          I have room in my heart for Howard and John. I have room in my heart for Wes and Russ. And Ted Kennedy. And John Conyers, who's the president I would most like (grin). And Barbara Boxer. And several others.

          I know little about Warner, but I'd be willing to give him a look.

          And yes, there's some I won't support. I find it hard to trust Hillary. I can't abide Biden, who makes taking potshots at other Democrats a secondary form of employment. And then there's those, like Lieberman, who are clearly serving the other party's interests. And those who, like Cantwell, are so scared of losing their jobs that they cave when it matters most.

          But how is it profitable to us to insult the leaders who have stood by us, in one way or another? How is it profitable to hurt each other by bashing each other's leaders? That's more hurtful than is commonly imagined. Your leader holds your hopes in his--or her--hands. It might be the part of a friend to point it out if somebody's trust in their leader is seriously misplaced. And it's always fine to criticize a leader on the issues. But the goal should not be finding some way to drag the leader down--unless you know him/her to be untrustworthy.

      •  So will I (none)
        and you deserve it.
        •  What a hoot! (2.25)
          I make a legitimiate post criticizing Clark's position on Iraq and all thye fanatics downrate me.

          If only you all were as barve as your hero.

          Can't take legitimate criticism, eh?

          Visit Satiric Mutt -- my contribution to the written cholesterol now clogging the arteries of the Internet.

          by Bob Johnson on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 06:22:38 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I've supported Clark for a LONG time (none)
            I was a Deaniac--and when Dean went down, I was a Clarkie.  And I've been a Deaniac AND a Clarkie ever since.

            And in case you haven't noticed, until the very latest straw poll, most of us Kossacks were, too.

            As for his Iraq positions, I'm no fool.  I don't support an absolute, immediate withdrawal.  The Bush Administration has put us in a horrible position there, but an immediate withdrawal leaves a terror state there (unfortunately of our own creation).

            Just like Afghanistan was before 9/11--and I supported invading Afghanistan BEFORE 9/11.

            Just saying to withdraw immediately is cheap political theater, and is as easy as it is stupid (though it's a lot smarter than "stay the course", given the choice between the two).

            And if you want to call my Kossack credentials into question, go right ahead--make my day.

            •  You sound just like the House Republicans (3.00)
              Claiming that Murtha's positions is "immediate withdrawal."

              If you would bother to read Meteor's piece linked in my original post in this Clark lovefest, you'd find that Iraq is highly unlikely to become a "terrorist state" (though the Bushies would love for you to continue to believe that).

              There is no love for al Qaeda in Iraq.  It is, at present, a marriage of convenience.  As Odom has pointed out, the day we leave is the day al Qaeda operatives get either killed or kicked out of Iraq.

              I find great irony in that you link to getoutnow.org and yet back Clark who advocates a position on Iraq disconnected from our current reality.

              And then I post a legitimate criticism of the apparent heir to Jesus Christ (does he walk on water, too?) and a bunch of folks downrate the post.

              As I posted above...

              Brook no criticism of your fearless leader.

              Too bad some of Clark's followers aren't as brave as he is.

              Visit Satiric Mutt -- my contribution to the written cholesterol now clogging the arteries of the Internet.

              by Bob Johnson on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 06:48:07 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  actually, criticism is fine (none)
                My biggest concern is his former Tyco lobbying.

                Some have said that he won't decrease our military size; I think they're wrong, but the criticism is fair.

                Criticizing his Iraq war position is fine, too.  And I know all about Murtha's honorable Iraq War stance, and the multi-staged withdrawal plan.

                I happen to think that the West needs to be there for the longer term, lest Iraq become (through our actions) a bigger, badder Afghanistan.

                I believe that the borders need to be closed, and that the U.N. be put in charge, just as they are in Kosovo.

                Remove long-term U.S. bases from the picture, and let the country devolve into civil war far more slowly than it is now, so that it doesn't become a terror state, and so that occupation can be mulilateral.

                So criticize away.  But you're an asshole for demeaning Clark's supporters just because of the Iraq issue.

          •  How is this played out line legitimate. (none)
            Do you really think your strategy will ever get a Democrat elected? Yes, we know Bushco has no desire to do the right thing. On the other hand the Dems are accused of not having a plan. It's pretty obvious trhat the American people do not agree with the plan you advocate.
            •  What is the plan I advocate? (1.66)
              Please let me know since you seem so sure.

              Visit Satiric Mutt -- my contribution to the written cholesterol now clogging the arteries of the Internet.

              by Bob Johnson on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 07:03:28 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  You advocate the stance of Meteor above. (none)
                You support his view of pull out now as opposed to Clark's plan. Maybe you really don't beleive what you right and simply seek to shit on other people's threads.
                •  Pull out with a timetable. (2.25)
                  And that would be "write."

                  I wasn't shitting on anyone's thread.  I was pointing out an issue I had with Clark's position on Iraq.

                  Then all the weenies started downrating my posts because I was ruining their love buzz with discussion of this issue.

                  You're Exhibit A.

                  Visit Satiric Mutt -- my contribution to the written cholesterol now clogging the arteries of the Internet.

                  by Bob Johnson on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 07:21:09 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Three posts to your name. (2.00)
                  Just like the other two clowns who gave my originial criticism ones.

                  WHen did all you guys sign up?  Yesterday?

                  Visit Satiric Mutt -- my contribution to the written cholesterol now clogging the arteries of the Internet.

                  by Bob Johnson on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 07:23:39 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Well that's an answer, isn't it? (none)
                    Clown? Do I make you laugh? Do you think I'm funny? When you signed up you should have locked the door behind you.
                    •  I have a message for the Clark group that sent you (2.40)
                      ... guys out.  Learn how the game is played before you make fools of yourselves.

                      This place is about debate.  People will posy pro and con on your guy.

                      Get used to it.

                      Visit Satiric Mutt -- my contribution to the written cholesterol now clogging the arteries of the Internet.

                      by Bob Johnson on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 07:34:57 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Actually, I've been reading here for some time. (none)
                        It's like walking in my pasture, i've learned to step around the piles. It's just that you were stinking it up so bad , I felt it neede a little attention. If this place is about debate, what are you doing here? Talk about making a fool of yourself.
                        •  Welcome to Daily Kos. (2.50)
                          ...

                          Visit Satiric Mutt -- my contribution to the written cholesterol now clogging the arteries of the Internet.

                          by Bob Johnson on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 07:44:00 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  did you see his UID, asshole? (none)
                            in the 43,000s.  Mine is in the 41,000s.  Hekebolos has been around longer.

                            We've all been supporting Clark for a while.

                            Clark has won every straw poll on Kos until very lately.

                            You want to know what happened?  There was an event in Los Angeles.  He had a meeting with the bloggers.  He was supporting 9 of our congressional candidates, who showed up for a media event together with Stephanie Miller of Air America.

                            It was a big deal; the bloggers who were there covered the story on Kos, and enough people found it worthwhile to push the Recommend button.

                          •  Here's my beef. (2.60)
                            I sworte a post with a legitimate criticism of Clark's Iraq stand.

                            Then two pinheads with three posts to their names give me 1s on that post.

                            The policy here is that you don't downrate a post simply because you diagree with it.  There was nothing offensive in that original post EXCEPT that I dared to criticize Jesus Christ.

                            So then I call them out, and the rest of you start downrating me on posts that were directed at those two lamebrains.

                            Whatever.

                            Some of these folks ought to learn the rules.  They're a little green.

                            Visit Satiric Mutt -- my contribution to the written cholesterol now clogging the arteries of the Internet.

                            by Bob Johnson on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 08:52:35 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  So because (none)
                            Of these two "pinheads" who may not even understand how the rating system works, you have carte blanche to derail the dirary, and act like an ass? All because of these two "pinheads"?

                            You can't have it both ways Bob. Either it's two clueless pinheads, or it's a massive conspiracy against you. Take your pick, but pick one.

                            And I might be sympatehtic to your cries of ratings abuse, if you hadn't reacted like a spoiled three yearold and basicly trolled this diary. I could care less about you versus the Clarkies, but if you think you get a free pass because of how long you've been here, you're sadly mistaken.

                            You're mojo is going to take a big hit over this, and you have no one but yourself to blame.

                            Anyone who voted against the patriot act is too good for the Senate

                            Feingold for President

                            by Goldfish on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 09:21:06 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  What? (none)
                            Nice. Just make up your own either/or story.  And those are the only two possibilities.  Because you say so.

                            Great one.

                            Hey, perhaps if folks are gpoing to post here, they ought to take a second and read the rules first.

                            Just sayin'.

                            A few of these Clark-o-philes have mighty thin skin.

                            P.S. Like I give a shit about mojo.

                            Visit Satiric Mutt -- my contribution to the written cholesterol now clogging the arteries of the Internet.

                            by Bob Johnson on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 09:26:22 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Then why so uppity (none)
                            About the pinheads and their ones? If you don't care about mojo, then why didn't you just laugh that off and move on?

                            Oh, I know, you don't care about mojo, but you do care about the rules. Oh, but then you had this tantrum that's pretty much trollish in nature, in so much as it derails the conversation, adds nothing to it, and spreads acrimony and division.

                            You're writing two different narratives here Bob, and they're working at cross purpose for you.

                            Anyone who voted against the patriot act is too good for the Senate

                            Feingold for President

                            by Goldfish on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 10:02:52 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Nope. (none)
                            I don't care about mojo.  It comes and goes.

                            But when I write a legitimate post, I'd like to get legitimate responses instead of a bunch of chickenshit downrating with no comment.

                            If a poster thinks I'm wrong, then respond.  Don't just mark down a legitimate post because you disagree with the point of view.

                            There was absolutely nothing offensive in that original post, so I called out the two cowards who downrated it without posting a comment.

                            You know, you're awfully fond of setting up these either/or scenarios that suit your argument.

                            You've been wrong both times.

                            I have never cared about my mojo one way or another.

                            But I don't like having a legitimate viewpoint silenced because these thin-skinned weenies don't like criticism of their guy.

                            That's just cowardly.

                            Visit Satiric Mutt -- my contribution to the written cholesterol now clogging the arteries of the Internet.

                            by Bob Johnson on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 10:18:12 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You know what (none)
                            But when I write a legitimate post, I'd like to get legitimate responses instead of a bunch of chickenshit downrating with no comment.

                            Sometimes I don't get what I want from this website either. That doesn't mean I run around calling other people "thin-skinned weenies". If I did, that would make me a "thin-skinned weenie", now, wouldn't it?

                            "I will not trust Bush with the life of one Iraqi."

                            by Tamifah on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 10:35:32 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  That's what they are. (none)
                            And if they can't learn the rules (there aren't that many), then they're idiots, to boot.

                            Visit Satiric Mutt -- my contribution to the written cholesterol now clogging the arteries of the Internet.

                            by Bob Johnson on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 10:39:11 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Where is the rule that you can't downrate (none)
                            without commenting???

                            I'd really hate to ever run afoul of you OR the rules... you seem to be the aribiter of legitimacy around here, so any tips would be greatly appreciated...

                            Thanks...

                            Oh yeah, I was at the Clark event last night as well... if you're ever able to transcend your obvious bias against him, you may just find that he's a brilliant and valuable asset... frankly, I'm glad he's on our side... and I never fail to leave a Clark event better informed and in a better mood... you should try it sometime...

                          •  Give it up Bob (none)
                            I'm trying my best to get your mojo out of the gutter, which your posts on Clark here certainly don't merit it being in, but it should be pretty clear to you by now that you're preaching to the wrong gallery.

                            I too like Clark, and supported him in 2004 until it was clear that he wasn't getting the nomination, and switched to Kerry, whom I wasn't enthusiastic about but who at least got the nomination and stood a decent chance of winning. But I'm not sure that he's ready to lead the party yet, and I disagree with his "stay the course" stance on Iraq, which seems designed to appeal to the party and nation's center a la Hillary (in fact, I think he'd jump at the chance to be on the Clinton/Clark ticket).

                            The war's lost, and has been for some time now. We shouldn't immediately withdraw, but it's time to start planning for a serious and permanent redeployment by year's end as Murtha has recommended, to cut our losses and let Iraq figure things out for itself. Whatever's going to happen is going to happen whether we leave now or in 10 years, so why not get out now before we have another 2000 dead.

                            Anyway, some people don't like criticism, no matter how articulate, and feel the need to abuse the troll rating mechanism when they don't like what others have to say. Leave 'em alone to worship at the altar. Acolytes don't usually make good discussion partners anyway.

                            "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

                            by kovie on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 11:32:06 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  Go to hell Bob (none)
                        I "sent myself out."  Nobody sent me out.  So what group is "sending you out" to insult the General and the people (who are substantial, on this site) that support him?

                        I posted what I posted--and RBB posted this here--because we both heard the General speak, and we believe that he has great things to say.

                        I've been here since a few months before the 2004 election.  I was a Deaniac to begin with.

                        Nobody "sent me here."  The way that you imply that we're part of an organized posse to take over the site or something is insulting.  The fact of the matter is, the General decided to meet with some bloggers on Saturday.  A few of us happen to post on Daily Kos.  And we like what we heard.  And if we didn't, we would post about it.

                        So, what don't you like besides his lack of support for Murtha's position?

                        •  Tell you what, jackass. (1.60)
                          This place is built on discussion.

                          You don't downrate a post because you disagree with a poster, as you did in my first post in this thread.

                          I posted a legitimate criticism of Clark's Iraq position.  There was nothing offensive in that post.  You just didn't like it that I dared to question your hero.

                          Grow the fuck up.

                          Your don't downrate that, dumbfuck.

                          Unless you want to get your sorry ass tossed from this place.

                          Learn the rules.

                          Visit Satiric Mutt -- my contribution to the written cholesterol now clogging the arteries of the Internet.

                          by Bob Johnson on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 07:54:02 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  repeat: go to hell, Bob (none)
                            Take a look at the first comment I zero-rated.  You started calling people "downrating cowards" that "weren't able to handle criticism" or some shit like that.  That's the first post I downrated you for, and it was in direct response to your snide insults.

                            "Get my sorry ass tossed from this site."  ROFL.  Who the hell do you think you are?  You're going to steamroll me somehow?  Why don't you come back when you're sober or something.

                          •  Call your hero. (1.60)
                            He'll save you.

                            Visit Satiric Mutt -- my contribution to the written cholesterol now clogging the arteries of the Internet.

                            by Bob Johnson on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 08:03:37 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  That's what someone says (none)
                            who has nothing else to say.  Good to see you address my substantive rebuttals to your empty threats.

                            save me from what?  from you?  no thanks!  i can handle you myself.

                          •  Look. (2.00)
                            As I note, below, yo0u zeroed me out on a pst that was a response to the two pionheads who gave my original post 1s because they didn't like that I criticized Clark.

                            Then you butt in.

                            The post you zeroed out wasn't even directed at you.

                            Yet, you felt compelled to reacat.

                            Whatever.

                            Here are the rules here: You don;t dopwnrate posts simply because you disagree with what the poster wrote.

                            There was absolutely nothing offensive in that original post.  Nothing.  So I commented on that and you proceed to dish out a zero.

                            That's almost as ignorant as the two idiots who gave my original post ones.

                            Visit Satiric Mutt -- my contribution to the written cholesterol now clogging the arteries of the Internet.

                            by Bob Johnson on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 08:31:07 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  that's nasty as hell (none)
                            I am now tuning out this weird little war you guys are having--but let me say that you, Bob, have now changed what was a fairly neutral "let's see if this guy has some good points about Clark" opinion of you to a "what a dickweed" opinion.
                          •  My comment that you zeroed (1.33)
                            ... was directed at the two numbnutz who downrated my original post.

                            Those two assclowns are:

                            mishu
                            Mikesco

                            Then you had to butt in on a comment directed at those two.

                            Whatever.

                            Visit Satiric Mutt -- my contribution to the written cholesterol now clogging the arteries of the Internet.

                            by Bob Johnson on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 08:08:35 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Whatever! (none)
                            Look, I don't wanna keep arguing about it.  You have your position on Clark, I have mine.  I wasn't "sent here" by anyone any more than you were.  We just disagree about Clark.  Let's leave it at that.
                          •  Good luck to you. (2.00)
                            ...

                            Visit Satiric Mutt -- my contribution to the written cholesterol now clogging the arteries of the Internet.

                            by Bob Johnson on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 08:32:36 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  It's not funny .. (none)
                            but I'm actually roaring with laughter. Usually it's at your weird sense of humor ... but here I'm losing it over the rating abuse. NOT funny for you .. but reading along and seeing why they gave you zeros .. it really is hilarious. I feel guilty now because I laughed at your expense, but I gave you a lot of 4's to undo some of the insane downrating.  
                            (Gushing over politicians makes me laugh too ... maybe that's because I'm old and cynical.)

                            Pre-empt Vergangenheitsbewältigung!

                            by Petrasays on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 10:15:29 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

    •  Okay (none)
      I can tell it isn't politics for you, I can respect that, and I can respect your position of supporting Murtha's plan, he's a fine man and all he's saying works great in the short run.

      What bothers me is the fact this is just passing the buck unto the next administration, Neither you nor Murtha or Odom have laid out a clear end state, and that's bad policy. It's like social security, ultimately somebody has to pay for it and sometimes you can't give the rich their tax cuts and pay for wars and reckless spending, someone has to pay the bill for Iraq, and I'm not just talking about money.

      Now whether that will be the Iraqi Kurds who are butchered from all sides, or the Sunni's who are oppressed much the way the Shia were under Saddam I'm not sure, but I know when we screw up as colossally as we have in Iraq in the end somebody has to pay the bill and clean the mess up.

      I'm not going to 1 you, I reserve that for those who would compare us Clarkies to Nazi's. You often aggravate me no end, but that's no excuse to 1 you.

      You are just standing on principle which is what blogging on Daily Kos is all about, even when we disagree, particularly when we disagree.

      I think the Murtha plan is an easy out that someone is going to pay a price in blood later, a price much larger than the one we are paying now. The politically popular thing to do last time was to support invading Iraq, now withdraw is popular, but just because it's popular doesn't mean it's right, I see the flaws and therefore I can't conscionable support Murtha's position.

      I'm sorry but there is no easy out on Iraq, Murtha's just passing the buck even though he truly means well.

  •  Rove has already said security (none)
    will be the issue in Nov. I can't think of anyone with better record to talk about it than Clark.

    I could never understand why Democrats didn't use Clark more in the same way I could never understand why Democrats don't use the talent in Hollywood to help deliver their message.

    Is it more DLC-think or is there some fundamental reason why they don't use all the resources available to them?

    -4.25, -6.87: Someday, after the forest fire of the Right has died we'll say "Whew, I'm happy that's over."

    by CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 04:15:16 PM PST

  •  CLARK DOES SEEM TO PERSONIFY (4.00)
    compassion and toughness which is how the Democrats need to rebrand themselves. He was not ready for prime time in '04. But that was then and he's incredibly bright as well as a quick study.

    I very much want to hear more from him and hope he enters the race. It frankly amazes me how insider commentaries about '08 ignore Clark completely. As I review the list of potential candidates Clark is the one who excites me the most.

    I respect Feingold but don't believe he has the toughness to go wire to wire in a national campaign. A winning candidate needs to have a little bit of street fighter in them. Hilary has that but she's also a Republocrat.  Feingold has authenticity and brains but lacks toughness and gravitas. Gore serves the party best as an elder statesman telling it like it is.

    Clark appears to have the right combination of compassion, toughness, intellect, and authenticity. My only fear is that much of the party's campaign talent will sign up with Hilary believing she's on her way to a coronation. Much of the Democrats donor base also appears to be headed in Hilary's direction. Sadly, this trend will make Hilary's coronation a self-fulfilling prophesy and result in the Republican's reign of indecency continuing.

    Intrepid Liberal Journal

  •  Axciomm Deal v NSA Traffic Analysis (none)
    Has Clark had anything to say lately on his role shilling the AXciomm deal, and how it's different from the recently revealed NSA operation? I found his 2004 explanation not wrong, but inadequate. I like a lot of what I've heard from him, but he'll have to be more forthcoming to close the deal with me.

    A Senator YOU can afford
    $1 contributions only.
    Masel for Senate
    1214 E. Mifflin St.
    Madison, WI 53703

    by ben masel on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 04:57:46 PM PST

    •  You mean when he said the ACLU should be involved? (none)
      There is a big difference between commercially available data and monitoring personal communication.
      •  Putting an ACLU rep on a panel (none)
        Does not guarantee they won't be outvoted.

        When he says he'd implement datamining in a manner that protects civil liberties, I want to hear specifics of the proposed architecture, not cheap platitudes.

        A Senator YOU can afford
        $1 contributions only.
        Masel for Senate
        1214 E. Mifflin St.
        Madison, WI 53703

        by ben masel on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 07:14:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're still comparing data mining to monitoring (none)
          personal communications? Data mining is a fact of life and a totally different subject. You are correct that it should be addressed and that is what Clark advocated.
        •  That's not really what he said... (none)
          I definitely left the CAP panel he was on last May with the impression that he wanted the ACLU's signoff on anything that would have been done--not just a vote, but their endorsement.  I could be wrong, but that's the impression I got from listening to him.  He wants America safe and free.  He's not going to trade one for the other.
          •  He was pitching the contract (none)
            not to the ACLU, but to the Congress. Was there a contract clause giving the ACLU a veto, or was this afterthefact spin, once he'd changed careers, from salesman to candidate?

            A Senator YOU can afford
            $1 contributions only.
            Masel for Senate
            1214 E. Mifflin St.
            Madison, WI 53703

            by ben masel on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 07:57:41 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Wes Clark (none)
    I too was face to face with Wes Clark. I worked on Clark's campaign in the Indiana cold to get enough signatures to get him on the ballot in that state. I also worked and met Clark in Madison, WI before and at the press conference when he gave his support to Kerr. Clark is a great guy and intelligent, you can't help but like him, however a problem I see with Clark is he talks too much. He would make statements to the press that hurt him because they didn't always seem truthful or he would get caught in the web of the journalist and not be able to get out... I saw it over and over. He didn't think through what he was saying. He is a true extrovert... thinks by talking.
    •  Wes Clark is an inspirational speaker (none)
      Clark is no longer the neophyte candidate he was in the fall of 2003. He no longer talks too much.    

      I have been working for him at the grassroots level since fall 2003. When he first started he had not had time to consider his positions on many issues, nor was he familiar with speaking in sound bites.

      I sat at the same table with him in SF last Thursday. For about 2 hours he responded to our questions with thoughtful, concise answers.

  •  If you like Clark... (4.00)
    you're also really going to like James Webb, another brilliant Renaissance Man/war hero/strategic thinker/Progressive/FORMER Republican like "the General."  I sincerely hope that when Webb announces for US Senate in the next few days, as now looks likely, my fellow Clark supporters will do all they can for him.  In the meantime, please come sign the "Draft Webb" petition, just like we "drafted" Wes Clark for President. Except this time we're going to win, dammit, and start taking our country back!  Thanks.
    •  Former Republican? (4.00)
      Why do you keep saying that crap? Military officers are officially non partisen, and Clark was not registered as a republican or a Dem in AR.

      He volunteered his voting history when no one could have found out otherwise.

      If you want to purge people who voted for Reagan in the south from the Democratic party, your gonna need a lot smaller tent for your meetings.

      I guess I better go look at your man and see if he is one of those libertarians trying to sneak into the Dem tent since they see their repub allies circling the drain.

      -- If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all. * Noam Chomsky

      by NCrefugee on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 05:43:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Always liked Webb (none)
      I hope you can get him to do it.

      Winning without Delay.

      by ljm on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 05:54:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Lowell, (none)
      I'm truly startled at your "former Republican" comment about Clark.  It's inaccurate, and I must say that's the first time I've seen such a thing from you.

      He never WAS a former Republican.  Yes, he voted FOR SOME former Republicans, but his voting record since 1992 has been STRICTLY for Democrats.

      "How smooth must be the language of the whites, when they can make right look like wrong, and wrong like right." Black Hawk

      by Gabriele Droz on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 06:03:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The military serves the USA not a party (4.00)
        At one time officers were prohibited from joining a party, and while that rule has since been changed, many like General Clark still remain unaffiliated.

        Eisenhower took it one step further: he refused to vote. Entering the military as a West Point cadet who was too young to vote, Ike never voted until he ran for office.

        The military is not a branch of any party no matter what Bob Dole says.

        Duty...honor...country.

        The American People want their security protected, and they also want a Constitutional government with checks and balances-Wes Clark

        by Donna Z on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 06:44:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Your comments on Clark give me hope (4.00)
    that there are others besides Al Gore who see the real threat to our republic. Sometimes I think I am somehow over-reacting to what is going on when I see tyranny and disrespect for law and our constitution on the part of our president.

    There have been times when I felt I even have a comprehension now that I haven't had earlier, even though I was born during the ending of WWII, of how someone like Hitler could come to power. I know it's probably terrible to bring up the subject and I'm not making a comparison. But I've always wondered and been fascinated with the German people who bought into Hitler's dogma and allowed him to take them into the dark hell and all the millions of deaths of that era. It truly mystified me even though I felt I had a good understanding of people. But seeing the Bush administration at work, NOT comparing them to Hitler at all, but seeing their disregard for truth and law, their belief that they knew better than the people, their justification of any action in order to "protect" the people, and their fear-mongering for political gain, I've thought many times, so that's how it's done. That's how tyranny begins, slowly and in increments, all the time soothing the people.

    So to hear what Clark has said regarding the dire circumstances we are in and how we need to fight or lose our liberty I am reassured. I came to have great respect for this general when he commented on CNN during the war in Afganistan. His integrity was so evident along with all of his other great qualities. It would be great to have a Gore-Clark ticket! We need truly great leaders with great integrity and intelligence and values to bring us out of this scarey time.

    Thanks for this diary.

    •  Gorette, (4.00)
      I'm a German.  My mom lived through the Berlin bombing.  My grandfather was in the German Army.  My stepfather deserted during wartime because he could not take it.  I found yesterday's diary posted on http://boomantribune.com by Arthur Gilroy insightful on this very issue.

      From an essay by the wonderful Joe Bageant, "Carpooling with Adoph Eichmann".

      A series of quotations from a book written over 50 years ago by Milton Mayer about the rise of Naziism in Germany called "They Thought They Were Free, The Germans, 1938-45"  (University of Chicago Press,1955)

      Read it and weep for your country.

      "What no one seemed to notice. . . was the ever widening gap. . .between the government and the people. . . And it became always wider. . . the whole process of its coming into being, was above all diverting, it provided an excuse not to think for people who did not want to think anyway . . . Nazism gave us some dreadful, fundamental things to think about . . .and kept us so busy with continuous changes and `crises' and so fascinated . . . by the machinations of the `national enemies,' without and within, that we had no time to think about these dreadful things that were growing, little by little, all around us. . . Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, `regretted,' that unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle, what all these `little measures'. . . must some day lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. . . .Each act. . . is worse than the last, but only a little worse. You wait for the next and the next. You wait for one great shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join you in resisting somehow. You don't want to act, or even talk, alone. . . you don't want to `go out of your way to make trouble.' . . .But the one great shocking occasion, when tens or hundreds or thousands will join with you, never comes. That's the difficulty. The forms are all there, all untouched, all reassuring, the houses, the shops, the jobs, the mealtimes, the visits, the concerts, the cinema, the holidays. But the spirit, which you never noticed because you made the lifelong mistake of identifying it with the forms, is changed. Now you live in a world of hate and fear, and the people who hate and fear do not even know it themselves, when everyone is transformed, no one is transformed. . . .You have accepted things you would not have accepted five years ago, a year ago, things your father. . . could never have imagined."

      Sound familiar?

      "...one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. . . "

      And...

      "You wait for one great shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join you in resisting somehow."

      How long are we going to wait?

      How long are we going to accede to the non-opposition of our so called "opposition" party?

      "You have accepted things you would not have accepted five years ago, a year ago, things your father. . . could never have imagined."

      MY father died two years ago.

      He flew Spitfires in the Battle of Britain. He and my mother...both Americans... volunteered to join the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1938 to go and fight Hitler.

      They were ahead of their time.

      Visionaries.

      THEY had a dream, too.

      They were brave young Americans who believed in the American dream of democracy and freedom and were willing to put their corporeal asses on the line to defend that dream.

      But when he died...and for decades BEFORE that...he too had "accepted" what he could not even BEGIN to imagine or understand. Turned his face away from the awful reality of what this country was becoming.

      Why?

      How?

      Because..."The forms [were] all there, all untouched, all reassuring, the houses, the shops, the jobs, the mealtimes, the visits, the concerts, the cinema, the holidays."

       Only the SPIRIT had changed.

      "...the people who hate and fear do not even know it themselves, when everyone is transformed, no one is transformed."

      Which is where we have come to today.

      We accept SO much.

      We "accept" domestic spying on an unprecedented scale...and believe me, we have not even seen the TIP of that particular digital iceberg, and probably never will.

      We "accept" stolen elections, elections that are so BLATANTLY stolen that even the population of a classic banana republic would be outraged, elections where both the official opposition party AND EVEN THE SO-CALLED OUTLAW "PRESS" (Major left wing blogs...and you know JUST who I mean) turn their heads and make believe that nothing is happening.

      In their own shallow self-interest.

      We "accept" the undeniable fact that this administration lied to the American public about what was going on in Iraq so that they could prosecute their Blood For Oil War.

      We have "accepted" domestic and international assassinations, a phony War Against Drugs, a progressive dumbing down of the educational and cultural systems, the destruction of the family system by a two wage-slave workforce...Mommy and Daddy BOTH got to work seven days a week plus overtime just to pay for the necessities...a totally dishonest media and SO much more.

      Our passivity, our acceptance of the progressively more and more odious set of "new realities" presented to us by those in power is running us down a long and bumpy road that leads straight to hell.

      And what is the key to ALL of this "acceptance"?

      Once again, I quote Joe Bageant. This time from another essay, "The Simulacran Republic".

      Americans, rich or poor, now live in a culture entirely perceived through, simulacra-media images and illusions. We live inside a self-referential media hologram of a nation that has not existed for quite some time now, especially in America's heartland. Our national reality is held together by a pale, carbon imprint of the original. The well-off with their upscale consumer aesthetic, live inside gated Disneyesque communities with gleaming uninhabited front porches representing some bucolic notion of the Great American home and family. The working class, true to its sports culture aesthetic, is a spectator to politics ... politics which are so entirely imagistic as to be holograms of a process, not a process. Social realism is a television commercial for America, a simulacran republic of eagles, church spires, brave young soldiers and heroic firefighters and "freedom of choice" within the hologram. America's citizens have been reduced to Balkanized consumer units by the corporate state's culture producing machinery.  

      ---snip---

      Meanwhile the culture-generating industry spins our mythology like cotton candy. We all need it to survive, Hollywood myths, Imperial myths, melting pot myths, the saluting dick male myths. They keep the machine running. And when the machine is running correctly, it smoothes its own way by terrifying uncooperative people into submission in prisons and torture rooms, where we do not have to look at the corpses on ice and the naked hooded bodies handcuffed to the bars. We are innocent as long as we keep our eyes taped shut. And only with our eyes shut can we keep seeing the hologram.  And with duct tape over our mouths, we can recite its slogans with one hand over our heart with the other one resting on the trigger.

      The average American spends about one third of his or her waking life watching television. The neurological implications of this are so profound that they cannot even be comprehended in words, much less described by them. Television creates our reality, regulates our national perceptions and our interior hallucinations of who we Americans are (the best and only important tribe on the planet.) It schedules our cultural illusions of choice, displays pre-selected candidates in our elections, or types of consumer goods. It regulates holiday marketing opportunities and the national neurological seasons, which are now governed by the electrons of the illusion. We live within a media-generated belief system that functions as the operating instructions for society. Anything outside of its parameters represents fear and psychological freefall to the faceless legions of within it.  

       This is by no means a free country and given the intense luminosity of the hologram, we cannot even see freedom from here, and probably would not recognize it if we could. Moreover though, we cannot tear our eyes away from the great flickering glow of the hologram.  

      "How smooth must be the language of the whites, when they can make right look like wrong, and wrong like right." Black Hawk

      by Gabriele Droz on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 06:40:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well It's Kinda Nice (none)
    to see some Democrat aware of what's happening and what's at stake.

    I think things are too far gone to be rescued by a successful run for President. At this point one of two forces has to be rallied and engaged to have the same awareness you're reporting of Clark:

    • Elected Democrats; or
    • The electorate.

    The way things look, one is unreachable, while the other is unreachable.

    Clark's got to find someway to reach and mobilize one of them. It can't wait till he's campaigning or elected.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 06:27:39 PM PST

  •  Good for Clark (4.00)

    I voted for Clark in the 2004 primary and count myself a big admirer because I think he's got barrels of courage, lots of brains, patriotism, and good sense.

    I have, I must say, been given pause by his reluctance to declare the Iraqi aggression an out-and-out failure however you cut it.

    But it's heartening to hear a Democrat of national statute speaking in terms of saving our democracy.  Gore came pretty close, and I applaud him . . . has Kerry spoken to date in such terms?

    I want Dems to say, mother-fuck, my friends, we're circling the drain and heading for fascism, unless we pull together and throw this lot of scumbags out of office.

    General Clark, you have my ear!

    "If the American people had ever known the truth about what we Bushes have done to this nation, we would be chased down in the streets and lynched." GHWB

    by proudtinfoilhat on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 07:47:16 PM PST

  •  Hero Worship (4.00)
    I actually criticized Wes Clark on a thread here and was still accused of hero worship.  Well, ya know what?  Wes Clark is a hero.  Get used to it.  Get over it.  No, I won't worship him for it, but you can stop hating him for it.  You just can't stand the fact that there's a potential candidate out there who people respect.  It's not all about YOU.  It's about doing what's best for the country and finding someone who represents those VALUES and not just your positions on your pet issues.  

    Yep, Wes Clark is a hero.  There's no doubt.  But plenty of his supporters do in fact hold his feet to the fire when he's wrong.  He WELCOMES that criticism.  He requests it.  He listens to it.  And that's a big part of the reason that he is a hero.

    •  A hreo in more ways than one (4.00)
      In August 1995, the general--three stars, working as J-5 for the Joint Chiefs--went to Bosnia as part of the negotiating team Ambassador Richard Holbrooke had put together to end the civil war that had resulted in the massacre of as many as eight thousand Muslim men and boys at the town of Srebrenica the month before. In Belgrade, Clark had met for the first time Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic, who was sponsoring the Bosnian Serbs. Now the team had to travel to Sarajevo. Told that the airport in Sarajevo was too dangerous to fly into, the team decided to drive and asked Milosevic to guarantee its safety on a road held by Bosnian Serbs. Milosevic did not, and so the team wound up taking a fortified Humvee and an armored personnel carrier on a pitched, narrow, winding mountain road notoriously vulnerable to Serb machine-gun fire. Clark and Holbrooke went in the Humvee, the rest in the APC. In his book, the general describes what happened this way: "At the end of the first week we had a tragic accident on Mount Igman, near Sarajevo. [Three members of the team] were killed when the French armored personnel carrier in which they were riding broke through the shoulder of the road and tumbled several hundred meters down a steep hillside."

      It is not until one reads Holbrooke's book, To End a War, that one finds out that after the APC went off the road, Clark grabbed a rope, anchored it to a tree stump, and rappelled down the mountainside after it, despite the gunfire that the explosion of the APC set off, despite the warnings that the mountainside was heavily mined, despite the rain and the mud, and despite Holbrooke yelling that he couldn't go. It is not until one brings the incident up to the general that one finds out that the burning APC had turned into a kiln, and that Clark stayed with it and aided in the extraction of the bodies; it is not until one meets Wesley Clark that one understands the degree to which he held Milosevic accountable.

      He was 51 at the time.

      "War is the enemy".

      by BOHICA on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 09:06:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Unless I am mistaken (none)
        which I think I'm not, he brought the wedding ring of one those lost back and returned it to the wife.. I never did hear the whole story on that, it was a truly sad event but it showed that he's got a true and good heart.
  •  I almost crap myself, (none)
    when you opened this diary with, "If ever the Democratic Party found itself closer to the precipice of nonexistence, there is one sherpa with the instinct to reach deep into the haze of the darkening blizzard and pull us through to a sunlit summit: Wes Clark.".

    Had to stop there and contemplate my existence.

  •  Seems to me (none)
    Someone with some clout should send an un-embedded reporter to the front to gather intel for those members of congress who are being kept out of the loop.  Sad we should have to resort to that, but it seems necessary to me.
  •  Clark Stacks Up AND Makes Sense (4.00)
    Great summary, RBB!

    Having seen General Clark "up close and personal" myself a few times I understand what you mean about his concern, conviction, and frankness.

    I'll say he's got quite a resume, one that would be hard to match. He certainly knows his way around the halls of international power:


    -1st in Class, West Point, 1966
    -Rhodes Scholar, Oxford University
    -White House Fellowship
    -Ranger Badge
    -Paratrooper Wings
    -Combat Infantryman's Badge
    -Bronze Star (with Oak Leaf Cluster)
    -Silver Star
    -Purple Heart
    -Army Commendation Medal (two awards)
    -Defense Distinguished Service Medal (5 awards) -Legion of Merit (four awards)
    -Meritorious Service Medal (two awards)
    -Kosovo Campaign Medal
    -Commander of the Legion of Honor (France)
    -Commander's Cross, The Silver Order of Freedom of the Republic of Slovenia
    -Commemorative Medal of the Minister of Defense of the Slovak Republic First Class (Slovakia)
    -Cross of Merit of the Minister of Defense First Class (Czech Republic)
    -First Class Order of Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas (Lithuania)
    -Grand Cross of the Medal of Military Merit (Portugal)
    -Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
    -Grand Medal of Military Merit (White Band) (Spain)
    -Grand Officer of the Order of Merit of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
    -Grand Officer of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Italy
    -Honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (UK)
    -Knight Grand Cross in the Order of Orange-Nassau, with Swords (Netherlands)
    -Madarski Konnik Medal (Bulgaria)
    -Military Service Cross of Canada
    -Order of Merit of Argentina
    -Order of Merit of Morocco
    -Order of Merit of the Hungarian Republic
    -Order of the Cross of the Eagle (Estonia)
    -The Commander's Cross with Star of the Order of Merit of Republic of Poland
    -The Grade of Prince Butmir w/Ribbon and Star (Croatia)
    -The Grand Cordon of the Order of Leopold (Belgium) The Skandeberg Medal (Albania)
    -NATO Medal for Service (2 awards)

    And of course,
    The Nation's Highest Civilian Award,
    The Presidential Medal of Freedom

    Not too shabby.

    Let's see how many and from what side 'swift-boat' this. It's already begun on other forums, from what I've seen so far this early.

    Why Do THEY Hate America?

    Clark/whathisname 2008 :-)

  •  He's the One To Buy Stave Off Democracy's Demise (none)
    No candidate - of course is all things to all Americans.

    I am convinced Wes Clark is the ONLY presidential candidate capable of fighting the Rove/Media/Security - Fear propaganda machine and WIN!

    A Wesley Clark in the White House may be our only hope of staving off the complete demise of true repersentative government - and buy us time. The time and the leverage of power over the media and Congress to have some chance to reveal the truth of what happened in the last Administration.

    If we fail the next time - there will be NO time after that.

    Hiro

    Blind loyalty to self-defeating strategies is equally destructive as working for your enemy.

    by Hiroprotag on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 09:20:46 PM PST

  •  "He's so fine......." (none)
    I liked Wes in 2000 and I like him even more now.
  •  a Rhodes Scholar.......... (none)
    Oh, to have some intelligence back in the White House........
  •  I wished you could have taped the conversation /nt (none)

    Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense." Buddha

    by mimi on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 09:51:38 PM PST

  •  Tags (none)
    I noticed that the tags "General, Wes, Clark" and "national, security" are disjointed by commas and that there's no "recommended" tag. Was the tag-edit function shut down today?

    its called the Truman Doctrine for a reason

    by hhex65 on Mon Feb 06, 2006 at 04:23:27 AM PST

  •  Bumper stickers (none)
    The call should be for all supporters of General Clark, to show their interest in having him run again for the presidency, to immediately purchase and display "Clark President 2008" bumper stickers on their vehicles.  They can be bought on the internet by going to the website for Democratic presidential candidate bumper stickers.  We need to flood the roadways with  vehicles backing Clark!
Kimberley, Mike S, mickey, claude, Alumbrados, davej, Donna Z, stevelu, vicki, Armando, Best in Show, Go Vegetarian, copithorne, MediaFreeze, Tom Rinaldo, mikepridmore, goldstone, oofer, tankej, AKTup, BOHICA, kathygo, DavidSewell, carol4clark, Stan81747, casamurphy, Liberal Thinking, greendem, benjaz, Kimberly Stone, lrhoke, rangemaster, TrueBlueMajority, Dvd Avins, Unstable Isotope, ljm, saraswati, stumpy, pelican, wytcld, ParaHammer, Shockwave, cotterperson, raygunnot, liz, gsp, mishu, Hiroprotag, TX Unmuzzled, HootieMcBoob, devtob, tchoup, Gary in NY, recentdemocrat, kbudhram, ilona, bethcf4p, Joe B, Sandia Blanca, HL Mungo, PeterSD, brianxucla, mldostert, HariSeldon, PKinTexas, eyeswideopen, jpiterak, km4, mlafleur, DanD, concernedamerican, ReneInOregon, kwinz, Dazy, nyceve, Prairie Logic, nudger, mhale85, muledriver, Dante Atkins, roses, L0kI, LondonYank, cognitive dissonance, k2winters, ornerydad, Spindizzy, michael1104, thingamabob, arkdem, Cedwyn, Alna Dem, OrangeCtDem, nitetalker, aitchdee, MamasGun, rcvanoz, sockpuppet, The Truffle, november3rd, QuestionableSanity, bloomster, Caldonia, DEFuning, applegal, Ascendent, rlharry, lcrp, dcookie, outragedinSF, ChiGirl88, jinny, kilo50, Sam Loomis, sfbrentb, lhuynh, Gringo, Sopiane, ArkySue, hfjai, jen, DrReason, CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream, rebirtha, Knightrider, kd texan, eve, ckilyanek, ZootSuitGringo, Sybil Liberty, Sperati, JudyNJ, thereisnospoon, We hold these truths, jobe123, spark, Gowrie Gal, 2d, libnewsie, rapala, Joe Bua, Massman, ms in la, Danjuma, Pokerdad, Cal45, Ckntfld, cheeto, Gabriele Droz, el dorado gal, Sam I Am, subtropolis, theKK, Alice Marshall, Bodean, ignorant bystander, Geronimo, RhetoricalRubberneck, Flint, sandrad23, EJP in Maine, boofdah, zombie, IL dac, Morrigan, truebeliever, concerned, jimstaro, lgb30856, Prison4Bushco, wgard, illyia, rhj, power model, witchamakallit, Lisa Lockwood, mexdem, LisainNYC, Gjermund E Jansen, proudprogressiveCA, soyinkafan, Jim P, TimeTogether, AceDeuceLady, Thundergod, PoppyRocks, enoughisenough, BlueInARedState, Dayspring, sfsalty, Krush, Gorette, dramachick, Gopher Bob, rhetoricus, Jordan LFW, Angie Tran, madcitymelvin, blueoasis, b1oody8romance7, DarkestHour, OhioCav, curmudgiana, GloriaChavez, mithra, Mikesco

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