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Sunday Open Thread… 27 August 2006

Posted by marisacat in Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.

  American soldier - Tunisia - 1943 - Robert Capa

well… honestly all the threads are ”open”.  I am not too hot on OTvs OT (on topic/off topic)…. also a quick mention, I am slowly learning more, often by stumbling accident, about “rich text”… so now all links should open in a new window.

Madman has a piece up at LSF on the Democratic courtiers.  It is x posted, which I mention as the thread is interesting.

As former Republicans, now Democrats, take office, do we really expect them to support long-standing, actually liberal, office holders who have been fighting the Bush Administration (and often the Democratic Party leadership) while this country has run so hard to the right? REALLY? Isn’t it more likely that they will do what Reid, Schumer, Clinton and Emmanuel already do, which is to ape the Republicans

A diary on the same issues of Democratic “go alongs” [thanks Tuston] and I noticed a Sirota counterpoint effort. Or more accurately he takes on the Wapo article at issue in the first diary. A drving rain of barely sharpened butter knives.  Never changes, an election approaches and everybody drinks the “get with the program” malaria laden water.  I won’t be calling it Kool-Aid.

via TO, Norman Solomon interviews Tasini.  Courtiers and orgs that play along are mentioned.  Some hopeful, nice words tho for NY state DFA individuals.  BRAVO!!

  Guernica: Do you think that it’s practical for people around the country to build from scratch organizations that are pegged to specific electoral campaigns, or is there a need for new infrastructure that is kept running all the time so that you don’t have to start at square one when you’re challenging a pro-war incumbent?

    Jonathan Tasini: I think we definitely need the latter. I’ve been working with Progressive Democrats of America because I do think that we want to help leave something in place that grows. Because elections do focus the mind. Too often progressive-billed organizations want to sit around debating stuff and put out policy papers – which is not a bad thing – but in the abstract people get distracted, bored, and disconnected from that kind of organization. Elections do focus people’s minds. It gives something very concrete to do. But it has to be about something – not just the race, but about building something for the future. So there’s an absolute need to have a real progressive infrastructure, not the one that I think we have which is certainly not trying to challenge the actual system, which I believe at least I’m trying to stand for.

And Asia Times on Elliot Abrams.  WIsh I believed in bomb shelters.  How fast can we dig down 100 feet, with a hardened top?  Guess the Iranians will be testing that method. 

Abrams is a neo-conservative ideologue who as a government operative has turned ideology into strategy and policy. But are his instincts and vision for the Middle East in keeping with US national interests and Mideast realities? Richard John Neuhaus, a longtime Abrams colleague since the 1970s and fellow neo-conservative, told The New Yorker: “What runs through Elliott’s thinking is a deep, almost quasi-religious devotion to democracy. He thinks real democratic change can happen in the Middle East. It’s breathtaking, in a way.”

In his dual role as chief of the White House’s global democracy initiative and as NSC deputy adviser, Abrams is well positioned to ensure that his radical ideas about a US-led democracy crusade and about an Israel-centric Middle East determine the directions of US foreign policy – the former providing a moral cover for the latter.

I don’t think Opera Glasses are quite up to the coming horrors… We all know what “democracy” is a code word for, furtherance of US corporatist interests, at the tip of our missiles.


UPDATE, 5 pm on the Pacific Ocean…

Juan Cole has an important post up… anytime there is access to the actual words spoken by a world leader we appear to be preparing to bomb… I call that important.

Kayhan reports that [Pers.] Ahmadinejad said, “Iran is not a threat to any country, and is not in any way a people of intimidation and aggression.”

He described Iranians as people of peace and civilization. He said that Iran does not even pose a threat to Israel, and wants to deal with the problem there peacefully, through elections:

“Weapons research is in no way part of Iran’s program. Even with regard to the Zionist regime, our path to a solution is elections.”

Ahmadinejad seems to be explaining what his calls for the Zionist regime to be effaced actually mean. He says he doesn’t want violence against Israel, despite its own acts of enmity against Middle Eastern neighbors. I interpret his statement on Saturday to be an endorsement of the one-state solution, in which a government would be elected that all Palestinians and all Israelis would jointly vote for. The result would be a government about half made up of Israeli ministers and half of Palestinian ones. Whatever one wanted to call such an arrangement, it wouldn’t exactly be a “Zionist state,” which would thus have been dissolved.

We know Israel would never, never, never on this earth, embrace the one state solution.  NO reason for Palestinians to believe there will ever be an equitable two state solution.  Or that is what I thought, finally, the day Sharon walked on Temple Mount.  I am convinced he is reported as restive in his coma as somehow he sensed the hideous bombing.  He’d have liked to go along.  Push all the way to Beirut.  And continue to sack the north.

The schlock Western pundits, journalists and politicians who keep maintaining that Ahmadinejad threatened “to wipe Israel off the map” when he never said those words will never, ever manage to choke out the words Ahmadinejad spoke on Saturday, much less repeat them as a tag line forever after.

And as JC says, believe or don’t believe him, but let’s have his words in our hand…



1. Madman in the Marketplace - 27 August 2006

American “democracy” is all about making important choices …

… now will that be Coke, or Pepsi?

2. CSTAR - 27 August 2006

The coming horrors and some ramblings on electoral activism.

Something is failing catastrophically in the process of governance. Though some of the electoral choices available in November might prevent or delay this catastrophe, I think it is too late. I will vote (hey don’t laugh, I would even vote for Ned Lamont if I could) but I think it borders on the irresponsible not to imagine what is very likely to happen, soon, and what to do after it happens. I am sensitive to the criticism “this is all talk and no action” and both myself and my wife have responded to this in the past by the usual political campaign activities– even to the extent of gulping down much of the optimistic talk of these campaigns.

It is not clear to me what others who post here advocate: I don’t advocate disengagement from the electoral process. However, I now believe we have become a 1-party state, and support of any nominal opposition party must be done cautiously, with awareness of the risk of merely strengthening even more the 1-party apparatus.

3. marisacat - 27 August 2006

Oh I don’t laugh at peoples’ electoral choices.

I think our vote is all we truly own. Ours to exercise as we see fit. Period.

But I deeply resent being pushed around [banned] for my political opinions. One of which is that for me, now, I am comfortable withholding my vote.

I had wandered off, pretty much by ’92. Which is not say I stopped paying attention. I had sent early money to Tsongas (and when he lied about the Canadian health system, I demanded it back) …

It was a NY Times opinion piece by, of all people, Mike Davis of City of Quartz that pulled me back in. Also I sensed a huge opening. A REAL ONE. I voted for Clinton. And then watched them go soft. And farther right, And fuck up. And fuck up MORE. And now they both whine. All the time, when they are not lecturing. I am sick to death of them shaking their finger at us.

6 years later, not a damned fucking Democrat who commands some level of national attention has REALLY stood up. In a sustained way.

They all whine it is the media. OLD EXCUSE. They like it the way it is.. easy for them.

We are left to mouth support for Feingold. Who merely did his duty. But it is unique. Because of the others.

And the Blahhgs whip up froth and fury for………………………………………………………………………………………………………….Warner………………………………Lamont…………………………………..Webb……………………………….Kaine……………Casey…………………………..Ritter.

And boyz dial Reid and Rahm and whoever the minion of choice is for Hillpac.

I’ll say one thing: if by some freak chance a Democratic president goes in in 08.. I am CERTAIN the faith based offices will stay in the West Wing. The party lacks strength TO CHANGE ANYTHING.

There will be no investigation of Bush if the Dems take back the House. No investigation of a man breaking the end point of everything.

And if they take the senate, we will get replay of Clarence Thomas, who was put in under majority Democratic Senate.

Ugly-Lite? Withhold the vote!

I don’t advocate what choices others make, will make, should make, I just keep stating my own.

I also don’t think that by working OUTSIDE the electoral process – and working completely apart from the elections business (what it really is, imo) that people have in some way abandoned the responsibilities of citizenship. Whihc is the slam made at the Orange Skrewball Place.

4. marisacat - 27 August 2006

Warner belongs in that list up there… I think he went off the edge.

Anyway, all the candidates, but for a couple that are CYA, pushed by the BlogSnots are far far to the right for my vote. Which is no reflection on how others use their vote.

5. Tony Schinella - 27 August 2006

Why is it that whenever a super liberal reporter gets a chance to ask some questions, especially in an effort to elevate a long-shot candidate, they have to waste time talking about creating new structure or social movement, instead of allowing said candidate to do their best in the existing electoral structure? We are all going gray very quickly waiting for this so-called movement building stuff to happen. And, I wish folks would just focus on the election at hand and stop pipe-dreaming.

6. marisacat - 27 August 2006

Wll there were 22 questions with answers or prompts and responses in the interview.

Is it OK if they broaden the discussion. Or are you offended by that?

We don’t all want rot gut recycled tobacco in our pipe.

What is a “super liberal”?

And why should people do what you want?

7. CSTAR - 27 August 2006

Yes, the responsibility of citizenship is more fundamental than that of the electoral process. The question now is, how to exercise that civic responsibility in what has become a one party state. I don’t know. But a prerequisite to any action is to be clear about where one party rule will take us and be clear about the role of the nominal opposition party. I agree that the big dem advocacy blogs clearly fail in that regard and to the extent that they encourage an utterly unfounded optimism are making the ground fertile for even further disillusionment and cynicism.

8. Madman in the Marketplace - 27 August 2006

thanks for setting us straight, sir. We silly chillin’ will start sending checks and voting against our interests again tout de suite.

Feeling properly chastised now … and thankfully awakened from my nightmarish insistence on a political system that is actually open to a real debate. Have one of Rahm’s minions send me a list of approved inter-party candidate ASAP.

9. CSTAR - 27 August 2006

thanks for setting us straight, sir.
Good God, if I came across as being lectury I apologize.

10. marisacat - 27 August 2006

hmmm I think Madman’s response is directed at Schinella (politzine from Dkos)

11. CSTAR - 27 August 2006

Re:Madman’s response Oops, I didn’t see that. ANyway, maybe I was being too lectury.

12. Madman in the Marketplace - 27 August 2006

oh, sorry CSTAR! I meant the lecturing moron, not you! I thought your comment was great.

13. CSTAR - 27 August 2006

In any case this is more than I can take.

14. marisacat - 27 August 2006

oh god. There he goes again. soggy showboating.

Which i directly wrote to him after his ‘Testify for the Jesus and for the Democratic Party’ with erupting “Christian” diaries all over Dkos in summer of 2005 as I recall.

I am sorry, it is laughable.

15. CSTAR - 27 August 2006

Oh help us!Buchanan right on immigration. ??

Illegals are also sending their money back to Mexico by billions and billions – essentially taking huge swathes of cash out of our economy and putting it into their homeland economy. This money, had it been earned by native born and legals, would be spent here, boosting our economy, and not that of Mexico and other countries, whether from the south, north, east or west of the border.

Besides making no economic sense, the fact people send money back has nothing to do with there being here illegally.

16. marisacat - 27 August 2006

well a few years ago when I heard that Mexico and a few other countries, their workers inside the US, whether citizens, green card, whatever! send home MORE than the countries get from the WOrld Bank and the IMF I stood up and CHEERED!

That is a form of freedom. And our history thru those organisations – and a few others – is pretty dark.

17. wu ming - 28 August 2006

remissions are the best development cash in the world, almost always gets to the regular people who need it. yet another reason to do what we can to raise all wages in this country, now that i think about it.

it’s amazing how many nasty little right wing fragments of arguments get stuck in people’s minds through osmosis, just by virtue of swimming in it. i class the anti-immigrant repeated phrases with the “we shouldn’t attack X, we should be attacking Y” claptrap. a symptom of not thinking things through more than actual advocacy, a lot of the time (although not always). talking about people as political abstractions, not people.

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