Category Archives: 2008 Presidential Election

Giuliani Right on Health Care

Sentora, M. (2007). Giuliani seeks to transform U.S. health care coverage. New York Times. August 1, 2007. Available online: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/01/us/politics/01giuliani.html.

Neither his plan nor the article covering it are perfect, but hard not to like this:

Rudolph W. Giuliani on Tuesday called for transforming the way health care coverage is provided in the United States, advocating a voluntary move from the current employer-based system to one that would grant substantial tax benefits to people who buy their own insurance.

..

And to help the poor or others struggling to afford health insurance, Mr. Giuliani said he would support vouchers and tax refunds, but he gave no details about how he would pay for them.

Mr. Giuliani’s vision stands in stark contrast to the plans offered by the leading Democratic candidates. Both Senator Barack Obama of Illinois and former Senator John Edwards of North Carolina have proposed bolstering the employer-based system by requiring corporations to buy insurance for their workers, and raising taxes or rolling back tax cuts to increase subsidies for health care for the poor.

Corporatism, the idea that companies should be simultaneously protected by the government but expected to fund welfare societies for their workers and dependents, is one of those bad ideas that are just hard to killed. From China’s State-Owned Companies to Detroit’s dinosaurs, too many enterprises and too many workers have been dragged down because governments made the stupid prediction that large companies cannot possibly go bankrupt.

There needs to be some form of universal healthcare, and it should be at least funded by the government through the income tax. Calls for “employer-based healthcare,” like from the junior Senator from Illinois and former junior Senator from North Carolina, are steps in the wrong direction.

John Kerry and/or Bob Shrum slam John Edwards

Shrum, R. 2007. Kerry’s regrets about John Edwards. Time. May 30, 2007. Available online: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1626498-2,00.html.

I can’t imagine a more personal attack than this:

Kerry talked with several potential picks, including Gephardt and Edwards. He was comfortable after his conversations with Gephardt, but even queasier about Edwards after they met. Edwards had told Kerry he was going to share a story with him that he’d never told anyone else—that after his son Wade had been killed, he climbed onto the slab at the funeral home, laid there and hugged his body, and promised that he’d do all he could to make life better for people, to live up to Wade’s ideals of service. Kerry was stunned, not moved, because, as he told me later, Edwards had recounted the same exact story to him, almost in the exact same words, a year or two before—and with the same preface, that he’d never shared the memory with anyone else. Kerry said he found it chilling, and he decided he couldn’t pick Edwards unless he met with him again. When they did, Kerry tried to get a better personal feel for his potential number two; as rivals for national office since 2000, shortly after Edwards had entered the Senate, the two men hadn’t spent a lot of time together. Kerry also wanted a specific reassurance. He asked Edwards for a commitment that if he was chosen and the ticket lost, Edwards wouldn’t run against him in 2008. Edwards agreed “absolutely,” as Kerry recalled him saying. If Kerry had shared this at the time, I would have told him what I did later: it was naive to think he could rely on a promise like that. Unlike Joe Lieberman, who’d been plucked from relative obscurity by Gore, Edwards had made his own mark in the primaries. He was ambitious—and if he saw his chance the next time, he was likely to go for it.

Depending on who is lying, either John Kerry, John Edwards, or Bob Shrum seems to be one of the worst human beings in the world.

McCain-Lieberman 2008

Thermometer Adds Support for McCain-Lieberman Ticket,” by Matt Stoller, MyDD, 29 November 2006, http://mydd.com/story/2006/11/29/151156/84.

The blogosphere is abuzz with speculation on the 2008 election. Barnett is supporting a flake while Safranski is going for the brain. However, it’s hard not to get excited by this:

While Lieberman’s high rating went largely unremarked in our discussions, you can be sure it did not go unremarked among the Unity08 crowd, who are stepping up their operations. And you can be sure that it did not go unremarked among the think tank The Third Way, and Lieberman’s staffers and supporters. They look at their guy and they say ‘We beat the best the left could throw at us, and Joe now has a battle-hardened national constituency he did not have in 2004’.

It gets even more interesting, as Michael Bloomberg takes the number seven spot, wtih 51.1%. The aggregated power of Bloomberg/Lieberman/McCain is formidable when paired with a wounded reactionary base. If Republicans make the calculation in 2008 that they must run away from Bush, a calculation that seems obvious, then a McCain/Lieberman ticket looks quite appealing. Both characters have stood against their party, and their financial base will be unparalleled. Lieberman could just print money in Connecticut, and he’ll be able to do that again in 2008. DC culture will pump massive amounts of cash into their coffers, the GOP base will get behind McCain and Lieberman, and it’s not clear to me if the Democratic Party can stay unified in the face of an assault like that, especially because McCain and Lieberman are both setting themselves up as reformers (Lieberman and Schumer may be fighting over ethics right now).

Certainly McCain-Lieberman would be a better choice than Tom Daschle. Or, gack, John Kerry.

Democrats for Voter Fraud

Verdict is in: Fulton judge way over the line,” by Bob Barr, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 26 April 2006, http://www.bobbarr.org/default.asp?pt=newsdescr&RI=739 (from nowcobbblog).

State Judge Voids Georgia Law Requiring a Photo ID of Voters,” by Brenda Goodman, New York Times, 20 September 2006, A24, http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/20/us/20georgia.html (also at Digital DJs, Election Law, Webloggin).

In a completely unsurprising move for a political party that has failed to win two Presidential cycles (2000,2004) — and six Congressional cycles (1994,1996,1998,2000,2002,2004) — in a row, the Georgia-state Democrats are trying to keep the hope of voting fraud alive.

A state judge ruled [T. Jackson Bedford Jr.] ruled Tuesday that a Georgia law requiring voters to present government-issued photo identification violates the State Constitution and could not be enforced.

Judge Bedford wrote he was particularly troubled by a provision in the law that allows a registered voter without an approved photo ID to cast a ballot on Election Day but says that vote would not be counted unless the voter returned with an ID within two days..


Judge T. Jackson Belford, Jr.

Legislators [had already rewritten] the measure to make ID cards free. Supporters of the law say the cards are necessary to prevent voter fraud.

..

“Yet again, an activist judge is thwarting the will of a majority of Georgia citizens and their elected officials, Speaker Glenn Richardson said.

The suit challenging the ID requirements was filed in state court by former Gov. Roy E. Barnes, a Democrat, on half of two registered voters who said they lacked the kind of photo ID’s required by the law.

The article ends hilariously, with a claim that a voting process which makes it very difficult to find cheaters has found few cheaters. One may as well say rape does not exist in Islamic countries, because it is nearly impossible to process criminally.

This is not the first time that Judge Bedford has made questionable decisions:

The recent incident in Fulton County Superior Court when Judge T. Jackson Bedford ordered District Attorney Paul Howard handcuffed and detained in a holding cell is not only unseemly and bordering on bizarre, but also highly corrosive of the respect for the law and for our judicial process that is essential to the proper functioning of civil society.

Judge Bedford may have set-back efforts to bring elections in the US up to at least Mexican levels of seriousness. So have the Georgia-state Democrats. Shame.

Update The Republicans prove themselves to be the party of voter integrity (hat-tip to the corner), the Democratic National Committee proves itself to be the party of voter fraud, and more works remains to be done. And don’t forget to join the conversation at digg.com.

John McCain Wants Cooperation with the Religious Right

More McCain Reality,” by Scott Shields, MyDD, 4 December 2005, http://mydd.com/story/2005/12/4/123325/460.

Scott Shields, of the partian Democrat but genius blog MyDD, outlines reasons for me to love in 2008.

It’s all right there. McCain is a Bush loyalist whose position on Iraq is ‘stay the course.’ Another issue York touches on in the article is one that I’ve heard Democrats give McCain credit for — fiscal responsibility. To many, McCain’s attacks on pork barrel spending are a nice change of pace from the profligate spending of the last few years of Republican leadership. But John McCain’s definition of pork might be different from theirs. Sure, both sides may agree on the infamous Alaskan ‘Bridge to Nowhere,’ but I strongly doubt that many Democratic McCainiacs support the privatization of Social Security that McCain does.

Just two McCain quotes from the recent Ari Berman article in The Nation, “The Real McCain,” says quite a bit about how far McCain is willing to go to solidify his support from the GOP extremes. He refers to campaigning for Bush in 2004 as “one of the proudest moments of my life.” On Larry King’s show on CNN, he said, “I admire the religious right for the dedication and zeal they put into the political process.” That second quote might be defensible as relatively objective if it weren’t coming from someone who is going to rely on “the dedication and zeal” of the extremists to win in 2008. Personally speaking, there’s nothing I find admirable about the religious right’s attacks on anyone who doesn’t endorse their bigotry.

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John McCain, Republican

Returning to the New Republic article, York quotes McCain saying some surprisingly incendiary things about Democrats that he’s already backpedalling from. This morning on ‘Meet the Press,’ McCain seemed to imply that the quotes were taken out of context. If that’s true, they were taken out of context by someone who seems to support him. But I don’t buy the out of context idea anyway, as these are pretty simple statements without much room for misinterpretation. Much more likely is the explanation that notoriously loose-lipped McCain said some things he now regrets.

With his war hero credibility, McCain is able to dismiss the calls of some of his fellow lawmakers–and fellow veterans–who want to get out of Iraq. John Kerry, McCain says, doesn’t have “the strength to see it through.” And John Murtha is “a lovable guy,” but “he’s never been a big thinker; he’s an appropriator.” Using language that Bush never could, McCain tells me that Murtha has become too emotional about the human cost of the war. “As we get older, we get more sentimental,” McCain says. “And [Murtha] has been very, very affected by the funerals and the families. But you cannot let that affect the way you decide policy.”

tdaxp guest blogger Aaron, a liberal Democrat, has said that he prefers John McCain to Hillary Clinton in 2008. Your thoughts Aaron?

Possible Democrat Candidates for President in 2008

2008 Roundup – The Democrats,” by Scott Shields, MyDD, 26 July 2005, http://www.mydd.com/story/2005/7/26/215835/108.

 

The MyDD post, with my commentary:

 

Hillary Clinton. Say what you will about Hillary, she’s put herself at the top of everyone’s list merely by keeping her name out there. She’s lately engaged in all sorts of high profile activities that seem pretty calculated to get the voting public to reconsider their preconceived notions of her. Rather than running it all down, I’ll trust that you’ve been following the news..

 

Comment: Hillary Clinton will be very strong. She is running to the right on values and to the center on health care. A natural and strong politician.

 

Guest-blogger Aaron has told me she can’t win because she is a woman.

 

John Kerry. Kerry writes a ton of e-mail. But I probably don’t need to tell you that since we’re all on the same lists. As the 2004 nominee, Kerry automatically earns some respect in the race, and some instant support. While he does hold the claim to winning the second highest popular vote total in history, he was a less-than-ideal candidate running what was pretty widely recognized as a bad campaign. I don’t see him winning the nomination again in 2008..

 

Comment: Kerry’s latest email criticized Sandra Day O’Connor, putting him out of step with “go-along” Democrats like Clinton. Being the first Democrat since Dukakis to lose to an majority-elected candidate can’t help. Nor can losing to Bush, to all those Democrats who think Bush is an idiot.

 

Josh and Mark might remind of his fine and politically “interesting” wife, Terehhhhhza

 

John Edwards. Like Kerry, Edwards earns an automatic spot on the list. That said, I don’t think his chances are very good. He’s now a former one-term Senator who had the second spot on a losing ticket. But he’s staying active and staying public. Edwards was never supposed to get as far as he did in 2004, so he can’t be immediately discounted. Then again,.

 

Comment: Like Kerry, Edwards sends out email. Pretty boring ones, mostly, except for those that pine for strong unions.

 

Kos thinks Kerry is a spineless ass.

 

Wesley Clark. Coming out on top of recent straw polls here and at dKos, Clark has emerged as the netroots candidate. Somewhat oddly, he recently joined Fox News as a military/foreign affairs analyst. This shouldn’t have any impact on him in the primaries, but if he manages to endear himself to a few Fox viewers, that’ll pay dividends in the general election..

 

Comment: General Clark made the mistake of letting Michael Moore endorse him. I have little idea what he really believes, as he entered the Democratic ’04 primary as a pro-Iraq-War Republican (literally!).

 

Mark Warner. As Chris wrote earlier, voters in Virginia would rather see Warner, their current chief executive in the White House than George Allen, their former Governor and current Senator, by a 55-to-47% margin. However, Warner may want to challenge Allen for his Senate seat next year. The same poll finds Warner with 47-to-42% support to take over Allen’s position.

 

Warner was another one of the Democrats to speak at the recent blogosphere-boiling DLC conference in Ohio, so he’s definitely running for something. My guess is that he’s still trying to figure it out himself..

 

Comment: Who knows? Who cares?

 

Bill Richardson. Here’s a name that came up time and time again in the lead up to 2004. Lately? Not so much. But still, many consider Richardson a deadly serious contender. He’s a heavyweight in the areas of international relations and energy policy. He’s a Western Democrat. He’s Hispanic. And he’s a Governor. It’s an extremely attractive profile for a Presidential candidate..

 

Comment: Is Wen Ho Lee enough to stop him?

 

Tom Vilsack. Last year, it seemed to me that Vilsack was secretly running for Vice President. Now it seems that he’s learned that sitting back and waiting for a phone call isn’t enough. He’s now the Chairman of the (in some circles dreaded) Democratic Leadership Council. And according to Political Wire, he’s set to launch a website for his Heartland PAC, which seeks to “close the ideas gap” and generally promote activism among Democratic moderates.

 

Now, I take exception to the idea that there is an “ideas gap” between the parties. And I know I’m not alone. We’re told day in and day out that Democrats don’t have any new ideas, that we don’t stand for anything but “no.” Vilsack is essentially making his pitch by saying that this premise is accurate and that he’s out to fix it. That’s hardly a winning strategy for winning over primary voters, grassroots Democrats who, day in and day out, live and breathe the very ideas that Vilsack says are lacking in our party. Then again, if my theory is correct, he doesn’t have to win over primary voters. He just has to win over the person who does win over the primary voters..

 

Comment: When I taught in an Iowa community college, Vilsack gave us a day off of work (or something like that). You have to like a man who knows how to manipulate state employees.

 

Evan Bayh. A few short weeks ago, Bayh was the DLC candidate. Now, in the aftermath of the meeting in Ohio, Bayh has clearly been pushed back in that pack by Hillary. I never took Bayh all that seriously as one needs far more than good looks and the backing of From and Reed to win the nomination..

 

Comment: Bayh-bye?

 

Joe Biden. Biden’s been running since about November 3, 2004. If he could have started running any earlier without looking unseemly, he would have. His new PAC website, Unite Our States, is quite impressive and shows the general tone and feel a Biden Presidential campaign would take on..

 

Comment: Biden’s site is very impressive. As is his blog. A nice, unoffensive cult-of-personality. But no Senator has become President since JFK.

 

There are two big obstacles in Biden’s way. During the primaries, he’ll have to somehow explain his support for the bankruptcy bill — something many Democrats have pledged not to forget. And then in the general election, he’ll repeatedly run into the plagiarism scandal from his 1988 Presidential run. Neither will be an easy task.

 

Russ Feingold. Though Feingold telegraphed early his interest in running, many saw the announcement of his divorce as a de facto end to his chances at winning the nomination. I’d tend to agree if he indicated that he was no longer in the running. The combined stress of a divorce and a brutal campaign seem too daunting for anyone to overcome. But he’s still out there, still campaigning. Don’t count Russ out yet..

 

Comment: For the Presidential nomination, maybe not. But it is safe to count Russ out from winning.

 

South Dakota is the birthplace of McGovern and Humphrey (think Walter Mondale without the charisma). We’re used to losers. Russ looks familiar.

 

Barack Obama. People keep talking about him, but he’s not running. “I am not running for president in 2008.” It doesn’t get any clearer than that..

 

Comment: He would wrap up the American expats in Indonesia community

 

Brian Schweitzer. Again, lots of talk from the grassroots, but he’s not running either. When Schweitzer was asked about all of the people trying to make it happen, he called them “kooky.” I’m sure he meant that in the nicest way possible.

 

Comment: The Montana Governor won his seat by having a Republican as Lieutenant Governor.

 

Only one question remains: What about Daschle?

 

Update: In its “2008 Election Preview,” Right Wing News demonstrates how not to campaign against Hillary.

Joe Biden 2008?

Biden wants to run for president in ’08,” Associated Press, 20 June 2005, http://www.suntimes.com/output/elect/cst-nws-biden20.html.

More competition for Tom Daschle in his dream of becoming the Democrat Presidential Nominee…

Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.) said Sunday he intends to run for president in 2008.

But Biden, who also sought the nomination in 1988, said he would give himself until the end of this year to determine if he really can raise enough money and attract enough support.

Going after the nomination ”is a real possibility,” he said on CBS’ ”Face the Nation.”

”My intention, as I sit here now, is, as I’ve proceeded since last November as if I were going to run. I’m quite frankly going out, seeing whether I can gather the kind of support,” Biden said.

Biden dropped out of the 1988 presidential race after disclosures that he had borrowed from other politicians in his stump speeches and after questions about his law school records.

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The grumpy new President?

Tom Daschle Speculation (Homosexualist South Dakota Values)

‘Architect of the Defeat of Federal Marriage Amendment’ Tom Daschle Receives Homosexual Award,” by Bob Ellis, Dakota Voice, 15 June 2005, http://www.dakotavoice.com/200506/20050615_5.asp (from South Dakota Politics).

The picture

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The caption

Former South Dakota Senator and former Senate Majority Leader Daschle received the New York National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Leadership Award for leading the “successful fight to defeat the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment in the Senate,” according to Roberta Sklar, Communications Director for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

Many consider Daschle’s opposition to the Federal Marriage Amendment a key reason for his 4,508-vote loss to John Thune in November 2004. Daschle was the first Senate party leader in 52 years to lose a re -election bid. …

“Senator Daschle put his quarter-century career in Congress on the line to stand up to the forces of intolerance and division and kill the Federal Marriage Amendment. We are proud to honor such rare courage and leadership,” says Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

The Human Rights Campaign, one of the nation’s most vocal homosexual advocacy groups, gave Daschle a score of 63% on their 2004 scorecard, and 100% on their 2002 scorecard

The speculation:

Accepting an award for standing up to his old constituents won’t win Daschle any friends in South Dakota. NGFLF is extreme enough, even ignoring South Dakota politics. To those new to the Mount Rushmore State: The most visible defense of the homosexualists who volunteered to clean up litter on a South Dakota highway was by the Ku Klux Klan. I believe the Grand Wizard’s quote was “Who cares who does it? The roads need to be clean!”

But Daschle keeps making noises about running again. If he’s not going to run from South Dakota, he could either

  • move, and run from another state, or
  • run for President

Moving to another state just isn’t likely. President Daschle, on the other hand…

Tom almost decided to in 2004. He was so close, in fact, that the Sioux Falls Argus Leader ran a front-page banner headline saying Daschle was in. It looks like Daschle is presenting himself as the liberal alternative to Hillary Clinton in 2008, who has been moving right on cultural issues.

Daschle ’08?

Network Politics, Part 5, 4GW / 4GW: John Kerry

Note: This is a selection from Network Politics, a tdaxp series.

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Kerry takes on … the gays,” by kos, Daily Kos, 9 May 2005, http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2005/5/9/15543/65846.

John Kerry Needs To Go Away,” by John in DC, America Blog, 9 May 2005, http://americablog.blogspot.com/2005/05/john-kerry-needs-to-go-away.html.

Another post illustrating Fourth Generation Political theory and the dysfunctional nature of the liberal “netroots”

But first, some definitions

  • The Fourth Generation of Modern Politics (4GP): a modern method of politics designed to seize the government and enact laws. When successful it is based on flat-horizontal-strong ideological networks. Resistant to decapitation attacks, these peer-to-peer nets can sustain themselves for fights that last decades. A 4GP struggle evolves in three unique stages, though the network can go back and forth or even be at different stages in different places at the same time.
  • 4GP’s First Stage (4GPS1): This first stage of a 4GP net, characterized by a weak 4GP movement and a strong enemy. 4GPS1 attacks are known as “node takedown,” “the politics of personal destruction,” “agitation-propaganda,” or just “horror stories.” These are high-profile symbolic attacks designed to recruit followers through “militancy.”
  • 4GP’s Second Stage (4GPS2): The second stage of a 4GP, characterized by a strong 4GP movement and a peer-strength enemy. The most popular kind of 4GPS2 attack is “network contestment,” where the insurgent network tries to steal members away from an existing network in mass, or otherwise inflict mass harm on the victim net.
  • 4GP’s Third Stage (4GPS3): The final stage of 4GP, characterized by direct assaults and take-over of the government, the military, and police powers. 4GPS3 attacks are known as “elections,” “judicial nominations,” “Presidential appointments,” or similar names. These are attacks by very strong 4GP networks that attempt to co-opt the government for its own purposes. Successful 4GPS3 is the goal of almost every 4GP network.

Now, the story.


John Kerry was the Democrat nominee for President in 2004 and he wants to run again 2008. He is faced with a population that looks like this:

“Blue” liberals are outnumbered by “Red” conservatives 3:2. These factions spend their time arguing and trying to make each other look bad. The general population — folks who don’t care that much one way or the other — are broken down on similar lines. Visually:

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Contemporary Politics
Lines represent supportive political communication, arrows represent attacks. Note that the “playing field” is tilted toward Red Conservatives, and that the Conservative net is thicker

The only way for liberals to win is to tear off a substantial fraction of undecided moderates. Kerry wants to run for President in 2008, and he knows that unless the “liberal” Democrats tear off a substantial number of moderates, his party will lose again. Kerry saw a good opportunity to do this when the Massachusetts Democrat Party pondered supporting homosexualist marriage. So Kerry publicly opposed homosexualist marriage in his home state, in an attempt to form bonds with moderates who also oppose homosexualist marriage. If successful, this would change the correlation to forces to favor the Democrats and liberal groups. Visually:

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Kerry’s Appeal to the Center
John Kerry publicly opposed homosexualist marriages to attempt to form common bonds with Republican-leaning moderates.

Trying to steal Republican supports this way is network contestment — classic 4GPS2. To work it requires the liberal base — the “netroots” — to support him. It requires liberal radicals to realize that a successful 4GPS2 attack makes successful 4GPS3 attacks more likely, and it requires the liberal radicals to believe that political struggle without 4GPS3 victories is useless.

Guess how well that turned out.

dKos:

Before the election I called Kerry a “spineless ass” for his opposition (where none was warranted) of gay marriage in Massachusetts. Opposition that was clearly politically motivated given his past support on the issue. Well, my assessment remains operative.

Kos is launching a 4GPS1 attack on his ally, while his ally is attacking Republicans with a 4GPS2 attack! Friendly fire!

Visually:

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Liberal Radicals Attack Their Ally

This is like terrorists attacking Abu Zarqawi because that terrorist was spending too much time controlling territory at night and not enough setting off car bombs.

But it gets worse for the liberal network. The attack isn’t an end in itself. It has a goal

America Blog:

I’ve had it with this jerk. He was a lousy presidential candidate, couldn’t find a consistent position non the Iraq war if his life depended on it, and now the only consistent message he’s been able to find post-election is to bash gays.

Note to Kerry: Go away. You were a crappy candidate, a milquetoast Senator (Kennedy always pulled your weight, anyway), and now you have the nerve to weigh in AGAINST gay rights in your own state? Grow a pair, buddy, then come back and we’ll talk.

If you dare run for president again, I’ll be telling the world loud and clear that I voted for John Kerry for president, before I voted against him.

The goal of the netroot attack on Kerry is to disconnect Kerry.

The goal of the liberal radicals is to shrink the liberal network.

The visual is astounding

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America Blog‘s Future Worth Creating: Kerry Disconnected

Disconnection is something reserved for The Enemy.

Of course, liberal radicals believe that Washington Democrats are the enemies.

The outlook for conservatives: good.


Network Politics, a tdaxp series
Introduction: Net-Attacks and Counter-Attacks
Part 1, 0GW / 4GW: Iraqi Sunnis
Part 2, 0GW / 4GW: Christian Conservatives
Part 3, 1GW / 4GW: George Soros
Part 4, 2GW / 4GW: Social Security
Part 5, 4GW / 4GW: John Kerry