Thursday, July 14, 2005

The Wednesday Wire's Out

I heart John McQueen. He's filled with integrity and the willingness, even after experiencing so much of politics, to believe that progressive thinking can still win in the Democratic Party. He writes political analysis that even a non-wonky person like me can understand. And, although he may be considered an 'old guard' kinda guy, his work with tech guy/Deaniac Chris Shannon on the Wednesday Wire is a model of a good idea and people of good will leading to great results. So, if you're interested in political analysis for everyday people, check it out...

This week, in the Wednesday Wire:

"...7. State By State.

GEORGIA: Zig Zag the Klepto! Zell Miller left the governorship of Georgia in 1999 and took $60,000 in office entertainment funds with him. He also demanded $20,000 for "unused leave." He was forced by public pressure to pay back the $60K and says that he did not know that he, as a "constitutional officer" of the state, was ineligible to collect for unused leave. No living former Gov, other than Zig Zag, even thought to take the money.

CALIFORNIA. Seems that Duke Cunningham not only had two boats and two California houses that folks were trying to help him financially with, he also had a house in Northern Virginia that also has "funny money" tied to it. I think we are getting over the shock of one man's overwhelming greed, but there is another question that bothers me: When you leave the office, Duke, how do you decide which house to go to? Do you have five sets of house slippers?

CONNECTICUT. Joe Lieberman has an opponent in his own party, at least until the state Dem convention next May. Fairfield Univ. Prof. John Ormer has raised $1000! If he gets 2% of Dem voters on a petition, or 15% at the state convention, he will force a primary. Republicans don't have a clue who to put up against Joe L, who is more popular among Republicans than Democrats. Joe has $1.5 million so far in his campaign war chest against Ormer and Nobody..."

the Democratic Party and Mass Movements

I am way, way out of my depth on the history and academic theory here, and trying to at least learn enough to define terms, from a regular person's viewpoint. But, it seems to me that there is much to save in the Democratic Party's ideals, and much to jettison in it's practices. The people I want to ignite are those who are not politically focused, because that is, I think, most people (most Americans). Mass movements, especially the Civil Rights and the Women's movements, ignited folks and made profound change happen that was broader and more lasting than the results of politics (that's probably why the radical right hates those movements so). So, when the black commentator says it's time to to build a mass movement, it resonates with me.

So, what kind of Democratic Party can work with righteous mass movements, not stifle them? I wonder if that is the kind of change in the Democratic Party that Howard Dean is looking to create?

Being 47, when the Commentator says 'Nobody ever heard of a mass movement of old or even middle-aged people', I think they're being short-sighted. I think the Dean campaign was the beginning of a mass movement that us 30+ were/are thrilled to participate in, even if we had never done so before. The media, as usual, focused in on the youngest people, and I guess that's to be expected. bit disappointing, though.