Monday, December 29, 2003

Get a Grip: Dean Volunteers WILL Support Other Candidates

I just got an email from one of the leaders of the John Edwards group here in North Carolina about Governor Dean's comments yesterday, which included: "If I don't win the nomination, where do you think those million and a half people, half a million on the Internet, where do you think they're going to go?" he said during a meeting with reporters. "I don't know where they're going to go. They're certainly not going to vote for a conventional Washington politician." (full story: http://www.start.earthlink.net/newsarticle?cat=9&aid=D7VNN0U00_story )

The Edwards volunteer said, "This is appalling and just the opposite of the msg I've consistently heard from you and others locally. If there's some way for local campaign workers to tell him what he should be saying, please do it."

Yes, it is the opposite of what I've been saying and of what 90% or so of the Dean volunteers I'm working with have been saying. We will vote for a "conventional Washington politician" who is a Democrat over George W. Bush in a heartbeat. Do you expect us to just stay home on November 2?

I became a full-time political activist in March 2003 to defeat Bush. I'm delighted that Dr. Dean has continued to be the best candidate since then. But I hope we've all learned something since 2000, when too many people listened to Ralph Nader and believed there wasn't much difference between Al Gore and George W. Bush. There is a huge difference between any of the Democratic candidates and Bush: it's the difference between Democracy and Fascism.

Governor Dean, I hope you win the nomination and the White House. But if you don't win the nomination, I'm going to work as hard as I can for the Democratic nominee. You have many supporters like me who are making great inroads into the current Democratic circles by working for the Party as well as for you. We want to take our country back and we want to take our Party back. We'll take whatever victories we can in 2004 and keep on fighting.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Get Smart: Article on Zephyr Teachout's Triangle Visit

Great story on a great day: http://indyweek.com/durham/current/porch.html

Thanks for coming to the Triangle, Zephyr! And thanks for the great story and picture, Independent!

Pride: Lord of the Right Wing

Check out this flash animation about Golem W. Bush: http://www.bushrecall.org/ctt.asp?u=485694&l=12502.

No sleep til Mordor!

Sunday, December 14, 2003

Get Crazy: Attack Ad Debases Democrats

A new attack ad released in early primary states says that "Howard Dean can just not compete with George Bush on foreign policy." Where does this nonsense come from? Evidently anonymous Democrats who were recently senior members of the Gephardt and Kerry campaigns.

Deaniacs urge Dick Gephardt and John Kerry to denounce this ad. We challenge the other candidates to join Dean in acting with honor in this campaign. Yes, compare and contrast your experiences and plans with those of other candidates. But don't try to tar our candidate or his supporters with a brush dipped in the stinking tar of fear.

The Democratic Party has a chance to become the dominant party again for three reasons:

Reason 1: George Bush and his administration are so dangerous that they trigger the self-defense response in many people. That's why the subtheme of this campaign season has been Anybody But Bush.

Reason 2: The Howard Dean campaign has given the people a real whiff of democracy in action. He's inspired people who have never been political to become grassroots activists. He's shown us a campaign of amazing responsiveness and honor ... something that we can be proud to be part of. And part of it we are. We voted to decline matching funds. Our voices are heard and acted upon at the highest levels in the campaign. The most interesting thing Joe Trippi said at the Grassroots Summit in South Carolina last month was, "The Blog had a good idea today."

Reason 3: Our platform helps the majority of people in the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. Whether you are a poor person seeking an opportunity to better yourself or a rich person seeking to have a populace that does not need to be controlled by force, the Democrats have the plan to make your world a better place. By extension, our platform helps the majority of other countries in their pursuit of life, liberty and happiness, which benefits the world and our own national security.

If the Democratic Party does not embrace these reasons, then it can also give away the race to the Republicans. This would be a political tragedy, giving the neo-conservatives four years to undo the progress of the last century.

This smarmy attack ad risks everything. It brings to mind George Orwell's 1984 and Orson Welles' Citizen Kane. Rather than embracing these three reasons, it spits in the face of a united Democratic Party.

It not only insults the track record of Governor Dean, who has had the best foreign policy ideas of any of the candidates. His ideas have been proven by the continued growth in the sandstorm of hatred we've unleashed by our preemptive attack on Iraq and unraveling of the justification for the attack. To his further credit, Dean says that we should focus on Korea, a real nuclear threat, instead of wasting money, lives, and international goodwill on a hoax of a war.

This ad also insults the grassroots supporters of Dean. It is in the interest of all the other candidates to make it possible for Democratic activists to unite around the Democratic candidate, whoever that may be.

Please, Congressman Gephardt and Senator Kerry. Speak out against ads like this. Fight Bush, not your fellow Democrats. Give us reason to support you as we take our country back.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Get Active: Zephyr in the Triangle & I'm Guest Blogger

Zephyr Teachout and the Drive for Democracy roared into Durham today. It was an all-Zephyr day for this Deaniac, listening to her interview on The State of Things, coordinating one meeting and going to another, and finally ending up with a chance to be a guest blogger with Julie Edwards on the Blog for America. Whoo-hoo, I say!

Here's the thing about being a guest blogger ... at least for me. I was very aware that I was talking to the largest group I ever had in my life. And I was also very aware that the clock was ticking. Julie and I ripped out a quick story, but Zephyr said we needed to put more our ourselves into it. So we put in a few lines, but of course not enough.

Here's the most important thing I left out. Working on the Dean campaign has changed my life in so many ways -- the most important of which is that I've had a chance to meet people who REALLY CARE about the situation of the world, who REALLY THINK about it, and then REALLY DO SOMETHING about it. I'm continually amazed at the energy, endurance, humor, and deep sense of community the Dean people and the Democrats have. Blaise, Kate, Lanya, Peter, Jesse, Mike, Sharon, Antonio, John, Rigo, Betsy, Stephanie, Carol, Bill ... I could go on and on.

Last night, 33 people came out on a dark rainy night for a working meeting to take our country back. Tonight, 25 people came to meet with Zephyr and talk about how we can work together in a smart network of people to bring deep change to our political situation. Later the same night, over sixty people gathered in El Centro Hispano to talk about the power that each one of us has to send out ripples that will overturn the Warship Bush.

You can join us. This is so much more fun than watching a rerun of Friends. And it's a way to find perhaps the best use of your creativity and energy. And as Don said tonight, it's not just that we have an urgent need to get the mad man out of the White House. In North Carolina, we risk having Edwards' vacated Senate seat go to Burr. And Burr won't resign after a single term. We'll have two Republican senators for decades.

Thanks to everyone who has joined the Dean campaign, another campaign, or become active in the Democratic Party. I hope you are having as much fun as I am!

Sunday, December 07, 2003

Get Active: Pleasant Holiday Petitioning

I've just had the most lovely afternoon combining several of my favorite passions: Howard Dean, Democrats, local artists, and holiday cheer.

To get ready, I put on my Howard Dean button, loaded a satchel with Dean bumper stickers and Common Sense brochures, and grabbed two clipboards with petitions to get Dean on the NC ballot.

Then I headed out to the Boylan Art Walk. It's an annual tradition in Boylan Heights: an older neighborhood full of artists and those who love them. Handmade goods of all sorts were available on the porches, front lawns, and sometimes inside the homes. The streets were full of people looking for unusual gifts.

Collecting signatures was simplicity itself. The conversation would go like this:

* Person: "Love your button!"
* Me: "Then perhaps you'd like to sign my petition to get Howard Dean on the North Carolina ballot?"
* Person: "Yes!" or "He's not on the ballot?"

Some people would overhear these conversations and ask what was going on. Usually they would sign too. I gave away Common Sense brochures, bumper stickers, and pins.

I also shamelessly asked any person that I bought something from if they'd like to sign the petition -- no obligation. Everyone said yes.

One woman even wanted to volunteer for the Democratic Party. I happened to have a form for that too.

So, please put on your Dean button, grab some petitions, and go mingle amongst the Democrats. People will approach you. And you'll be surprised how happy people can be to get a bumper sticker or even just meet a fellow Democrat.

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