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Democrats finally speaking out?
April 6, 2003 1:26 PM   Subscribe

Democrats finally speaking out? "Today the Republican majority leader in the House of Representatives announced that -- and I quote -- 'Nothing is more important in the face of war than cutting taxes.' Let me make this clear: Never in its history has the United States passed a big tax cut in a time of war. We have always believed in shared sacrifice. " Sen. John Kerry's speech at the Jefferson Jackson Dinner April 3 in Georgia. (Salon article, click the free day pass to view)
posted by Espoo2 (29 comments total)

 
I think prior to 9/11 Kerry considered himself the heir-apparent (save Gore) for the Democrats in 2004. In the changed time, Kerry's suddenly realized that he's got significant competition from people who didn't make decisions as waffle-y (just pretend it's a word, okay?) as someone like him made. I like Kerry, but I'm still dismissive of his original vote for military action in Iraq. He's got a long way to go to make up for it, but I'll admit this is a good start.

The other Kerry article on Salon addresses his response to the GOP trying to smear his (gasp) comments that there should actually be an election next year. Like him or not, you gotta admit he went for the throat with it.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:48 PM on April 6, 2003


Dennis Kuchinich [D-OH] is stumping for prexy on an end-the-war, universal-healthcare platform. He filed a Resolution of Inquiry that resulted in the release to Congress of the 12,000-page Iraqi declaration made to the United Nations on December 7, 2002. FOX, of course, is mocking him.
posted by hairyeyeball at 2:15 PM on April 6, 2003


XQUZYPHYR, can you post the Kerry link regarding elections next year? Thanks.
posted by LouReedsSon at 2:27 PM on April 6, 2003


Kerry is not my favorite of the candidates, but I suspect he has the best chance of beating Bush, especially if he keeps saying things like this. Get 'em Kerry!

Meanwhile, Gary Hart is responding to people's questions on his blog.
posted by homunculus at 2:29 PM on April 6, 2003


LRS, I was referring to Kerry's recent "regime change at home" quote, and subsequent rants from the Republican party, including DeLay's railing that Kerry shouldn't be talking about elections during the war. That was actually mentioned in the first article Espoo2 linked to. My mistake. The other Salon Kerry article is here, though.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:32 PM on April 6, 2003


Many Democrats are for a strong national defense, if these presidential candidates keep playing to the antiwar and far left of the party they can certainly kiss 2004 goodbye. Democrats are comming off as weak on defense and the party of nay sayers without ideas. I hope the party straightens itself out, a strong opposition party who can contribute great ideas is healthy for the republic.
posted by ZupanGOD at 2:33 PM on April 6, 2003


Many Democrats are for a strong national defense, if these presidential candidates keep playing to the antiwar and far left of the party they can certainly kiss 2004 goodbye.

As opposed to 2002, where their attempts to toe the line of the Republicans cost them massive losses. (In grand scheme, that is, technically they lost by an overall of a few thousand votes, but still.)

No offense, ZupanGOD, but I disagree with you 100%. If people want a Republican, they'll vote for a Republican, and even though many Democrats (myself included) care about a strong national defense, anyone who thinks the national defense is great the way it's being enacted now is going to support the person promotiong that: George W. Bush. Democrats have nothing to lose right now opposing Bush's policies, military ones included. Anyone using the war as the determining factor in their decision is already in the Bush camp.

To me, all this does is something that I've wanted for a long time: actually establish significant differences between candidates. Kerry hasn't become a socialist by opposing Bush in wartime.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 3:04 PM on April 6, 2003


Thankx X... I'm liking this guy Kerry. I'm also liking a couple other Dems, but this guy seems to have alot of class. Something that stood out for me is his statement "If people are being silenced, it's because they're being intimidated by political bullies, and we collude in our own intimidation." I feel like alot of people had felt a certain intimidation from the right because their "voices in Washington" had become silent, or worse, jumped tracks. This noise is all good and just might produce a winner in '04. And that blog of Harts... awsome!
posted by LouReedsSon at 3:05 PM on April 6, 2003


Sure to be the centerpiece of the Republican 2004 Campaign:

RNC, Chairman Marc Racicot quickly responded saying, "Senator Kerry crossed a grave line when he dared to suggest the replacement of America's commander-in- chief at a time when America is at war. Critical analysis offered in the best interests of the country is part of a healthy democracy. But this use of self- serving rhetoric designed to further Senator Kerry's political ambitions at a time when the lives of America's sons and daughters are at stake reflects a complete lack of judgment."

That is, if the Department of Homeland Security allows elections at all.
posted by wendell at 3:14 PM on April 6, 2003


I actually sent an e-mail to Senator Kerry on Friday, commending him for sacking up. I send a lot of e-mails to government officials, but it's been a long time since I've been able to send a positive and congratulatory one.
posted by padraigin at 4:14 PM on April 6, 2003


ZupanGOD sez: Many Democrats are for a strong national defense, if these presidential candidates keep playing to the antiwar and far left of the party they can certainly kiss 2004 goodbye. Democrats are coming off as weak on defense and the party of nay sayers without ideas. I hope the party straightens itself out, a strong opposition party who can contribute great ideas is healthy for the republic.

Thanks for your interest into making the Democrats into "a strong opposition party". (Isn't the 'opposition party' usually an almost-permanently minority party?)

The Infamous Ted Rall, whose cartoons make me cringe 98% of the time (50% for opinions I completely disagree with, 40% for offensiveness that makes me ashamed to agree with him and 8% for really really bad cartooning - his 'Generalisimo Bush' caricature looks as much like Michael Jackson or C. Everett Koop as W.) actually hit the bulls-eye with the following: (and I quote the text because the pictures are both irrelevant and really really bad cartooning)

"IN SORROW, NOT IN ANGER: To hear them tell it, Republicans are terribly worried about the Left.
Rep: 'You're hurting your cause by protesting the War. - It make you guys look UnAmerican! Don't alienate moderates... Support Bush!'
Dem: 'Uh huh, like you care so much about us.'
Rep: 'We want a powerful, vibrant opposition. We want you to beat us in elections! We want you to undo everything we've won! ... OK, so we're laying it on a bit thick.'
Dem: 'Right - you're doing the right more harm than good.'"

On the other side, I think most of the Liberal pundits who said a few months ago the GOP should cut Trent Lott free and get a better Senate leader were pretty frustrated when they did.
posted by wendell at 4:28 PM on April 6, 2003


Democrats finally speaking out?

Oh goodness, I hope so. I hope they engage in all manner of Bush-bashing, and calls for "regime change" (apparently a current Democratic talking point). I'd invite them to continue trying to instigate class and racial warfare. I hope the entire party gets co-opted by the latte liberal wing ... it's the best chance conservatives have for getting a filibuster proof Senate in 2004.
posted by MidasMulligan at 4:51 PM on April 6, 2003


I'd invite them to continue trying to instigate class and racial warfare.
um...the class and racial warfare was already started by Bush with his tax cuts, and the fine, upstanding southern wing of your party (Lott/CCC anyone?)

Bush better remember why his father lost (here's a hint: the economy) or he'll be doomed to repeat it.

And good for Kerry...the republicans are terrified that someone who actually fought in a war will be up against Bush in 04...
posted by amberglow at 4:59 PM on April 6, 2003


If Kerry keeps this up he'll win the primary easy. I work fund raising for the Democrats, and the people I speak with have been calling for a Democrat to step up, and smack the Republicans around. I also sent an email to my senator thanking him for speaking up, and telling him what I hear from the donors. It looks like Kerry is ready to lead the party.
posted by jbou at 5:25 PM on April 6, 2003


We're at war and all Democrats can do is talk about how to undercut the President and the troops in order to better position themselves in elections.

Let's also not forget the fact that Democrat lawyers worked to throw out overseas military ballots in the 2000 election in Florida. If the election were held today you can bet these scum would be filing legal protests of our soldiers ballots again.

My opinion of Democrats is just plain unprintable.
posted by paleocon at 7:30 PM on April 6, 2003


Is MeFi so hard up for token conservatives that we have to go inventing them now? Perhaps we can get a few on loan or something.. perhaps a cultural exchange with one of the warblogs.
posted by Space Coyote at 7:44 PM on April 6, 2003


My opinion of Democrats is just plain unprintable.

trust us, we know. we know.
posted by mcsweetie at 8:06 PM on April 6, 2003


Remember, if you're not with the Right wingers, you're against them-- and as a result are subject to arrest and detention without charge or representation.

Chilling, isn't it?
posted by Cerebus at 8:44 PM on April 6, 2003


paleocon: whereas the President and the republicans are busy eliminating veteran's benefits. That's a great way to support the troops, isn't it?

Your opinion of Democrats is a work of psychedelic fiction.
posted by mosch at 8:46 PM on April 6, 2003


Let's also not forget the fact that Democrat lawyers worked to throw out overseas military ballots in the 2000 election in Florida. If the election were held today you can bet these scum would be filing legal protests of our soldiers ballots again.

My opinion of Democrats is just plain unprintable.

Great. Unfortunately, proof of your opinion's baselessness was printable.
Of 3,733 overseas ballots received in Florida since Election Day, 1,527 were rejected, according to a count by the Associated Press.

USA TODAY canvassed election officials in 14 Florida counties accounting for three-fifths of the rejected ballots. Only about 11% percent were rejected for not having a postmark, the analysis showed.

By contrast, 24% were disqualified for being postmarked after Election Day, 11% for improper registration, 5% for invalid signatures and 49% for other violations that ranged from improper witnesses to failure to request a ballot within the required 30 days.

Military and Florida officials acknowledge that the military postal system often fails to mark and date overseas mail. Under state law, overseas ballots that were postmarked by Election Day were to be counted so long as they arrived in county offices by last Friday [11/10/2000].

Monday, Florida Attorney General Bob Butterworth, a Democrat, urged counties to count overseas military ballots without postmarks.
Argue all you want about the "Gore should have won/Nader's fault" tallies, paleocon, and ignore any other voter rejection claims, such as those of black voters (which slightly exceed the 1,500 military votes whose justified rejection you're framing as high larceny), but I'm afraid this is one issue you just don't get to use. Sorry.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:08 PM on April 6, 2003


My opinion of Democrats is just plain unprintable.

I'm not a Democrat, nor have I ever been a member of any other party. On the compass, I came out halfway libertarian, and only ever-so-slightly to the left.

I do happen to enjoy an awful lot about my country that I'd like to have remain intact. I also think there are a lot of things that suck donkey schlong, and I'd like those things to be fixed. I've supported a lot of candidates of various parties because they have come close to espousing my ideals.

John Kerry's not a bad guy, even if he is a Democrat. Should he continue speaking candidly about the current administration's faults--which, to me, he appears to be doing out of sincere belief and not for personal gain--I'll continue to consider him my man in '04.

I could be naive, but it seems like now would be a bad time to badmouth the President if you didn't feel pretty strongly about it.
posted by padraigin at 9:46 PM on April 6, 2003


My opinion of Democrats is just plain unprintable.
posted by paleocon at 7:30 PM PST on April 6


And how did you feel about Republican's during Kosovo?
posted by Espoo2 at 10:11 PM on April 6, 2003


Republicans.. Democrats.. They both suck, I'm just saying the Democrats have a uphill fight to win back the support of Liberals like myself. If they want to move to the left I suppose they are more than welcome to do so, I'm just saying they will not have a chance in 2004, if Joe Liberman is all moderate Liberals have to choose from than in my humble opinion we all just might be seeing a Bush victory in 04. [sighs]
posted by ZupanGOD at 10:31 PM on April 6, 2003


ZupanGOD, there could very well have been no Democrat closer to the center (or at least to his own opponent) in recent electoral history since Al Gore, especially since he was trying to run on the coattails of the outright betrayal of Clinton to... suprise, the liberals who voted him into office in 1992. And yet, nearly a hundred million people chose not to vote. ESPECIALLY with the presence of Lieberman in the race, it's obvious that Democrats have nowhere to go but left. There is nothing the GOP would want more than a Lieberman candidacy, because Moderates who supports his main positions would just vote for Bush while disgusted left-leaning Democrats will just not vote.

Frankly, if Democrats keep moving left and Republicans right, that's fine with me. A viable third party is much more likely to survive as a centrist group than a fringe organization. Look how the Reform Party crashed and burned after they gave the reins to a blatant right-wing bigot.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:43 AM on April 7, 2003


while disgusted left-leaning Democrats will just not vote

Well, or we'll vote (I like to exercise my right to complain after the election), but not for the likes of Liberman. Being a CT Democrat, I couldn't be more disgusted...
posted by thanotopsis at 9:35 AM on April 7, 2003


There's always Howard Dean.

I'm only halfway expecting there to be elections, anyway.
posted by Cerebus at 9:48 AM on April 7, 2003


Brand D blew it in the last election and there's every indication they'll blow in the next one. They push more money for Homeland Defense, don't really seem to care for civil liberties and just want to be Brand R Lite.

I ain't buying it and I hope others don't either.

As for switching presidents in the midst of war, Bush and cronies has made it abundantly clear that war will not end for years, possibly decades. So what's the point, are we going to suspend elections because we're at war? Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised.

Looking back at Presidential changes during war doesn't look too good. Oh wait, we haven't even declared war Constitutionally since 1941. Why would I vote for a Congressional careerist (either party) who won't even stand up for their mandated rights to declare war and meekly pass such things to the President?

Looks like I'll be running on the No New Laws party ticket. (No New Laws party to be founded next year)
posted by infowar at 10:47 AM on April 7, 2003


Lieberman was the reason I voted Nader. in my naivete, I thought he was a bigger lamer than bush! DOH.
posted by mcsweetie at 11:49 AM on April 7, 2003


XQUZYPHYR: Republicrats.. Screw the centrists too. Let's get some people up in Washington who actually care about following the damn Constitution, what were stuck with now is a damn statist system between two parties where one is socialist and the other is socialist lite.
posted by ZupanGOD at 2:12 PM on April 7, 2003


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