Friday, December 09, 2005

Challenged on the war

If I voted in New York (and maybe I do), I'd get myself to the Democratic primary and cast a vote for Jonathan Tasini for Senator next September. He's just announced and has a progressive platform that includes the number one issue on voters' minds, inlcuding my own: bringing the troops home from Iraq. It is presumed Tasini will have an opponent in the primary--the incumbent, one Hilary Rodham Clinton.
"Senator Clinton is out of step with the values of a majority of New Yorkers. While a majority of New Yorkers support an end to the war, Senator Clinton has repeatedly voiced her support for a war that continues to accumulate unacceptable costs, in terms of American and Iraqi lives and our own government spending," explained Tasini, decribing a central theme of a campaign that is also expected to advocate for fair trade, economic reforms and universal health care. (The Nation)
Tasini is also a blogger (Working Life;but that doesn't figure into my support). He is a well regarded union leader, media presence and progressive policy wonk. Not a lightweight by any means. Clinton has big bucks and name recognition but is noticeably light on principles--at least any principles that progressives could get behind. She was in the dirty half of the democratic Senatorial contingent, voting for the war in Iraq--Kerry-like claims it wasn't a vote for the war notwithstanding (if she voted for it because she really thought the war wasn't foreordained, she is even stupider than she is mendacious--Joe Lieberman in drag). Clinton still can't admit her vote was wrong (she was deceived, you know). Just what we need. Another politician who can't admit a mistake. And she won't back Representative John Murtha's (D.-Pennsylvania) call to bring the troops home as soon as practicable.

Running against Hilary Clinton might seem quixotic, but the primary isn't until September and anger at Clinton amongst Democrats is deep.
Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a slain soldier in Iraq whose August protest outside George Bush's ranchette in Crawford, Texas, made her one of the country's most prominent anti-war advocates, has been almost as vocal in her criticism of the senator as she has been of the president. "Hillary Clinton is the leader of the pack" of pro-war Democrats, says Sheehan, who recently joined the board of the anti-war Progressive Democrats of America group. In an open letter posted in October on filmmaker Michael Moore's web site, Sheehan wrote of Clinton: "I think she is a political animal who believes she has to be a war hawk to keep up with the big boys."

Sheehan added that, "I will resist (Clinton's) candidacy with every bit of my power and strength."
So will I. In 2006, by supporting Tasini's challenge, and in 2008, in any other way, if need be (perish the thought). Tasini's got a website, natch. Get onboard now. Time's a-wastin'.