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Posts tagged John Kerry

The Very Possibility

In the wake of being shown, once again, definitively, by his own people, that his only legal justification for war against Iraq turned out to be a bunch of hooey, George W. Bush responded today by showing that he has difficulty with understanding modalities:

Bush shot back a few hours later at a campaign rally in Wisconsin. Bush quoted Kerry, who wondered aloud in a speech two years ago whether Saddam Hussein might invade allies in the region or let the weapons of mass destruction he was suspected of possessing slide off to one group or another in a region where weapons are the currency or the trade.

Now today, my opponent tries to say I made up reasons to go to war, Bush told cheering supporters at an outdoor rally. Just who’s the one trying to mislead the American people?

You are, dummy.

John Kerry’s faults are many–and that’s especially true on assault on Iraq. But speculating about a dangerous possibility is different from asserting that it is actually so. Thus, Kerry favored inspections to determine whether or not this possibility was the case–backed by the threat of military force. That was a stupid-ass position, but not nearly as stupid-ass a position as the one held by Mr. Bush–who proclaimed as fact, in front of God and everybody, that Saddam Hussein’s regime possessed biological and chemical weapons, was in the process of developing nuclear weapons, and posed a grave and gathering threat to the people of the United States, and so decided to force an end to inspections for no reason whatsoever (other than the time-table of his war planners).

Kerry damn well should have known better from the start. So much the worse for him, but in light of new evidence he’s admitted that he made a mistake about Iraq. Bush, on the other hand, intends to show us how resolute a Commander-in-Chief he is by insisting that it just doesn’t matter whether or not he told a bunch of lies, and that America is safer today with Saddam Hussein in prison.

Safer from what?


photo: a MILLION march for choice!

I’m more than a little worn out from driving, so there won’t be much to say about the March tonight. But I would like to point out that it was incredible, that it was enormous, and that I’m humbled, and delighted, to have been a part of it.

The organizers estimate an astounding 1.15 MILLION PEOPLE attended the March. Volunteers were working on putting together a person-by-person count; I’d be interested to see how close that poll came to the estimated figure. In any case, even the lowball police estimates (according to the Washington Post) put the figure over 750,000-850,000. No matter how you count it this was the largest march on Washington DC in history. The downtown of Washington has something of the air of a stately necropolis; but on Sunday, it was no longer the tomb of American law. It was alive and seething, and we were standing up there to make the law defend a woman’s right to control her own body.

Snide sidebar: Randall Terry gave an interview on the morning news the day of the March, promising an ocean of signs and banners to confront the marchers. It seems that like the Aral Sea, Terry’s ocean had receded quite a bit. There were a few antis strung out in ragged lines across two or three city blocks; Randall Terry positioned himself in front of some fetus signs pasted up on free standing boards. When I saw the interview on the morning news, I went back to the hotel room and made up a sign for blocking the computer-generated fetus graphics that read Randall Terry GO HOME; if I’d known what the anti contingent would be like, I would have made it Is this the best you can do?

I am awestruck and hopeful about what has just happened in the capital. This was incredible. It was historic. I only wish that I could have sat down with the organizers and talked about the mobilization effort that went into it over the past several months; I am sure that there is a fascinating story to tell about the use of the March for Women’s Lives MeetUp and other Internet geegaws for organizing, and the incredible way in which these online tools were transitioned into real offline action.

Have you written a letter to the editor of your local newspaper explaining your support for the March (and abortion rights) yet? If not, you should. It’s time to take this piece of history into the future. The political bloviators and spin-meisters need to hear, loud and clear, how 1.15 MILLION PEOPLE just stood up and marched for choice, and how millions more stand behind them. If we raise this issue–if we put women’s rights to their own bodies on the table–if we make George W. Bush talk about it rather than utter mealy-mouthed dodges from one side of his mouth and anti-choice code words from the other–if we make John Kerry talk about it rather than look nervous and start muttering weak euphemisms–then we will win and the antis will lose.

Let’s begin.

One More Week

Stand Up for Choice! Sign up to march with pro-choice friends

March for Choice on April 25!

One more week until L. and I are headed to Washington DC, to join what is likely to be the largest pro-choice march in the nation’s history. The hotel reservations have been placed; breakfast will come from Food Not Bombs; all that we need now is an oil change for the car and some posterboard for the signs. I’m getting really excited about the march: Washington is a great place to visit, the march will be an awesome experience, and I hope that this will be an important step towards lighting a fire under John Kerry and the Democrats to start pushing abortion rights, hard, to defeat George W. Bush. (And yes, I said abortion rights–not some mealy-mouthed incantation of the word choice that actually means nothing. We don’t need more of that after 8 years of Clintonian apologies for being pro-choice. We need a movement, and pro-choice politicians, who will be unapologetic about supporting women’s rights to control their own uterus. Morality is on our side, not the side of male power and coercion.) The fact is that if the Democrats made the upcoming election a referendum on abortion rights, they would win easily; and with this election season march we have a chance to catapault the issue into the center of the debate. Let’s hope that our putative allies have the sense to pick up the ball and run with it.


I want a sign just like this one.

Above all else, let’s make this March everything that the pro-choice movement should be: radical, agitating, unapologetic, aware and proud of the radical feminist movement that fought and won the first battles only thirty years ago. These are women’s lives, people, not something that we should have to bandy crooked words with a bunch of dickheads in government office over, or quibble with men in black robes over compelling State interests to justify. Let’s move the movement back to the passion, conviction, energy, creativity, and justice of its radical feminist roots. L. and I are making up our own signs (I’m sure there will be more than enough people to carry NOW and FMF banners without our help…); we haven’t made a final decision on the slogans yet, but here’s some ideas we’ve been mulling over:



Men don’t get pregnant, men don’t bear children. Men just make laws.

RADICAL FEMINISM: Because your body belongs to you, not Jerry Falwell

What do you think? And who else is coming to the March next weekend? Let me know and maybe we can grab some dinner together in DC. Hope to see you there!

What’s to muddy?

According to Salon, some Democratic Party media flacks are wringing their hands over ads from MoveOn, the Media Fund, and others. The fear? No centralized command-and-control. Thus, they worry, Liberal group ads may muddy Kerry message:

Liberal interest groups are running television ads meant to hurt President Bush and, in effect, help Democratic rival John Kerry. But some media strategists say such efforts could backfire by muddying Kerry’s message of the moment with the electorate.

Interest groups can’t legally coordinate advertising with political campaigns. That means their ads could address different issues than Kerry’s commercials, be nastier than his advisers prefer, clutter the airwaves, stray from obvious themes — the economy and national security — or politicize issues Kerry would rather leave alone.

[N.B.: issues Kerry would rather leave alone is short for the warEd.]

If I were Kerry’s folks, I’d be up nights worrying about this, said Bill Carrick, a veteran Democratic media consultant.

Personally, if I were Kerry’s folks, I’d be up nights worrying about the logically prior question: doesn’t Kerry need to have a message before anyone could count as muddying it?

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