Saturday, August 13, 2005

Talking with Wes Clark

I had a chance to talk with Wes Clark on Thursday at a fundraiser for WesPAC. We discussed the comparative timeline between WWII and TWOT. He said that if Bush had been in charge during WWII, we would have invaded Brazil.
General Clark is not optimistic about Iraq, saying that one of the better possible outcomes would be for Iraq to become a buffer state for Iran. He told the gathering that the Democratic Party can take back congress next year -- if we contest the congressional elections in all fifty states and demonstrate our respect for red state culture.
I agree. Jon Tester, who's a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate in Montana, is an organic farmer, but I don't think granola ranks high on his campaign agenda. We're not trying to convert folks to Ben & Jerry's. We're trying to win elections in order to wrest power from the wingnuts and set our country back on the right path.
Respecting red state culture and toning down our message are two very different things. Paul Hackett didn't soften his criticism of Bush, and he won 48% of the vote in Ohio's most conservative congressional district. Voters responded positively to his outspoken campaigning.
What does this mean? Respect the values of our fellow citizens. Speak clearly and forthrightly about how we disagree instead of trying to "split the difference" between us and the GOP. (After all, where's the middle ground on Social Security or stem cell research?) That's how we win without compromising our principles.
I met Eric Massa, a former aide to General Clark, who is running for Congress in NY-29. You can read more about him over at DailyKos, read his blog or check back here tomorrow.


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