Third Party & Independents Archives

Why I am Green, John Kerry, Part 4 of an Ongoing Series

The 2004 election surfaced as featuring one of the most hated incumbents in American history. Yet this incumbent, George W Bush, was victorious. What happened in 2004? It is my belief that by playing to moderates and the right with John Kerry, Democrats abandoned progressives and did not bring a real difference to Bush. Yes, this piece discusses the 2004 election, but if the Democrats continue down this slippery slope you will see a Republican in office in 2008.

A large part of the ‘Anybody but Bush’ mantra by so many liberals in 2004 is directly related to the war in Iraq. Liberals and progressives alike were enraged with the policies of the Bush Administration regarding the Iraq war. Democrats consistently argued that Bush had gone to war unilaterally and before exploring all other options. Democrats had a clear opportunity to represent the anti-war movement and the millions who had protested the war. Unfortunately, for progressives, the Democrats response to the lefts anger with Bush’s war was John Kerry.

Millions of progressives and liberals remember taking to the streets to protest the war in Iraq, but do these people have a voice in the Democratic Party? On the first day of the Democratic National Convention a poll by the New York Times reported that, “51 percent of all Americans, 66 percent of all Democrats, and 94 percent of all Democratic delegates believed that the war in Iraq was a mistake" (24). At the time this poll was taken progressives assumed that the Democrats would represent the massive anti-war movement which had grown since the invasion of Iraq. Clearly the poll indicates that an overwhelming majority of Democrats, not to mention a majority of the public, believe that the steps taken by the Bush Administration in its march to war were wrong. With ninety four percent of Democratic delegates believing the war in Iraq was a mistake surely the Convention would showcase an anti war perspective.

For progressives and the anti-war movement the Democratic National Convention was truly a time for tears. Prior to the convention all speakers were warned by the party to not criticize the war in Iraq, a warning which shows the party’s arrogance in the way it treats its progressive faction (25). During the Convention itself only two speakers spoke out against the war in Iraq, Senator Edward Kennedy and Reverend Al Sharpton, otherwise everyone walked the party line (26). Even in these two occasions the rule was only broken minimally. The mere fact that such a rule would exist displays the Democrats move rightward. Moreover we did not even hear complaints about the censorship which is implicit in this warning.

At the Democratic National Convention the anti-war community was certainly not represented. The Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) Party Platform on Iraq states, in part, “this administration did not build a true international coalition…this administration did not send sufficient troops to Iraq to accomplish the mission…we must convince NATO to take on a more significant role and contribute additional military forces,” thus making the Democrats support for the war concrete (27). This platform taken by the Democrats was a slap in the face to the anti-war community. The platform completely ignores the anti-war movement and all those who protested against the war by not discussing at all the reasons why so many opposed the war. Instead of supporting progressive principles the platform taken by the DNC moved the Democrats further to the right in their open endorsement of the war.

The Democratic National Convention produced Kerry as the party’s candidate, a candidate standing against the anti-war movement. Progressives and the anti-war community in particular, were given a pro-war candidate who voted to give Bush the power to invade Iraq while Bush declared his tactics to be ‘shock and awe’ (28). At times the anti-war movement was motivated behind Howard Dean; however Dean merely used the anti-war movement. Dean became a lightning rod for the Democrats to reel in the anti-war movement, with his condemnation of Bush’s policies. As soon as Dean’s presidential campaign had failed he set up his followers to now move to the pro-war Kerry, Dean is quoted as stating, “While we may have differed on how we went to war, Americans of all political persuasions are united in our determination to succeed” (29). Thus we can now see how the anti-war community was used by the Democrats while the Democrats offered them absolutely nothing.

The pro-war Kerry offered nothing to anti-war progressives, yet, because of his status as the Democratic candidate and the hatred of Bush, he received a great deal of their support. As pro-war Kerry was chosen the anti-war movement lost its voice, taking a low profile in order to not upset the Kerry campaign. The ultimate irony comes in that the only major anti-war protest during the campaign was in New York City at the Republican National Convention (30). The anti-war community unfortunately chose not to protest outside of the Democratic National Convention. The anti-war community had been hoodwinked into following Kerry who supported the war, was going to continue it, and who never brought up the torture at Abu Gharib or the one hundred thousand plus Iraqi deaths during his campaign (31).

The Democratic Party severely mistreats and ignores even its own progressives inside of the party. The most notable progressive inside of the Democratic Party is of course Dennis Kucinich. The Democratic Platform Committee snubbed Kucinich when in 2004 it rejected every single one of his proposals, including rejecting even the terminology he chose to use, even as Kucinich showed his loyalty to the party and endorsed John Kerry (32). This rejection of Kucinich is also of course a rejection of his strong progressive supporters, although with the endorsement the party was able to maintain the support of many of Kucinich’s supporters while simultaneously ignoring them.

Kucinich even manages to explain how the party abandoned progressives while also, rather he was cognizant of it or not, tricking his supporters, “The Democratic Party created third parties by running in the middle. What I ‘m trying to do is go back to the big tent so that everyone who felt alienated could come back through my candidacy” (33). Kucinich’s candidacy was indeed used by the Democrats to bring the ‘big tent’ philosophy in for awhile so Kucinich’s supporters would follow the party. Than upon Kucinich not receiving the party’s nomination Democrats could count on his supporters moving to follow a much more conservative Kerry.

Although with what we have discussed it is certain that John Kerry is barely a liberal, and certainly not a progressive, conservatives attempted to paint him as such. This critique of Kerry as liberal was nearly always made because of the results of a study conducted by the National Journal, the study examined votes on three realms of policy: economic policy, social policy, and foreign policy. In February of 2004 the National Journal published its study conducted which analyzed sixty two key votes in the Senate during 2003 and ranked Senators on the political spectrum from most liberal to most conservative (34).

The National Journal found that Kerry was the most liberal member of the Senate in 2003 with John Edwards ranking as the second most liberal, according to the study (35). However when one takes in account the votes that Kerry missed in 2003, the results of the study are seriously in doubt (36). Kerry only voted on forty percent of the votes analyzed in the study, missing many because he was on the road campaigning, and thus there was far less data available on Kerry to interpret (37).

When one looks at the past voting record of John Kerry, in contrast to his record in 2003, we can see the findings of the National Journal study are deeply flawed. During the 107th Senate there were 498 non-unanimous votes, of which Kerry only missed fifteen (38). Upon looking at this data the picture becomes much clearer. In analyzing this data set Kerry appears to be the sixteenth most liberal Senator, with the chances of him being the most liberal small enough to be insignificant (39). Thus it is near certain that the absenteeism of Kerry created the results published in the National Journal study.

Works Cited:
24. Michael Lerner, “When the Democrats “Disappeared” Anti-War Progressives,” Tikkun 19 (5) (September, 2004).
25. Ibid.
26. Ibid.
27. Ibid.
28. Thomas Harrison, “The Dead End of Lesser Evilism,” New Politics 10 (1) (37) (Summer 2004).
29. Ibid.
30. Thomas Harrison, “The 2004 Elections and the Collapse of the Left,” New Politics 10 (2) (38) (Winter, 2005).
31. Ibid.
32. “The Progressives’ Dilemma in the 2004 Elections,” Tikkun 19 (5) (September 2004).
33. Thomas Harrison, “The Dead End of Lesser Evilism,” New Politics 10 (1) (37) (Summer 2004).
34. Joshua D. Clinton, Simon Jackman and Doug Rivers, “”The Most Liberal Senator”? Analyzing and Interpreting Congressional Roll Calls,” Political Science and Politics 37 (4) (October, 2004).
35. Ibid.
36. Ibid.
37. Ibid.
38. Ibid.
39. Ibid.

Posted by Richard Rhodes at May 22, 2006 11:57 PM
Comments
Comment #150464

Richard, I like the fact that we have a Green Party writer with us now. Thanks.

Having said that, the Democratic Party is not the anti-war party. We’re the party that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki — and we’d do it again, if necessary.

Posted by: American Pundit at May 23, 2006 9:48 AM
Comment #150480

Kerry could have run a better campaign. Personally, I think he was too classy. His position on Iraq was basically withdraw with honor. There aren’t many Democrats even that would want to pull out of Iraq tomorrow. We need a “plan”.

But hey, Kerry came close to winning a historically unprecedented campaign against a war-time incumbent president.

I’ve said this before and I will say it again. If you want people to vote for 3rd parties in realistic numbers you have to people the ability to tier their votes. Otherwise when I vote third party, I concede my vote to Republicans, which you can be damn sure I am not going to do come the next elections.

Posted by: Max at May 23, 2006 10:52 AM
Comment #150495

Richard,
Of all the potential reasons Kerry did not win, not being ‘anti-war’ enough is not even on the list. Not even close.

Posted by: Schwamp at May 23, 2006 11:41 AM
Comment #150515

The Resume of George W. Bush
George W. Bush
The White House, USA

EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE:

LAW ENFORCEMENT:
—I was arrested in Kennebunkport, Maine, in 1976 for driving under the influence of alcohol.

—I pled guilty, paid a fine, and had my driver’s license suspended for 30 days.
My Texas driving record has been “lost” and is not available.

MILITARY:
—I joined the Texas Air National Guard and went AWOL. I refused to take a drug test or answer any questions about my drug use.
By joining the Texas Air National Guard, I was able to avoid combat duty in Vietnam.

COLLEGE:
—I graduated from Yale University with a low C average.
I was a cheerleader.

PAST WORK EXPERIENCE:
—I ran or U.S. Congress and lost.

—I began my career in the oil business in Midland, Texas, in 1975.
I bought an oil company, but couldn’t find any oil in Texas.
The company went bankrupt shortly after I sold all my stock.

—I bought the Texas Rangers baseball team in a sweetheart deal that took land using taxpayer money.

—With the help of my father and our right-wing friends in the oil industry (including Enron CEO Ken Lay), I was elected governor of Texas.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS AS GOVERNOR OF TEXAS:
—I changed Texas pollution laws to favor power and oil companies, making Texas the most polluted state in the Union.
During my tenure, Houston replaced Los Angeles as the most smog-ridden city in America.

—I cut taxes and bankrupted the Texas treasury to the tune of billions in borrowed money.

—I set the record for the most executions by any governor in American history.

—With the help of my brother, the governor of Florida, and my father’s appointments to the Supreme Court, I became President after losing by over 500,000 votes.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS AS PRESIDENT:
—I am the first President in U.S. history to enter office with a criminal record.

—I invaded and occupied two countries at a continuing cost of over one billion dollars per week.

—I spent the U.S. surplus and effectively bankrupted the U.S. Treasury.

—I shattered the record for the largest annual deficit in U.S. history.

—I set an economic record for most private bankruptcies filed in any 12-month period.

—I set the all-time record for most foreclosures in a 12-month period.

—I set the all-time record for the biggest drop in the history of the U.S. stock market.

—In my first year in office, over 2 million Americans lost their jobs and that trend continues every month.

—I’m proud that the members of my cabinet are the richest of any administration in U.S. history. My “poorest millionaire,” Condoleeza Rice, has a Chevron oil tanker named after her.

—I set the record for most campaign fund-raising trips by a U.S. President.

—I am the all-time U.S. and world record-holder for receiving the most corporate campaign donations.
My largest lifetime campaign contributor, and one of my best friends, Kenneth Lay, presided over the largest corporate bankruptcy fraud in U.S. History, Enron.
My political party used Enron private jets and corporate attorneys to assure my success with the U.S. Supreme Court during my election decision.
I have protected my friends at Enron and Halliburton against investigation or prosecution.
More time and money was spent investigating the Monica Lewinsky affair than has been spent investigating one of the biggest corporate rip-offs in history.

—I presided over the biggest energy crisis in U.S. history and refused to intervene when corruption involving the oil industry was revealed.

—I presided over the highest gasoline prices in U.S. history.

—I changed the U.S. policy to allow convicted criminals to be awarded government contracts.

—I appointed more convicted criminals to administration than any President in U.S. history.

—I created the Ministry of Homeland Security, the largest bureaucracy in the history of the United States government.

—I’ve broken more international treaties than any President in U.S. history.

—I am the first President in U.S. history to have the United Nations remove the U.S. from the Human Rights Commission.

—I withdrew the U.S. from the World Court of Law.

—I refused to allow inspectors access to U.S. “prisoners of war” detainees and thereby have refused to abide by the Geneva Convention.

—I am the first President in history to refuse United Nations election inspectors (during the 2002 U.S. election).

—I set the record for fewest number of press conferences of any President since the advent of television.

—I set the the all-time record for most days on vacation in any one-year period.
After taking off the entire month of August, I presided over the worst security failure in U.S. history.
I garnered the most sympathy for the U.S. after the World Trade Center attacks and less than a year later made the U.S. the most hated country in the world, the largest failure of diplomacy in world history.

—I have set the all-time record for most people worldwide to simultaneously protest me in public venues (15 million people), shattering the record for protest against any person in the history of mankind.

—I am the first President in U.S. history to order an unprovoked, pre-emptive attack and the military occupation of a sovereign nation. I did so against the will of the United Nations, the majority of U.S. citizens, and the world community.

—I have cut health care benefits for war veterans and support a cut in duty benefits for active duty troops and their families — in wartime.

—In my State of the Union Address, I lied about our reasons for attacking Iraq, then blamed the lies on our British friends.

—I am the first President in history to have a majority of Europeans (71%) view my presidency as the biggest threat to world peace and security. I am supporting development of a nuclear “Tactical bunker Buster,” a WMD.

—I have so far failed to fulfill my pledge to bring Osama Bin Laden.

RECORDS AND REFERENCES:

—All records of my tenure as governor of Texas are now in my father’s library, sealed and unavailable for public view.

—All records of SEC investigations into my insider trading and my bankrupt companies are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public view.

—All records or minutes from meetings that I, or my Vice-President, attended regarding public energy policy are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public view.

**And I Think The US Constitution Is
Just A “GODDAMNED PIECE OF PAPER
“There’s an old saying in Tennessee - I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee - that says, fool me once, shame on - shame on you. Fool me - you can’t get fooled again.”
http://www.filmstripinternational.com/

Posted by: debra from texas at May 23, 2006 12:41 PM
Comment #150536

Richard,
For awhile I quit the Dems, but recently rejoined them with the intention of forcing them find their backbones and once more stand up for our liberal principles. You’re right that Kerry should have come out against the Iraq invasion, war and occupation — most especially because we all know that he knew this war was both illegal and moronic and should have never been started in the first place.
But forget John Kerry. No use talking about him now.
The direction I’d like to see the Democratic party move in is best represented by Senator Feingold. Unabashed Progressive who keeps a shrew eye on being fiscally responsible. Unafraid to stand up for what he believes, and with a full understanding of his duty towards the Constitution. Not at all cowed by the Neocons, but still fully able to work non-partisanly with Republicans to pass needed legislation where possible.
That’s the kind of Liberal Progressive Dem that he is, and the kind of leadership that I, and many many other Democrats want to see from our party.
To get it though, the Dems have simply got to stop listening to the DLC and start listening to their base. If they don’t, they’ll no doubt just keep losing elections, and keep driving more and more of their progressive base away from the party, straight into the ranks of the Green Party. Hopefully they’re now starting to understand that this is the case — because there has been overwhelming support and approval over the stances and actions of Sen. Feingold. Indeed, far, far more than there has been and is for those of someone like Sen. Clinton.

AP:
“the Democratic Party is not the anti-war party.”

That’s true, but we’re also not the party of irrational, non-sensical, pre-emptive war based on lies. We’re the party who believes that war should be the last resort after diplomacy fails and there is no other choice.

“We’re the party that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki — and we’d do it again, if necessary.”

That is nothing to be proud of, in my opinion. We didn’t need to drop the bomb on those two cities to end the war with Japan. Truman could have dropped the bomb just offshore and told Hirohito that if he didn’t offer immediate and unconditional surrender the next one would have his name on it. That would have been the far wiser and more humane way to demonstrate what could happen if they didn’t surrender — and I think you do, or should, know that this is true.

Posted by: Adrienne at May 23, 2006 1:37 PM
Comment #150615

Richard:

Great post. What you say is true. I was against the war but I voted for Kerry in order to stop Bush.

There is a big division in the Democratic Party between the so-called moderates and the liberals, or as you say, progressives. The moderates offer a less strong brew of Republicanism. The liberals want to get back to what the Democratic Party has stood for in the past: helping the little guy.

Unfortunately, because the moderates are funded by business interests, they are now in control. However, if the liberals do not take over, the Democrats will not win. Why vote for Republican-lite when you can have the real thing?

Howard Dean is doing his best to help the liberals gain ascendance. Let’s help Howard Dean.

Posted by: Paul Siegel at May 23, 2006 5:44 PM
Comment #150652

Paul Siegel:
I agree with you on most parts, however although I do not support the Democratic Party I believe Howard Dean’s progressive or liberal (however you want to say it) credentials are not deep enough. I believe if anyone is gonna bring the Democrats back to being a party that progressives can embrace it will be Kucinich.

Debra from Texas: Your post has nothing to do with the discussion or the article, I do not appreciate you trying to post such a large spamming post in order to disrupt the discussion. What you did represents whats wrong with the Democrats, the fact that when anyone mentions that the party has moved right you rant about how bad the Republicans, and specifically George W Bush, are. Yes we know Republicans are bad, but your logic is illogical. You basically are arguing that the Republicans are being more conservative than you so that gives you permission to be slightly conservative, thats what children do saying: Well he did it first.

Posted by: Richard Rhodes at May 23, 2006 7:04 PM
Comment #150653

Schwamp: This part (part 4) focused on the anti war argument, however if you read parts 1, 2, and 3 and upcoming parts you will see my critique of Kerry goes far beyond his anti-war credentials.

Posted by: Richard Rhodes at May 23, 2006 7:06 PM
Comment #150707
We didn’t need to drop the bomb on those two cities to end the war with Japan

Yes, we did. In fact, we had to drop the bomb on two cities before those fanatics finally decided to surrender and spare their people even worse. And yes, while I’m saddened by the loss of life it caused, I’m proud that President Truman did his duty and saved the lives of millions of young Americans who otherwise would have been lost in a desperate invasion of the Japanese home islands.

I’m serious, Democrats are not the peace party and we never were.

Posted by: American Pundit at May 23, 2006 9:50 PM
Comment #150747

AP,
Droping those atom bombs was morally indefensible. Furthermore, it was NOT needed.
To back up this claim, here is a list of some people: Eisenhower, MacArthur, Fleet Admiral William Leahy (Truman’s Chief of Staff), General Carl Spaatz (commander of the US Strategic Air Forces in the Pacific), Brigadier General Carter Clarke (the military US intelligence officer in charge of intercepting info sent by Japanese cables), Admiral Ernest King (US Chief of Naval Operations), Fleet Admiral Nimitz, Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet, and last but not least, my own Uncle, who served and was wounded in the Pacific. All of these men claimed that dropping these bombs and murdering anywhere between 100,000 to 200,000 Japanese civilians wasn’t necessary.
After the war, The United States Strategic Bombing Survey had this to say:

“Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts, and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey’s opinion that certainly prior to 31 December 1945, and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated.”

That was after the fact of course, but for what was going on beforehand, a passage from Eisenhower’s memoir really says it all, in my opinion:

“In 1945 Secretary of War Stimson, visiting my headquarters in Germany, informed me that our government was preparing to drop an atomic bomb on Japan. I was one of those who felt that there were a number of cogent reasons to question the wisdom of such an act. During his recitation of the relevant facts, I had been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives.”

BTW, when I said that we could have detonated a bomb offshore to send a clear message, that wasn’t just something I dreamed up, it’s what nuclear physicist Edward Teller believed Truman should have done.

Posted by: Adrienne at May 24, 2006 12:12 AM
Comment #150758

Anyone willing to claim Kerry as a progressive? I have yet to see one person willing to go against the central theme of my paper, that Kerry was not representative of the progressive movement. Granted people have argued for the Democrats and Kerry but not to actually argue his progressive credentials. So an open call anyone willing to claim Kerry as progressive?

Posted by: Richard Rhodes at May 24, 2006 1:01 AM
Comment #150762

Regarding the necessity of bombing Japan to end the war:

My father was in the Navy and was piloted the Higgins boats that were used for troop transport to the beachheads. He was with the first ship that landed at Hiroshima after the bomb. It was his opinion that the bomb saved his and many other American lives were saved by the Japanese surrender. The Japanese were a determined enemy who would fight to the last man, woman and child had the Emperor not announced the Japanese surrender.

The Japanese engaged the America in war through a sneak attack delivered under the cover of peace negotiations. That alone means they should be given no quarter in the resulting war.

If you still feel sympathy for them, you should consider the consistent reports of the inhumane treatment of prisoners of war by the Japanese. They gave no mercy when they were the strong and if they had been victorious they would not have spared a tear for their victims.

BTW, modern Japan is one of the most prejudiced nations in the world today, holding all non-Japanese in disdain. Although they can’t continue their campaign to dominate other nations physically, a look at their trade practices reveals their continued disdain for others.

Let’s not even talk about the Japanese practices towards dolphins and whales.

Posted by: goodkingned at May 24, 2006 1:14 AM
Comment #150773

How is this article about the bombings on Japan? How does that relate to John Kerry? If you want to talk about that exchange emails or IM’s and argue on your own not here

Posted by: Richard Rhodes at May 24, 2006 1:47 AM
Comment #150777

Sorry Richard. I was just responding to previous comments. Since you asked for comments on topic, do you really support Kucinich?

Posted by: goodkingned at May 24, 2006 1:55 AM
Comment #150781

Does this answer you goodkingned, from a previous part of this series:
“John Kerry and Democrats in general however will not speak out against our nation’s massive military budget for fear of being seen as doves. Our current military budget exceeds $400 billion a year, when adjusted to include additional appropriations for Iraq and Afghanistan it is estimated at approximately $650 to $750 billion a year (17). At no time during the 2004 election did Kerry call on cutting back this massive military budget, an act which would have helped to distinguish himself from Bush and the conservatives. In fact Dennis Kucinich was the only Democratic presidential candidate, the so called anti-war Howard Dean included, which made the bloated military budget an issue (18). Unfortunately, while Dennis Kucinich is the prototype of a progressive many of his Democratic comrades are not.”

Again: KUCINICH WAS THE ONLY DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, THE SO CALLED ANTI-WAR HOWARD DEAN INCLUDED, WHICH MADE THE BLOATED MILITARY BUDGET AN ISSUE.

This may better help answer your question: If I somehow could steal any Democrat to the Greens, I would without a doubt 100 percent steal Kucinich, undoubtedly.

Posted by: Richard Rhodes at May 24, 2006 2:24 AM
Comment #150785

Richard:

Given the deplorable economic situation in Kucinich’s district, I think the Democrats would give you Dennis.

Posted by: goodkingned at May 24, 2006 2:31 AM
Comment #150786

goodkingned said: “Given the deplorable economic situation in Kucinich’s district, I think the Democrats would give you Dennis.”

What you obviously don’t recognize is without Kucinich, and other less well known progressives such as John Conyers Jr. and Lynn Woolsey, the Democrats wouldn’t be able to portray to the public that they represent anti-war. Without Kucinich, and other said progressives, the Democrats would not be able to make voters think that they are the party which could bring national health care. Without Kucinich and other said progressives the Democrats could not trick progressives into a vote for Kerry. Granted this may only be 2 to 5 million votes, but that kind of loss would have a devestating effect. The Democrats need Kucinich, they need him and John Conyers Jr and Lynn Woolsey so they can get the support of the anti-war movement, gay rights movement, environmental movement…etc, etc, etc. Without Kucinich progressives would abandon the Democrats faster than you could imagine, so if the Dems gave the offer you gave to me to give him to us I’d be asking where to sign right now.

Posted by: Richard Rhodes at May 24, 2006 2:43 AM
Comment #150790

Richard:

I will counter your argument with the idea that a slight shift to the left by the Republicans could pick up many of the groups you mention. Only single issue voters will support a far left agenda and you cannot win an election with single issue voters.

The Republicans will move to the center in the next presidential election and further minimalize the far left agenda. Democrats have ill served the interests of the far left by polarizing the issues and building resistance to moderate gains for gays and other groups used as pawns by the Democratic Party for the purpose of illustrating the nonBush nature of the Democratic party.

With the anti-war issue gone, the uneasy alliance between the disparate groups in the progressive movement will dissolve just as it did in the sixties. Instead of linking up to an albatross of wildly unpopular movements, individual progressive movments would do better to pursue moderate gains in a venue that could actually win some elections.

Progressives have become so surly and hostile to all other groups that they are hurting their movement. Invective on the right is damaging the far right initiatives also. I believe that groups that do not move toward the center will lose out.

Posted by: goodkingned at May 24, 2006 3:06 AM
Comment #150815
Droping those atom bombs was morally indefensible.

What would have been morally indefensible is losing one more young American soldier when we had the means to defeat Japan and didn’t use it.

Sorry, Adrienne. While I believe all human life is sacred, I believe American lives are more sacred.

Anyone willing to claim Kerry as a progressive?

Why would they, Richard? He’s a centrist Democrat.

without Kucinich, and other less well known progressives… the Democrats wouldn’t be able to portray to the public that they represent anti-war.

Democrats are not anti-war, and no Democratic leader — not even Howard Dean — has ever said he or she was.

Democrats will do whatever it takes to protect America and American interests around the world. We’d prefer to do it with allies, as part of the global community, for the good of the global community, and as a last resort. But we have no qualms about war.

Hell, GW Bush campaigned against Al Gore as someone who would be President of a “more humble” America, rather than the arrogant, war-mongering Clinton administration.

Posted by: American Pundit at May 24, 2006 8:12 AM
Comment #150855

AP:
“What would have been morally indefensible is losing one more young American soldier when we had the means to defeat Japan and didn’t use it.”

But we did have the means to defeat them without having to lose more Americans, or by shaming America forever by dropping atom bombs. We had already destroyed over fifty cities in Japan by that point by aerial bombardment. In the same year (1945) much like what we’d done in Dresden but on an even larger scale, our troops had killed massive numbers of people by firebombing Tokyo.
Using the atomic bomb was totally unnecessary, and therefore, was a despicable and horrendously brutal act. Had Truman dropped one bomb because his imagination actually couldn’t conceive of exactly what he had at his disposal, well, I suppose some sort of an argument could be made that it was just ignorance of such awesome power. But he dropped one, waited three days and dropped another. On cities full of civilians.
I’m sorry, but in my view there can be no excuse for that.

“Sorry, Adrienne. While I believe all human life is sacred, I believe American lives are more sacred.”

So do I. Still, I perceive an enormous difference between doing what it takes to win, and unnecessary wholesale slaughter of innocents.

Sorry Richard, I never meant to derail your thread here. But when you think about it, this does seem to point up what can be a rather wide difference between left-liberal and central-moderate thinkers who stand under the same tent in the Democratic Party.

Posted by: Adrienne at May 24, 2006 11:26 AM
Comment #150934

And despite the differences, I feel the love. :)

Posted by: American Pundit at May 24, 2006 2:20 PM
Comment #150953

AP (you charming rascal),
Did you just concede that one to me? Or is this merely a truce?

Posted by: Adrienne at May 24, 2006 2:53 PM
Comment #150975

Adrienne:

What part of the Japanese would fight to the death do you not understand?

Posted by: goodkingned at May 24, 2006 3:36 PM
Comment #151129

Ned,
What part of anything that I wrote don’t you understand?

Posted by: Adrienne at May 25, 2006 2:30 AM
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