Urgency about death, dying, political failure and why suddenly I feel sheepish ...

I'm not a Democrat first and a patriotic civic-minded American citizen second.

I'm not one of the local flagship bloggers who don't seem to be able to resist showing off their political savvy and acumen obtained and presumably earned over perhaps five years of political struggle complete with battle scars that make others swoon in the moonlight.

No I don't swoon and although a late-comer in terms of speaking out, I'm not a late-comer in terms of seeking out political truth for civic reasons, voting my conscience and having my own collection of scars - some inflicted before most readers under 40 years old were born - and much deeper than some supposed shame in my state's possible loss of a senate seat to a Republican.

I'm also not a member of the fighting keyboardists who talk about war, Iraq and collateral damage as if it were some aspect to a video game where the pleasure is in pretend.

Military families (those who speak out, those who can't and those who don't dare) are all part of one big family whose actual and potential sacrifice on behalf of this nation is way out of proportion with the rest of the country. Those of us who speak out have not been fooling with theories, strategies nor tactics that pander to my blogging colleagues and their pretense that lock-step voting and campaigning will lead to the most prompt and immediate end to death and dying.

Truth is, we have no guarantee that a Democratic sweep of both houses will lead to the quickest end to death and dying in Iraq.

We have no guarantee that a democratically controlled congress will have as its first or highest priority, the immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq, the consequential immediate lowering of the amount of gasoline America's presence in Iraq pours on the fires of resistance and contributes to our family losses and killing of Iraqi civilians.

We do face a strong likelihood that a foolish newly elected Democratic majority will arrogantly allot to itself a greater wisdom in how to get the job done in Iraq and how to accomplish what Bush and neocon nutcases (Just ask Francis Fukuyama ) couldn't do right. If you want proof, go to the Democratic Leadership Council site and read their foreign policy nonsense.

Mark my words and I promise you that if/when party takeover of Congress happens, my words will be true:

The Demos will attempt to accomplish the same goals the Republicans couldn't.

The Demos will not take immediate action to remove the troops and get this country's inflammatory presence out from its position as the direct cause of dreadful effects in Iraq.

Too many voters and leaders see this from an abstract point of view and so long as it remains an abstraction, the competitive gaming-lure of strategic debate remains more enticing and involving than actually staunching the flow of blood.

We are seeing DLC strategy played out even as I write this. We are seeing why Cantwell, the DLC/neocon under-informed foreign policy lightweight, believes that she can go through motions with folks like we who've met with her, that she can ultimately point to having met with us several times and heard us out, and then do nothing inconsistent with her unchanged attitude, philosophy and voting record.

In the meantime, the DLC/Democratic tactic of doing nothing while Republican scandals multiply seemingly exponentially - thereby facilitating a greater probability of their being swept out of power - means that the DLC/Democratic tactic is also to express that two military and several civilian deaths every single day in Iraq are needful and worth the price of doing nothing.

How would you like to be standing at the lip of a human meat grinder watching your military loved one move forward in the sacrificial line and listen to do-nothing Democrats like Maria - who are content to do nothing but watch eroding Republican popularity - tell you that when your loved one steps off the lip and into the grinder, it's for a higher national good?

But if we acquiesce, shut our mouths and pretend that supporting Ms. Cantwell is the wisest and most patriotic act we can take, we fool ourselves and pass me another glass of Kool-Aid.

What can we count on if we let the Democratic Party stay fully managed by DLC centrists and their local party fools in every state? Will stopping the killing in Iraq be one of the highest priorities - like, for example - putting out a house fire where people are dying?

From their own site where pretense begins with the visual illusion that the DLC is somehow "official" party authority:

Democrats should begin by reaffirming their party's commitment to progressive internationalism -- the belief that America can best defend itself by building a world safe for individual liberty and democracy.

Progressive internationalism occupies the vital center between the neo-imperial right and the noninterventionist left, between a view that assumes our might always makes us right, and one that assumes that because America is strong it must be wrong. It stresses the responsibilities that come with our enormous power: to use force with restraint but not to hesitate to use it when necessary; to show what the Declaration of Independence called "a decent respect for the opinions of mankind"; to exercise leadership primarily through persuasion rather than coercion; to reduce human suffering where we can; and to bolster alliances and global institutions committed to upholding an increasingly democratic world order.

They can pretend they sit "between" neo-imperial and non-interventionist, but they are still advocating spreading American's version of corporate capitalistic democracy from the barrel of gun if necessary.

The barrel of a gun philosophy is the precise reason why today, tomorrow, the next day and every f***ing day from here on out two soldiers and who knows how many Iraqi civilians will be killed while politicians and parties in this country continue to behave badly, unwisely and stand with their fingers stuck up their politically failed orifices.

Geov Parrish  expressed the problem we face with blind and nervous support of the (D)-bird in hand versus  more appropriate alternative (D)-birds in the bushes around America where dumb DLC Democrats need them to stay.

After doing more homework, something I recommend to local party strategists, I'm feeling more sheepish than ever, going to have to flip flop and withdraw my declaration of intent to vote for Maria Cantwell in my party's primary election.

There is a significantly more important election for Democrats than the November midterm and that is their soul-searching primary election - regardless of all those "in-place" leadership Demos and self-appointed PAC apologist-type party activists who have yet to prove that they possess a higher wisdom for the well-being of this country and that they can win with it.

Until or unless they ever do, I'm not throwing in with them.

I'm not throwing away any opportunity to say that I also have a voice that is NOT traitorous to America because it disagrees with narrow party fearful thoughts

I also have a voice and ask everyone else who reads me to speak up, even if your voice shakes - or even if others who read me tell you, like they tell me, to shut the hell up. We have opinions that can and should be expressed in a public venue regardless of who likes it and who doesn't.

At this stage in the midterm election process, the (D) bird in hand is not worth more than what's out in the bushes. The one in hand has made no declaration that expresses anything other than a DLC/neocon foreign policy foolishness that in this case has a disproportionate share of the families in this country at risk for paying the highest price for everyone else's right to live free or die.

Like General Zinni, as a veteran, I served to preserve the right I myself and all of you have to speak out, to dissent, to criticize presidents and senators. Folks like us have the least obligation to shut up or defer to other folks who didn't serve, who have no intention of serving and who in fact live in a world of political and economic abstractions based on pretense.

Why in the land of the free and home of the brave where Lincoln sits on a granite chair, and where a rowdy group of 18th century dissenters are now revered as founding fatherly icons of the United States of America, who the hell has the right to say or imply that what Mark Wilson stands for isn't good enough?

In Washington State Democratic hands is a bird who wants to just sit in your hand, look pretty, look senatorial and do nothing of immediate good for this country.

In the Democratic bushes however is a candidate who has spoken out, who has gotten up off his ass and put his money and his personal life where his mouth is.

All of a sudden I have to ask why that isn't good enough?

Why is it shameful or stupid to recognize that?

Why can't a citizen run and a party respect that running? (BTW: I still haven't seen explanation or justification from King County or Suzy Sheary - see my wonderings on 5/11/06)

Why do people who haven't taken that step have the gall to pretend they are greater judges of American character, core values and citizenship, not to mention behaving as self-appointed expert advocates of political expediency?

Why must we settle for mediocrity because that's the Republican standard in this country?

Why must we diminish ourselves and concede to an ignorant lower standard of political acumen, civic duty and citizenship patriotism?

Why are so many of us fearful of standing up, speaking out and working to make a difference?

Why do so many pretend it is wise to accept mediocrity out of a fear of the loss of one election, a fear that leaves us caught in the headlights and too terrorized or intimidated to do more than stare at an oncoming disaster, hoping it passes by with as little damage as possible?

Why are so many afraid to fight?

Is it more convenient because Maria Cantwell gives an excuse not to get in there and mix it up directly with the bad guys?

to sit back, vote Maria in the primary, tell everyone else to be quiet?

And wait for Cantwell to do the dirty work of resisting and overcoming the Republican villains?

When she's demonstrated that she voted to support dirty work in the first place?

I'll say it again, I'm not a Democrat first and a patriotic civic-minded American citizen second.

And there are no lines to read between here.

I do not endorse Maria Cantwell who hesitates and has lost for herself and for all of us more than we can measure.

I do endorse Mark Wilson.

< I've seen the light ... going to quit my job as soon as ... | Radical Right Illinois Group = Single Largest I-933 Contributor >
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After all, she's the Democrat in the race.

I support her over Wilson because of her beliefs on healthcare.  She supports changing the current healthcare system.  According to Mark Wilson's recent campaigns, he does not.

Cantwell supports canceling some (if not all) of the President's tax cuts to better fund student loans, so that kids can go to college adults can finish (like me).

I support Cantwell's tough stand against drilling in ANWR, and for alternative energy development.  Libertarian Mark Wilson, from what I understand, is against most of that stuff (when it's funded by the government).

I support Maria Cantwell because she supports Israel, America's only real ally in the Mideast.

When it comes to Iraq, I support Maria Cantwell, even though I don't agree with her.  I think she's much more open to new ideas than any Republican.  I don't believe she'll be a leader on the issue, which is bad if it's your only issue.

I also like how Sen. Cantwell doesn't trash other Democrats, unlike Sen. Joe Lieberman.  

Hooray for Maria!  I endorse her AND her kick ass marching band.  And if you don't like it, you can come to Drinking Liberally TONIGHT and tell me why.

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by Belltowner on Tue May 23, 2006 at 04:46:45 PM PST

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IMHO a Dem House of Representatives is worth working for - HOPEFULLY the rangels and conyors and JimMcD's and the new crop of fighting Dems would bounce cocktail party Pelosi out of "leadership" and get down to leading. Money Bills start in the house, and a Dem house with LEADERS can shut down Georgie.

IMHO a Dem Senate would ... confirm the Patriot Act ? the Alito ? the f$%^ing ridiculous tax giveaway of last week ? all the other crap they folded on? BTW, NOT fillibustering = FOLD.

IMHO a Dem Senate, with the current crop of Quislings and wimp-o-crat DLC critters, would be a barely tepid brake on maybe a bit of bush, at times that wouldn't shake the "bipartisanshit". whoopee.

For those of you who think my bombast isn't worthy of the kb it takes up cuz I ain't into sophistercat-ed anal-y-sis -

I have NOT heard ONE arguement in favor of these wimp-o-crats which is any different than the arguements I heard 20 years ago during the rise of the DLC - OR - which I have heard every year for the last 20 years.

Here is a little bet for the anal-y-tically inclined - Let's go to the Seattle Public Library, and in ANY year from 1987 to now I will find 5 articles / essays spouting this DLC support the wimp-o-crat crap in 15 minutes - and you'll owe me 10 bucks an aritcle / essay. I'll pay you 20 for every article I am short of the 5 in 15 minutes.

One thing is different this time around, however, about all these "we gotta support wimp-o-crats" arguements - Iraq & the U.S. Military & OUR friends and neighbors and family over there getting shot at and killed.

I do NOT give a flying f$$$ about ANY reason to support ANY spineless wimp-o-crat.

Want to do something positive?

Work on House races, AND

Convince EVERYONE you know to NOT spend a dime or a second of time on wimp-o-crats.


(pssst - for those of you bringing out your "angry left" label - I like making more money than people I work harder than, and I like the 2nd amendment to apply to me, NOT just georgie's militias. )


by rmdSeaBos on Mon May 22, 2006 at 04:31:22 PM PST

* 6 3.00 2 *

You can't keep a dog once it's killed a chicken.
It will always do it again.
Doug Nielson

by indolin on Tue May 23, 2006 at 04:28:06 PM PST

* 10 0.50 4 *

I'm not a Mark Wilson supporter. And I don't agree it's fear only that leads progressives to support Cantwell. Strategy's not the same as fear.  Also, you may be forgetting there are people who really like what she's doing in energy, environment, and women's rights.

What I agree with you on here is that election of a Dem. majority won't necessarily get the Bush administration accountable nor end the war.  And, even more so, I agree that people should not be pressured -- out of fear or anything else -- to swallow their truth on what Cantwell's  war position means. We need to encourage, not suppress, conscience.

by noemie maxwell on Sun May 21, 2006 at 10:45:21 PM PST

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I appreciate everything you've said.

And I too worry that a Democratic majority in Congress will not press for quick withdrawl, but rather attempt to prove we can "win" in Iraq. They're afraid to be painted as the cause of the U.S losing status, and their pro-war Dem collegues losing status. They'd rather prolong the agony than do that.

by dinazina on Mon May 22, 2006 at 04:17:20 AM PST

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It will be a protest vote essentially, and I will definitely be voting for a Democrat in November, but the Democrats in Congress will not fix anything (especially in Iraq) if their primary motivator is political consideration.  If that's the way they approach Iraq, they will continually be afraid to unleash the can of worms of an American withdrawal (an unavoidable inevitability at this point, but one that can be managed somewhat to minimize damage to the entire region).  Maria Cantwell has just never inspired me that she's the kind of politician with that kind of courage.  

by thehim on Mon May 22, 2006 at 11:42:59 AM PST

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  I commend Arthur's clarifications on Cantwell , he is one of the few in Washington state that has had any access to her thinking or diologue on Iraq war . If it is Cantwell's goal to stifle the debate and lay low like she has for six years and not publicly express her rationale for the war and the war's end , then Arthur has provided a valuable service to those who still want her to change her mind . If we quit diologuing on the war , then she will stop talk about it . Good post, Arthur .

by spitintheocean on Tue May 23, 2006 at 06:46:17 AM PST

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The Right can work together for the most they can get -- half the loaf, or three-fourths, or 90%, or whatever the market will bear if they can't have the whole thing.

The Left employs a more cumbersome organizing principle.


Can the Left work together for half the loaf? Or 90%? No way, you sell-outs! It's the whole loaf, or nothing!

And not just the whole loaf. That whole loaf had better be whole grain. Organic. Gluten-free. Fair trade. Grown and baked and wrapped and shipped without burning any oil, or mistreating any draft animals, or encroaching on any wetlands. No guilt for me ... or you can count me out.

That's why we have President Bush instead of President Gore. That's why we made the tax code safe for Paris Hilton, instead of retiring the national debt. That's why we get Medicare D instead of Plan B.

And that's why we have War in Iraq instead of Osama in Custody.

But at least we're not sell-outs.

by RonK Seattle on Wed May 24, 2006 at 08:34:12 AM PST

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is that for those of us who want immediate action and advocacy from Senator Cantwell the probable action of a newly-elected Dem majority which has made no comittment to immediate troop withdrawal is immaterial.

It is precisely the fact that DLC Demo's nationwide have made no comittment to immediately pull the troops that dissent continues. The only way DLC foolishness can be challenged is to individual challenge those elected DLC members most accessible to voter influence and lobbying at this election time. They tend to pretend interest in what we have to say around this time every few years.

Regarding the poorly planned and unwise deployment of troops into Iraq to fight and die for a lie, we do not want the military to remain stuck in the meat grinder because foolish politicians are trying to convince us we can make lemonade out of the lemons we dealt to the Iraqis;

that for some reason we should continue to offer up our young on this alter of death because "we broke it and we own it."

The majority of Iraqis don't want us to own it, don't want us there and by far, the most honorable and honest action we can take is to stop destroying the innocent and their own homeland because of our own jingoistic pride.

The point where we can fix it with a sacrificial expenditure of American military blood is past.
Diminished returns are already here and now.

In Iraq, the USA is not going to get the job done in the original and on-going context of lies by which our sons and daughters were shipped over there.

The point is not the absence of a Democratic Party comittment to immediately withdraw the troops.

However, those who've attempted to persuade folks like me otherwise make the misjudgement that for we who are dissenting, re-electing a Democrat in November is our overriding objective.

My point is simply this. Those who want us to cease and desist our resistance to Maria somehow seem to believe that the reason for our dissent is nullfied in a trade-off where our silence will be offset by a Cantwell victory and Democratic takeover of Congress and that we should be satisfied by that.

The declaration in a recent comment that a victorious Demo majority will have no  intention of immediate troop withdrawal powerfully underlines precisely why this issue roiling around Cantwell in the first place is so vital.

What better way to voice a liberal/progressive/Democratic minority opinion and have it more powerfully heard than to challenge the top to the bottom of the party membership that advocates expediency at the expense of genuine democratic process?

Bottom line for you who want us to leave Cantwell alone ... every day 2 military members and many more Iraqis are killed by the Bush invasion and occupation. Every day ... which of you can justifiably say to the loved ones of the dead that immediate silence is worth the price?

What they inwardly imagine is the only thing they'll accept.

by Arthur Ruger on Thu May 25, 2006 at 06:00:56 AM PST

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Yes, I have noticed that PM Maliki is talking  (after a couple of weeks in power in the Green Zone. There is a legitimate question as to how much influence he really has) about timelines for US withdrawal. Perhaps one of the reasons more people aren't talking about this is that reality says that the final call will always be up to Bush and Blair.

I think the final call is the Iraqi people's--at least as far as Iraq is concerned. As regards to troop withdrawals, I'm not certain that the final call is up to Bush & Blair. That remains to be seen. I think the situation is far too complex to predict easily how this question of withdrawal will play out.

In the meantime, I would like our elected officials to comment on PM Maliki's rough timetable. It might lend some credibility to PM Maliki--or possibly shift some authority away from Bush & Blair. I don't know. It's worth a try.

by DWE on Thu May 25, 2006 at 02:49:39 PM PST

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