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He and our republican-dominated leadership are in crisis across a broad venue of scandals. His public appearances only make things worse image-wise. It's that old moment when someone discredited should not say any more because every time he does, he makes it worse.

It's been suggested that his only avenue of publicity is to appear in tandem with other republicans still holding sufficient high public standing to ricochet light to him.

But who has remained free from some sort of political taint? Not the congressional legislators, not the republican evangelicals, none of the potential 2008 republican successors to this discredited president.

And with this swift-bloating, the object of their lies has a much more powerful and admired iconic value than political hacks, opportunists and propagandists.

Oh and Fox News/BNN (the Blowhard News Network) as well.

You know ... Fox: the broadcasting equivalent of Limbaugh's anal cyst which kept ole Rush out of harms way but left him bereft of the valueable future wisdom of military experience.

My perception from the tules on the rural Washington and Pacific Coast is that the DLC is frustrating, perceived very much as a suspected insider more interested in staying in the driver's seat - pushing what is essentially neocon and Republican-lite.

The newsletter on which I based my diary reflects this more than anything else. All that rhetorical chatter re: "jihadist enemies a major victory and result in a devastating blow to our national security credibility and interests" looks, walks and talks like a duck.

My own feelings, misguided as they may be, are that if I do not now shout at the DLC, folks like me who are way outside the Beltway will continue to be ignored.

List messages and newsletters speak to me from theoretically abstract places in which it appears that DLC'ers and the politicians who email me assume I know everything they supposedly know.

It's also difficult to discern between wisdom based on hard knowledge and an ideological or self-interested political strategy.

Hence, if the DLC sends out messages barely differentiated from what I can read in the Weekly Standard, it's not a part of the party useful to me. And, I suspect, it's local yokel voters like me who have to be persuaded in order to retake a House, a Senate and a Presidency.

But I stand to be corrected - expecting something more than what I've received so far.

Why have we seniors let the sophomores run things? Hotlist

by Arthur Ruger [Unsubscribe] [Edit Diary]

Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 12:26:25 PM PDT

This quote from TomPaine.com,

Beginning Of The End For The GOP, Michael K. Fauntroy, October 14, 2005

"DeLay's indictment may turn out to be nothing. It may turn out to be a big deal. Either way you slice it, it's part of a long pattern of corruption that has developed over the years of GOP dominance of Congress and the White House. The Gingrich Revolution was largely built around the argument that 40 years of Democratic control led to arrogance and corruption. Now it's clear that the GOP has done more damage to the nation in a shorter time and we have to pay the bill."

Sophomoric political thinking: "When I get to wear the boots, I'll be able to do what them older guys did."

How often do we see someone elevated to a new position with new authority and watch as they commence behaving in a way that reflects how they themselves erroneously perceived a predecessor - making assumptions based on what they thought they saw the predecessor do?

Republicans went decades whining about corruption in Democratic-controlled congressional bodies while promising that if elected, "that's not what I'm going to do." Yet once in power, based on assumptions founded on a perception that Democratic corruption revealed only a portion of a vaster corrupt political system - Republicans have behaved in a manner they thought they could get away with - because they assumed Democrats had done so earlier to the same or worse degree.

Tom Delay is a good example. Coming in around the time Newt the Gingrich was making similar promises and a so-called Contract with America, Delay acted in the manner he obviously thought was the way an elected official does business in Washington - only he would do it better and with more ruthless efficiency using all forms of political extortion to achieve his goals of accumulated power and influence.

Yet Delay and the myriad of Republicans caught with their pants down remain quite sophomoric with their rhetoric, pretenses at patriotic wisdom and sloganeering offered up as justification for their political immaturity. This is so tragic because most of these politicians trying to hang onto power represent the dying days of baby boomer (my generation) influence.

These embarrassments parading as statesmen may be the last worst hope for boomers to leave the children a better world than what was in place before. We who near the end of our time in positions of influence still possess some opportunities to avoid a future in which we are left to apologize for the asinine and selfish behavior of our generation's elected majority.

2006 looms larger and larger on the horizon and we elders still involved and committed must make the attempt; must rise off our couches and put our clickers down; must get off our bar stools and go attend a rally or meet with elected officials. More of us must start speaking out. Otherwise, what we take for granted as the American Way of Life - already diluting and morphing itself into something we can already recognize as "not the America we grew up in," will share the blame.

The next generation will inevitably view us as grouped with the idiotic sophomores who thought they could to great things for themselves without harming the country - and failed.

 

McGavick? McGavick?

I'll say it again, McGavick was not a brush with death for Cantwell's career or Washington (State & National) Democrats that he was made out to be by the terrorized.

You'll have to do better than that to justify all the shushing and pleading that we go easy on Maria back when the timid considered themselves wiser than those who had already put their finger in the wind and recognized a gale and it's direction.

If anything, we should have pressured her more, pressured Pelz and Company more and gotten an even more strident and powerful electoral repudiation of the Republican Party and its subsequent disarray in this state.

If McDermott can string together repeat 70/30-to-80/20 margins, McGavick was Cantwell's chance to reach 80/20.

So after the fact, we should be satisfied that we hit a run-scoring single because we thought their pitcher's lob was an impossible fast ball.

We didn't swing for fence like we should have and cleared all the bases including bringing home the rep from Bellevue. That loss - which was the closest score - is the one we should be all pious about in retrospect.

Not McGavick.


 

 

It was. And we are not lock-step Democrats.

Course, I don't post at Washblog because I'm a card-carrying Democrat. If that were the requirement, I'd bust out of here dang fast.

For folks with underwear-all-knotted-up about who hurt whose party feelings and why strong criticism of republicans is wonderful but thinks criticism of dear demo leaders is disrespectful dick talk I say take your offendedness, woundedness and overly sensitive thin-skinned terror to the Demo LD meetings.

But don't pout and please stay here and advocate your truths where opposition and disagreement might make truths even stronger and let us remain independent at this site - free to disagree.

If that is not possible, if the price of keeping overly sensitive Demo party loyalists writing here is a costly self-censorship and avoidance of hurting their feelings because honest contrary opinions are offensive or "disloyal", then we are already irrelevant and in thrall of a party orthodoxy.

Washblog is not a Democratic party organ.

We should not pay any price and they should be allowed to recognize that we are refusing to pay up. With their extortion-minded behavior called, they can stay and act like adults who understand free and open discussion or they can walk away insulted and outraged at our disloyalty.

Personally, I took extremely strong exception to Mr. Pelz' handling of dissent and disagreement within his state party and I would never support him because of it.

He demonstrated a lack of skill that was not helpful back at a time when we were trying to lever our Senator away from the Bushiness of Iraq.

Pelz did poorly but you know, I don't care if he's the Dem chairmain until he has alzheimers. I'm not a Democrat and who the party chairman is up to the party.

Remember that dumb Demo leaders were telling us for a year prior to the election to keep our mouths shut and leave Cantwell alone. Fear of McGavick(R) from Washington was too much for them to stay very far away from the bathroom.

And it don't matter what other wonderful things Pelz did because he was dumb about the most important issue that drove the Democratic victory in the state and nation ... powerfully strong disapproval of the Iraq War.

One could make the case that if Pelze had more accurately known how powerfully the anti-Iraq wind was blowing, the senate and house campaigns would have been handled with a different emphasis.

Cantwell's margin would have been bigger, we'd have Burner(D), and maybe a U.S. rep or two in Eastern Washington also wearing (D)'s.

All the rebuttals in the world cannot compete with the advantage of hindsight. Defending Pelz for not knowing something that blogging dummies like us Cantwell-pusher's on Washblog knew is not a winnable argument.

Like the soldier in Iraq asking, Who's Rumsfeld...

I have to ask (I'm being facetious - I do know who Pelz is), "Who's Pelz and who's Butterworth?"

Now look ... those who don't tune me out and avoid reading my stuff know that Lietta and I live in the boondocks ... the tules ... McRanium-kind-of-country so we're probably purty dang dumb when it comes to the nuance of political savvy, specially in King County.

But I'll tell you this ... when Switz and the gang were all telling us to shut the hell up about Iraq, leave Maria C. alone, and don't go there, you all were little ducks farting under the water.

It was obvious that Cantwell was not going to struggle with Mcgavick.

First time he opened his mouth and sounded like Barney Fife, I knew Maria would win ... in fact it made it easier to push her harder. If that sounds like I'm trying to say "I told you so," you might be right. But what I'm really trying to say is that we weren't so dang dumb all along and sure as hell ain't thanking Pelz or all the shushers at Washblog who were terrified of the Safeco Softy.

His ads and speeches only got dumber and dumber as the campaign dragged on. By the end he looked like he was going through the motions, using his own thinking and putting together some awfully shallow ads perhaps because the RNC had given up on his chances ... ar Ms. Tubeless is as shallow as Mike!

For the most part, Cantwell had no need to mud-sling McGavick cause he's such an obvious drop-kick anyway.

I said it at the time and I haven't changed my mind ... Cantwell was in no danger of losing that election unless she did something herself to her campaign.

I would also suggest that folks like Lietta, DWE, RMD, Chad, Kirkdorfer (and all the rest on Washblog who egged us on) ... AND myself did more to nudge Cantwell only slightly in a better direction than Pelz's grandstand play with his whine about having problems within the party, fund-raising and volunteering.

I do not for one minute believe that Cantwell came to her senses and made the slight shift leftward because of Pelz's wise-sounding directives or public statements to the media. At that time, Lietta was getting more press and a more interesting news articles about Maria than Dwight.

I'd even venture to say so did I cause the dang TV and papers were calling me for my dumb thoughts too and when I get mad I write mad and when people write angry it's like Viagra to bored news reporters with nothing up.

Pelz sounds like he wants very much to take credit for Demo success in Washington State but if his genius is equal to his mouth then I'd like to hear what more he could have done to nudge Burner over the top. It's too easy to remain silent and preen about the good stuff when the party came oh, so close, on the election they should have been working on more than Mike! the doofus.

Why couldn't Mr. Pelz and the party help Dacry over those last few inches to the summit? I'd rather hear an in-depth discussion from the party chairman about that rather than prancing about and pretending to be on the same electoral genius level as Chuck and Rahm.

Hide-and-seek timidity of the Demo's who hide their own proclivity for sabre-rattling and sabre-swinging when they can get away with it drives me nuts.

Issues with our Jr. Senator about hawking and doving have played their course and it's time to boot thuglicans.

I've been fuming about Rove's speech all week but am too damn tired after work to write anything coherent most of the time.

It's the Danny Glover syndrome, I guess.

After jousting with Democratic politicians about this stuff ... staying courses, timetables, missions unaccomplished ... time now to hit the campaign trail where the dancing around the mulberry bush with thuglicans is less devious than DLC-strategic belongers. I'm content to put the smack on thuglicans who are dumber and blunter.

Kinda like when Franken was grateful to Falwell and Robertson for giving him material right after 9/11 when nobody had a sense of humor.

Thuglicans - especially Washington thuglicans make easy targets with all that adolsecent strategizing transparency.

Compared to chasing DLC Demos, which is like trying to grip jello, manning the outposts against thuglican incursions is like waiting to drop water balloons on targets in a barrell.

++++++++++++

After all the strategizers terrified of McGavick

have their say as to why we should quit guilting them about how useless Cantwell has been in doing the right thing to rein in a nutcase president, I am left to make one observation.

I'm not in any way the smartest guy in Bay Center, Washington, and the number of my competitors is less than 400 souls.

But as dumb as I am and was, I knew Bush was an incompetent faker in 1999, 2000, and 2001. I KNEW his Iraq reason and rationale was bogus and could see it coming in 2001. 2002, 2003 and afterwards have only vindicated my dumb ass assessment.

Now if you're trying to tell a dumb ass like me that Cantwell was dumber than me and actually thought Bush and his reasons were legitimate from he get go, then we need a new and smarter senator.

This one has been faking it too.

There comes a time when our terror of a Republican victory over a Democratic incumbent has to take second place to a consideration of who has no courage to admit a mistake nor the gumption to pick up the standard again, raise it to make things right and act like a god damn leader. We need to seriously consider an alternate democratic candidate and let Cantwell know it right up to primary day.

If she doesn't get the message, she's as dumb as I've said or as stuplidly stubborn as the President she refuses to challenge. We don't need that. Really we don't

With or without a Democrat as a junior senator from Washington, we do not and must not tolerate a lack of courage and leadership in our elected officials. Again, we need to seriously consider that all the way up to the primary and convey that precise message to Ms. Cantwell.

All you strategists seem to be stuck in the cheap side of the Monopoly Board wanting us to spend our energy on Virginia Avenue and a maybe a railroad instead of making for Boardwalk and Park Place.

2006 is going to reflect voter backlash against republicans and play-it-safe Democrats all over America no matter who the Demo candidate is in Washington State.

But there's no comparison between a certain incumbent from Bellevue and the Democratic Iraq War veterans running for office. They deserve better companions than the incumbents who haven't been there, haven't done than and haven't admitted that supporting Bush's war was a mistake.

If our national Democratic party cannot take back Senate and House with or without shallow-water Demos like Cantwell, then all of us will be better off come December 2006 by joining another party or starting a new one.

-------------------

And of course this saw ...

If Wilson makes a serious primary run costing Cantwell dollars, would the terrorized-by-McGavick strategizers support Mark if he won the primary?

Either/or thinking works both ways. I just had a comment exchange on my blog that boiled down to my dissatisfaction with Cantwell as a Demo and a leader versus my obligation to take the bird in hand and all her non-leadership because chancing a greater return from someone else is risky.

I'm a member of the Demo party but regardless of 20-something and 30-something pretend political savvy, I'm not trapped in forced lock-step unity because timid souls can't sleep.

As you stated, Chad, I'm entitled to and expect to be able to support someone who reflects my values and oppose those who don't. After the primary, if Cantwell wins as expected, she'll get my vote.

But she ain't my candidate.

We can do better.

We ought to do better.

The anti-Republican momentum is building faster than most of us realize. I've been thru this once before and we cannot fully estimate something we cannot see - how badly Repugs are seen thru electoral vision.

I was angrier at Nixon (whom I voted for twice) than I ever told anyone who knew me. I was not a political activist and had a pollster called me, I would have said simply ""yea yea" and "nay nay" about my vote against Gerald Ford with little elaboration as to why.

But in 76 the voters demonstrated under-polled angry dissatisfaction with ALL Repugs based on the antics of idiots in the White House. It's happening again because Repug elected idiots have done it again.

Voters are going to stun Repugs in November. We're going to see the reverse drag effect of national political stinking coattails.

And we'll see it whether Cantwell is running again or not.

++++++++++++++++++++++

Stimulated discussion ... not for narrow minds or

reluctant strategists who think that "better safe than sorry" offers the best shot for a electoral repudiation of a republican candidate.

Of course Dave, you have spoken well and I dispute none of what you offer about Senator Cantwell. She is as good at the politician behavior as anyone else and in terms of competency that's hard to question.

There are also more than the obvious reasons to discuss this issue I raise and in a context with all the excellent issues you bring up.

But don't you think it's kind of taxing because some of our Demo voices here are blinded by what I label the need for expediency and I'm sure they consider common sense. None better demonstrated that the today's freshman-level post on NPI.

These are they who aren't looking across the field at the real enemy about whom all these tactical discussions are supposed to revolve. These are they who are obsessed with little battles and showing little taste for confronting the Republican Party at its state core and taking the war straight up the opposing throats where it should already be.

Some Demo voices here are wont to ask what the hell a briar patch is.

Arrogant ... sure of themselves ... sure of their political accumen ... and unsure as how to elect a candidate without acting timidly ...

a bunch who are afraid of Khan and his handlers and have about as much agresiveness as a daisy ...

who wouldn't know why Khan can and should be lured into the Mutara Nebula ...

Wondering if you're over rating my rhetoric ...

Khan in the context I used represents formidable opposition and not anyone specific (except by linkage.)

As for my junior senator, I really don't have any more comments to make about Maria Cantwell. My points have been made. I've stated publicly how I'll vote in the primary and how I'll vote in the general. Anything more about this only makes the timid more nervous and keeps their powder wet.

Besides, there's a mess of two-dimensional thinking on our own vessel as well; mostly focused on McGavick, Reichart and Mark Wilson. I suppose for that reason I ought to be glad I don't need their help in throwing out a Republican congress person from my own district eh? (But having a Republican incumbent here to whack would fuel the fires even more for me and I could go about arousing lynch mobs to come to my house and threaten my dog.)

The time for talk is ending and the opposition is too tempting. The opposition party is the place from which all the mini-Khanito's (candidates and incumbents with non-Khan mini IQ's) have been spawned.

Their mini-IQ's have left them quite predictable - doing the same Luntzy and Swift-Bloating things that weren't predictable back then when we were asleep and that got them where they are now.

The Mutara Nebula was the place where Khan's two-dimensional thinking and tactics were not any kind of advantage and were in fact a handicap.

Read the publicity angles and statements coming out of the state Repub party website. Plenty of material there to work with.

Take a look at Luntz's now-dated crowing about framing, issues and how Repugs should keep doing the same thing in 2006. Plenty of material to throw at them as well.

A Democratic victory in November could mean many things, none of which will be what I'd like to see:

recognition of a mistake, bad choices and moves and willingness to leave Iraq without further attempts to wipe egg of our faces.

Won't happen.

But ... A November "victory" for me equates to the strongest, meanest and absolutely "with-prejudice" repudiation of a party, a president, a vice president, a right-wing Christian poison and the greed masquerading as a political and religious philosophy.

I want to get Khan's entire political apparatus into Mutara and engage the hell out of them from all dimensions.

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

On Pacific County

And of course this saw ...

If Wilson makes a serious primary run costing Cantwell dollars, would the terrorized-by-McGavick strategizers support Mark if he won the primary?

Either/or thinking works both ways. I just had a comment exchange on my blog that boiled down to my dissatisfaction with Cantwell as a Demo and a leader versus my obligation to take the bird in hand and all her non-leadership because chancing a greater return from someone else is risky.

I'm a member of the Demo party but regardless of 20-something and 30-something pretend political savvy, I'm not trapped in forced lock-step unity because timid souls can't sleep.

As you stated, Chad, I'm entitled to and expect to be able to support someone who reflects my values and oppose those who don't. After the primary, if Cantwell wins as expected, she'll get my vote.

But she ain't my candidate.

We can do better.

We ought to do better.

The anti-Republican momentum is building faster than most of us realize. I've been thru this once before and we cannot fully estimate something we cannot see - how badly Repugs are seen thru electoral vision.

I was angrier at Nixon (whom I voted for twice) than I ever told anyone who knew me. I was not a political activist and had a pollster called me, I would have said simply ""yea yea" and "nay nay" about my vote against Gerald Ford with little elaboration as to why.

But in 76 the voters demonstrated under-polled angry dissatisfaction with ALL Repugs based on the antics of idiots in the White House. It's happening again because Repug elected idiots have done it again.

Voters are going to stun Repugs in November. We're going to see the reverse drag effect of national political stinking coattails.

And we'll see it whether Cantwell is running again or not.

_____________

Wilson IS in the race.

Wilson HAS stepped up to the plate.

Wilson HAS taken positions and declared them publicly.

In a way, Mark is precisely the reason why there should be a debate. Cantwell may get her free pass and all the henny penny's will be able, post-primary, to sleep at night knowing that those of us who march to a different democracy-drum were not vindicated, of which they have been afraid.

From my perspective, if Mark is to somehow make more "viable" his candidacy, he's running out of time and those of us who make an effort to turn a spotlight on Wilson when the announcer says, "And in THIS corner ..." are also running out of what more can be done.

What I was trying to say in my article was that standing up and speaking up as a candidate who is volunteering to represent the rest of us is not enough under current American Corporate Capitalistic Pluralism.

Whether or not Mark can stand up before audiences and generate the sort of charisma Democrats fondly recall in past heroes like the Kennedys, Scoop, Roosevelt - and Dean - is not up to us, but up to Mark.

Money is a problem - I realize - and it looks like Mark has to do everything on the cheap, additionally handicapped by his own history of running previously in another party and of making no lasting impressions.

This is where the pretend authority of pseudo-sophisticated strategizers fails all of us.

Mark has to grab attention by speaking with authority and - to quote Goldy - LOUD. That's the problem with "viability" - especially in the absence of funding and opposing a candidate who has funding into 7 digits.

I wait for Mark to - as I wait for Maria - WAKE UP and stop the PC talk in his case and start the real talk in her case. Neither candidate at this moment would influence me to pick up a musket and charge the redcoats. Both would tempt me to kick their asses up over the rampart or leave them behind and go it alone if I had to.

------------------

Wilson IS in the race.

Wilson HAS stepped up to the plate.

Wilson HAS taken positions and declared them publicly.

In a way, Mark is precisely the reason why there should be a debate. Cantwell may get her free pass and all the henny penny's will be able, post-primary, to sleep at night knowing that those of us who march to a different democracy-drum were not vindicated, of which they have been afraid.

From my perspective, if Mark is to somehow make more "viable" his candidacy, he's running out of time and those of us who make an effort to turn a spotlight on Wilson when the announcer says, "And in THIS corner ..." are also running out of what more can be done.

What I was trying to say in my article was that standing up and speaking up as a candidate who is volunteering to represent the rest of us is not enough under current American Corporate Capitalistic Pluralism.

Whether or not Mark can stand up before audiences and generate the sort of charisma Democrats fondly recall in past heroes like the Kennedys, Scoop, Roosevelt - and Dean - is not up to us, but up to Mark.

Money is a problem - I realize - and it looks like Mark has to do everything on the cheap, additionally handicapped by his own history of running previously in another party and of making no lasting impressions.

This is where the pretend authority of pseudo-sophisticated strategizers fails all of us.

Mark has to grab attention by speaking with authority and - to quote Goldy - LOUD. That's the problem with "viability" - especially in the absence of funding and opposing a candidate who has funding into 7 digits.

I wait for Mark to - as I wait for Maria - WAKE UP and stop the PC talk in his case and start the real talk in her case. Neither candidate at this moment would influence me to pick up a musket and charge the redcoats. Both would tempt me to kick their asses up over the rampart or leave them behind and go it alone if I had to.

------------------

Spoken slowly and distinctly again ....

The logic of the post is not an argument for un-nominating a senator.

Nor is it for working to elect the senator's repuglican opponent.

Mine is an argument better offered at another time and place - outside the election season - since it emphasizes a senator's need to accept responsibility for her choices, actions and non-actions in a way that enhances future confidence in her.

But unfortunately, confronting the senator at this moment in time when Iraq is on the front burner and Iran is on the back burner is complicated by the simultaneousness of a mid-term election.

So from one set of bleachers we hear screamers about voting strategy. From the other bleachers we hear screamers about changing a policy that has induced mass killing on a scale way beyond the trivial.

I see hostility to that point as hostility toward anyone who refuses to let fear and nervousness about repuglicans drive the agenda, insisting that some of us forget for the moment about living and dying and worry about "(R)" behind the name of an election winner in November.

Beating or losing to McGavick is secondary to encouraging a senator to act like a senator.

I see the hostility from electioneering strategists as the reverse of my own perception.

They see me as too focused on my expectation that we deserve as close to an ideal senator as we can get and that I am not realizing the implications of my contributing to what would be in reality a short term loss of a Democratic seat in the senate.

I see them as too focused on their fear of McGavick to step back from their keyboards and, as William Wallace declares in one Braveheart battle scene, "pick a fight with Longshanks!"

I'd love to see thousands of timid democrat bloggers step back from their keyboards - or at least stop writing to each other and start writing to newspapers every week;

start going to political meetings at every opportunity (possibly deferring a liberal drinking binge)

and sell their product in person.

If they believe intellectually in defeating republicans then that intellect must be augmented by strength of will in avoiding cheap talk and making actual physical entry into the arena (for example, a sit-in.)

Otherwise, the sad portrayal of the electorate as a dimwit public at risk from republicans is an insult to every voter.

It seems to boil down to this:

There is no logical or persuasive argument to establish that Maria Cantwell, by virtue of her record in her first term - which does include some good things BTW - deserves a second term just because she's a Democrat. We of course want her to be the senator from our state but certainly not primarily because she is merely a democrat.

Since for her defenders there is no persuasive case for elevating Ms. Cantwell to the roster of all-time major league senators, the next best thing is to ask us to tone it down because Republicans might hear us.

If they hear us they might start lying to the electorate which of course has got to be the dumbest electorate the state has ever seen since the republicans are proven successful liars and Democrats have yet to figure out how to communicate truth above the lying republican din.

We have to downplay our dissatisfaction with Cantwell to protect the electorate from its gullible self.

Come on ...

Beating a Republican at a time when lots of republicans are going to lose is kind of anti-climatic ain't it?

Asking us to back off from working to get our loved ones out of Iraq because bottom line is our fear that we'll be embarrassed if the state loses a democratic senate seat begs a morale issue that won't go away.

There comes a time when priorities, morality and ethics assert themselves regardless of political election considerations.

Murtha and Feingold - Democrats throught and through - are preaching re-deployment or withdrawal ... not later ... now ... right now ... this very month or the next... the immediate future. It's THAT important.

And they just ... keep ... bringing ... it up ... no matter how annoyed the DLC or Republicans get.

I seriously doubt they will shut up because Hillary might lose to McCain in the next election.

-------------------

Why this is about more than re-election

Civics as taught in my generation included the ideal that elected representatives owe the voters the "Why did I do that?" answer. It comes with the territory.

That most of us voters could care less 90% of the time perhaps causes the elected rep to assume that explanations are no longer necessary.

Maria's op/ed says "What" but with no "Why's."

When Lietta asked if she knew how long the U.S. trains a new recruit before sending that recruit into harm's way, Maria was unsure.

When Lietta answered "6 weeks to 3 months" and then pointed out that Iraqi troops have had more than two years, Maria,

despite having gone to see elections up close,

despite having lots of opinions about rebuilding, shoring up an Iraqi government,

and despite a throat full of Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld talking points,

had no response to why we would pour our 6-week-to-3-month troops into the top of a meat grinder in the name of nation-building because - in the wisdom of every republican blowhard chicken hawk mind, we are the authors and spear-points of global freedom and democracy.

If we do not know the "why" of a senator's decision, we do not ourselves understand why we disagree with that senator. She's owes us more than talking point policy statements.

In 2000 unaware of myself as a "liberal" or "progressive" or "Democrat", I voted AGAINST Gorton and FOR Maria Cantwell. That vote was at the time and remains today the right vote based on valid reasons.

So I've explained my vote that helped empower someone I intended to send to Washington to counter the Contract with America Republican foolishness and PNAC type foreign policy issues that became America's official foreign policy statement once the Bush Admin took over.

I ... along with a 2300 vote majority ... made a political statement with Maria as my voice.

If I'm to understand why I'm disagreeing with her position on Iraq now, she needs to give me the "why" she thought the war was justified, the WMD were real, the Bush lies were truths.

Christy at FDL writes in CARPE DIEM an excellent summary of why we do not and should not go away without the why's.

The fact that people who are not so politically obsessed have been saying much the same thing when political issues come up in conversation is telling to me in a lot of ways. We've hit a point where people are thinking about the Bush Administration in terms of a "Hump Day" for the whole country -- we're past the "Wednesday" of his presidency and headed toward the weekend, when we all celebrate and then start anew with someone fresh.

...Even with all the idiotic malarky we are thrown day in and day out from the crew in charge in the WH and Congress, though, it can't just be all about what is wrong with the Bush Administration and their malignant network of cronies and Rubber Stamp Republican Congress pals. Voters are headed to the polls around the country in primaries, in advance of the fall elections in November.

We need something to vote for -- not just something to vote against -- in order to secure a Congressional majority in November for the Democrats. Now would be a very good time for all of the grown-ups to step up to the plate. A whole lot of Mr. Smiths would go well with the political climate of the moment. This nation needs its leaders to rise to the occasion and lead the way out of the wilderness in which we find ourselves at the moment.

The Hollywood film, Aliens, had it come out in the past 3 years, would have been branded a left wing political statement by Flush Limbaugh, Squawk Hannity and Republican dumbass strategists.

In Aliens, Sigourney becomes the voice of Democrats and the voice of a democracy. She yells at the doofus who blindly sent troops into harms way while the economic villain stands in the background slobbering with greedy anticipation of what he'll exploit once the lives are spent and a pseudo victory is achieved.

"Get them out of there, NOW!"

Maria owes us a "Why" before we'll fall silent.

-----------------------------------

Three times during the meeting, Maria made and emphasized the point that she does not feel a need to motivate any of us to campaign for her. Part of that of course had to do with the obvious requirement to assure us that she was meeting with us to exchange information rather than shore up a campaign.

But in two cases where a threat of withheld votes or support was not actually made but referenced, she took exception to any idea that such was a priority greater than her goal and reason for meeting with us ... understanding between a senator and constituents.

That plus the nature of her reply to me as I described what I said struck me that she does not appreciate the sort of logic and argument that leaves her portrayed as somehow unable to control her own image and the delivery of her own message.

Would you allow yourself to be portrayed as the candidate who needs to be protected from herself and from adversaries she theoretically might be unable to overcome on her own merits?

--------------------

This w ould have been a follow up question had our

crew been smaller and the pre-list of questions much shorter. It's an obvious follow-up since the party of the Republican President who forceably removed Hussein had demonstrated some of the most partisan hatred and denial of any good ideas coming out of a Clinton. Authorizing their own actions by fealty to a previous Democratic presidential doctrine from that hated figure begs any question about George partnering with Bill to get Saddam.

The idea that continuation of a "cease fire" of the Gulf War which by implication intended only postponement of regime change facilitates avoidance of having to talk about whether or not Bush, Cheney, Powell and Rice out and out lied.

And no one, not one Demo or Repub in 2002 asked Bush, "What is this really about? If it's about removing Saddam then say so and we'll vote on that basis."

I come back again and again to the point that so many non-elected non-official Americans knew the WMD was all BS, how is it that among the most powerful 535 elected senators and reps in this country, very few if any weren't buying the WMD line?

And it can't be deference to the office and mantle of President ... Bush was already making a mockery of that and his team had utterly destroyed any imagery around honest campaigns and governance long before that.

Plain and simple, if too many gullible evangelical voters were blinded by God's light spotting down on Jesus' Drunk, the self-preservation logic to surrender the battle in order to fight another day and win the war - the DLC philosophy of Democratic strategy - was already in full swing.

+++++++++++++++++

My interpretation of your guess of the results ...

For those who read and follow Gibney, he is an asset to this site and generates real thinking in my muddled over-the-hill mind.

ON the off chance that Mr. Wilson is the primary winner.

McGavick 55 to 65% Wilson 35 to 45%

Might be true.

Washington voters might be capable of making a voting decision like that, demonstrating a communal wisdom quite different from how we perceive things.

What would that decision mean?

Would it mean that Mcgavick and his specific point of view were chosen over Wilson and his specific point of view?

Or McGavick and his money were chosen over Wilson, his lack of money and an unwillingness on the part of Democratic leadership to find money, use it on Wilson's campaign and play to win based on principle rather than the cowardice of expediency?

And if the guessed results are true, then we can assume that a McGavick/Cantwell race would be much closer, say 50/50 based on barely discernible differences between candidates or reflect a contest of which party got more voters out?

Why?

Because ... and trust me on this ... Mark's message resonates more among those who take the theoretical priority difference between democratic and populist perspectives and republican corporate Wall Street-driven bottom line perspectives;

Republican perspectives that willfully refuse to enter into payday-night discussions around a 5-digit-or-less income family kitchen table with a 40-watt bulb hanging over their heads;

Republican perspectives that willfully look the other way regarding the predominance of 5-digit-or-less-incomed families who sacrifice their own blood to a war for profit based on deliberate lies that even now, despite the wisdom of hindsight which candidates and incumbents ignore, certain of those who voted still pretend they did the right thing.

Which of our non-5-digit republican ceo challenger and democratic incumbent look-alikes whose style reeks with impersonal indifference could (but won't) enter that poorly lit kitchen, change the bulb from 40-watts to 100-watts and send the family to bed comforted and with hope that the empathy is no longer pretend?

The insistence that there's a vast gap between Maria and Mike in terms of political and business philosophy is nothing more than talking points.

For every action taken on behalf of the state (Washington State family priorities) we keep running into those things which reflect a point of view singular to what I might label "Washington State corporate priorities as blended in with national corporatism- not unlike trying to say that BIAW and Evergreen Freedom Foundation have only the well-being of Washington labor and low-income families on their mind."

Bless her heart, for all her determination and principles, when we were finished meeting with her a week ago, we felt we had gotten the only thing we really expected from the senator: words without immediate action or followup - and of course our realistic optimism that some sign of shift would necessarily take time to appear.

We are then left with a hope of seeing some shift in a positive direction, a sign if you will, that the Senator is willing to listen and maybe - perish the thought - rethink a few attitudes.

And make no mistake, the state democratic party, despite Dwight Pelz' current legitimate wisdom, will owe not just us dissenters, but all active democrats honesty and an acknowledgement that this has come down to the question of:

"Who do you want voting for Republican priorities in Washington D.C. after the mid-term election with a continuance of mindlessly sending human beings off to kill and die without justification - a sentaor with an "R" or a "D" behind their name?

_____________________

One misjudgement of this diary

is that for those of us who want immediate action and advocacy from Senator Cantwell the probable action of a newly-elected Dem majority which has made no comittment to immediate troop withdrawal is immaterial.

It is precisely the fact that DLC Demo's nationwide have made no comittment to immediately pull the troops that dissent continues. The only way DLC foolishness can be challenged is to individual challenge those elected DLC members most accessible to voter influence and lobbying at this election time. They tend to pretend interest in what we have to say around this time every few years.

Regarding the poorly planned and unwise deployment of troops into Iraq to fight and die for a lie, we do not want the military to remain stuck in the meat grinder because foolish politicians are trying to convince us we can make lemonade out of the lemons we dealt to the Iraqis;

that for some reason we should continue to offer up our young on this alter of death because "we broke it and we own it."

The majority of Iraqis don't want us to own it, don't want us there and by far, the most honorable and honest action we can take is to stop destroying the innocent and their own homeland because of our own jingoistic pride.

The point where we can fix it with a sacrificial expenditure of American military blood is past.

Diminished returns are already here and now.

In Iraq, the USA is not going to get the job done in the original and on-going context of lies by which our sons and daughters were shipped over there.

The point is not the absence of a Democratic Party comittment to immediately withdraw the troops.

However, those who've attempted to persuade folks like me otherwise make the misjudgement that for we who are dissenting, re-electing a Democrat in November is our overriding objective.

My point is simply this. Those who want us to cease and desist our resistance to Maria somehow seem to believe that the reason for our dissent is nullfied in a trade-off where our silence will be offset by a Cantwell victory and Democratic takeover of Congress and that we should be satisfied by that.

The declaration in a recent comment that a victorious Demo majority will have no intention of immediate troop withdrawal powerfully underlines precisely why this issue roiling around Cantwell in the first place is so vital.

What better way to voice a liberal/progressive/Democratic minority opinion and have it more powerfully heard than to challenge the top to the bottom of the party membership that advocates expediency at the expense of genuine democratic process?

Bottom line for you who want us to leave Cantwell alone ... every day 2 military members and many more Iraqis are killed by the Bush invasion and occupation. Every day ... which of you can justifiably say to the loved ones of the dead that immediate silence is worth the price?

 

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

On Cantwell

Choosing to vote and whom to vote for (none / 0)

Thanks for the good letter Dina.

My Iraq Priority inside is also in 60-point type.

Barring some strange upheaval, we'll find ourselves having to vote for Maria whether we want to or not becaue the alternative is one more toady who'll join the choir and stand and clap when George, Dick and Karl make pretended profound public utterances.

But things do change and my memory is long. I have a higher priority about the immediacy of Iraq than does Maria. The highest priority I can think of right now is a legitimate national public repudiation of George Bush and George Bush's Iraq War.

If that happens and Iraq is not longer 60-point type ...

if we as an electorate repudiate the cash and carry away policies of the Republican Party ...

at that point, I'll be willing to point a finger at the door thru which Maria can exit and ponder her support of a crime family's war.

Whoever defines your reality owns your reality. That particular proprietorship must always be your own and not someone else's.

Cantwell's campaign WAS helpful.

Oh please .... Cantwell's campaign wasn't the problem. The problem was all those state Demos who thought they had the pulse on where voters would respond most.

Maria's campaign did right fine. Her cautious and timid state party didn't do so well though or Maria's margin would have been even greater and Darcy ... well.

I make no attack on the Cantwell campaign. But then again, the idea of a mainstream candidate not being a serious candidate begs the question. Kucinich is not Harold Stassen and has been consistently - most consistently - aligned with the mood of America's voters than any of our potential front-runners.

I'd like to see legitimate challenges to candidates like Kucinich who talk substance rather than sizzle. Kucinich may not be the man, but there's nothing evasive, pandering or grandstanding in what he says and what he is doing.

Can't say the same for the likes of Clinton, Kerry, Edwards and the rest of those who can't resist the turn of a good evasive and vague phrase so long as it doesn't pin them down to anything. Even Obama is working more charisma than substance.

But then again, maybe that's what SERIOUS candidates do eh? All dazzle and no substance. Kerry is only the latest proof that such doesn't win elections.

Simplistic points of view.

Regarding Maria Cantwell or her record regarding the unjustified invasion and occupation of Iraq and Mark Wilson and his protest candidacy, I have very little more to say.

Maria will be the Demo candidate and I'll work and write on her behalf. To be honest with you, I'd like to see more enthusiastic writing and content on her behalf from all bloggers and LTE writers who share space under this big progressive tent.

I have a group mailing that includes all the biggie newspapers and local papers within 150 miles of Bay Center and I send a short (I know that surprises many people) LTE every week. Averaging two publishings a month in the Aberdeen Daily World and local papers here. Not much success elsewhere in the state but that is hard for me to track and no reason for me to quit trying.

As for trivial and simplistic pursuits, I certainly have no need to ride in on a sweaty horse to defend my wife who I think expressed herself very well.

But then ...

Unlike folks like Goldy, Switzer and Belltowner, Lietta and I are not as invested in politics and elections. But then neither are we terrified of McGavick, recognizing that based on the current situation, this election is Maria's to lose, not McGavick's to win.

We did not come to Washblog or start our own blogs because politics is what we eat, sleep and spew every hour of every day.

When the liar's invasion started, Lietta quit her job,

Lietta and I bought a domain,

built websites,

started blogs,

started writing LTE's,

started speaking out,

started rallying,

joined Washblog,

Lietta went to Crawford

and spoke several times a day all the way from St. Louis to Washington D.C. last September

because we will not shut up and go quietly away ...

not because folks who love politics think we should trust them

... when they naively tell us we'll sleep better at night when the (D) in November is victorious over the (R)

... and that is the fastest way from the NOW of this moment to get our kids out of harms way.

Now that, folks is simplistic.

We can already see nationwide with generals in Iraq talking openly about bringing brigades and battalions home that the anti-war sentiment DURING the campaign is having immediate clout and affecting change NOW.

Some at Washblog have already acknowledged that anti-war efforts have nudged Senator Cantwell into a better position.

Simplistic is the idea that more need to die while politicians and their advocates are content to preach patience before we can get our military youngsters out of the maw of that god-damned meat grinder this country had no business starting.

She and I speak from the feeling place of opposition to a tragedy that takes human life every day and should never have happened.

I can't say that enough times people.

Every death between now and November is a death that need not happen.

It's not simplistic and it's not cutesy to downplay our priority and feeling as if this were a church where only orthodox beliefs and groupthink conforming political attitudes have merit.

What is not simplistic and trivial is that because of the liars' invasion and occupation of Iraq, we have seen and shed tears with more moms and dads who've lost their children to that invasion and occupation than any flippant political opinionater here has I'm sure.

Doesn't make us experts, but trivializes the trivializers who love the put-downs.

Until you lose one of your own or have the experience of being the shoulder a bereaved parent leans on, it'll remain abstract for you and you won't even be aware of just how detached that leaves you.

You who rush to defend your political priorities are offended by Lietta's temper tantrum because she heard what sounded like a radio DJ dismissing our efforts as simplistic.

But having said that, I truly have no bone to pick with David and I congratulate him on achieving his wish. He has gone where we all would like to be ... a place where our voices are louder.

I heard him declare his long time desire last night while waiting on the phone and listening to his program. He has for years wanted to bring his voice to the radio.

I doubt that he meant it the way Lietta heard it. But I also doubt Belltowner's dismissal of it as trivial.

Why is it that what you all take seriously I HAVE to take seriously while what I take seriously you can belittle?

Switzer once wrote a good whiner opinion about how we need more humor and lightness at Washblog because everybody takes themselves so seriously.

Ain't that the truth?

Ain't that what's generating the arguments here and the opinion I'm writing right now?

But humor doesn't trivialize serious stuff. When attempted, it comes out as a smirk. And we know who the most famous insincere smirker is in this country.

When I got home last Thursday night after work, Lietta was gone.

She'd been in Olympia all day bannering and meeting with Watada activists and the national council of which she's a member. She has had serious problems driving the freeways for years now but since I could not take time off work to drive her there, she drove herself.

(BTW, you King County folks think it's trivial that 2-3 times a month we drive 2-3 hours one way to participate in the political process of this state and nation while you can mosey over to some event by way of Starbucks? Based on miles traveled and personal spending on fuel and meals, that makes us more significant political activists than you trivialists)

She drove herself and finally returned home at midnight.

There's nothing simplistic or trivial about it.

To those who rush to clamor about innocence and justifications, I suggest when all is said and done whether this election was more important than the ultimate end of the occupation of Iraq, your priority will be more trivial than mine.

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Senator Murray missed it, Darcy Burner saw it - East Side Democratic fundraiser @ Westin in Bellevue | 28 comments (28 topical) | Post A Comment | Edit Story

Excellent account and I hope Dave and Joe come

here and read it. What Lietta and Dave have written doesn't come from some sort of objective emotional "spell-checked" writing based on disciplined or suppressed passions that somehow pretend to convey objective reality.

Had I written this piece I would be making no claim to offering an objective report of a fund-raising event in Bellevue. Nor would I strive to convey in a school-marm dutifully self-suppressed tone about how events were seen and heard by the home culture club of stiff prim and proper lords and ladies out for an evening of tea and crumpets.

If such an event were to be scheduled in my county promising a careful and attention-avoiding keynote speech by a U.S. Senator followed by a general allowed to only offer military-sounding platitudes and democratically (oh ... excuse me)politically-correct verbiage intended to avoid showing any party official or candidate in a bad light - I'd be bored just reading the flyer.

I go to fund raisers with the idea that if the speakers can't light my fire, they don't get my money and quite probably won't get my vote.

If the Senator isn't interested in lighting my fire then she'd be better off asking a genuine firebrand to keynote.

And if David's description is even close to accurate, that introducer who wants to be elected might just one day attempt to shush the wrong person and blow her own election all by herself.

I recall our meeting in 2006 with Senator Cantwell which we attended despite the weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth objections from our own Pacific County party members as well as the defensive terror of devout Washington State Democrats on Blogs.

In that interview, Maria was cool, calm, collected, objective and totally unable to convince anyone else in the room but her own aides that she was genuinely angry, upset or concerned;

about how we got into Iraq,

about how her constituency might look askance at her vote to support the war,

about how we might fail to understand her lack of gut fire and willingness to make an overdue change of course.

I'm certain Sheriff Reichert would have even more forcefully told young Josh to button his lip.

I've seen this sort of thing with politicians up close. I even tried to tackle one in genuine verbal combat recently. But agree with him or not, U.S. Rep Brian B. would have known what to do with a fired up Iraq veteran who literally WAS the skin in the game; a veteran who had every right to raise a ruckus if he perceived indifference or bland emotion in an elected official talking about HIS war.

In Raymond, I saw a Vet my own age take Brian to task in an openly disrespectful manner way beyond what David describes in his article here.

Baird's performance was genuinely poised and effective. The Vet was allowed to express his outrageously mean-spirited opinion and get away with it.

Right or wrong on Iraq, Brian profited by how he handled it and let the man have his say.

No one's darling even needed to try to shut him up.

Baird's was a big-time demonstration of how to think on one's feet wisely.

"We stand for something or do we not?"

How do you answer that question?

Or this one:

"Is our military blood worth the surge and the promises of Petraeus and Crocker?"

Isn't that THE message coming out of this story rather than some sort of vague attempt to support candidacies and incumbents?

We must be ready - in all public encounters with those in authority - to ask our representatives point-blank with respectful but deliberate bluntness that doesn't give a damn about whether those in authority might get their feelings hurt.

We are not peasants from the middle ages who live in fear of authorities who pretend to have God's ear and will curse us into hell forever if we criticize the governing priesthood.

... or who might perhaps retaliate in some vague and undefinable bureaucratic way just because we stood up and embarrassed them in front of the home crowd?

BTW. Josh has gotten even more tactful and eloquent that when I first met him as part of our lobbying interview with Maria Cantwell in 2006.


Well, when you drop party bias, affilitation ...

and prejudice and go strictly on who is saying what, the best presidential candidates I've seen are Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich.

Of those two, I'm most impressed with Paul.

The idea that that they'll never make it because of money and big donor support is better than any bull shit detector I can think of to convince us that all the biggie candidates of both parties are greater or lesser versions of both-sides-of-the-issue Romney.

Vote for any of them and you won't get the decider, you'll get the decider's PR quacks. And that kind of duck work is really why we're betrayed by the congressionals of both parties.

If that idea is the truth, then the lack of clarity, directness and consistent conviction disqualifies all the other candidates.

The Demo cave-in is further proof that as a party their wet finger is not in the wind sensing the strength of voting America's opinion. No their fingers are somewhere else in a more timidly defined, safer and albeit darker place.


Course you can think for yourself

If you couldn't none of what you write would be your own material and you wouldn't be a blogger would you?

I liked Dean for the same reasons you did and I also agree with the article I excerpted where the author talks about corporate fear of Dean and pasting their money to scream amplifiers cause there was nothing else they could get a handle on to counter act his message.

I also think the DLC'ers are way off base - especially when they criticize Dean because his chili is strong stuff while they cook up chicken soup for the timid that has no meat in it.

I've probably never revealed my secret because I'd forgotten who got me fired up about elections in this decade. It was Dean.

Tell me, you think Pelz took a Dean attitude in how he contributed wisdom to the Burner campaign?

Now Arthur liked the Kucinich article for the questions it raises, not because Arthur is a Kucinich man. But having said that and because I was probably your age when lots of folks thought Jimmy Carter was unelectable, I tend not to write off the hats in the ring before things unfold a little.

Kucinich?

The little guy has guts and fire which is a lot more than the cosmetic botox behavior we're getting from most of the posers trying to be frontrunners.

One more thing, I'm mystified by why McCain is the Repugs front-runner. Of all their candidates, McCain is the one who's got the best Bush look-alike routine going and that routine has Bush at 30% popularity. McCain's transparent toadying to the Christian Right is sickening and it looks to me like the Christian Right is no longer the direct slide into the white house so McCain in effect is prostituting himself for nothing.

Wasting our time in 2008

Is what Dems will be doing if they turn off Big K's message because they'er turned off by the guy himself.

And that ... sad to say ... is a talent or tendency that has been typical Democratic strategy ever since Rove punched McCain in the nose, Zell Miller talked spit-ball talk, Swift-Boaters went after Kerry and not one big time Demo stood up and attempted a toe-to-toe slugfest with the new schoolyard bullies.

I honestly wonder what kind of Conan/Arnold Schwartzenegger candidate Dems think is "electable?" What message, what personality and most importantly in the strongest Howard Dean asset ... what kind of guts?

That's why Kucinich's message is more important than his candidacy. In actuality, I propose that the first candidate we need to nominate is the stuff at the heart of Kucinich's message. Then we need to find someone who knows how to turn that message into electability.


Arthur & Lietta Ruger 2002-2008. The American Choice is a  political internet journal based in Bay Center, Washington. The views expressed not authored by Arthur or Lietta Ruger are the writers' own and do not necessarily reflect those of The American Choice or SwanDeer Productions. Permission of author required for reprinting original material, and only requests for reprinting a specific item are considered.

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