Howard Dean's keynote at the just-finished California Democratic Convention was amazing! Yes, I am a rabid Howard Dean fan. But I don't think my judgment is being clouded by my enthusiasm here. So hear me out. The most important part of his message might have been this part: "We have got to stop talking from here [points to head], and start talking from here [pounds left part of chest]." That's what Democrats need to understand. They have got to talk from their heart and not just from their heads. I might mention that when they went with their heads and put up Mr. John "Electability" Kerry against Bush, we would rather as soon not be reminded of the result that followed. It's not that programs and numbers are not important, but if you don't have a vision, and set of basic, uncompromising, fundamental values that you truly believe in, your numbers and programs ring hollow. Politics is not for the dispassionate. You have to speak from your heart; you have to tell people what you really believe in your heart. It is not enough to say that you support "early childhood intervention." It's a policy. But why? What is it that you believe that makes you support this policy? Please DON'T confuse this question with why it's a good program because of all the numbers available on it. If you believe this thing not just works but is good at a basic level, you should be able to explain why without looking into statistics. My answer to this is that I support this policy because of my basic sense of fundamental fairness, responsibility and opportunity. All children should have a fair shot at a decent life, equal opportunity to succeed, and Americans as a community share the responsibility to help provide that fair shot and opportunity to every child who needs it. That means providing parents with the help they need - whether it's just a friendly face or finding an affordable daycare program nearby. This is fundamentally about the future. You see, once you have explained your values as above, by all means use your numbers and statistics to prove your point. Now, people will listen, because agree or not, they understand that you really believe in this because of your core values. But don't talk about statistics first; that will not just confuse people, but you have failed to convince them that you are a person of convictions and a moral core. That's Howard Dean's message. Ask questions, see the values behind everything you stand for, find what's really in your heart, and don't be afraid to talk from your heart. It's not easy. But we have to do this. It's hard because we progressives are so damn used to talking in numbers and programs. After all, numbers don't lie, right? Well, here's number: it spells MINORITY STATUS. If you don't like that number, YOU have to change it. How? Find your core values. Find your heart. Find your principles. Then tell people in terms of those values and principles why your idea is a better one than the right wing's. People are hungry to listen.
To: Sen. Lincoln Chaffee US Senator from Rhode Island Dear Sen. Chafee: Few senators have ever been so consisitently progressive on the issues and values questions that daunt Washington, D.C. every single day. Few senators have been so couragious as you to stand up for the values and a progressive agenda for America. In your defense of values like personal liberty and privacy, freedom for all - including women, equality of opportunity of all and a shared future of all and a sensible foreign policy instead of an ideologically driven dangerous course that the Bush administration is persuing, you have been articulate, strong, and proud. You can even be called a champion of progress in the United States Senate, along with Senators like Barbara Boxer. And that's no small praise coming from a progressive. If I were a Rhode Islander, I would be proud to call you my senator. But there is a problem. You are a Republican. Being a Republican itself isn't a problem - for goodness' sake, if Lincoln's party won't lead with a principled progressive agenda, who will? But today, sadly, the Republican Party hiararchy has betrayed the party's great tradition and become nothing more than a front group for religious fundamentalists, warmongerers, and radical social reactionaries. The Party of Lincoln has been transformed into the party of inequality, injustice, and irresponsibility. You being a Republican isn't itself a problem so much as it helps the extremist right wing of your party (think Tom DeLay and Rick Santorum) gain power by being the "majority party." This allows them to control more staff funds (the more senators they can count as "Republican" the more money Bill Frist has to hand out appointments), control the agenda to the point where they dare attempt to eliminate checks and balances, threaten the judiciary, and push regressive policies that goes against every fiber of your - and my - beliefs of a fair, just, and more free America. So today, I call on you to stand up and refuse to be part of that power grab anymore. Today, I call on you to stand up and be counted on the side that your heart truly is on. Today I call on you to leave behind a corrupt party hiararchy that is holding America hostage. Today I call on you to help us work toward a stronger, safer, more free, fairer, more just America with opportunity for all and responsibility from all people. Today I call on you to leave the Republican Party, and become an independent, or join the Democratic Party. Progressive Americans everywhere will welcome you with open arms, and more importantly, open hearts. Your home cannot be in the corrupt, out-of-touch Republican Party aparatus that runs in Washington, DC today. The Republican Party aparatus, taken over by social reactionaries, corporate cronies, and neo-con war hawks who never spent a day overseas wearing this country's uniform, in my judgment, is beyond repair, at least in the foreseeable future. The progressive movement is your home. And we need you. Please, senator, consider what you can do to restore America's ideals by joining us. You will make a great Democrat! But more importantly, you will make a difference in America's future in a way that is needed now more than ever. Please senator, I plead with you, leave the corrupt regime that now is calling itself the Republican Party. Thank you.
The California chapter of NAACP has stood up and been counted on the right side of history. Joining the civil rights movemen of our time - equality and fairness for gay and lesbian couples - the California NAACP has endorsed Mark Leno's (California State Assembly, District 13) Religious Freedom and California Civil Marriage Protection Act. This law gives every loving couple in California - regardless of their makeup - equal rights and responsibilities under the law, including the right to marry, while protecting religious institutions from being forced to perfom any ceremony that interferes with their faiths. This is a very important day in the history of this monumental struggle to win human dignity, fairness, and equal rights under the law for every single person in this great nation. NAACP's support in this great human cause is so significant because these are the people who have gone through one civil rights movement - that to win equality for all races, colors and creed. They are still fighting the battle against prejudice and injustice every single day. These are people who fundamentally understand what it is to be denied a right that every other person enjoys, and they understand the values of fairness and equal treatment. The NAACP knows better than anyone that a right is not a right at all unless it belongs to everyone. What the NAACP has done now is take a brave step. A brave step, but also a necessary one. The voices of fairness and justice and the vanguards of our democracy have spoken. The only question is, when will a great nation hear the cries of all her children for justice, equality, and fairness?
AmericaBlog breaks it wide open. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas has offered aid and comfort to the acts of domestic terrorism. Namely, he condones the use of violence against judges when the extremist radical fundamentalist right wing disagrees with him. You can read the story on AmericaBlog, and it has a full transcript of what exactly was said. I will quote the relevent part:
SENATOR JOHN CORNYN: "I don't know if there is a cause-and-effect connection but we have seen some recent episodes of courthouse violence in this country. Certainly nothing new, but we seem to have run through a spate of courthouse violence recently that's been on the news and I wonder whether there may be some connection between the perception in some quarters on some occasions where judges are making political decisions yet are unaccountable to the public, that it builds up and builds up and builds up to the point where some people engage in - engage in violence. Certainly without any justification but a concern that I have that I wanted to share." [Senate Floor, 4/4/05]Notice how the Extremist Fundamentalist senator tries to save his behind by tagging along "Certainly without justification..." But look in the context. Read the whole thing. If you read the context before and after this, Cornyn, the Extremist Texan, was talking about his version of "judicial activism", which would be any decision that any judge makes that the Congress' extremist Republican leadership disagrees with.
To try to rationalize the violence against judges is not just lending support to domestic acts of terrorism, but is also a dispicable attempt by the Extremist Fundamentalist Radicals to intimidate judges into submitting to the will of Tom DeLay rather than their sacred duty of upholding the Constitution. It, then, is not just aiding terrorism, but also anti-Constitution. If President Bush wants to make good on his word that there is no difference between terrorists and those who give them aid and comform, he must excercise the control he has over the Republican Party and expel his two Texas buddies: Cornyn and DeLay. Under no circumstances can violence and threats against judges by members of Congress be tollerated. DeLay incidentally actually threatened judges because of how they ruled in the Terry Schiavo case.
This is what the Extremist Radicals on the political right has come to. They have ceased control of Congress, and are now on their way to undermine the very basis of the United States itself. The Radical Right has no respect for the rule of law, for the seperation of powers, for the Constitution, or America, for that matter. What they want is to make America into Nazi Germany or Communist USSR - where there will be no personal freedom, religious liberty, or right to privacy. It hurts me to see Lincoln's party give aid to this small but very well organized group of thugs and terrorists. For the sake of fairness, for the sake of justice, for the sake of freedom, for the sake of America, good Americans of all stripes must wake and stop these Extremist Fundamentalist Radicals like Tom DeLay, John Cornyn, and Bill Frist.
- ► 2012 (423)
- ► 2011 (576)
- ► 2010 (392)
- ► 2009 (44)
- ► 2008 (33)
- ► 2006 (13)
- ▼ April (4)