Monday, February 19, 2007

Nancy Boyda

Nancy, Nancy, Nancy,
Why must you make it so much harder to get re-elected? What is the point of not accepting campaign funds from the DCCC? Because you won as an "independent Democrat" in 2006 after losing by 15 points in 2004 with support from the national party?

Boyda has said, in fact, that she made that decision based on experience. The 2006 race was her second consecutive try to unseat Ryun. Two years earlier, she was strongly supported by the national party and had high-powered advisers on hand — and lost to the Republican incumbent by 15 percentage points.

“She ran an independent campaign for the 2nd District of Kansas [in 2006] and that was what was behind her decision not to be included,” Boyda chief of staff Shannan Guinn told on Friday in explaining Boyda’s decision to turn down the DCCC’s Frontline offer. “
Could it also have been due to the fact that in 2004 there was a generally popular Republican President in George W. Bush at the top of the ticket while in 2006, there was a very popular Democratic Governor in Kathleen Sebelius at the top of the ticket and widespread disapproval of the Republican Party around the country that contributed significantly to your victory?

Don't get me wrong, I voted for you in '06 and I'd do it again if I still lived in your district, but why create an uphill battle in an already tough fight? I appreciate and applaud your desire to be independent from and not beholden to special interests. But it looks like you are already $80,000 behind your now declared opponent, Jim Ryun, who outraised you by $400,000 during the campaign. Plus, you're feeding the conservative machine that regularly and gleefully proclaims that Democrats are divided. What is the danger in being associated with the Party you represent in Congress in a state that now boasts a 48-44 edge in
self identified Democrats versus Republicans.

Tony Snow

I wonder how many war supporters think like Tony Snow speaks and how many are just trying to score cheap political points in the effort by Democrats to debate Iraq war strategy. Sno:w posed a question to Congressional Democrats:
"What I would say to members of Congress is: Calm down and take a look at what's going on, and ask yourself a simple question: If you support the troops, would you deny them the reinforcements they think are necessary to complete the mission?"'
This line of questioning reveals so much about the Republican mindset: the simple, black and white framing of questions of war betrays such a high level of contempt for the American people. Clearly most Americans are interested in re-examing war policy. Remember that Democrats retook both houses of Congress last fall? President Bush consistently reminds us that the decision to send troops to battle is the most difficult decision the Commander-in-Chief can make, and indeed war is never a simple issue. Wouldn't any honest person ask more than just a simple, ill-informed question before making any major decision? By attempting to portray war policy in simple terms, they are demeaning everyone involved in the process of war policy-making. During the war planning process, did the policymakers simply ask "how much support will the troops need?" Of course not. Likewise, while they are there (and as President Bush also acknowledges), there will be changes to the strategy with every new development. Anyone not adapting would, and should be, deemed incompentent. Why are those who question the wisdom of the current, or any, war strategy, labeled "traitors who should be hanged?"

This simple, all or nothing line of thinking suggests that the troops will be deployed indefinitely. What can happen that will override the "support the troops" mentality that will convince war supporters that bringing the troops home is still supporting them? Many Republican representatives were signatories to the 1995 Congressional resolution demanding President Clinton seek their approval before sending troops to Bosnia and refusing to financially support any endeavor? Obviously they have changed their minds. It is absurd to think that a 2002 Senate vote could not be withdrawn or acknowledged as a mistake four and a half years later with mountains of new information. Anyone who has not reconsidered their position has lost touch with not only reality, but how rational human beings think.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Same Sex Marriage

I can't stand it when people oppose same sex marriage. It infuriates me to no end. But that is another post for another time. For now, the Kansas State Legislature is considering a bill that would prevent local municipalities from passing their own legislation that would permit domestic partner benefits and potentially even civil unions, despite the 2005 Kansas Constitutional amendment banning same sex marrige.
State Rep. Lance Kinzer, R-Olathe, said his proposed ban would keep state law on domestic relationships uniform and protect the state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.
What I do love is when purported "conservatives" rant and rave about small government and no interference in the marketplace and on and on about how no one should be able to tell others how to live or spend their money and then use the most personal of issues - religion, sexuality, marriage, medical decisions, and make them the benchmark of their campaigns. I don't know how what "Republican" Representative Kinzer believes in Olathe should have any affect on what I believe in Lawrence or what my friends in Horton believe or what George Tiller believes in Wichita about the role of their local government. If Rep. Kinzer wants to come out in favor of big government, fine. But I think that he, like most other "social conservative" politicians, have simply run out of ideas about how to make Kansas, or the United States, or the world, a better place to live. Scare tactics work for bullies, but true statesmen, true leaders have a vision for everyone.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Republicans for Impeachment

Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) has threatened President Bush with impeachment if either of the two Border Patrol Agents who were sentenced to prison for killing an unarmed illegal immigrant suspected of smuggling drugs across the U.S.-Mexican border are killed in prison. Apparently one of the men was assaulted last week which infuriated Rep. Rohrabacher.
"I tell you, Mr. President, if these men -- especially after this assault -- are murdered in prison, if one of them lose their lives, there's going to be some sort of impeachment talk in Capitol Hill," he told a press conference in Washington D.C.
While I am disappointed in the citizens of California's XXX district who voted for a person who esposes values such as these, I suppose the House of Representatives was created with the intent of providing representation for citizens from all walks of life, regardless of any inherent bigotry, racism or other embarrassing thought processes. But I am more disappointed in the 434 other representatives, not mention the RNC, DNC and just about any other political operation that doesn't constantly remind everyone that Americans, regardless of political stripe, do not believe in spreading hate. Why no one is standing up and saying that the rule of law still trumps any political beliefs is astounding. Why Californians would put up with a Congressman like this is equally puzzling. Statements like this suggest Rep. Rohrbacher condones murder, which I hope he does not.

At least he is willing to consider impeachment.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Lisa Nowak

Would you care more or less about the Lisa Nowak case if, simultaneously, there was a criminal trial occuring involving a former senior administration official charged with lying about and obstructing justice in the search to determine who exposed a covert CIA operative investigating weapons of mass destruction directly after said administration at least exaggerated if not outright lied about the dangers posed by weapons of mass destruction and the CIA operative's husband exposed the exaggerations and/or lies?

Which is more important? Which has zero importance? Which draws more viewers and increases the price of commercial time?

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Molly Ivins

We lost a great one last night. Molly Ivins helped shape the way I think not only about politics but about the world. She inspired me through some very tough times. There is something special about someone who regularly makes you laugh at the horrors of the world while you cry thinking of the ensuing battle to right those wrongs. If there is a definition of "keep on fighting the good fight," it is Molly Ivins.

The best way to honor her and to continue striving for the values she so eloquently elaborated upon, year after year, is to follow some of her most recent advice:

"Think of something to make the ridiculous look ridiculous."

Thank you, Molly.