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Dear Democratic Party leaders:
Hi there. It's Laura. I'll keep this note brief, since I know you're busy people with lots of hands to shake and power lunches to attend. I just have a simple plea.
Make it stop.
By "it," of course, I mean the Democratic primary race. Seriously, it's got to end soon.
First, congratulations to Julianna for being this year YP4 Ambassador. You're well deserving of the honor to represent YP4.
But more than that, now you and your team have a glimpse of what it's like to run a campaign.
Running campaigns, raising money, organizing people, and building the progressive movement is hard work. It's not for everyone. I mean, who really wants to spend all night working on posters or fliers for little or no pay just to get your message out to change a few people's minds.
Well, you. You do. And I need your help.
Disclaimer: This is a piece of writing that I did in my sophomore year of High School for a presentation to attend Close-Up in Washington D.C. I rediscovered it and thought how sadly it has remained relevant nearly four years later. It was also an interesting look at how I was reacting to the growing "war on terror."
11 November 2004
On one hand we are told by some that Bush is pushing war and bent on abandoning the international system of rules and instructions built up by previous presidents. Others argue that Bush has drawn a necessary line in the sand between America and a dangerous coalition of stateless terrorists and rogue nations.
This won't be a very popular political philosophy, but I'm going to give it a try anyway: politics is about friendship.
You'll hear that politics is about backstabbing, about being in it for yourself, about trusting nobody. That all may be true...in right-wing politics. But in progressive politics, we need an approach that mirrors our values: that we're better off when we're in it together than when we're on our own, that shared victories are our victories, the belief that bonds of trust and respect will lead to deeper connections that can rebuild society and change the world.
At least that's my belief. And based on their actions last week, it looks like House and Senate Democrats aren't ready to practice my kind of politics.
No, I'm not talking about their failures to restore habeas corpus, ensure troop readiness or set a timeline for withdrawal. Nor am I talking about some of the victories -- increased higher ed funds, hate crime legislation or the expansion of SCHIP -- all of which deserve praise.
But when half of the Dems in the Senate decided last week to censure the progressive advocates MoveOn (and the House followed by a larger margin this week), they revealed a lot about how they treat their "friends."
My hometown was in the news today for a little scuffle that went down in the State Senate during recess of the last day in session...
A Republican Senator hit a Democratic Senator during an argument over an election reform bill... But it sounded more like a fight during recess on the last day of school.
Well, I'm not quite sure whether this debate had any moments or exchanges that will substantively shift momentum for any candidate--either in New Hampshire or nationally.
And to that extent, there probably is not too much more you can analyze. At this stage--still over six months out before the initial primaries--most potential voters are either getting to know the field or cheerleading for their candidate of choice.
As Bill Clinton once quipped:
In every Presidential election, Democrats want to fall in love. Republicans just fall in line.
Just recently Democrats came out saying they would be pushing pro-equality bills through congress. These laws would include a hate crimes law as well as ENDA, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would ban employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Bush Ignores Everyone; Dems Must Take Action
As leaders on both sides of the aisle, and now the non-partisan Iraq Study Group, call for a phased withdrawal of troops from Iraq, Bush continues to ignore his critics. At this point his denial of reality concerning the situation in Iraq is baffling. Today, the President called the situation in Iraq "unsettling." If his use of the term "unsettling" is an accurate portrayal of his real thoughts, it looks as if we may be in Iraq for a while.
The President often likes to say that history will judge his Presidency. He is right; and the longer he pretends that Iraq is not in a civil war and that the situation there is "unsettling," as opposed to "grave and deteriorating" as the Iraq Study Group put it, the harsher his judge will be.
Poor Joe Lieberman. A new poll out today shows Lieberman only leading challenger Ned Lamont by three points in this fall's general election for U.S Senate in Connecticut. Although some may disagree, I think that's bad news for Lieberman. At this point Lieberman should be blowing Lamont out of the water. His campaign for re-election will not be able to stand two months worth of poor fundraising and dropped endorsements while big name Democrats continue to cut checks to the Lamont campaign.
Lieberman knows this. He also knows that telling scaring the public into voting by constantly saying that the whole country will be blown up by terrorists if Democrats are elected has worked for extremists for the past few years. However, as I argued in my blog yesterday, I think those days are quickly coming to an end.