"Forward" Part II
A while back I told you about "Forward," the handout RussForPresident.com
was putting together and I had a part in creating. It's now available
and ready for you!Go check it out.
Read it, print off a few copies, and hand 'em out to friends and family. And then, if you're at a local Democratic event, or, better still, a Feingold listening session or speech, hand a few out to the crowd there. This is a great way to spread the word about Senator Feingold.
Post-Thanksgiving Update - "This Week" with Russ Feingold
As the holiday season launches with Thanksgiving, I find myself busy and tired... but not so much that I can't do a quick update.
A few brief items...
First, once again I'd like to direct all Michigan residents to Michigan Liberal
, which is becoming better and better at reporting and analyzing political events. So all the Michigan Feingold fans had better head over there and see what they can do to further progressive causes in 2006. Seriously, this is an excellent site, and it would be great if it could grow and become a really powerful tool in Michigan politics.
tells us that December 12-16, Senator Feingold will be blogging at the TPMCafe Table for One
. We're currently in the middle of a time that will see many developments, so check out RussForPresident regularly.
And now, the most important item-- Senator Feingold's interview
with George Stephanopoulos
this morning. I admit, I missed it, and haven't read a transcript yet either. It's all on my very long list of things I need to do. But the reviews
have been good
. If anyone knows where I can track down a transcript, please mention it in the comments, and leave your own thoughts on the interview as well.
The piece of it that everyone's mentioning, though, is very promising:
WASHINGTON - The time has come for a "cheesehead" in the White House, although Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., doesn't know if he's the one to take that mantle.
He put his chances of seeking for the nomination in 2008 at "probably higher" than one in 100 while saying it was too early to commit to the race.
"But I do think one thing we can all agree on is that this country is overdue for a cheesehead president. We've never had one," he told ABC's "This Week" from his Madison home.
That's all for now, folks, but I promise there will be more this week.
Feingold, blogging, and Iraq
... And Senator Feingold blogs yet again.
This time, he speaks out in favor of an amendment
demanding a timetable for Iraq. He posted on MyDD
A few quick excerpts:
On Veteran's Day, the President gave yet another speech trying to defend his Iraq policy. He uttered over 5800 words, but not once did he provide the American people any timeframe for our military mission in Iraq or any sense that he has a plan for bringing that mission to a successful end. Instead, he used the same platitudes and empty rhetoric that the American people have already made clear they don't buy. Rather than putting his efforts into a major media spin operation, the President should concentrate on getting our Iraq policy straight, and putting our nation's national security on track.
I am pleased that the silence has finally been broken and this week the Senate will be voting on an amendment to the Department of Defense authorization bill that, in part, calls on the President to report to Congress with a flexible timetable to finish the military mission in Iraq and bring American troops home.
While this amendment, which I drafted with several Democratic colleagues, is a pretty modest proposal, it is clear that an increasing number of elected officials are finally realizing what a majority of Americans already know - that the President's "stay the course" rhetoric isn't a strategy for success. In fact it isn't a strategy at all.
The President insists that he didn't mislead the country into war. From my perspective, the Administration's aggressive efforts to sell the war in Iraq didn't match up with the intelligence briefings I received. I never bought the administrations shifting justifications in the lead up to war and I voted against the resolution in the Senate. However, the President's recent efforts to suggest that those who question the basis for war are undermining our troops smack of desperation. It's important to talk about how we got into this war to begin with. But what's more important now is that the President, who didn't plan effectively for war in Iraq in the first place, acknowledge and respond to the current realities and get our Iraq policy, and our national security focus, on track.(emphasis mine)
Go read the amendment-- it looks pretty good. And, then, notice who else's name is on it. It seems that a certain Michigan Senator
is helping lead this effort.[UPDATE]
on the Senate floor.
The Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.
- John McCrae
It's easy to forget, but today is an important day-- Veteran's Day, here, Remembrance Day and Armistice Day elsewhere. It's the day that the First World War ended, 87 years ago today. The armistice went into effect, and it was supposed to bring about a new era.
World War I was "the war to end all wars," and it should have been, too: estimates suggest that up to 15.1 million people, including 6.5 million civilians were killed
in the war. It marked the end of the absolute monarchy, and the nations of the world had a chance to renounce war, rebuild Europe, and enter a new global society in which we could live together in peace. A League of Nations could offer us a forum to voice our beliefs and negotiate peacefully to settle international conflicts. The Kellogg-Briand Pact
was supposed to outlaw war. It could have all worked out.
We came so close. But political interests corrupted the process, and the failed attempt at peace in 1918 led to World War II only two decades later, and the Cold War, and dozens of other conflicts. Indeed, the current Iraq debacle could have been prevented long ago, had the aftermath of the First World War been handled differently.
I'm not a pacifist. I don't deny that there are times when military force is necessary, and there are times when our nation and its allies are attacked that require us to go to war. But today is a reminder that war is the last
resort. The only truth about war is that in war, men and women die. They die for causes that seem trivial years later. Military conflict should occur when any and all diplomatic attempts have failed. There's nothing noble or honorable about war. The costs are far too great.
Russ Feingold can't bring about world peace. That will take far more work than a single election, and I doubt that I will ever live to see such a world. But he is a step in the right direction. In 2002 he understood
that sometimes force is necessary, but that careful thought needed to go into it, and that it should be used as the last option. He would not have sent us into a bloody, unnecessary conflict.
Today, find a veteran and ask him or her about war. And then think long and hard about what that person says. As I was told once long ago, sometimes war is necessary, but it is never right.
Elections 2005... looking to 2006 and 2008
Congratulations to now-Governor elect Tim Kaine in Virginia
, Governor elect Jon Corzine in New Jersey
, and all the other winners in last night's election, Democrats and Republicans alike. Running for office is a hard thing to do, and winning is even harder. No matter what your party or ideology, good luck in the coming term of office. I'm a little disappointed (and puzzled) by the Reform Ohio Now ballot initiatives... I was sure they would be a good way to prevent another 2004-type election.
I'm also puzzled by the results in the Detroit Mayoral race... Not living in Detroit, I don't have a say in it, but I care about the largest city in Michigan, and I had figured Hendrix would win easily. The rather corrupt administration of Kwame Kilpatrick, I thought, was going to end, but somehow, contrary to all the polls, Kilpatrick did it. Matt at Michigan Liberal sums it up pretty well
. Let's hope the future of Detroit will be better than its past.
So all that's over. What's next?
One common complaint I've received when trying to convince others of Senator Feingold's potential as a candidate and president is that it's only 2005, and I should be focusing on the midterms instead. My answer-- why can't I do both?
The 2006 campaign starts today. Michigan Liberal
has what is becoming a very valuable resource: profiles of every district in the state legislature, every congressional district, and soon, every statewide race. Every district needs a Democratic candidate, and not just a sacrificial lamb, but someone who will really, truly fight for his or her beliefs. Howard Dean
and Russ Feingold
advocate a 50 State Strategy
, but for all of you in Michigan, let's start out with an 83 County Strategy. We can win in this state, but all too often, the Democratic message isn't heard outside of Detroit and Ann Arbor.
I remember listening to an interview a while ago on NPR with Robert Kennedy, Jr., and he said something which I think is absolutely true. I'm not going to quote it exactly, but it was something to the effect of, "Ninety percent of the Republicans I meet are Democrats who don't really know what's going on." West Michigan is the land of Gerald Ford, not Jerry Falwell. I believe we can win there.
But I don't know how yet. The elections of 2006 will mark a definite change, I think. It will see the end of the "swing state" and the beginning of a political landscape where we fight for every state in the union, every district, every voter. I don't know how this will happen, but I know that it begins with us, the grassroots. And so I'll be working hard over the next year.
And thus we come to 2008. This shift in political strategies can only help Senator Feingold should he choose to run-- he has proven repeatedly that he's willing to talk to all Americans, whether they're in Alabama or California. He doesn't have the "Red State Appeal" that Mark Warner and Evan Bayh have. He's appealing to all Americans, because he's more honest and trustworthy than any other politician in Washington. He can run in every state and win, too.
If we're serious about wanting President Feingold in January 2009, we need to build the network of support. But that network is more than just some bloggers who like to write about him. It's even more than just a loyal following of supporters in the primaries, along the lines of "Deaniacs." It's about building a party that he can lead to victory.
Over the coming weeks, I'm going to be focusing a bit on local Michigan races and what we can do here. "All politics is local," right?
So let's get to work. I'm done ranting tonight.