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Friday, August 11, 2006

The War is Still Over

Posted by on August 11 at 11:42 AM

Exactly a month after Sen. Maria Cantwell absorbed anti-war candidate Mark Wilson into her campaign—the wisdom of that ploy, initially seen by some as a sloppy gaffe, has been made plain. In fact, in my endless “The War is Over” posts and posts before the Wilson hire, I kept arguing that the war issue was overblown and was actually diminishing in the Cantwell race. And so, I saw the Wilson hire as the final chapter, rather than the initial attempt, to get control of war dissent.

Last night may have been the epilogue. Seattle’s 36th District Democrats—a famously dissident voice as of late—changed course and came out as full-fledged pragmatists. The testy anti-war 36th (Ballard, Denny Regrade, Magnolia, Queen Anne) had endorsed Al Runte for mayor last year, stuck by the monorail—God Bless them—and most of all, had been one of Sen. Maria Cantwell’s harshest critics.

However, last night, after the board failed to make any endorsement recommendation, the membership itself voted to endorse Cantwell. Since there wasn’t a recommendation from the board, Cantwell needed a 2/3 vote, or 67%, to get the endorsement. (If the board had given her the nod, she would have only needed 50-plus-1.) Cantwell got 72%.

*On a related note of common sense, the membership also held its nose at Supreme Court Justice Gerry Alexander’s DOMA vote, and gave him the nod—he only needed the simple majority—over right-wing property rights guy John Groen.

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Interesting that Maria got less support from the 36th Dems than from the 43rd Dems - she had a lot higher support in her Endorsement vote (wasn't it something like 82 or 92 percent?) than the 72 percent she got there.

Same-gender marriage isn't as much of an issue at the 36th, so I'm not suprised Justice Gerry Alexander was endorsed by them, as they probably don't regard it as that important.

Not buy the "72%" figure. A result that close would have required a headcount ... but the endorsement won on an immediate visual show of voting slips.

Looked more like 90% to me, but I didn't have a chance to quick-count the whole room (nor did anybody else).

Will, Will, Will --

The 36th District is and has been committed to marriage equality -- it's a plank in our freakin' Platform.

But, weighing a legal decision with reasoning and outcome with which we disagree against the BIAW's wholesale attempt to buy the Washington State courts, we held our noses and voted to protect the judiciary as an institution.

Israel has full gay marriage for all. America can learn a lot by following Israel.

You say you're committed, but when it comes down to actions, one would not be surprised that we in the 43rd don't think you are.

After all, if it wasn't for us, the KCDCC questionnaire wouldn't even ask questions like that.

Oh dear God - I don't recall a vote at the "I care more than you" 43rd to make Will in Seattle our spokesperson. Will, your assertion that members of the 43rd care more about gay marriage then members of the 36th - based, I assume, on the idea that we have more gay people in the 43rd, is embarassing at least. Please stop.

Will could stand to get off Capitol Hill. Hey Will - NEWSFLASH - all gays don't live in Capitol Hill. oh and hey, some of us gays held our noses and supported Gerry last night in the 36th because his opponent is much, much worse. If you don't get that, you are sleeping at the gay activist wheel. You see, Will - that's what political saavy is - it's a calculus that requires you to figure out how to edge closer to our goal. Political saavy is NOT taking your ball and leaving the proverbial playground...or wielding grand statements that essentially paints you as a blowhard. So, that said, giving an opportunity for Groen to get elected by 'punishing' Alexander does nothing but puts another right wing nut in office. Might I suggest you stop admonishing the 36th and spend some time looking for a couple of candidates to run against Madsen and Alexander in the next two elections. That is time much better spent than pissing in the wind.

I understand the why of Will in Seattle's snit about the Chief Justice, though I thoroughly disagree with its result (the non-endorsement by the 43rd) due to the potential effect on the result of the primary ... Mr. Justice John Groen. I'm very, very disappointed that my fellow members of the 43rd District Democrats were so short-sighted, or perhaps unknowledgeable, that they failed to see the big picture of their (in)action. If I'd realized that my colleagues would actually be so easily misled, I would have left the tally table (we were counting the McDermott ballots at the time) and spoken against Will's motion with a reminder of the dire consequences of such tomfoolery.

It's ridiculous to get into a pissing contest ("I'm more progressive ... no, I'm more progressive) between the 36th and the 43rd. Especially, Will, when your stance can only help a truly vile wholly-owned subsidiary of the Farm Bureau and BIAW tilt the Supreme Court against the very progressivism you espouse.

I fully agree this is the time to be pragmatic and get behind Cantwell.

With that said, why in the hell are ANY democrats talking about sticking around Iraq?

It's over. We lost.

There is no plan in which US troops can accomplish any of the stated goals of preventing civil war, protecting civilians or propping up a government that is basically a ethnic census of the non-existant "country."

Why aren't the Democrats pointing out the obvious: there are at least a half-dozen places around the world the troops could actually be doing some good rather than just being target practice and training dummies.

Hell, I'll give my top six:

1. Afganistan and Pakistan border in sufficient numbers to keep chasing al-qaida and dismantling the training camps.

2. Southern Lebanon as a part of a multi-national peacekeeping force to fill the power vacuum currently taken by Hezbollah.

3. The defacto state of Kurdistan.

4. At the Korean border to finally put some diplomatic pressure on the new North Korean nuclear state.

5. Darfur.

6. At major cargo container ports to finally start some semblence of security.

Can anyone seriously tell me most Americans wouldn't strongly resonate with "let's put our troops where they can do some actual good protecting our values, lives and interests abroad?"

We've been had. Bamboozled into a horrific tactical situation, much like the position Israel finds itself in Lebanon.

It's time for the democratic party to cut the crap, call for the end of shooting an elephant, grow up, and talk about putting the troops we have where they can actually do some good.

Oh, one more thing...

Will in Seattle is dead wrong when he suggests that Cantwell "had a lot higher support in her Endorsement vote (wasn't it something like 82 or 92 percent?)" in the 43rd. If he had simply glanced at the 43rd District Democrats website before posting, he would have seen

Maria Cantwell endorsed with 75.9% of the vote to 19.4% for Hong Tran.

... no significant difference that I can see.

Well, so 76 is still more than 72.

And, for the other posters, I don't live on Capitol Hill - and if I cross the street from my house, I'd be in the 36th.

And 72 is wrong. Not just wrong, but fictitious.

the practical holding-ones-nose endorsement vote by the 36th was correct. Alexander has helped with progressive decisions: the lesbian parentage case. his opponent would not help.

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