|New Civilization News: Ohio Saturday Summary|
Category: Legal, Justice
4 comments30 Oct 2004 @ 11:26 by dempstress : So what
sort of response is the Osama tape provoking over there?
Chin up, keep at it but remember the whole thing isn't actually your very own responsibility!
30 Oct 2004 @ 12:49 by vaxen : Osama?
"All around the mulberry bush..."
Guess ya gotta when ya gotta...
Hang in there, jazzo.
"We shall all hang seperately..."---B.F.
31 Oct 2004 @ 16:03 by Quinty @220.127.116.11 : From the London Observer
To see this story with its related links on the The Observer site, go to http://www.observer.co.uk
The winner is... US conservatism
The Democrats face an awesome task in Tuesday's elections but, for the
country's good, they must win
Sunday October 31 2004
The real puzzle in next Tuesday's presidential election is why George W Bush is
not going to get hammered. Tens of millions of ordinary Americans live in more
economic insecurity and enjoy less opportunity as a result of the America he is
building. Abroad he is leading his country into a dangerous and unwinnable
confrontation with Islamic fundamentalism that obstructs the rooting out of
terrorism, whose crassness is exposed daily in the flow of news from Iraq. A
grass roots revolt should throw him out of office as an incompetent.
And yet most polls give him the lead over challenger John Kerry by a narrow
margin. The incumbency effect is part of the explanation, as is the skill with
which Bush has played the security card. But the deeper truth is that
conservative America has become a formidable cultural and electoral force - and
it offers its allegiance to George Bush instinctively and unhesitatingly.
Even if Kerry manages to win, American conservatism will remain the most
dynamic component in American political life. Although a Kerry victory (for
which I hope) is conceivable, it is already clear that the race is so tight
that the Republicans will retain their grip on the House of Representatives -
with little prospect of an early reversal. Talk to Republicans and they regard
their control of the House together with more state legislatures as the heart
of their power base; in the checked and balanced US political system the
presidency is the necessary but insufficient condition for political
In short, a Kerry victory would only be the end of the beginning; for the
Democrats to move the US even marginally from its current hardening right-wing
trajectory, the long-term task is the rebuilding and sustaining of the liberal
coalition that they held from Roosevelt's New Deal to the end of the 1960s -
and which will allow them to challenge what is now a Republican legislative
dominance. That requires not just political energy and a mobilisation on the
ground that the Democrats have only just begun to demonstrate - it also means
winning the battle of ideas, where they are still at first base.
The scale of the challenge - and the political and intellectual embeddedness
of US conservatism - is still not properly grasped. And why, despite his
monumental mistakes and gawky malapropisms, Bush is still the narrow favourite
I got a clearer idea why in a debate at the Oxford Union on Thursday night;
speaking for Bush's re-election was Grover Norquist, the president of Americans
for Tax Reform and one of the leaders of the American Conservative revolution.
Norquist's rhetoric made little impact on his quintessentially British liberal
audience - our pro-Kerry side was to win four to one - but you could see how
effective his pitch would be in the US. The Democrats were a coalition of the
liberal elite and the two wings of the 'Dependency Movement', he declaimed -
those who receive welfare and those who administer it. When somebody got a job
and became a Republican (working and being a Republican were coterminous) they
quickly saw the case for paying less or no tax. The Republican base was at
bottom about industrious, self-starting business people and workers who didn't
want government to tell them what to do or spend so much of their money. Bush
would continue to deliver to this constituency. Vote for him.
We've heard pitches for lower taxes before, but an Oliver Letwin or even John
Redwood doesn't do it with the same sting or passion. What gives Norquist its
bitter, cutting edge is the depth of his complaint. He's on the side of the
ordinary American and the common man against the liberal elite and the do-
gooders. They're the wine drinkers, the French speakers, the interferers in
American lives, the indulgers of homosexuals, the mockers of faith and the
upholders of political correctness.
Norquist is on the side of working Americans living in the outer suburbs
springing up like topsy around every US city; the network of soulless shopping
malls, never-ending cloned streets and newly built churches created by the
appetite of US property developers. These instant developments are communities
only in name; their rootless inhabitants, questing for meaning in their lives,
are the prey upon which the New Republicanism feeds.
Its success, as Thomas Frank writes in his compelling book What's the Matter
with America? , is that it has used largely cultural symbols - against
irreligion, abortion, gun control, stem-cell research - to build a new working-
class constituency that believes an allegedly hegemonic liberal elite wants to
do down what working America holds dear.
They will build national parks on farmland, mandate special holidays for
transgendered war veterans, decree only gay couples can adopt children, as part
of the same world view that wants to control gun use and get UN resolutions to
act in Iraq. Thus the working class becomes the ally of a party that gives tax
cuts to the top 1 per cent and is set on undermining the institutions that try
to offer working Americans security and opportunity. The irony could not be
Frank sees no end in sight, largely because the secular forces unleashed by
American capitalism are so powerful. This is the genius of the conservative
position. It is a crusade fuelled by a never-ending tide of complaint that is
compelled to set itself unachievable objectives in its battle to reduce women's
rights and against the commercial ethic that so beleaguers religion but their
non-achievement only proves the malevolent hegemony of the liberal elite and
thus the correctness of the right's analysis.
THIS HOSTILITY to modernity and sense of beleaguerment spills over to fuel an
ugly American nationalism. Foreigners, and especially Muslim foreigners, are
part of the threat to the values and lifestyles of ordinary God-fearing
Americans. To cast the response to 11September as a war on terror not only
offers a route to achieving American security; it enlists, as Bush knows full
well, this new American nationalism to the cause and thus the side of militant
Republicanism. To understand his campaign - speeches laced with biblical
references, solidarity over every right-wing cultural icon, commitment to cut
taxes and insistence he is the right commander-in-chief to lead the US in its
war on terror - you need to understand the new forces underpinning American
Kerry and the Democrats confront a Hydra. They have assets - America's
knowledge workers, Hispanics and blacks are all massively Democrat; a
significant part of America's working class do understand which party
represents their interests and are dubious about rabid conservatism.
The good news is that this liberal coalition is giving Bush's Republican party
such an effective challenge; the bad news is that it is not more effective
still. Win or lose on Tuesday, progressive America still has a lot to do - but
it would be better to start by winning.
Copyright Guardian Newspapers Limited
2 Nov 2004 @ 09:43 by jazzolog : From Our Chairperson
Here's a note the Democratic Party Chair sent out to us 3 hours ago. It gives a feeling of what this work has been like~~~
My Final Thoughts on this Election
I just arrived home at 1 a.m. from Headquarters where about 25 volunteers were still working diligently. Eighteen hour days I can take, but 24 hours days are impossible. Tonight, we all celebrated the arrival at midnight of Election Day, the day we all knew would be momentous. And although I have to be back at headquarters at 6:30 a.m., I felt compelled to say a couple of final things.
First of all, I hope you will all vote for all the Democrats on the ticket this year. I think during the last few weeks we have seen just how dramatically elected officials at every office can affect the election of a president. Who would have known that the election of Kenneth Blackwell two years ago would have impacted us so greatly? The election that same year of Jill Thompson, our Republican county auditor, also has impacted us locally in the election process. Two weeks ago, she tried to hold up the payroll of the Board of Elections staff, costing us valuable staff time to put together unnecessary documentation The Democratic county commissioners stepped in to stop it. The commissioners, although in tough budget times, appropriated all the funds requested by the Board of Elections. I am so thankful as chair of the Board of Elections that I had Bill Theisen, Mark Sullivan and Lenny Eliason to deal with in this matter. Imagine if I would have had to deal with Republican commissioners in this matter. I have no doubt that we would have been treated to roadblocks at every turn.
I think during the last few weeks, we have all come to the realization that the political party of judges does make a difference, as well. Even though most of the drama has been in Federal courts, some state court judges have stepped into the arena and tomorrow, Election Day, we expect lawsuits to be filed in various state courts,including our own Common Pleas Court to stop challenges by Republicans and other issues of concern. I found it amusing Sunday that the Athens Messenger chose to endorse one Democratic candidates out of over a dozen for office this fall. But more striking was their complaint that Robert Shostak and Douglas Bennett let people know they were Democrats. Is that really a sufficient reason for a paper to not endorse a local 19 year judge over a person who has never served one day as a judge from Scioto County. I think the message was clear. They are trying to make it appear like it is a bad thing to be a Democrat, but I don't believe for one minute that people will believe that. Please support Shostak and Bennett for Judge.
Finally, I want to talk about the race for State Representative. No race is more important. Our polls show we can win. If we don't, it will be sadly be because of money. However, I think we have a fighting chance. Why should we care? Because Pat Lang, our candidate, stands for what we want, and his opponent, Jimmy Stewart, does not. Jimmy Stewart is pro-life. He voted for the largest tax increase in Ohio history that placed the taxes on the backs of the low and moderate income and gave tax breaks to the rich. But more importantly, Pat Lang is someone who I know will do the right things for us in Columbus. Please support Pat Lang.
I know you have all received sample ballots and I hope you will vote for the others on ballots, but the things mentioned above I consider very important.
So, as I wind down tonight at 1:30 in the morning, I look forward to tomorrow because, like Michael Moore, I think we are going to win. Unfortunately, it will mean the end of working at headquarters with so many great people. Thanks to everyone for all the help. We couldn't have asked for more from so many people. I can't even imagine on Wednesday going in to clean up. It will be so sad. So, I guess we better make the most of the cleanup. Ha Ha.
And finally let's get out there tomorrow and work until we drop to Paint Ohio Blue. Stop in the headquarters if you have time. Hope to see you tomorrow. Office opens tomorrow at 6:00am.
Goodnight and see you tomorrow at the Victory Party for John Kerry and the rest of the Democratic ticket.
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