Yawn: Hillary's Running


The topic below was originally posted in my blog, the Intrepid Liberal Journal.


Hillary Clinton made it official today and joined the fray. Click here to listen to Clinton's official announcement from her website and here to read the actual text.


Frankly, reading and listening to Hillary's announcement is like drinking soda without carbonation. It's focus grouped for the political fifty-yard line. Just like Al Gore in 2000, Hillary will campaign from weakness. Too fearful to offend the "middle class" or appear weak on national security will result in a mealy mouthed posture. Strength stems from authenticity but does Clinton even know who she really is anymore?

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Remembering Barbara Jordan

The topic below was originally posted in my blog the Intrepid Liberal Journal.

Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday this week had me thinking about other pioneers with grace, wisdom and decency. One figure worth remembering is Barbara Jordan. It happens January 17th was the 11th anniversary of her death at the age of 59. Jordan was a rare figure who combined gravitas with humility. She broke down barriers to walk the corridors of power but never forgot where she came from.

Educated in the public schools of Houston, Jordan graduated from Phillis Wheatley High School in 1952. Upon earning her B.A. in political science and history from Texas Southern University in 1956 she graduated from Boston University Law School in 1959. Think about that for moment - a black woman from Texas earned a law degree in 1959.

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Brick By Brick: A Civil Rights Story


The topic below was originally posted on my blog, the Intrepid Liberal Journal.

In 1985, the US vs. Yonkers ruling challenged the institutionalized housing and educational discrimination of an entire city. It was the first time housing discrimination was linked to a segregated school system and this ruling codified a remedy for both.

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Make Your Voices Heard


The topic below was originally posted in my blog the Intrepid Liberal Journal on January 11th.


It's not possible to be a little bit pregnant. Yet the Bush Administration prosecuted the Iraq War as if they were awaiting the results of a pregnancy test. Under Donald Rumsfeld the Pentagon tried to win on the cheap. Without boots on the ground however order could not be established after Saddam fell.


In 2004, President Bush ridiculed John Kerry during his re-election campaign for suggesting more troops were required. In his twenty minute speech Wednesday night the President finally acknowledged an insufficient number of troops resulted in chaos. Iraq was a war of choice and Bush waged it with timidity while claiming the fate of western civilization was at stake.

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Wanted: A Presidential Candidate With Foresight


The topic below was originally posted in my blog the Intrepid Liberal Journal.


The silly season of presidential politics is here. Posturing, fundraising and repositioning to simultaneously win support from party activists and independent voters that decide general elections. A candidate that can thread the needle with their party's base and remain viable to the center has achieved a sublime nexus.


In our current culture a candidate must demonstrate fidelity to their party's core principles and a maverick streak of independence. They must project manliness (or in Hillary Clinton's case toughness) with a soft side of empathy. After six years of Bush's insipid rule a winning candidate will also need to project gravitas but not appear above us. As women are burdened with a double standard Hillary Clinton will have to demonstrate firmness without coming off as shrill. Most importantly a winning candidate better have terrific hair.

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The Mixed Legacy of Gerald R. Ford


The topic below was originally posted in my blog, the Intrepid Liberal Journal.


Gerald R. Ford, a man fate placed on a stage far bigger than his modest persona suggested he belonged is dead at 93. In August 1974 he was appointed America's 38th president when Richard Nixon resigned in disgrace because of the Watergate scandal. Had he not resigned Nixon surely would've been impeached in the House of Representatives and convicted by the Senate.

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Reminiscing About the Future: Al Gore's Announcement Speech


The topic below was originally posted in my blog the Intrepid Liberal Journal.


Working through whom to support for president in 2008 has been cathartic for me. Typically I try candidates on for size by writing hypothetical speeches in their voice and occasionally post the results. I did this with Russ Feingold several months ago and liked how it felt but alas he isn't running. Recently I did the same for Barack Obama and enjoyed the challenge but it required writing in heavy religious overtones and felt uncomfortable. As I review the prospective field in the Democratic Party I neither see nor feel a president among Joe Biden, Wesley Clark, Hillary Clinton, Chris Dodd, John Edwards, John Kerry, Dennis Kucinich, Barack Obama, Bill Richardson and Tom Vilsak.


Each has merits and flaws. From my vantage point however, the right candidate must combine maturity, gravitas, experience, intellect, authenticity, foresight and desire to serve a cause bigger than themselves. Al Gore has flaws of his own but is best suited for the job. We don't need a nominee who sticks their finger to the wind and follows the politics of expediency. Now is also not the time to nominate a pretty face or sound bite machine with a glass jaw. The real question is will Gore run? So I decided to compose a hypothetical announcement speech in Gore's voice and try him on for size. Looking at 2008 I like how Gore fits.

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Democracy's Mr. Fix It: A Podcast Interview With Author Joel S. Hirschhorn


The topic below was originally posted in my blog, the Intrepid Liberal Journal.


Across the political divide Americans understand our democracy has stopped working for them - unless they happen to be comfortably wealthy. Prostitutes are held in higher esteem then today's politicians because at least they're providing a service. Our elected leaders appear to only service themselves and their cronies as Hurricane Katrina exposed to our national shame in 2005.

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The Seduction of Political Inertia


The topic below was originally posted in my blog the
Intrepid Liberal Journal.


Democratic Party strategists must be salivating. An ABC News-Washington Post survey reports 8 out of 10 Americans favor changing the U.S. mission in Iraq from direct combat to training Iraqi troops and significant majorities prefer withdrawing nearly all troops by 2008. The ABC/WAPO Survey also indicates increased support for diplomatic initiatives with Iran and Syria.


Since the Bush Administration has opted to essentially reject the Iraq Study Group's bipartisan recommendations, Democrats have received an early Christmas present: they can embrace the report to appear responsible and allow Iraq to continue dragging down the Republican Party heading into 2008.

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Memo To Incoming Congress: Save Our Country


The diary below was originally posted in my blog the Intrepid Liberal Journal.


Typically, I believe in setting ambitious progressive goals and pursuing them with patient deliberation. There is an ebb and flow to public perception, debate and popular will. The ideal approach is to build coalitions and let policy ideas percolate through the prism of debate. We don't have that luxury now.


Iraq continues to burn, the Taliban is resurgent in Afghanistan and America is perceived as a rudderless giant. Under the Bush regime America is weak and immoral. That is a recipe for calamity. Triangulation and splitting hairs is not an option. Our national security is under the command and control of a sixty-year old adolescent (Bush), a feculent viceroy (Dick Cheney), an inept bureaucrat (Condi Rice) and a scandalous Washington retread (Robert Gates on December 18th).

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Diaries

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