Thursday, September 22, 2005

Yes Virginia, There IS An Opposition Party!

Finally. The Democrats are finding their voices. In the last two weeks we've been treated to four absolutely suburb analyses of what's wrong with the direction of the country. If the Democrats run on the platform elucidated by these folks, I will be proud of my party again.

John Kerry on Bush's Response to Katrina, speaking at Brown University.
"Katrina is a symbol of all this administration does and doesn't do. Michael Brown -- or Brownie as the President so famously thanked him for doing a heck of a job - Brownie is to Katrina what Paul Bremer is to peace in Iraq; what George Tenet is to slam dunk intelligence; what Paul Wolfowitz is to parades paved with flowers in Baghdad; what Dick Cheney is to visionary energy policy; what Donald Rumsfeld is to basic war planning; what Tom Delay is to ethics; and what George Bush is to "Mission Accomplished" and "Wanted Dead or Alive." The bottom line is simple: The "we'll do whatever it takes" administration doesn't have what it takes to get the job done.

This is the Katrina administration."
Full text here.

John Edwards on Poverty in America, speaking at the Center for American Progress.
"Down in New Orleans, hundreds of thousands of people lost their homes and untold numbers lost their lives because the levees we built were too weak and too low. We knew better, but we didn't act because we didn't want to look. That's how it is with the moral foundations of our society.

All over this country, too many children are growing up in harm's way -- and too many lives are being washed away -- because the levees we've built are too weak and too low. When a 13-year-old girl thinks there's nothing wrong with having a baby that will drive them both toward lives of poverty, we haven't built the levees high enough. When 15-year-old boys become fathers, then walk away, get shot, or go to jail, we haven't built the levees high enough. When young people spend more time going to meth labs than chemistry labs, we haven't built the levees high enough.

We know better, but we don't act because we don't want to look. If we believe in community, we must find the courage to do what communities do: Together, we must stand side by side and man the levees."
Full text here (pdf).

Al Gore on just about everything, speaking at the Sierra Club convention.
"All of us know that our nation - all of us, the United States of America - failed the people of New Orleans and the gulf coast when this hurricane was approaching them, and when it struck. When the corpses of American citizens are floating in toxic floodwaters five days after a hurricane strikes, it is time not only to respond directly to the victims of the catastrophe but to hold the processes of our nation accountable, and the leaders of our nation accountable, for the failures that have taken place.

The Bible in which I believe, in my own faith tradition, says, "Where there is no vision, the people perish."
Full text here.

Robert Kennedy Jr. on the environment and corporate owned media, speaking at the Sierra Club convention.
"Today as a result of the abolishment of that doctrine, six giant multinational corporations now control all 14,000 radio stations in our country, almost all 6,000 TV stations, 80 percent of our newspapers, all of our billboards, and now most of the Internet information services. So you have six guys who are dictating what Americans have as information and what we see as news. The news departments have become corporate profit centers, they no longer have any obligation to benefit the public interest, their only obligation is to their shareholders, and they fulfill that obligation by increasing viewership. How do you do that? Not by reporting the news that we need to hear to make rational decisions in our democracy, but rather by entertaining us, by appealing to the prurient interests that all of us have in the reptilian core of our brain for sex and celebrity gossip.

So they give us Laci Peterson and Michael Jackson and Kobe Bryant, and we're today the best-entertained and the least-informed people on the face of the earth, and this is a real threat to American democracy. If you look at the PIPA report, and I've known this for many, many years because I do 40 speeches a year in red states -- Republican audiences -- there is no difference. When people hear this message and what this White House is doing, and the Gingrich Congress, there is no difference between the way Republicans react and Democrats react, except the Republicans come up afterward and say, "Why haven't we ever heard of this before?" I say to them, "It's because you're watching Fox News and listening to Rush." And 80 percent of Republicans are just Democrats who don't know what's going on."
Full text here.

You go guys.

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