I was going to post this topic under a specific state as there is a race catching a lot of attention, but I am going to broaden this question and talk about Democratic strategy versus core Democratic values.
That actually brings up a larger question about Democratic values and what are they... really?
There is a growing movement since 2004 of evangelical leaders embracing the Democratic Party. Many feel that Bush used this base to get him elected, then turned on them.
The question I have for the readers of this post today, is:
Is a growing Christian base of leaders and voters good for the party?
More than 5,000 people are packing the streets of downtown Chicago this morning, chanting, marching and rallying against Big Bankers and financial institutions that have taken taxpayer money and are using it to give big bonuses to CEOs and to lobby against financial reforms that would ensure they don't go back on the public dole.
The crowd is marching to the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers, site of the American Bankers Association meeting, to protest the banking industry's greed and irresponsibility that crippled our economy, leaving millions of workers behind.
After the house of cards they built collapsed, bankers and the financial industry took $700 billion in taxpayer funds for a bailout. But rather than reform their failed practices, they want to go back to business as usual--with the chance of again precipitating another financial collapse and need for taxpayer bailout in coming years.
Read it and believe, more evidence the Chicago police doesn't care (or worse) about the poor black high school students of the South Side. They just couldn't be bothered to fix the surveillance camera that would've spotted Derrion Albert's killers and would have had sharp photographic images of their faces, so the authorities could really tell who they are (at least one of the five arrested has multiple witnesses saying he was somewhere else) and prosecute them, rather than just picking up 'likely suspects', some of whom will be innocent. Here's most of the news report (style corrections added):
Chicago - Chicago's Blue Light Cameras are supposed to catch criminals in the act, but one of them on the south side was broken when the neighborhood needed it most. . . .
"I had hoped that it had been repaired," said Alderman Carrie Austin, about the mounted camera at the corner of 111th and Normal, a police camera that three weeks ago was broken. The camera is also less than a block away from where honor roll student Derrion Albert was beaten to death. . . .
[Police Superintendent Jody] Weis says other cameras in the area captured images but not faces like the video [FoxNews Chicago] shared. What he didn't say is that the police camera with the blue lights wasn't rolling when Albert was being stomped and punched.
Knowingly or cluelessly, Chicago Tribune's 'blame scary black males' image from its free rag yesterday.
The problems facing the police in Chicago and our military in Afghanistan are similar. Of course, the result of police failure in Chicago is unacceptable, our children beating hell out of and shooting each other. In Afghanistan, of course, we can just leave, which is what we should do.
The starting point in both Afghanistan and the south side is the hostility or at least the absence of goodwill toward the occupying forces. And goodwill (and the 'snitching' and neighborhood watching it generates) is essential to peace; the only alternative way to make peace is economically/politically impossible, flooding the conflict zone with five or six times as many troops/cops as are there now.
The first step toward remedying the goodwill deficit is for the occupying forces to have goodwill toward the local peoples. Which is not easy. Middle class cop bosses and America's careerist generals, and the cop and occupying army cultures, are not natural sources of goodwill toward local impoverished populations.
Let's look at the generals. They carry out a policy of occupation whose purpose is incoherent (has something to do with Al Queda, which ain't in Afghanistan), and whose means explicitly, hell triumphantly, sacrifices many civilian lives in order to make sure the occupier soldiers suffer minimal casualties. Ain't no goodwill in that. Now, can a real purpose be created or re-articulated into something that is worthwhile for Afghans? Nope. We actually tried 'helping Afghanistan become a nice country' and that plays badly with U.S. voters. Can the warfare means be modified so that many fewer Afghan civilians die in exchange for a few more Americans deaths? Realistically, no chance in hell of that.