At least part of politics is about forming personal relationships with people.
Local politicians are going to have a leg up.
Geoghegan made my top four preferred candidates in the race (Forys, Fritchey, Geoghegan and Quigley), but it's asking alot for national bloggers to ask locals to set aside personal relationships built over years over minor ideological quibbles.
It seemed like the national guys were asking locals to prioritize the personal relationships the national progressive activists and bloggers had with Geoghegan over the personal relationships locals had with Feigenholtz, Forys, Fritchey, O'Connor and Quigley.
Howard Dean was right on the Iraq War. It's just that he was six months ahead of the voters and four years ahead of the media elites.
Geoghegan is right on Social Security and single-payer, but he's probably a decade ahead of the rest of the country.
Only later in the campaign did Geoghegan describe his position in a way that clicked for me.
Geoghegan argues that the WTO and related international trade agreements and int'l financial institutions disallows countries from protecting their farmers and industries in the ways the United States has used. These institutions do allow countries to protect their farmers and industries with the techniques used in Europe.
The gov't can provide health care and pensions.
U.S. industry (and American farmers) are losing competitively b/c they are expected to shoulder their pension and health care costs while their competitors aren't.
Geoghegan's point is partly that changing the U.S. health care system and pension system is inevitable and partly that it's essential to compete (protect jobs).
Geoghegan did not clearly explain his analysis from the beginning.
I think he's right on a hugely important issue, but the guy was too far ahead of everyone else and his explanation to voters was not effective.
Geoghegan should start a national non-profit or affiliate with an existing think tank or non-profit to educate people on the issue.
But just b/c Geoghegan is brilliant doesn't mean the most appropriate place for him is in Congress.
Quigley was putting out some hardcore pandering to seniors on Twitter.
For example, Quigley said he wants to not tax senior income up to $50,000.
Remember, Social Security income doesn't count toward taxable income. A senior with $45,000 per year in non-Social Security income probably has at least $18,000 in Social Security income, probably much more.
And a senior making that kind of money probably has his/her house paid off. And, of course, s/he has Medicare.
Quigley advocating for eliminating income tax on seniors who seem affluent to me is part pandering and part ignorance of policy. (Mike is more of a policy wonk than most of the Illinois delegation.)
And announcing pandering to seniors on Twitter seems goofy in that Facebook and Twitter are more geered to a younger audience.
I first met Mike Quigley about ten years ago. As my dad points out, Quigley is one of two politicians who ever came to my dad's house. The first was a GOP incumbent going door-to-door in Bloomington, IN. The next was Quigs.
Quigley came to speak to a small group of people (under a dozen) who were ecology activists who were either volunteer stewards, like my dad, or people who came out for workdays, again as volunteers.
Quigley ultimately came to chair the committee that overseas the Cook County Forest Preserve District. He is a committed environmentalist grounded in local activism, not theories about western public lands or global warming.
Here's what the district gets in Quigley. He's a smart guy, who is willing to stand-up to those in power. Quigley has been a tough critic of the president of the Cook County board on the budget. He's been tough on the Cook County sheriff's department. And Quigley was the leading voice in calling out Mayor Richard M. Daley on the abuses of tax increment financing districts (TIFs).
While Quigley is a progressive, his dominant instinct is as a good government reformer. Like Sen. Russ Feingold, I suspect progressives are going to find Quigley an ally willing to go the extra distance on some issues, like expanding transportation, but on a few issues Quigley is going to stand for fiscal discipline, which will be frustrating.
Quigley was an Obama delegate, so I think Quigley will try hard to see the merit in gov't expansion proposed by Obama.
Quigley is not going to be as pro-labor as Rep. Phil Hare. Quigley is not going to climb into Dem leadership like Jan Schakowsky. But Quigley is going to look like a flaming liberal compared to Rahm Emanuel, Rod Blagojevich (only Illinois Dem to vote for Iraq War) and Dan Rostenkowski, the last three Dems to represent the district.
And on Israel and Middle East policy, Quigley will vote more hawkish. Fair warning.
Quit pretending there is some "average Israeli" who is quite reasonable.
The Israeli gov't has consistently expanded settlements for a long time under various governments.
You may like to tell yourself that Israelis are nice people, but from the external point of view one has to focus on what Israel does, not the theoretical of some liberal granny somewhere.
When one looks at what Israel does, the goal of Israel becomes clear. Israel exists to steal land to fulfill the vision of Israel existing between the Med and the Jordan River. That's the symbolism of the Israeli flag, right?
Israel just did a billion dollars of damage to Palestinian infrastructure, so it's a little bit of a bad comparison to say pulling U.S. aid to Israel and Palestine would be equivalent in the short term.
What would be equivalent is if the United States bombed Israel for a month (or a major part of Israel) and then pulled aid for both sides.
This is basic all-or-nothing, with-me-or-against-me logic.
U.S. policy currently is that Iran getting nuclear weapons would be a bad thing.
How is a nuclear-armed Israel helpful to the United States persuading Iran to abandon its nuclear weapons program?
But even if U.S. and Israeli interests are in sync vis-a-vis Iran's nuclear weapons program, this does not change the fact that U.S. and Israeli interests diverge with respect to the Palestinians. Israel wants to annex land; the United States would benefit from a just and lasting peace.