Hillary & Iraq

Tomorrow, Senator Hillary Clinton is visiting Portland for a campaign fundraiser. A group of Oregon veterans who supported the John Kerry presidential campaign released a letter yesterday criticizing her visit.

The Oregonian has the story. Here at BlueOregon, we're posting the full text of the letter below. Discuss.

Senator Clinton,

As Oregon veterans and members of military families we are concerned with your fundraising trip to Oregon on two counts; your strong support for the immoral war in Iraq and your plan to take Oregon donations that are needed elsewhere.

Many of us are decorated combat veterans who have experienced the pain and loss of war. While we support a strong defense and an aggressive pursuit of Al Qaeda, we view the war in Iraq as a diplomatic disaster for our country, a drain on our treasury, and an unnecessary waste of American and Iraqi lives. The fact that you continue to align yourself with the Bush war is disturbing. Most other Democrats in congress who did not oppose the war from the beginning now admit that they made a mistake in voting for the war or have begun to side with those like Representative Murtha who are calling for an organized pull-out. While we appreciate your concern that we not abandon the Iraqi people since our President created this mess, our experience leads us to believe we must consider this as damage that has already been inflicted. Whatever happens will happen whenever we leave, now or later, just as in Viet Nam. We urge you to reassess your position on Iraq and join the rest of your party in opposing this blot on American history.

We stand at a critical point in our democracy. It is vital that we take back control of the U.S. House and the Senate. In Oregon we also need to wrest control of the Oregon House from Republicans so they do not continue to block adequate funding for schools and health care for low income Oregonians. Instead of helping fellow Democrats support these efforts you are holding a fund raiser here in Oregon for your own election in New York. Since you have significant cash resources and face a weak opponent the effect is to remove political contributions that should be directed to those who truly need them.

We urge you to donate the entire amount of funds that you raise here to support the Democratic Party of Oregon or to help those candidates who need all of our support in the battle to win back the House and Senate. As veterans we are particularly interested in seeing support go to those courageous individuals like Iraqi veterans Paul Hackett in Ohio, double-amputee Tammy Duckworth in Illinois, and Paul Evans in Oregon who will replace Republicans if they win.

We yearn for the peace and prosperity and the respect for individual rights that existed when you and your husband were in the White House. We yearn for leadership that will help end this nightmare we live in today. Senator Clinton; provide that leadership!

Name Oregon Residence Branch/Dates of Service
John Calhoun Portland US Army ’68-70
Ted Quackenbush Sherwood US Marines ’68-69
Jim Rassmann Florence US Army ’66-69
Doug Snider Medford USN ‘ 67-71
Ken Royce Ashland USN’ 67-87
Lori Larson Central Point USN ’75-79, Mother of Iraqi vet
Lester Hoyle Cave Junction USAF ’50-53
Leonard Porter Medford USN ’69-70
Ron Betts Waldport US Army ’66-68, Son in Afghanistan
Harlan Moore Medford US Army ’50-52
Bruce Freeman Newberg USN/MC ’71-74
Wayne Kelley Ashland US Army ’68-71
Mike Mattingly Portland USN ’65-72
Eric Kees Medford USN ’75-98
Joel Haugen Scappoose US Army ’68-71
Dan Davis Jacksonville US Army ’65-69
Eugene Rosolie Portland US Marines ’67-70
Jim Schmidt Eugene US Army ’71-72
Robert Serra Westlake US Army ’69-70, ’85-93
Tom Dew Medford USN ’66-70
Anne Haley Portland Mother Iraqi vet
Elaine Hamilton Medford USN ’82-83
John Duggan Jacksonville US Army ’66-69
Chuck Keil Ashland USN ’68-88
Joseph Zajac Grants Pass USN ’60-80
Anne Philiben Bend US Army ’66-88
Ben Butzien Lostine USAF ’64-67
Larry Slessler Medford USAF ’62-72
Steve Haley Portland US Army ’98-05, Iraq vet, West Point ‘98
Thomas Smith Eagle Point USMC ’60-69
Bill Kroger Beaverton US Army ’61-02
Bettye Ingram Central Point USN ’54-56
John Vandermosten Gresham USN 1960-63
John A. Czekala Central Point US Army ’69-05
JD Van Doren Milwaukie US Army ’64-67
David Bishop Enterprise USN ’44-46
Hal Anthony Grants Pass US Coast Guard ’69-75
Rhonda Loftis Medford USN ’73-84
Gerry Lukos Beaverton USAF ’72-77

Comments

  • jami (unverified)
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    i share their concern about her vote for the iraq war, but hillary clinton is working hard for our country and deserves our support in 2006 and beyond.

    something about their letter feels presumptuous, too. i wonder if they would ask a male candidate to do the same:
    dear sir; we know you have a good heart, so please give your campaign contributions to these more deserving candidates. sincerely; a bunch of dudes

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    A big thanks to John C, Mr Rasmussen, and the other vets who have stepped up here to take a stand against the Rahm Emmanuel, Joe Lieberman, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, DLC crowd.

    These folks are the Neville Chamberlain type appeasers that we are always hearing about.

    Cuddling up to people that repeatedly state that their goal is to destroy you, through every legal, quasi-legal and illegal maneuver that they think they can get away with, is just plain stupid. The DLC/Hillary crowd look like what they are, ignorant appeasers, doomed to run the hamster treadmill that (sorta) worked for them back in the early 90s. Since they embarked on this brilliant course of action, they've lost every meaningful battle that they've fought, and learned from that (apparently) not to fight.

    <hr/>

    Oh yeah, like the petitioners, I'm keeping my money and effert in Oregon until these stooges in DC that voted to eviscerate the Constitution to support Endless War, get out of the way for a true progressive candidate who will stand:

    Against the culture of corruption

    Against the cowardice that drives Republicans to follow leaders who wish to exchange freedom for alleged security.

    Against a proto-Fascist state that sees no difference between what's good for our nation and what's good for energy barons.

    For tax equity

    For healthcare as a universal human right

    For a foreign policy that supports democratic intstitutions regardless of whether said democracies support or oppose the agenda of the current Lords of the Universe

    For upholding our historic treaty obligations with other nations

    For the Constitution of the United States including every one of the amendments

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    I'm fed up with Democratic cowardice masquerading as pragmatic politics. I'm with The Nation on this: no candidate for president who does not oppose Shrub's war of aggression will get my support. Period.

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    it's almost impossible to express how disappointed i am with hillary. for years i looked forward to her candidacy -- and now she's running to the right as if that's the soul of the democratic party. i expected so much more from her.

    add my name to the list: Todd Barnhart, Corvallis, USAF 1975-79

  • Eugene (unverified)
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    Jami - as one of the "dudes" that signed the letter I must say you have it wrong. I feel the same whether it is a female or male candidate. Hillary doesn't need the money for her Senate campaign, she doesn't even have an opponent. There are a number of important races locally and nationally that need support and Hillary right now is not one of them. If she wants to be the leader of the party then she needs to show she can lead, unfortunately right now she has not done that.

  • Dan Davis (unverified)
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    Yes, Jami, it would be the same if she were "male" This is not about gender, it is about priorities, putting money where it is needed, and taking a strong stand against this evil war and the deceit, distortion and lies that brought us into it.

    I for one have backed it up with $100 contribution to the "Fighting Dems" https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/thefightingdems Dan

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    t.a.

    I have added you to the list we will give to Hillary.

  • Gordon Sturrock (unverified)
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    Great work John. Nicely worded and to the point. No BS. I hope Hillary is smart enough to listen. Gordon Squadron13 Aviation Museum

  • Miles (unverified)
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    Hillary Clinton... is there anything good you can say about her? Certainly she has betrayed the left ideologically. Certainly her positions are worthy of contempt from progressives.

    On the other hand, maybe she knows how to become President and I don't? And if she does, that would be fantastic... a huge improvement over any conceivable Republican alternative. Because deep down you know that if she has power she won't be afraid to exercise it on behalf of some progressive causes.... and probably to a greater degree than Bill ever was.

    And if she has to be a craven triangulating boot licker to power... well that's contemptible, but will you and I find ourselves saying in 2008 "well I have to admit, she knew how to become President of the US ... and maybe I didn't"?

    We have to be open to that possibility that her path of accepting the imperialist American military/ surveillance state is the only path to power open to anyone at this point in our history. That's sad, but this is one screwed up country these days.

    We don't have to support someone who chooses her path. We sure as hell don't have to give her our money at this stage. I'd be the first to tell her that I don't care for her brand of politics or her positions. I also want to believe that my oppositional politics could persuade the public... but I don't know that with certainty.

    Hillary is focused on power... the opportunity to exercise power... and saying what you need to get there... never mind how that may complicate your ability to govern once you gain it.

    Her strategy is to court the center and trust that people like me will have no realistic alternative in the general election. Not necessary a bad idea.

    As a political proposition, I'm open to the possibility that she and her husband have won quite a few more elections than I have, and may have a better read on what 'mericans want and will vote for than I do.

    So go away Hillary. I'm not interested. I hate the fact that you don't think you have to say anything to please me or progressives. But you may have correctly calculated that you don't, and when it comes down to you versus the son of Dick Cheney... well obviously I'll vote for you.

    I don't like being taken for granted... but I like what the Republicans are doing to this country even less, and if you have an electoral strategy that will enable you to do something about it, well that's a sad comment on our politics, but it's better than nothing.

  • frank carper (unverified)
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    Hillary doesn't need the money for her Senate campaign, she doesn't even have an opponent.

    actually she does. in the democratic primary.

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    Excellent work, John; a very good earned media effort and it shows we will not be herded by the D party label.

    To save bandwidth, I want to simply associate our general DFO position with that expressed by Pat Ryan above. Well stated, Pat!

    Also, personally, please add my name to the Veterans letter you will deliver to Hillary.

    Virginia L. Ross, 1LT Or Army Nat'l Guard, 1983 - 87

  • nader (unverified)
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    Perhaps it's strange, but I respect and agree with the letter, while at the same time don't really have a problem with Senator Clinton trying to raise money in our state. Would I give to her campaign? Nope, she's not my representative, and as pointed out in the letter she has adequate funding already. But in theory, I don't have a problem with a candidate reaching outside of their constituency to raise campaign funds.

    As to Hillary's support for the war, well that's just disappointing but not too surprising. The good Senator is just trying to represent her constituents, so if their views are sometimes contradictory or internally inconsistent it will be reflected in their representative.

    Ideally I would love to find a candidate with whom I agree on every issue - such a candidate would truly represent my views, but probably not the views of many of my neighbors. We all have to make compromises, especially when we have at most 2 choices (GOP or Dem).

    So I applaude the conviction of those out there who say they will never support a candidate who supports the invasion/occupation of Iraq. Personally, I'm a little afraid that if I had to choose between someone like Senator Clinton and say, Frist or Santorum I'd vote for Clinton if I thought she had any chance of winning.

  • bizutti (unverified)
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    My disappointment in Hillary goes back to Oct. 2002 when she gave a very insightful speech detailing why the case for war in Iraq was bogus, then announced she was going to vote for it anyway. She was no doofus bamboozled by Bush regime spin. She did the wrong thing with her eyes wide open. This was not just cowardly, it was immoral.

    My disappointment in the Democratic party in general can best be summed up by this opinion in Raw Story:

    The lyin'-ass boyfriend party

    This puts to rest the "They'd filibuster Alito if they could grow the nads" meme. I'm not happy with my political party at all and I'd like to show Hillary myself when she rolls up to the Hilton Friday night.

    Has anybody heard of any public actions planned in protest?

  • Robin Ozretich (unverified)
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    Nader,

    If Hillary is the Democratic nominee by June 2008, then we can discuss whether she would be preferable to Frist or Santorum (or Allen, Huckabee, or McCain). Until then, however, we can focus on getting a Democratic nominee who agrees with the majority of Americans that the solution to the debacle in Iraq is timely US troop withdrawal.

    We need a leader, not a triangulator. I nominate Russ Feingold (although John Edwards and (gasp) Al Gore are looking pretty good to me as of late).

  • MarkC (unverified)
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    Even if I wanted Hillary to run in '08, she has NO chance. I used to subscribe to some right-wing spam lists. Whenever nothing else was going on, they would fire up their regressive troops with the Horror of the Hillary in '08. Believe me, if gay marriage was the cultural wedge issue in '04, Hillary would far surpass its effect all by herself in '08. Her nomination would guarantee a GOP victory in '08.

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    Jami,

    I watched a couple of "those dudes" beat the crap out of David Wu in a verbal sparring match at a political fundraiser several months ago over his unwillingness to take a leadership position on getting our kids out of Iraq. And bear in mind, Wu voted against going to Iraq in the first place.

    I'd like to suggest that maybe it's a little presumptuous to assume that the are taking their stance based on Senator Clinton's gender. Also, let's not forget that the last time a "bunch of chicks" from Code Pink, led by Medea Benjamin, went to speak with Hillary about the war, she had them thrown out of her office.

    MarkC:

    I haven't yet decided whether or not I'm going to support Hillary in 2008. One thing that I will not do is withhold my support for a candidate just because I think his or her presence in the race will make the far right get even more shrill than they usually are. What's the point of being involved in politics if you start ducking for cover at the mere thought that a candidate will have the shock troops on the right start foaming at the mouth.

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    I send my money to candidates like Rob Brading who is running against Karen Minnis. Hillary is my worst nightmare for the Democratic presidential nominee. Only 16% of Americans would vote for Hillary for President..from a CNN poll released 1/26/06

  • Rep. Chip Shields (unverified)
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    I too support Sen. Clinton on many things, but I simply cannot support anyone who supports this war.

    In the spring, I'll be hosting four town halls, one of which will be entitled "War in Iraq: a Local Response." It will be March 8 in NE Portland at a location to be determined. Check www.leg.state.or.us/shieldsc or www.chipshields.com over the coming weeks for more information or you can call my Legislative Assistant Regan Gray at 503-231-2564.

  • MarkC (unverified)
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    Salvador- I fully agree that you should stand behind whomever you truly support. My statement goes out more to the DLC triangulators who think that Hillary will win by embracing that magical middle. I don't think she will, and that she is much more likely to guarantee high turnout by the same regressives who supposedly got all fired up about voting for their homophobia in '04. She is also not appealing to the steadfast leftists, as you can tell from the comments on here. I admire and respect Hillary, but I just really don't think she's electable.

  • Karl (unverified)
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    On the most important issues Hillary is neocon-lite. I could never support her.

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    These additional vets have been added to the letter.

    Raul Keple Ashland USN ’66-69 Michael Klem Grants Pass USN ’67-71 Todd Barnhart Corvallis USAF 1975-79 Gordon Sturrock Eugene US Army ’77-80 Jack Dresser Eugene US Army ’60-65 Virginia Ross Portland Army Nat'l Guard, 1983 – 87 Jim Sims Ashland US Army ’70-71

  • Sid Leader (unverified)
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    Hillary or Jeb?

    Hmm....

    If these Swifties are so swift, why don't they run for office?

    Hmm...

  • Svejk (unverified)
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    Jami: Dude! Dudettes Anne, Lori, Elaine, Bettye and Rhonda signed the letter so who's the presumptuous one here?

    My dad, my step-dad and I all signed on with Veterans for Kerry and we all feel the $100s of billions and thousands of lives being wasted on the war in Iraq and the distraction from catching Osama is a defining issue. Hillary needs to take a stand... and whatever it takes to get her to take that stand, we're for it.

  • BOHICA (unverified)
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    Veterans for Peace chapter 72 (www.vfpchapter72.org) will be out in force to oppose Hillary as she has shown herself to be a warmonger. You can add the whole membership of VFP 72 to your list.

    We are all wearing the blue dress now except the stains are blood stains.

    I invite all of you veterans to join Veterans for Peace. See the webpage link or email info at vfpchapter72.org

    Grant E. Remington, President Veterans for Peace Chapter 72 US Army 1967-1970 RVN 1968-1969

  • jami (unverified)
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    MarkC would support Edwards who voted for the war, and Feingold who thinks our country needs bunker-buster nukes.

    Svejk says: "My dad, my step-dad and I all signed on with Veterans for Kerry..."

    Exactly. If you're not Hillary Clinton (that is: male), you can get away with whatever pro-war votes you want. If you are Hillary Clinton, you can do the right thing for progressives 99.9% of the time, and still they b****, with no information whatsoever about her voting record and the bills she's introduced. You know the 12 "liberals" who were always voting in the minority for the right thing, like Edward Kennedy and John Kerry? It also included Hillary Clinton most of the time.

    And have you heard these guys' hero Bob Hackett talk about "illegals" lately?

    No candidate is perfect. All I ask is that people get informed before they whine and gnash their teeth and destroy their own good candidates. And I still suspect people treat Hillary the way they do because she's a she. I hope to be proven wrong more substantially.

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    I think you are wrong to make this a gender issue.

    John Edwards? At least Edwards has come out and admitted he made a huge mistake in voting for the war.

    And Feingold? He was the ONLY no vote against the original Patriot Act when any act of "disloyalty" to our dear leader Shrub was considered political suicide. That's political courage.

    And therein lies the difference between Hillary and others. Sure she votes right most of the time but on the big issues, the ones that really really matter she goes sideways on us and that is just not okay in my book.

    Hillary should be standing up right now leading the fight for Alito's filibuster but once again she has gone MIA. All politicians are political to some extent hence why they are in the business but some are more craven about it than others and Hillary is particularily so.

  • Tenskwatawa (unverified)
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    <h1/>

    She seems to be trying to steer a course by a navigation screen on her steering wheel, which abstractly represents the landmarks and guideposts across the terrain around her vehicle.

    She might better forget all the signals and 'message-sending messages,' and just check her internal guts, try to remind herself where whe found meaning to go.

    <h1/>
  • twinkie (unverified)
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    This has nothing to do with Hillary being a 'she'. Hillary is being a lot of things that amount to 'non-committal' (or worse) - when and where it counts.

    I listened to NPR during the entire Iraq debate, and recall Sen. Byrd's stirring "... and I will not commit that sin again" when comparing this vote to his vote in favor of the Gulf of Tonkin resolution in 196?

    I recall my utter dismay at John Edwards' 'Yes' vote, and my real disappointment at Sen. Clinton's vote, though it was tempered by her caution to the President to 'use this power wisely'.

    So much for that...

    I wanted to believe, too - but I knew better. Russ Feingold knew better. Robert Byrd knew better. Howard Dean (I know he didn't have a vote) knew better. But many who should have, and did have a vote, either did not know better, or worse, were playing presidential campaign politics.

    This is not an Us vs. Them/Boys vs. Girls thing. There is room for disagreement, but for many reasons, Hillary has raised cause for concern. Just because she's a woman, doesn't excuse her from principle. We've waited this long. I'm willing to wait a little longer.

    And for the 3 people who may not have seen this yet, here's one other woman's reasoning for not supporting Hillary. She says it far better:

    Molly Ivins I will not support Hillary Clinton for president January 20, 2006

    http://www.freepress.org/columns/display/1/2006/1304

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    Friday afternoon I delivered our letter to John Gans, Deputy National Political Director for Senator Clinton. We ended up with 50 names on the letter.

    Mr. Gans was friendly and receptive. He was in a listening mode. I emphasized that although there were 50 names on the letter, the letter and the blog comments represent the majority of Democratic activists in Oregon. If anything there are more people with stronger views than expressed in the letter. I have been thanked by many non-vets for raising the issue.

    I also gave him a copy of the BlueOregon.com blog discussion and a copy of congressman Earl Blumenauer's plan for an Iraq withdrawal. I urged him to ask that she discuss this plan with Earl when she sees him tonight. I also asked that she announce that she would use the funds raised to help other Democrats either here in Oregon or across the country. We shall see.

    So thanks everybody. We made an impact here in Oregon. We will see if it has any impact on Senator Clinton going forward.

  • Alice (unverified)
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    John Calhoun:

    That is some awesome power you wield. Speaking on behalf of a "majority of Democratic activists in Oregon" and all. From 50 names to a majority in just three sentences. Short run for a long slide.

    I hope there's not some prick on a liberterian website pretending to speak on my behalf.

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    Alice,

    I think that it's a fairly safe bet that John is speaking from his real knowledge of the Democratic activist community, rather than any kind of ego tripping.

    John moves in a lot of different circles of influence, and walks his talk as you can see by this effort. Agree with him or not, you don't know him (or this community) well enough to resort to personal attacks, nor to judge the accuracy of John's statement.

    Fellow libertarian turned temporary Democrat

  • W. Bruce Anderholt II (unverified)
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    It's a personal attack to question whether 50 signatories (and all the Democratic Activists John's ever met) do not constitute a "Majority of Democratic activists in Oregon." If Howard Dean said the same thing, he'd be guilty of the same ego trip.

    The Deputy National Political Director will be using your petition as a coffee coaster by 9:00 a.m. tomorrow, assuming he didn't round file it before then. If you're lucky, he'll mention it to Sen. Clinton on their way back to PDX...(we've got a petition from 50 Oregon Vets who think you're a warmonger: they wish you would grow a spine and not be so moderate. Oh yeah, they want you to donate the proceeds of this event to the State Party). You'll know if they kept it because you'll all get a form letter asking you for a donation (completely ignorant of the fact you asked HER for money!).

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    I guess in John Calhoun's world, I don't qualify as a Democratic activist, or at least I am in the minority. I've only been Executive Director of the DPO, State Director of Clinton in the Oregon Primary in 92, Political Director of Clinton/Gore 92 and State Director of Clinton/Gore 96. Granted I've been on the sidelines since I went to work for the Secretary of State (by choice because I oversee the Elections Division), but I guess I don't count in his world. So much for inclusiveness.

    The Democratic Party that I signed up for allows for Democrats to differ on issues, to fight among ourselves. But the Democratic Party that I want to be a part of (when I get back in the game) is more about winning elections than being ideologically pure on every issue. The Democratic Party that I want to belong to is about fighting in the primary and coming together in the fall, recognizing that the worst among Democrats (with the possible exception of Lyndon LaRouche) is better than the best among Republicans. As a Democrat, I won't ever say during a primary fight that I'd never support Democrat X in the general. I'm not talking about blind allegiance to party, because I have crossed the line in the general. But folks, this is a crazy time to be drawing lines in the sand and the more we do it, the more likely we are to face four or eight more years of this mess in Washington.

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    Good points Paddy.

    While I was sitting in dumbstruck amazement watching the DLC's big brains parse and poll their way toward alliance with the worst elements of the Right, you were out there in the fight.

    In 1992, Wendy Gramm (wife of Texas senator Phil Gramm) was appointed by Clinton to eviscerate the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. She made sure that KennyBoy got a cushy ride by exempting from regulation Enron trading in energy derivatives -- (a wonderful boon for Oregonians)I was out riding my motorcycle. After leaving the government, when Gramm was rewarded with an appointment to Enron's board, I was watching a football game.

    <hr/>

    When Hillary decided to include every stakeholder (except the consumers) in her flame out around the healthcare issue, she was too early. Bush has finally been able to Git er dun with medicare perscriptions at least......Mother Jones was paying attention to who was in the room, but some of us were not.

    Then there's welfare "reform", NAFTA, CAFTA and other HAFTA's (How's that been working out?), Don't ask Don't Tell, supply side tax cuts, and on and on.

    <hr/>

    The DLC's main sin here has been an inability to discern cause and effect as it relates to their basic dogma of "Democrats need to give away the store to succeed". Said dogma was formed, and DLC positions hardened, without acknowledging the real reason that Clinton won twice. He oozed charisma, and good natured, good old boy, folksiness.

    <hr/>

    So Paddy, allow me to apologize on behalf of the majority of Democratic activists in Oregon for our benighted insularity. I would really like to go back to being a quiet, left leaning libertarian, but like you, I can't sit by and watch the devastation without trying to do something to rescue the tattered remains of our republic.

    <hr/>

    BTW: Since Al Gore seems to have grown some balls during his sojourn in the wilderness, and is now unlikely to attempt any further sucking up to the folks who are happily raping the entire world without apparent legal or moral restraint, he's not on my DLC hit list anymore. Besides, they never really trusted the guy, and that's another big plus.

  • salvador (unverified)
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    But folks, this is a crazy time to be drawing lines in the sand and the more we do it, the more likely we are to face four or eight more years of this mess in Washington.

    There are those who believe that it is the failure of Democratic Party leaders to draw lines in the sand that has led to the stunning electoral defeats that the party has had in national elections over the last 12 years.

    When the Republicans were out of power in the early 1990's, they didn't regain it by alienating their base. They regained power by embracing and activating previously marginalized groups that were a natural part of their constituency, and by articulating a clear vision for the kind of America they wanted to build.

    I'd like to suggest that the Democratic Party in 2006 is at a similar crossroads to the one the Republican Party was at in 1994. We have lost all three branches of federal government. We are losing on more policy issues at all levels of government than we are winning on. And the party as a whole is teetering on the brink of irrelevence at the national level for a very long time.

    It's probably not an exaggeration to say that there has not been this serious a crisis for a major political party since the Whigs imploded in the middle of the 19th Century.

    Einstein said (and President Clinton often repeated) that one definition of insanity is to keep trying the same thing over and over again in the hope that the outcome will be different the next time. It is with that lesson in mind that I would like to assert that the choice that the Democratic Party faces is simple:

    Do we want a party that continues to keep grassroots activists at arms length and embraces failed policies of triangulation and equivocation in an attempt to appeal to mythical middle-of-the-road voters, or do we want a party that clearly articulates a vision for this country; embraces its natural allies on the progressive side by taking their concerns seriously and giving them a seat at the table; and that above all else, places principle ahead of political expedience?

  • tenskwatawa (unverified)
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    <h1/>

    Sen. Clinton to support Alito filibuster, press secretary says

    RAW STORY Published: January 27, 2006 Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) will support Sen. John Kerry's effort to filibuster ...

    <h1/>
  • David English (unverified)
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    I am also disappointed at Hillary's run to the right. Having been someone who admired and looked up to her, I wonder if she hasen't completely sold out.

    On the other hand, maybe there is so strategy. I don't know...it's just mading to watch her become so right wing on some issues.

  • Chuck Butcher (unverified)
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    Hey Paddy, I too would like to see Democrats win elections and I also have to tell you that sometimes Dems make it real darn hard not to say bad things about them. Hillary as Pres Candidate, lessee now, Republican Lite with all the Dem baggage...there's a hot idea. That's just plain pragmatism, she's poison.

  • jami (unverified)
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    no chuck, calling her "poison" is poison. she was among the first ten people to support kerry's filibuster. she's good, she's strong, and i'd like you to picture the country she'd lead before you say one more bad thing about her.

    i still think hillary herself is a gender issue. african countries have female presidents. us? not so much.

    but i suppose that's a distraction from the more important issue raised by this letter: the self-attacking democrats engage in. in justifying his spying on american citizens without a warrant, president bush declared us all enemies. even red-staters. let's fight republicans, then, shall we?

    (of course not. instead we should fight amongst ourselves over whether we should fight amongst ourselves.)

  • Tom Smith (unverified)
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    My personal take on Senator Hillary Clinton is that she would probably be one of the weakest Democratic Candidate for President because of all the baggage that should bring into the process. I believe that is the reason that the Republicans continue to say she would be tough candidate to beat. They would beat her to death with negative attack adds. She would be easy compared to what they did with Senators John Kerry and Max Cleland, both American patriots and heroes.

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    Howsabout we draft Katrina Vanden Heuvel (editor of The Nation).

    She's the best liberal "designated target" that I've seen on the talking head circuit. Takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'.

    Eleanor Holmes Norton or David Sirota for Veep.

    <hr/> <h2>Takes care of the gender issue, and I pity the Condi/Bill/Jeb that tries to engage any of the three in serious debate..........</h2>
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