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UPDATE: Since posting this diary early this morning, Democrats have come forward with a plan on Iraq that appears - for the first time - to be binding. This is a solid (though certainly not perfect) step, indeed. Let me add two things: First, in the last week, we've seen how these proposals can get floated and then undercut. Second, when such plans do get undercut, they often get undercut by the same anti-democratic factions outlined in this diary - factions that we as progressives will have to continue to work to pressure if this plan, or any other, is going to pass. Oh, and one final note: To those automatons who are so blinded by partisan rage that they can't see the need to pressure Democrats, I say that this new announcement by Democrats is a vindication for all of us who have tried - like studious movement participants - to hold both parties' feet to the fire.

One of my idiosyncratic little hobbies of late is to keep a tally on statements by Washington politicians and pundits that are express an open hatred for democracy. This hobby is a subset of a bigger collection of quotes I collect that show how Washington politicians are entirely divorced from the political reality they purport to be experts on - a classic example is Sen. Chuck Schumer's hilariously moronic declaration that strengthening the Patriot Act is politically good for red state Democrats (thanks for your helping make the Montana Senate race that much harder, Chuck!). I'm not exactly sure why I focus on this, other than because it is important to always remind ourselves just how different - and hateful - the Beltway is towards the country it purports to represent. Today, we get a beauty from South Dakota Rep. Stephanie Herseth (D).

In the Washington Post's solid writeup of the debate over Iraq in the House, a faction of Democrats continues to attack the very Election 2006 mandate they were vaulted into office on: opposition to the war. Justifying her opposition to bills that would stop President Bush's military escalation, we get this from South Dakota's lone House member:

"I don't think we should be overreacting to public opinion polls."

I give Herseth credit - her use of "overreacting" deviously implies that there are just a few very recent polls here and there showing negligible opposition to the war, and that Serious People in Congress should never "overreact" to the supposed fleeting whims of the American people. But, of course, the American public has been strongly critical of the Iraq War for almost 4 years now. Go all the way back to August of 2003 - just a few months after the invasion - and polls started consistently showing that Americans felt the Bush administration misled us into war, and that Congress should put the brakes on war spending bills. By the eve of the 2006 election, opposition to the Iraq War was at an all-time high. And just a few weeks ago, a CNN poll found that a strong majority wants Congress to cut off funding for President Bush's escalation, while the Washington Post poll found that a majority of Americans want a timeline for withdrawal, want Congress to do what it takes to stop Bush's escalation, and strongly support a plan to force the White House to adhere to strict troop training standards - all positions Herseth and her small faction of "conservative" colleagues oppose in the name of faux "centrism" and "not overreacting."

Herseth, of course, is following the tried and true path of fellow politicians and pundits insulated comfortably in the Washington bubble. It was Cheney who said in November that the war "may not be popular with the public - it doesn't matter."  It was David Brooks who said a few months ago that "voters shouldn’t be allowed to define the choices in American politics." There was the Bush administration in August of 2006 telling the New York Times "that they are considering alternatives other than democracy" in Iraq - after repackaging the war as an exercise in pro-democracy nation building. The Times itself just recently said that Democrats pushing antiwar legislation strongly supported by the public are "fringe." And let's not forget The New Republic's Peter Beinart who trumpeted groups that - in an oxymoronic backflip - believe "the less beholden politicians are to grassroots activists, the better they will represent voters."

The message from Washington, D.C. to all of us out here in the heartland is very clear: Our government is the exclusive gated community of Big Money interests, their appointed pawns in Congress, and a select group of self-declared "experts" in the media and at think tanks (which are, of course, funded by many of those same Big Money interests). Inside this gated community,  actually listening to or shaping policy on behalf of the vast majority of Americans is considered either laughably outdated or disgustingly unsavory.

This is why we have a House lawmaker running to reporters attacking efforts to end the war as "overreacting" to public opinion. This is why we have a Vice President who goes on national television declaring that what the public wants "doesn't matter." This is why the largest newspaper in America continues to publish a columnist who says voters shouldn't decide elections. This is why, months after being elected to the majority on an antiwar mandate, we have a congressional Democratic Party that still refuses to do anything to end - or even slow down - the war. Because underneath all the platitudes and rhetoric, Washington, D.C. is a place that hates democracy.

Originally posted to davidsirota on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 07:55 AM PST.

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  •  Tip jar (272+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rebecca, felix19, No One No Where, stiela, RichM, claude, selise, Sharon, Alumbrados, Ed in Montana, Dissento, chuck utzman, Donna Z, exsimo2, SteveLCo, tgs1952, Ducktape, miriam, Pacific John, eugene, laurak, Trendar, Jeff Simpson, KingOneEye, Dump Terry McAuliffe, badger, Groper, MontanaMaven, tiponeill, melvynny, newjeffct, Shockwave, wu ming, TJ, LynChi, cotterperson, rhubarb, ManfromMiddletown, HarveyMilk, logorrhea, caliberal, RFK Lives, mataliandy, HL Mungo, dinazina, Harper, aybayb, Vitarai, rickvonw, opinionated, EvieCZ, conchita, TracieLynn, skrymir, Dazy, Shadan7, berith, nyceve, SecondComing, susakinovember, thought, poemless, chuckvw, Geonomist, boilerman10, roses, peraspera, Bearpaw, dchill, Boxers, josephk, matt2525, librarianman, ctsteve, antirove, bejammin075, Alohaleezy, Eddie C, psnyder, averybird, oldjohnbrown, weary hobo, Eddie in ME, superscalar, MTgirl, cometman, Ready2fight, grayslady, waf8868, johnnygunn, Catte Nappe, hazzcon, Tillie630, John Driscoll, raster44, papercut, LeftyLimblog, Cliff Talus, grrr, dufffbeer, lcrp, alizard, forrest, Pohjola, BWasikIUgrad, TheJohnny, migo, Dave925, cevad, dkmich, bwintx, Levity, zerelda, ybruti, jesses, StupidAsshole, Man Eegee, Nelsons, Steven D, adigal, Josiah Bartlett, gsbadj, sawgrass727, sxwarren, rapala, Bluesee, 3goldens, PAbluestater, Alexander G Rubio, el dorado gal, Five of Diamonds, asskicking annie, revbludge, relentless, ek hornbeck, LostInTexas, Salvor Hardin, PBen, Paul Goodman, elkhunter, Brooke In Seattle, dj angst, volballplr, trinityfly, reflectionsv37, majcmb1, truebeliever, Enjoy Every Sandwich, Mr X, dunderhead, John DE, annefrank, lotlizard, Omen, Warren Terrer, techno, AnotherMassachusettsLiberal, bayside, wulidancer, The Raven, paddykraska, FightTheFuture, sodalis, LithiumCola, Rogneid, jct, Paddy999, Mehitabel9, DisNoir36, Prof Dave, kovie, Progressive Liberaltarian, redstar, esquimaux, potownman, Nightprowlkitty, BobzCat, Do Tell, tarheelblue, Keone Michaels, ainwa, tonyahky, Yellow Canary, seefleur, Hear Our Voices, deha, Marcus Tullius, blueoasis, KozmoD, robokos, Flippant to the Last, CAL11 voter, HairyTrueMan, Nathan Hammersmith, The Hindsight Times, condoleaser, real world chick, NearlyNormal, BalkanID, MO Blue, bleeding heart, Dinclusin, MBNYC, american pastoral, Turbonerd, Dyana, mang glider, rage, va dare, Stripe, RantNRaven, shaharazade, Downtowner, chesapeake, Enough Talk Lets Get Busy, CharlieHipHop, Autarkh, NativeOak, OHdog, goon 01, bcchamp, FromCanada, bigchin, jimijam, One Pissed Off Liberal, old wobbly, sarasson007, J Royce, Abraham Running For Congress When I Turn 25, Noor B, dov12348, Ken in MN, blue armadillo, dmh44, Tom Paul, moodyinsavannah, offgrid, yoduuuh do or do not, Catrina, Nespolo, profmom, Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle, deepeco, DWG, dissonantdissident, crispycreme, NoMoJoe, artisan, vbdietz, Alter Ego Manifesto, madgranny, JerseyGirl226, TexasTwister, Captain Nimrod, keikekaze, Vinnie Vegas, jniola, TomP, suicide blonde, FirstValuesThenIssues, davidseth, ArmyWife, ferment, Shahryar, dragoneyes, I, mamamedusa, Foundmyvoice, GoRedSoxGo, Cat Servant, shady8, UncleBuck
    •  Bravo! (17+ / 0-)

      You know, an election is a "public opinion poll" of a particularly potent political type.  Why on earth would Herseth want to ignore that?  After all,the next such "public opinion poll" just might serve to fire her.

      "Fighting Fascism is Always Cool." -- Amsterdam Weekly, volume three, issue 18

      by Noor B on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 08:38:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Unless you have some polls showing... (17+ / 0-)

      how her constituents feel about defunding, then I think you're far off the mark with your crticism here.  Should a Representative represent her district or the country as a whole?  There's always tension there.  But to suggest that a Rep. is "out of touch" by showing national polls is not even close to the whole story.  She could very well be "in touch" with her district, which I would wager is, in fact, the case.    

      Arrogance and stupidity: it's a winning combination.

      by MatthewBrown on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 08:49:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  These are all "green candidates" (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis, Dinclusin, TomP, suicide blonde

        The green of campaign donations.

        The excessive cost of media campaigns to reach elected office mean that these Congresscritters must spend  the majority of their time raising money for the next election.

        All but a trace of it is money raised from corporate and investor class donors.

        It is a complete myth that members of Congress heed and obey their voting constituents. Why should they? Those people did not pay their campaign bills, and they won't pay for their reelection.

        That all depends on corporate sponsors, so that's who these people listen to first.

        The "people?" They are not in this play -- they get to watch the show, and that's all the participation that's wanted or allowed.

        Just as my mother used to offer us kids two choices for dinner every night "Take it or leave it") these politicians arrange for voters to choose one or the other member of the one Money Party every couple of years.

        That's not representative democracy -- that's not meritocracy.

        That's oligarchy. Government of the money, by the money, and for the money.

        "The rule of the wise must be absolute . . . rulers ought not to be responsible to the unwise subjects." ~ Professor Leo Strauss

        by antifa on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 10:58:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  if the people (0+ / 0-)

          don't like either choice, there are two other choices. . . stay home or find a third party which promises them what they REALLY want.

          People like you in the early 19th century probably thought Whigs vs Democratic-Republicans was the eternal shape of American politics. Good luck in finding the Whigs on the ballot of today.

          2008 will probably be the last national election for one of the major parties. If the Democratic Party doesn't make damned well certain that Iraq is seen as a Republican War, 2009 will probably be spent organizing a progressive replacement for the Democrats.

          Maybe you are looking forward to the horrendous amount of work needed to get a new party on the ballot and ready to go by 2010. . . and if you do, I question your sanity.

          Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

          by alizard on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 04:41:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I would be extremely surprised . . . (0+ / 0-)

        . . . if majorities of voters in South Dakota support either the war, the surge,  or the Bush regime.  If they do, the state has suddenly become more conservative than Utah.

        "Do not forget that every people deserves the regime it is willing to endure." -- White Rose letter no. 1

        by keikekaze on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 01:09:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well they did just try to ban all abortions even (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          keikekaze

          in the case of rape and incest.  SD is no bastion of liberalism.

          •  I never said it was. (0+ / 0-)

            But abortion has nothing to do with support for the war, support for the surge, or the Pretender's approval ratings, all of which, I expect, are about as low in South Dakota as they are everywhere else.

            "Do not forget that every people deserves the regime it is willing to endure." -- White Rose letter no. 1

            by keikekaze on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 01:45:49 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It is not uniformly low across the country. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              keikekaze

              It is for instance at about 5-10% where I am and I expect that offsets the much higher approvals in states like Utah which yields the "average".

              Also South Dakota is quite conservative and the abortion debate is tied to their conservative Christian constituency in both parties - a constituency that is consistently supportive of this war - which is why I felt that the attempted abortion ban was a reasonable bellweather.

        •  I would imagine you're correct... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          keikekaze

          when you do polling over the phone about vague things like "approve of the war, surge, or Bush" then I think SD would probably have a slight majority of disapproval for all those.  When you start talking concretely about things like defunding, I think you'd find that slim majority evaporate quickly.  SD is quite conservative still and I think people around here aren't willing to acknowledge that defunding is on shaky ground everywhere, despite the polls.  Americans poll support for a lot of things, but when politics, propaganda and spin get involved that support tends to vanish.  I'm not saying it's a good thing, it's just how it is.    

          Arrogance and stupidity: it's a winning combination.

          by MatthewBrown on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 05:17:53 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  What to do??? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dunderhead, blueoasis, suicide blonde

      I'd love to see some one go against Schmuck Schumer. He has millions of dollars though which is why he is so happy to give so many of us the big f#ck you....

    •  We Wouldn't Have these Problems... (6+ / 0-)

      if this was actually a democracy.

      One of my idiosyncratic little hobbies of late is to keep a tally on statements by Washington politicians and pundits that are express an open hatred for democracy.

      We only have representitives, who aren't really very representitive of citizens.

      This is CLASS WAR, and the other side is winning.

      by Mr X on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:57:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes! They're going to "politic" themselves back (7+ / 0-)

      to minority status, because the netroots and others won't get out in the numbers we did in 06 if they continue to behave like this.

      They're screwing us all. We still haven't gotten their attention, it seems.

      Crash the gates!

      •  worse. . . (0+ / 0-)

        they're screwing themselves.

        The Goopers will turn out even if Satan in person heads the ticket.

        I figured the 2008 election was the Democrats' election to lose. If our elected Democrats don't get their shit together on Iraq and middle-class issues right now, the netroots won't be a factor in 2008 because very few of us will trust ANYONE with D next to their names.

        Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

        by alizard on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 04:44:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'm just surprised it took them so little time... (4+ / 0-)

      "No question, now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which."

    •  Herseth coins new phrase (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rebecca, blueoasis, suicide blonde

      We should call these statements, and the people that make them, "democracymorons" a la oxymoron.  It is even more ironic that Herseth is a Representative.  The Executive branch can claim CEO-type privilege (but don't get me started on that topic).  The Senate can be claimed to be deliberative.  But what is the House of
      REPRESENTATIVES supposed to do?  Wait for it.  Wait . . . . wait . . . patience grasshopper . . . represent the will of the people.  Moran.

      "Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted." - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

      by Progressive Liberaltarian on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 10:23:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Most elites (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alizard, blueoasis, TomP, suicide blonde

      dems or reps, don't care very much for democracy.  This is why only a tiny minority support real campaign finance reform, and why the recent "ethics reform" was so weak.  Anything that puts more power into the hands of ordinary people is dangerous.  Both parties share this view; reps more than dems, obviously, but for both the intitial reaction is one of fear.

      Rise like lions after slumber in unvanquishable number. Shake your chains to earth like dew, which in sleep had fallen on you. Ye are many - they are few.

      by cruz on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 10:39:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I Have Said This Many Times In The Past (0+ / 0-)

      A splitoff by the Netroots into a third party is inevitable for two reasons:

      1. Disgust with the Dems when they realize it's going be a kindler, gentler version of business as usual. At the end of the day, the two party system is still a monopoly, and Americans will wake up to that eventually.
      1. At some point in time, the Netroots will grow into such an economic and political force that they will desire their own candidates and have their own platform, their marriage with the DNC is merely one of convenience.
      •  Maybe some will split off. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rebecca, johnny rotten, taylormattd, Elise

        But it will only be the idiots who live in a fantasy world were the Congress is replaced by a parliamentary system.

        Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

        by clonecone on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 10:54:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm sure that the 19th Century (0+ / 0-)

          leaders of the Whig Party said exactly the same thing about the political upstarts. . . who replaced them.

          Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

          by alizard on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 04:45:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  If you're advocating (0+ / 0-)

            replacing the Democratic Party you are in the wrong fucking place.  You've been here long enough to know the mission of this site.

            Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

            by clonecone on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 05:06:53 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  sorry, I can't help you with your reading skills (0+ / 0-)

              I've said consistently (including in this diary) that replacing the Democratic Party is NOT something we want to do if we have a choice.

              Are all "centrists" retarded or are you unrepresentative of your fellow DINOs?

              What I have been saying is that if the Democratic Party don't represent the American people, it will vanish into the nether world currently occupied by the Natural Law and other minor third parties.

              Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

              by alizard on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 05:52:49 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Moron. (0+ / 0-)
                1.  I'm not a centrist.  I'm a life long liberal.
                1.  I'm not a DINO
                1.  Your use of retarded is highly offensive
                1.  Bite me

                Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

                by clonecone on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 08:18:23 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  my apologies to (0+ / 0-)

                  any of you who are both here and intellectually challenged (Hi, freepers!) for including Clonecone in your number. Your embarrassment for being associated with him is perfectly reasonable.

                  Satisfied?

                  If you are not a centrist supporter of DINOs, why are you offended by my pointing out that the previous course of non-action on Iraq has put the Democratic coalition of 2006 and very possibly, the future of the Democratic Party at risk?

                  And if you'd paid attention while reading the diary, you would have seen my expression of satisfaction over the Democrats in Congress finally coming up with substantial legislation which might actually shut down the war if passed, and which should serve to embarrass DINOs and the GOP if it doesn't pass or is vetoed.

                  Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

                  by alizard on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 11:59:27 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

    •  Excuse me? (6+ / 0-)

      This is why, months after being elected to the majority on an antiwar mandate, we have a congressional Democratic Party that still refuses to do anything to end - or even slow down - the war.

      Excuse me?  Then what in God's green earth is this?

      WASHINGTON - In a direct challenge to
      President Bush, House Democrats unveiled legislation Thursday requiring the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraq by the fall of next year.

      Speaker Nancy Pelosi (news, bio, voting record) said the deadline would be added to legislation providing nearly $100 billion the Bush administration has requested for fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

      ...

      As described by Democrats, the legislation will require Bush to certify by July 1 and again by Oct. 1. whether the Iraqi government is making progress toward providing for the country's security, allocating its oil revenues and creating a fair system for amending its constitution.

      They said if Bush certified the Iraqis were meeting these so-called benchmarks, U.S. combat troops would have to begin withdrawing by March 1, 2008, and complete the redeployment by Sept. 1.

      Otherwise, the deadlines would move up.

      If Bush cannot make the required certification by July 1, troops must begin a six-month withdrawal immediately. If Bush cannot make the second certification, the same six-month timetable would apply.

      You are out of your mind if you think the Democratic leadership in Congress, and especially Speaker Pelosi, isn't doing their best to try to effectively oppose the war in Iraq.  But legislation takes time.  The reality in Congress is you need votes, and you have to craft legislation that can get the votes.  The Democrats have barely been in power for 60 days for crying out loud, and then we don't really have a workable majority in the Senate.

      But more importantly, David, while I am in complete agreement with you about the "moderate" Democrats' hesitation on Iraq, it is incredibly unfair to fault an entire party because a small fraction of it can't get out of its Washington bubble.

      And need I remind you, David, that Congress' only responsibility is not to make laws or appropriate money.  It also has the authority and the obligation to do oversight.  Overseeing the war's handling and exposing its disasters to the American people is a big part of the attempt to bring the occupation to a close.  And the Democrats are doing a damn good job of that.

      Criticizing Democrats is a good thing, if it's constructive.  But painting with a broad brush and bashing our friends don't do anyone any good.

      •  He never (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        littlesky, deaniac83

        takes any responsibility for the broad generalizations he nearly always uses in his writing. This could have been a wonderful diary that actually served the purpose of holding conservative / DLC / D.C. insider types in the party to the fire, but instead, he falsely titles the diary "Dems" give americans the middle finger.

        It is simply too ironic that he wrote this on the very day both the progressives and the democratic leadership proposed binding legislation to get out of Iraq.

  •  Defunding (16+ / 0-)

    46%.

    Probably top 50% in the next 6 months or so.

    I've noticed a certain flair in the way these posts are titled.

    The consistent practice of taking one faction of Dems and slandering the entire Party with commentary about that faction seems to me a bad way to get people to care about what you have to say.

    More time is being spent trying to create agreement in the Dem Party than is being spent trying to exploit disagreement in the Republican Party.

    by Edgar08 on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 07:56:14 AM PST

    •  And After They Give Bush His Money (14+ / 0-)

      what difference will polls make, right?

      I notice you are a Hillary supporter and against defunding the war.

      Interesting...

      Lefty!!!

      "There is a time for compromise, and it is called 'Later'!"

      by LeftyLimblog on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 08:12:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  So is Jim Webb (11+ / 0-)

        Interesting...

        I guess that makes me a Jim Webb supporter.

        Don't get all pissy.  Cause I was being nice, right there.

        Here's cruel:  Hey!!  Anyone know where Jon Tester sits on Defunding?   And is he giving a middle finger to Montanans???  What about Schweitzer.  Where's is speech about defunding???!!!

        I only wanted to point out the actual poll numbers on defunding and politely suggest a better way to get people to care about what one has to say.  Overgeneralizing is always bad.

        I could have gone the "look at the hypocrisy" route if I wanted.

        More time is being spent trying to create agreement in the Dem Party than is being spent trying to exploit disagreement in the Republican Party.

        by Edgar08 on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 08:18:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Schweitzer said on Charlie Rose last night (12+ / 0-)

          that we need to stay in Iraq permanently until we achieve energy independence.  He does not think we should pull out of Iraq at all. He did not agree with going into Iraq in the first place, but now he says we have to stay for the oil.

          •  Is there a transcript? n/t (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            grrr
          •  Seriously (4+ / 0-)

            Do they have transcripts on Charlie Rose?

            It repeats on PBS at noon today PST.  I'll have to check that out.

            More time is being spent trying to create agreement in the Dem Party than is being spent trying to exploit disagreement in the Republican Party.

            by Edgar08 on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 08:47:23 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  that's appalling. (16+ / 0-)

            Mind you, I did not see Charlie Rose.  But based upon what you've written above, I have to ask what part of "Iraq's oil belongs to Iraq, not to the US" does he not understand?  This is tantamount to approving of a policy allowing resource wars.

            Resource wars are highly imperial.  I say this as someone who has studied the nexus of trade and empire in South Asia.  I don't recall our Constitution allowing for our government to evolve into empire.  It is just as damaging to us here at home as it is to the target of such wars.  That is why I support defunding the war and getting the hell out of Iraq ASAP.  It's the right thing to do for both Americans and Iraqis.  

            "Fighting Fascism is Always Cool." -- Amsterdam Weekly, volume three, issue 18

            by Noor B on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 08:57:09 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You can watch it. (0+ / 0-)

              The link to the video is above.

              •  He really meant for us to exploit their oil? (0+ / 0-)

                How did Rose react?

                •  I doubt that, I don't think (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Alohaleezy

                  He supported invasion (although I'm assuming that, actually, I've never seen his statements pre-invasion on the issue.)

                  There's just more to the Iraq story than people are discussing on this blog.

                  And some of it is ugly, but present real problems for Americans.  

                  More time is being spent trying to create agreement in the Dem Party than is being spent trying to exploit disagreement in the Republican Party.

                  by Edgar08 on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:09:57 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  I wouldn't say that he was avocating (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  peraspera, ivorybill

                  "exploiting" their oil.

                  You really should watch the interview and make your own determination about why he has come to the conclusions that he has.

                  He has a perspective that is complex and takes into account the region, our country's position in the world as well as the needs of the rest of the world.  His opinion is centered around alternative energy and becoming energy independent.

                  Start at 15 minutes or so if you want to hear the energy discussion that leads into the discussion about what he thinks our role has to be in that region for the next twenty years.

                  Video link: http://www.charlierose.com/

            •  Who owns Iraq's oil? (4+ / 0-)

              We can all agree that the Bush Administration does not.  But the issue of ownership over Iraqi oil and distribution of resources is far, far more complicated than is usually discussed here. It's not just "a matter for the Iraqi people".

              Does Iraq's central government have a right to Iraq's oil?  If you have studied resource wars, you will surely know that central control over mineral resource revenue - whether in Nigeria, Congo, Saudi Arabia, Irian Jaya or Iraq - usually turns out poorly for the general population, not to mention minority groups.

              Here's an example from Iraq:  Do the Kurds have a right to a guaranteed share of oil from Kirkuk?  Do people in Basra or southern Iraq have a right?  If oil revenue is distributed proportional to population, how can or should that be enforced? Or should Iraq's oil revenue simply be handed over to whoever can control Iraq?  

              Whenever I listen to the debate revolving simply around "get out and let the Iraqis deal with it" versus "remain until the job is done", I get really annoyed because the third option is: "start working on a peace settlement with international (and multilateral) security and financial guarantees".  

              From our perspective in the US, many of us are thinking that all we need is for someone in Iraq to sell oil. Doesn't matter who.  Doesn't matter a whole lot whether that revenue then funds a security system to control the country, regardless of how that control is achieved.  

              The problem is, that kind of attitude is as responsible for the current mess as the Bush Administration's unilateral foreign policy.  The reasons for the civil war in Iraq are complicated - but any fair analysis of the situation would have to admit that decades of monopoly of oil resources by the center, and ferocious repression of the periphery, created an unstable Iraq in which tensions between Kurds and Arabs, Shia' and Sunni were at a boiling point. Of course, US policies made those divisions worse.  But the fact is, Iraq likely would have exploded eventually had Saddam been assassinated or if there was another intifada that succeeded.  Discussion of withdrawal without a discussion about how to resolve the underlying issue of centralization versus decentralization, is not very helpful. The US should not dictate the solution, but the next administration once Bush leaves office should have a role in that discussion.  

              •  Anyone remotely serious about foreign policy (0+ / 0-)

                will be thinking about these issues and more including but not limited to considerations with regard to our relative position to super powers like Russia and China.

              •  until Iraq has a central government (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ivorybill

                that is seen as legitimate by the great majority of the people, NOBODY is going to be selling Iraqi oil.

                Has everyone forgotten that Iraqi has gone from oil exporter to oil importer under the occupation?

                There is simply too much physical infrastructure to protect for an occupation force that the majority of the population thinks deserves to be used for target practice.

                More to the point, most of America's occupation force is trying to secure Baghdad, and there isn't any oil under it.

                Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

                by alizard on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 05:21:15 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Right... (0+ / 0-)

                  Except for two things:

                  (1)  Iraq is not likely to have a central government anytime soon that will be seen as legitimate by the Kurds in the north, the residents of Basra in the south, and the urban population of Baghdad.  The differences are just too great.  That's why there needs to be a discussion about the structure of government that allows for maximum flexibility and some sort of guaranteed revenue sharing.

                  (2)  Much of the oil and refining infrastructure has always been concentrated in the Sunni-dominated central areas of the country - Baji, etc.  The pipeline from Kirkuk goes way south past Tikrit before heading north again to Turkey. The US has deliberately sought to prevent any decentralization of oil production, refining, transportation. It would be easy to send a pipeline from Kirkuk to Turkey or Syria directly.   The oil from Kirkuk cannot be exported because the US prevented the Kurds from doing so.  Any pipeline going south from Kirkuk will simply be blown up by the insurgency.

                  Your comment is correct - but Iraq sooner or later will be exporting oil.  My comment referred to the necessity of negotiating oil revenue and oil exportation (multilaterally) in a way that protects the people of the periphery as well as those of the center.  To simply hand it over to whoever takes over in Baghdad will assure an Arab-Kurdish civil war that does not currently exist, in addition to exacerbating tensions between Sunni and Shia'.

          •  if we stay in Iraq (0+ / 0-)

            we won't be able to afford energy independence.

            Hasn't anyone shared with him Stieglitz's pre-surge $2,000,000,000,000 budget estimate for Iraq War costs including rebuilding the military afterwards and care for veterans?

            Is somebody lowballing the numbers with respect to replacing the US energy infrastructure at him?

            Or is he simply figuring that we'll go the coal / conventional agriculture route on replacing fossil fuel and he's simply buying future beachfront property on top of what are now mountains?

            Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

            by alizard on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 05:04:10 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Stop this guilt by association stuff (3+ / 0-)

        I am against Hillary and for Feingold's plan of defunding the war.  But I don't go after people's argument by saying "you are a so-and-so supporter, so you must be wrong."  Argue the points, not the supporters of them.

    •  well, diarist is more interested in getting (16+ / 0-)

      people out of the democratic party than getting people out of Iraq.  

      That's why he strains at a single statment from a single dem legislator, instead of picking up the everyday republican poopooing of democracy, debate and legislative action, and statemetns on how the war is going to continue no matter who is against it or what congress votes.  There's a huge protofascist sentiment in this country, but he's picking at a single democratic zit.   He has no perspective or goal beyond a party purge, and that's a fucking shame.

      It's the proto-fascism.

      by Inland on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 08:25:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  LOL (0+ / 0-)

      Boy was I wrong.

      A Recommended Diary.   I'll give it a rec too.

      More time is being spent trying to create agreement in the Dem Party than is being spent trying to exploit disagreement in the Republican Party.

      by Edgar08 on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:12:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not only is it a bad way (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      taylormattd, Elise

      to get people to care about what you say, it is logically ludicrous, morally wrong, and just plain unfair.  And I suspect David knows that.  I have always respected him as a progressive community member, which is why I am at a loss at his broad brush paintings.

  •  I saw this coming in October (12+ / 0-)

    Here's my diary from canvassing in CT just before the November election where I came to this conclusion early.  (skip to the middle where I accidentally buried the lede)  

    -3.63, -4.46 "Choose something like a star to stay your mind on- and be staid"

    by goldberry on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 07:56:25 AM PST

  •  DC hates democracy? It hates Americans (15+ / 0-)

    Thanks for pointing us in the correct direction to more activism; it seems the work is not done yet.

  •  Maybe Herseth needs to hear personally (12+ / 0-)

    from the voters.  A deluge of calls might help her to realize who she works for. Her statement is no different than Bush's when asked about the millions of people who demonstrated across the globe to try to stop this ~ 'I don't pay attention to focus groups'.

    Disgusting behavior from her ~

    Speak your truth quietly, and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant, they too have their story - Max Ehrmann

    by Catrina on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 07:59:07 AM PST

  •  Who hates... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuckvw, mrbubs, TomP

    our freedoms?

  •  Sick. (16+ / 0-)

    In spite of the fact that the majority of the American people are against the war (69%?), the Democrats are still afraid to take action to end this debacle.

    So what are they afraid of? Clearly it is the Republican slime machine.  They are scared to death of pissing off the right. Sick.

    We will know when Democrats have changed; they will stop appearing on Fox News.

    by Lords on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 08:03:13 AM PST

    •  ah, the magic of polling (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      taylormattd, ablington

      you can really get whatever you want by spinning (if you ignore the actual actions required)

      a majority of the American people do not favor DEFUNDING as a means to end the war ... sadly, that's the only solution available to Democrats as long as the Senate's GOP posture is to filibuster any other legislation aimed at winding down involvement in Iraq ...

      but go ahead ... stomp, shout, and cry for purity's sake ... meanwhile, perhaps enough responsible voices will allow the public's opinion to be shaped ...

      by crying for purge, one appears to others (indie voters) to lack the gravitas needed to lead ...

    •  I wish this were true... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lords, ivorybill

      but it is a serious over simplification.  The problem with national polls is that California and New York have vast populations.  The majority of Americans clearly want the war ended, but all those reps from the middle of the country are elected to represent the views of their constituents.  Sure, you might want to look at it narrowly and wonder why you gave to these red state candidates when they won't help lose the war, and all I can say is, look at what you got for that money.
      Do you think Walter Reed fell apart over night?  Isn't it a fact that the republican Congressional leadership swept the whole thing under the rug?  Now there are hearings, heads are rolling, and after alot of time, money and bureaucratic waste, the end result is that improvments to veteran care will be made.
      Hearings are going on in Congress right now over 8 prosecutors fired for political reasons.  If the republicans controlled all three branches of the government still, do you think hearings would be going on?
      Resolutions condeming the escalation have been passed.  They are non-binding, yes, but would you agree that it is an improvment over the republican led Congressional record of cheering by the sidelines without actually paying attention or caring about facts on the ground?
      Look, I am a 32 year old musician with a wife and two kids.  I'm a pretty progressive person, and I would love Congress to wave a fairy wand and make this war stop.  Bring our troops (some of whom are my friends) home safely, and stop shoveling billions as fast as you can into defense contractors who's boardmembers include Bush Sr and Baker III.  Invest that money in a national healthcare system and alternative energy so that we and the globe will have a future.
      While these things are not happening fast enough for my liking, it hardly makes me  an apologist for recognizing the realities on the ground.  I'm certainly not giving the finger to anyone.

      If you don't like the effects, don't produce the cause.

      by Mannabass on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:55:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  oops... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lords

        Sure, you might want to look at it narrowly and wonder why you gave to these red state candidates when they won't help lose the war, and all I can say is, look at what you got for that money.

        That is a serious typo.  It should have said end the war, don't know how I did that, maybe I was thinking close the war, but regardless, I am sorry for the mistake.

        If you don't like the effects, don't produce the cause.

        by Mannabass on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:59:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  stop waiting for them (24+ / 0-)

    I have said this many times before but we have to stop waiting for our so called leaders to do the right thing. It is up to us, the people. We must be the ones who make it very clear that we want a change. We must be the ones who make so much noise and raise such hell that the pols. in DC will be quaking in their shoes. People lead, leaders follow, and we are not leading.
    The election sent a message, but the fact that they are dithering about and the streets are not filled with angry citzens demanding change sends one too.
    They will act in our interests when they are more afraid of us then they are of losing corporate money or of the Republican slime machine.
    Right now, they have seen very little from us to make them afraid.
    Polls and letters are obviously not enough, and there seems to be little movement towards anything more. When we wonder what happened to our democracy we can look in a big collective mirror.

    •  Exactly right. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rebecca, conchita, poemless, TomP
      What does the word democracy mean? Does it mean rule by an elite? By a party? By bureaucrats? By politicians whose criteria for an issue is whether it will get them elected? What happens to democracy when the people only show up once every four years to pull a lever, if that? It dies.

      People must learn that electoral politics is just one part of democracy, and that everyone must get active to end the war.

      Activism is my rent for living on this planet.  --Alice Walker

    •  Well (0+ / 0-)

      wait no longer. They have now proposed binding legislation that mandates withdrawal of the troops.

  •  Meanwhile, the DEMOCRATS (7+ / 0-)

    have announced a plan to require troop withdrawal by late 2008.

    http://news.yahoo.com/...

  •  She certainly isn't overreacting to defunding (8+ / 0-)

    polls. Only 37% of Americans oppose denying funds for more troops to get sent over to Iraq, 61% oppose it.

    Here's the wording of the question asked:

    Would you favor or oppose Congress taking each of the following actions in regards to the war in Iraq? How about denying the funding needed to send any additional U.S. troops to Iraq?

    More data from the same site:

    "Would you support or oppose Congress trying to block Bush's plan by restricting funding for the war?"

    46% support 51% oppose

    "Would you favor or oppose Congress cutting funding for the additional troops President Bush wants to send to Iraq?"

    38% support 60% oppose

    Join the College Kossacks on Facebook, or the Republicans win.

    by DemocraticLuntz on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 08:05:07 AM PST

  •  Do you think Herseth would.... (6+ / 0-)

    be willing to overreact to a primary challenge?

    Any party that would lie to start a war would also steal an election.

    by landrew on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 08:08:17 AM PST

  •  Rep. Stephanie Herseth ~ (866) 371-8747. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rhubarb, dunderhead, blueoasis

    Rep. Stephanie Herseth

    Rep. Herseth wants to hear from you!

    As a member of the House Agriculture Committee, over the coming weeks and months, Rep. Herseth will be participating in a range of field hearings to help shape the 2007 Farm Bill. Your Congresswoman needs your input! Rep. Herseth is requesting all South Dakota producers and their families to provide her with thoughts, ideas and suggestions either by using the online form below or calling, toll-free, (866) 371-8747.

    Speak your truth quietly, and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant, they too have their story - Max Ehrmann

    by Catrina on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 08:09:59 AM PST

  •  Fund, don't defund (5+ / 0-)

    Pass a bill saying you can get all the funds you want, but they can only be used to support a withdrawal of troops. Problem solved.

    It'll support the troops - by getting them out of Iraq.

    Palpably Extant: the death of the 4th estate.

    by spencerh on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 08:21:40 AM PST

  •  Leaving aside the polls (4+ / 0-)

    Two things are clear.  The American people want us out of Iraq.  Bush wants to leave Iraq to the next president because he wants someone else to oversee the retreat from the mess he created.  What Democrat in their right mind believes that Bush knows what he is doing in Iraq and has a plan to get us out?  The only people I know stupid enough to believe Bush is the sole elected representative of the Connecticut for Lieberman party and neo-idiot Republicans.  

    A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. - Aristotle

    by DWG on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 08:27:02 AM PST

  •  This seems (6+ / 0-)

    to be a diary primarily about Stephanie Herseth, yet your title says "Dems" give american voters the middle finger. I request that you either change the title or edit the diary to show that all "Dems" are giving the middle finger.

  •  We live in a two-party system (9+ / 0-)

    But we are far too diverse a country for that.  In any other nation, we would have many parties with a coalition government.  We would have fascists (the Republicans), socialists (the progressive dems), greens (other progressive dems), liberals, conservatives, theocrats, and libertarians, and, by Jove, we would have coalition governments.

    But our country isn't set up like that.  We have a two-party system with all the costs and benefits associated with it.

    Our job is not to trash Stephanie Herseth, or anyone else.  Our job is to get the most progressive person possible at every level of government.  I am not half as concerned with Stephanie Herseth in South Dakota as with Diane Feinstein in California, Hillary Clinton in New York, or Joseph Liarman in Connecticut.  Let Evan Bayh have a pass... Indiana isn't going to elect anyone more progressive than him in the foreseeable future.

    Let us make our battlegrounds the primaries, and let's run positive campaigns, because we're all gonna fall in line behind the guy with the D next to his name.  That's what happens in a two-party system, after all.

    You can be as free as you want, so long as Republicans control birth, death, sex and marriage. And whose vote counts.

    by ultrageek on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 08:32:21 AM PST

    •  I won't be falling into that line. n/t (10+ / 0-)

      "...history is a tragedy not a melodrama" - I.F. Stone

      by bigchin on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 08:36:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Speak for yourself (14+ / 0-)

      I am NOT in politics to elect Democrats.

      I am in politics to help create a better, fairer, more secure and more just society for all Americans.

      Now obviously, to achieve those goals, I need to get some good Democrats elected.

      But that does NOT mean I will sit silently by while some Democrats actively disdain the public, disdain democracy, or excuse from criticism Democratic failures. They work for us, remember, not the other way around.

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

      by eugene on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:17:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well... (4+ / 0-)

        I am in politics to help create a better, fairer, more secure and more just society for all Americans.

        Then you'll vote for Democrats and hope they win...

        because the alternative certainly won't get you ANY of those things.

      •  This is where DKos will fail you... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Northstar, old wobbly, TomP

        I am of the same opinion. I don't give a good God-damned what letter they tag behind their names.

        I'm beginning to feel like our "two-party" system is nothing but one of the world's greatest jokes.. at the expense of the American people.

        This line here says it all to me:

        "I am NOT in politics to elect Democrats.

        I am in politics to help create a better, fairer, more secure and more just society for all Americans."

        The problem here is that for as much discourse, dialogue and knowledge that is on this site, this site is first and foremost about electing those with a D attached to their asses.

        It's been said and repeated so many times by so many posters, including and especially Kos himself, that there is no point in trying to point out any flaws in our own party.

        I've started to look at politics in this country in much the same way I look at football. You choose a team then spend your time rooting for it, going to a game or two if you're lucky, buying the merchandise, and screaming your head off, but in the end both teams are still playing the same friggin' game.

        It's this tired ass game that needs to change, not the D or the R.

        Peace takes real courage.

        by Disillusioned on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:47:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Elise

        It's just that Sirota is wrong for multiple reasons. He is trying to tar all democrats with his ludicrous diary title. "Dems" are giving the middle finger? Really? Like who, Barbara Lee or Jim McDermott? He even acknowledges that the folks he is talking about are a small portion of the party.

        Additionally, the facts on the ground appear to have caught up with and passed him. As of today, House Democrats have proposed two separate pieces of legislation, both binding, to end the war.

        The bill proposed by the liberal / progressive / out-of-iraq caucus will fully fund the withdrawal from Iraq by the end of this year.

        The bill proposed by the Democratic Leadership mandates withdrawal by 2008, at the latest.

      •  they don't all work for you (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Elise

        last time i'd checked, eugene, you only had two senators and one representative working for you on Capitol Hill ...

        i've only got three folk on the Hill myself ...

        Ms. Herseth's agreement is between herself and the voters of South Dakota ... she doesn't work for me at all, even if she is a member of my party's caucus ...

        •  so you don't pay federal taxes? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FightTheFuture, blueoasis

          last i checked, we're all paying their paychecks.

          surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

          by wu ming on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 10:11:53 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  They represent those who elected them. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            taylormattd, wystler

            Yours represent you.

            •  They also represent the country because (0+ / 0-)

              they took an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.  That affects allof us and therefore represents all of us.  

              Sure, they represent their constituents, however, given that anyone can contribute to a campaign anywhere, or work against it, any politician would be a fool to ignore the rest of the country in their political calculus.  They certainly don't for corporate money!!

              The meek shall inherit the earth.... six feet under!! Liberals and progressives, stop being meek!

              by FightTheFuture on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 05:22:34 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Herseth is answerable to her constituents. Period (0+ / 0-)

                If you don't like her, don't give her money...

                But don't imply that she should answer to you. That's not her job.

                •  You address nothing of the facts I laid out. (0+ / 0-)

                  I agree she has to answer to her constituents, however, she also has duties that transcend that; as i stated.  

                  Now, she doesn't have to answer to me, directly.  However, she had better watch our because I, and many others, are watching how she handles issues.  She'd be a fool to ignore that and you are being disingenuous, at best.  

                  Why is that so hard for you to understand?  It certainly wasn't for the Right Wing when they targeted Liberal politicians everywhere!

                  The meek shall inherit the earth.... six feet under!! Liberals and progressives, stop being meek!

                  by FightTheFuture on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 09:56:56 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  And what exactly are you going to do (0+ / 0-)

                    if the way she votes doesn't please you?

                    I mean...you could fund a primary alternative- I suppose, but I don't see many Dems being able to win in South Dakota that aren't as conservative as she is...so that seems like a waste of money.

                    Honestly, I'm more worried about other Reps who are IN liberal districts who should be voting to pull out of Iraq, but who aren't. There are "safe" Dems who aren't doing what they should be...let's focus on them. Especially since they're more easily replaced by Dems in a primary anyway.

          •  We pay every cop's and every soldier's salary (0+ / 0-)

            ..whether we like what they're doing or not.  Representative Herseth is answerable only to the voters of South Dakota, and, frankly, since the abortion flap, I have far more confidence in their wisdom than I used to...

            You can be as free as you want, so long as Republicans control birth, death, sex and marriage. And whose vote counts.

            by ultrageek on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 01:42:40 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Foolish and disengenuous, at best. (0+ / 0-)

          They represent the country, and all of us, by implication.  They took an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.  That affects all of us and therefore represents all of us.  

          Sure, they represent their constituents, however, given that anyone can contribute to a campaign anywhere, or work against it, any politician would be a fool to ignore the rest of the country in their political calculus.  They certainly don't for corporate money!!

          The meek shall inherit the earth.... six feet under!! Liberals and progressives, stop being meek!

          by FightTheFuture on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 05:23:46 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  It has been said.... (0+ / 0-)

      "[t]here is only one party in the United States, the Property Party . . . and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat. Republicans are a bit stupider, more rigid, more doctrinaire in their laissez-faire capitalism than the Democrats, who are cuter, prettier, a bit more corrupt — until recently... and more willing than the Republicans to make small adjustments when the poor, the black, the anti-imperialists get out of hand. But, essentially, there is no difference between the two parties."

      By Gore Vidal, no less.  I have to agree, however, the Democrats are rented, mostly, while the Republicans are wholly bought and paid for slave bitches.  So, while we still have a Democracy, we have to keep pressuring the Dems to move left and to get into place things that will return control to the people rather than the K-street Lobbyists, Rich and powerful, Corporations and other ilk.  Things like:

      • Instant  Runoff  Voting
      • Public Financing of elections
      • Open and trustworthy paper ballot voting

      These have to start at the local level and move up, while also removing Dems that cannot get in line to better ideas.  It will take some time, unless another horrible world changing event occurs.  Then we all have to make a quick choice and hopefully, demand the better solutions NOW as opposed to what these current traitors did with 9/11 (best thing that ever happend, for them!).

      The meek shall inherit the earth.... six feet under!! Liberals and progressives, stop being meek!

      by FightTheFuture on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 05:15:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Jon Tester (14+ / 0-)

    In a debate with Conrad Burns who charged that Jon Tester will weaken Patriot Act,

    Jon Tester countered, It is not true that I will weaken Patriot Act,  instead,  I will abolish it!

    If Red States think Patriot Act is good--then it is a failure of educating them to the truth and to Constitution.

    Debate and Educate--dont surrender the truth but fight for it.

  •  One Dem who has a problem with the Patriot Act (9+ / 0-)

    a classic example is Sen. Chuck Schumer's hilariously moronic declaration that strengthening the Patriot Act is politically good for red state Democrats (thanks for your helping make the Montana Senate race that much harder, Chuck!).

    Of course he's not an inside the beltway dem.

       Wesley Clark on the PATRIOT Act (Rolling Stone Interview)

       Q: The president is urging Congress to grant him wider powers to wage war on terrorism at home.

       A: Come on, give us a break. The Patriot Act, all 1,200 pages of it, was passed without any serious congressional discussion. There was no public accountability, and now he wants more? What does he think this country is? We shouldn't do anything with the Patriot Act until it's unwrapped. I'd like to see what violations of privacy it entails, and whether those violations are in any way justified by their preventing terrorism in this country. And we need to do it now before we take another step forward and pay for that.

    Asked by students about the Patriot Act, Clark said the implications and effectiveness of the Act -- which he says he's read cover-to-cover three times and is still trying to make sense of -- must be carefully analyzed before, as Attorney General John Ashcroft hopes, its powers are expanded.

    "Because when you're dealing with something like the Bill of Rights, it is so precious, it is so central to the this country that we must never allow an administration to abridge it without full, open and complete accountability to the American people."

    "America needs a new strategy" DePaw U speech

    Someone once asked me if I had learned anything from going to war so many times. My reply: Yes, I learned how to cry.
    Joe Galloway

    by BOHICA on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 08:34:27 AM PST

    •  "One Dem who has a problem with the Patriot Act" (0+ / 0-)

      ...but he's not the only one.  Kucinich (in case no one has heard) also has 'a problem' with the Patriot Act (as do a majority of voters, I'd wager).  But people who have expressed strong reservations about the Patriot Act have already been virtually disqualified from seeking the Dem Party nomination...by the powers-that-be who fear they might be seen as 'soft on terrorism'.

      "You go to war and you could lose your heart, your mind, your arms, your legs - but you cannot win. The soldiers don't win." -- Anonymous Soldier

      by aybayb on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:49:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  So the new Dem takes office (13+ / 0-)

    as he/she begins moving in he passes the old deposed Republic guy on the way out.

    Being an older and more experienced politician the Republic guy gives the new Dem 3 envelopes.

    The new Dem asks what they are for...

    The Republic guy says when the people get riled up on your not doing enough open envelope #1, if they still are riled up after that open #2, and finally when they are totally fed up with your inaction open #3.

    The fresh new Dem thanks him for the advice.

    So after a month his/her constituants begin to complain that he/she is not doing what they put him in office for. All upset he/she decides to open envelope #1 - it says - "Blame the prior politician ... its not your fault ... they shoulda done something when they were in office".

    Well that doesn't work so after a year or so he/she is forced to open envelope #2. It says - "put together non binding resolutions, meaningless amendments, and promise anyday now you will have the power to do something as soon as the party gets its act together".

    Well after trying that too many times and with elections around the corner he/she feels that perhaps envelope #3 will have a viable option. He opens it and sits back to read - it says - "prepare 3 envelopes for the new Republic occupant for your office".

    Just a twist on an old mgmt joke .....

    It doesn't really matter if I'm wrong I'm right Where I belong I'm right Where I belong.

    by Da Rock on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 08:36:00 AM PST

  •  Dan Boren's personal "fuck you" to the troops. (9+ / 0-)

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

    Dan Boren (D-Okla), one of the infamous Blue Dogs, speaks a bit on his war philosophy.   He thinks we should all follow the Executive because it's his war and his alone.   The underlying thought, of course, is that if enough troops continue to die over the course of the next two years, the Repubs will look even worse than they do now and The Dems will stand to benefit accordingly.

    But skepticism remains (on interfering with the war), especially among Democrats from conservative districts.

    "It's still micromanaging the war," Rep. Dan Boren (D-Okla.) said.

    More than anything else, many Democrats want to leave Bush responsible for ending the war he started.

    "The war is the issue, but it's the president's issue, not ours," Boren said.

    Right, Dan.  F*ck the troops.  It's fine if they die -- actually a good thing -- because in the long run Bush will look even worse and Dems will be ripe for a big takeover in 2008.

    Sick, perverted, a damn shame, and likely completely the opposite of what his constituency expects of him.

    Bush doesn't listen to anyone but the competing voices in his head. The winner he calls "God" and runs with it.

    by dov12348 on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 08:36:20 AM PST

  •  Regarding Herseth and her statement that (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Elise, Geekesque, CAL11 voter

    I don't think we should be overreacting to public opinion polls

    I wonder what the polls are saying in South Dakota?  Given that she is not from an urban area, either west or east coast, and from a relatively unpopulated state, it is not surprising that she might say something like this.  If she were from NYC or the SF Bay Area, then this might be something to be shocked about.  She probably will not ever be out front on issues of war defunding or redeployment based on where she comes from and what her constituents are likely telling her.

    •  By saying that "we should not overreact" (0+ / 0-)

      she is clearly admitting that the majority of Americans want out of Iraq, but she does not see the need to act based on that fact.

      If her constituents felt differently, she could certainly have said that directly.  But she didn't, instead she chose to minimize public opinion as something that should not be "overreacted" to.

      To me, the mere fact that certain Democratic politicians have sought to stop the Murtha plan before it gets to the floor is because they KNOW the people support it, and they don't want to be placed in a position where they have to cast a vote for or against it.  If Herseth and others opposed these resolutions, they should just vote against them.  But they don't want to - they just want to avoid a vote on anything substantive.  Why?

      Any party that would lie to start a war would also steal an election.

      by landrew on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:10:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What is your answer to the question 'Why' (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Elise

        that you raise?  Could it be that she is representing, according to her lights, the opinion of the people in South Dakota who either put her in office by their vote or who funded her campaign?

    •  This is idiotic (5+ / 0-)

      Of course South Dakota is different from NYC and SF, but it's also totally wrong to assume that only NYC and SF are against this war. The overwhelming majority wants this war to come to an end, and that includes South Dakotans.

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

      by eugene on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:19:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  So why do you think she is not reflecting (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Elise

        the will and opinions of her constituents or supporters?  Even us idiots have a right to ask someone of your intellect.

        •  the same reason why blue staters like schumer (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blueoasis, TomP

          continue to push this bullshit; because they don't really believe that the people are worth listening to.

          surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

          by wu ming on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 10:16:06 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Do you really believe that you speak for (0+ / 0-)

            the 'people'?  I find that a defensive posture based upon self loathing is not a strategy for winning the hearts and minds of Dem pols or anyone for that matter.  Perhaps you would care to re-phrase

            because they don't really believe that the people are worth listening to.

            since it represents regressive and not progressive thinking, IMO.

            •  69% against the war? (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Rebecca, blueoasis, TomP

              yeah, i think i can pretty fairly claim to be on the side of popular opinion. the hearts and minds are won, man, it's the insulated politicians who haven't gotten the message. if this was put up to a popular vote, we'd already be out of iraq by now.

              and how does criticizing senators for disregarding the views of their constituents and sending said constituents to die in a foreign land end up as "self-loathing"?

              saying that politicians don't care about their constituents' opinions isn't regressive; disregarding one's constituents opinions is.

              surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

              by wu ming on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 10:51:21 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Still the people are not really speaking (0+ / 0-)

                loud enough to get more done in the Congress.  That is a fact.  People vote, answer polls, some people protest outdoors or indoors, while others blog their guts out.  It is all to the good but it is not LOUD ENOUGH for real change.

                •  that's just making excuses for bad pols (0+ / 0-)

                  as if the people are somehow to blame for their representatives not following their will, made clear over and over again.

                  surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

                  by wu ming on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 03:25:43 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Are you suggesting that the people are not (0+ / 0-)

                    responsible for the government they elect?  I thought this was a government by, for, and of the people. Carrying your reasoning far enough, why bother voting if the pols do not do what you want them to do? So that we understand each other, politicians are bad and voters are good.  Yet, how do you explain these good voters electing these bad politicians time and time again?

    •  Honesty? It just MIGHT work! (0+ / 0-)

      >>>
      ...She probably will not ever be out front on issues of war defunding or redeployment based on where she comes from and what her constituents are likely telling her.
      >>>>

      I get really tired of people assuming where their constituents stand on issues before they even present an alternate argument.  What ever happened to Leadership?  Why not tell people what you think, rather than telling them what (you presume!) they want to hear?  If your argument is good enough, and if you believe in it, then you owe it to the voters to make your argument the best way you can.

      Candidates should have enough integrity to be honest about their political positions.  Winning office under false pretenses is just selfish and arrogant (...and those 'shoes' fit far too many of our elected representatives!).

      "You go to war and you could lose your heart, your mind, your arms, your legs - but you cannot win. The soldiers don't win." -- Anonymous Soldier

      by aybayb on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:39:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Personally I get tired of armchair (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        clonecone

        enthusiasts who moan about the Dems 'not doing this and not doing that'.  You should be asking about what the Republicans are doing to stop this Iraq mess.  And if you don't want to do that then you should ask yourself why you are asking the Dems only to stop it, when they did not start it and they do not have the numbers to stop it yet. Why? If they had the numbers, they would stop it.  Personally, I would rather try to understand the basis for why Herseth said what she did.  Does she personally believe it and why?  Or is she, according to you cynics, just another tool?  We need to work with all these Dems to get the changes we need and it is easier and better to reason with Dems than just throw crap at them.

        •  Maybe you haven't noticed (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blueoasis

          >>>
          You should be asking about what the Republicans are doing to stop this Iraq mess.
          >>>

          Surprisingly enough, there are several Republicans in Congress who are much more adamant about stopping this damned war than are some Democrats.  Calling oneself a 'Democrat' does not automatically confer on him an 'anti-Iraq war' halo.  Witness that idiot from Connecticut, among others.  

          I don't put much faith in a Hillary Clinton or a Chuck Schumer putting a stop to this crime in any kind of a timely manner.

          BTW....The Dems did, indeed, 'start it'.  Why give jerks like Hillary, Kerry, and a bunch of other 'enablers' a PASS....Just because they call themselves 'Democrats'?  I don't have much use for lock-step partisanship...no matter where it occurs.  In fact, I find it worse than tiresome...this ain't a game and one more day of this war is one day too many!  Even that jerk Kerry once understood that....before he decided to run for President/

          "You go to war and you could lose your heart, your mind, your arms, your legs - but you cannot win. The soldiers don't win." -- Anonymous Soldier

          by aybayb on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 10:38:16 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I guess it is easier to remember what one (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            clonecone

            wants to remember and to forget the rest.  

            BTW....The Dems did, indeed, 'start it'.

            Hm, yes it was the Dems who came into office in January 2001 hell bent on a war with Iraq.  That's right, the Dems did cook up the phony intel about Niger. It was the Dems who fabricated the aluminum tubes and mobile labs in Iraq, I forgot.  Oh and I remember that it was the Dems who wined and dined Chalabi because he was an Iraqi willing to say what they wanted to hear.  What about the Dems efforts to promote 'curveball'.  You are right when you say that it was Dems who insisted that the UN inspectors get out of the way in Iraq because we were going to begin a war for the hell of it.  Finally, it was the 'shock and awe' campaign that had Dems fingerprints all over it. These right wing talking points are really boring. This is a Republican war and until the Dems get the votes to stop it it will continue.  So, go change some minds and stop whining.

            •  Thanks for making my case (0+ / 0-)

              >>>
              I guess it is easier to remember what one wants to remember and to forget the rest.
              >>>>

              EXACTLY my point!  You obviously have more faith in Democratic votes than is warranted by their past (ignoble) performance.

              There is none so blind as those who are intent on denying inconvenient/discomfiting facts.

              "You go to war and you could lose your heart, your mind, your arms, your legs - but you cannot win. The soldiers don't win." -- Anonymous Soldier

              by aybayb on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 04:36:11 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Sorry to bore you (0+ / 0-)

              >>>
              ...These right wing talking points are really boring...
              >>>

              My observations are NOT 'right-wing talking points'...you have been blinded by irrational Dem Party chauvinism.  I (unlike quite a few of your stalwart heroes in Congress) have opposed this war since well before it started.  

              I have the utmost respect for those who had the good sense and courage to vote against this war.  I have nothing but contempt for those Democrats who should have known better, but who STILL enabled the criminals in the White House to launch this horrific misadventure.  Existentially speaking, they are just as blameworthy (if not MORESO) as the original instigators.  

              Now do you get it?  If not, I suggest you take a refresher course in Ethics and/or Logic.  This "you're either WITH us or on the side of the Republicans" attitude is no more rational than the attitude you claim to despise.

              "You go to war and you could lose your heart, your mind, your arms, your legs - but you cannot win. The soldiers don't win." -- Anonymous Soldier

              by aybayb on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 04:53:42 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  the war is polling at 69% against (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis, TomP

      it's not just a coastal urban thing. but there are no south dakota polls out there on anything, because noone's ponied up the money to find out, because it's politically meaningless to the national pundits except when a senate race is going on. the abortion referendum was the rare exception to that.

      bush was polling at 56-44 disapprove back in september 2006, though.

      surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

      by wu ming on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 10:15:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Capitol Hill Democrats are damaged goods (16+ / 0-)

    With a few exceptions, the Democrats in Congress have failed utterly to stand up to the most radical president in living memory. Even before the September 11 attacks, they let the administration have their way with them. After the attacks, they might as well have gone into a fetal position and hidden under their desks. Tom Daschle and Dick Gephardt deserve the grade of F-plus for courage in the 108th Congress. (Harry Reid's grade currently stands at C-minus and Nancy Pelosi's grade is still incomplete).

    Worse yet, members of this damaged-goods congressional contingent dominate the 2008 Democratic presidential field.

    "I would define a journalist as someone who brings news to the public."--First Amendment lawyer Martin Garbus.

    by Dump Terry McAuliffe on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 08:45:05 AM PST

  •  Stuck on Stupid (6+ / 0-)

    That's my country. Held hostage by greed and arrogance, all too busy with watching sports or American Idol to bother with the lessons of our recent path. It's all about whose "team" one is on, not what is right for the nation.

    I used to blame Dems more than I do now, because it is clear more than half the members of this jolly empire couldn't pour piss from a boot without labeled instructions--and only if the instructions were from a source that tells them what they want to hear.

    Dems can't really do much because the Right has proven that it will backlash without conscience. That is what they do, attack, and since my (jolly) fellow citizens have also proven they support such attacks ... frankly the Dems have their hands tied. Any defunding of this Golem will be attacked as "weak on defense" -- no wait, that is so 1980's: today the attack will be on "godless treasonous terrorist-loving libruls who want to destroy America."

    I'm no Dem apologist, believe me, and I greatly appreciate Sirota's activism, but we are stuck on stupid because of the conservative Right-wingers in our midst. They own the media, people, and would love nothing more than to blame the Dems for their folly and failures in war.

    It's a Right-wing, conservative, Republican war.

    by J Royce on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 08:48:13 AM PST

    •  You got it, sort of... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis

      In a way, we've got precisely the government we deserve.

      Even so, that does not excuse the dearth of leadership.  Politically, it may be wise to lie low, but ethically it's all wrong.  Somebody needs to start swinging back or we will find ourselves in a world of shit.

  •  Nixon's secret plan: 9 more fucking years of war (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Paul Goodman, CAL11 voter

    centrism, not overreacting?
    I listened carefully to Ed Shultz yesterday as he interviewed a Naval lt. who felt that the War in Iraq was the end all be all, and good things are happening in Iraq, on and on.  

    Good things happened in Vietnam, AFTER WE FUCKING LEFT.  
    This is a unwinnable shit hole in Iraq, we stay it's a mess, we leave it's a mess but we leave.  Iraqiis will sort this out and twenty years from now Iraq will hopefully be as calm as Vietnam is today, but without American soldiers dying and spending over $8billion/month plus grinding down the military.  

    If we don't "turn the corner" now then God only knows how long our troops will stay and at what cost?  Nobody's over-reacting, if anything we are under reacting, we have history to guide us, we made toooo many mistakes, let's not make any more!!!!

    •  Since we are going to leave in 2009 anyway (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gaspare, blueoasis, TomP

      the sooner the better.

      •  if not now, then not 2009 (0+ / 0-)

        I could easily see a Democrat, except maybe Edwards, being slow and cautious about a draw down.  The blue dogs will make the rest of the caucus panic about 2010, the GOP will blame Democrats for the escalating bloodshed, etc.  The time is now, Democrats have to stop worrying about 2008 prospects and do the right thing now.  Yes, a pullout may very well lead to a rise in violence but better now than a death by a thousand cuts both on the Iraqi civilian side and on Americans.  

        All Bush wants to do is punt for history, punt Bush.

        •  I think you're wrong (0+ / 0-)

          about the Dem candidates.

          None of them wants Iraq hanging around their neck as President. We're not talking about Nixon taking over for Johnson here. We're talking about Ford taking over for Nixon.

          •  it's hanging around America's neck (0+ / 0-)

            I hope your right about the Dem candidates but I think alot about the 2002 vote.  I called my Senators and thankfully, Levin voted against IWR.  Gephardt's "deal" really infuriated me.  They wanted to desperately push the issue "off the table" and America has been pushed off the edge.  Even to this day we hear how the Democratic controlled senate gave Bush his war authority in 2002. By accident or design, Iraq is a mess, a cancer on America

        •  win or lose, dems won't do dick about iraq (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TomP

          2008 is a presidential year, can't upset the mythical pro-war swing voters.

          2010 will determine redistricting, can't rock the boat.

          2012 will be either a) the reelection of the dem that won in 2008, or b) the Most Important Election In Our Lives, and we have to come together to prevent the republican candidate from declaring war on saudi arabia/china/the EU/canada. can't rock the boat.

          maybe in 2014 we'll be able to fight it out about the bases in iraq, and try to force a withdrawal.

          surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

          by wu ming on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 10:21:23 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Watch Sweitzer's interview linked above... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Elise

            by Inclusiveheart.  Schweitzer thinks we have to be energy independent before we get troops out of Iraq and kuwait.

            •  i don't need to (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Feanor, CAL11 voter, TomP

              i've never really thought the pols were ever serious about getting us out of iraq, let alone out of the empire biz. the iraqis are going to have to do that for us, as did the vietnamese. and a lot of soldiers are going to pay the price for that stubborn committment to empire, and those of us who point out who put them there will be blamed for those losses.

              it's not a new pattern, sadly.

              surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

              by wu ming on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 10:54:36 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  We need Constitutional Reform (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SecondComing, Dave925

    There is no other way around it. If you want a republic, you need power in the hands of the people, not the Overlords.

  •  I am not voting again. I mean it. (9+ / 0-)

    I am 61 years old and have never missed an election.  But in 2008 - unless Wes Clark is the Dem candidate - I am sitting that one out.

    I am so fucking sick of the crap coming out of DC - and to hear it come out of the mouths of our supposed "friends" is beyond belief.

    They can all go to hell.

    Daniel Craig...the BEST James Bond...ever!

    by ShaShaMae on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:00:54 AM PST

    •  Then who gives a fuck what you have to say (5+ / 0-)

      about anything?

      If you have no intention of voting, go waste someone else's bandwidth.

      •  I do. (15+ / 0-)

        I don't agree with the conclusion - not voting does not solve anything, but everyone is entitled to be frustrated and angry at this point.  I certainly am, and we should not shut out that anger from our community.

        I think your response was a bit rude.

        Any party that would lie to start a war would also steal an election.

        by landrew on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:14:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  If someone isn't going to vote, screw 'em. We (4+ / 0-)

          don't need the anger of spectators who've decided to abandon the effort.

          •  I guess you don't need their votes either (10+ / 0-)

            I didn't realize our Congressional majorities were so large that you could afford to alienate voters.

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

            by eugene on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:22:10 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The person announced that they weren't (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              taylormattd, jethropalerobber, Elise

              going to vote.

              Presumably, that person doesn't care if President Giuliani has a Republican-controlled Congress.  I'm not required to respect such opinions.

            •  You know what... (4+ / 0-)

              we'll know who to thank when Republicans win...and when they start banning gay marriage and abortion...destroying the environment and pushing a war with Iran.

              Seriously...have you lived through the last 7 years?!

              THIS is the result of people NOT voting eugene...George W. Bush is the fucking result of that. Is that what you want?

              Cuz it sure as hell isn't what I want.

              •  Heh (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Night Owl, wu ming, landrew, blueoasis

                yep, and we'll never let 'em forget it, because it will be all their fault.

                That'll be so much more satisfying that it would have been to try to attract people into our party rather than browbeating them into supporting us or else.

                /snark

                It isn't what I want either, Elise. But you don't gain people's support by threatening them, and nobody -- nobody in this country -- owes us their vote. We have to earn it.

                •  in an ideal world... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  taylormattd

                  I'd agree with you. In reality...these days...a "D" behind a name vs an "R" behind a name is MORE than enough to have earned my vote.

                  •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Rebecca

                    that it makes a huge difference. I'm talking about reality, too. The reality is that we cannot force people to vote for us -- thus, the best way to "save the world" is to earn their votes, not demand them -- because demanding them doesn't work.

                    We can't please everybody, but we've got to stop thinking that broad discontent with the party is something we can shrug off. That's every bit as much a part of reality as everything else.

                    •  Well, at the moment...we can't seem to please (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      clonecone, taylormattd

                      anyone.

                      People need to understand that these things take TIME. You don't elect a small majority one day and change everything 100% the next.

                      I was feeling a bit discouraged the other day myself, and someone said something that made the most sense to me and I think it really helped me find hope again...

                      Think about all the legislation that would have passed if we didn't have the majority right now. Think about all the things we've blocked just by having control of the agenda. There are multiple wins just in that right there. To me, blocking bad legislation IS earning the vote...and they haven't just stopped there...they've introduced multiple bills and passed all the legislation in the first 100 hours. They're working on it...

                      •  Those are admirable things (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Rebecca, landrew, ShaShaMae

                        but they have virtually nothing to do with the issue that is the vortex of all American political discussion right now.

                        I'm a patient person. I understand that they've been largely trying to get a consensus together, and that the chances of getting something through that has teeth are very slim. But they've got to start doing something about it instead of just talking about doing something about it. Even if the votes don't get through, they vitally, vitally need to start standing up and trying stuff.

                        Otherwise, even very patient people like me are going to throw up our hands and decide that they're useless when it comes to the most important single issue facing the country.

                      •  Good defense is not good offense (4+ / 0-)

                        I'm sorry, but preventing the scaliwags on the right from accomplishing their entire agenda is not sufficient reason to vote for Democrats anymore. They let too much pass even when they had a Democratic president, or Democratic control of the Senate. When we had control of both Houses of Congress, and the White House, the result was nada. Nothing got done.

                        Passing a damn minimum wage hike was low-hanging fruit, introduce legislation that repeals the bankruptcy bill, repeals Patriot Act, repeals Bush's tax cuts, we'll need 10-15 years just to repeal the worst excesses of the last 6. It'll take the rest of my natural life, and I'm from long-lived stock, to accomplish anything that actually makes progress.
                        Getting back to zero isn't progress, it's just getting back to the starting line.

                        Democrats should be introducing so much radical legislation that the right-wing has trouble dealing with it all. If a bill is defeated, the bill comes right back out next session until it becomes law. Vetos and filibusters are just fine, it puts Republicans on the record as opposing popular measures, and it puts Democrats that don't want to play ball on the record and they can be dealt with too. That's the right's tactic, rebuked on social security privatization? Don't worry, we'll keep at it until the idea becomes mainstream, then we'll keep at it until the idea gets a vote, then we'll keep at it until it passes. The Democrats' way?
                        They said bad things about Hillary Care, we won't bring it up ever again. Non-binding resolutions on the war ain't going to cut it. Take the route of McGovern-Hatfield during Vietnam, essentially revoke the use of force resolution, make the president go to Congress for a declaration of war, or end hostilities immediately.

                        •  First- (0+ / 0-)

                          a good defense is necessary in order to win.

                          Second, without a veto-proof majority we're limited in what we can or can't do.

                          Third...I don't think you have a good understanding of how this works. Why would we push bills and cause them to lose and ensure we can't bring them up again until the next session...when, with a little work, we could get them through THIS session.

                          This is about patience. If it takes the rest of my life to move forward a little bit...I'm okay with that. Would I like things to move faster? Sure. But we need a larger majority for that...and I'm not going to throw away the majority we DO have right now playing bad politics when we could get a bigger majority by playing good politics in 2008 and 2010 and THEN we can move things through more quickly.

                          •  And we won't get to a bigger majority (4+ / 0-)

                            by telling people who now choose to express their frustration in drastic terms (i.e. not voting) to shut the fuck up.

                            We need to accept their frustration and try to convince people that there is hope and a reason to continue on.

                            In addition, while I agree with you on the political difficulties faced by the Democrats, I also doubt that the masses we need see these difficulties.  If the Dems fail to take bold action, we may lose the majority we have because people become frustrated and disengage from the process.

                            The Democrats need to do better and we need to make them do it.

                            Any party that would lie to start a war would also steal an election.

                            by landrew on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 11:36:39 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  right... (0+ / 0-)

                            And we won't get to a bigger majority... by telling people who now choose to express their frustration in drastic terms (i.e. not voting) to shut the fuck up.

                            I don't have to tell them to shut up...they're volunteering to shut up by not voting! But this blog is about electing Democrats. That is its purpose...so if someone is here and that isn't their purpose...then why are they here?

                          •  Because once upon a time... (0+ / 0-)

                            I believed the same thing as you.  If I don't now...shouldn't that tell you something...something that might be important to consider in terms of the big picture?

                            I didn't just wake up one morning and say, I think I'll shit on Democrats today.  There are lots of reasons - some can be addressed, perhaps others can't.

                            Daniel Craig...the BEST James Bond...ever!

                            by ShaShaMae on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 01:48:12 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Well... (0+ / 0-)

                            I always like hearing the "when you're older..." etc.

                            I realize that you're frustrated. I'm not suggesting that I'm not. I'm just saying that I'm not giving up hope...and honestly, I don't see myself ever doing that.

                          •  Yes. Yes. Yes. (0+ / 0-)

                            Daniel Craig...the BEST James Bond...ever!

                            by ShaShaMae on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 01:45:58 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Bad politics is not moving faster (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Northstar, callmecassandra, ShaShaMae

                            not vice versa. The quickest way to lose the majority is to send out the message to the people who voted for Democrats, including a large majority or independent, and even some Republicans, that you're not serious. The Democrats are where they are today because activists were excited. Deflate that passion and see where it gets you. Democratic gains will be made only if the people believe that Democrats are serious about not only fixing the other guys mess (and that won't be done with quarter-measures and symbolism) but moving important legislation forward. Does anyone think that a bill that guts the patent protections for medicines developed with subsidies from NIH is going to get better as it bounces around Capital Hill slowly?
                            Doesn't happen.

                            A bill was introduced today I believe that could be classified as radical departure from the status quo, but if it doesn't come up for a vote (and you can be sure the leadership will do everything in its power to scuttle the bill because they want to protect the Blue Dogs from going on the record and possible provoking a jihad against them) it's not going to resonate with voters. Let the Republican oppose it, let them vote agains it, let Democrats who don't support it go on record, and deal with the consequences. That's democracy.

                            Patience is a virtue, but you're looking at this process as if it just began 2 months ago. We're in this position because for the last thirty-years the Democratic leadership (again, I don't paint the entire membership with this brush) has sold their own constituents down the river. They've failed to halt just about anything. Frustration with the slow haul approach of the Democrats is not about the last two months, it's about the last two decades.

                          •  Government doesn't move quickly. (0+ / 0-)

                            Period.

                          •  Well said! (0+ / 0-)

                            "The Democrats are where they are today because activists were excited. Deflate that passion and see where it gets you."

                            That will get this country nowhere.

                            Daniel Craig...the BEST James Bond...ever!

                            by ShaShaMae on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 01:51:18 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Dems will not gain in terms of the majority if (0+ / 0-)

                            they keep on "keeping on".  They must produce results that voters can see and agree with or else, in two years, it will be the same old, same old.

                            SSDD means Dems = Repugs in voters' minds.

                            Daniel Craig...the BEST James Bond...ever!

                            by ShaShaMae on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 01:43:49 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  Absolutely! I like your style! (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Northstar

                          What's the worst that can happen?  Voters will see agents of change, not agents of the status quo which is NOT where we need to end up in 2008.

                          Nothing will get done until somebody stands up with some spine.

                          Daniel Craig...the BEST James Bond...ever!

                          by ShaShaMae on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 01:41:46 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

        •  It was an extremely rude response (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Rebecca, poemless, blueoasis, old wobbly

          I'm thinking about giving it a TR, really.

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

          by eugene on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:20:31 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Again, non-voting malcontents have no (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            taylormattd, jethropalerobber, Elise

            constructive role to play here.

            If you're not going to do anything about the problems in this country, you are part of the problem.

            Just because a person complains loudly doesn't mean that they have something worth saying.

            •  Ironically (8+ / 0-)

              That is what is being said here about our Democratic leaders.

              If you're not going to do anything about the problems in this country, you are part of the problem.

              Let your conscience be your guide.

              by Jiminy Cricket on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:38:45 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Except the Dems are doing something: (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                taylormattd, greenreflex, Elise

                http://www.dailykos.com/...

                Watch the purists trash this plan.  Just watch.

                •  Purists? (6+ / 0-)

                  We are all in this together.

                  Look, Geekesque, I commend your passion and loyalty for the Democratic Party and always read your diaries when I see your name. I am also someone who will vote for a Democrat (even if it's Hillary) because in the end I believe it's better than having a Republican in office.

                  BUT... I think it's completely counterproductive to lash out at people who are not party loyalists. Most people are not political geeks like us and will support the Democratic Party only as long as they feel it is working for them. And most people just simply do not vote when they think neither party is working for them. And that is alot of people. And it's not good or heathly for our democracy. So I completely understand your frustration.

                  If you're not going to do anything about the problems in this country, you are part of the problem.

                  I pointed out your quote regarding someone saying they were thinking of sitting out the election because it also sums up people's basic frustration with the Democratic Congress. So if we can lay blame on regular citizens for not "doing anything about the problems in this country" then I would assume that would apply to Congress as well.

                  Let your conscience be your guide.

                  by Jiminy Cricket on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 10:45:56 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  When I speak of purists I don't speak of people (0+ / 0-)

                    willing to criticize Democrats for failing to live up to their ideals.

                    What I refer to are people who are so dead-set on their own particular stance on an issue that they're not willing to consider alternatives that will, in the real world, produce better results.  If you say you want to drum the Blue Dogs out, fine.  But, first, tell me how you're going to elect progressives in places like South Dakota or Heath Shuler's district.

              •  asdf..... (0+ / 0-)

                Exactly, do what you were elected to do, otherwise what is their motivation for running for elected office?  

            •  I gotta go with Geek on this (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              taylormattd, Elise, Geekesque

              I mean if you say you are not going to vote, which is really the minimum someone should be expected to do for their country in a democracy, why the whole should you be taken as seriously as others, who despite the odds and the despair, still don't want to give up?

              That's like being obese, deciding to stop trying to lose weight, but still show up to the weight watchers meeting try to tell the other people to just give it up, it won't do any good you'll still be fat.

              Cowboy up, SYFPH or get lost.

            •  true (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              landrew, Geekesque, blueoasis

              any more than someone demanding unanimity or silence loudly might have anything of substance to offer.

              surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

              by wu ming on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 10:23:40 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  rude response to a rude post (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Geekesque

            to threaten not to vote unless your personal checklist is met is to threaten all of us, hold us hostage.

            very uncivil.

            btw, "unless Wes Clark is the Dem candidate"? you mean Mr. Let's Wait A Few More Weeks to Attack?

            AP: John McCain Defends Bush's Iraq Strategy

            by jethropalerobber on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:57:03 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  You're right, it was. But her follow up response (5+ / 0-)

          sucks even more:

          Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke.

          I don't take my future and the future of my country as some sort of a joke and I'm betting most of Congress doesn't either.

          Shasha is as much of the problem as she is the solution, if she thinks sitting on her ass and doing nothing but whining on a blog is going to change anything.

          Don't like the way things are going in your party? Go join it. Run for the executive committee of your local county party. Be a precinct person. Knock on doors, get involved with the policy making committees that guide each state party's resolutions and platforms.

          I agree, shut the fuck up was pretty rude. Do nothing and putting a Republican in office for four more years is downright immoral. I'll take rude over immoral any day.

          "No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices." Edward R. Murrow

          by Pager on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:20:35 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I have NEVER sat on my ass. (4+ / 0-)

            And I have ALWAYS done more than my share.

            I actually managed a town campaign that turned into a Dem majority - even now, 10 years later.  (I won't mention the town because you will all know it - but I screamed and shouted and demanded that the Dems do the things that I knew the people wanted.  And we won.)

            You are totally wrong to think that I have not done every single fucking thing that you suggest I now do to make a difference.  It didn't make a damn bit of difference then.  And it won't make a damn bit of difference in the future.

            Daniel Craig...the BEST James Bond...ever!

            by ShaShaMae on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:40:11 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thank you...for proving my point, (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              taylormattd, Elise

              and in your very own words. I'm guessing you aren't really a Dem anymore, not if you believe that nothing made a difference and nothing ever will. That's a fairly typical Repthug talking point around here--that there's no difference between Democrats and Republicans.

              Oh, and by the way, activism isn't something you disgard like dirty underwear. "Oh, I'm tired of being active. Been there, done that. I'll move on to whining now."

              It's a lifetime of committment. Sounds like you've still got quite a bit of time left to continue to "do your fair share." I'm sure we all welcome your input, your expertise and life experience. We can use all the warm bodies we can get.

              "No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices." Edward R. Murrow

              by Pager on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:54:03 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I will still be an activist - just never for Dems (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                old wobbly

                There are plenty of things that need help and for which I will feel that I am actually making a difference.

                "Being a Democrat" is not one of those.  I actually don't consider myself a Dem...I consider myself a Progressive.

                So I guess there's no place for me here at Kos.  

                Wait...that's what Kos is all about....but hard to tell from the crap I've taken for speaking my truth.

                Daniel Craig...the BEST James Bond...ever!

                by ShaShaMae on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:57:05 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  If I could TR this, I would. (0+ / 0-)

        This comment way entirely beneath you.

        Peace takes real courage.

        by Disillusioned on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:54:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Typical Centrist Dem Attitude (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FightTheFuture, blueoasis, ShaShaMae

        And peole wonder why the party has trouble getting more Dem leaners to the polls.

        Here's a thought: maybe if we adopted popular policies that gave folks like ShaShaMae a reason to vote for us, our turnout numbers would be higher.

        Instead, your "like it or lump it" obnoxiousness only serves to turn people away.

        Good strategery ya got there.  Keep it up and we'll be a minority party again before you know it.

        •  Well that's a nice catch 22, isn't it? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          taylormattd

          Look at what happened when people didn't vote for Dems...we got 8 years of this moron.

          The lesson for Dems? Move to the right...because that's where the votes are.

          If you want the Dems to listen to you...you have to VOTE for them and work with them...and help elect MORE of them...then we move everyone to the left.

          So yeah, keep suggesting that people stay home...we'll definitely be in the minority.

          And you know what? I don't blame Republican voters for putting us in the minority. I blame those who sat at home...bitching about how terrible politics is and how much Democrats suck...but doing NOTHING to fix anything.

          •  It's the party's reponsibility (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            blueoasis

            to listen to the voters.

            Only then will voters listen to, and vote for, the party.

            The lesson for Dems? Move to the right...because that's where the votes are.

            When you turn you back on the left, the left will turn its back on you.

            But hey, that gives you even more reason to blame the voters for the party's troubles, doesn't it?

            •  The people MAKE the party what it is. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              taylormattd

              The people ARE the party. It is OUR job as members of the party to move it in the direction we want. We do that by being a part of it. When we don't voice our opinion and try to move the party the direction we want (and we walk away instead), then we are complicit in what happens afterwards...which is the Republicans getting what they want.

              •  'We' party members (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                blueoasis

                are not all of the Dem voters out there.

                As the DLC types are so fond of saying, we need to attact independents to keep a majority.

                What they don't say is that there are a lot more potential Dem voters on the left than on the right.

                As the late 90's early 00's proved, when we turn our backs on left-leaning votesr we lose.

                As 2006 showed, we get these folks to the polls, we win.

                So tell me again why insulting lefties for not voting for us helps our cause?

                •  I agree that there are plenty of (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  taylormattd

                  voters on the left who should be voting for us.

                  But I disagree with this:

                  As the late 90's early 00's proved, when we turn our backs on left-leaning votesr we lose.

                  How exactly did we turn our backs on voters??

                  We didn't. Nader popped up and helped out his Republican buddies (who pay his speaking fees and publish his books now) persuade the American people to believe that there isn't a difference between Republicans and Democrats. There is clearly a difference...there has always been a difference. We didn't walk away from anyone. Our platform in 2000 was just as leftist as the Green platform was...and the reality is, the Dems were more likely to actually win and enact that agenda.

                  If someone is insulted by the fact that the choices they've made have screwed them over...then perhaps they need to self-evaluate.

                  •  Are you serious? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    ShaShaMae

                    How exactly did we turn our backs on voters??

                    NAFTA, Welfare 'reform', media and other industry consolidation, anti-union policies (see e.g. DHS among others), Bankruptcy, IRAQ - all these travesties and many more were (and still are) supported by the Dem establishment.

                    And don't blame Nader for 2000.  Blame the DC Dems own willingness to listen to their financial backers instead of the voters.

                    •  Right... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      taylormattd

                      because the Republican majorities in Congress would really have helped us to block all those things.

                      •  Wrong (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Northstar

                        Whether we would have been able to block the legislation is not the point.  The real issue is whether we are at least will to OPPOSE these policies in the first place.

                        I don't know why some people have such a problem understanding this, but in order to be an OPPOSITION party, the party needs to OPPOSE.

                        Only then can Dems hope to distiguish themselves from Republicans, and create a stark enough contrast that keeps Naderite rhetoric from having an unwelcome effect.

                        •  So...every Democrat voted for all of those (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          taylormattd

                          bills you mentioned?

                          I don't think so.

                          Durbin has been my Senator for a long time...I think I can count the votes on one hand that I've disagreed with...and I'm not even sure they'd fill up one hand.

                          Painting the Dems with a broad brush does no one any good.

                          •  You know who I'm talking about (0+ / 0-)

                            Obfuscating by cherry picking individual Senators is not responsive.

                            BTW, I agree with you about Durbin, and told him so.

                          •  Well, I clearly don't know who you're (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            taylormattd

                            talking about.

                            And I don't have to just pick ONE Senator. Go look at the list posted above in this diary where EVERY Dem voted to end the war. 228 out of 233 Dems in the House voted to do the same.

                            There are plenty of good Dems and a handful who are in tough states and districts. Having the majority and control over the agenda is more important to me than having a pure party...which isn't possible.

                          •  How many voted to START the war? (0+ / 0-)

                            How many voted for the Bankruptcy Bill?

                            The Patriot Act?

                            Cloture on Alito?

                            The MCA that legalizes torture?

                            and on, and on, and on.

                            Look down your list, those who consistently voted in support of these policies are the ones I'm talking about, but you knew that.

                            Having the majority and control over the agenda is more important to me than having a pure party...which isn't possible.

                            Cut the 'purist' claptrap - that's just empty rhetoric to rationalize voting against the interests of the party and the nation, and in favor of the party establishment's corporate financiers.

                            If you really want to keep a majority and control of the agenda, start listening to those same voters for whom these 'good Dems' have so much contempt.

                          •  But THAT is my point... (0+ / 0-)

                            If you really want to keep a majority and control of the agenda, start listening to those same voters for whom these 'good Dems' have so much contempt.

                            Those people aren't voting. They aren't voters. Period. They're sitting at home, unregistered, complaining about how terrible Democrats are because Dems don't listen to them. Why would I listen to someone who doesn't vote for me?! I wouldn't. I'd listen to the people who DID vote for me because those are the people who will vote for me again. The non-voter isn't reliable and therefore they are ignored. If they want a voice...they should use it. Vote and express themselves and THEN the Dems will move to the left where they should be.

                          •  Round and Round (0+ / 0-)

                            Again, its every political party's responsibility to be responsive to the voters, not vice versa.

                            As I said at up thread:

                            When you turn you back on the left, the left will turn its back on you.

                            But hey, that gives you even more reason to blame the voters for the party's troubles, doesn't it?

                            The voters are 'unreliable' because they can't rely on the Dems to stand up for them.  

                            Given our party's sad, centrist record of the last decade, non-voters on the left have every reason to feel that way.

                          •  I'm done. (0+ / 0-)

                            If you want to get upset about Dems not doing enough fast enough for you...go right ahead.

                            Have fun voting Green in 2008 and don't come bitching to me about how your progressive agenda got bashed by a Republican majority and how we live in a fucking fascist police state.

                          •  LOL (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Northstar

                            Tell me again how the DLCers will protect my civil liberties?

                            If we end up in a 'fucking fascist police state', we'll certainly have Dem centrists to thank for enabling it every step of the way.

                            Look, just face facts: the Centrists' coopting, triangulating, elitist day in the Democratic sun is already past.

                            My prediction: you'll be voting Republican long before I ever vote Green.

                             

                          •  No better... (0+ / 0-)

                            than you know me.

          •  Oh Elise...I didn't sit home in 2004...or 2006... (0+ / 0-)

            I did it all.  You name it - I did it (walking, contributing, e-mailing, snail-mailing, calling, hosting, and voting!)

            And I'm disgusted that my efforts have resulted in a centrist Blue Dog Democratic Congress.

            We elected them.  Now they are cowards.

            Daniel Craig...the BEST James Bond...ever!

            by ShaShaMae on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 01:58:40 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Lesson for Dems? Puhlease, maybe the asshat (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Northstar

            professional looser consultants they keep on listening too think so.  The proof is in the pudding, years of irrelevancy, ridicule and obscurity!!

            They need to give people something to vote for besides the less shity stick!  I agree that we have work with them, and also whip their asses into shape when they are not working with us!!!

            For example, in the last election, out of 31 House candidates Rahm "DLC's Mr. NAFTA" Emmanuel was supporting, only 12 were won by him, with all the money of the DSCC at his disposal.  The rest won on their own on much more progressive platforms, and grassrotos/Actblue help, that Rahm could not find his way to support.  Instead, for example, Rahm blew millions on handpicked conservatives like his prop, Tammy Duckworth, for example.  Loosing that race in his own backyard when the established grassroots candidate he pushed to the curb, Christine Cegalis, would have likely won!

            Last election we kicked Joe Lieberman out of the party, and woudl have had a stong seat in the DC Party leaders had not told CT voters, "Fuck you and your primary too!!".  That's okay, they provided a valuable lesson on who needs some ass whipping, or future replacement!

            That's why they need to be held to the fire on their nebbish conservative corporate suckup behavior.  I do not want them to keep on falling back into business as usual when it is anything but usual.  I am not supporting behavior that has landed them, and us all, in the conservative clusterfuckup of the last 25 years and pushed this country to the edge; if not beyond.  

            Voting is only one of the things that can be done.  Calling, writing your party politicians, and other
            ones not elected by you do work.  Writing letters to papers, posting on blogs.  Contributing time, and money, whether locally or nationally helps.  ActBlue was fantastic!!  It goes on and on, but give people the right to their disappointment, it was provided by the Dem DC Leadership, mostly, in the first place!!

            The meek shall inherit the earth.... six feet under!! Liberals and progressives, stop being meek!

            by FightTheFuture on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 05:44:59 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  How's that Nader 2008 campaign going? eom (0+ / 0-)
    •  Remeber that (9+ / 0-)

      when Alberto Gonzales is sworn is a the next supreme court justice.

      Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

      by clonecone on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:06:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We'll be lucky if we get Al Gonzales. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        taylormattd, jethropalerobber, Elise

        I highly doubt that the Republicans trust him to vote to overturn Roe v. Wade given his record as Texas Supreme Court justice. They'd find another judge who agrees with Gonzales on unitary executive power but also wants Roe v. Wade overturned.

        Join the College Kossacks on Facebook, or the Republicans win.

        by DemocraticLuntz on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:18:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Ah, right (5+ / 0-)

        Because the Democrats did SUCH a good job blocking Bush's first two Supreme Court appointments.

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

        by eugene on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:21:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, yeah, that was his point. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          clonecone, taylormattd, Elise, Geekesque

          If there's a Republican president who gets to appoint Supreme Court justices, he's presuming Democrats won't
          block.

          The response was to a commenter saying they wouldn't vote if the Democratic candidate (who would appoint a good justice regardless of who the candidate is, except maybe Kucinich) wasn't Wes Clark.

          Join the College Kossacks on Facebook, or the Republicans win.

          by DemocraticLuntz on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:25:04 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Uh, were they in the majority at the time? (5+ / 0-)

          Did I miss that little piece of history unfolding under Bush's regime?

          "No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices." Edward R. Murrow

          by Pager on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:28:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Apparently (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Rebecca, wu ming, fhcec, blueoasis, ShaShaMae

            The concept of a filibuster has never crossed your mind.

            If Dems weren't willing to filibuster Bush's nominees, what is to suggest they'd vote to oppose one now that they're in the majority?

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

            by eugene on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:29:11 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh, it's crossed my mind, stunning as that (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              taylormattd, Elise, Geekesque

              may be to you.

              Again, you ignore my point, which I guess means you acknowledge that you overlooked the obvious--they were not in the majority and with Dems in the majority, we are far more likely to shut down extremist judge appointments.

              "No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices." Edward R. Murrow

              by Pager on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:31:18 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  don't forget scalia and thomas (0+ / 0-)

          passed with dem votes.

          surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

          by wu ming on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 10:25:16 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Don't forget that the senate Dems (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Elise

            offered alternative nominees.

            Wait, they didn't, because that's not in the FUCKING CONSTITUTION.  I know it's tough for you green sympathizers to grasp, but the senate can only do so much with a Republican in the White House.

            Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

            by clonecone on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 10:41:36 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  they passed them through committee (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              blueoasis

              and did not vote them down when they had a chance, even when they had the majority. the constitution doesn't say that the senate must pass every neanderthal appointee that the president sends up, it gives them to right to decide whether to confirm every single nominee.

              and go fuck yourself with your goddamn green sympathizer bullshit, i worked hard to talk greens into voting for both gore and kerry in the last two election cycles. dissent is not treason, in a party any more than in a country.

              surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

              by wu ming on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 10:59:43 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Your dissent is counterproductive (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Elise

                because it is aimed soley at Democrats.  It's easy to ignore the fact that Bush has been in office for 6 years and the Dems have a slim majority in the Senate.  It's easy to blame Democrats who don't fit your absurdly high standard of purity.  It's really fucking easy to blame Democrats for every single problem this country and the world faces.  I'd like to take the easy path like you but I can't.  I live in the Reality Based Community.  Feel free to join us sometime.

                Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

                by clonecone on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 11:13:06 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Dissent is not counterproductive (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  wu ming, blueoasis

                  Attempting to stifle dissent is.

                •  i know that republicans are going to wreck things (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Northstar

                  i know that they're elected to explicitly pass legislation that beggars the populace, that pushes outright fascism, that corrupts the law and that calls for war without end for insider contractor profit. they're pretty fucking clear obn that, and it's the reason why i left the republican party of my parents, a long time ago, and have never looked back. it is my disgust with that sick agenda that drove me first into becoming an independent, and then eventually into registering and volunteering as a democrat, because the democrats promised to stand against that kind of corporatist, fascist, warmongering wreck of a party. because the democrats were, in theory, not goinjg to sign onto that agenda that so repulsed me about the republicans.

                  and i get no end of fundraising letters, phone calls, and emails pleading for me to pony up one more time to fight the republicans, to help democrats to block their sick-assed justices to the supreme court, to end the war, to stop the assault on the middle class, to help regular people make ends meet.

                  and then for those same democrats to blink, over and over and over again, and blame their impoptence on their minority status (and to hope that we ignore the way that the dixiecrats and republicans were able to obstruct obstruct obstruct when in the minority), and promise that if they ever got power, that they'd deliver on their promises, and then for the same democrats to then blink in the m,ajority, and claim that they need a bigger majority before they can even begin to actually fight?

                  sorry, man, i'm not that stupid. i'm still a democrat, and i will still continue to mobilize as best as i can in the primaries to get good democrats elected, but i'll be damned if i STFU just to excuse what has been a decade of pathetic democratic leadership, and conservative democratic enabling of the fucking mess that our country is mired in. time and time again.

                  to remain silent, as a democrat, is betrayal of what the party ought to stand for. i am not a fucking yes-man or a cog in some party machine, i vote for the democratic party because there is a contract that they will deliver on what they supposedly stand for. they are reneging on their sside of the bargain, and i will not pipe down until they carry out their side. we voters carried out ours, after all.

                  as for your BS about an "absurdly high standard of purity," give me a fucking break. i'd be fucking thrilled if they bothered to follow up on their campaign promises to stop bush. they didn't get fucking elected on the platform of "we'll work with the republicans, and treat bush with kid gloves, because the american people want bipartisan consensus for the statusd quo." they ran on "we'll striop bush, and fight for you," and they're not really doing that. if you're willing to excuse that, you either agree with what they're doing, or have very, very low standards for accountability.

                  the voters want this war OVER. they voted for democrats, many of them independents and republicans, because they were under the impression that the dems would fight hard to end it. you can play ward heeler online, and maybe you'll browbeat some people here, but the voters will punish the hell out of the democratic party if it refuses to even make a try at looking like they're attempting to deliver. and no amount of green-baiting the messenger will change that fact.

                  surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

                  by wu ming on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 03:44:20 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  with 20 democratic senate votes, no doubt (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        yoduuuh do or do not

        i suppose those of us who protest against it will be called purity trolls, too.

        surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

        by wu ming on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 10:24:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I absolutely agree (7+ / 0-)

      I have always voted, and always voted Democratic, but this might be the year I stay home.

      The reason Democrats do this is because they have never been held accountable, and expect NEVER to be held accountable.  All they have to do to confirm these beliefs is to look at this site and read all the diaries and comments making excuses for them.

      I support THEY WORK FOR US. :::::::: I BOYCOTT the NY Times and the Washington Post.

      by asskicking annie on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:09:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  how very smart of you... (7+ / 0-)
      don't vote - for a democratic candidate.  let a republican remain in charge.

      listen to ONE argument by someone who has an axe to grind (i am not sure why, david, but is THIS your intent? to drive people away from the polls?  if it isn't, you sure are doing a good job of it, aren't you!)

      and, shashamae - we share a common age - one that i would have thought would have given you greater insight into WHY it is critical for you to vote.

      reasons like, oh, viet nam war, richard nixon, ronald reagan, cutbacks and decimation of every democratic social program and net possible, panama, gulf war one, enemies lists, burned churches, cross burnings, kent state, caged protesters (now), bush one, iran contra, one party rule for 12 years, ralph nader then and ralph nader now, deregulation and then monopoly redux, rending the constitution, etcera, etcera, etcera (except the great plays that gave us those such lines are also out thanks to reagan's cutback on the arts).

      instead of voting, you SHOULD be out there beating down the door of your local democratic committee and if there isn't one, FORMING one - politics starts with YOU - not with a committee, not with washington - but with YOU - YOUR vote, YOUR voice and those around you control who gets INTO the damned offices.

      not voting means you let me and the rest of us bear YOUR burden for trying to make this fucking country work.  i'm sorry - please carry your own load - mine is heavy enough.

      and as for you, david - if you can't help, please shut the fuck up!

      soon as i got arthritis, most of my caps ran away from home! those that remain, huddle together in fear!

      by edrie on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:12:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  But that doesn't deal with the issue... (6+ / 0-)

        ...of what happens when we DO vote for Dems, when they win, and when they turn around and behave like Republicans and support Republican policies.

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

        by eugene on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:23:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Mr. Nader? Is that you? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ablington, Elise, Geekesque

          I am so sick of the outright lie that there is no difference between Democrats and Republicans.

          Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

          by clonecone on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:24:55 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's NOT my argument. (6+ / 0-)

            My argument is that right now, on the war, the Democratic leadership and a significant portion of the party are supporting Bush's war. I am sick of your outright lies about my position.

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

            by eugene on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:30:15 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  For once, just once (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Elise, Geekesque

              I'd like to see you direct your venom and anger against Republicans.

              Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

              by clonecone on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:32:41 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Did House Republicans introduce legislation (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              clonecone, taylormattd, Elise

              calling for a timeline for withdrawal from Iraq?

              Let's be honest:  You're less interested in progress than you are in purity.

              •  Stuff purity (0+ / 0-)

                It's not 1974, the Democrats don't have huge majorities in the House and Senate, and a significant number of liberal Republicans to work with, the "Big Tent" ethos of the Democrats is a hangover from a different era. It's no longer applicable in a political culture where the problems are more intractable then ever, but the discourse is farther and farther to the right.  There is going to be a single policy vision for the Democratic caucus, or there will be continued losses in the future. The party can't march to the beat of the Blue Dogs, DLCers and Progressives all at once. As a practical matter it doesn't work anymore.

                This isn't the era when 20 Democrats can decide they want to do something else, and the legislation still passes. Do you want to get stuff done, or don't you? And I'm not talking about low-hanging fruit like a minimum wage hike. Anyone think single payer health care is going to make its way through the process incrementally? It doesn't work. Just about every piece of legislation that progressives hold as their legacy was passed within 10-years of a political shift--the legislation that came out of the Progressive Era, New Deal and Great Society, which is largely the totality of the great achievements of liberalism happened in fits, not as the accumulated byproduct of years of legislative back and forth. Reformers don't start out slow, they start out fast, they start out radical.

                Newt Ginrich recognized this fact. You either start fast, or watch as your mandate withers. People think the Contract On America was an ideological statement, it wasn't, it was intended to hold the GOP membership in line. It gave them no room to go off and start cutting side deals. He realized that in a closely divided political culture, results would be achieved only by marching to one drummer. One philosophy is going to be ascendant, the only sensible thing Denny Hastert ever said: the majority of the majority sets the agenda. Blue Dogs and their ilk can then decide whether they wish to support that agenda, and if they don't, they should be pressured, vocally, financially, and ultimately through primary challenges. That's the small d democratic process. Can't find fault with that process unless you really don't believe in it.

                If what the progressives demand is unpopular, or overreaching, they'll pay the price, but most progressives aren't worried about that because the reality is the agenda of the progressive caucus has much more traction then the Blue Dog's, even among self-described conservatives. Stanley Greenberg's book The Two Americas goes into some detail about this. The data accumulated through Greenberg's polling and focus groups should be rather disenchanting to the Blue Dogs, but you can't teach old dogs new tricks apparently.

            •  no, they are NOT supporting bush's war... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Bluedoc, Elise

              where are you getting your information?  might i suggest that you start checking other sources - watch cspan and cspan 2 and link the hearings on the cspan website.

              you are NOT getting correct information if you are sourcing from the media - follow the bills and resolutions and actions being taken as we speak in congress.

              that should significantly alter your views.

              and, be careful of who you trust on the web.  for example, you need to see the links and the sources of those stories - not just opinion and hit pieces like this one.

              it requires hard work and diligence to find the truth - but it does you good to do the homework - it gives you hope and belief in the process.  it does work - albeit slowly.

              soon as i got arthritis, most of my caps ran away from home! those that remain, huddle together in fear!

              by edrie on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 12:08:18 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Edrie, my back is so bent from carrying... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Night Owl, blueoasis, old wobbly

        the load for the same years you have.  Maybe it's my brittle bones that cause me the pain that it took to say those words..."I may sit this one out."

        I also have the joy of being from CT and having had to put up the bullshit of the DC Dems as we CT Dems tried to get rid of Holy Joe Lieberman - not just for CT, but for the good of this country.

        And now we find Harry Reid making Holy Joe the poster boy for the good guys in the Walter Reed fiasco.  And everyone fighting to come up with some other stupid Iraq idea - other than getting us the hell out.

        I burned my bra.  I marched for every good cause.  I have bitched and screamed - and donated a ton of money - all thinking I could make a difference.  And I haven't.  Not one little bit.

        Maybe that's the reason I feel the way I do.  Selfish?  Yup.  But for the first time in 61 years.

        Daniel Craig...the BEST James Bond...ever!

        by ShaShaMae on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:34:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Okay look... (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          taylormattd, Sparhawk, edrie, Pager, ShaShaMae

          seriously...I just need to tell you this one story...this is what keeps me going when I get down.

          I'm 29. I grew up with Reagan as President. When Bush was "elected" in 2000, I called my dad and I asked him, "how in the world did you live through 8 years of Reagan? How in the world are we supposed to get through 4 years of Bush? How do we keep going?"

          My dad said..."You cry for a day and then you wake up the next day and get back to work."

          Think of it like this...if they got THIS fucking far with us fighting like hell...imagine how fucking far they'd get if we laid down and stopped fighting.

          THAT is why we keep voting...THAT is why we keep fighting. I can't say I've been fighting as long as you have. I'm sure you're tired. Shit, I'm tired and I'm half your age, but I will NEVER STOP...because if I stop...then I'm a part of THEIR crap. I'm helping THEM out.

          •  I agree with what you say, but I'm emotionally... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mamamedusa

            drained.

            I mean - I marched on Washington for abortion rights when abortion rights were a taboo topic.  I dragged our 10 year old daughter with me and raised two kids who are as liberal - maybe even more progressive - than my husband and me.

            And in this election I actually saw my beloved NARAL support Lieberman (by inaction, if not directly).  Planned Parenthood - for whom I flew to Tampa in 2004 at my own expense to knock on doors for 5 days - stood by and gave Holy Joe political cover.

            It was like a kick in the gut.  And my stomach still hurts.

            My husband is thrilled...at all of the money we're going to be saving.

            I'm just sad.

            Daniel Craig...the BEST James Bond...ever!

            by ShaShaMae on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 10:20:39 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Oh, and the evening of the 2004 election... (0+ / 0-)

            my husband and I were in PA as Lawyers for Kerry...and got drunk (didn't cry until the headache the next day) on really bad Holiday Inn wine.

            Daniel Craig...the BEST James Bond...ever!

            by ShaShaMae on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 10:22:24 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  i started stringing pearls - compulsively... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Bluedoc, Elise

              cuz you can't string with tension - the thread breaks... i've strung since 2000 - on state of the union days, it was usually 16 hrs of nonstop stringing - no bathroom breaks, nothing - just stringing those little pearls and tying knots in the thread instead of my gut.

              after november, i've strung so much less - the "need" isn't there - and after jan 20, 2009, i hope to put down the pearls for a long long time!

              the only consolation to all of this is that we get to live and watch one of the most momentous periods in our nation's history - firsthand - from the inside.

              that is what keeps me sane - wanting to know the ending - vowing to live long enough to see bush condemned in the eyes of the world AND this nation in the course of the written word.

              my advice?  take a short breather - go to the movies - do something to take the pressure off for a few hours or a day or two - then come back and we'll all be here to join together and pool our strength.  

              if you and i have trouble maintaining the energy, there is always that 29 year old above you who is strong enough, i'm sure, that we can lean on her for a bit!

              and, one final word - don't read diaries like this - they sap the shit out of us - and we could USE that energy more productively than flailing at sirota's windmill.

              cheers - and see you on another thread - i think i am now out of here!

              soon as i got arthritis, most of my caps ran away from home! those that remain, huddle together in fear!

              by edrie on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 12:04:39 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  i really understand better than you know! (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Bluedoc, Elise, ShaShaMae

          brittle bones and two broken backs (horses are way high off the ground but each time i was back up in four months!)  aside, i know the frustration and the desire to just walk away and live out my life without the stress... but neither of us can AFFORD to do that!  we will be old in a society that will either respect us or quite literally throw us on the trash heap to die.

          we are not just fighting for the future generations, we are fighting, once again, for OUR future!

          from healthcare (forget affordable  - try available) to being able to afford housing, gas, food (i'll be DAMNED if i want to eat dog or cat food like old people did in the 70's and 80's) and so much more - our very futures are at stake!

          burned bras? you were lucky - i was too small to wear 'em so i never got to join in that protest, but i had my share of firings because i wouldn't "date" customers at the boss' b

          wehest, or i didn't properly make his coffee (okay, so i DID add 16 sugars instead of three... heh heh), and was fired and successfully instituted an eeoc action when everyone said it had NO chance of succeeding with reagan in d.c. - but i DID win my battle - i lost a great deal in doing so - i was blackballed by the company by innuendo and rumor immediately when i filed the suit, i was manhandled by the chair of my department like i was a slab of meat when i tendered my resignation in protest of department abuses - i have NEVER been physically assaulted before, but i was then and accepted it as "normal" to be grabbed and thrown into his office as he slammed the door.

          so, yes, we share common history - and we share a common tiredness - but we can NOT give up - we can NOT cede defeat by this cabal that has, from the outset, attempted to roll back historical advances of women, minorities, workers, etc.  if we quit now, who will "teach" the younger generation how to "win" against such enemies?  who will give them the hard fought knowledge that it takes to overcome a full frontal assault on our humanity?

          we learned from our predecessors - the brave women who were beaten and jailed for wanting to vote.  we were taught by our contemporaries who stood in the face of snarling dogs and guns and burning crosses.  we learned from the bitter experiences that leave us bitter when we realize we have to once again, with brittle bones, lock arms to stop the lines being breached.

          we have no choice.  if we do not fight, then our entire lives have been meaningless - without merit.

          i understand.  i really do.  i want to cry on a regular basis - i want to lie down and give up.  i want to stop this insanity and live out the rest of my life in quietitude with my aged horses and aged dogs and aged body... but that is not possible.  

          if we lie down, those that would destroy us (and all the jfk's, lbj's and fdr's of the world worked for) will simply roll over us and leave us lying broken in their paths.

          we have no choice.  we must fight - like it or not - that is who we are and what we hope to live to be.

          i'm sorry... really sorry... for all of us who are once again asked to take up this battle.    i'm tired, too - but together, we can do this!  i need you as much as you need me.

          what we DON'T need is some young radical saying GIVE UP! it isn't WORTH it!  yes, it IS worth it - which is why i am so angry at david sirota!    he has NO idea what he is talking about and has NO idea of the damage he is inflicting.

          please help me stop him!  and then, let's go kick some nixonian, reagan and bush butts!

          soon as i got arthritis, most of my caps ran away from home! those that remain, huddle together in fear!

          by edrie on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 11:58:48 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  holy cow edrie... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        taylormattd

        we agree.

        I'd just like to take a moment here and celebrate...cheers to you. Nice to find one thing we can agree on...I'm sure there are others...but it's so rare that we find them it seems.

        •  there are alot of things i am sure we (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          clonecone, Elise

          agree on - just like in all politics, we need to find consensus for the greater good - the greater goal - ridding the government of those with whom we have SIGNIFICANT disagreement - not semantic disagreement.

          this is a good day - i, too, find cause to celebrate when you, geekesque, clonecone and i are standing side by side fighting a common battle!  let's look to the future and not to the past and keep on fighting the GOOD fight!

          soon as i got arthritis, most of my caps ran away from home! those that remain, huddle together in fear!

          by edrie on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 11:43:10 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Never, Never, Never...give up!! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TracieLynn

      >>>
      ...But in 2008 - unless Wes Clark is the Dem candidate - I am sitting that one out.
      >>>

      Nothing will EVER change if serious voters just throw in the towel.  For crying out loud, if Clark isn't on the ballot, WRITE HIS NAME IN!  Quitters NEVER win...as I'm sure Mr. Clark would tell you.  

      Clark isn't my candidate....but please have enough respect for your own vote to cast it as you see fit.

      "You go to war and you could lose your heart, your mind, your arms, your legs - but you cannot win. The soldiers don't win." -- Anonymous Soldier

      by aybayb on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:23:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  As usual (8+ / 0-)

    Sirota give Big Middle Finger to the Democratic Party.  You must love the taste of Democrat because you appear to spend most of your time eating your own.

    Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

    by clonecone on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:05:12 AM PST

  •  Stop distorting, David, it's beneath you (9+ / 0-)

    David,

    I despise David Brooks and that I agree with you on the vast majority of issues. For example, I was an early and hard-working Ned Lamont supporter. Further, I admire your work.

    But your quote from Brooks above -- "voters shouldn't be allowed to define the choices in American politics" -- is an unambiguous distortion. What he actually said was "Polarizing primary voters shouldn't be allowed to define the choices in American politics."  (emphasis mine). This makes a big difference, especially when you look at the context of his entire piece.  

    This was worse than cherry-picking on your part. You elided the sentence to purposely change its meaning. You owe your readers a retraction and an apology. Progressives don't have to resort to these sorts of low-cost tactics.

    •  Good catch. That one word sort of changes (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      clonecone, taylormattd, Elise

      the whole context and meaning of the sentence, doesn't it?

      I'm growing sort of weary of these diaries that with the flame throwing rhetoric and "catchy" titles that simultaneously piss all over the Democratic Party.

      I gotta plenty of legitimate beefs with my party, believe you me. I don't have to go making shit up and taking comments out of context to argue my case.

      "No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices." Edward R. Murrow

      by Pager on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:08:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  disagree (5+ / 0-)

      Should we allow David Brooks to define what is polarizing?  For Brooks, anything that isn't right of center is polarizing.  Was Lamont polarizing?  No.  He was a rather moderate candidate with strong anti-war sentiment.  Ahhh, so maybe it is the anti-war sentiment that is polarizing.  But the vast majority of American voters are now against the war.  So, to be in the camp that does not support the war is not to be polarized at all.  It is the mainstream opinion.  So, as I read that statement from Brooks, I hear him trying to imply that voters who are anti-war are not mainstream voters, they are extremists and their wishes and desires should not be honored.  
      We have primaries for a reason.  They are provided so that voters can pick the party candidate that most closely represents their values.  CT voters did just that but Brooks didn't like that much.  He would be much happier if we just voted like our betters tell us to.  So he concocted this ridiculous argument that the primary voters were polarizing.  And some people actually fell for it.  

      -3.63, -4.46 "Choose something like a star to stay your mind on- and be staid"

      by goldberry on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:14:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  that is not the issue here (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        johnny rotten, taylormattd

        I am not saying I agree with Brooks's statement. All I am saying is that David Sirota committed an act of intellectual dishonesty in the way he quoted it. He did not quote the full statement.

        Why leave out the first two words, "polarizing primary voters..."? The answer is obvious.

        In quoting in this manner, Sirota calls all of his other quotes (which I don't have time to check) into question.

        •  And I'm saying... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Rebecca, MontanaMaven, fhcec

          ...that if Sirota had left those words in, he makes his argument even stronger.  But taking them out doesn't at all detract from the point he was trying to make.  
          Again, who is defining 'polarizing primary voters'?  I will not allow David Brooks to define what is polarizing.  The primary voters in CT knew exactly what they were doing and they understood perfectly well that they weren't extremists. I should know because I canvassed hundreds of them in all different socio-economic groups.  Why shouldn't they be allowed to pick their candidate without Brooks weighing in on their legitimacy?  
          Brooks is very smooth and he sounds so reasonable.  Oh, those extremist primary voters causing trouble.  Why should they get to choose their senator?  Who let them into the process?  
          When Brooks says it, it almost makes sense.  He's like the fricking voice of Saruman.  If you listen to him, you end up doing really stoopid stuff, like undermining your own democracy.  

          -3.63, -4.46 "Choose something like a star to stay your mind on- and be staid"

          by goldberry on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:40:36 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  So you support taking quotes (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        johnny rotten, taylormattd, Elise

        out of context, dropping words and changing their entire meaning?

        bruce102 made no endorsement of Brooks' comment.  His simply pointed out that Sirota was being dishonest.

        Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

        by clonecone on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:37:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It doesn't change the meaning or intent (0+ / 0-)

          in the least.  Sirota might just as well have left them in and REALLY nailed Brooks.  

          -3.63, -4.46 "Choose something like a star to stay your mind on- and be staid"

          by goldberry on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:41:22 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It changes the meaning entirely. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            johnny rotten, taylormattd, Elise

            And it was a dirty right wing style tactic.  

            Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

            by clonecone on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:43:55 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Sirota should make a retraction (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            taylormattd, Elise

            How can you POSSIBLY argue that taking out the words that Sirota took out doesn't change the meaning?

            Once again, to show how extreme this was:

            Sirota's quote:

            It was David Brooks who said a few months ago that "voters shouldn’t be allowed to define the choices in American politics."

            The actualy Brooks quote:

            "Polarizing primary voters shouldn't be allowed to define the choices in American politics."

            You can argue as much as you want about whether Brooks is correct or not. But the point is that Sirota used intellectual dishonesty to make a point, he was caught on it, and he should offer a correction. And an apology.

            We should hold ourselves to high standards.

  •  Keep tabs, and hold them accountable!! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rebecca, adigal, OpherGopher

    Keep tabs on your representatives, and hold them responsible for lack of action, and not listening to their constituents.  

  •  We got no stinkin' government! (7+ / 0-)

    Are these clowns in Washington so inured to the stench of business-as-usual party politics that they can't smell anything outside the Beltway?  If I can smell the stink from Congress way up here in Massachusetts, it's high time to clean House (and Senate!) in DC.  

    I THOUGHT we had already done that; but it's obvious that too many in BOTH parties have literally 'taken leave of their senses'.  These S.O.B.s keep diddling around with non-binding resolutions; they've declared impeachment 'off the table'; they're tip-toeing around every damned issue so as not to appear too radical.  

    What's the point of having elections or 'opposition' parties if they are meaningless/gutless?  "Too radical??!!!!"  Isn't a major change in course what we voted for!  

    We are in desperate need of radical measures when we see OUR Constitution being ignored and OUR government being destroyed.  I've never expected too much from Republicans (with a few exceptions); but didn't all these Democratic Party candidates promise that things would change once we installed them as the majority in Congress?  Now, they refuse to stand up and fight for anything, unless they can be certain of winning.  There are no guarantees in politics; but there should be such a thing as integrity...and enough courage to put up a fight when the stakes are as high as they are.

    People are dying!  Our rights are being trampled!  The nation is hopelessly in debt.  Everything that made this country what it is has been scrapped...not only by the pigs in the White House, but by their aiders and abettors in Congress who were SUPPOSED to look out for The People's interests.

    "You go to war and you could lose your heart, your mind, your arms, your legs - but you cannot win. The soldiers don't win." -- Anonymous Soldier

    by aybayb on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:14:41 AM PST

  •  What is this Blasphemy of a Diary? <snark> (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trinityfly

    Can you write such stuff @ Kos?

    For Sale: Boneless Democratic Polichickens $.38lb

  •  Third Party... (0+ / 0-)

    Composed of good citizens who really want to serve their country...

    Financial decisions are ethical decisions.

    by trinityfly on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:26:29 AM PST

    •  Third Parties (8+ / 0-)

      get Republicans elected.  Period.

      Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

      by clonecone on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:38:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Political strategizing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis

        Considering the content of Sirota's post...so how's that political strategizing working for us?

        We find ourselves with an 'establishment' on both sides of the aisle that work for the same 'powers that be' instead of the people who worked so hard to get them elected.

        I'm as close to being fed up as I have been in a pretty long life.

        Financial decisions are ethical decisions.

        by trinityfly on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:53:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Good god, have you not been paying ANY attention? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Elise
          I guess the recent votes that had most if not all of the Dems standing together on bills to help working Americans mean absolutely nothing to you.
          •  Actually, they do... (0+ / 0-)

            I think there are many good citizens in the Democratic Party. Those that find that the Democratic Party leaders are oppressive, unchangeable or non-functional would be great assets in the overhaul of the two party system.

            It is surely a dream when I hope for a party that is not corruptable...it's always the money.  

            Financial decisions are ethical decisions.

            by trinityfly on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 10:51:17 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  You might want to check out how elections work. (4+ / 0-)

          Plurality wins.  The Right votes as a block.  The Left gets delusional and thinks we have a Parliamentary system.  Election returns come in.

          Republican: 41%
          Democrat: 40%
          Third Party: 19%

          Congratulations, President Romney.

          Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

          by clonecone on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:58:43 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  if you weren't fed up with Dems before, you (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Elise, trinityfly

          weren't paying attention to the establishment Dems. If you think a third party will successfully change establishment Democrats into fighters for the people -- or a third party can beat entrenched Big Money interests -- what do you propose doing differently than the Green Party has done through 30 years of failure? failure to party build; failure to develop candidates who are willing to do the hard work of local gov't so they can win races instead of just run protest campaigns?

          PLEASE, read this excellent comment today by gooserock. Also recommended to Sirota, and eveyrbody else, in answer to the question, what can progressives do to get progressive results from this Congress, once such progressives realize that ranting "The Dems were elected to stop the war," doesn't give us a progressive anti-war majority in Congress:

          http://www.dailykos.com/...

          Pushing Left--

          We're an interest group. One of many.

          Progressives need to quit thinking about the astronomically rare and forgunate blessing of FDR and crushing Nazis as part of our party history.

          We are 20 years late needing to start recognizing ourselves less in the FDR's and more in the Ghandis and Tutus and other populist 3rd world movements, which is what we actually are. We're a 3rd world populist movement in a 3rd world society and economy, where almost all the power and influence are in the top quarter percent.

          What can we get? I don't know.

          But I know we won't get much of anything we strive for if we're doing it under fantasies about ourselves as things we're not, as people with powers we don't have. As if the mainstream was overlooking a few trivial matters we can bring to their attention.

          The 50 state strategy is the most realistic plan anyone's ever presented us in 20, maybe 40 years. Start filling the party from the bottom up with rational progressives.

          We must pressure the leadership of the party we've presently got, and support the most progressive candidates among those we've presently got; but then be very willing to step away once the corporatists win a battle, and get back to our best hope which is the re-staffing project.

          We may not have any short term options whatsoever.

          Systems of government and vast economies have consequences.

          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"

    •  Like Joe Lieberman and John McCain. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Elise, mrbubs

      Because that's the most likely third party.  

      Enjoy.

  •  Gated community government (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, TracieLynn, snazzzybird

    Perfect phrase. Keep hammering it in.  It perfectly encapsulates our situation.  It's a good campaign phrase.  I hope Obama and Edwards pick up on it.  It's a slogan.  Down with Gated Community Government.  People know exactly what that means.

  •  Conspiracy theory (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    va dare

    Democrats don't want to investigate further because they will have to impeach. I'm sure there is a certain Senator who wouldn't want to see Nancy Pelosi become the 1st female President.

    Just sayin...

    •  Verrrrrry interesting CT... please excuse me ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Elise

      while I run to the supermarket and pick up some more tinfoil - my dog got ahold of my best hat.

      To be honest, I get all tingly at the thought of a Pelosi administration. She looks like my sister. I feel more inclined to trust her than any of the current candidates (with possible exception of Edwards who seems to be peering into my working-class soul).

    •  Dems don't want to investigate... (4+ / 0-)

      ...because THEY ARE COMPLICIT! (Many of them, anyway). Everything Bushco has done, the Dems have done nothing to stop and often have actively enabled it, the war being perhaps the most poignant case-in-point. Where were Hillary, Kerry, and Edwards in 2002 when it f-ing mattered? Nowhere, that's where, and even for Edwards their protestations to the contrary ring very hollow now, though at least for Edwards I can give credit at this late date at least for trying to do the right thing (though, again, disappointingly, Edwards has been at it with anti-Iran talking lately).

      They can talk all they want now, but the reality is that they SOLD US OUT when the country needed them the most. It's easy to be against the war in 2007, but it was hard and risky to do it in 2002/3. Give me the people that took risks back then to stop this thing: Gore, Feingold, hell the Dixie Chicks for crying out loud took bigger career risks with this thing than those guys did. It takes a big man/woman to put it on the line when it matters, and that's who I want leading me.

      Anyway, as long as the Dems who screwed us in 2002 and subsequently are still in charge, nothing is going to change.

      •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis

        I agree, and this is not complex rocket science either, these Establishment Status Quo Democrats are putting absolutely nothing on the line in relation to the many daily sacrifices & situations that the Soldiers and normal American Citizens are facing and what they were actually elected to do, also these guys are not in some bubble that many Democratic Supporters like myself use as an excuse for their non-action and complacency in the face of pertinent and perilous circumstances.

        There is definitely a time when Great Men must stand up and demand truth and justice in the face of tyranny, and there have been times when Great Men did just that. We the citizenry have been searching high and low for hope of some great men to STAND UP and represent the interest of the Citizenry these elected Democrats are the men and women that have stepped up to fulfill that void. Yet we find out as the case of many instances and years before the Greatness that Burns in the hearts of Great Men is a rare flame.

  •  How is this helpful? (7+ / 0-)

    I honestly want to know.

    I'm serious.

    I don't see how it's helpful...or how it will make the Dems move any faster.

  •  Stop enabling... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    va dare, JerseyGirl226

    ...this war, damnit! Endless This War

  •  david, i am getting increasingly angry (8+ / 0-)
    with your posts.  when you say
    The message from Washington, D.C. to all of us out here in the heartland is very clear: Our government is the exclusive gated community of Big Money interests, their appointed pawns in Congress, and a select group of self-declared "experts" in the media and at think tanks (which are, of course, funded by many of those same Big Money interests). Inside this gated community,  actually listening to or shaping policy on behalf of the vast majority of Americans is considered either laughably outdated or disgustingly unsavory.

    you make assumptions for yourself - you have not only NOT been listening to what is being done in washington AND you have a very poor understanding about how our government works and why it was formed that way.

    the process of government in our nation was deliberately designed to be a slow and cumbersome beast.

    why? it was done so to prevent the laws from being political whims or reactions to the way the winds (and money) blow over washington.  the process is made up of TWO houses that have to pass laws among MANY members of BOTH parties and AGREE between BOTH of those houses to come to a consensus agreement.

    why? to prevent hasty action.

    we have all seen what hasty action can do.  we hastily passed the patriot act.  we hastily passed the war powers act.  we hastily passed many laws after 9/11 - as we also hastily passed many laws after the assassination of john fitzgerald kennedy.  

    emotions were raw and the congress was easily pushed both times - the difference between then and now was who did the pushing.  johnson chose to "push" the legislation for civil rights that, in normal times, wouldn't have had a prayer's chance in hell of passing.  indeed, kennedy had very little legislation pass through the houses of government while he was alive.  what we think of as "his" was really passed as a result of johnson using the high emotion of his death to have those programs enacted.

    today, we have a corrupt, immoral buffoon with a staff fully aware that national tragedy and crisis is the opportune time to pass an "agenda" - and they did so.

    what troubles me to no end is that you, david sirota, along with many others are so "horrified" that congress doesn't immediately un-do these actions without recognizing that "un-doing" is not that easy or simple!

    your oversimplified "blame" of the democratic party is unfounded and definitely not helpful.  you are trying to force a very slim majority with NO chance to override the veto pen of george w. bush to FORCE these issues - it can not do so.

    ONLY by building a veto proof consensus can this president's actions be revoked... and we do not have that consensus yet.  in the fragment of time we have controlled the houses, we are seeing cross over votes as republicans of GOOD conscience are finally free of the suppression of their own party to vote for what is the will of the nation.  they are standing up for their constituents with their votes - and more will continue to do so as we pressure those who are honest representatives to join our efforts.

    we see those such as chuck hagel standing separately.  he is not and never will be a democrat - but he IS standing up to this administration.  THIS is how we bring the troops home!  we have to have republican members of congress stand on the same side of this issue.  demanding that democrats bloody their way through congress to do something they cannot do alone is not only short sighted, it is stupid!  such an action would only polarize, once again, these two bodies of government.

    undercutting and undermining the democratic (and republican) attempts to fix this government ONLY (to borrow a republican favorite phrase) gives "emboldens and gives comfort to the enemy" - the neocon opposition that has controlled this congress for 12 years!

    the more you cry ABANDON SHIP (the party)! you give hope to the neocons controlling the republican party that they can (and very well may, if enough stay home and don't vote) take back the senate, at the very least.

    if that happens, it won't matter WHO is in the white house, we will see absolutely NO change in ANYTHING for another six years.

    are you willing to gamble that to feel better because you want to throw a tantrum?

    for god's SAKE, man - look at the PROCESS of government - go sit down and watch the government at work - turn on c-span - and stay in front of that screen while running multiple computers in background covering the OTHER house/senate and all the committee hearings going on. and, david, do this EVERY day - seven days a week.  i do.  that is where you can see that there IS progress.

    you are angry because the democrats don't go in and IMMEDIATELY leave vietnam iraq because you want them to?  well, guess what, david!  government doesn't work that way!

    we are looking for a legal way to force a person in the white house to stop this war - a person with delusions of grandeur, a person determined no matter WHAT to continue forward on his god/dream induced plan.

    we cannot just say "BRING THEM HOME NOW!" and GET that to happen!  we are in a fucking constitutional crisis - and if we, as a nation, are going to survive, we need a legal solution to get out!  the government is trying to find remedy where none has before been tried/ordered/made/attempted.

    it is not as simple as whining and pointing fingers.

    what you are doing is NOT helping - it is HURTING!  

    the democrats have been in control of the congress less than 2 and a half months.  what in HELL do you THINK they could or should have done?  walked in and say "OK, EVERY BODY OUT OF IRAQ NOW!"  and if they had, how in HELL do you think that could be forced to occur given the attitude and actions of george bush?

    PLEASE! STOP this constant undermining of OUR party - unless it isn't YOUR party.  what do you REALLY want?  are you TRYING to drive people away?  are you TRYING to get people to support a third party? are you TRYING to get republicans back in control of the senate?

    what do you want! david sirota?  and please don't say "i want out of iraq now!"

    i want the war to end now, too - but that won't happen overnight!  so, what IS your suggestion for a solution?  what is a practical plan?  what do YOU propose (other than bitching and moaning about the dems)?

    you are driving people away in frustration by FEEDING frustration.  

    I CHALLENGE YOU (AND ALL OTHERS) TO OFFER CONCRETE SOLUTIONS AND ACTIONS THAT CAN BE TAKEN TO STOP THE WAR! if you cannot do this, then, as i said below -- please shut the fuck up!  otherwise, you are just background noise that offers no positive solution.

    soon as i got arthritis, most of my caps ran away from home! those that remain, huddle together in fear!

    by edrie on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:47:47 AM PST

    •  ego edit below... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Elise
      you have not only NOT been listening to what is being done in washington AND you have a very poor understanding about how our government works and why it was formed that way.

      SHOULD read:

      not only have you NOT been listening to what is being done in washington, you ALSO have a very poor understanding about how our government works and why it was formed that way.

      end of edit... i'm sure there are more mistakes, i was typing in anger and passion.  mea culpa.

      soon as i got arthritis, most of my caps ran away from home! those that remain, huddle together in fear!

      by edrie on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:51:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I knew we'd find common ground someday. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Elise, Pager

      Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

      by clonecone on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:54:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Except (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis

      When one needs a war to secure "one party rule" and loads of loot for your cronies and supporters.

      THEN, that governement moves really fast.

      Funny how that works.

      You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. -Aldous Huxley

      by Dave925 on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:59:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  the really SAD fact is that the government (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Elise
        of "one party rule" happened BECAUSE people voted for ralph nader in frustration at what they perceived as "inaction".

        the naivete of those who demand that the bureaucracy of government move NOW! is astounding.

        our government was designed to be slow and adversarial... like our court systems.

        what those who voted for nader or stayed home DID to this nation is as damaging as what bush as done... for, in reality, bush would not BE in the position to wreak havoc had those votes NOT been withheld or cast for nader.

        nader stated plainly that he didn't mind seeing the country destroyed in his goal to get a "third party" - and, he lied when he said the parties were the same.

        when i see this "lie" perpetuated by those who claim to be democrats, i can only assume extreme stupidity or ignorance.  i am hoping for ignorance - that, at least, can be corrected.

        as for sirota - increasingly he is appearing to be the cancer within... undercutting those who are vulnerable to dis-ease... and, by doing so, he is culling voters from the democratic slender majority.

        again, i have to ask, what do you want, david sirota?  i do not understand his purpose in doing this!  is it to evoke change?  this way won't do it.

        is it to garner publicity?  that will happen, but folks like me are now aware and are not going to let that go by unchallenged.  

        i'm a fighting dem and have been for over 40 years - and while i disagree with some of the laws and policies passed and some of the decisions made, i am smart enough to know that they are a damn sight better than the republican/neocons in control right now.

        so, bring it on, david!  either start offering productive courses of actions or expect to be challenged by quite a few of us!  this isn't a "popularity" contest - it is a fight for the survival of our nation as a democracy - and you're either in the game or not. there is no sitting on the sidelines and poking the beast with a sharp stick to make the rest of us have a harder fight!

        soon as i got arthritis, most of my caps ran away from home! those that remain, huddle together in fear!

        by edrie on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 10:13:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Even in emergencies, eh? (0+ / 0-)

      Are you comfortable with the slow, methodical, deliberate response to Katrina as well?

      And why no action at all before a veto-proof consensus?  Let the do-nothings show the world how they stand with a "no" vote on anti-war lesislation.

      Bush doesn't listen to anyone but the competing voices in his head. The winner he calls "God" and runs with it.

      by dov12348 on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 10:05:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  you make a poor analogy... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bluedoc
        we have and had laws and agencies in place to take care of ALL of the emergency needs of katrina - those needs were not met for political purposes.

        that, however, is a FAR cry from a nation that has been taken to war over a misguided and misled vote based on lies and deceptions presented to a congress that did not believe that their own government would lie to them and present distorted facts.

        the congress was given false and deliberate provacative information that made them think that bushco had news of an imminent attack on american soil.  being lied to under the official cover of "law" - the "secrets" act, "classified" infomration that was a lie - the congress made a huge misjudgement of how far bushco would go to start a war.

        they shouldn't have been naieve - they were. that was then - now they know better, but this nation is STILL in a war that takes laws and regulations to escape from.

        we are still a nation of laws... and unless we FOLLOW those laws to extricate ourselves from this disaster, we ARE the disaster and we are no longer a nation that can be trusted.  that trust, for the world, has been sorely tested.  how we handle this crisis will define us as a nation that still subscribes to democracy instead of the brute force of those who hold the hammer.

        what do you want?  the former or latter.

        is democracy worth taking the time to allow it to work?  i know - every life in iraq is precious - every one - american and iraqi - but we ALL stand to lose much more than breath and blood if we circumvent what has made this nation a leader in the past and what it is trying to recover now.

        your choice - and mine.  i choose to have our democracy work - for the first time in 12 years!

        soon as i got arthritis, most of my caps ran away from home! those that remain, huddle together in fear!

        by edrie on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 01:26:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  In a nutshell... (0+ / 0-)

          ...you have FAR more faith in those in Congress than I do.

          The system is no good if those who work within the system are corrupt, lazy or make their decisions for the good of the party at the sacrifice of individuals.

          "By the people and for the people" appear to be getting lost here.

          Bush doesn't listen to anyone but the competing voices in his head. The winner he calls "God" and runs with it.

          by dov12348 on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 03:00:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I CHALLENGE YOU (AND ALL OTHERS) TO OFFER... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HarveyMilk

      Wow, spoken just like a Rethug - and in the official Rethuglican font (ALL CAPS)!

      Kossacks crack me up...

      •  not rethug... someone who wants to hear (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        johnny rotten, Elise, Gary Norton
        actual productive PROGRESSIVE approaches to problems - not just whining!

        i'm tired of this crap - people who tear down without ever offering a way to replace what they destroy!

        as a bleeding heart liberal who has BEEN a bleeding heart liberal for 40 years, i am tired of hearing this crap.  all of us have a right to ask that those who would destroy our party from within explain what they would replace that party with other than a gaping void to be filled with republicans and neocons who would win by our stupidity.

        you need go back and read my entire argument before you so hastily throw out such terms as "rethug".  it doesn't serve YOU well, either!

        soon as i got arthritis, most of my caps ran away from home! those that remain, huddle together in fear!

        by edrie on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 10:19:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Right...here we go! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        johnny rotten, Gary Norton

        Anyone who doesn't have your specific worldview must be a Republican, right?

        I'm wondering how it is you haven't been banned yet...because you sure sound like a troll to me.

    •  Are you for real? (0+ / 0-)

      You drop words like Whims?  Hasty? Immediately?  What the hell are you talking about?  It's been four goddamn years.  I know the dems have only been in power for two months but this problem is not new.  

      Excuse those of us who grow impatient while the committee makes a motion to read the minutes blah blah blah... while our troops are dying.

      "One: Cut a hole in the box..."

      by Dissento on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 10:27:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Au Contraire, David Sirota is merely (0+ / 0-)

      detailing the Coke vs. Pepsi phenomenon gone awry when the two are already nearly identical and worse, they are funded (owned by) the same group of investors (lobbyists)

      Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

      by Einsteinia on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 10:27:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If you don't see a difference between (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Gary Norton

        Democrats and Republicans, you don't belong on this blog.

        This is ridiculous.

        Where's your evidence?

        •  I'm for "CLEAN" money (0+ / 0-)

          something not yet achieved--
          but you're the one misplaced on this blog if to point out the obvious poses a "join us or hit the highway" sort of rhetoric.

          How about something radical like improving these conditions the subvert our democracy?

          Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

          by Einsteinia on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 03:58:00 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  How about reading the FAQ (0+ / 0-)

            to see what the purpose of this blog is...to elect Democrats...and realizing that if that's not your goal, you're missing out on a BIG part of the reason as to why this blog exists.

            •  Au contraire, the FAQ says: (0+ / 0-)

              It's a Democratic blog with one goal in mind: electoral victory. And since we haven't gotten any of that from the current crew, we're one more thing: a reform blog.

              Campaign finance reform, media reform, election reform, etc., are all part and parcel to achieving a meaningful victory for our presently 80% lame Pepsi party.

              Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

              by Einsteinia on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 10:42:38 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Sweet Fancy Moses. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        johnny rotten, Elise, Gary Norton

        You win the award for Nader Troll Post of the Day.

        Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

        by clonecone on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 10:49:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  ah, dear, you should be more careful of (0+ / 0-)
        choosing your analogies.

        you see, there IS a difference in the taste of pepsi and in coca cola.

        for some pepsi is sweeter, for the other group, coke is sweeter - and SOME people cannot tell the difference.

        our genetic makeup determines whether we taste the test chemical sweet, sour or not at all - the latter being the recessive gene - the weakest of all genes that take two recessive parents to produce the genetically weaker double recessive that doesn't allow you to tell the difference between coke and pepsi.

        perhaps there is, too, a political gene - the republican gene, the democratic gene and those who cannot discern the differences so obvious to the rest of us.

        as i said at the beginning - bad analogy.  it would help to pay attention in biology class to keep from making such errors in the future.

        soon as i got arthritis, most of my caps ran away from home! those that remain, huddle together in fear!

        by edrie on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:35:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  This is nearly troll ratable... (0+ / 0-)

      how dare you tell anyone to STFU. this is a public forum. I doubt your "liberal"-ness. Do you always rant at people because you disagree with them?

      Buy the party line if you want to...but Dems are selling out big-time. And they'll pay a price for it. Independents don't like that.

  •  "Father Knows Best", is their act, and (0+ / 0-)

    as long as the rest of us keep on acting like children, seeking the pat on the head from the great father figures, you will get dismissed as the petulant children you probably appear to them to be.

    The POWER is with the people, and if YOU are not willing to de-fund this bunch of Republi-Clowns, or any other bunch who kneels down to them, then you will have the ex-Republic you have allowed to happen.  (And yet, we can RE-CREATE it any time we choose to!)

    Stop acting like THE CHILDREN around here, and remember that YOU are the ones dishing out THEIR allowances...

    http://www.nwtrcc.org/

    http://www.warresisters.org/...

    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 Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:53:35 AM PST

  •  being fresh from Cincinnati, I see Chuckles S (0+ / 0-)

    in a very different light-myself.

    I belive Paul Hackett still needs some help with that RV payment........??????????///

  •  Let's Put It This Way (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rebecca

    Government should be reticent to follow the will of the people when it will result in direct, immediate harm to people at home or abroad, or will erode liberty.

    Government should be quick to follow the will of the people when it will in a forthright, direct, and non-theoretical manner, keep people alive and free.

    This is consistent with a republic established to safeguard the people and their liberty. I think that this equation has been inverted so that government is inclined to shoot, shackle, and waterboard at the hint of popularity, but will not reverse course on any of these things with a holding pattern, during which additional consent for force is generated, being the only response to the public wanting peace and freedom.

  •  Nader/LaDuke 08! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    taylormattd, Elise, Geekesque

    I can't wait until I'm old enough to feel ways about stuff. Relentless!

    by ablington on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 10:03:53 AM PST

    •  Is this your honest assesment (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rebecca, JerseyGirl226

      of Sirota's intentions?  Give me a break man.

      It isnt like we dont know David's record - years of service to Democratic causes and politicians.

      Perhaps David's gretest vice is that he's impatient, haha.

      Blue Indiana -- I support John Edwards in 2008

      by BWasikIUgrad on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 10:13:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  or... is seeking a "path to glory".... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        taylormattd, ablington, Elise
        what IS your intention, david?  concerned minds would like to know!

        soon as i got arthritis, most of my caps ran away from home! those that remain, huddle together in fear!

        by edrie on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 10:15:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I just hate blanket statements. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        clonecone, taylormattd, Elise

        It is detrimental to the cause at hand. Shit like this  leads to Naderism. I know this personally, I was one of those who bought the tripe. Read some of the comments in this thread...people talkign about not voting in 08...its ridiculous.

        I can't wait until I'm old enough to feel ways about stuff. Relentless!

        by ablington on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 10:17:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  thank you for having the courage to (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ablington, Elise
          admit that you are a member of NNN (not nader never!)  having seen people caught up in his svengali rhetoric and seduced by his "reputation", i admire your honesty in admitting to being a reformed one.

          sirota is dangerous to the process by the continual harping on what HASN'T been done - he is doing exactly what nader did - focus on the negative, pound away at the failures - criticise without constructive discussion on how to CHANGE things.

          sirota is typical of the "baby with the bathwater" syndrome.  throw the bums out!  never mind who will fill the void when they are gone or the damage that will be done afterward.

          nader didn't care... and i'm beginning to think that david doesn't either - or else, he is so blinded by rage that he cannot see the government for his anger.

          what ALL here seem to forget is that this new congress with democratic control (so slender that it is ONE heartbeat away from being lost) has had less than two months of real work - and at every turn, the republicans have attempted to stall action.

          just yesterday? one of the republicans offered an amendment to a bill and immediately asked for a cloture vote - throwing the senate into an automatic 30 hour debate schedule... the republican bill manager (susan collins) was appalled and stated so on the floor that the senator SHOULD have followed procedure and informed the bill managers of their intentions!  the senate will now be in session until saturday before the original bill will see a vote.  

          again, 30 hours of floor time wasted - not dealing with iraq!  is this an "accident"?  not a chance - and david sirota falls immediately into the trap of screaming that dems are "doing nothing"!

          i am getting sick to death of people supposedly on OUR side being so quick to accuse without having the facts or the information correct... and they are attacking OUR side - not the side doing the delaying and obstructing!

          damn - and he has the timerity to quote the national media?  like THEY don't have an agenda????

          damn damn damn!  i am so furious i need to put this keyboard down and walk away for a bit.

          i simply cannot BELIEVE that people who are so "intelligent" can be so fooled... but then, getting back to your comment, you know, only too well, that it is easy - nader did it to many good people.

          now, what is important is to take a page from the republican playbook and unite and close quarters... not to be so busy battling each other that we never see them slip between our lines.

          going to walk the dogs now... that is crap i am comfortable dealing with since i love the source(s) - i need a break!

          soon as i got arthritis, most of my caps ran away from home! those that remain, huddle together in fear!

          by edrie on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 10:34:58 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Years of service or no (0+ / 0-)
        Sirota's dishonesty in the title of this diary doesn't speak well of him.
      •  Joe Lieberman and Zell Milller could (0+ / 0-)

        make similar claims.

        Sirota is far more vocally insulting towards Democrats than either of them is nowadays.

    •  i hope this is snark...... otherwise... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ablington, Elise
      be careful, stupidity is a permanent and sometimes lethal condition.

      soon as i got arthritis, most of my caps ran away from home! those that remain, huddle together in fear!

      by edrie on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 10:14:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  whew! without that /snark tag..... i was (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Elise
        beginning to have scary thoughts that you had been assimilated!

        thanks for the hint in the rec...

        soon as i got arthritis, most of my caps ran away from home! those that remain, huddle together in fear!

        by edrie on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 10:24:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Amnesty for Illegals (0+ / 0-)

    Shoot..i thought this diary was in reference to the Dems' acceptance of amnesty (rehab, assimilation or whatever latest euphemism in use):

    http://www.cnn.com/...

    NEW YORK (CNN) -- This new Congress was supposed to be different. Instead, it is being led by a gaggle of partisan hacks pandering to the same special interests and corporate masters as the previous Republican-led Congress.

    So-called comprehensive immigration reform legislation is about to take a privileged position on the Democratic agenda in the Senate. It will likely succeed, just as it did in that august chamber last year, when 38 Democratic senators sided with the president to pass the bill and tried to slam amnesty down the throats of the House of Representatives and their 300 million constituents.

  •  On. The. Nose. (0+ / 0-)

    This is an exceptional piece.  Keep up the good work, David.

    "One: Cut a hole in the box..."

    by Dissento on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 10:17:14 AM PST

  •  Be careful, David. If you keep posting... (0+ / 0-)

    ...diaries criticizing the Democratic congress over their inaction on the war, and those diaries keep making the rec list, you'll be off this site as fast as Armando was.

  •  I would like to see Ms. Herseth (0+ / 0-)

    and other Democratic members of the House and Senate go back home and really talk to their constituents, if they don't want to react to polls. They don't HAVE to be beholden to polls to learn what the people they represent are thinking and saying. Heck, I wish the Republicans in Congress would do the same.

    Let them go and speak to the people at the VFWs, the people attending church services, the college students, the people in line at the unemployment office, the guys on break from their construction work and the people shopping at the malls and eating at the Cracker Barrel.

    That would be better than polls. But if you can't/won't make the time to talk to your voters, pay attention to poll after poll both before and after the election that tell you the same thing.

    Americans want us out of Iraq now.

  •  The new Dem plan is supporting the escalation... (0+ / 0-)

    pure and simple. What are we gonna do about it? The peace movement is a toothless tiger at this point.

    Murtha has been tamed and defanged, the Dems are going to vote for funding more troops, and Bush will ignore any benchmarks, the new buzzword for getting tough. Thank you, Blue Dogs.

    Remember: if you lie with the (Blue) Dogs, you are sure to get fleas.

  •  Call the Blue Dogs' bluff... (0+ / 0-)

    go with Murtha and a refusal to fund the escalation, challenge the Blue Dogs to part with the caucus. And then let them twist in the wind; nothing of theirs gets to the floor, let alone a vote.

    Iraq is THE reason Dems won the election. They need to stand strong or they will be seen as complicit in supporting the war, once again.

    •  Correction.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gary Norton, Joelarama

      Iraq is THE reason SOME Dems won the election. Those Dems are standing strong...looks to me like others are listening to their constituents...

      •  uh, the majority are against the escalation... (0+ / 0-)

        it is up to Dems as the majority opposition to express this in legislation. Not to go along and rubber stamp the escalation. Benchmarks are BS. Bush himself has SAID he requires Iraq to live up to benchmarks. But they'll find a way to extend the escalation of the war.

        Listen to what the generals said today. They are already going back on their word and saying the troops will have to stay much longer than this fall.

    •  unfortunately, if we "defund" the escalation, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bluedoc, Elise, Gary Norton
      bush will pull it from other sources and cripple even MORE programs.  this will not stop him and the dems know it.

      the threat is a warning shot while they seek to find a way to shut him down.

      we have a madman in the whitehouse - one who has, with the prior congress, usurped such power that it cannot simply be taken back.

      look at the courts... our last line of defense... these are so gutted right now that once the "process" goes through the courts, it is cemented in law.  that would take DECADES to undo... does anyone want to see that happen?

      we are in grave and perilous times - and the way to beat back an enemy such as bush is convoluted and dangerous.  to win a small victory but lose the greater war (on our democracy) would be an epic tragedy for our nation.

      caution and care are needed to stop those who have had 12 years to lay the traps and pitfalls.

      rep. david obey d-wi is right now saying that the appropriations committee is saying that if the president has not met the "benchmarks" within six months, then the troops must begin redeployment immediately... this is astounding - it is a plan - it is a careful one being laid out by murtha, pelosi and obey as i type.

      but, wait!  david sirota says dens are doing NOTHING!  oh, i'm wrong - he's right.

      just ignore the press conference = pelosi is a sellout, right?  murtha is a sellout, right?  david is "right", right?

      if i sound disdainful, i am.

      and i am VERY angry at david sirota for playing into the neocon hands so perfectly....

      dog bladders are calling.  i'm stopping now... am going around the block - and again and again until i am cooled down.

      soon as i got arthritis, most of my caps ran away from home! those that remain, huddle together in fear!

      by edrie on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 10:57:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You don't stand up to the bully... (0+ / 0-)

        by going along with his plan. Which is what this Dem compromise does. It funds the escalation with the same benchmarks Bush uses. Then it supposedly requires Bush to withdraw (ahem, redeploy) IF the benchmarks aren't met. Do you seriously think they'll stand up when Bush claims the benchmarks have been met but the troops need to stay longer.

        BTW, Bush will probably veto this anyway, so you might as well go with something that DOESN'T go along with his escalation of the war.

      •  If it's written correctly, Bush can't.... (0+ / 0-)

        pull the fund from other sources. The escalation must end and he can't sell arms to fund it (reference to history). If Bush goes ahead, it creates a constitutional crisis, indictments, and perhaps grounds for impeachment.

  •  You're right but bitching is not going to (0+ / 0-)

    accomplish anything.

    Politicians are able to ignore the wishes of the people for one simple reason.

    We can't fire them once they are elected.

    That is the thing we have to change if we want them to do what we want instead of what their K street trainors want them to do.

    That will take an amendment to the Constituition and getting that amendment proposed will take an Article V Constitutional Convention.

    If we start organizing for this now we can have it in place by 2008 so the new crop of elected officials coming in then, as well as the old carryovers will know that the rules of the game have changed forever.

    •  you are correct in your assessment (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bluedoc, Elise, Gary Norton
      hold them accountable... and if there is nothing done, then mount a campaign to remove them!

      the fallacy of sirota's postulate is that this senate and house has ONLY been in office less than 2 1/2 months!  the first month was mostly taken with the changeover in power.  i hand it to the leadership when they convened at the beginning of january to start the process instead of waiting until the end, otherwise, there would ONLY have been less than two months of real work.

      that people (sirota and other posters here) DEMAND that change be made IMMEDIATELY only demonstrates the gravest kind of naivete - the lack of understanding of how our government actually works!

      if sirota and others don't like that process, then what is their suggestion?  a coup?  right now, pelosi and murtha are speaking and talking how these changes will be enacted regarding iraq - how to do this without endangering the troops already there!

      this is not a quick fix problem and to demand our democratic leadership do so in 2 months is the equivalent of a two year old holding their breath til they turn blue.  it never works... it can't work... and it only shows the ignorance of the child.

      all said here, if the dems don't fulfill the mandate of those who elect them, then hold them accountable!  as much as we "bitch and moan" about joe lieberman, he is effectively crippled.  he has a modicum of power for the next two years, but for all purposes, politically, he is castrated.

      that was the signal across the bow to ALL elected officials - not just dems - but republicans, as well.  we ARE taking back the power - throught he polls instead of with guns.

      that is what will save america.

      would you have it any other way?

      soon as i got arthritis, most of my caps ran away from home! those that remain, huddle together in fear!

      by edrie on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 10:50:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I can agree that two months is too short a time (0+ / 0-)

        to judge whether or not the Dems are seriously going to try and implement the wishes of the electorate in regard to the war.

        But let us look at another issue that the people want - the people of both parties incidentally - and that is universal health care.

        We have been waiting now for 58 years for that and I think that is long enough for us to conclude that unless we find a way to fire them ( that is recall elected officials after they have been elected )  they are never going to give it to us.

        Right now it is not possible for the people to recall an elected federal official.

        You can recall you elected state legislators and your elected governors but you cannot recall a congress person.

        That will require a change to the constitution and since the Congress itself will never propose such a change, that means we must have a new Constitutional Convention called by the people themselves as provided for in Article V of the Constitution.

        The sooner we start organizing this the sooner it will be done.

      •  They have taken every thing off the table n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  This diary is politically childish and beneath us (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    johnny rotten, Elise

    While Iraq is the most important issue, it is the hardest for any Congress to deal with in the face of an obstinate executive AND it is not the only issue.

    If we had not elected majorities in the House and Senate would we be seeing a minimum wage increase that will eventually pass, hearings on credit card abuse, implementation of the 9/11 Commission recommendations, a realistic chance of repealing the Habeas Corpus outrages in the MCA, new protections for unions, PAYGO, prescription drug reform , hearings on the failings of Military hospitals that will lead to administrative and legislative corrections and on and on. These have not all resulted in new laws butthe ship is righting itself.

    And with all these, like the Iraq war, politics is the art of the possible. But at least with Dems in control these are all possible, where they would not have been last year. Democratic control has already put pressure on Bush on Iraq that would never have occurred if the Reps were in charge. And it will bring about a quicker end too this outrage than would have occurred if they were still out of control.

    And give Herseth a break. She comes from a state that voted out the Democratic minority leader just a few years ago. Her instincts are in the right place but she must deal with the political realities of SD. If she doesn't, she will not only not be representing her constituents but she will also be a one term Representative.

    •  The other issues Dems have worked on... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gary Norton

      ...that you list, with rare exception, I see more as denial and avoidance of the real emergency than anything really positive.

      Positive in another context, to be sure, but not this one.

      Doing something about our citizens (troops) being blown up and burned beyond recognition as we speak I see as more important.

      Bush doesn't listen to anyone but the competing voices in his head. The winner he calls "God" and runs with it.

      by dov12348 on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 11:01:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I said it was the most important (0+ / 0-)

        but it is the hardest to deal with, especially in the short term. These other issues, while less important, can make meaningful changes in people's lives at home. And the Habeas issue is critical for our national self respect and to begin curbing other executive abuses.

        •  I see it, however, as not... (0+ / 0-)

          ...just one more item that happens to be at the top of a list of priorities.

          I see it as entirely separate and apart from everything else -- an extrordinary emergency of the highest order that should demand most of Congress' time and energy until it's resolved.

          Bush doesn't listen to anyone but the competing voices in his head. The winner he calls "God" and runs with it.

          by dov12348 on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 11:19:54 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  This is why I didn't contribute (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gary Norton

    to Herseth despite strong support for her here.

  •  The Guardian got it exactly right... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Elise, bigchin


    FOUR MONTHS AGO when they first broke the story of the 'surge'...

    The "last push" strategy is also intended to give Mr Bush and the Republicans "political time and space" to recover from their election drubbing and prepare for the 2008 presidential campaign, the official said... "If the Democrats are smart, they'll play along, and I think they will. But forget about bipartisanship. It's all about who's going to be in best shape to win the White House."



    p.s. Spread the Word: Iraq-Nam, a daily blog on Iraq.

    "Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime." -- Ernest Hemingway

    by spread the word IRAQ NAM on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 11:02:47 AM PST

  •  Thank you! Y'know, the Simpsons captured this: (0+ / 0-)

    God, it's a relief to read you, David.  Without you, this community would quickly devolve into paralyzed cheerleaders who don't understand how to speak truth to power unless it's the other team.

    When I hear our leaders encouraging lengthy non-binding Iraq debate, I always think of that Simpsons scene where the school janitor bursts in, burning to death during a PTA meeting.

    WILLY (US soldier/Iraqi civilian): Help!  Please help me!
    SKINNER (Pelosi): Willy, please!  Mr. Van Hauten has the floor.
    MILHOUSE'S DAD (Herseth/Schumer):  Er, I, for one, would like to see the cafeteria menus in advance so parents can adjust their dinner menus accordingly.  I don't like the idea of Milhouse having two spaghetti meals in one day.
    WillyOur soldier/servant explodes into flame and screams for a few seconds.  The parents turn to watch.]
    WILLY: [a mere skeleton] You'll pay for this...with your children's blood!

    Prophetic?  Nah, not to worry - terrorism is a thing of the past, and the soldiers are someone else's children.  Maybe all we really need for the majority to matter is a draft.

  •  cut out the cancers ... not the vital organs (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tanya

    To all those who feel we need a change to the Constitution and/or establishment of a third party through edict:  I think you're dead wrong.

    The Constitution doesn not prohibit a third or fourth or however many parties.  It also has all the remedies needed (impeachment, others) for our Boy King as well.

    Want to make viable third parties?  Get campaign finance reform.  Hell, you could mandate campaign funding for 3rd or 4th parties in any national election (say given a threshold of prior votes/petition/etc).

    I also think the re-establishment (and enforcement) of the Fairness Doctrine would go a long way to restoring functioning democracy.  Would the current form of the Repubs exist (as well) without Fox, Rush, et al?  Or without large-scale consolidation (and cost cutting) of television and newspapers?  All outgrowths of the Fairness Doctrine repeal in 1987.  Problems with the separation of church and state go back to before our founding.  Hell, Jefferson's (oft misinterpreted) quote re "eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man" refered to churches that were printing slanderous campaign flyers against him!

    Republicans run amok has happened twice before to this country.  The robber baron's of the late 1800's pulled many corrupt Republican strings back then.  They owned the media (newspapers) and used them to rile up the masses for a war of choice that had more to do with military contracts and the other country's natural resources.  The Repubs did similar damage in the late 1920's. Even had oil scandals to boot (Teapot Dome).

    Sadly it took a Depression to knock them out of power then.  Before that the US was rescued by a Repub VP (Teddy Roosevelt) who was a trust buster and pro-environment.  He was kicked out of the party afterwards, of course.

    I hope that we don't need an economic collapse (maybe post-Iran bombing), or a white knight (who?) to revive the democracy in this country.  My point is that we have gone through this before with the Constititution intact.  The underlying cancers, or enablers, of what's wrong with the Repubs can and must be cured.  It took a good 20-30 years for it to get this bad.  It may take a while to correct

  •  YO! SIROTA! the dems (4+ / 0-)

    (pelosi, murtha, oday) just offered a PLAN to get the troops out before years end!

    or were you so busy complaining that you didn't have time to notice!  

    just put up a diary to discuss the ACTION the DEMS ARE TAKING TO GET THE TROOPS OUT if anyone would care to come do something productive instead of supporting a whine and sheesh festival over here!

    soon as i got arthritis, most of my caps ran away from home! those that remain, huddle together in fear!

    by edrie on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 11:16:53 AM PST

    •  As I said, I'll believe it when I see it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tanya

      I know the blind partisans here never want to be honest about much of anything, but before we get all high and mighty, let's not forget what happened just last week.

      Forgive me if I'm not going to get excited until I see real action.

      •  There is a lot of naivete here... (0+ / 0-)

        the benchmarks are ones that Bush himself came up with. This will be softened, deadlines stripped in the Senate, and come back to the House which will "go along" with the funding and even this will be watered down.

        So Dems once again have gone along with Bush and the war. It is 2002 IWR all over again. Dems in the House would be idiotic to vote for this and get caught in the trap.

    •  here are two better links than mine - so (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Elise
      i will delete my diary in a few so you can read both kargo's diary and geekesque's  diary.

      so, it would appear that david jumped the gun - something IS going on - the folks involved just aren't telling david about it.... awwwwww...

      soon as i got arthritis, most of my caps ran away from home! those that remain, huddle together in fear!

      by edrie on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 11:32:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  kargo's diary says it's all bullshit! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        matthewpm

        That thye have stripped any meaning out of the bill.

        To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men~~ Abraham Lincoln

        by Tanya on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 12:15:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Read the update... (0+ / 0-)

          and see the new post on the new Senate bill.

        •  do you really base your political opinion (0+ / 0-)
          and judgement on the statements of kagro?  are you REALLY so easily led that ONE blogger shapes your mind?

          why kagro?  why not, oh, say.... ann coulter? SHE is a blogger, isn't she?

          or, why not buhdydarma?  or opol? or me? or any OTHER person who sits anonymously behind a keyboard and types?

          you REALLY want me to believe that you are willing to abdicate your responsibility to read and research what congress is doing based on ONE BLOGGER?

          soon as i got arthritis, most of my caps ran away from home! those that remain, huddle together in fear!

          by edrie on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 12:38:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I was responding to YOUR comment. And no I base (0+ / 0-)

            my political opinions on having been involved in politics since Vietnam. I have seen this movie before, it's just an updated version.

            Now here is a considered political opinion for you, based on historical realities. We will have at least as many troops in Iraq in 09' as we do today.
            Maybe more. There will be more and more cross border activity in both Iran and Syria. The amendment Kargo updated his diary with will not get approved by the Dem leadership for a vote.

            I would love nothing better than to be proven wrong on this.

            To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men~~ Abraham Lincoln

            by Tanya on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 01:40:02 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  i would love nothing better than your being (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Bluedoc
              proven wrong as well - it is what we have learned from viet nam and what we do now that makes it happen.

              i am older than you - lived through viet nam as well - and things ARE different now - the key component being the immediate accessibility to realtime information.

              the internet has enabled us to get the information of deception out immediately and much wider than has been ever possible.

              we have the ability to change the face of our nation - and change the direction of our politicians.

              but if we throw in the towel with defeatist attitudes, then we waste these precious resources (and stand the risk of losing them).

              we fought for change then and it didn't happen over night - we are fighting for change now - and it still won't happen overnight.

              what is different? THIS time, we can be heard - we are heard by millions here and now - all over the world!

              are you willing to try, that is the question!

              soon as i got arthritis, most of my caps ran away from home! those that remain, huddle together in fear!

              by edrie on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 01:47:48 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Who said anything about throwing in the towel! (0+ / 0-)

                I don't think calling bullshit, bullshit is throwing in the towel. Pretendign the emperor has clothes is enabeling the spin machine to keep spinning while nothing in reality gets done. Pretending that a bill that does nothing is a significant change also doesn't move the agenda forward.

                As for the instant information that we have now. Back then we had a lot of instant info too. The watergate hearings were broadcast live on the networks, now we have to hope that out of 500 stations C-span covers some of the hearings on one of their 3. The nightly news carried the footage of real battles with real effects, not a shot of a pool of blood long after the mangled bodies have been removed. Everynight we watched the flag draped coffins coming off planes while taps played, now it's against the law to show those pictures.

                I could go on. the internet is not the be all and end all. It gives us the ability to organize better and get more information from more sources that is very true. I just think we need to use it for more than cheerleading and justifying
                bad policies and bullshit legislation, no matter who is making them.

                To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men~~ Abraham Lincoln

                by Tanya on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 02:15:52 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  Recall Herseth (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tanya

    I'm really tired of the positioning and political maneuvering of even our own Democratic members of Congress.  What's more important: we stop the bloodbath that is Iraq and we make those accountable for bringing us into this mess?  Or we do our archetypal hand-wringing and go along to get along so we can get someone in the White House in 2008?

    Why are these things mutually exclusive?  Don't they realize that the mandate is to STOP THE WAR?  Don't they realize that there's been a major defection of dittoheads to our side of this issue?

    But instead, I think we're actually RISKING the White House in 2008 by not keeping the promises that were made last year to win back Congress.  

    Is it going to come to pitchforks and torches?  Or is it too late with all the crowd control weaponry they've been using our tax dollars for?

    If the GOP is the Viagra Party, then the Democratic Party is the Salt Peter Party.

    .  

    Let's make sure we get a candidate on the ticket to run against Herseth.  We can't afford this sort of betrayal of the voters.

    •  Yeah...let's recall her and put a Republican (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      clonecone

      in there instead! You've got the right idea!!

      Wow you're smart. Then our 233 majority in the House will become a 232 majority.

      OH!! Better yet...let's make a list of all the Dems that aren't quite "pure" enough for us...and let's recall them and put Republicans in THEIR seats too!! If we're lucky we'll end up with 30 or so Dems left in the House when we're done. Then we can REALLY show Bush what we can do!

      •  Better an unknown Republican... (3+ / 1-)
        Recommended by:
        musing85, HarveyMilk, jackspace
        Hidden by:
        Gary Norton

        ...then a Democrat who couldn't care less about either the voters or the troops.

        Bush doesn't listen to anyone but the competing voices in his head. The winner he calls "God" and runs with it.

        by dov12348 on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 11:39:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Wow! (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Gary Norton, Geekesque, trashablanca

          Are you fucking kidding me?!

          Seriously?!

          That is the most trollish statement I've read here today.

          You belong at Red State if you feel that way.

        •  Are you serious? Are you on the (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Elise, trashablanca

          right blog? The goal of DKos is to elect Democratic candidates.

          •  So if Lieberman was a Democrat... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            HarveyMilk, jackspace

            ...you'd be pro-Lieberman?

            Bush doesn't listen to anyone but the competing voices in his head. The winner he calls "God" and runs with it.

            by dov12348 on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 12:01:39 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  As opposed to a Republican, of course. I (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Elise, trashablanca

              guess you are not aware of the significance of party control in the Senate and House. Like it or not, that is the key. We can't advance any part of the agenda without control. That is why the Republicans tolerated Chaffee and I would hold my nose and tolerate Lieberman.

              •  So long-term party control is... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                jackspace

                ...more important to you than making an aggressive, serious attempt to save our troops who are dying as we speak?

                Bush doesn't listen to anyone but the competing voices in his head. The winner he calls "God" and runs with it.

                by dov12348 on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 12:27:42 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  That is silly. First, if two months (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Elise, trashablanca

                  is long term to you then, well . .. .don't know what to say. Tell me though, what piece of legislation that would end this war and that you know would pass both Houses of Congress have they not been pursuing? Do you want to see something imperfect pass, or something perfect fail?

                  •  In fairness... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    jackspace

                    two months-

                    1/07 - 83
                    2/07 - 80

                    was pretty long term to those soldiers.  The rest of their lives.

                    •  It's not fair. The two (0+ / 0-)

                      month reference was to "long term" control of the Congress.

                      I opposed this war when I first realized it was inevitable in early 2002. I don't take a back seat to anyone on this most important issue of our time. But I want it to end, I don't want the Democrats to put forward bills that will fail and strengthen the Republicans' hand. If we can't end it before 2008 we damn well better be able to do it in 2009. And that will require a Democrat in the WH and control of the Congress.

                      •  How do bills that fail... (0+ / 0-)

                        strengthen the Republican's hand?  I thought the plan was to force vetos of popular legislation.  If we don't put forward bills that are popular, and force vetos, how are we carrying out this plan?

                        As for unfairness, how do you ask a man to be the last to die for a mistake?

                        •  Bills that fail to pass, not bills (0+ / 0-)

                          that pass and are then vetoed.

                          Don't know about you but though I had just been discharged I could not make it for Dewey Canyon II. But my brother was there. I internalized that quotation and to the extent you are addressing it to me I resent it. I am interested in ending this needless and tragic war and know that sophistry disconnected from political realities will hurt rather than help. And the silly tack taken in Sirota's diary does not help.

                          •  Bills that fail to pass... (0+ / 0-)

                            like cloture 56 out of 60 needed.  I thought that was a big triumph for our side?

                            And so too with any <i?meaningful</em> bill.  How does your strategy reduce by one day our involvement in Iraq?  I think holding our elected representatives accountable and telling them what we want is a very fair and reasonable way to proceed.  I admit that in fact any legislative act is not likely to influence an administration that has shown time and again that they don't give a hoot about Congress and the laws they pass or our Constitution.  I think the solution to this problem is regime change.

                            How does not asking for progressive legislation and not holding our elected representatives accountable for their action or inaction advance our agenda?

                            Sophistry disconnected from political reality?  The reality is that we do not have a veto proof majority.  Should we wait until then or is there some action we should be taking before that?

                          •  At this point I'm lost. The House (0+ / 0-)

                            has finally come up with a strategy they think can be passed, and on a bill the President will have trouble vetoing. We'll see what happens in the Senate. If it gets to the president and he vetoes it he will have vetoed funding for the troops. I don't know how it will play out, but the WH will be in a very tough position.

                            Do you disapprove of this approach? Do you have one with a better chance of success? Have you seen the whip count on it?

                          •  I would much rather see... (0+ / 0-)

                            ...an aggressive, rational effort fail than a pile of mush that sets well with everyone pass.

                            Bush doesn't listen to anyone but the competing voices in his head. The winner he calls "God" and runs with it.

                            by dov12348 on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 03:56:49 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Nope. (0+ / 0-)

                            But do you think this plan would have been tried without many loud strong voices at the Democratic Party grassroots calling for action?  I think not.

                            Policy has changed today with these announcements by the House and Senate leadership.

                            Good.  Now more change until the job is done.

        •  Uprated (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          StupidAsshole

          This comment does not meet my standards for troll-rating. Stephanie Herseth lost any chance of my support when she decided it was OK to dump me and my gay brethren and lesbian sistren overboard in order to pander to the narrow-minded voters in her state. I would not waste any time crying if she were to lose in the next round--even if it happens to be to a Republican. Our majority in the House isn't at stake.

      •  Elise I love you sweetie but the fact is we (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HarveyMilk, jackspace, StupidAsshole

        need the majority to change things to make things happen, not just to say we have it. You put up action diaries all the time. Why? So people can help make change. Have their voices heard. If we don't call them out and try to replace the DINO's who will? Sorry but it just isn't good enough to just elect Dems. We have to elect people that really represent US.

        To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men~~ Abraham Lincoln

        by Tanya on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 12:05:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree. (0+ / 0-)

          I believe Herseth is representing HER constituents. My Representatives are doing their job representing ME.

          Durbin, Obama, Costello (my Rep)...every one of them has voted to represent their constituents. Herseth has the duty to do that too.

          Let's focus instead on the many Republicans who are NOT representing their constituents...those who live in districts where people have stated they don't support the war and want the troops brought home now...and yet EVERY Republican has voted to support the continuation of this war...regardless of what their constituents want.  

          If we want Herseth to move to the left, we have to move her constituents to the left.

        •  If you have not seen the changes (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Elise

          that have already occurred since the Democrats took over then, with all due respect, you might want to pay more attention. I tried to list a few of them above, but they are in the news everyday. The War is the one issue in which effecting change is the hardest and will take the most time. And even if the Democrats are not able to succeed this year, they would have made an attempt that would never have happened under Republican control.

  •  I think Sirota is right on (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StupidAsshole

    In fact it's the bitchin' that has them concerned they should get off their collective asses. Perhaps it's getting through that this majority they now have will be gone in less than 2 years because guys like me will vote Green.
    That said, we'll see how determined they are to address Iraq for starters!

    •  Great. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Elise, Gary Norton

      I'll know who to blame when a republican wins in '08.  

      Green voters enable every evil thing Republicans do.  Their wars will be your wars and every dead soldier, sailor, marine and airman will have people like you to thank.

      Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

      by clonecone on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 11:33:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  How's about if we focus on... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tanya, callmecassandra

        ...THIS war and THESE dead soldiers?

        Bush doesn't listen to anyone but the competing voices in his head. The winner he calls "God" and runs with it.

        by dov12348 on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 11:41:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sure. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Elise

          It was thinking like the orginal comment above that got us into this mess.  No Nader, no war.

          Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

          by clonecone on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 11:48:10 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's true. But... (0+ / 0-)

            ...can you blame people for considering a change of parties if the Dems prove they either can't or won't do anything?

            Yes, the jury's still out, but time is running very short and patience is wearing very thin.

            Bush doesn't listen to anyone but the competing voices in his head. The winner he calls "God" and runs with it.

            by dov12348 on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 11:52:27 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  sorry but that is just a convienient excuse (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            callmecassandra

            I'm not a green so that isn't where i'm coming from. The fact is there are a lot of things that got us here. Like voter suppression, the Supreme court, electronic voting machines, candidates that won't fight, lame campaigns, I could go on.

            the Dems have been enablers to this bullshit for years. The real question is are they going to step up and lead in a new direction or just keep recycling the same old bullhsit. So far at least on Iraq I haven't seen them stepping up.

            I'm used to it, my activism goes all the wayyyyy back to Vietnam. The fact is the Dems are the lesser of two evils, a lot of people are tired of that choice and want to see some courage and steps to fight for real systemic change. Sirota is right that isn't something that is going to come out of the Beltway with our politicians for life.

            To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men~~ Abraham Lincoln

            by Tanya on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 11:59:11 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  We are, but cannot do one thing to the exclusion (0+ / 0-)

          of all others. What are the House and Senate and their Committees supposed to do while an Appropriations Subcommittee is working on the Iraq Supplemental  with conditions for withdrawal? Halt all other Committee work? Halt all hearings on Bush's abuses? You might want to explore in a little more depth how the Congress works and all of the other things it is responsible for.

          •  Of course not. (0+ / 0-)

            If there is absolutely nothing else that can be done about Iraq by any given individual or committee, then other issues should certainly be pursued.

            Bush doesn't listen to anyone but the competing voices in his head. The winner he calls "God" and runs with it.

            by dov12348 on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 12:11:48 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  And they are working on it. (0+ / 0-)

              The Dems in the House think they have finally gotten enough support to pass something that will end the war. Now they could have just charged ahead with something that is voted down and where would we be. The war would be no closer to an end and the Repubs would have a victory they could tout and the Pres make hay about. I don't want to se us hand the Pres a victory that could ultimately make it even harder to end this tragedy.

              •  You certainly have lots and lots of faith... (0+ / 0-)

                ...in the current maneuvers out there.  We'll see what comes out of it.  I'll wait a bit longer.  But Friedman timeframes are unacceptable -- a thing of the past.

                Bush doesn't listen to anyone but the competing voices in his head. The winner he calls "God" and runs with it.

                by dov12348 on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 03:04:41 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Excuses (0+ / 0-)

            Are you saying the dems can't multitask. The repugs to their credit went like gang-busters to slam through all kind of crazy stuff.
            I am tired of excuses by dems. These dems are lazy and scared to death. If the best they can offer is just a slowed down version of the repub agenda then what's the point! I am not interested in a jobs program for dem politicians! I'll take my one litte stinking vote and give it to the Greens. If the Repubs win, at least we'll get to the same place as the dems only much quicker!

      •  Democrats enable everything Republicans do... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fly

        by aleinating voters by Democratic inaction and hypocrisy.

        Just wait and see if the Iraq War becomes the Dems war.

        Won't that be interesting when a Democratic President and Congress pick up the Iraq cause and make it their own.

        Hell wasn't the Gulf of Tonkin brought to us by a Democrat? The Greens were not around to blame back then.

        "War is the health of the state." Rudolf Bourne "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."Samuel Johnson

        by american pastoral on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 12:56:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  If I still had TU status (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Elise, Gary Norton, Inland, Geekesque

    I'd be seriously considering adding Concern Troll to the Tags.

  •  The clock is ticking (0+ / 0-)

    In 2008, the Libertarian and Green Peace parties will field overtly antiwar Presidential and Congressional candidates, though there are floated proposals that they will field the same peace candidate for President.

  •  Both parties (0+ / 0-)

    seem to be considering alternatives other then democracy for the United States also.

  •  No tip for you (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Johnson, Elise, Geekesque

    Sorry

    •  I sent accidently (0+ / 0-)

      before I finished. Anyway, it's been rough here on the board with all of these incidiary anti democratic party posts. I am sorry I just can't read nor rec this diary because the sole purpose is to diss the dems.

      I have spoken my thoughts.

  •  Win some, lose some. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    inclusiveheart, Elise

    The choice of headlines during a period of breaking news is like playing blackjack in Vegas. This one didn't go your way. And the italicized mea culpa kind of compounds the error.

    But them's the breaks.

    Tag your Hillary diary with the appropriate Hillary Diary Archetype Number

    by Bob Johnson on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 01:01:53 PM PST

  •  Maybe Herseth needs to educate... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Northstar

    herself (and her constituents).

    This war is wrong, incredibly, unbelievably wrong. We hear so much about the 3,000+ U.S. casualties but not so much about this...

    I am posting two photographs tonight both of which show what America has done to Irak and her people. In line with our standard operating procedure when a team member dies or suffers bereavement comments will be closed until Sunday.

    markfromireland
    Look at his ribs

    This photograph is of a boy in a hospital in Hilla. He lost his leg in a car bomb attack on pilgrims on Tuesday March 6th 2007. The photo shows the overwhelming facts of life in the Irak created by the continuing American led war against the Iraki people.

    Look at this child’s ribs. Then look at how thin his arms are.

    This child has known a lot of hunger in his life. He’s suffering from two forms of long term malnutrition.

  •   1. The kind brought about by not enough food over an extended period. In this case his whole life.
      2. The more subltle and insidious kind of malnutrition - the “hidden malnutrition” caused by long term dependence on a diet deficient in the minerals and vitamins a child needs to develop normally.


  • In the Irak created by America more than 70% of the population are unemployed. They depend on food rations. Those food rations are not adequate. Not even remotely adequate.

    Worse than that long after the Americans deliberately and knowingly committed the war crime of  bombing civilian water treatment plants those plants are still unrepaired. Lots of no-bid contracts to American corporations of course. As you might expect because this is American occupied Irak, the work either wasnt done at all or was so inferior that the plants just don’t work

    What that means is the millions of people are forced to use water that contains faecal matter. Millions of them don’t have enough money to boil the water to make it safe.

    And as saying things politely often doesn’t seem to work with those of our audience who come from the USA I’m going to resort using the sort of language suitable for the purpose.

    The corruption and inferiority associated with everything that America has done in Iraq means that millions of people have to drink and cook with water that contains shit.

    [...]

    Here are some unpleasant facts about America in Irak:

      1. Everything America does in Irak turns to tears, and blood and shit.
      2. The Americans in Irak are far far far worse than Saddam ever was.
      3. The Americans in Irak always were far far far worse than Saddam ever was.
      4. The Americans in Irak always will be far far far worse than Saddam ever was.
      5. Managing to be far far far worse than Saddam ever was is an achievement of which any country calling itself “civilised” should be profoundly ashamed.

    Well done I hope you’re fucking proud of of yourselves.

    http://gorillasguides.com/...

  •  You are so right on, I don't know what to say (0+ / 0-)

    I've been writing diaries touching on this subject, and I typically get around 5 comments (so props on your 600+ comments...alas, my name is not David Sirota), a good 4 of which always scold me regarding:

    • The Dems' months-long occupation of Congress: "Don't be so hard on them!  Give them time!  They'll do something!"
    • The age-old admonition, "Hey, Dems can't afford to rock the boat too much, 'cause if they do, well, 2008 might not go their way."
    • The Dems' working for fair minimum wage standards and other "domestic" issues that are - per bullet #2 - safe, populist, non-boat-rocking, etc.

    To my mind, the carnage-based life of an Iraqi (and an American soldier in Iraq) is the primary, #1 issue in America today.  There are attendant issues, high-level ones - torture, warrantless spying, extralegal signing statements, suspension of habeas corpus, the very existence of Guantanamo - but the killing machine that is Iraq looms over everything else, and that war has got to be closed down now, with a formal apology, prosecutions, etc.

    Please visit Neverinournames.com

    by Nathan Hammersmith on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 02:51:44 PM PST

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