An open letter to Sen. Kay Hagan

First off, congratulations on your win in the primary.

Yes, I am a week late, but I had a lot of thinking to do and I apologize for my tardiness.

More importantly, thank you for your gracious note of thanks to BlueNC, a group that was very skeptical and critical of your stand on numerous issues. It is a gracious gesture, especially after such a lopsided victory, to extend an olive branch to one's critics.

I want to believe in the sincerity of the gesture, and very much hope it is sincere. I am, obviously, a very cynical person, but then eight years of George Bush and Elizabeth Dole (and Ultra-racist Jesse Helms prior to that) does tend to takes a toll on one's faith in humanity, especially political humanity.

Being the cynic, and having lots of experience with politicians and what they say, what they claim they said, and what it turns out they actually said, I always read their words very carefully. While I know what I hope you meant when you said:

I'm going to talk to you and meet you and ask for your support.

I also know that it may not mean what I hope it means.

Certainly, you can talk to us. You can meet with us. And you can ask for our support. What I hope you mean, but what was not explicitly mentioned by you, is that you will LISTEN to us.

Now "listen to us" doesn't mean "agree with us". "Listen" means you actually hear what we say, and consider your position based on what you hear. You may still disgagree, which is fine. Just explain the rationale for that disagreement. You may also find that the evidence you use to support a position (say, the evidence that leads you to support immunity for telcos) is flawed or incomplete, and thus you may change your mind.

Contrary to what your high paid political consultants tell you, the liberal blogosphere has been right on just about every political issue of substance in this country for the last eight years.

We were right about Bush being an extremist.

We were right about Cheney being a crook.

We were right about the war.

We were right about the Patriot Act being abused.

We were right about the subprime loans fiasco.

We were right about Alberto Gonzalez.

We were right about Alito and Roberts.

We were right about Ashcroft.

We were right about the price of oil.

We were right about using mercenaries in Iran.

We were right about war crimes.

We were right about torture.

We were right about Lieberman.

We were right about global climate change.

We were right about religion being promulgated by the government.

We were right about Rumsfeld and Rice being incompetent and war criminals.

We were right about massive fraud occurring in Iraq because of "private" contractors.

We were right about the disintegration of the GOP.

We were right the media being complicit in the Bush administration's "selling" the war to the American people.

We were right about Rove.

We have caught and documented lie after lie uttered by Bush and his cronies, and by the professional chattering classes who shamelessly shill for them.

Aside from being right about many things, we also helped put a lot of candidates in office, and some GOPers out of office (see: Trent Lott, Tom Delay, Dennis Hastert, Alberto Gonzalez, Donald Rumsfeld, etc).

I could go on for quite a while, but I think I have made my point.

The liberal blogosphere is a powerful ally. An army of unpaid, highly intelligent, politically observant analysts, researchers, citizen journalists and investigators.

They don't do it for money, glory or fame, but because of a passionate belief in what is right and just. A firm belief that what they do MATTERS. You will not find a more TRULY patriotic Americans anywhere, and probably not a single one of them owns a flag lapel pin.

But they are funny. To them, patriotic does not mean blind obedience, or supporting those who place pragmatism above principle. They may like you, you may be like family to them, but just like family they get to criticize you when you are wrong, sometimes harshly.

In the world of political warfare, you will not find a more devout group to have your back. They will fight your battles, take on your critics, and dig into the background of those attacking you.

Conversely, you will also not find a more implacable foe if crossed or played the fool. I do not mean that to sound like a threat, it isn't. Unlike Republicans, they don't cut off their nose to spite their face. They will help you win when you are the only choice for our side. But they will dog you all the way and watch and report on your every misstep from the path of principle. If you are particularly difficult, you will find them working for your primary challenger next election (see: Al Wynn).

Now some may chide me, and you yourself may write me off as just another "rude" blogger you can ignore. This is true enough. But, any perceived rudeness on my part should be placed in the context of the rudeness you have shown to the people you expect to give you money and to vote for you.

For example, Pam Spaulding asked you a very polite and very specific set of follow-up questions and you ignored her. This was rude. Yet you expect her and the LGBT community who support her to fall in line and help you. That is rude AND arrogant. The only possible reason you could have for refusing to answer those questions is that you don't support her position, and thus the position of many in the LGBT community. If you in fact hold this view, you seem to believe that evasion is the politically "expedient" course of action (or perhaps that's what your big dollar advisers advise). Trouble is, we and the LGBT community know all about this tactic, and aside from the fact that we will now treat you as if you are opposed to our position, we will also have zero use for your word, since you have chosen evasion, rather than honesty in answering our questions. It is one thing to have a difference of opinion with a family member, something else entirely to have a family member who choses to deceive us about that opinion, rather than express honest disagreement.

Make no mistake: Answering questions evasively does not fool us. What is does do is destroy your credibility and reduce our respect for you to about 1 point above that for Republicans. Evasion is no longer a "clever political tactic" it is another nail in the evader's political coffin.

If you wish my support, and people like me, then answer Pam's questions, completely and truthfully, with no hedging. By this action we will judge your sincerity.

Please, Senator Hagan, prove my cynicism unfounded.

Comments

Well

The only thing more obnoxious than a politician who won't answer your question is a blogger who stamps their feet and pouts when someone won't answer their questions.

Look, I'm sympathetic - Hagan, compared to Neal (or lots of others), is no good at being responsive and accountable. But public complaining doesn't do anything for our clout.

This ain't complaining or foot-stomping.

This is making a request ... big difference.

This is also an extremely cogent analysis of the dynamic that's emerging between candidates and segments of the electorate. Even if Kay chooses to ignore this, she'll be wise to think through the substance of the post. And maybe not so wise to blow off the 18% of voters who went for Jim Neal. Even if only a third of them decided to spend the day fishing instead of voting, that would be a serious problem.

Phoenix

This post is the picture of reason, and your sense is that there was foot-stamping going on?

That's not the same post I read.

Asking Senator Hagan to communicate intelligently on a human rights issue with active progressives is simply asking for honesty.

Scrutiny Hooligans - http://www.scrutinyhooligans.us

Not all reasonable

This was rude. Yet you expect her and the LGBT community who support her to fall in line and help you. That is rude AND arrogant.

The only possible reason you could have for refusing to answer those questions is that you don't support her position, and thus the position of many in the LGBT community.

... we will now treat you as if you are opposed to our position, we will also have zero use for your word

This doesn't read like asking anyone to communicate intelligently on any issue.

How's This Then, Greg?

Senator Hagan,

What is your position on LGBT issues such as hate crimes, equal rights, and marriage?

I'm genuinely curious and will be excited to share your position with others.

Scrutiny Hooligans - http://www.scrutinyhooligans.us

Reasonable

n/t

I agree

I have thought about this a lot and will post at length later. There are different ways of asking.

In the context of the entire message

it is reasonable.

When you pull specific sentences out they lose context. My remarks are pointed and impertinent because Hagan refused to answer polite questions.

Hagan was asked VERY politely by Pam, very specific and detailed questions. She was given evasive answers. She followed up, and then was IGNORED.

Sorry, that is rude.

I am perfectly willing to to ask polite and reasonable questions of politicians, until they display their contempt for me. Then I get nasty. And I can tell you, I have yet to get nasty on this issue.

Politicians are not sacrosanct individuals who must be treated like royalty. They are PUBLIC servants, elected by us, who are paid exorbitant sums of money ($170,000+ a year) with the best health care and retirement OUR money can buy them.

Politicians are employees. Kay Hagan is interviewing for a job and refusing to answer questions from us, the people empowered to hire her. Worse, she is ignoring our questions.

I'll be damned if I'll take that kind of attitude from someone who expects me to hire them.

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

Who's compaining

She is free to answer or not answer. People will judge her by her actions.

Politicians LOVE to have voters with short memories and attention span. Bloggers, good ones, like to disabuse them of this love affair.

As to "our clout", if politicians haven't figured out how bloggers fit into the scheme of things and how they can help or hinder their campaign, then no amount of posts, complaining or otherwise, will help such a clueless politician.

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

we are the base of the party

We are the people who show up without getting paid, to help candidates, to spread the word, to get money, time, and more volunteers. I know that some candidates want to be managed, to limit contact with informed voters. If getting elected means just getting people to hand out endorsement cards to uninformed voters, well, it speaks poorly of democracy. If listening to voters about their issues, and being brave enough to answer them - as the presidential candidates did last summer to the Yearly Kos convention - is judged to show more character, more honesty, more transparency, more real caring and less "politics as usual" - well, you or any candidate will just have to live with our judgement. We have a lot of energy, a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of information. If Washington is broken, it wasn't us who broke it. It was people who lost touch with the voters.

It will be up to you to decide what side you take, and if you want support or if you are fine with paying people $50/day to stand at the polling places. Again, we are just the part of the party who wants to know, if you think it is broken, how will you fix it by being the same? We WANT to support candidates enthusiastically.

Precisely!

As I said at the outset, I want a leader, not a politician.

Either Hagan will treat us with the respect we deserve (and thus earn our respect and loyalty) or she won't. She is, in my opinion, surrounded by very stupid, very typical Washington insiders. They have nothing but contempt for the netroots.

One thing is certain. She can't get elected without that 18%. The position she puts us in is are we better off with an enemy we know (who will be neutered by being in the minority with no power), or with someone whose loyalties are questionable, who will sell us out when "political pragmatism" dictates, and who will give legitimacy to the Right (as Holy Joe Lieberman does)

I would prefer Dole to another Lieberman. I would prefer someone who schemes with the telcos and is easily thwarted, than someone who will scheme with Duke Power and Big tobacco in my back yard and be hard to thwart.

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

the familiar cycle is counted upon

Many thanks, Kosh (and others online and offline), for the support of my effort as an informed voter to simply engage a candidate on civil rights issues important to many North Carolinians. The selective and impolite engagement by Sen. Hagan and her campaign, who now publicly indicates she wants and needs our votes to be elected, is a unfortunate signal to send, but she chose to send it.

Sen. Hagan is counting on our desire to obtain a strong Senate majority -- in this case assisting by unseating Senator Dole -- to outweigh all of the warning signs re: some of the positions Sen. Hagan holds on issues as elaborated upon in the various debates and forums. My guess is that her consultants have focus tested and polled sufficiently (after all, that's why they are paid the big bucks, right?) to wager that enough progressives will "come home" in November and at the very least, hold our noses and fill in the circle for her, regardless of whether we are publicly dismissed. And doing so does indeed validate everything that is wrong about craven consultant-class politics today. And it has played out in a familiar pattern:

1) Shh. I have your back, just wait until I'm elected.

2) I know, I know, you gave and helped us win -- but I have to get re-elected. Not yet.

3) No, I can't help you right now, we need more of a majority and we can't count on those Blue Dog Dems you worked so hard to elect before because, well, they don't vote our way.

I'm going to talk to you and meet you and ask for your support.

Again, I look forward to seeing this happen -- on honest terms.

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com

when you point your finger

there are four fingers pointing back at you. It is our obligation to build strong organizations that are capable of educating the public and working with elected officials. A bull horn is meaningless if there aren't people actively united behind it.

Anti-choice activists have an issue that, expressed accurately, only 25% of the country supports. Yet they have made significant gains in restricting women and young peoples' access to reproductive information and health care. In doing so they have built a huge base for a GOP that promotes violence and hurts children. They did it by building several mass-based organizations speaking clearly and strategically with a long term vision.

I'm not interested in complaining about the lack of LGBT rights; I want to get the job done by winning them.

As an unrelated comment, I wanted to share this:

http://equalitync.org/news1/20080514
The proposed bill mirrors those introduced in the last four sessions, which Equality North Carolina and our allies have successfully blocked.

"We can't let our guard down this year," said Ian Palmquist, Executive Director. "The far right would like nothing better than to put this amendment on the ballot and turn out radical conservative voters for the 2008 elections. We can't let Sen. Forrester and his cronies play politics with our lives, our rights, and our families."

The amendment would not only prohibit same-sex marriage—which is already not recognized in the state under current law—but would also ban any other form of relationship recognition for same-sex couples. In fact, the language is so broad it could prevent private companies from offering partner health benefits.

Equality North Carolina is actively lobbying against the amendment and is calling on supporters to contact their legislators.

Click here to take action.
http://eqfed.org/campaign/amendment08

- - - - -
McCain - The Third Bush Term

again, conflating asking a question

with a bullhorn, or some sort of radical act. It doesn't change what occurred during and after that liveblog.

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com

conflating

There's nothing "radical" about it. No need to malign bullhorns.

A lot of progressive types want to blame elected officials, and with good reason: power corrupts all of us.

But I also don't think that blaming public officials changes the political climate. The political climate shapes the electeds more than the electeds shape the the climate. We need to change the political landscape by building unified movements.

- - - - -
McCain - The Third Bush Term

They had help

In doing so they have built a huge base for a GOP that promotes violence and hurts children.

They were aided in this by Democrats who decided it was politically "pragmatic" to go along with these groups and the Republicans rather than risk their re-election chances.

We do not need another Vichy Democrat for whom "reaching across the aisle" means selling us down the river. Repairing what Bush has done to this country is going to take nerves of steel and an unflinching passion for justice.

If Hagan can't or won't answer Pam's questions, then she is unlikely to answer the tougher ones coming.

Hagan has offered to meet with us. That is only admirable if she is going to be honest with us, and actually listen to what we have to say. Anything short of that is a waste of our time.

The first test of that honesty and willingness to listen is RIGHT HERE. Is Hagan following this discussion? Will she answer Pam's questions?

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

We do not need another

I don't know what "Vichy" means but, yes we do; we have an obligation to play the hand we are dealt. There is no nobility in going down in a blaze of idealogical purity; the people deserve better than gesture.

If voting for something bad allows me to prevent something worse and I don't vote for the something bad then I am morally culpable. Obviously things are never this tidy, but under simple circumstances the moral imperative is clear enough.

- - - - -
McCain - The Third Bush Term

"Vichy"

refers to the Vichy government of France during its occupation by the Nazis. The Vichy government granted Germany "legitimacy" for its actions in France, such as rounding up Jews, gays, and other undesirables, and shipping them off to the death camps. Since the Vichy government "approved" these actions, they were legal.

Vichy Democrats legitimize the actions of Bush and the Republicans by voting for things like the Patriot Act (1 and 2), the Iraq War, the bankruptcy bill, and by voting against filibustering Alito and Roberts. Every Democratic member of the "Gang of 14" is a Vichy Democrat, as is Clinton, Lieberman, Biden, and Pelosi.

After the war, members of the Vichy government were tried, some were hanged, most were imprisoned.

Most Vichy Democrats get committee positions and an opportunity to sell us out one more time.

We do not need any more of these people in office. At the moment, absent other evidence, Hagan looks to be a collaborator. She will happily vote with Big Tobacco and support immunity for telcos for the thousands of felonies they have committed. I also can assume, based on her lecturing me about the need for bipartisanship, that she will vote against any attempts to hold the Bush administration criminally liable for their crimes.

So, my choice becomes putting up with Dole, who will be powerless under a Dem controlled senate, or Hagan who is likely to vote like Dole in some critical circumstances, but will be in the majority where she can cause harm.

This isn't about "ideological purity" it is about dragging this country back from totalitarianism. This Republic cannot stand for ANY more right-wing, pro-business, anti-civil rights, anti-privacy, anti-human rights activities on the part of our government.

And before anybody goes off about my "radical" views, I might point out that what I am saying can be found in the writings of Paine, Jefferson, Madison, et al. I am less radical than them, since they would be calling for revolution at this point. I am still prepared to work within the system.

Jefferson, who was radical to the point gruesomeness ("The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants"), was also pretty astute about politics:

"An injured friend is the bitterest of foes."

Wise is the politician who understands this.

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

You left out one small detail,

that being the fact that Marshal Petain and the rest of his Vichy government were not elected, they were appointed.

So, my choice becomes putting up with Dole, who will be powerless under a Dem controlled senate, or Hagan who is likely to vote like Dole in some critical circumstances, but will be in the majority where she can cause harm.

That's some crazy shit right there, buddy. It's better to have someone who votes like Dole all of the time, as opposed to someone who votes like Dole some of the time? And this is supposed to reverse totalitarianism...how?

OK

that being the fact that Marshal Petain and the rest of his Vichy government were not elected, they were appointed.

Yeah, our guys VOLUNTEERED to work for the enemy. That makes them so much better.

That's some crazy shit right there, buddy. It's better to have someone who votes like Dole all of the time, as opposed to someone who votes like Dole some of the time? And this is supposed to reverse totalitarianism ...how?

It doesn't matter how Dole votes if she is in the minority. As long as we have decent senators who don't side with the GOP (you know, being "bi-partisan"), then how Dole votes is irrelevant.

With Hagan as part of the majority, her decision to switch votes for some misguided reason of "collegiality" and "reaching across the aisle", or because her corporate masters at Big Tobacco or AT&T command it, can scuttle us at a critical time.

Sometimes its better the devil you know.
Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

I think you missed my point

Yeah, our guys VOLUNTEERED to work for the enemy. That makes them so much better.

To wit: the French people did not choose the Vichy government, it was foisted upon them. As such, the members of said government had little reason to concern themselves about the will of the people, and many of the worst elements of French society gravitated to the ranks of this fascist regime.

Our Executive, Legislative and (indirectly) Judicial branches were chosen by Americans. While it may be comforting to assign blame to a small and influential subset of our population, it's not really accurate. We're all (at least partially) responsible for the direction our country has taken, and the only real way to fix this is through communication/education. We need to educate the voters and educate politicians.

Between Hagan and Dole, which one do you think we have a greater chance persuading to consider (an overall) progressive agenda?

Bloggers have one, and only one power

the power to publicly ask questions nobody thought ask, nobody wants to ask, they are too afraid to ask, or that politicians don't want asked.

That's it.

We can talk about stories, analyze the news, speculate on motives, but ultimately it comes down to asking questions. People who read the questions may then begin asking the questions themselves, which leads to pressure building on the political structure to answer the question.

Now the political structure may give an answer, but it is then up to us to deconstruct the answer, to determine if it is truthful and pertinent. This can, and usually does leads to more questions when the answer is found wanting.

People are free to read us, ignore us, agree with us and/or join in asking questions.

We have a right to ask questions of elected officials and those who seek our vote for public office. We have a right to demand answers, politely, or with ultimate rudeness.

Politicians certainly have the right to not answer, and will be judged accordingly.

But it all comes down to questions. And isn't it rather telling, very telling indeed, how much these simple questions UPSET those asked.

Any time a politician gets mad about a question, or refuses to answer a question, you are on to something they don't want you to know.

18% of the primary voters voted against Hagan in the election. If Hagan is to win, she needs that 18%.

So, the question I am now asking:

Which is more important to Hagan? Avoiding having to answer truthfully the questions of grubby little bloggers, or that 18%?

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

Actually

18% of the primary voters voted against Hagan in the election. If Hagan is to win, she needs that 18%.

39.94% of Democratic voters voted against Kay Hagan in the Primary. She does need to do more than to talk to those voters. She needs to listen to the more than half a million people who thought someone else would be better suited to face Elizabeth dole than she would.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

OK, I think I was just counting Neal voters

But you are correct.

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

Ahhh.....so people weren't voting for Neal, Williams, Staley or

Lassiter because they saw them as good choices, they were simply voting against Hagan. Got it.

Of the 18% of the vote that Neal received, a good many of them will probably have no trouble voting for Kay Hagan. To think that, that 18% is going to vote as a block is more than a little naive. That's what it sounds like you're saying.

Have you two been polling the folks who voted for Staley, Lassiter and Williams? Are you positive that the voters who cast their votes for these three had some aversion to Kay Hagan? I didn't vote for anyone simply to vote against someone else. A vast majority of the people voting in the U.S. Senate primary probably felt the same way - even many who voted for the four men who did not prevail. I didn't poll, so I don't know but I think it is a far more likely scenario than what you are suggesting.

Sure Hagan needs to listen to the voters. All candidates need to listen to the voters.



***************************
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

While folks who voted

for people other than Hagan, may vote for her, I think that the people who embraced Neal were the hardcore liberals of the state. But lets us assume for the sake of argument she can count on some of that 18%.

How much does she need to win? A race against Dole will likely be close. At the moment, those of us who have serious problems with Hagan's politics are waiting to see if she makes good on her promise, and makes good in a honest and forthright manner. Hell, that's what this entire thread is about.

The ball is in her court. She can solidify our support by making an earnest effort, or she can ignore us, safe in her belief that in the end we will vote for her.

She certainly doesn't need our money, that much is for sure.

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

Here's where your reasoning is flawed

Not all the 18% who voted for Jim Neal were as enamored of him as you are. Some of them simply voted for him and they will happily support the Dem nominee in November. He got a lot of votes from people who simply voted for him because they heard about him or read about him or met him.......not because they embraced him. Heck, I bet he got votes from people who aren't even hard core liberals. He's charismatic, energetic, bright, attractive - he's going to appeal to people who might not match his politics and I bet a good number of people who voted for him fall into this category. I think he had broader appeal than you're giving him credit for and that's not a bad thing.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



***************************
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

One of the 18%

I am one of the 18% who voted for Neal and I will have no problem voting for Hagen this fall.

Yea, she is not perfect but look at the alternative. Life is made up of choices and we have to decide who we would rather represnt us: Kay Hagen or Liddy Dole?

"jump in where you can and hang on"
Briscoe Darling to Sheriff Andy

That's really not what I said, Betsy

She needs to listen to the more than half a million people who thought someone else would be better suited to face Elizabeth dole than she would.

I was pointing out that while Hagan did win a sizable victory - half a million people did vote for other folks. Ergo, they thought they were better choices, for whatever reason.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

Hmmm...well...I took it directly from your comment

It's the language of your link...

39.94% of Democratic voters voted against Kay Hagan in the primary

What you say may be true, but I would guess that a very large majority of that half a million voters would rather not send Dole back to Washington.



***************************
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

I agree. I'm in that majority.

I bet you were shocked to hear me sign in on that conference call this afternoon, weren't you?

I'd rather have Hagan represent us than Dole. I want a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, and veto-proof majority if Gods help us, McCain wins the White House. But the fact remains that a vote for Lassiter, Staley, Williams, or Neal was, by its very nature a vote against Hagan.

It behooves Sen. Hagan to listen to all of her constituencies.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

See, that's the problem

We are not guaranteed a "filibuster proof" majority with Hagan. Since she is on record stating she believes in reaching across the aisle to the GOP, we never know when that whim will strike. She also said she won't "fall on her sword" for ideology. Translation: If it is not in my political interest to do something for the left, I'll vote with the opposition.

Again, each day that this discussion goes on and Hagan remains silent convinces me more that she doesn't want, or need my vote or my money.

Apparently she is confident that she can win without us. Of course since some folks are saying they will vote for her even if she ignores us, she may be right.

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

Not how I took it

I don't take her line about reaching across the aisle to mean that she's going to do it at a whim. I don't have a problem with a senator/congressman/president trying to work with the other party. Although the Republicans represent an ever-smaller part of the country, they still do represent the interests of millions of Americans and so deserve to be given the chance to participate. If they act petulant and refuse to play, well, that's their choice. Reaching across the aisle doesn't mean that she has to cater to their desires, it means recognizing that it's sometimes important to have as many people supporting a policy as possible.

And I don't think that being unwilling to fall on her sword for ideology means that she's willing to compromise on some things, not necessarily that she's going to do things only for her political ambitions. There are things that I hope she won't compromise on; there are things that she apparently will compromise on that I really wish she wouldn't. Part of the job of being a politician seems to be about sometimes giving some ground to win the larger battle. I know that I'm going to disagree with her and sometimes be disappointed in her, but I'm quite sure that I'll disagree with her less often than I will Dole.

I think that I agree with you on most issues. Where I differ from you is that you seem to expect a greater level of purity in your candidate. (I couldn't think of a better word right now than "purity", sorry.) Every candidate I've voted for has been flawed in my view. I don't like their stance on x or y or even z. In the end, though, if I agree with them on more things than the other person, then I'll vote for them. It's not a terribly heart-warming outlook, I suppose, but I'm picking politicians here.

"Bi-partisanship" is a dirty word

In every instance where we have "reached across the aisle" we have gotten screwed.

Here's the problem. There are no sane people any more on the GOP side. There are NO moderates, NO centrists, NO reasonable folks willing to work with the Democrats for the good of America. The GOP is controlled by the religiously insane, the rapaciously greedy and the power mad who want an American Empire. Any attempt to work with these people only results in more damage to the country. Anyone expressing a desire to work with these people should be institutionalized. The GOP view of "bi-partisanship" is "You do exactly what we want, or we will destroy you." The Democratic leadership has spent eight years saluting and screaming "YES SIR!" and "THANK YOU, SIR! MAY I HAVE ANOTHER?"

How can I get across to folks how dire this situation is? This country is run by war criminals. This is not hyperbole, this is truth. The invasion of Iraq was an illegal act of aggression. They have destroyed a sovereign nation, murdered and tortured its citizens, and plundered its resources.

In this country they have raped the Constitution, tortured people, murdered prisoners, facilitated the wholesale theft of hundred of billions of dollars from the American people now, and for GENERATIONS to come. Their naked greed and incompetence caused the utter destruction of an entire American city!!!

They have illegally spied on us, they have obstructed justice and destroyed the economy for their own profit.

"Sensible" politicians get the vapors when you make comparisons of BushCo to Hitler. I submit to you that these people are WORSE than Hitler. Ultimately, the loss of life due to the destruction of the environment, the economy, the use of illegal weapons (napalm and other chemical weapons) the wholesale contamination of an entire country with depleted uranium, the precedent set for other countries that "preemptive war" is a legitimate tactic, the exacerbation of violence in the Middle East, the destructive pursuit of profit at all costs with Russia, China and Saudi Arabia, the fueling of terrorism, the dismantling of government oversight of drugs, food, automobiles, labor standards, health care, and numerous other public safety issues (collapsing bridges and levies anyone?), the destruction of the American health care system, the transfer of TRILLIONS of dollars from the pockets of the poor and middle class to the top 1%, and the abuse and neglect of American soldiers which is criminal in nature; will exceed Hitler's death toll by an order of magnitude.

In human history, there has never been anyone more corrupt, more sick, more depraved and more unapologetically evil than George Bush and his satanic minions, followers, enablers (J'accuse every Democrat who voted with Bush on ANY issue), and apologists (I apologize to Satan for the comparison).

The fiendish debauching of human dignity that these people have perpetrated has stained this country with a festering stench that will endure for centuries to come.

This is the reality of where we are.

Any talk of "working with these people" is simply insane.

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

Gosh Kosh

so you're not an Obama supporter? He built a reputation for himself in the Senate by being the kind of person who would reach out and work with people in the GOP to get things done.

He is being naive.

He'll learn.

My first choices for president were Gore, then Edwards.

Obama was third.

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

That wasn't bipartisanship, it was bullying

Don’t fall for the Republican definition of “bipartisanship”. They didn’t practice bipartisanship, they practiced a ruthless form of bullying. Bipartisanship means building support for a bill from as many people as possible. That sometimes involves some compromise, but it doesn’t have to mean compromising your principles to get a worthless bill passed for political gaint and it doesn’t mean bullying the opposition into submission.

As you said, the Republicans have largely purged their party of moderates, resulting in a party mostly comprised of extremists. The Democratic party, on the other hand, has accepted a greater diversity of views. Democrats don’t fall in line like Republicans have, and I consider that a great thing. It doesn’t result in change that’s as fast as I would like on some points, but it does tend to produce change that more people are a part of, leading to more lasting effects. If the Republicans continue the same ruthless, bullying tactics that led to their being “dog food that should be removed from shelves”, then so be it and we’ll forge ahead, winning the change that this country needs with as broad a coalition as possible. If they agree to work with us to put this country back on the right track, then good; let’s get to work.

We should absolutely try to educate our leaders about the issues. Even though I think that I’m right about everything, I know that there are valid viewpoints I haven’t considered. That’s almost certainly true about all of us, including elected officials and candidates.

I do hope that Kay Hagan will spend time listening to us and I hope that we will spend time educating her. As a teacher, though, I know that educating her requires a more – dare I say it? – diplomatic approach. I think that Pam approached her very diplomatically, and I’m disappointed that Hagan hasn’t responded. (I hope that I can add a “yet” to the end of that sentence soon.)

I completely agree

with your views here. I got mad when I saw Pam's very diplomatic and intelligent approach, rebuffed, then ignored.

At this point, it has been about four weeks since Pam posed her follow up questions.

I will be counting each day that passes with no response.

I will also be counting each day that passes until the meeting she promised occurs.

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

Not really......

If I only know one thing about you it is that you won't sit back and hand this country over to Republicans. You're an organizer at heart and you aren't stupid. The senate race is basically the top of the North Carolina ticket. We won't have professional organizers coming in from other states, so in many counties we will be organizing at the top of the ticket. That means we can help every other down ticket race. I want to make that happen. I can't imagine you not wanting the same thing. As a matter of fact, I figured the first thing you did was get off the phone and figure out something shnazzy to do with ruby red slippers. heh heh



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

I got on the phone with the MCDW

to get them to plan the party. I'm not that committed to Hagan - I'm committed to the Democrats. I'm also point person/liaison for all candidates and the county party, so I want to find a key for this county for each one. I don't think it will be a problem, just a matter of making phone calls.

As a party officer, I've got a lot of other duties. This is going to be a busy year.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

a yellow brick from Land of Oz

I got a brick from the yellow brick road from the old Land of Oz theme park that was on Beech Mtn. Wonder if it is worth anything?

"jump in where you can and hang on"
Briscoe Darling to Sheriff Andy

Oh, We're going to have a party!

Paint, glitter, patent leather - it will be fun. I'll get someone to do it. I'm very persuasive. :)

And I'll find a use for TMD's yellow brick, too.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

paint, gliter, and patent leather?

sounds like a fun time

"jump in where you can and hang on"
Briscoe Darling to Sheriff Andy

I'll be collecting stones...

rocks, pebbles, clumps of hardened dirt, and petrified wood from all of the sick/dying/poor kids I meet until then. If this doesn't guarantee a Blue NC this year, we're fucked!

Long live the year of the over exaggerated anecdotal campaign tales!

jar of pennies

Don't forget about that jar of pennies!!!!

"jump in where you can and hang on"
Briscoe Darling to Sheriff Andy

Well, shoot

I have been wearing these ruby red slippers since May 7th. I'm a guy and not used to wearing this kind of footwear. They hurt, and I get strange looks.

Whoa

I ended up in this bed with Bob Dole! Couldn't click my heels fast enough to get back here.

Senator Hagan, Please Listen

Senator Hagan, please take this post seriously. I, for one, am torn between supporting you as the Dem nomine... or still supporting Jim Neal as a write-in candidate. I am a progressive Dem who cannot stand candidates who refuse to at least LISTEN to their constituents.

Senator Hagan, if you want our progressive Dem support in November, I urge you to CAREFULLY LISTEN to us and our concerns. You can disagree with our views, but please don't remain silent on the issues. Silence is not leadership.

I hope you will be more open with us as time goes on. If you make a sincere effort to keep the communication lines open, I'm sure you will have our full-fledged support come November. I look forward to your efforts.

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