Friday, March 21, 2008



Independents are coming down hard on the side of Democrats this year, horrified by the essence of what Republican Party rule has wrought over the past 7 years. New polling data shows that the number of voters who identify as Republicans has drastically shrunk. In states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan, GOP self-identification is down by around 10%, an enormous loss that will accelerate the shift for the Republicans from a national party to a small regional party of the Old Confederacy with pockets of support in backward areas of Idaho and Utah. The term "Obamacans" didn't just spring up out of nowhere. It refers to Republicans who would rather see Barack Obama in the White House than have the country suffer through a third George Bush term, helmed by McCain.

The Hagel rumor comes from the right wing propaganda sheet Human Events which points out that Hagel is less than enthusiastic about the new McCain (McBush). “John [McCain] and I have some serious disagreements on foreign policy... It’s not just Iraq. It’s about the direction of where U.S. foreign policy is going over the next few years.”

Hagel has a book coming out next week, America: Our Next Chapter and he's championing independent leadership (the kind that was associated-- even if inaccurately-- with the old McCain before he threw his lot in with the Bush Regime). In it he writes, "In the current impasse, an independent candidate for the presidency, or a bipartisan unity ticket... could be appealing to Americans." That's not a reference to either McBush or Hillary.
Hagel, who's been a harsh critic of the war since 2003, writes that the invasion of Iraq was "the triumph of the so-called neoconservative ideology, as well as Bush administration arrogance and incompetence."

The Vietnam veteran said he had hoped the lessons from that war would give the nation's leaders perspective before troops were sent to Iraq.

"To the astonishment of those of us who lived through the agony of Vietnam, these lessons were ignored in the run-up to the Iraq War," he writes.

Hagel said Vice President Dick Cheney and others "cherry-picked intelligence" and used fear to intensify "war sloganeering."

During visits to the Middle East in December 2002, Hagel said, Israel's top security officials asked, "Do you really understand what you are getting yourselves into?"

Hagel said Bush personally assured him that he would exhaust diplomatic avenues before committing troops to Iraq. The senator said he voted for the war resolution based on those assurances, but regrets the vote because it's now clear that lawmakers were presented with lies and wishful thinking.

Endorsing Obama is less of a jump for New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson. Richardson has deep and strong political ties to the Clintons who have pressured him relentlessly to endorse Hillary. Tuesday's speech on race seems to have sealed the deal, though, for Obama. Here's a statement Richardson e-mailed to supporters early this morning:
During the last year, I have shared with you my vision and hopes for this nation as we look to repair the damage of the last seven years. And you have shared your support, your ideas and your encouragement to my campaign. We have been through a lot together and that is why I wanted to tell you that, after careful and thoughtful deliberation, I have made a decision to endorse Barack Obama for President.

We are blessed to have two great American leaders and great Democrats running for President. My affection and admiration for Hillary Clinton and President Bill Clinton will never waver. It is time, however, for Democrats to stop fighting amongst ourselves and to prepare for the tough fight we will face against John McCain in the fall. The 1990's were a decade of peace and prosperity because of the competent and enlightened leadership of the Clinton administration, but it is now time for a new generation of leadership to lead America forward. Barack Obama will be a historic and a great President, who can bring us the change we so desperately need by bringing us together as a nation here at home and with our allies abroad.

Earlier this week, Senator Barack Obama gave an historic speech. that addressed the issue of race with the eloquence, sincerity, and optimism we have come to expect of him. He inspired us by reminding us of the awesome potential residing in our own responsibility. He asked us to rise above our racially divided past, and to seize the opportunity to carry forward the work of many patriots of all races, who struggled and died to bring us together.

As a Hispanic, I was particularly touched by his words. I have been troubled by the demonization of immigrants--specifically Hispanics-- by too many in this country. Hate crimes against Hispanics are rising as a direct result and now, in tough economic times, people look for scapegoats and I fear that people will continue to exploit our racial differences--and place blame on others not like them. We all know the real culprit-- the disastrous economic policies of the Bush Administration!

Senator Obama has started a discussion in this country long overdue and rejects the politics of pitting race against race. He understands clearly that only by bringing people together, only by bridging our differences can we all succeed together as Americans.

His words are those of a courageous, thoughtful and inspiring leader, who understands that a house divided against itself cannot stand. And, after nearly eight years of George W. Bush, we desperately need such a leader.

To reverse the disastrous policies of the last seven years, rebuild our economy, address the housing and mortgage crisis, bring our troops home from Iraq and restore America's international standing, we need a President who can bring us together as a nation so we can confront our urgent challenges at home and abroad.

During the past year, I got to know Senator Obama as we campaigned against each other for the Presidency, and I felt a kinship with him because we both grew up between words, in a sense, living both abroad and here in America. In part because of these experiences, Barack and I share a deep sense of our nation's special responsibilities in the world.

So, once again, thank you for all you have done for me and my campaign. I wanted to make sure you understood my reasons for my endorsement of Senator Obama. I know that you, no matter what your choice, will do so with the best interests of this nation, in your heart.


Tomorrow's NY Times reports that the Clinton camp took the endorsement badly.
The decision by Mr. Richardson, who ended his own presidential campaign on Jan. 10, to support Mr. Obama was a belt of bad news for Mrs. Clinton. It was a stinging rejection of her candidacy by a man who had served in two senior positions in President Bill Clinton’s administration, and who is one of the nation’s most prominent elected Hispanics. Mr. Richardson came back from vacation to announce his endorsement at a moment when Mrs. Clinton’s hopes of winning the Democratic nomination seem to be dimming.

But potentially more troublesome for Mrs. Clinton was what Mr. Richardson said in announcing his decision. He criticized the tenor of Mrs. Clinton’s campaign. He praised Mr. Obama for the speech he gave in response to the furor over racially incendiary remarks delivered by Mr. Obama’s former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.

And he came close to doing what Mrs. Clinton’s advisers have increasingly feared some big-name Democrat would do as the battle for the nomination drags on: Urge Mrs. Clinton to step aside in the interest of party unity.

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At 11:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another reason the Republican ranks are shrinking is that they are being urged by the likes of Rush Limbaugh to register as Democrats and vote in open primaries for Sen. Clinton. I think they are afraid of the potency of Sen. Obama's campaign and supporters, and have amassed mountains of dirty campaign tactics to use against Sen. Clinton, and believe they can defeat her in November using such tactics. I have seen evidence of the infiltration of Republicans into the primary process self-confessed on conservative forums, and self-confessed in the Texas primary. This is a story that begs to be reported, in my opinion.


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