Showing posts from January, 2005

Liberal bloggers react to the Iraqi elections

Whether you supported the initial invasion of Iraq or not, it's hard not to be inspired by yesterday's tremendous outpouring of hope and defiance. No, it wasn't perfect. No, it won't end the insugency tomorrow. No, one election does not a liberal democracy make. A lot of us have qualms about the viability of this project, to say the least. But yesterday was a day to be celebrated, for the Iraqis' sake. Remember that it's not all about US . In that spirit, here are some of the best reactions from the liberal blogosphere. Not all of these folks agree on what should be done or on the prospects for going forward. But all of them celebrated a good and historic day for Iraq. Publius put things in perspective : Before I get to the substance of this post, I want to offer two words of advice – one to anti-war Democrats, and one to pro-war Republicans. To the anti-war Dems first (I’m considering abandoning the terms “left” and “right”), I would caution them

Hillary collapsed, seems ok

Hillary Clinton was scheduled to deliver a speech on Social Security, but fainted in front of the assembled crowd. She recovered and was not taken to a hospital. Full story below the fold... BUFFALO -- Sen. Hillary Clinton collapsed during an appearance here Monday before delivering a speech on Social Security. Clinton was not taken to a hospital and was expected to continue on with her schedule, an aide said. Clinton was speaking in warm room in front of 150 people, according to one of her aides. She had been suffering from some sort of 24-hour flu. "She was weak and needed to sit down. She fainted," said the aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Colleen DiPirro, president of the Amherst Chamber of Commerce, told WBEN-AM radio that Clinton told the crowd she was feeling weak and had had a stomach virus. Clinton started to speak then collapsed, DiPirro told the radio station. Clinton was at the Saturn Club in Buffalo, a private club in the city. The

I Scream, You Scream...

... we all scream for Howard Dean! CNN (and blogforamerica) reports that Dean has secured the endorsement of the State Party Chairs. The Fowler endorsement was only from a few members of the Executive Committee. Today, the entire body overwhelmingly stood up for change and a strong game plan by endorsing Dean. The final vote was Dean-56, Fowler-21, Frost-5, Rosenberg-3, Webb-3, and Roemer-3.

Purple Nation

This is why George W. Bush - and Howard Dean - were right to believe that the elections should not have been delayed: Iraqi women show off their ink stained fingers after voting at a polling station in the Salhiyah district of Baghdad.(AFP/Ali al-Saadi) BTW I'd like to encourage all of you with a dKos account to go and recommend this diary by Zackpunk . Let's show the naysayers that freedom is a Purple virtue.

Iraqi Elections

Everyone is reporting solid turnout in the Iraqi elections , with millions of people turning out to vote for the Parliament that will take responsibility for writing the country's Constitution and representing them in the immediate future. They came, they went into voting booths, and they cast ballots to signify their preferences, preferences which we can assume will shortly be transferred into action as those chosen assume their offices. There were threats of violence, and many feared rivers of blood due to terrorist attacks, but they still came. There was cynicism as many claimed the U.S. would rig the elections, but they still came. They had to get their finger inked when some have threatened to kill anyone who voted, but they still came. read on... This triumph is marred by the boycott in the Sunni regions, but that these elections were a triumph cannot be disputed. It is a triumph for the Iraqis who voted, asserting their right to control their own destiny, for th

May classical liberalism triumph in Iraq

and may all patriots of Iraq cast their vote in safety and certainty. Whatever the failures of policy, this one thing we can all agree upon, that Iraq's future is cast from today's mold, and that mold is better - perhaps not perfect, but better - for having replaced Saddam Hussein with democratic elections. The elections are going to be violent today. People will die. A majority of Sunnis and possibly even a significant fraction of Shi'a will refuse to participate, or be cowed from participating. The Kurds remain a wildcard in a nation on the brink of civil war. And yet there is something fundamental and primal about the mandate that the first elected government of Iraq in the modern era will lay claim to. Something that gives rise to hope, fragile and ephemeral as it may seem. And remember, a struggling democracy, possibly even more fragile than Iraq, remains under siege in Afghanistan, though it hasn't received anywhere near as much attention. We

Tipping Points and Presumptions

For the most part, I have defended the practice of denying the detainees at Guantanamo Bay prisoner-of-war status, and I still stand by it. What I can't tolerate, however, is the mistreatment of those detainees. The stated policy is that, while these men do not merit POW classification under the Geneva Conventions, they would be treated humanely. Over the months, many allegations have come out about the treatment of detainees. Some released detainees said they were treated reasonably well. Others have made harsh claims, bordering on the outlandish. When this piece by the Mirror came out, I dismissed it . To me, it still remains implausible that "a diet of foul water and food up to 10 years out-of-date left inmates malnourished". However, one of the claims that I ridiculed in the Mirror was this: Prisoners who had never seen an "unveiled" woman before would be forced to watch as the hookers touched their own naked bodies. The men would return distr

Ickes Endorses Dean

Longtime Clinton aide, and onetime candidate for DNC Chair, Harold Ickes, announced his support to Howard Dean today. Is the tide turning? Ickes' endorsement means a whopping 50 more DNC delegates to Dean's existing 50. He's almost halfway to the approximately 200+ that he needs to win. Check out the link from the AP. "I think all the candidates who are running have strong attributes, but Dean has more of the attributes than the others," said Ickes, who considered running for chairman himself before dropping out in early January. "Many people say Howard Dean is a northeastern liberal, he is progressive, but his tenure as governor of Vermont was that of a real moderate." Ickes said Dean "has a real ability to communicate with people in leadership, but also to grass-roots and average Americans. He understands the need for party building." Ickes' endorsement comes at a critical time in the chairman's race and gives Dean almost 50

Five Things Dean Supporters Can Do Right Now to Fight Terrorism

Or: how I stopped worrying and learned to support the spread of democracy in the Middle East. Hello, Dean Nation! The incomparable Aziz P. has kindly invited me to post here in addition to my usual perches at Liberals Against Terrorism and Chez Nadezhda . For that, I thank him, and I hope that I do him credit. Like perhaps most readers of this site, I'm not a fan of the Bush Administration. Last year I devoted a goodly portion of my life to ousting it, including a trip to freezing cold Cedar Rapids and Waterloo, Iowa, where I canvassed for the Dean Campaign in the runup to the caucuses. I admit that I lost faith in the Dean movement after that, and I floundered around a bit in trying to figure out who to support, eventually setting upon Johnny Sunshine Edwards (or was it Clark?). I have never been a big fan of John Kerry, to say the least. It's tempting to fall into cynical sniping, which I myself have done at times. But I find it dispiriting and ultimately corro

Against torture

I oppose Alberto Gonzales for Attorney General. To nominate him is to validate his position that torture is acceptable and that the Geneva Conventions are non-binding, at the President's discretion. I do not believe that embracing human decency ever takes an "option off the table" as others have argued - for such pragmatism, bereft of principle, leads America to moral equivalence with those we seek to depose. Gonzales must not be rewarded for his role in eroding our moral high ground. Accountability for Abu Ghraib. No to Alberto for AG. Aside: I hope that the Democrats hold the line against Gonzales. I am especially hoping not to be disappointed by Hillary Clinton on this matter, though since she's not my senator there's precious little say I have in the matter. Hillary voted for Rice, which did not disappoint me as much as it did others, but confirming Gonzales would be a bitter pill to swallow. Not a deal-breaker, but bitter nontheless. How will Kerry vo

the polygamists are coming!

Paul at RedState argues that gay marriage is the slippery slope towards polygamy (and, presumably, much worse): This is a real legal problem for proponents of gay marriage — insofar as they are also opponents of polygamy. ... if one wants gay marriage but no polygamy, one must, I fear, either descend into slick sophistry, or stare a pulverizing contradiction in the face Paul makes this assertion but does not justify it, and neither does the article he quotes. But what evidence is there for it? I really don't see why polygamy neccessarily follows from gay marriage. There seem to be successive lines in the sand, but society is deciding which one to embrace. There are enough gays who want to be in a marriage that moving away from "one man and one woman" towards "two people" definitions of marriage seems a natural broadening. Read on... However, extending the definition to "N people" seems much more radical a change. For one thing, gay c

Ideas vs Logistics

I have been reflecting more on why I think Dean is a better choice for DNC Chair than Smon Rosenberg - and why I fully understand why Trippi could not endorse Dean. It boils down to ideas vs logistics. During the campaign, Dean was in many ways the ideas visionary, and Trippi the logistics visionary. The reason there is a cult of personality around Dean is because he spoke plainly about what he believed and those beliefs were grounded in common sense, and a real belief in the power of the ordinary citizen to effect change. Given that he was governor of the state where Ethan Allen once marshaled his boys, I think that Dean represented a raw form of the American political tradition, one that we haven't seen in a century or two and thus was all the more powerful in its impact. What I am getting at is that Dean attracted me long before I'd heard of Trippi (as the first post at Dean Nation plainly shows). Was he ever really Presidential material? I think that the definition

Why Dean Should Take Charge

Writer Mark Hertsgaard ("Earth Odyssey," among other titles - a wonderful book, btw), pens a column for on why Dean is precisely the right choice to lead the Democrats at the DNC. Well worth reading. An excerpt: "... in the wake of the Democrats' loss to President Bush in November, Dean's political message, and especially the way he delivers it, looks better and better. Dean, after all, was right about the central issue of the 2004 election -- the Iraq war. Nowadays, a majority of the American public believes that attacking Iraq was a bad idea. Dean was saying this -- and being criticized for it -- in the fall of 2003. Dean was also right when he said Democrats should be the party not only of urban liberals but of "guys with Confederate flags in their pickup trucks," another comment he was derided for. But in view of how many centrist voters chose President Bush over John Kerry, even though Kerry's economic policies would have

Obama in '08? I don't think so

Color me singularly unconvinced by this weak article by Eric Zorn which seeks to argue Obama will run for the Presidency in '08. The only good point is that the longer the Senate record, the weaker the candidate. Maybe it's my Hillary bias but I just don't see Obama as ready for prime time yet. He's an amazing speaker and articulates precisely the vision of Purple Nation that I want to see, but is pretty untested in an electoral sense - I mean, beating Alan Keyes doesn't exactly give Karl Rove night sweats. full article below the fold for your analysis (trib is reg. reqd). '08 reasons why Obama will run for president Published January 20, 2005 "I am not running for president. I am not running for president in four years. I am not running for president in 2008." --Barack Obama, Nov. 3, 2004 Oh, but he will. And here, for your Inauguration Day reading pleasure, are the top 8 reasons why the new junior senator from Illinoi

Welcome, Maya Armstrong

Please join me in welcoming Maya Armstrong, daughter of Dean Nation alum Jerome, to the world :) Jerome has been facing down a storm of nonsense from other quarters, and so the arrival of Maya will surely be a salve for his sanity. Well, until she's two years old, at any rate, and learns the word "no." (sigh)

confession: Hillary '08 could be cool

I have to admit, that a Hillary Clinton run in 2008 looks really appealing to me. Part of it is that I'm fascinated by her life story. Another is that she isn't the knee-jerk liberal that she's been made out to be - much like Dean. Her positions on immigration for example are well to the right of President Bush in some aspects. She is a true student of law and an intellectual in her own right, yet she doesn't seem to have forgotten her lower-middle-class roots. A Dean vs Hillary primary would be enormous fun, too. I reject the argument that Hillary is a divisive figure - given her immigration stand she could well be a crossover candidate, and as such represents a truly Purple alternative to Blue stalwarts like Gore or Kerry. And of course if she is followed by George P, and he is followed by Chelsea, we could have the whole Bush - Clinton - Clinton - Bush - Bush - Clinton - Clinton - Bush - Bush - Clinton - Clinton thing going on, which would be hilarious for sixth g

Letter from a Birmingham Jail - April 16, 1963

The Reverend Martin Luther King wrote this letter while incarcerated on a charge of parading without a permit. It was in response to prominent white religious leaders of the Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist and Roman Catholic churches, and Reform Judaism, who were against his protest marches, fearing violence. In this letter, MLK draws upon theologians from each of the clergymen's own traditions, including the Catholic Saint Thomas Aquinas, the 20th-century Protestant theologian Paul Tillich, and the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber to argue that segregation reduced black Americans to "the status of things." This is an intellectual tour-de-force. MY DEAR FELLOW CLERGYMEN: While confined here in the Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling my present activities "unwise and untimely." Seldom do I pause to answer criticism of my work and ideas. If I sought to answer all the criticisms that cross my desk, my secretaries would have

"I Have a Dream" - August 28, 1963

In Honor of the Reverend Martin Luther King, I am reprinting his "I Have a Dream" speech from 1963. I will also post his "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" and will attempt to continue posting great speeches from great men as a recurring feature at Dean Nation, so that we are reminded of our history and our tradition of liberty. Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity. But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast