The Election is Over – We Lost

Now on to November 3rd
by Sam Smith – Progressive Review, May 2004

The winner is a supporter of three of the worst government decisions of our time: the war in Iraq, the Patriot Act, and the Bush education law.

He is a Yale graduate and a member of a secret society of dubious values and influence. He is arrogant with the sense of self-entitlement of the fully privileged yet has done little in life to justify this self esteem. And he is a tenured and servile member of an establishment that has trashed the Constitution, badly weakened the economy, made us hated around the world, and effectively brought to the end of the First American Republic.

To be sure there will be a consolation runoff in which we get to decide who we would rather do battle against for the next four years. This choice of battleground is not an insignificant matter but neither is it what a democratic election is supposed to be about. It is more like a cancer patient choosing between surgery and chemotherapy. We don’t have to wait for Katherine Harris; this election has already been fixed.
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An Open Letter to Dr. Erhenreich

It’s Over Barb!

By CHRIS RANDOLPH, Counterpunch

How unfortunate that you have chosen to continue the pseudo-liberal smear campaign against Ralph Nader as both a candidate and man in the pages of that stalwart progressive publication The New York Times. I see you were given column space because Thomas Friedman has taken leave to write another awful book in praise of Mammon. I hope you understood the assignment was to write a column in your own words and not in Friedman’s by proxy; having seen the results I can’t tell which your aim was.

Having dutifully done the dirty work of right wing extremists under cover of a lefty rubric in America’s newspaper of record, I can only hope the next time they let you write something for the Op-Ed page you can squeeze in a word for the downtrodden.

How unfortunate also that Nader decided to run for president without consulting you first. If it makes you feel any better, he didn’t consult me either, and I also voted for him in 2000. In looking over the US Constitution, it appears he isn’t actually required to ask permission from either of us.
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Silent Partners: How political non-profits work the system

Center for Public Intergrety

By Derek Willis and Aron Pilhofer

WASHINGTON, September 25, 2003 — It was the morning of November 6, 2002, the day after Democrats had lost control of the U.S. Senate, lost ground in the U.S. House of Representatives and were soundly beaten in several key gubernatorial races.

The man at the top of the party, Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe, had some explaining to do. Standing before the gathered media in Washington, D.C., he returned to a longtime Democratic lament: Republicans simply had more money.

Fundraising figures reported to the Federal Election Commission seemed to suggest he was right. The Republican Party raised slightly more than $691 million in the 2002 election, about $228 million more than the Democrats.

The GOP “had tens of millions of dollars of special interest money on their side,” McAuliffe told the assembled reporters, and that had tipped a number of races in their favor.

In fact, the disparity was not nearly as lopsided as McAuliffe suggested. As a new Center for Public Integrity analysis shows, Democrats and their allies funneled hundreds of millions of dollars through backdoor committees designed to influence key elections. In the 2002 race, the Democratic Party’s silent partners spent more than $185 million—more than double the money spent by Republican organizations.
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The Little Engine That Couldn’t

Kucinich Surrenders on Anti-War Plank

By RON JACOBS, Counterpunch

Well, history has repeated itself and, just like the saying goes, this time around it is pure farce. In this instance, I am referring to the attempt by Kucinich supporters to attach an antiwar plank to the Democratic Party’s 2004 platform. As anyone knows, of course, these platforms don’t really mean much of anything, but the fact that the Kerry people fought even the inclusion of a statement that called the Iraq war wrong from its inception proves once again how little difference there really is in the campaigns of the two men running for president of the United States this year. It also proves the pointlessness of any group of left-leaning Democrats who still believe that their party is capable of redemption along McGovernite lines.
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A letter to the Black Caucus from a Black woman living in South Central

by Donna J. Warren, San Francisco Bay View
SF BAYVIEW

“We respect your right to run, Mr. Nader. Withdraw.? – Elijah Cummings, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus of the United States House of Representatives

To Rep. Cummings and members of the Black Caucus,

You demanded independent candidates Ralph Nader and Peter Camejo withdraw from the presidential race in favor of NAFTA approving, Iraq invading, Afghanistan bombing, Sudanese pharmaceutical plant bombing, right-wing Israeli prime minister and convicted murderer Ariel Sharon supporting, impeachment of George W. Bush for the forced removal of democratically elected President Jean Bertrand Aristide refusing, and mandatory minimum sentencing supporting – John Kerry.

Kerry’s contempt for human rights, international law, arms control and the United Nations is unforgivable.

“Anyone but Bush? was your cry when Nader and Camejo visited your offices in late June. But let’s be honest – when Bush delivered lie after lie after lie during his state of the union addresses, it was the Democrats who stood and clapped. The Democrats made the monster George Bush!
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This Is Kerry On Drugs

Reason Magazine
By Dave Kopel and Mike Krause

For those who oppose the federal government’s disastrous war on drugs, there are many things to dislike about the Bush Administration, not the least of which is its shameless—and dangerous—use of the war on terror to prop up the failed drug war and the accompanying $18 billion dollar bureaucracy. And there is no indication that four more years of a Bush presidency will offer anything but more of the same.

But anyone who thinks a vote for John Kerry means a vote for a more liberalized approach to drug policy should think again. Candidate Kerry’s choice for Homeland Security Advisor, Rand Beers, is a seasoned drug warrior who has already shown his loyalty to the well being of the drug war, no matter how many lives it destroys, or how many narco- terrorists are enriched along the way.
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Re: Chronicle of a Nomination Foretold

My thoughts on the article “Chronicle of a Nomination Foretold: The Green Deceivers” By Jeffrey St. Clair, (here, July 14th), by Roger Snyder.

See also the comments under that entry.

I think the article does lay out some of the problems with the GP and the nomination, if a bit sketchy on particulars. And I’ll note that this author has been critical of the GP in the past on different issues, so he seems not a big GP fan.

I can however understand, and share the frustration over the spot the Cobb nomination and the meaning of it puts the Green Party in.

I think the article is a little unclear on the GP convention, and makes it sound like the convention and its rules were fixed. While I thought the rules were not that good, and I helped work to better them, (being to complicated and more concerned with time that result), I don’t go along with some that call them totally unfair, and I don’t think they really affected the outcome.

The way the delegates were chosen does need to be looked at, but any bounded proportionality method is a compromise. (How do you set up a one-person one-vote ideal without giving certain areas, states, or grouping the ability to dominate.) A partial solution to that is to grow the party everywhere.

I do think the actions of some Greens in the nomination process were disingenuous. A number clearly pushed for Cobb because they support Kerry, and then many denied it (though some have been truthful throughout, and I respect them even if I disagree with them).
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