Of the long list of things that I dislike about Bush, this one doesn't bother me. I'm not aware of any president that attended funerals for individuals soldiers. And Bush's point is valid, how would he choose which funeral to attend (and implicitly, which one to not attend)?
There's so many better things to focus on than this.
If people are having to choose between the MTA or the union, they tend to pick the union because the MTA is hated in NYC. It doesn't mean people support the strike. If, as the earlier poster said, a question was simply, do you support the strike, I'm guessing the No's would be over 50%.
Holding out for pensions at age 55, which isn't going to win many points with anyone
The strike disproportionately hurts poor people. Rich people live in Manhattan, Jersey or LI, much easier to get in and out of the city from there.
The MTA are the biggest bunch of asses imaginable. They are incompetent, sleazy, and have been absolutely arrogant in their dealings with the workers. Their books change for whatever the situation is. So it's not like there are any good guys here.
But right now, I think most of the city is not very supportive of the union. Neither are the city's generally Dem judges, who have just been hammering the unions so far in hearings. Whether you like the Taylor Law or not, you don't just ignore laws because they don't suit you.
Just because we're generally pro-labor doesn't mean we have to support every union in every dispute. It is possible that a union can be in the wrong sometimes.
I think this issue turns out bad for us in the long run, for these reasons:
Bush didn't try to pull a fast one. They were apparently giving disclosures as they went along, and Bush didn't try to weasel out of this when it came out. This was much better handled than every other Bush gaffe of the past two years.
The complaint about spying on Americans, if eventually the list of targets comes out, and its a bunch of Arab guys from Saudi Arabia, then people are going to quickly forgive the potential threat on civil liberties.
I dont hate Hilliary. It would be nice to have a Dem in power and there's no comparison between Hilliary and what we have in power now.
The problem to progressives is that this is a golden opportunity for us with a president and Congress screwing up in ways previously unimaginable. If HRC is who we get as president, it is hard to then take a step from her to progressive candidates in the future. People get tired of a party after a while, when people get tired of Hilliary, they aren't going to want a more liberal alternative, they are going to elect a Republican.
If we are going to get a truly progressive president and a truly progressive congress, 2006 and 2008 are our big chances. We may not get another opporutnity this good for a long time. So if Dems simply settle for Hilliary right away, it really is a blown chance, because Hilliary will not govern as a progressive. She will throw us crumbs like Bill did, but you have to assume that she will carry on Bill's economic policies (which were much closer to what Reps wanted than what Progressives wanted, and she definitely hasn't been with us on foreign policy issues.
It's just a waste. People are desperate for a change- any change. So why settle for a DNC Dem when we could get a real progressive?
New Jersey isn't that liberal. Strong Republican candidates can do well there. It has gotten less blue in the past decade or so. But it's still blue enough that bad candidates like Forrester or conservative candidates way out of the New Jersey mainstream aren't going to do well. For instance, if the Reps ran Guiliani or McCain in 2008, NJ would probably be very competitive. If they run someone like Allen or Frist, then they will lose by 10-12 points.
This is the best change in the party in recent history because it really makes us better suited to govern independently of ideology. It also makes us less likely to become complacent and corrupt once we regain power.
How courageous of him to regret his support for the Iraq war when the polls are against the Iraq war!
What a crock. I would respect him more if he stood by his initial wrong decision. All this tells me is that Edwards blows with the wind. When the war was popular he was for it, when the war is unpopular he is against it. Classic.
Only Dean had the balls to show real leadership on an issue.
Name me one interesting, thoughtful, even midly controversial position Edwards has. Edwards is for whatever you are for. He is a Focus Group Democrat, and I'm sick of them.
The minute the Democratic party has a platform that can beat out Republicans for Social Conservatives is the minute I am no longer a Democrat. When this party becomes the home for anti-gay, anti-choice, anti trade voters, then what's the point?
Remember, if the Reps ever lost the social conservatives, yes, they would lose votes initially, but it would allow them to take positions that would attract more libertarians and Dem-leaning independents.
Also, social conservatives are directly opposed to our social liberal party base. Even these "pro-government conservatives" are primarily anti-gay and anti-choice.
The reason we are a 50/50 nation right now is not so much societal as it is due to advances in the sophistication of American politics. The political market is very efficient. When one or the other of the two major parties loses, they will adjust their platform to compensate.
If we add these types to our party, then it is a pyrrhic victory because we can't be who we are and accomodate them.
A better goal is to modulate our message enough that these conservatives are less energized and stay home in greater numbers on election day.
I've said this before: we all want a Dem to run NYC, but the NYC Dem party machine keeps cranking out bad candidates. When the Dems give us a good candidate, they will win easily. But it's hard to convince myself, no less anyone else, that a machine politician like Ferrer would make a better mayor than Bloomberg.