Thursday, November 06, 2003

On Dean and the "debate" 

Josh Marshall appears to have the same view of the issue that I've expressed here, only he makes it much more clear with his impeccable writing skills.

The Return of Howie D. 

Well, looks like Dean's had at least a bit of a change of heart. Calling his initial statements "clumsy" was just what he needed to do. He managed to keep his "I'm right" face on while recognizing what was definitely a mistake.

I'm far from PC. In fact, I hate the whole concept. But Dean's adoption of the confederate flag means something very different to him than it does to the people who actually have those stickers on their pick-up trucks. PC or not, a mistake is a mistake, and he rightly acknowledged it.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

The Fall of Howard Dean? 

Hesiod has posted a diatribe that does some justice to how I felt watching the beginning of the "debate" last night. I can't get his archive link to work at the moment, but the post is under the heading "Block the Vote".

I understand Dean's point with the flag comments. He's trying to get across the point that poor white folk in the South pull the "R" lever instinctively these days while that very party is screwing them economically. He uses the symbol he does, I assume, to get across the point that the GOP keeps these people in the fold through a policy of "effectively ambiguous" racial policy. (Are we with the CCC, or the NAACP? We got Condi and Powell to assuage the consciences of those educated enough to have one on the issue, but we still tacitly pander to bigotry at every opportunity.)

Dean's use of the symbol, however, undermines a solid message. The Democrats do have policies that best accustom poor white southerners, but not all poor white southerners fly the stars and bars, and not all people who fly the stars and bars are poor white southerners. It's a bad way of getting across the point, and one that is not all that surprising coming from a Vermont governor whose knowledge of the South may not be so deep.

I was raised in the South, and I get what he's saying. I agree with him on the policy issue. I can't accept his use of that symbol, though. And I especially can't accept that he refuses to back down from the use of the symbol. Nobody's (or at least his opponents at the "debate" last night) suggesting that poor white people shouldn't vote Democrat. They're saying they won't pander to bigotry to get votes. Dean's not trying to pander to bigotry, he's just a misinformed Yank showing his total lack of understanding of Southern culture in an effort to get poor whites to vote to their economic advantage instead of following their fears and ignorance into destitution.

The misunderstanding is just that, but all Dean has to do to clear it up is back away from the symbol while keeping his policy point in place. He wouldn't do that, and I agree with Hesiod that it demonstrates an arrogance that is unhelpful to a politician...to be completely blunt, it reminds me Bush.

Just admit you're wrong, apologize for misapplying a clearly divisive symbol in a region you can't possibly connect with culturally, and move on with an otherwise stable and reasonable policy.

UPDATE: The links work now...

Little letters after names on the news... 

Something's got to be done. When a guy like this still runs around with a "D" after his name, the two-party system is truly collapsing. Zell is really making a run at the Liebergnome for the most Republican Democrat around.

It amazes me that this country still tries to fit everyone into two boxes. It just doesn't work. Yes, I understand that the structure of our system lends itself to the two party system, but it doesn't eliminate the possibility of viable parties outside the traditional power structure. Third parties have historically played a vital role in the country's evolution, and could still today were it not for the unspoken agreement between the "opposing" parties that share power now to keep it in the family. Though flawed in many respects, Nader's book does do this point justice and provides convincing evidence.

This country needs some new boxes. Actually, we've already got them, we just don't use them. If we let some "G"s and "L"s into the mainstream of politics in this country, maybe guys like Zell could just call themselves what they are. And progressives wouldn't have to subject themselves to being the bastard stepchildren of the DNC. And real get-out-of-my-backyard GOP old-schoolers could recognize that their party has betrayed them through the neo-con hegemony fiasco and call themselves what they really are..."L"s.

I know it'll never happen...but it'd be nice.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Castrated Broadcasting Service 

It appears as though CBS, in the typical style of today's largely testicle-free media, has pulled its miniseries on the Reagans . This at the behest of the Republican National Convention.

It should surprise nobody, at this point, that the RNC is pissing all over the first amendment, but that it is actually affecting people in the real world is a little disturbing. Especially people in the media, which is, ideally, supposed to question our politicians, our politcal process, and the history of both.

I haven't seen the whole thing (and neither has anyone else), but if it is highly negative, I do find it a little disturbing that they would air it with Reagan still alive and in such poor health. I mean, give the old codger a break. Besides, it would be much more effective, as a means of diluting his future influence and really raising hairs to air it during the mushy-mush that will likely follow the sensational funeral of the arms-dealer/moralist/hypocrite.

Monday, November 03, 2003

As pie 

This bloggin' shit is easy...comments up and running via haloscan.

More links 

Posted a few more, inlcuding some favorite blogs.


Added some links to the sidebar. I'll be adding more, including some of the blogs I hit up daily, during my next break from learning the fabulous rules of legal citation.


I'm trading in my random e-mail ramblings for a shiny new blog. This way, people can more effectively choose whether or not to submit themselves to the steady stream of gibberish that spouts out of my fingers and splatters all over my keyboard. I haven't really decided which way to go with this thing, so expect anything...

In the meantime, visit the Get Broke website...

Getting Ready 

Well...looks like I'm up and running, but no time to mess with it now.



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