Tag Archives: dean

Bush veto

Yes, it’s a politically-themed post. Probably the only one before 2008, so don’t run away just yet.

The Bush veto of the bipartisan children’s health care plan a few weeks ago really made me angry, but it wasn’t until “Justin Miller responded”:http://twitter.com/incanus77/statuses/310113392 to “my tweet”:http://twitter.com/manton/statuses/310110182 that I started to think about why. Here’s the reason.

When Bush was elected in 2000, I expected this kind of stuff from him. Vetoing stem cell research? Killing children’s health care funding? Sure, par for the course for this Republican. But then 9-11 happened and everything changed. The war. Our president’s priorities changed.

Bush got a free ride from the media during the 2000 election, and again after 9-11. He would make the most incompetent and clumsy mistakes and yet be cut slack because, frankly, expectations are just so much lower for him than any other president in recent history.

At some point in 2004, opinion started to shift, led by folks like Howard Dean (who I’ve “written about before”:http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Amanton.org+howard+dean). Eventually, after Bush won re-election, there would be enough anti-war momentum to matter. And that brings us up to now and this veto.

Everyone is focused on the war. Everyone understands the significance, the mistakes. Most of the country wants it over but we know that it’s complex, and the consequences for any given action will be felt for a decade. Compared to the lives lost in Iraq and the harm done to the stability of the Middle East, the rise of a new generation of terrorists — what does a health care bill matter? Is it worth fighting for?

Democrats in power by a slim majority probably think they have to choose their battles, have to give in on some issues so they can hold on to the important ones, like the war. But I say no. The only thing that works against this stubborn ass in the White House is to take the fight to him. Cut him off at every turn. Don’t give him a freakin’ inch. Call for an override vote again and again.

Every. Single. Day.

That’s how you win. You put people on the ground in every state — organizing, protesting, getting out the vote. You put letters in the hands of our representatives — email, blogs, editorial, flyers. You put a loud voice to what you feel and never, ever back down.

The 50-state strategy

I started writing this post yesterday afternoon. Worried that I would jinx a victory, I wrote two versions: one for a narrow loss and one for what really happened.

Two years ago, after Kerry lost, “I wrote”:http://www.manton.org/2004/11/after_almost_winning.html: “We almost won, and all the hard work of the last 18 months will pay off big in two short years.”

Well, it’s two years later, and we did it. DNC chairman Howard Dean’s “50-state strategy”:http://democrats.org/a/party/a_50_state_strategy/ worked. The media will tell you that the election was just about Iraq and Bush, but it goes deeper than that — voters are sick of Republican corruption, tired of half-hearted attempts at health care, and longing for a real vision for public education. You can see the patterns by looking at the progressive wins in state races and on local propositions too.

There are “20 posts in the politics category”:http://www.manton.org/category/politics.html of my blog, and they include some of my favorites from the last 4 years. It’s nice to be on the winning side again after too long. The next part of the job is for Democrats to show everyone in America that real progress can be made in Washington. Deliver. Then keep organizing and make it all happen again in 2008.