A Straight Shot of Politics

A blog from a gentleman of the Liberal political persuasion dedicated to right reason, clear thinking, cogent argument, and the public good.

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Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States

I have returned from darkness and quiet. I used to style myself as "Joe Claus", Santa Claus’ younger brother because that is what I still look like. I wrote my heart out about liberal politics until June of 2006, when all that could be said had been said. I wrote until I could write no more and I wrote what I best liked to read when I was young and hopeful: the short familiar essays in Engish and American periodicals of 50 to 100 years ago. The archetype of them were those of G.K. Chesterton, written in newspapers and gathered into numerous small books. I am ready to write them again. I am ready to write about life as seen by the impoverished, by the mentally ill, by the thirty years and more of American Buddhist converts, and by the sharp eyed people [so few now in number] with the watcher's disease, the people who watch and watch and watch. I am all of these.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Low and Slow and Under the Radar: The Future of American Politics

Once upon a time, there was a man called Dick Nixon who, after a devastating defeat as Republican candidate for the Governor of California in 1962, vowed that the Press wasn't going to have him to kick around any more.

But politics was his life, and for six solid years he ate rubber chicken from sea to shining sea, fundraising, speechmaking, glad-handing, and schmoozing with the Faithful in little Republican enclaves everywhere from Portland to Dubuque to San Diego.

Two years after Dick's political career was obliterated, his party lost in an avalanche of rejection by voters of the notion that "extremism in the defense of Liberty is no vice." But old Dick soldiered on, pressing the flesh, praising the footsoliders in Republican candidacy everywhere, and picking up political IOU after political IOU.

And--lo and behold!--by 1968 Nixon Was The One!.....The President of the United States.

I received the following e-mail yesterday from Howard Dean's organization, Democracy For America:

"Dear Joseph,

"Lots of people think the Finance Director only raises money. But part of my job here at DFA is to give it away, too. This Thursday we will file an end-of-quarter report with the Federal Election Commission--but I wanted to report to you first. This is your organization, your vehicle for change--and here is a brief recap of what you have accomplished.

"By Thursday we will have:

-- Written checks totaling more than half a million dollars directly to over 350 fiscally responsible, socially progressive candidates who stand up for what they believe in

-- Channeled over a million dollars in contributions to candidates like John Kerry, Tom Daschle and Joe Hoeffel by asking you to contribute directly to them

-- Trained over 2,000 organizers in 22 sessions held around the country

-- Sent Governor Dean to nearly every state in the union where he has given hundreds of speeches on behalf of good candidates running for every level of office

"Against the odds and with a lot of insiders counting you out, you have created the biggest leadership PAC in American politics. And as you can see, we are throwing our weight around.

"Now, a challenge: we can still write checks to candidates for another $200,000 before Thursday. This money will make a difference in crucial races across the country. But we need another $100,000 to do it.
That could be more than $200,000 this week alone--please consider a last-minute contribution of whatever you can afford right now:


"Every dollar will make a difference, and every dollar will go directly to candidates. Those who contribute for this deadline drive will receive a special update just after the deadline passes. What we've done together in these short months has been unprecedented. We will be doing even more in the weeks ahead. Thank you for making all this possible.

Lindsay Lewis
National Finance Director
Democracy for America"

It really wouldn't surprise me if they raised that $100, 000 by tomorrow. One of the most compelling, though largely unnoticed, moments of this year's Democratic Convention was the overwhelming ovation given to Howard Dean by the entire hall the moment he stepped on the platform. No one in the Democratic Party is better or more widely liked, and, as you can see above, he still has the charisma to lead the people who appreciate him most to achieve extraordinary things.

You don't see the Clintons, the Gores, the Liebermans, the Gephardts, the Kusinichs, and the Sharptons doing anything of the kind these days. Nor collecting the IOU's from the Heartland that come with them.

Once upon a time there was a defeated Presidential candidate named Howard Dean....


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You've got to be kidding me. I know people (Ari and Doug are just two examples) that are voting for Bush because the Democrats almost nominated Dean. My wacky liberal best friend Dawn despises him. Not to mention that when it came time to be counted, the Democrats chose the boring, tall guy over the excitable little one. Before the scream, there was Iowa, a place where Dean once led by 20-something points but lost to the man from Vietnam, John Kerry.

-Karol at alarmingnews.com

1:04 PM  
Blogger Joseph Marshall said...

No, I'm not kidding you. This is how real politics works out among us here in the sticks. Just like those 150,000 (mostly Democratic) voters we've put on the rolls in my county since 2000. We are almost to total registration, complete saturation of the voting age population,we've been working so hard. We owe Howard Dean for coming out to help, and we know it.

There are going to be a lot of Democratic occupants of state assembly, school board, county commisioner, and other offices that owe Howard Dean something.

These are the people out of which a political party is built. Will he be nominated again? Don't know. But he will be a power in this party for at least another decade, maybe two.

1:25 PM  
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