Have at it. James's blog Comments I'm out tomorrow I am taking my daughter and some of her fellow Teen Dems to Raleigh for the fall rally/convention thingy. We leave waaaay too early in the morning. *************************** Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own. I've got my son home for a whole week. I felt like I should celebrate, because I was so glad to see him, and yet, it feels so normal to have him home. We're doing a debate tournament tomorrow - and then just "hanging out, mom, chill." :) One of my favorite television shows of all time is The West Wing. How could I not love it? Fantasy Democratic administration with witty, good-looking people who are smart, and ...well....just because I can, I'm going to post quotes from one of my favorite episodes, Game On, in which President Bartlet debates Governor Ritchie of Florida... See if it doesn't just give you chills. I think I'm breaking out the DVD's. Gov. Ritchie: My view of this is simple: we don't need a Federal Department of Education telling us our children have to learn Esperanto, they have to learn Eskimo poetry. Let the states decide, let the communities decide on health care, on education, on lower taxes, not higher taxes. Now, he's going to throw a big word at you - "unfunded mandate." He's going to say if Washington lets the states do it, it's an unfunded mandate. But what he doesn't like is the federal government losing power. But I call it the ingenuity of the American people. Moderator: President Bartlet, you have 60 seconds for a question and an answer.Bartlet: Well, first of all, let's clear up a couple of things. "Unfunded mandate" is two words, not one big word. There are times when we're fifty states and there are times when we're one country, and have national needs. And the way I know this is that Florida didn't fight Germany in World War II or establish civil rights. You think states should do the governing wall-to-wall. That's a perfectly valid opinion. But your state of Florida got $12.6 billion in federal money last year - from Nebraskans, and Virginians, and New Yorkers, and Alaskans, with their Eskimo poetry. 12.6 out of a state budget of $50 billion. I'm supposed to be using this time for a question, so here it is: Can we have it back, please? Moderator: Governor Ritchie, many economists have stated that the tax cut, which is the centerpiece of your economic agenda, could actually harm the economy. Is now really the time to cut taxes?Gov. Ritchie: You bet it is. We need to cut taxes for one reason - the American people know how to spend their money better than the federal government does. Moderator: Mr. President, your rebuttal.Bartlet: There it is. That's the ten word answer my staff's been looking for for two weeks. There it is. Ten-word answers can kill you in political campaigns. They're the tip of the sword. Here's my question: What are the next ten words of your answer? Your taxes are too high? So are mine. Give me the next ten words. How are we going to do it? Give me ten after that, I'll drop out of the race right now. Every once in a while... every once in a while, there's a day with an absolute right and an absolute wrong, but those days almost always include body counts. Other than that, there aren't very many unnuanced moments in leading a country that's way too big for ten words. I'm the President of the United States, not the President of the people who agree with me. And by the way, if the left has a problem with that, they should vote for somebody else. Gov. Ritchie: Now, I want people to work together in this great country, and that's what I did in Florida—I brought people together—and that's what I'll do as your President. End the logjam, end the gridlock, and bring Republicans together with Democrats, 'cause Americans are tired of partisan politics.Bartlet: Actually, what you've done in Florida is bring the right together with the far right. And I don't think Americans are tired of partisan politics; I think they're tired of hearing career politicians diss partisan politics to get a gig. I've tried it before. They ain't buying it. That's okay, though; that's okay, though, 'cause partisan politics is good. Partisan politics is what the Founders had in mind. It guarantees that the minority opinion is heard, and as a lifelong possessor of minority opinions, I appreciate it. But if you're troubled by it, Governor, you should know, in this campaign, you've used the word 'liberal' seventy-four times. In one day. It was yesterday.