Thursday, January 03, 2008

Dear Iowa,

In 2004 you resuscitated Kerry's campaign from a near death experience and that resulted in another presidential race close enough to be stolen (unlike 2000 at least some Republicans went to prison for their deeds) and another four years of Bush.

So this time, please ... don't go for the conventional 'inside track' Hillary.

Okay, Bill did a few good things (welfare reform, economy turnaround) but others (sitting on the sidelines in Rwanda genocide) not so great - and, Democrats, did you notice what was done to your party? We now have the DLC and great {{{sarcasm}}} representatives like Rahm Emanuel - in other words, the Republican wing of the Democratic party.

Never mind the conventional wisdom that says she will not be electable in the general election - it's a lose lose proposition for our democracy and our party. Displeased with congress? Check out her endorsements from them (did you catch, Mikulski's asinine floor speech on protecting the telecoms that illegally spied on us?) those should be reason enough to not caucus for her.

Secondly... Obama as change? Please. The only thing new about Obama is his nouveau pandering. Yes, he was against the invasion of Iraq from the start but he wasn't there to vote for it was he? I see no pattern in his voting record since he's been in the senate to indicate that he would have voted any differently than Clinton (or Edwards, or Dodd, or Biden) had he been in the senate at the time of the Iraq vote. He has consistently voted to fund the adventure and while criticizing Clinton on her vote on the Kyl/Lieberman Iran amendment, he failed to vote at all. Yes, the convenience of Obama -for the tough issues he'll step aside. It seems that this may represent a previously established pattern. Try this on for a slogan if he's your guy: Obama, he'll be there when you need him he needs you.

So give us Dodd or, if you must go with one of the top three, Edwards.

It's true that either way we can't end up with four more years of Bush but do you want to see Romney, Huckabee, Guiliani or McCain in office?

Let's face it we've reached a point where any of the Democratic candidates would be a better option than any of the Republicans (maybe Gravel and Paul would be a toss up but ...) but please don't fall for the 'electability' thing again. Maybe Hillary is (though I'll never cast a vote for her and I know of many other progressives who also will sit it out), maybe not. But don't kid yourself, even if Obama were an outstanding candidate (and I don't think he is), he can't win in the general. Four words: white Christian male vote. Won't. Happen.

So, Iowans please elect someone who really cares about democracy. Clinton and Obama both supported Joe Lieberman in a primary race (which he lost and then decided he was an Independent) in Connecticut in 2006. Joe Lieberman, who is indistinguishable from any Republican and has endorsed John McCain. Help put a real Democrat on the path to the White House. We've had enough of Republican dysfunctionality, imitations won't be much of an improvement.

And for those of us not in Iowa or New Hampshire, start electing representatives who care about the election process, who will support public financing and the institution of a National Primary Day in May so that everyone can participate in a meaningful way in our democracy.