Monday, March 13, 2006


A note to Montana Democrats

In my last post, I urged the Montana Democratic party to be bold. (Actually I shouted it: “think BOLD.”) Wulfgar responded:
...if Montana Democrats were thinking bold, then Morrison wouldn't be favored over Tester...
He may be right. But I think there’s even stronger signs that the Democratic party is going to fumble this election: where’s all the hubbub about South Dakota’s abortion ban? Let’s face it, the cretins in the South Dakota legislature (yes, I mean you, Bill Napoli) who passed the anti-abortion legislation have gone way over the top. The vile “pro-life” rhetoric coming out of the state is embarrassing the GOP. It’s a potential disaster for the Republicans in a country where a clear majority of voters are pro-choice. So, what is the Democratic party doing? Nothing. What about Montana? Why aren’t the Montana Democrats staging pro-choice rallies in Helena, Missoula, Billings, Bozeman, and Great Falls? Why hasn’t state chair, Dennis McDonald, condemned the South Dakota law? Where is the strong pro-choice statements from Morrison and Tester? This is the state party’s big chance to scare the bejeezus out of the electorate – and rightfully so. They should be hammering the message to Montanans that a handful of extremists are planning to hijack their reproductive and sexual rights, they should show clips of Bill Napoli’s interview on McLehrer’s News Hour, paste his mug on wanted posters across the state. Make abortion rights a litmus test for candidates! Ooo, a timid Democrat might say, we don’t want to risk the election on that issue. Isn’t it controversial? Aren’t the majority of Montanans pro-life? Not according to this survey: 53% of Montanans support choice. And consider that even among a number of pro-lifers, the South Dakota legislation goes too far. This is the kind of action the Montana Democratic party should be doing. They should be ruthlessly exploiting the chinks in the Republican armor. Continue hammering at corruption even after Burns is retired into a minimum security facility. Hammer at the failure of the prescription drug plan, Bush’s inability to fix security, the incompetence of Iraq, the illegal wiretapping and the Congressional Republican sycophantic rollover in response. But, no. The Democrats are tip-toeing around these hot-button issues because they’re afraid of alienating moderates. But these aren’t extremist positions. It’s not “radical” to advocate preserving the Constitution. It’s not “radical” to say women should have all the rights of a full citizen. It’s not “radical” to expect that our borders should be safe and our emergency response teams competent. It’s not “radical” to expect that our lawmakers act in their constituents’ interest and not sell their services to high-powered lobbyists. It’s not “radical” to work towards life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Unless you’re a Republican, that is. Update: While I'm ranting, let's talk about Russ Feingold's attempt to censure the president over domestic spying. That's bold. And the correct thing to do. Only He's not getting any support. Look, Digby, as always, is right. The Democrats shouldn't try to participate in governing. It's fruitless, the GOP won't allow them to. Instead they should be constantly attacking the incompetence and corruption of their across-the-aisle adversaries and on issues that are popular with their own base: choice, security, health care.
This is an election about throwing the bums out and Democrats need to make a clear statement of fundamental values, not policy differences. Some strategists insist that Democrats must adopt the religious code words that Republicans use to signal character and values to evangelical voters. I would suggest that all Americans, religious and secular alike, share a language that is full of words that describe character and values. How about we start using some plain English words like unethical, dishonest, unfair, untrustworthy, dishonorable and lies. I think everybody can understand what those mean.

Whats with the Morrison bashing? Why not support him? How isn't that "bold" and how is supporting Tester "bold". Why are so many people turning this race dirty by attacking John like he isn't good enough?
josh, that's just Republican style thinking. Choosing Tester over Morrison isn't "bashing" John.

There is a growing difference between Tester and Morrison, though: Tester is taking stands on issues about which Morrison remains silent. Jon is rejecting the current state of affairs among our (paid for) elected officials, and again, John remains silent.

Now which do you consider more BOLD: supporting a candidate that looks for all the world like a polite political insider, or supporting the candidate who promotes populism and rejecting the norm? Or is choosing one over the other an "attack"?
Wulfgar...Please, don't insult my intelligence, I don't yours. I would hope after reading my posts that you would know I am much more thought out than that. It is bashing because you and the operator of this fine website are saying Morrison isn't good enough. Simply favoring one canidate over the other is what we as people do. But the implications that John isn't good enough is what I am objecting to. I like the fact Morrison isn't taking stances on a lot of these things. The fact of the matter is that Montana, like much of the rest of the country, is leaning more and more to the center. Morrison is the epitome of the way the country is leaning, and therefor is, in my opinion, very electable. He is very intelligent and good at listening to what Montanans want and need. Jon is good at this stuff as well, but he is trying to hard to go down party lines, I just have to wonder how much of it is for the primary, and how party line he will be in office. If he stays this much party line, he won't be able to get anything done because there isn't a Dem majority and he is only coming out on hard line dem issues.
This is a cut and paste from my blog, but it is important so pass it on, ask for feedback from your readers might be fun too.

Give five minutes fordemocracy's sake today. Call both of your Senators today

Talking points:

* The President admitted to conducting a domestic spying program outside the scope of FISA, despite knowing that FISA is the exclusive means of such surveillance inside the United States. President Bush broke the law, and this is the only way this Republican Congess can hold him accountable.

* President admitted he did not brief the full intelligence committees. This is against the law.

* We don't have to wait for an investigation before censure. President Bush admitted to his crimes publicly. An investigation is needed, but that should not preclude censure at this time.

* Andrew Jackson was censured in 1834 for refusing to hand over papers to Congress and assuming power not granted by the Constitution. With his stonewalling of the investigation and by ignoring FISA, this is exactly what President Bush has done, and he should also be censured accordingly.

Senator Max Baucus 756-1150 (in the Flathead)or 1-800-332-6106

Senator Conrad Burns 257-3360 (in the Flathead) or 1-800-344-1513

You can also call the Congressional Switchboard toll free at 1-888-355-3588 or 1-888-818-6641 and ask to be connected to your Senator's office.
Josh, I don't think I've "bashed" Morrison in this or in any other post. Wulfgar obviously prefers Tester -- and maybe supporting Morrison does imply timidity. After all, you said yourself that Morrison represents a more "moderate" political stance.

Personally I will support the candidate that represents the issues and values I cherish. So far, neither candidate has stood out. For me the jury's out.

Now if one of them came out roaring against the SD ban...well...
Careful now, we don't want to hurt anyone's feelings by disagreeing with them.
Oh, I disagree with Josh, especially when he says things like, "The fact of the matter is that Montana, like much of the rest of the country, is leaning more and more to the center. Morrison is the epitome of the way the country is leaning, and therefor is, in my opinion, very electable."

Personally, I don't buy that the nation is leaning right.

Personally, I think the reason Dems aren't in power now is because they listened to the whispers that told them to go right.

I think the Dems need to rediscover their base to win.

Unfortunately, I think money is the real reason candidates turn conservative.
I think you are right as to money being the reason many lean right, and I didn't say or even imply any right lean. I in fact implied a center lean. I think you a person looks at elections in the past, the canidate more centralized gets elected. Look at the hot contested Texas dem primary where Cuellar got the nod. Also, many (way way) premature polls say if an election were today between McCain and Clinton, McCain would win. McCain is a centralized republican for the most part and Clinton has a rep for a party line democrat. I could go on with more examples, but I think you get the idea.
Ahhhh Sarah, your attempts at sarcasm are neither refreshing or original. But thanks for caring so much about my feelings.
Okay, if you start left and you move center you are traveling in which direction?
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