Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Judging the Rice Senate Commitee Democrats: Getting things done

Concerning the performance of the Democrats on the Senate Committee over-seeing Condi Rice's Secretary of State Nomination:

First of all, you can NOT look at the Democrats individually. This was a team effort. You know that they got together & came up with a game plan. Yes, there were individual agendas & concerns -- but each one seemed to have a role.

Barbara Boxer was definitely the attack dog. Joseph Biden seemed to be the moderate that opened the hole in Rice's credibility through which Boxer, Kerry & all could jump through.

So let's judge them as a team & view them from a team perspective. Then, we can look at them individually.

I didn't see enough of Barak Obama to make a complete judgment. however what I saw of it supplemented with tapes & transcripts I’ve collected, I thought he did well.

I thought he came out light & showed his lack of experience in foreign affairs. that's to be expected I think -- he IS a freshman senator after all. however, I also think he showed his incredible gift of poise, class, intelligence & power of personal story. I look forward to his journey.

I think the expectations on him are too high. we want him to be a superman & save us from the evil bush monsters. & I think that summarizes the reaction to the Dems I’ve seen.

We want them to be Superheroes but frankly Superheroes don't exist.

So we have to get things done using ordinary human strength. that means it's going to take time, we're not going to be able to just overpower evil, & that sometimes we will have to decide our priorities b/c we can't save everyone at once.

& it means sometimes coaxing people along who aren't moving as fast as we want them to.

The mess that we've gotten ourselves into (maybe SOME of us didn't do it but we're here together) -- that mess is not going to be fixed overnight.

It's gonna require patience on our part & constant vigilance (the price for democracy is vigilance, right?)....

As for John Kerry, I don't think his No vote on Rice was empty sop for his former constituency. For one thing, it's obvious he's running again so he looks at us as his current base.

Secondly, he asked very tough, detailed questions, which showed his knowledge & basically put holes in Rice's credibility.

He asked very sharp & critical questions I thought but didn't knock her out (not quite a Boxer knock out but a solid articulate one which he either pulled back from or wasn't able to land)

As for his motivations concerning the No vote: is he belatedly rectifying his Yes vote on the Iraq war or simply trying to not put himself in the same position to defend a "Yes" vote in 2008? could be. maybe he meant it sincerely or maybe it was a political move.

My humble opinion is that Kerry is both a politician & a man who sincerely cares about his country. I think his vote was sincere but I think the politician in him did calculate the political impact of his vote as well.

but you know what? does it matter? if he continues to act & vote the way we want, isn't that a good thing?

As for Joseph Biden, I respect the opinions of those who felt he was weak & hypocritical for voting for Rice when he was so highly critical of Rice. his argument that he was being deferential to the President was suspect. so perhaps the criticism he has received is justified. it is at least worth understanding.

I however did find his questions very tough & his knowledge of the Iraq war formidable. He definitely came across knowing more about the war than Rice did. He put holes in her credibility right from the start – WITHOUT looking partisan.

This was important because it gave him & the other Dems credibility to continue their attacks on Rice & the Bush Administration. I have always found him to be an informed, sharp critic of the Bush administration.

Again it was a team effort & this team worked really well. It was very refreshing to see Democrats so forceful & out-playing the Republicans political – we have seen the opposite to often lately.

In terms of toughness (1-6 performed well IMHO):

  1. Boxer
  1. Boxer
  1. Boxer :-)
  1. Biden
  1. Kerry
  1. Dodd/ Sarbanes
  1. Obama, Chafee, other Dems...
  1. the harsh lighting
  1. the chemicals in the carpeting

# 10 - 10,000,000. the butterfly flapping its wings in china.

& lastly -- & I DO MEAN LAST -- in toughness:

The Republicans for being the rubber stamp the American public needed to ensure our safety.

Thanks for looking out for us, guys!

Recession means that people's incomes, at the employer level, are going down, basically, relative to costs, people are getting laid off. Bush

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