Commentary on politics, history, culture, and literature by two Dartmouth graduates and their buddies
WHO WE ARE
Chien Wen Kung graduated from Dartmouth College in 2004 and majored in History and English. He is currently a civil
servant in Singapore. Someday, he hopes to pursue a PhD in History.
John Stevenson graduated from Dartmouth College in 2005 with a BA in Government and War and Peace Studies. He is currently
a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Chicago. He hopes to pursue a career in
teaching and research.
Kwame A. Holmes did not graduate from Dartmouth.
However, after graduating from Florida A+M University in 2003, he began a doctorate in history at the University of Illinois--Urbana Champaign.
Having moved to Chicago to write a dissertation on Black-Gay-Urban life in Washington D.C., he attached himself to the leg of John Stevenson and is thrilled to sporadically blog on the Dartmouth Observer.
Feel free to email him comments, criticisms, spelling/grammar suggestions.
Note From a Clinton Supporter: Or Why Clinton Looks Better Every Day
Wow. It didn't take the Democratic Party long to jettison progressivism after showing Sen. Clinton the door.
Change that Works For You?
Well, apparently it's time for the Fourth Amendment to go under the bus. Surrender Steny Hoyer and Nimcompoop Nancy Pelosi have decided on 'bi-partisanship.' Which really means "Bye, partisan; Hello Republican Rule."
BARACK OBAMA isn’t abandoning his pledge to take public financing for the general election campaign because it’s in his political interest. Certainly not. He isn’t about to become the first candidate since Watergate to run an election fueled entirely with private money because he will be able to raise far more that way than the mere $85 million he’d get if he stuck to his promise — and with which his Republican opponent, John McCain, will have to make do. No, Mr. Obama, or so he would have you believe, is forgoing the money because he is so committed to public financing. Really, it hurts him more than it hurts Fred Wertheimer.
Pardon the sarcasm. But given Mr. Obama’s earlier pledge to “aggressively pursue” an agreement with the Republican nominee to accept public financing, his effort to cloak his broken promise in the smug mantle of selfless dedication to the public good is a little hard to take. “It’s not an easy decision, and especially because I support a robust system of public financing of elections,” Mr. Obama said in a video message to supporters.
Mr. Obama didn’t mention his previous proposal to take public financing if the Republican nominee agreed to do the same — the one for which he received heaps of praise from campaign finance reform advocates such as Mr. Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21, and others, including us. He didn’t mention, as he told the Federal Election Commission last year in seeking to preserve the option, that “Congress concluded some thirty years ago that the public funding alternative . . . would serve core purposes in the public interest: limiting the escalation of campaign spending and the associated pressures on candidates to raise, at the expense of time devoted to public dialogue, ever vaster sums of money.”
Instead, he cast his abandonment of the system as a bold good-government move. “This is our moment, and our country is depending on us,” he said. “So join me, and declare your independence from this broken system and let’s build the first general election campaign that’s truly funded by the American people.” Sure, and if the Founding Fathers were around today, they’d have bundlers, too.
Mr. Obama had an opportunity here to demonstrate that he really is a different kind of politician, willing to put principles and the promises he has made above political calculation. He made a different choice, and anyone can understand why: He’s going to raise a ton of money. Mr. McCain played games with taking federal matching funds for the primaries until it turned out he didn’t need them, and he had a four-month head start in the general election while Mr. Obama was still battling for the nomination. Outside groups are going to come after him. He has thousands of small donors along with his big bundlers. And so on.
Fine. Politicians do what politicians need to do. But they ought to spare us the self-congratulatory back-patting while they’re doing it.
Blue Dog Rep. John Barrow of Georgia has been one of the most enthusiastic enablers of the radical and lawless policies of the Bush administration. When running for re-election, he ran ads accusing his own party of wanting to "cut and run in Iraq," and was one of the 21 Blue Dogs to send a letter to Nancy Pelosi demanding that they be allowed to vote for the Rockefeller/Cheney Senate bill to give warrantless eavesdropping powers to the President and amnesty to lawbreaking telecoms.
As a result of all of that, Barrow faces a serious primary challenge in July from State Senator Regina Thomas, who decided to run against Barrow due to -- as she told Howie Klein when she announced -- "Barrow's failure to support his constituents against the encroachments of powerful Big Business interests." As Klein noted yesterday, Thomas' positions on both foreign and domestic policy are firmly in line with Barack Obama's views and with the Democratic base in that district, while Barrow has continuously supported the most extremist Bush policies, as he himself proudly boasts.
In contrast to Barrow's demands for warrantless eavesdropping and telecom amnesty, here is the statement Regina Thomas issued yesterday (via email):
After reading the FISA bill -- Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act -- I thought "This can not be good for Americans. That the Bush Administration wants unlimited powers for spying on not only terrorists, but on any American citizen. This is against and violates the Constitutional Fourth Amendment [right of] privacy. This also allows warrant-less monitoring of any form of communication in the United States." I was disappointed and dismayed with my Congressman John Barrow supporting this Bush Republican initiative against Americans. Too often Congressman Barrow from the 12th district in Georgia has voted with Bush and the Republicans on key issues.
Despite all of this, The Atlanta Constitution-Journal reported yesterday that Barack Obama -- who has been claiming to be so emphatically opposed to warrantless eavesdropping and telecom amnesty, to say nothing of the Iraq War -- taped a radio endorsement this week for Rep. Barrow, with the specific intent to help him defeat Regina Thomas in the Democratic primary.
The article highlighted the reason Barrow was so eager to have Obama record an ad endorsing him and why it's so potentially important in helping Barrow win his primary:
Barrow beat a Republican incumbent in 2004 and had tough GOP opposition in 2006. But this April, Barrow picked up unexpected opposition from Regina Thomas, a well-known African-American state senator based in Savannah. Barrow is white, and in past primaries in the 12th District, black voters have cast nearly 70 percent of the ballots.
What makes this even more amazing is that, as the article notes, Barrow cynically waited until after Obama's sweeping primary victory in Georgia to endorse him. He did so only once he saw that Obama would likely be the nominee and obviously with the hope of having Obama encourage Barrow's sizable African-American constituency to support him. And now Obama turns around and intervenes in a Democratic primary on behalf of one of the worst Bush enablers in Congress -- not in order to help Barrow defeat an even-worse Republican, but to defeat a far better and plainly credible Democratic challenger.
The Obama wing of the Party started 2007 with Hope and Change. Now it seems that all they have left is Hope.
Yeah, I'm going back to my self-imposed exile. For some reason, I just can't work up the energy to blog about a political contest between two self-absorbed men.