Tuesday, November 21, 2006

From Jungle to Desert

Richard Cohen has an excellent yet chilling piece in today's Washington Post on Bush's recent visit to Vietnam. He writes:

"...the military is now considering three options for Iraq: more troops, fewer troops (but for a longer time) and no troops at all -- the ol' cut and run. The missing option here is victory. Don't worry, it will be invented. "You have to define win," Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, who is about to return to Iraq, told the New York Times. Ah, just in the nick of time.

Where have we heard this sort of language before? It is the lingo of Vietnam. As with Vietnam, we are fighting now merely not to lose -- to avoid a full-fledged civil war (it's coming anyway) or to keep the country together, something like that. But not for victory. Not for democracy. All this talk of the Iraqis doing more on their own behalf is Vietnamization in the desert rather than the jungle. What remains the same is asking soldiers to die for a reason that the politicians in Washington can no longer explain. This, above all, is how Iraq is like Vietnam: older men asking younger men to die while they try to figure something out.

That's why Bush kept moving. He knows Vietnam is not just about the past. It's also about the future."

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Election 2006 Thoughts

Better late than never I suppose.

At any rate, my singular thought is this (beyond sheer joy):

The Republicans lost this election. They lost because, as the old saying goes, "Absolute power corrupts absolutely." The Democrats were the fortunate bystanders who now have the chance to prove that they deserve to win, on their own, the next election. They have the chance to put forward ideas and policy now that, realistically, Bush will probably reject. However, if the public likes it and realizes that Democrats do in fact have good ideas, they will get the president they need in 2008 to make these ideas realities.

All this is not to say that Dean and various local candidates do not deserve credit; they were able to find candidates palatable to the disenchanted electorate. In turn, these candidates were able to pull off victories over the hapless Republicans.

As 2008 takes shape, the Democrats, along with the Republicans, must struggle to find an identity. Will the extremes continue to dominate the political landscape, or will their time in government move the Democrats towards a practical, Clintonian center that will win throughout the country? Will the Republicans continue to act as though they are God's soldiers, or will they eat humble pie and work with Democrats to actually get practical things done for our nation?

Starting in January, I guess we will find out. Either way, it is bound to be an improvement over the way things were. Fellow Democrats, the celebration is over. Now, it is time to work and build on this victory.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Endorsments: Election 2006

This seems to be the trend, so I figured I might as well keep up with the Jones’ (and other bloggers) and post my endorsements.

Tom Carper: Carper has done a great job serving Delaware throughout his career. He is a moderate consensus builder who does not lose touch with his constituents. Though his political views sometimes fall to the right of mine, I generally agree with him on most issues and feel his is the best man for the job.

House of Representatives
Dennis Spivack: He is the most qualified challenger to Mike Castle in a long time. Castle’s support of Bush/Republican budget cuts in favor of tax cuts for the wealthy prevent me from supporting him, in spite of his efforts on stem cell research that I greatly admire. Besides, Castle is part of a party that needs to be sent a message; the only way to change the status quo is to remove the Republicans from power, even the moderate ones who simply add to the majority.

Attorney General
No Endorsement: Both men would bring positives to the table. Biden has good ideas, Wharton experience. Wharton is the safe pick, but maybe it is time for a change. A change for the worse is possible, however. See, I’m stuck.

This has been an unnecessarily nasty race for an office that really shouldn’t be that politically charged. Republicans are pulling out all stops to prevent another Biden from entering the public arena: after all, the last time they failed to do this, he held the same seat for over 30 years. In the end, I am leaning towards Wharton right now because his experience is overwhelming, but I plan to do more reading on both candidates tonight before I go to the polls.

Jack Markell
: He has done an excellent job so far and deserves to be reelected. If he runs for anything in 2008, I’ll give you more informed analysis then.

Thomas Wagner
: My dad always said the auditor should come from the opposite party as the one in power. Sounds good to me. Wagner has done his job well, and the Democrats failed to field a serious candidate.

39th District Representative
Dr. Richard Sternberg
: A real person instead of a local politician sounds good to me. And a bonus: he’s a Democrat, which would help the push for the Democrats to take a majority in the House. Now, if only the Senate had a majority Democrat instead of Dixie-crats in control…