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October 26, 2004

6 Days to Election 2004

It's not over 'til it's over. I'm confident but not complacent. There's still time to make a difference!

In this entry:

  • You can make a difference in a battleground state right now!
  • Republicans, Business Leaders and Veterans for Kerry bus tours
  • The New Yorker magazine Kerry endorsement
  • No on 36 (Oregon measure banning gay marriage)
  • Bush and Republicans effort to undermine media
  • Will the conservative Republican endorsements of John Kerry never end?
  • John Kerry, The Rolling Stone Interview (excerpt of Kerry's agenda)

You can make a difference in a battleground state right now!

Wow, what a great 10 minutes I had! And you too can help in a battleground state from home in 10 minutes. Here's how:

  1. I clicked on http://calls.johnkerry.com (here)
  2. printed out the phone script,
  3. clicked the button, and
  4. the Kerry campaign displayed 5 names and phone numbers of Kerry supporters in Akron, OH to call.

I called them all, working to get canvassers for last Saturday at 10am and Sunday at noon,

  • talking with them or leaving messages and
  • clicking the response buttons on the form and then
  • sent back the Kerry campaign database the results of my 5 calls.

Then I was out the door, off to a meeting.

In less than 10 minutes, you can make a difference in battleground states across the country helping the Kerry campaign get out the vote. And then keep calling.

Instead of this election being a "squeaker", help ensure we get out the vote yourself across the battleground states and make sure we send Bush packing!

Republicans, Business Leaders and Veterans for Kerry bus tours

Sunday's Oregonian had an ad that listed 240 of the 500 Republicans, Business Leaders and Veterans for Kerry which I joined a few weeks ago.

On Monday I joined the Republicans, Business Leaders and Veterans for Kerry bus tour to McMinnville, Dallas and Albany, OR before having to skeedaddle to a meeting. What an experience hearing people's heartfelt reasons for leaving the Republican party, or why they're standing up for Kerry, or demanding to know why George W. Bush hasn't been held responsible for 9/11 happening on his watch (man who lost several friends in it), a position that frustrates me too and was recently addressed in the American Prospect.

By 3pm we'd already gotten coverage on the radio. [Updated 10/27/2004: Excellent coverage in the McMinnville News-Register too.]

The New Yorker magazine Kerry endorsement

The amazing The New Yorker magazine Kerry endorsement (thanks, A.N.). Sure wish I could marshall my thoughts and writing like that!

No on 36 (Oregon measure banning gay marriage)

Several people have asked me about Measure 36 and supporting the No on 36 effort, which I definitely do. Most of the election I have worked other issues that have overlapping support (Kerry, Measure 37, ...) because of the belief that publicizing Measure 36 tends to bring out more opposition that also solidifies around Bush than it helps. However, Measure 36 has gotten so much play lately that my old position isn't relevant now.

As a G.R. put it some time ago when we discussed this:

A letter to the Oregonian that talks about 36 will bring two conservatives to the polls for every liberal.

I think most observers would say that Rhinehart's purpose in talking about marriage was to reelect Bush. This is a republican issue.

Support No on 36's efforts:

The Rockridge Institute has a fascinating look at the language and positioning of the gay marriage issue.

The People for the American Way has some interesting related resources.

Bush and Republicans effort to undermine media

This excerpt is from a follow-up interview with Ron Suskind (author of Without a Doubt in The New York Times Sunday Magazine 10/17/2004) in an article Reality Based Reporting in Salon.com 10/20/2004

Do you think the attack on the press is a way to eliminate a national point of reference on facts?

Absolutely! That's the whole idea, to somehow sweep away the community of honest brokers in America -- both Republicans and Democrats and members of the mainstream press -- sweep them away so we'll be left with a culture and public dialogue based on assertion rather than authenticity, on claim rather than fact. Because when you arrive at that place, then all you have to rely on is perception. And perception as the handmaiden of forceful executed power is the great combination that we're seeing now in the American polity.

So what are you left with? Perception and, increasingly, faith. Think about faith. Try to anchor that in the traditional public dialogue of informed consent in America, which has in large measure at least been based on discernible reality and on facts that can be proven -- not only facts coming out of the government but facts people feel in their own lives.

It is one devil of a challenge. One man's conversation with God guides the globe and human affairs. How exactly do you frame that inside the secular writ of informed consent based on facts? I think those who are forcefully running the White House electoral machine -- and the soul of this machine is an extraordinary operation -- understand this with great alacrity.

As with so many of us, several times I've raised the issue of fundamentalists taking over the Republican party and Bush's mind. Here's an interesting recap of when this problem raised it's ugly head in 1922 by Harry Emerson Fosdick on May 21, 1922, from the pulpit of the First Presbyterian Church in New York City wrote “Shall the Fundamentalists Win?”, presented by Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy as Will the Fundamentalists Win? A Question Revisited:

That historic Fosdick sermon on the fate of fundamentalism was delivered in a context heavily populated by self-designated protectors of truth who were seeking to cleanse their churches of all persons deemed to possess a progressive or liberal mindset....

Today, 82 years later, the situation is as much the same as it is dramatically different. Now, it is clear, fundamentalism is not just a tempest in an ecclesiastical tea pot but a powerful phenomenon in most of the major religions of the world....

Let there be no mistake in understanding, at stake in the divides of the present moment are nothing less than the vitality of democracy and the integrity of Christianity within this nation....

Christian fundamentalism will not be defeated by the strategic, targeted opposition of people like us so much as, eventually, it will self-destruct. Fundamentalism carries within its very nature the seeds of its own demise....

For some similar reasons, I don't think that the fundamentalists are likely to prevail over time as I've said or worried about, for example here:

Will the conservative Republican endorsements of John Kerry never end?

See the blog on George Soros's website for a whole rank of Republicans writing in.

'Frightened to death' of Bush By Marlow W. Cook, a former Republican Senator, Special to The Courier-Journal

.... Lyndon Johnson said America could have guns and butter at the same time. This administration says you can have guns, butter and no taxes at the same time. God help us if we are not smart enough to know that is wrong, and we live by it to our peril.

I am not enamored with John Kerry, but I am frightened to death of George Bush. I fear a secret government. I abhor a government that refuses to supply the Congress with requested information. I am against a government that refuses to tell the country with whom the leaders of our country sat down and determined our energy policy....

For me, as a Republican, I feel that when my party gives me a dangerous leader who flouts the truth, takes the country into an undeclared war and then adds a war on terrorism to it without debate by the Congress, we have a duty to rid ourselves of those who are taking our country on a perilous ride in the wrong direction.

If we are indeed the party of Lincoln (I paraphrase his words), a president who deems to have the right to declare war at will without the consent of the Congress is a president who far exceeds his power under our Constitution.

I will take John Kerry for four years to put our country on the right path.

John Kerry, The Rolling Stone Interview

There's a great interview of John Kerry in Rolling Stone, of which I've pulled a few excerpts. By JANN S. WENNER

[Kerry lays out his agenda:]
First of all, make America safe, and deal with nuclear proliferation and the global confrontation.

Second, we have to create jobs and be fiscally responsible -- so that we're creating the framework for America to be strong at home.

Third, we have to have a system that provides health care for all Americans, and I have a plan to do that.

Fourth, we're going to have education that works for everybody -- that lifts people up. Ongoing adult education -- a system that works.

And fifth, we're going to have an environmental policy that leaves this planet to our kids in better shape than we got it from our parents.

That's it -- that's the agenda.

If you send troops into Iraq, how will you be able to tell them they're not risking their lives for a mistake?

Because I'm going to make it a success, 'cause we're going to win. We're going to do what we need to do to get this job done. And I'm committed to doing that -- and I know how to do it. I'll put a foreign-policy team together that talks the truth to the American people.

What do you mean when you say you know how to do it?

I've spent thirty-five years dealing with these kinds of issues. When I came back from fighting in a war, I fought against the war here in America. As a senator, I led the fight to stop Ronald Reagan's illegal war in Central America. I helped expose Oliver North and Manuel Noriega. I've been at this for a long time. You know, I led the initial efforts to change our policy on the Philippines -- which ultimately resulted in the elections, and became part of the process that helped get rid of Marcos.

I negotiated personally with the prime minister of Cambodia, to get accountability for the killing fields of the Pol Pot regime. I've negotiated with the Vietnamese to let me and John McCain in and put American forces on the ground to resolve the POW-MIA issue. I've spent twenty years on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; I've been chairman of the Narcotics Terrorism Subcommittee. I have five times the experience George Bush does in dealing with these issues, and I know that I can get this done.
People say this is the most important election of our lifetime -- do you agree?

I believe it is. And I want your readers to stop in their tracks and consider what's at stake for them. Because not enough people connect the things they hate, or feel or want, to the power of their vote. And they've got to be willing to go out and work in these next couple of weeks.

How do you yourself feel? What burden does it place on you?

You know, I've been in public life all my life -- with one brief exception, when I was a lawyer and started a small business. I accept the weight, but I don't feel it. I've lived out so much frustration over the last few years that this is a liberating experience for me. I feel excited by it. I feel energized by it. I welcome it. And I just want other people to understand what's at stake here.

How did you feel when you first saw those Swift-boat ads?

Disappointed -- a sense of bitter disappointment. That people will stoop to those depths of lying -- for their personal reasons.

Did you get angry at Bush personally?

Look, I know politics is tough, and I don't spend a lot of time worrying about what they do to me. But I do worry, and I am angry, about what they do to the American people. That's what this race is about. It's not about me. I can take it -- I don't care. I've been in worse things. I was on those boats -- I got shot at. I can handle it.

What I worry about is that they lie to America. What I worry about is that they tell the middle class, "We're giving you a tax cut," and the top one percent of America gets more than eighty percent of the rest of the people. I worry that they are unwilling to do anything about the 5 million Americans who have lost their health care.

I worry that there are twenty-eight states in America where you can't go fishing and eat the fish, because of the quality of the water. I worry that they've gotten us into a war where young kids are dying, and they haven't done what's responsible to protect them. That's what I worry about. The rest of it is small pickings.

You don't get angry when Bush outright lies about you?

No, I don't get angry at it. I think it's sort of pathetic.

Finally, if you were to look back over eight years of a Kerry presidency, what would you hope would be said about it?

That it always told the truth to the American people, that it always fought for average folks. And that we raised the quality of life in America and made America safer. I want to be the president who gets health care done for Americans. I want to be the president who helps to fix our schools and end this separate-and-unequal school system we have in America. And I want to be the president who re-establishes America's reputation in the world -- which is part of making us safer. There's a huge opportunity here to really lift our country up, and that's what I want to do.


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