Sunday, November 05, 2006

Amen, Brother Bill!

I was just watching that master politician, President Bill Clinton, on the stump for Harold Ford in Tennessee on Wednesday. He had a couple of great quotes that sum up nicely some of the key things at stake on Tuesday.

He spoke about Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and the ideologues surrounding him and their dismissive attitude about "lesser mortals" such as himself, General Brent Scowcroft and Colin Powell, who all warned about the dangers of breaking a country like Iraq and trying to impose American-style democracy on it at gunpoint. These individuals, in the Rumsfeldian world view, were fatally constrained by their membership in the "reality-based" universe, whereas if you are a powerful empire you can impose your will and free yourself from the shackles of petty considerations of fact and reality. President Clinton looked at the audience and said, "I grew up in an alcoholic home. I spent most of my childhood trying to get into the reality-based community. I LIKE it here!" A vote for Democrats means a return to reality, to fact, to sober evaluation of current events based on history and precedent rather than ideology or flights of fancy or favors to influential friends. These people have had their chance to demonstrate how well ideology and fanaticism function as a governing principle. It's nearly driven us over a cliff, all of us. It's time for some reality and accountability.

Second, President Clinton said that when he left office, he resolved never to allow a mean or angry thought to color his remarks or view on the state of the world and the nation. He cited his friendship with both Bush 41 and 43, going out of his way to say that he thought the current President was a good man and that disagreeing with someone doesn't make that someone a bad person(or a pervert, or a traitor, or a defeatist, or an appeaser or a you- fill- in -the- blank here). He called on the audience to embrace the better angels of their nature and not answer the kind of ugliness we've seen in this campaign with more ugliness. He summoned everyone to a better, more effective and solution-oriented, and maybe even kinder and gentler politics. But we are not going to get this unless we vote in Democrats. Just this morning, Senator Elizabeth Dole declared the Democrats want the United States to lose in Iraq, which is tantamount to calling them traitors. We're going to get more of the same unless a different group of people get the green light to walk the halls of Congress.

I'm preaching to the choir here, just as President Clinton was at the Ford rally, but if there are any persuadables out there that you know in any state, get on the phone or computer and start badgering them to make sure to vote. A better world hangs in the balance.


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