Al Gore Spoke Up for America Today

On a day when many of us are reflecting on the lessons of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Al Gore delivered a speech that was awe-inspiring. He has called the American people to defend the Constitution and our civil liberties against the tyranny of a president who refuses to obey the rule of law.

The President and I agree on one thing. The threat from terrorism is all too real. There is simply no question that we continue to face new challenges in the wake of the attack on September 11th and that we must be ever-vigilant in protecting our citizens from harm.

Where we disagree is that we have to break the law or sacrifice our system of government to protect Americans from terrorism. In fact, doing so makes us weaker and more vulnerable.

Once violated, the rule of law is in danger. Unless stopped, lawlessness grows. The greater the power of the executive grows, the more difficult it becomes for the other branches to perform their constitutional roles. As the executive acts outside its constitutionally prescribed role and is able to control access to information that would expose its actions, it becomes increasingly difficult for the other branches to police it. Once that ability is lost, democracy itself is threatened and we become a government of men and not laws.

While I supported and voted for Gore I was never inspired by him. This speech just about did me in. I was with a group on another blog discussing it live and each of us at some point simply stopped and listened. We were reduced to one word posts and many were in tears by the time it was over.

I urge each of you to read this speech or go to Crooks and Liars or C-Span to see the video. It will be worth your time. We cannot sit and wait for justice. We have to demand it over and over again. Mr. Gore has called us to action:

The intricate and carefully balanced constitutional system that is now in such danger was created with the full and widespread participation of the population as a whole. The Federalist Papers were, back in the day, widely-read newspaper essays, and they represented only one of twenty-four series of essays that crowded the vibrant marketplace of ideas in which farmers and shopkeepers recapitulated the debates that played out so fruitfully in Philadelphia.

Indeed, when the Convention had done its best, it was the people - in their various States - that refused to confirm the result until, at their insistence, the Bill of Rights was made integral to the document sent forward for ratification.

And it is "We the people" who must now find once again the ability we once had to play an integral role in saving our Constitution.


Is our Congress today in more danger than were their predecessors when the British army was marching on the Capitol? Is the world more dangerous than when we faced an ideological enemy with tens of thousands of missiles poised to be launched against us and annihilate our country at a moment's notice? Is America in more danger now than when we faced worldwide fascism on the march-when our fathers fought and won two World Wars simultaneously?

It is simply an insult to those who came before us and sacrificed so much on our behalf to imply that we have more to be fearful of than they. Yet they faithfully protected our freedoms and now it is up to us to do the same.

We have a duty as Americans to defend our citizens' right not only to life but also to liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is therefore vital in our current circumstances that immediate steps be taken to safeguard our Constitution against the present danger posed by the intrusive overreaching on the part of the Executive Branch and the President's apparent belief that he need not live under the rule of law.

I endorse the words of Bob Barr, when he said, "The President has dared the American people to do something about it. For the sake of the Constitution, I hope they will."

We have a job to do folks. Let's get busy.



And do what?

I'm serious. Totally inspired . . . yes. Anxious for action? You bet. Writing my ass off and writing checks too? Yes. Yes. Yes. But is it making the difference that needs making right now? It sure doesn't feel like it. Incrementalism . . . drip drip drip drip drip . . . leaves too much time for the dark forces, too much time to do too much damage.

It's November 8th, 2006. Are we celebrating here in North Carolina or are we suicidal?

We're celebrating.
Because we shifted the tide.
Voters understood they'd be better off voting for Democrats. Or at least not for Republicans.
We built a groundswell.

And how did we do that?

I don't have the answer, but whatever we did, it needed discipline and structure. Or maybe untold brilliance and limitless resources.

We have 9 months. Do you have a plan?

Does anybody have a plan?

If so, please point me toward it. I'd like to know my part.

Hope you don't mind

that I moved this post to the front page. I'd be happy if it stayed there, but that's up to you.

Thanks for putting this up here.

We can't wait for a plan...

Anglico it would be nice if we had direction from our leaders in Washington, the DNC or the DCCC, Howard Dean or ? Today, Al Gore stepped to the plate. He told us what needed to be done. Here are a few things we can do just for a start. First we write our Congress Critters and demand investigations. We call, send letters, send emails. We become their newest best friend. Next, we keep the heat on in every Congressional race in our state - even the candidates who are unopposed. We keep their feet to the fire and keep them honest. Finally, we write letters to the editor. We write thousands of them. We pay attention to what the politicians are saying even when it's vile contemptuous crap and we never, ever give them a free pass. Republican, Independent, or Democrat we hold them accountable. I'm tired of feeling like we are in a hopeless situation. There's only one thing that is guaranteed and that is we will never be heard if we don't speak up.

Elizabeth Dole will regret the day I jumped up her ass. It happens tomorrow. I'll let you know how it goes.

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

And I thought I was impatient

I've been thinking about campaigns . . . not the kind with candidates . . . more in the sense of advertising campaigns.

For example, could we choose a target of opportunity each month and go after it like jumping on snakes. A person. An issue. A stunt. A march. A strike. A prayer vigil. A concerted letter campaign. A full court press on one topic?

I also (as you know) like using the calendar to organize action. For example, I think we should be having a monthly campaign kick off starting on the 7th of each month. We have only nine months to go until November 7th. And that is scary.

What should we jump on starting February 7th? Maybe the corruption issue?

Republicans are turning a blind eye while George Bush breaks the law. If you're an elected official and you're not asking for impeachment, you're complicit in the crime.

It is litmus test time. Tie Bush around every Republican's neck like a dead chicken. You're either for impeachment, or you're against the rule of law.

Then in March we could do the old standby:

North Carolina Republican Hall of Shame

April? Full court press on the Media Madness. Make sure the papers commit to honest, complete election coverage.

May? Electronic Voting Month: Know your rights





October. Crunch time. Take back our country month. Push two-week voting like crazy.


You may be right that we don't have time for a plan. But if we had one, it would be better. It would drive focus. It would set agendas. It would move us into being active instead of reactive.

Great Ideas..

and I didn't mean we don't have time for a plan. We just don't have time for the Democratic leadership to get their heads from their...well, you know where their heads are...and let us know what the plan is.

I love the idea for February. We need to be prepared to revisit certain actions/topics if the climate in Washington calls for it. If we are really proud of our plan we need to post it (I'm happy to put it in my diary) at DailyKos and MyDD.

Oh, and I think we need to tackle the media in March. Both the NYT and the WaPo are just steno pools for the GOP and Karl Rove. Locally, the Charlotte Observer just prints from the AP Wire and we may get a new local political story once every week or so.

April we need to concentrate on helping our Dems prepare for the primary and that can go hand-in-hand with the "Republicans are Corrupt" campaign.

As far as talking points to push in August/Sept/Oct or Sept/Oct I think we pick three. We have corruption, presidential powers, war, jobs/economy/deficits, health care and illegal immigration? We need to figure out what is most important in North Carolina, because it could be different than what is important to the rest of the country. Someone in NC must be doing a poll on voter's concerns/issues. It would be nice to get our hands on that data.

I guess my point is that I'm with you on the plan. The 7th is great with me.

Oh...and another thing. I like turning Bush's rhetoric around on them. "You're either with us or you're with the terrorists." We say "You're either for impeachment or you're against the rule of law." Nice one, A.

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

I lied....

Today isn't going to be the day that I have fun with the empty wig. I have too much mom, wife, school fundraiser work to do. I did start my letters, though so hopefully I can share them soon with addresses. I was so motivated last night and feel a bit deflated today since I couldn't hit the ground running with all of this. I'll check back in tonight after I take the girls to ballet.

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