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Let me start by saying how much I appreciated all the energetic responses to my previous post.  Time didn't permit me to respond immediately, but I personally read most of them - positive and negative - and found them thoughtful and challenging.

Rather than belabor some of the points I made in the original post, let me just offer a few quick reactions to some of the responses to my message.

I completely agree that the Democrats need to present and fight for a clearly stated set of core convictions, and that we have not done so as effectively as we need to over the past several election cycles.  We can insist on being principled about the ends we are trying to achieve (e.g. educational opportunity and basic health care for all Americans, honest and accountable government, etc.), without sacrificing our commitment to open debate, intellectual honesty, and civility.  I think its the right thing to do and I also think it will help us win.

I also agree that it is the job of Democratic elected officials to help shape public opinion, and not just respond passively to opinion thats been aggressively shaped by the Republicans PR machinery.  I am simply suggesting, based on my experience, that people will respond to a powerfully progressive agenda when its couched in optimism, pragmatism and our shared American ideals.

Finally, some of you wondered whether I wrote the post myself.  I did.

Again, thanks for the comments.  I look forward to continued dialogue in the future.

(Cross-posted on the Senate blog:

Originally posted to Barack Obama on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 08:53 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Hey, I have something in common With Barack! (4.00)
    I also write my own posts!

    I am an ILL State Assassin. Legalize Qualo. Those in or around Chicago - listen to Boers and Bernstein on 670 AM The Score 2-6, M-F. You'll be glad you did.

    by Larry Horse on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 08:52:32 PM PDT

    •  I don't (4.00)
      I have three assistants who draft my posts for me.  Each day, I give them general instructions about what I want to post (e.g. write something about abortion; write something about Tom DeLay; get into a fight with a troll).  I read over what they wrote, make a few changes, and send it out under the name "dtj."  If I didn't have my assistants helping me, I wouldn't be able to maintain my amazingly prolific output of one diary every few months.  
      •  All my comments are proof-read by Jimmy Carter. (4.00)
        Oh, how he moans about doing it, but he does.  He does.

        (Oh, and by the way, thanks for the follow-up, Senator.  Stick around the next time you have a five minute break and respond to a few comments--it'll get your heart rate up, I assure you!)

        •  Way to Go, Barack (4.00)
          I knew that was your careful writing. And I know it took a whole lot of your time. But let's not call it a post; let's call it what it is:

          One of the greatest political essays of the year.

          •  I was the one who questioned . . . (1.61)
            who wrote his essay.

            What can I say about this latets opus?

            A C for effort?

            A C for responding?

            A C for saying he read what we said?

            Mostly, just pretty depressing.

            Senator Obama should be the future of the Democratic party. If not him, who?


            by nyceve on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 05:09:22 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I can't figure it out (3.96)
              What exactly is it that you want him to write?  Does everything he ever type into the computer have to be something glorious sent from on high?

              You do understand that the minute he decided to put posts onto dkos he decided to engage us in a conversation as equals.  That is striking for 2 reasons 1)that is how it should be with our senators and 2)that almost never happens.

              I personally don't feel that he should be held to any standard above "representing my ideals".  If you want a leader sent from the heavens, I'm sure that there is a political party around that believes that of their officials.  Can't remember the name of it right now though.

              But questioning his honesty (in the form of whether he has a ghostwriter or not) and then bah humbugging his followups is both childish and hypocritical.  If you have a specific criticism for something he said or did, that's one thing, but general disrespect without positive suggestions is unnecessary.

              One of your criticisms (I think) was that he didn't show enough ideas for the future of America.  If that is the case, how about you suggest some before dissing the man?  And try doing it politely.  Maybe if you hold yourself to certain standards, others won't mind being held to them as well.

              •  Diasagree, respectfully with you (3.66)
                I am equal to every single elected representative in this country.  I should not even have to make that point.

                I thrilled beyond words, that Senator Obama took the time to write.

                What can I say.

                He read what we had to say and gave us a cursory response.  Why am I supposed to be so grateful that an elected representative responds.

                This is his damn job! They all should.  These people are serving us.

                It's time that we embrace this fact and so must they!


                by nyceve on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 05:45:41 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yes but (none)
                  Are you sure you want a United States senator surfing blogs at work?  I mean, I'm just a low-level functionary, and even I agree that it's a waste of my time.  (Not to say I don't enjoy it.)

                  <i>Font <b>sarcasm</b> not found.  The above post may be displayed incorrectly.</i>

                •  Actually, you agree (none)
                  You just repeated the line in which I said that that is 1)how it should be and 2)it almost never happens.

                  So actually you respectfully agreed with me.

                  I appreciate your politeness even in your passion.  It is an example to all here who feel strongly on issues.

                  I believe his cursory reponse comes from having gotten hundreds upon hundreds of replies.  How and where do you go through and answer every question or respond to each criticism?  It would be impossible.  He does, however, have an email address on his site where you can ask him questions directly.  I'm sure you will get a response for those questions.  He also has a podcast which is quite good and you should think about listening to.

                •  not so much (none)
                  Why am I supposed to be so grateful that an elected representative responds.  This is his damn job!

                  I guess I thought you were in nyc, nyceve.  Not really Obama's job to represent you.

                  I certainly get a kick out of him & other senators and representatives coming to dKos, but honestly I'm a bit torn about it -- they are supposed to be listening to their constituents, not this national & international gamish we've assembled here.

                  And yes, I have heard of lobbyists, and no, I'm not really naive enough to think senators listen primarily to the people they were sent to represent.  I just wish they would.

                  •  Obama is running for President . . . (3.33)
                    So I am a constiuent.

                    And I'll tell you I hope more than life itself he is the first African-American president.

                    So, we  should challenge the hell out of him.

                    Our comments, however harsh they may be, will make him a better person and a better candidate.


                    by nyceve on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 06:21:26 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  He is? (none)
                      I didn't even know there was an election this year!

                      (though we're just a few indictments away from needing a new one...)

                      •  emptypockets, come on! (none)
                        Long term dude.

                        Obama is running somewhere down the road.

                        No. I don't know which year.


                        by nyceve on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 06:41:53 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  How old are you? (none)
                          Just curious.  You have the cynicism of an old man and the naivity of an 18 year old woman.

                          Seriously not a rip.  Just trying to figure you out.

                        •  it's sort of the trap though isn't it? (4.00)
                          I know nyceve, just giving you shit - sorry.  It's sort of a real issue though -- anyone who comes on the scene strong (think schweitzer, spitzer, obama) we jump ahead to seeing them as a presidential candidates.  I mean, the guy was what, like a state senator?, and now has been a US senator for like 9 months?  We're so eager for great national leaders we don't give these guys time to pay their dues and get their chops at the local levels -- I think to our own detriment, in the end!
                •  This isn't his job (4.00)
                  He is a Senator who represents the people of Illinois. He has no responsibility to spend time posting in a national blog. And just how many other Democratic Senators have taken the time or made the effort to post here?  He took a big risk IMO posting his thoughts here.  He was met with anger, the anger that has been building up in all of us who feel the Democratic Party is too beholden to corporations and not the people they represent.  I'm sure he was taken aback, and that's good.

                  I hope he continues to read what is posted here, and adds his perspective when possible.  I wish my two Democratic Senators would get as involved.

                  •  but does he take money from people.... (3.33)
                    outside Illinois?

                    Or corporate donors from outside Illinois?

                    Definitely, his primary responsibility is to his home state's population, but he's a US Senator.  The Senate has a higher responsibility to regional and national interests than the House does because of their advise and consent role on judicial nominees and administrative nominees, particularly when it comes to the EPA or the CDC.  The longer length of term and smaller size of the senate body tend to be less responsive to the passions of the masses (as the House was intended) but instead more prone to compromise and of course that requires finding common ground with senators from other states with similar interests.  

                    But frankly, any politician that can vote to send our soldiers off to war is a politician who I think should answer not just his constituency but the people of this country.  Granted, that's the House too, but I apply the same rule to them.

                    If I had a nickel for every president who lied the country into war.... Oh, wait....

                    by deep6 on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 06:37:17 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  In order to get Senators to respond... (4.00)
           need to engage them in a dialog first.  I've from the state of IL (Chicago's Western 'burbs to be exact) and I'm damn proud that Senator Obama has taken the time to not only post here but read the responses to his post.  I probably e-mail both Senators Obama and Durbin about once a month concerning different issues facing our country.  I usually don't expect replies, but I do get them.  Their reply may not always be what I would like it to be, but it is comforting to know that my voice was heard at least that day.  Yes, we should engage a dialog of equals, but a dialog requires at least two voices.  I encourage you to write to your own Senators and I'll keep writing to mine.
                    •  I second ya'! (none)
                      I'm from the NW suburbs ( a Rep. Melissa Bean volunteer and constituent) and I'm proud of our Senators Obama and Durbin.  

                      I do wish they had voted to withdraw funding of the Alaskan highway to nowhere yesterday.  Even if the dreaded Coburn proposed it.  I don't believe in pork--even when it benefits Illinois.  Fear of funding reprisals is putting the cart before the horse.  

                •  Actually (4.00)

                     it's not his job to respond to us. Not unless we happen to be citizens of IL. If not, he doesn't have to give two shits about us, our opinions or our hopes. The fact that he does says a lot about the man. Thank you Senator!
                •  I'm pretty sure (none)
                  the NY in your user handle refers to New York, therefore he is not YOUR senator, not YOUR representative.  Please do try to keep that in mind.  Senator Obama represents the great state of Illinois, and to those voters and those voter alone he owes the duty of answering.  That he chooses to do so here is a bonus, and an effort at redefining the Democratic political  conversation.   Stop acting so entitled and focus on what it is you want to say yourself

                  Knowledge is power Power Corrupts Study Hard Be Evil

                  by Magorn on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 08:14:11 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  It's Boor Season, Isn't It? (none)
                  You know, you remind me of an obnoxious customer in a restaurant who feels compelled to remind the server, manager, et. al. that the staff is supposed to cater to you. That might be, but rubbing it in their faces shows a certain narcissistic streak that just on a personal level is disgusting. You are the last person I want to read about or see interacting with those who politically serve--especially one such as Mr. Obama who actually appears to want to interact with constituents. Why don't you go bother Lieberman's or Biden's staff with your self-indulgent crankiness?

                  I think it is a big deal when a national politician makes the effort to engage in this venue. Your cheapshot remarks are proof that it's a big deal. Hell, if I were senator and decided to go a-blogging on a Friday afternoon, and I ended up reading your boorish, arrogant, and presumptive heckling, I'd never click on that link again.

              •  What I want Barack Obama to write: (4.00)

                Dear Vice-President Gore,

                I would be honoured and thrilled to be your running mate in 2008.

                Barack Obama

                Is that so much to ask?

                •  Right on Maryscott! One little correction (none)
                  Dear PRESIDENT Gore!


                  by nyceve on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 07:20:27 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •   "President " Gore (none)
                    would have been ineligible to run again in 2008.  So I think we need to stick with "Vice-President."

                    "Our enemy is innovative and resourceful and so are we. Our enemy never stops thinking of new ways to harm us and our country, and neither do we." G.W. Bush

                    by litigatormom on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 07:38:25 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Absolutely True (none)
                    Al Gore is our legally elected President.  I fervently hope that the puppet and his henchmen who bring disgrace to the Oval Office and this country will someday be brought to justice.
                •  One Minor correction (none)
                  Dear Vice President Gore,

                  I would be thrilled and honored if you would be MY running mate in 2008


                   Barack Obama

                  Knowledge is power Power Corrupts Study Hard Be Evil

                  by Magorn on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 08:15:41 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Obama for President... (none)
                    ...won't happen for a while.  I've heard interviews with the Senator in which he states that by 2008, he'll just be able to find his way to the restrooms on Capitol Hill, much less have enough experience to be President.  He doesn't flat out say he'll never run for pres, he just acknowledges that he needs time to gather experience before moving forward.
                    •  Yeah I know (none)
                      But when someone is so clearly the recipient of Divine  Favor, you'd hate to count him out of anything.
                      For those that aren't Ill. natives Go look up the story of Obama's rise.  Three weeks before the Primary he was distant 3rd for his own party's Nomination (in a year when Dems Were given N0 chance against the Republicans who were running a Charismatic Golden Boy of their own (Jack Ryan was an investment banker who made a fortune and then quit be an inner city public school teacher,  how can you possibly compete with that?)
                      Six weeks Later He was the Nominee of his party running against  carpet bagging Wingnut Alan Keyes.  
                      How can you argue against divine intervention when its discovered 1 1/2 weeks before  the Primary that your unbeatable Democratic opponent had a nasty habit of beating his wife that he'd previously failed to mention, but which leaked out of his sealed divorce records?
                      And then as if God was afraid he was being too subtle,  Its discovered that your unbeatable Republican opponent has Sealed Divorce records all his own, but swore to party elders there was nothing embarrassing in them.   Which must mean  he's got a different definition of the word than most people.  Because when HIS records are leaked its revealed that the ground for divorce cited by his a smoking hot Hollywood starlet Wife (7 of 9 herself, Jerry Ryan)  was that he used to force her to go to BDSM and swinger's clubs and demand she perform public sex acts with him.
                      Suddenly Obama became the unbeatable one, and the best the Republicans could do was run noted Wingnut and perpetual presidential candidate Alan Keyes (apparently Lyndon LarRouche was busy)
                      Clearly either Barack has a closet full of voodoo dolls or this is a clear sign that he is the Chosen one of which the prophecies speak.

                      Knowledge is power Power Corrupts Study Hard Be Evil

                      by Magorn on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 09:18:31 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  Obama is an American (none)
                  Maryscott, I like that note too, but I would hope he would write "honored."  

                  We don't need that extra U.   :)  

                  Le peuple en ce jour sans cesse repète: Ah! ça ira, ça ira, ça ira!

                  by MoDem on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 09:07:41 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  About Mr. Gore (none)
                  Then why don't ever support any of his current endeavors, MaryScott? All you do is cheerlead for 2008 here, but I never see you write about his tv station or anything about his work on climate change and his speeches (which BTW, are not done for political gain.) What is motivating you then to shout about 2008 really? And why would you want him to run in a system you have ranted against so many times here? Do you realize the complete makeover this entire system has to have in order to even allow anyone who has bucked the system to have a chance in winning the Presidency? They already stole it from him once...You don't think they'd do it again? And you can get mad at this and rant at me, or curse at me and say MFer fifty times in a row for all I care... but as a supporter of his too, I get tired of seeing the same cheerleading over and over again just to pull in a few 4s, without seeing real support for the man or at least some semblance of reality as to what he would be up against.
              •  DA, Nobody is Questioning the Senator's Honesty: (none)
                I for one loved his last post and appreciate that he read our posts and responded to us.  A lot of us laid it all out on Senator O'bama.  We piled onto of him our discontent with Lieberman, Biden, the Nelsons, Feinstein, Landreux and the rest of the Senate that disappoints us every day.

                However, he's also done some things that make our stomach's churn also, like voting to confirm Rice.

                You challenged nyceve to come up with ideas for the future.  That's a good thing to do but our elected representative, although not ordained by God or whomever, are capable of doing that without us.  They know what to do, they know what we want them to do, it's just a matter of having the balls to put it all on the line so that the American people, once and for all see that the Democrats can be strong, passionate and not little sissies being scared away by an imbecile like George w. Bush or an arrogant SOB like Dick Cheney.  If they do it, the press will do it too.  If they don't attack, we'll have a_holes like Chris Matthews extolling the virtues of Bush, a man who has ruined everything he's ever touched...the fecal touch.

                Perhaps we see Senator O'bama as a last chance before we give up on the party.  We also want him and them to show disgust and anger for the Republican Party and fork that lightning and rage against the light because they will never rest in peace looking back at what they have and have not done.

                How could they lives with themselves allowing a scumbag like DeLay to let the assault weapons ban die with hardly a word and certainly without anger and disgust?  How can they allow top tax rates, which were once 91% to fall to 15% for dividends? How can they allow our middle class to be set up to become "third world" by ignoring education and instead putting hundreds of billions into Iraq?  How can they sleep at night, allowing a lowlife decide whether or not we have stem cell research.  Where the hell are their voices?  How can they sleep at night knowing how poverty is increasing and it's much too high already?

                I offer the Senator and the Senate Dylan Thomas' "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" assuming an expanding scope encouraging them to act now so they can go gentle into that good night.  

                Do not go gentle into that good night,
                Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
                Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

                Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
                Because their words had forked no lightning they
                Do not go gentle into that good night.

                Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
                Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
                Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

                Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
                And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
                Do not go gentle into that good night.

                Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
                Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
                Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

                And you, my father, there on the sad height,
                Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
                Do not go gentle into that good night.
                Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

                •  that's a lovely sentiment (none)
                  for a warrior and a lousy one for a poltician.   The trick of being a sucessful and effective politician is to pick your battle.  The truth is, Republicans are in control of all three branches of gov't right now; certain things were going to pass no matter how loud the democrats yell and scream about them.  Expending energy fighting those battles only helps your opponenets by providing fund raising fodder for the other side.

                  Constantly screaming in outrage also dulls you message and makes it harder to be heard when you have a chance of making a diference. By picking the spots and keeping their powder dry they DID manage the biggest win of the last 5 years when they hung tough and spiked the dismantling of the social security program.  That's a positive thing that directly afected the lives of millions.

                  Yes we've lost a lot in the past five years and that is because WE failed.  Where it really counts, at the ballot box, we've come up short time and again.   Stop pissing on our reps for playing the hand we've dealt them.

                  I see your Dylan Thomas and Raise you  Boethius:

                  Lord Grant me:
                   the Serenity to accept the things I cannot Change
                  The courage to Change the things I can
                  And the wisdom to know the difference


                  Knowledge is power Power Corrupts Study Hard Be Evil

                  by Magorn on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 08:26:56 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Maryscott, (none)
                    You really need to write a novel.  You write so well.  I'm not refering to the Lying of the Right but a few of the diaries you wrote after the Senator's first diary posting were brilliant.  I haven't been on that much, so I'm sure I've missed many more.  Sometimes we're just pissing in the wind on here and you have to much talent to waste.  Do it for yourself, while the democracy tries to learn that it's not good to be a plutocracy.
                    •  You're too kind. (none)
                      Too sweet.

                      I really, honestly don't think I could ever write a novel. Too A.D.D., you know...

                      •  Many of us have ADD (none)
                        Without the ADD people, Einstein, Edison...etc, this country would not be where it is today.  I started writing a book years ago about taxes and how unfair they've become.  I just might revive that one and add in my view of the underfundings of Social Security and Medicare coming out of the General Fund, something my liberal friends don't understand.  The Republicans understand it and always want to change the subject.

                        You know as well as anyone how hyperfocused ADD people can be.  Our problem is believing we can sustain it.  You sure can, if you love doing what you're doing.  Start one and see what happens.  

                        Do you think there are many Republicans with ADD?  They all, except for Bush, speak as though they don't even have to think about what they are saying.  Bush has it but he's one of the stupid ones who's ADD gets covered up time and time again!  If not, if borne to a middle class family, you can imagine where he'd be today.

                        If I write a book I'd need extensive sentence structure editing, you wouldn't.

            •  How about a 'D' for describing his latest (2.33)
              as "a few quick reactions." Is this really a rapid response? Not my idea of rapid, and it doesn't quite respond to the main lines of commentary. I look forward to his next post, sometime in 2006.
              •  ok, it's a little short (4.00)
                and it doesn't address a lot of the reactions to the initial post, BUT

                --I'd rather see some sort of personal response, rather than no response.

                --Let's cut Obama a bit of a break and give him the latitude to function less as a senator and more as an ordinary citizen here.

                --I believe there will come a day when most reps and senators make time to participate in a few blogs on a regular basis, but my hope is that they will always write their posts themselves AND use blogs as a way to speak honestly and directly, as a spin-free means of communication. Perhaps that is too much to hope for, but there is an opportunity here for elected officials to change the paradigm for communication with their consituents.

                •  That's the point . . . (none)
                  HE IS AN ORDINARY CITIZEN!!

                  He is a servant of the people.  We have forgotten this.


                  by nyceve on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 06:22:59 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  But it's not a 'response' (none)
                  He's right about that much, it is a 'reaction'. He doesn't respond to any of the points that his critics made, as far as I can see anyhow. It strikes me as a non-response. That strengthens my impression of his first diary, which seemed like a drive-by. He has never posted a single comment on the site, neither on the first diary nor this one.
                  •  You can't please some of the people ever (3.50)
                    His previous diary was long, detailed, well-argued. My English-professor wife agreed with me when I suggested it was a text-book case of great writing, structured so that the natural objections to almost every single paragraph were addressed directly in the paragraph following.

                    Most of the initial negative reactions were just sniping by people who'd pick up on a line or two of what he'd said, and fail to read the rest closely enough to see that he'd already considered and addressed their objections. He's a better writer than many of us are readers.

                    By the next day, there were several impassioned diaries in response to him which were themselves well-written, nuanced, honest statements of difference. His response today was, I take it, largely to those. He's saying he basically agrees with their assessment of recent party history, but also sees a role for civility in presenting the populist message.

                    Today, again, several of us are demonstrating our own lack of use for civility. I used to be a New Yorker, and damn it if there were mornings when I didn't outright enjoy being in one of the most blunt-speaking, uncivil metropolises in the country. But I've also lived in the Midwest (and the North West for that matter), can tell you that there are parts of the country where you still won't get anywhere with civility, especially in the form of reasoned debate.

                    While all of us in some abstract way are Obama's "equals," few here match him in reasoned debate. That's why he's qualified to be a senator from a great state (and possibly president someday) ... and I'm not, and you're not. (Jerome a Paris perhaps is, if he'd move to Louisiana where the French thing wouldn't count against him so.)

                    •  I'm not qualified, eh? (none)
                      How good of you to inform me (I must be misreading the Constitution). You must know me quite well in any case...aside from assuming that I can't read carefully, and (presumably) that I can't ever be pleased.

                      As for Obama's first diary, along with many others I commented that it was founded on strawmen, logical gaps, and mere assertion. I also thought it was condescending. You thought it was brilliantly written. The fact we disagree does not make me lacking in reason or uncivil. I'm surprised that anybody who claims the mantle of moral authority would insinuate such a thing.

                      As for my post above, I pointed out that Obama is claiming that this tossed-off diary is a "quick reaction" to comments made weeks ago. Evidently from some of the reactions, close-reading does not please everybody.

              •  The man (4.00)

                  is a United States Senator for crying out loud. It's not like he's loaded with time to respond to every reaction to his post. Cut the man a break.
            •  I liked your initial essay (4.00)
              nyceve, but this comment is just rude and unecessary. I appreciated him reading our comments and taking the time to respond-however briefly!
            •  the first thing i thought of... (4.00)
     response to nyceve's post was, 'Get over yourself, already.'
            •  Missed the point. (4.00)
              I think anyone would have been crazy to try to respond to everything said in the hundreds of responses to the first e-mail.  Instead I think Sen. Obama played it exactly right.  In effect he said "I heard you" but he didn't go into enough detail to ignite another firestorm of hundreds more passionate responses.  If you are disappointed that you didn't get a magnum opus on just your issue, oh well.

              The Bush White House: Where being right gets you fired and being wrong gets you the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

              by Tod on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 10:09:25 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Reaching (none)
            "One of the greatest political essays of the year."


            I think I have read a lot better here from just regular kossacks.

            Let join the other voices saying that I like that we are finally getting Senators to write here.  But I thought Obama's post was rather marginal, and the fauning, all the thanks that goes on when Senators post is rather silly.  These people should be posting here if they want our support.  This is something we deserve, not are priviledged to.  We are finally getting close to having the accountability we should have. It should be perceieved as a requirment that the politicians engage this way, not as some honor.

            (crap my spelling really sucks to day, sorry about that.)

   - Political and Community Coverage of NYC

            by atomicBirdsong on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 08:48:14 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Damn you! (none)
        You made me spill coffee all over my lap. Thank god it wasn't McDonald's coffee!

        "You don't lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case." - Ken Kesey

        by Glinda on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 03:57:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  And the three assistants... (4.00)
        are in Bangalore.
      •  You prof read? (none)

        George W. Bush makes Reagan look smart, Nixon look honest, and his dad look coherent.

        by Dave the pro on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 07:17:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I out source my post writing to India. (none)
        Makes things a lot more cost effective. <snark>
    •  You're also both concerned citizens n/t (none)

      What do members of the Repub. leadership say when they bump into Pres. Bush? "Pardon me."

      by mungley on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 11:59:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for the dialogue, Senator (4.00)
    I was proud to cast my first ballot ever for you (and Howard Dean) in the primary last year.
    •  Have a 4... (4.00)
      ...for voting in the primary!
    •  agreed. Thank you, Senator (4.00)
      when I look at America today, I see so much anger & frustration & a sense of futility.

      we were a nation of hope and confidence.  when did this country become nation of despair.  of hostility.  of Fear?

      when so many in this nation are so concerned about our souls, what happened to our spirit?  our can-do attitude that wasn't simply empty bravado but born out of the true knowledge & trust that what our forefathers built for us was good and moral and worth continuing?

      we have so many serious problems & it will take true leadership and a truly united nation to resolve them.

      debate & public discourse was never about agreeing with each other.  it is about understanding each other and being resolved to make ourselves & our community better.

      when we stopped reaching out to our brothers we gave up on dialogue and our obligation to ensure that which our forefathers gave to us will not only survive but also prosper.

      Thank you, Senator Obama, for the dialogue, for remembering your obligations as an American and as a public servant.  

      I look forward to more.

      Hmm, I may move back to Chicago just to join the Obama train.

  •  First! (4.00)
    Hey Senator, thanks for getting your represent-on out there in D.C., we appreciate it back home.  I voted for you in the general.  Blair was my horse in the primaries.

    Keep coming back with diaries like these, please, because you're not mealy-mouthing and it's important to give these Kossacks the business on occasion, keep us in line.

    Go Sox!

  •  Obama, (4.00)
    you mean there's hope after all???

    Thanks for writing back to us.

    "How smooth must be the language of the whites, when they can make right look like wrong, and wrong like right." Black Hawk

    by Gabriele Droz on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 08:53:42 PM PDT

  •  Thank you for engaging. (4.00)
    And for being my Senator.
  •  Thanks, Senator! (n/t) (4.00)
  •  Thanks For Listening... (4.00)
    It's always nice to know someone respects us enough to listen to what we say.
    •  Even when some of us have crazy handles (4.00)
    •  Listening ain't the same as dealing with and (2.52)
      . . . engaging.

      And sadly, Obama's most recent post fails to deal with most of the criticisms and points made by those that responded to his original post.

      All he does say, for the most part, is "I heard what you had to say, and thank you for saying it."

      It is an excellent diplomatic and political move on his part, and judging from the responses so far on this thread, it has been quite successful in achieving its desired effect---

      "Oh, gee, thanks great Senator for deigning to talk to us and making us feel lie we're important by at least acknowledging our presence and the fact that we disagree with you."

      Sorry, folks, but if you are so easily satisfied or mollified by weak and largely non-substantial responses like this one from Obama, and even go so far as to laud Obama as some kind of great man for giving you mere crumbs off the table, then you do not deserve democracy, and you do not deserve to get anything more than what you have been getting for the past several years in terms of our government and our political system.

      Continue to vote for the John Kerrys of this world, or the John Edwardses or the Hillary Clintons, people who slickly and seemingly talk a good game, but in reality do no more than serve their own self-aggrandizing interests and the powers-that-be that back them while they BETRAY you, your party, and your country.

      •  The Senator from Illinois (4.00)
        did not just listen, but engage.  It's hard to believe after 40+ years of televised, top-down communication, but Sen. Obama just took internet heat from his very own meta-tribe (which in its anonymity, uh, presented in more modest refinement than would have attended a personal opportunity) and responded graciously.

        Now, the reply is short on specifics (hey, I'm gun-shy with this crowd, too), but his voting record is public record, and there will be plenty of opps in this upcoming epic political moment to mutually share our despair and determination to generationally fix what's wrong with our beautiful country.  I'm currently satisfied Sen. Obama knows our dire straits (and Senator, would you please redouble your work in support of our scientific community?), and, well, blahbydy, blah, blah blah.

        Go-Barack, Go-Barack.  And thanks.

        •  Reread my sentence: (none)
          " . . . . fails to deal with MOST of the . . . "

          "Most" is a key modifier here, and I chose it quite consciously.

        •  C'mon (none)
          Now, the reply is short on specifics (hey, I'm gun-shy with this crowd, too), but his voting record is public record, and there will be plenty of opps in this upcoming epic political moment to mutually share our despair and determination to generationally fix what's wrong with our beautiful country.

          Yeah, very nice voting record.  Big deal.  How many of those votes went the right way?  How many of those votes involved putting GOP feet squarely into the fire?

          Voting correctly is one thing but it takes a LOT more than that.  If you are quietly sitting in your corner voting the right way while the enemy (and the GOP IS an actual enemy - they are NOT colleagues or brothers in arms) drags you hither and yon as they see fit, then you are next to worthless.  The GOP is NOT a friend.  They are not gentlemen and women, they are a bunch of backstabbing, corrupt, hateful, greedy criminals and they need to be handled as such.  You don't invite them over for tea and crumpets, you invite them over for a STING operation.  You invite them to an empty, out-of-the-way warehouse of YOUR choosing at a time of YOUR choosing and then you pile on the instant they come through the door with their smug mugs.

          Look, by all means present a positive face TO THE PUBLIC and define the issues YOUR way rather than ALWAYS responding to the definitions of the GOP, but when dealing with the GOP whether in private OR in public, lock and load and attach your bayonet.  Rip them to shreds with truth rather than lies (ripping to shreds with lies is the GOP modus operandi), but rip them to shreds nevertheles.  Do NOT ignore a smear thinking it is beneath you to respond.  That does not work and has proven not to work again and again and again for years.  The Dems getting their asses handed to them in every election in recent times is clear, objective proof of this.  You must define the stark, clear differences between the Dem plans and those of the heartless, greedy, corrupt, criminal GOP.  Let's not mince words here.  The valid indictments falling out all over the place for real crimes (rather than over a blowjob) is ample objective proof of this.

          Not only do Dems need to present a strong, positive description of what they actually stand for and intend to fight for, they also need to get merciless in their takedown of the GOP opponents based on the facts.  The facts are overwhelmingly in our favor but the problem is the Dems don't DO anything with them.

          I'll let you in on something.  See, the President is UNPOPULAR.  ATTACK HIM!  See, the war in Iraq is UNPOPULAR and getting moreso every day.  ATTACK IT AND OFFER A VALID ALTERNATIVE TO STAYING THE COURSE "ONLY WITH A DEM FACE ON IT".  See, the GOP plans are UNPOPULAR.  ATTACK THEM!  Then, present your alternative that is de facto better and, in poll after poll, proven to be what the People actually prefer.  Why do the GOP freaks keep winning then?  Because the Dems are ineffectual and effete in their pure position of constant defense.  Go on the offense.  Quit cowering, quit worrying that you might just maybe kinda sorta might be made to look kinda bad if you go against the President.  Stand up you pussies.  I am not going to stand with you if you wont actually stand on your own first.  I've got all I can handle ALONE (Because of your Dem faltering, weak-kneed, pandering, triangulating I stand for anything and everything until I don't crap has repeatedly hit my life in the gut), keeping myself on my own two feet and helping keep my wife on her feet.

          Stand up FIRST, show me you are worthy, that you actually stand for something and will actually bite and bite hard the goddamned GOP.

          Voting records don't mean shit if it is a vote in a dark, cold vacuum.  Vote LOUDLY.  Here's a helpful hint, just a little one:  fight like HELL to prevent voice votes.  No more voice votes - ALL votes on the hard record.  No deniability for the GOP or the Dems.  Tag bills that the GOP HATES but the people love onto every single bill that comes down the pike and ADVERTISE IT TO THE PEOPLE.  I want the densest, dumbest, halfwit voter to see and understand what the GOP is doing to them by voting, on the record, against them time and time again.  Take that first baby step and then take a real man's lunge and go into battle.  No handshakes amongst Dem and GOP "colleagues", just punches.  Sucker punches, advertised roundhouses, quick jabs, and a few groin kicks for laughs.  Stand upright but be forthright in this combat.

          I'm sorry to get all martial here in my metaphors but we are, thanks to the GOP and WAY too many Dems, in a constant, ill-defined state of real war that by way of being ill-defined can NEVER END.  So hell yes, I'll use martial metaphors to deal with it.

          "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." --9th Amendment

          by praedor on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 08:26:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Give me a break (3.98)
        Sorry, folks, but if you are so easily satisfied or mollified by weak and largely non-substantial responses like this one from Obama, and even go so far as to laud Obama as some kind of great man for giving you mere crumbs off the table, then you do not deserve democracy, and you do not deserve to get anything more than what you have been getting for the past several years in terms of our government and our political system.

        Please, get off your damned high horse. What you're saying is, if Obama doesn't address every cranky point made here, he's scum, and so are the rest of us. Who the hell are you to tell the rest of us that we don't "deserve democracy?" Don't deserve democracy? Who appointed you to judge others unworthy?

        Believe it or not, the world doesn't revolve around Daily Kos. This isn't the universal nexus of democracy. I find it hard to imagine a senator who's doing his job having time to "engage" everything self-important people gripe about here. The really amazing thing is, he's being flamed because he actually made an effort to connect with us here. If, like most of our elected officials, he just ignored us, we wouldn't be hearing this crap from people like you. What he owes us is to listen, think, and do what he thinks is right and best serves his constituents, not to mollify the perpetually dissatisfied blog bloviators. Too bad if it doesn't suit your personal agenda. Vote him out if he's so awful.

        Better yet, you get yourself elected, and see how far you get going in, guns blazing, unwilling to compromise. It's easy to bitch, but there are realities any new senator has to deal with, especially when said senator's party is in the minority. If you spend all your time flipping everyone the bird, you'll get precisely zero done.

        I'm sorry, you obviously have a right to your opinion, but this self-righteous garbage pisses me off.

        "A shark on whisky is pretty risky; A shark on beer is a beer engineer." - Space Ghost

        by Gaska on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 12:58:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't see it that way. (2.66)
          Sen. Obama doesn't seem to have any sense of outrage over what has happened to our country. I mean maybe I'm missing something, but he doesn't seem to share the incredulity that the majority of the democrats/independants and probably many republicans are feeling right now. It's as though he is thinks most Americans are relatively nuetral and just not that upset.

          You look at any Senator or Rep who POINTS OUT and expresses anger over the administrations corruption, insane policies, fleecing of Americans, and complete incompetence and you will see an elected official that gains the strong support of the people. And those people then listen and take note. And many of them pay close attention to how they vote on the floor.

          Sen. Obama said it in his first diary; "I just don't think most Americans feel that way"

          I mean, that's just insulting. And this diary today is most. . . UNHELPFUL, let alone encouraging.

          Mother Nature are Terrorists

          by donailin on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 05:40:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  that should be "discouraging" (none)
            The only encouraging thing these days is found in Mr. Fitzgerald.

            An as an aside for Sen. Obama.; O I pray to GOD you don't actually vote to confirm Miers. To do so would seal the deal for the administration that justice is NEVER served on that cabal. "She'll never change" translates into "She'll be loyal to me FOR-EV-ER"

            Mother Nature are Terrorists

            by donailin on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 05:45:55 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Most americans... (none)
            ...don't care.  Our challenge is to engage those people w/o outrage or folks who get outraged but don't know where to channel it.  
            •  If most Americans don't care, (none)
              then they get the government they deserve, don't they?

              And we are all wasting our time, and we are doomed.  

              "He who takes no interest in politics, is destined to be ruled by inferior men."

              Using Plato's quote as a launching pad, if most Americans don't know about or care enough about what is really going on in their country politically, then they really are the ones that take "no interest in politics."  In which case, we're all screwed.

          •  I think it's remarkable that (none)
            I was downrated for expressing my observation in a *un*inflammatory way. I did not insult the person I responded to. Was I  downrated for no other reason that because my opinion differs from the OP? Was I  downrated because I do not hold Sen. Obama in the highest esteem as others here? I don't have that right? I have to be in lockstep with the people I reply to? I read plenty of posts that I disagree with, but I never down rate them, I simply accept them and respond or not respond. I am an American, I am a voter and I care deeply about the future of this country, especially for my three children. A lot is at stake here and for some good reason, certain politicians want to hear what we have to say. To get a "1" for my original post seems an abuse of the system not to mention a disregard for the guidelines for this blog.

            Mother Nature are Terrorists

            by donailin on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 11:26:11 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  BRAVO (4.00)
          well said, Gaska!  I for one was extremely impressed with Obana's original post, and find it amazing how many here are attacking him.  It would be far safer if Obama didn't post here... by doing so, he opens himself up to criticism, which proves to me he has courage.  For those who wonder why the dems often self-distruct, I think looking at some of the posts here sheds some light on this.  I don't mind that not everyone agrees with everything he says...but to claim he is not responsive is just pure bunk.  
          •  Get over it (none)

            I, for one, am NOT attacking Obama per se.  I am attacking the attitude that he seems to present as the Democratic attitude and position.  I want the same outrage (OUTRAGE!) I feel, and MANY Americans feel, expressed from my REPRESENTATIVES.  See, they are NOT their own men and women, they are REPRESENTATIVES.

            What I keep getting from Obama with his expressions of "the way we should do this" is to STILL extend a hand to "our colleagues across the isle" and work with comity and in a helpful dialog.  No.  No. NO!  It. DOESN'T. Work!  It NEVER works, not in this day and age.  The loons from the species of GOP that usually restricts itself to the environment of the House has extended its range to include both the Whitehouse and the Senate as well.  They are an invasive, damaging WEED that needs a full-on assault to uproot it.  Hell, they are also working to spread their environment throughout the court system AND the civil service offices AND school boards.  EVERY conceivable arm of governance is where they are planting their seeds.  Comity and collegial attitude is CRAP.  This is basic survival here and there is NO room for handshaking and backslapping.  Cut the crap.

            You know, I'll let someone get away with one shot in an effort to find peaceful coexistence, but once that one shot is taken, its war and I will cream your ass.  It's time for the Dems to quit accepting shot after shot after shot and actually take a few of their own.  There's a place for flowers and bells and bubblegum but it is the height of stupidity, even insanity, to stick with the flowers and bells crap as your ONLY strategy, or even your default strategy.  In game theory, a forever strategy of not tits for however many tats means abject defeat.  You gotta get your "tits" in there and make 'em big ones or you will continue to get trammeled.  And deservedly so.

            "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." --9th Amendment

            by praedor on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 08:42:53 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Reread my post (3.33)
          before you tell me what I'm "saying."

          "Please, get off your damned high horse. What you're saying is, if Obama doesn't address every cranky point made here, he's scum, and so are the rest of us. Who the hell are you to tell the rest of us that we don't "deserve democracy?" Don't deserve democracy? Who appointed you to judge others unworthy?"

          --No, what I'm saying is that the people on this thread should DEMAND MORE from this guy, and that it is a sad comment that this latest post on Obama's part, however diplomaticly and politically wise or gracious it may be, is enough to garner him accolades and congratulations from the likes of the people on this thread who have responded to Obama's post, when in reality they should be holding his feet to the fire.  What I'm saying is that people are so quick and willing to settle for crumbs off the table and a few kind words, instead of demanding accountability and real action from these people.

          --Get this straight:  These people in D.C. are supposed to work for US.  They are not our MASTERS or our BETTERS.  They aren't doing us any FAVORS by talking to us.  WE are their bosses, and they are supposed to answer to YOU and ME, the people of the United States.  (And if most of the people of the United States are apathetic, or just not as passionate, that is still no excuse.  The people on KOS are NOT apathetic.  They take the time to be informed and aware.  And therefore, they need to be answered FIRST and FOREMOST above everyone else.)  Elected politicians are OUR SERVANTS.  And servants are supposed to listen and take their orders from those whom they supposedly serve.  

          --Can you imagine a householder saying to his butler, "Please bring the car around front so that I can go on a trip," and then ten minutes later, after the butler has failed to do this, him saying to his butler, "Well thank you for taking the time to explain to me why it was inconvenient for you to interrupt your television watching routine to bring the car around.  Thanks for taking the time to explain it to me."  

          --And while this analogy is terribly imprecise in this situation (I'll admit as much), it seems fitting for what it seems to me is going on here in terms of the mutual kiss-fest that is taking place between Obama and many of the posters on this thread.

          --What I'm saying is that until people are no longer to be content with getting crumbs off of the table from elected politicians, that is ALL they are going to get--crumbs off of the table--in the form of nice-sounding words that go down smoothly, but do not result in real actions or change, but end up just justifying and serving as cover for business as usual.

          •  Right-o (none)
            -No, what I'm saying is that the people on this thread should DEMAND MORE from this guy, and that it is a sad comment that this latest post on Obama's part, however diplomaticly and politically wise or gracious it may be, is enough to garner him accolades and congratulations from the likes of the people on this thread who have responded to Obama's post, when in reality they should be holding his feet to the fire.  What I'm saying is that people are so quick and willing to settle for crumbs off the table and a few kind words, instead of demanding accountability and real action from these people.

            So you say I should read your post. What I read was, "you do not deserve democracy." I accused you of saying what I read, and you say I was wrong in saying what you said. Sheesh.

            Where did I ever even imply that elected representatives are our BETTERS? Did I say it's OK not to demand anything from them? Talk about putting words in the mouths of others. I know how it's supposed to work. This is the point: If you go to Washington wanting to get something done, you have to pick your battles, and you have to compromise. You can't pick out a few votes and use them to call Obama a sellout, or traitor, or whatever. He hasn't even been in office a year, and people like you are acting high and mighty because he hasn't displayed ideological purity, or kept Condoleeza Rice out of her position, as if he had any chance of doing so. There's a wide gulf of possibilities between demanding nothing of government officials and attacking them and anyone not joining in said attacks because you don't like a few of his decisions. I'm tired of you all-or-nothing types constantly accusing everyone else of being less worthy of democracy.

            His posting here isn't a matter of doing any favors, but it also isn't his obligation. He's obliged to be open and receptive, but citizens have to take their case to him. Getting into long debates on a blog is a stupid way to use his time, time he should be spending actually doing his job.  This place just isn't that important, and some friendly notes of support are no basis to condemn anyone. You're just acting like a child who isn't getting his way.

            "A shark on whisky is pretty risky; A shark on beer is a beer engineer." - Space Ghost

            by Gaska on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 08:42:25 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Amazingly, the Republicans (none)
              have been pretty "all or nothing" in their approach, and have, when all is said and done, adhered to an "ideologically pure" agenda, and it certainly hasn't hurt them during the past several years.  

              They seem to have succeeded in getting most of their agendas passed.  Plust, they've continued to gain seats in the House and Senate, while Democrats, in their quest for "moderation," have continually been defeated and lost ground.

              You can't bring a knife to a gun-fight.  You can't play softball with your opponents ("go along to get along") when they are playing hardball back.

              And this is an approach that I conclude that people like Obama are infact advocating, and which you are defending.

              •  Partial agreement (4.00)
                You can't bring a knife to a gun-fight.  You can't play softball with your opponents ("go along to get along") when they are playing hardball back.

                We're outgunned. We're in the minority. You want to use this metaphor, fine, but in that case a direct frontal assault is like running headlong someone with a paring knife who's holding an AK-47. The Dems just aren't in a position to go after everything with Sturm und Drang. That's not capitulation, it's reality. We have to be smart about this and realize we're going to have to choose fights we can win. There are more ways to fight than shrieking insults and fighting every vote tooth and nail. It would feel good, but what would it accomplish? Nothing, that's what.

                And this is an approach that I conclude that people like Obama are infact advocating, and which you are defending.

                I'm saying we don't have enough information to make that judgment of him yet. If you think I advocate rolling over for the R's, ask me about Joe Biden or Hillary Clinton--or anyone who voted to give Bush war powers. I'm still pissed about that. But Obama wasn't part of that vote. He's a freshman senator, fer cryin' out loud. Give him some time to get going before condemning him. He's not going to set the world ablaze in his first year.

                My issue is with the attitude that everyone who's not on board with the Don Quixote agenda is just giving up and deserves patronizing scorn.

                "A shark on whisky is pretty risky; A shark on beer is a beer engineer." - Space Ghost

                by Gaska on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 09:42:04 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  I'm glad I don't work for you (none)
            And if you are a boss somewhere, I hope you don't treat the people reporting to you the way you're sounding off here about elected representatives.

            I'm know I'm not the only person here who's worked for bosses with that kind of attitude - Hey! You work for me! You'll do what I say because I have the power over you! You serve me!

            Not only is it a miserable working environment, but it's usually not a very productive one in the long term.

            Throwing your weight around (whether you actually have power or simply perceive that you do) is ugly - whether it's a CEO demeaning his employees, a majority political party or a voter addressing an elective representative.

            Good managers understand that there's actually a whole range of nuanced, subtle possibilities between "Do what I say now!" and "Do whatever you want!" Great leadership is about getting people to WANT to do what you want them to do.

      •  Sorry (4.00)
        Sorry, but you are illustrating one of the worst sides of the left today--an unwillingness to be civil to those you don't 100% agree with. You also are buying into the media spin on John Kerry (and probably Edwards and Clinton as well). Your approach does nothing but turn people off and marginalize yourself.

        No one wants to engage with someone who speaks like you are. No one wants to engage with someone who seems to be saying that only he knows the answers and anyone who disagrees is a traitor to self, party and country. Or does my saying that make me a traitor in your eyes?

        •  hear hear (4.00)
          This is exactly what obama is saying but it appears to be falling on the deaf ears of the self rightious.
          • (none)
            This thread reminds me of the lemon-lyman episode of the West Wing.

            I think it might just be a fool's errand to speak of civility in politics in a medium where civility is so often absent. The internets don't always bring out our diplomatic side. But I'm glad the Senator is trying because if the netroots and DLC folks can't find some common ground then our Fitzmas celebrations will be short lived.

        •  Here's what I think: (2.16)
          You don't know what you are talking about:

          "You also are buying into the media spin on John Kerry (and probably Edwards and Clinton as well)."

          --Buddy, I have WATCHED these people in action over the past four years.  I watched them give authority to Bush to go to war when I and many others KNEW Bush was LYING about WMD.  I have watched them act opportunistically and self-servingly as they refused to fight the Bush Administration on so many fronts.  

          --Sorry buddy, but where where YOU four years ago?  Were you still getting your news from the TV?  Do you still watch television TODAY?  I'm really pissed off at you for saying that I "buy into media spin," when I have known for the past THIRTEEN YEARS how the corporate media functions in this country, and have purposely watched very little television during that time, and read the newspapers and magazines with a skeptical air, seeing most of it as propaganda for the powers-that-be in this country.

          --You don't know me.  You don't know how politically astute or educated I am, much less do you have the authority to say that I am a FOOL who is easily misled by "media spin."  Sorry, but if you knew me better, you'd give me credit and know that the conclusions I made about these people I make after WATCHING THEM CLOSELY IN ACTIONS these past several years and coming to my own conclusions.

          •  Oh we know lyou. (3.00)
            You are the guy that come off as the looney on the street corner with the bullhorn.

            Do you find it odd that few actually listen to you?  You might want to take a good look at yourself and see how you come off.  From here you come off as a wackjob.

            Even though you aren't one.

          •  I don't care who you are (4.00)
            "--You don't know me.  You don't know how politically astute or educated I am..."

            I don't care. When you post on a blog you are judged by what you say and how you say it, not who you are.

            "--Sorry buddy, but where where YOU four years ago?  Were you still getting your news from the TV?  Do you still watch television TODAY?"

            Where was I four years ago? Here in Manhattan recovering from the horror of 9/11, helping a colleague deal with the death of her husband in the WTC and preparing for the elections in NYC. Where did/do I get my news? Mainly from, Democracy NOW! and BBC. I was watching NWI as well, but they no longer broadcast in my area.

            Dude, I also have watched these people in action. I have paid attention to politics for decades. And personally, I have also watched the left taking the attitude you are and getting progressivly marginalized. And when you come in yelling and screaming about how everyone is a traitor and no one knows as much as you and if only everyon knew how smart you were they'd be so impressed, people either get irritated, laugh or tune you out. That is one of the #1 problems with the left. They follow Nader's lead (whether or not they support Nader) and scold, scream and rant and expect the whole world to be impressed. And if someone disagrees with even one-tenth of a percent of what they say, they start attacking them.

            Sorry, none of that impresses me.

            •  Well, if you don't care who I am, (none)
              the your opinion about my "buying into media spin" doesn't hold much water now, does it?
              •  Plus, you continue to be non-responsive to my (none)

                You were in Manhatten acting nobly?  Nice.

                But your original point was about "media spin" and how I supposedly have bought into it in forming my opinions of the politicians I named, and that is what I reacted to.  

                Moreover, I haven't used the words "traitor" and no where have I "screamed."  

                Those are, once again, your mischaracterizations of whom I am and what I am all about . . . not mine.

                You've clearly lumped me into some category that consists of a stereotype or charicature of radical lefties. That's your prerogative.

                You're way, way off.  But, since you admit that you don't care about who or what the reality of who I am is, then why should it bother you that you are way off?  

                Just continue to throw out your innacurate characterizations and charactures of your own mind, instead of dealing with the reality of who I am.  The choice is yours.  And you've told me how you have deciced to choose.

              •  You miss the point (4.00)
                I don't care who you are because on a blog you can claim anything you want. You could be a 90 year old Tibetan Lama who posts by sheer mental will or you could be a pimply 13 year old boy who thinks he knows everything but can barely wipe his ass. Online you aren't anything but what you write. So I have judged and will judge you by your statements. And your statements are vague generalizations that at best approximate reality and at worst try to force reality into a caricature that you feel comfortable with. Your caricature of John Kerry in particular seems similar to the caricature drawn by the media, hence my judging you to have been fooled by that media caricature. Regardless, you are portraying the world as caricature in much the same way the media does, even if you are not drawing your caricature from theirs.
      •  just a sperm (none)

        just out of curiosity, who did YOU vote for in the last election?

        --> Just a middle age woman practicing her free speech.

        by Thea VA on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 05:00:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Kerry, but with very few illusions. (none)
          I detested him, and almost did not vote for him at all.

          Ultimately, after a long debate with myself, I had to acknowledge that he probably wouldn't be AS BAD as Bush, and on a purely "lesser of two evils" basis, ended up voting for him.

      •  WHOAAAA (4.00)
        I don't agree that Barack Obama is like Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and John Kerry.
        Senators Clinton, Kerry and Edwards gave Bush political cover for his disastrous invasion of Iraq by voting "yes" on the war resolution. None have apologized to Americans and to American troops for that vote. At least Kerry, (I think) has said the war was a mistake. Edwards, Clinton and Kerry talk about the lives of average people stateside but what about the havoc wreaked on our soldiers, their families and innocent Iraqis because of this war? These senators don't seem to understand that in some small but important way they played a hand in what happened to the victims of this war. That's not good enough. We need leaders with the courage to do the right thing even if they think it's not helping their careers. As things may turn out, their once (politically driven?) "yes" vote when the mood of the country was unfortunately pro war may now turn out to have been a political mistake. (I hope so...we need more courageous leaders than they showed themselves to be. They should have known where Bush was heading and how disastrous that was going to be...a lot of people saw that).  
        Regarding the Roberts vote. No one knows whether Roberts will turn out to be great (defending the rights of the least powerful according to the principles of the constitution ) or terrible (defending the rights of the most powerful against the weak as Bush would like). But Roberts was well qualified in training, intellect and temperment. (I just dont think he's an ideologue - maybe I'm wrong.)
        Russ Feingold voted for Roberts. Russ Feingold was also the ONLY Senator who had the courage to vote against the Patriot Act that was shamefully forced through Congress without proper deliberation. Feingold also voted against the war resolution. At any time Bush could choose a political hack and ideologue for the Supreme defeating Roberts could have been counterproductive. So I agree with Senator Obama that people who voted for Roberts have a credible position. Senator Leahy who I respect a lot, voted for Roberts and according to AP:
        "Leahy said he still has some concerns about Roberts. "But in my judgment, in my experience, but especially in my conscience I find it is better to vote yes than no," he said. "Judge Roberts is a man of integrity. I can only take him at his word that he does not have an ideological agenda."

        What I don't understand in this country is that even though Bush & Co are robbing us blind, there are still people who think he's doing a great job - although a dwindling amount, lol. I think Senator Obama was saying that some of these people are slow to read between the lines of what's going on and we need to reach them with a non ideological message so they can see that their interests too are not being served by Bush/Rove/Cheney/Limbaugh/ et al.
         We need practical and fair solutions that work for average Americans. We don't need ideology. I think that's all Senator Obama was saying and that's okay by me. What's not okay is pandering to special interests which is what we're stuck with at the moment and it's taking us down the drain, financially, ethically, morally and any way one cares to look at it.  

      •  Whatever (4.00)

           is up your ass, get it out. Your expectations of Senators to change the world with the snap of a finger are both ludicrous and stupid. Every vote you don't agree with does not mean a betrayal. Are they wrong a lot. Hell yes. Tell them, by God, tell them. That's fine. But ur ridiculous whining that he's not done enough is silly. Christ the man has been a Senator for 10 months. Give the man a chance.
        •  No, I don't expect them to change the world. (none)
          But I do expect DEMOCRATS to stand up for progressive principles and FIGHT FOR THEM, as well as for the principles that supposedly make us a democracy.  (Take a look at John Conyers, if you need an example of what this looks like.)

          And ask yourself, whether, when the Republicans were in the minority in the Senate or House, they sat back and just "played along" with the Demcoratic majorities, or if they didn't do everything they could to fight the Democrats, even at the risk of being called "obstructionist" (which they hardly ever were, by the way.)

          His words to the contrary notwithstanding, Obama is pure "go along to get along."  He's now become a member of the most elite club in the word:  The U.S. Senate.  He doesn't want to do too much to rock the boat.  

          •  What has John Conyers actually accomplished? (none)
            He stands up for great things but guess what

            he has NO POWER.  Neither do any of the other Dems.  Get over yourself.

            •  The Republicans who (4.00)
              were in Congress during periods of Democratic control of the House and Senate, also had no power.

              However, I remember that this did not stop them at all for sticking up and fighting for their right-wing principles.  In fact, I remember quite distinction the year 1993 when Clinton came to power, and the Republicans were minorities in both the House and the Senate.  The Republicans FOUGHT Clinton every step of the way--on is $16 billion dollar economic stimulous package, on his raising taxes on the rich, on his health care initiatives, etc.

              They didn't win all their battles, but they won quite a few.  Moreover, they were so effective in damaging him that in 1994, they were able to capture control of the House for the first time in nearly sixty years.

              Your comment to me sounds nice.  Unforunately, the actual historical evidence shows it to be unsound.

            •  mainly because noone in his party (none)
              ever has his back on any issue.  As a matter of fact, he also has a recommended diary today.  I haven't checked yet, but I would guess that he doesn't have much of this kind of exchange.

              I for one, am tired of sending flowers to senators because they did somthing as simple as covering and supporting people in their own party.  I would rather have a differnt person in office every election then to have all my congressmen playing re-election strategy with some over-priced consultant.

              eating popcorn at the end of days

              by Fernando Poo on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 12:16:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you Senator (4.00)
    Your willingness to engage the netroots is very encouraging. We won't forget that.

    Thank you for representing the party in such a positive light. Your future is incredibly bright.

  •  Welcome back, Senator (4.00)
    It gets a little unruly in here from time to time, but as a former Chicagoan, not only do I admire your principles and respect your successes, I'm probably still voting for you in two or three precincts on the northwest side!

    If you vote Republican, you vote for corruption.

    by MN camera on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 08:56:49 PM PDT

    •  Sounds like (4.00)
      You sound like Mike Royko.

      Your comment made my day!

      God, how I loved that man.

      And, yes, I am a woman.

      Still voting in precincts -- LOL.

      At least nobody got your name off a tombstone.

      A vote for a Republican is a vote for Bush.

      by Maine Atticus on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:04:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ahh, Royko (4.00)
        Believe it or not, I began reading him - and Sydney J. Harris in the old Daily News when I was still in single digits.  Damn, I'm getting old...

        Followed both of them to the Sun-Times, and Royko to the Trib.  I remember 1997, a bad year for great storytellers, we lost both Royko and Charles Kuralt.

        Got a few books of collections of each of their columns, and I still look in on them once in a while.  Boss is a fine read too - you'll never quite think of big city politics the same way again.  For those who have already read the book, I grew up in Tom Keane's 31st ward - Daley The Elder's right hand in the Council.  During the great snowstorm of 1967, my little side street was being cleared by a front end loader at 2 AM the second day.  Major arterials in less favored parts of town were still drifted waist deep.  Talk about your education!!!

        For those who remember, Chicago was once a great newspaper town - four major dailies, two morning and two evening.  A rich, dense newspaper environment.  And Royko was pretty much an original.  And I seriously doubt there will be another.  Put me on to Nelson Algren as well.  

        If you vote Republican, you vote for corruption.

        by MN camera on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:56:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Royko! I'm a (ex) Chicagoan too... (none)
          Hey, maybe after I'm dead I'll be able to vote in Chicago again.  That'll be one more vote for Baraka (if he ever comes out against the war that is...)

          MN camera, I was reading Royko in grade school too.  

          Hey, does anyone remember Kup's Show?

          "Waist deep in the Big Muddy And the big fool says to push on." --Pete Seeger

          by DoDi on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 10:33:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  ROFL (4.00)
      My dad always said that when he died, he wanted to be buried in Chicago so he could continue to be active in the Democratic party.

      Well, not always.  Before that, he wanted his ashes thrown in Richard Noxin's face, but I told him I probably wouldn't honor that request.

      "Hit a man with a fish, and he'll have a headache for a day. Teach him to hit himself with a fish, and he'll have headaches all his life!"--Karl Rove

      by AdmiralNaismith on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 05:23:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If you ever stop being a Senator ... (4.00) definitely should become a diplomat. I found your comment "... energetic responses..." charmingly understated.
    •  More than charmingly understated (4.00)
      It shows off his great political talent -- and, believe it or not, I don't mean that in any way to be pejorative.  Politicians have an in many cases much deserved miserable reputation in this country but they are an inevitable and necessary element in any democracy.

      The ideal-typical politician is one who is a consensus builder, diplomatic, able to deflect the inevitable slings and arrows hurled her or his way, who knows how to work to get people to work toward those things that can be achieved (and yes, this almost always means some form of compromise, at some point, although many of us here wonder when it becomes too much ...).

      It is something that anyone could work on, but it is also a skill and a matter of temperament (not to mention charisma).  (And it is why some of us who spend too much a great deal of time blogging know in our hearts that we would make lousy politicians.)  I find it particularly telling that Senator Obama displays the same tact and grace in replying to this community's "energetic responses" as he believes the Democrats need to adopt in order to promote our values and policies.

      Anyway, didn't mean to ramble on like that, but let me just add my thanks to the Senator for returning to, well, dialogue is the wrong word -- multilogue? -- with the dKos community again.

      -- Stu

      •  Politicians are not only necessary ... (4.00)
        for a democracy, they are necessary for all parts of life. Time and again I've pointed out to people complaining about the politics of a job or a school or a club that what they are really complaining about is "bad politics". When the politics are seamless, you don't even notice that politics is what makes a group work. And good politicians make for effective group action.

        Get three people in a room, and there is politics going on. And sometimes, it takes only two people.

        "You don't lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case." - Ken Kesey

        by Glinda on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 04:08:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  My mother (4.00)
        and yours too, likely, put it this way -
        "You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar"

        You want to get people to help you, you don't call them names and belittle them.

        The biggest problem with the current batch of politicians is that they don't use honey - they use weed-killer strength vinegar, and wonder why the garden dies.  And they don't listen to anybody without a fistful of money campaign conributions.

        I think that's beginning to change, and Sen. Obama is one example. It can't happen too soon.

      •  Bet on it. (4.00)
        I want YOU, Mr. Obama for president. Optimisim and a positive message are EXACTLY what we all need.

        You're coming here and talking to us is one of the best things I've seen a politician do. And to actually follow UP on it, even more so.

        Nothing but respect and love. Keep on fighting the good fight, and though we may disagree, we're certainly behind you!!

        What a piece of work is man, in form and moving... ...quintessence of dust. and all that

        by Erevann on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 10:20:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hear, hear! (none)
          Obama has the winning theme exactly right, and he's got the talent and charisma to make us believe in him.

          People don't vote with their minds, they vote with their hearts.  And let's face it, in the main, American hearts are stupid..

          We're very lucky to have such a talented individual on our side.  You can't even calculate the luck that he'd turn out to be responsive AT ALL to that most vocal and cantankerous pit of frothing liberalism that we represent..

          He's a winner, through and through.

          So whenever he's ready, get ready for Barak Obama, President of the United States.

    •  He's like the King of restraint :) (4.00)
  •  Thanks Senator!! (4.00)
    I think everyone here is anticipating great things from you in the years to come!!!  Thanks for getting back to us and please, keep on fighting!!

    Just when you thought it couldn't possibly get any worse...

    by reflectionsv37 on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 08:56:56 PM PDT

  •  thanks for coming back (4.00)
    and I am looking forward to hearing more from all of our Dem Senators, we got a country to take back from the crooks in DC. The truth will set us free. Next time you see Senator Boxer tell her we Love her and to keep the gloves on and that we hear HER loud and clear. And tell Lieberman to shape up or ship out.

    *This site is slower than Bush's reaction on 9/11.*

    by Chamonix on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 08:57:09 PM PDT

  •  Thank you (4.00)
    Differences aside, thank you for having the courage to continue the dialogue.
  •  Not an answer (3.25)
    Sure, Democrats are working...

    Why did Democrats help pass CAFTA?
    Why aren't they going after Bush for the Downing Street Memos?
    Why aren't they talking about an exit for Iraq war so we can get Osama Bin Ladin? You know him, the 9-11 guy.

    •  90% of dems (4.00)
      helped to defeat CAFTA.

      conyers is leading the charge on DSM and many others have weighed in.  be nice if we had a majority so we could do more than just weigh in.

      biden was talking to rice less than 48 hrs ago about an exit for iraq.

      kerry specifically ran on a message that said bush dropped the ball in tora bora.

      and it's a force of habit/ if it moves then you fuck it / if it doesn't move you stab it -- MacManus

      by BiminiCat on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:35:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yay (none)
        Now they're doing something. Why not get out of this globalization mess? Are they paid too much to end it?
        •  futile fight (3.75)
          Globalization started in the 1720s, my lad, at the end of the war of Spanish Succession.  That was the end of Mercantilism.  since then, its been a slowly globalizing ever since.

          Resisting it is futile.

          to some degree, the coming energy crunch will cause some return to localization.  But the idea of 'One Planet' isn't necessarily a bad one.

          We have no desire to offend you -- unless you are a twit!

          by ScrewySquirrel on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 10:42:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not a bad idea (3.50)
            Until your job goes to India, Democrats tell you that it was a good thing because corporate masters said so, and I have to retrain for the 3rd time. Yeah, great so far. Wish I inherited millions like those that support globalization.
        •  Globalization is the end of self rule. (4.00)
          I have no representation on the WTO. In globalization communities don't matter.
          A major American city was wiped out and we had a muted response from the Democrats because communities don't matter anymore. Reagan taught us to worship wealth, and caring for communities just seems so old-fashioned. Screw cheap radioes,
          I want people to matter again.

          "Are you trying to play Darwin to the lemurs in your head?"

          •  Sorry, won't happen (none)
            The multi-millionaires won't allow us to be part of a community unless it involves shopping. Democrats don't care. None want to stop outsourcing since it increases their stocks. None want to stop globalization since they're being paid to allow it. Unless you have millions of $$$$, no point in talking to a Democrat.
            •  this is untrue and a question to you.... (4.00)

              taking a donation from a corporation does not evidence itself of being incapable of responding to the poor.

              you, i'll get into discussions with people who have serious and, many times, valid issues with the dem party and how they have let us down.  most of the time, even though i try to at least argue against what i think then becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, i try to take some comfort in the fact that most of those people saying such horrible things about the dem party are saying so because they want to save the dem party, they may not say what i want them to hear, but i can at least see that their motivation is the same as mine:  what's best for the party.

              seems you're one of the few i encounter who don't want that.  but i could be wrong...  do you want the democratic party to fail????  it's a simple and direct question.  it deserves a simple and direct answer.  that's my question to you.

              and it's a force of habit/ if it moves then you fuck it / if it doesn't move you stab it -- MacManus

              by BiminiCat on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 01:39:48 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  your question wasn't posed to me (none)
                but I would argue that the Democratic Party already HAS failed.

                In a democratic society some are guilty, but all are responsible. -Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

                by a gilas girl on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 03:41:42 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  the yankees failed (none)
                  do you want the yankees to fail next year??

                  your answer didn't really answer the question i asked.

                  and it's a force of habit/ if it moves then you fuck it / if it doesn't move you stab it -- MacManus

                  by BiminiCat on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 03:56:09 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Long live (none)
                    the Yankees failure! May it be repeated evermore!

                    (But the Dems are coming back. I can feel it in my bones. At least, I think I can feel it. Or is just my old basketball injury coming back again to haunt me????)

                    The right wing is neo-mercantilist, against a neo-capitalist/neo-socialist left. Stirling Newberry

                    by litho on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 04:52:27 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  i agree (none)
                      i want the yankees to fail.

                      i don't want the dem party to fail.

                      some people seem incapable of expressing such a goal.  if your goal is to bring about the demise of the dem party, i don't think it matters if you're doing it from the left.

                      if you're from the left and you want to work towards making the party successful, then we'll still disagree on probably ways to go about it, but it does mean we all want the same thing:  a successful democratic party.

                      and it's a force of habit/ if it moves then you fuck it / if it doesn't move you stab it -- MacManus

                      by BiminiCat on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 05:26:58 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

        •  Kneejerk much? ;) (none)
          Google is your friend.
      •  I can't forgive CAFTA (none)
        The Dems do a lot of good.  A lot of Dems do a lot of good.  Even though they've been out of power since '94, many of them are clearly working for us.

        But wasn't CAFTA the one where a bunch of Dems crossed party lines to pass it?  I can't remember for sure.  There were so many recent votes that made me mad... Bankruptcy, ANWR, CAFTA, energy, why did any Dems vote for any of them?  Even the ones where we didn't stand a chance, I want my senators on the record as saying no to the Republicans.  I'm lucky to have Feingold and Kohl... well, I'm voting for Ben Masel in '06.

        •  by comparison -- a few (none)
          but less than 10% voted "yea".

          if unity is the measure of strength of a party, explain how 15% of repugs voted "no."?

          and it's a force of habit/ if it moves then you fuck it / if it doesn't move you stab it -- MacManus

          by BiminiCat on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 01:09:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  i wonder... (none)
          how long people will complain about CAFTA when really it's not going to change much at all.  NAFTA sucked, CAFTA was pretty unimportant (and will even benefit some parts of America)
        •  You should hold the transgressors responsible (none)
          If you are mad that some of the elected officials voted the wrong way, you should hold those officials responsible for it. Do what you can to keep them from getting elected again.

          When 10% of a group does something wrong you can't say that the whole group is bad without being 90% wrong.

        •  Got to pick their fights carefully (none)
          wouldn't want to not get re-elected.

          eating popcorn at the end of days

          by Fernando Poo on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 09:56:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  The fact that the majority (4.00)
        controls every committee and that means it sets the agenda of what legislation and over-sight activities are even considered needs to be a big issue in the up-coming elections.  Most casual voters aren't even aware of the mechanics of the system.  Most don't even know how a legislature operates, the role of committees, and the manipulation of schedules to just ignore the inconvenient.

        3-D Republicans=deception, disservice and debt

        by hannah on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 02:41:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You want (none)

          majority results while we have minority status. Did you expect Obama and others to wave a wand and make it all better? There are a lot of Democrats in Congress, not all of them are going to do everything that you want. Get over it.
  •  It's good to see another diary (4.00)
    I'm glad you are writing again Senator. The dialogue is appreciated!
  •  You are a brave man! (4.00)
    Bravo!  Keep up the good fight!

    When you are going through hell, keep going! - Winston Churchill

    by flo58 on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 08:58:44 PM PDT

  •  Link to Sen. Obama's previous diary (4.00)
    for those who wish to read.
  •  Thanks, Senator. (3.92)
    I did not comment during that whole discussion - too busy with work and family and etc...

    I disagreed with a lot of what you wrote, but I think I understand why you wrote it and why so many others DO agree with it.

    I am heartened and flattered that you took the time to read so many of the responses, to understand where so many of us on the dissenting side are coming from and why, and to give us some feedback.

    We may never agree on some core issues or core strategies, and, when the time comes, that may result in political challenges to you from your left.

    HOWEVER, that said, I am so happy that hard-core political debate, disagreement, and discussion can take place while we still remember that we are on the same basic side, and that while we may fight like cats and dogs over these issues, strategies, tactics, and directions, we are all doing so for the same reason.


    The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

    by RedDan on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:00:41 PM PDT

  •  Senator (4.00)
    I got to here you speak in person last year in Philadelphia, and I'd like to say that even though there have been dark times, people like you make the future brighter. Most of us know you can't be everything to everyone. All that we ask is that you try and do your best. I know you're doing that for us.
  •  Thanks for coming back (4.00)
    I, for one, was glad to see a politician actually have the guts to come over here and challenge us instead of just kissing up to us and telling us what we wanted to hear.
    The fact that you decided to come back after a less-than-hospitable welcome only reinforces my view.
    •  I think we're so hard on Sen. Obama (4.00)
      because we see such potential.

      It's like your college team, etc. You feel like you know them, you root for them, and if you get a chance to talk to them, you bring up all the tiny mistakes and missteps they made, just in case they didn't realize them.

      You know they did... but you still have to point them out, just in case. Because you SOOOOOO want them to win, to reach their full potential, to do good.

      And if they're smart, they take your criticism as the backhanded praise it is, listen for something they might have missed, and keep communication open.

      Sen. Obama is smart. ;-)

    •  YES. (none)
      Nailed it--especially about being willing to challenge us.  Can you imagine McCain posting on FreeRepublic?

      I was thinking about this when all the Obama stuff hit the fan the first time...excuse me for not being as apparently diehard of an activist as some, but exactly how much influence did any of us have over congresspeople prior to within the last couple years on dKos?  The fact that Senator Freaking Obama is reading our responses, not to mention posting here from time to time is incredible.  It's direct access.  On this blog, I never know who may be reading my words, or how far they'll go.  This is, simply stated, an amazing political vehicle.

      Having said that, it'd be nice if some around here would recognize their privilege and be grateful for the opportunity to communicate with the big dogs at all.  This "if he doesn't agree with me 100%, he's scum" attitude totally loses sight of the forrest for the trees, IMO.

  •  Accountable Government (4.00)
    Novel concept, particulary in these times.

    When I see any semblance of accountability in this government, in all branches- I will happily re-register as a Dem and work my butt off for Dem candidates in 2006.

    Alas, I have seen nothing remotely resembling accountability for 5+ years.

    From either party.

    My disappointment with the Dem Party is that they are not functioning as an opposition party or providing much of an alternative to the current GOP.

    Hence, I am now a registered Indy.

    That said, appreciate your interest in the views of bloggers Senator, and the courage it takes to come into our (cyber)world and speak your mind.

    As you have seen yourself, we have no problem speaking ours!

    In fact, for many, its our patriotic duty.

    "As individual fingers we can easily be broken, but all together, we make a mighty fist" Watanka Tatanka (Sitting Bull)

    by wild salmon on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:03:50 PM PDT

  •  You write your own posts? (4.00)
    I actually have a staff that writes my posts.

    For instance, this comment was originally drafted by an intern, edited by my speechwriter, and then finalized by my chief of staff.  Let me know if there are any mistakes, and I'll fire all of them.

    Oh when the frogs. . Come marching in. . Oh when the FROGS COME MARCH-ING IN!

    by pontificator on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:03:52 PM PDT

  •  Thank you, Senator (4.00)
    .. for taking the time to listen.

    I do not expect you to agree with all our viewpoints; one cannot be all things to all people.

    The fact that you are willing to take the time to interact with us is very important. I can only hope that other politicians will avail themselves of the same opportunity.

    Keep up the great work and keep hope alive.


    Time to reboot this neocon infested government and restore the Constitution from the protected archive

    by shpilk on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:04:11 PM PDT

  •  Stay gold, Senator (none)
    Thank you for voting against the Bridge to Nowhere. I didn't get to see how it came out.  Did it pass or not?

    Memory... is the diary that we all carry about with us.

    by DianeA on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:04:15 PM PDT

    •  Did you forget to thank him for voting (1.22)
      to confirm Condoleeza Rice as Secretary of State?

      Why not thank him for that too while you're at it?

      Here's Obama's true creed:  "Go along to get along . . . so that my political career will get to move farther along."

      In this he is not unique among Democratic congressmen.  It is just that he talked a very good progressive game on his way to being elected, and showed so much promise, and has been so quick to sell out those principles and ideals he espoused.

      I DETEST career politicans.  Especially the ones that have been grooming themselves for high public office for years.  

      Slick, smooth, charming, convincing, attractive, in the end they only serve their own self-interest.

      Hey Senator . . . how soon after you entered Occidental College did you realize that if you ever wanted to be a big shot, national policitian, finishing out your undergraduate career at Columbia would be the more advantageous career move?  How long have you been grooming yourself for the current position you hold?

      •  geez (none)
        you really DO hate the guy, don't you?!
        •  I'm getting there myself (none)
          I lost a lot of respect for all the career democrats that voted for that bridge to nowhere yesterday...

          Which includes Clinton, Kerry, Kennedy AND OBAMA.

          I won't forget that for a long time.

          "Pro and con are opposites, that fact is clearly seen. If progress means to move forward, then what does congress mean?" ~Nipsey Russell

          by RANT on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 04:31:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Christ almighty dude (none)

           chill out. What the hell is wrong with transferring to Columbia University? You sound like a Republican ranting against the Ivy League. Politicians worry about their careers. Oh my, there's a news flash. Get over it. The man has been a Senator for 10 months. Give the guy a chance to work. He's not going to save the world with every vote. Why is that so hard?
        •  "Politicians worry about their careers." (none)
          And that's exactly the problem I'm talking about.

          And it IS a problem  Because if it comes down to a contest between their own careerist ambitions and the principles they are supposed to fight for, guess which considerations usually win out.

          What I'm saying is that I don't like or trust people, who from young ages have been grooming themselves for high elected public office.  Because in the end, their only real guiding principle is THEMSELVES.  

          I don't like professional, career politicians.  Be they Republican or Democrat.  Apparently, you are OKAY with them.  I am not.  

          I know that that is how are system is run.  But it is something about our system that SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS.

          •  Well, let's just have (none)

               a one term limit for every elected office. Let's regulate corporations to not allow CEO's to serve more than a year as CEO of a company, as clearly their own ambitions mean more to them than their company.
               Of course they do. I'm willing to bet your own ambitions mean more to you than the success of the company or person you work for. It's true of most people. Including politicians.
            •  In those other areas, there is no (none)
              claim that the goals being pursued are anything other than self-aggrandizement and maximization of profit.

              Effective civic service, however, presupposes and requires more than this.

              In politics, vthe goals being supposedly pursued are representation for and service of the people.  These are noble goals that, if taken seriously, require one to put his or her own personal ambitions aside, often to do what is right.

              If you think I'm just condemning personal ambition and careerism per se, then you really understand and have no appreciation for the nature of what it was I was trying to convey.  

              I'm saying in the realm of politics, careerists will often end up selling out the higher principles they supposedly stand for and are supposed to fight for for the sake of expedience and the furtherance of their own personal ambitions.

              And yes, I am all for term limits for elected office precisely for such reasons.


              •  We have term limits (none)

                    Elections happen all the time. We don't always get the results we like, but it is hardly Democracy to tell free citizens how many times they can run for an office and tell their constituents how many times they can vote for this person for office. That is not Democracy either.
                •  I've always found that a week argument. (none)
                  I've long preferred the following analysis:

                  In order to make elected representatives more responsive to their constituents (a democratic ideal) and to ensure that new blood continually flows into the process, new blood that has not been corrupted and sold out to the desire to preserve one's own power and all the sell outs and betrayals that this might entail, we limit somewhat the ability of the people to continually choose the same people over and over again.

                  That's the kind of a "check and balance" that preserves the overall integrity of the democratic ideal, which is ultimately making government more responsive to the needs of the people instead of to the special interests.

                  Look, we could have an elected dictator in office every few years that the people are free to choose every four years.  And yet, the framers, knowing that too much power collected in the hands of the few led to all sorts of problems, created a legislature which enacted the laws and which was also elected by the people.

                  Or, to use another analogy, in a free market system in order to preserve the workings of the free market, we pass laws that limit monopolies and continue to promote and allow competition.

                  You have to put in some safeguards and limits to promote the overall integrity and ideal workings of any system.  

                  So, yes, I'm willing to limit the "freedom" of the people to choose the same people over and over again in order to preserve the "freedom" of the people to have representatives that are more responsive to their interests, instead of compromised by their own careerist ambitions and all the sell outs and betrayals these likely will entail.

                  And you still didn't get my original point rebutting yours about "ambition" and "careerism."

      •  Do you detest career doctors? (none)
        When you need an operation, do you want an outsider, a maverick who has never opened up a person before?  Me, I'd rather have someone who was grooming for it all his or her life.
    •  no one answered your question (none)
      and i'd like to know too.

      i'll try to find out if I have time.

      "Decisions that send men and women to die should not be made in a secret way." Lawrence Wilkerson

      by missreporter on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 04:58:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  i honestly thought it might pass (none)
      i thought that senators would think it shameful not to revoke this pork, but if you read Kos' comments its clear they don't want the vicious, greedy Hurricane Katrina victims to come after their beloved earmarks.

      It was defeated 15-82 and here is who voted FOR it:

      Allard (R)
      Allen (R)
      Bayh (D)
      Burr (R)
      Coburn (R)
      Conrad (D)
      DeMint (R)
      DeWine (R)
      Feingold (D)
      Graham (R)
      Kyl (R)
      Landrieu (D)
      Sessions (R)
      Sununu (R)
      Vitter (R)

      "Decisions that send men and women to die should not be made in a secret way." Lawrence Wilkerson

      by missreporter on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 05:03:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  BTW it's on the front page (none)
      I almost always check the diaries before scrolling down.

      "Decisions that send men and women to die should not be made in a secret way." Lawrence Wilkerson

      by missreporter on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 05:04:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I thought he voted against the (none)
      Coburn ammendment?

      eating popcorn at the end of days

      by Fernando Poo on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 07:04:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Double ditto from here. (4.00)
    Keep on being true to yourself and continue to maintain your convictions. We need to believe again and trust again. We need to know that people will stand up for what they believe, even if the cause is unpopular.

    This country is begging for strong leadership. So far I think you are heading in right direction. Keep it up Senator.

  •  *A comment on your Convention Speech* (4.00)
    My brother was there as a Georgia delegate, and he said your appearance was electric. While I may not agree with all of your positions, I firmly believe that you and others like you give me hope for the future of our party and our country.
    •  It was electric..... (4.00)
      ....even from home, watching in my living room.  

      I was by myself that night, my husband and daughter where out, shopping or running errands, or some such thing.  As you came to the podium, I settled onto the couch, prepared to listen.  By the time you were finished, I was standing and clapping, all by myself, in an empty house.

      You delivered hope that night.  I actually felt it, and it felt good.  

      Your diary, Senator, was thought provoking.  You reminded me that we have to fight smart....not just fight.

      Looking forward to hearing from you again.

  •  Thanks for checking in, Senator. (4.00)
    There is so much to be done to right the American ship of state and get the flag flying proudly again.

    Please, Please, Please! Will you Democrats form a wall around our core principles and protect them from the right wing troglodytes.

    And please, as soon as Dems are able, launch an investigation of Grover Norquist, et al. These folks are more dangerous to me and my country than any foreign enemy we currently have.

    Thanks for listening to all of us, crazy or not.

    Down, by God, but not out.

    by perro amarillo on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:06:35 PM PDT

  •  Thanks Senator! (4.00)
    For coming back, responding, and engaging the netroots

    I think your pretty much on target with many of the issues, and your style of optimism is very encouraging

    perhaps eventually we can get you to post comments on threads too!
    (it takes time)


    Undiluted progressive values + completely pragmatice approach = liberation

    by coldfusion on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:06:39 PM PDT

  •  Senator: (4.00)
    Thank you for the comments on SCOTUS nominee Harriet Miers (that all you knew so far was that she was a good corporate lawyer, etc).  It struck just the right tone.

    Feel free to get your friends on the Judiciary Committee to ask, since her law firm featured union-busting and anti-union election strategies and services on its website, if she supports the human rights of workers to organize and join unions.  Her answer would speak volumes about the direction the court will continue in, only quicker, once she is on.  That is, if she's honest.

    In Solidarity,

    Matthew Cross

    "While there is a lower class, I am in it. While there is a criminal element, I am of it. While there is a soul in prison, I am not free." - Eugene Debs

    by matthewc on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:06:56 PM PDT

  •  Secure our vote on paper ballots (4.00)
    We'll take care of the rest.
  •  Continue to Stand for Accountability... (4.00)
    ...responsibility.  Hammering that message home will win the support of the Pissed-off Republicans...
  •  at least he has the class (4.00)
    to repond to the concerns posted in here.  He is obviously one public servant whoo cares about the little guy.  I'd most likely vote for him simply because he seems to have his finger on the pulse of the common people.  Besides, my wife thinks the bow is cute on him (she thinks it sucks on Tucker Carlson)
    •  caring for the little guy isn't just talking to us (none)
      Although I appreciate having this channel to our representatives so much and I do read what each of them writes on here.

      But caring for the little guy is introducing legislation that can help the little guy... and voting against all of the hurtful things like CAFTA and the Bankruptcy bill.  It's getting the facts about the issues so you can make thoughtful, informed decisions too.

  •  But will it play in Peoria? (4.00)
    Clinton gave us "It's the economy, stupid".  We've seen the New Deal and the Great Society.  Like it or not, we are in a sound bite society right now.  Americans knew what Clinton, FDR, and LBJ were about, because they distilled a lot of their agendas down to a few simple catch-phrases.  I know that is probably the "dumbing down" of politics, but it worked.  Mr. Obama, you've been very eloquent, but I don't know that the working men and women of this country know what you (or our party) is all about.  It calls to mind the GOP's Contract With America--I don't think most voters remember what was in it, but they sure do remember that the Republicans thought there were some problems and made a list of how they were going to fix them.  I live in Orange County, CA.  If I stop anyone on the street and ask their opinion on Barack Obama, a typical answer is "he's the young African-American senator who gave a great speech at the convention".  That means that the message is not getting out.  Hopefully we can all work to change that in time for 2006 and 2008.  We all wish we had more leaders like you.
    •  Peoria County, 2004 (none)
      While Kerry eked out a whiskerthin margin, Sen
      Obama, and Republican Congressman LaHood both scored better than two to one. So ticketsplitters outnumber Democrats or Republicans.

      I am not currently Licensed to Practice in this State. Or yours.

      by ben masel on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:37:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Can I just say... (none)
      who the hell cares about Peoria?

      My sister lives there...and I'm sure there are some nice folks...but there seem to be more jerks than nice folks. She's met more racists, anti-conservation/environment, violent pro-lifers, and all out criminals than she ever did before. Either she's a jerk-magnet, or the majority of people there are just jerks. Either way...I don't care if it plays well in Peoria...if that's what we're shooting for...that's a bit too mediocre for me.

      •  So you would continue to shoot only (none)
        for Manhatten and Berkeley?

        Taken together, your reply and the parent post suggests that Senator Obama has been effective in getting his message to the type of swing voter that the Democrats need to convert if we are ever going to be a majority party again.

        (-2.75,-4.77) "Whenever we dumb down the political debate, we lose." Senator Barack Obama

        by Sam I Am on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 12:47:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not saying that. (none)
          What I am saying is that everyone uses Peoria as if it is some great middle america town. If that is middle america...then we've got HUGE f'ing problems. I do think that we can convert independents. But last election in Peoria (according to my sister who I would consider reliable)...there were 3 Dems on the entire ballot. One small name...and then John Kerry and John Edwards. Being anything other than a Republican in Peoria is being a nobody. That's the message I get. I'm not saying we shouldn't try...I'm simply saying that if that's what we've got to do to win (and I don't at all believe it is) then we aren't going to win for a while.
  •  Thank you so much, Senator... (4.00)
    You are the one person in Washington -the one- that I believe is blessed with intelligence AND wisdom - politically and otherwise.  I thank you for contributing your thoughts here.


    "We're all working for the Pharoah" - Richard Thompson

    by mayan on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:08:14 PM PDT

  •  Thank you Senator (4.00)
    From a fellow Punahou alum!

    The Republicans seem to be on a single-minded kamikaze mission to alienate 70% of the country.  Their policies are failing and their leaders are all under investigation or indictment.  They are handing Democrats an unprecendented opportunity to capture significant pickups in 2006 and 2008.  The message that you craft has to be popular and optimistic, but moreover it has to be uniting.  It has to unite as much of the country as possible- I think that the country is tired of divisive partisan policy.  And it has to unite Democrats from the House and Senate in sharing a common message.  I look forward to hearing the Democratic strategy in the months to come.

    Punhaou '86

    "Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win."
    -Sun-tzu, The Art of War.

    by I like Ike on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:09:06 PM PDT

    •  From a Shy Lurker (4.00)
      Senator, you rascal,

      Thank you for heading into the fray. We need someone with
      the guts to speak out now, & speak out strongly even if
      challenged again & again & again. You just might have the
      goods to do that if you dare to speak up & (not) be damned
      for doing so. I think most of us here believe that the time hasn't
      been more right to take the reins than...since when? Someone
      has to do it.

      An Illinois native & now Punahou spouse who knows some of
      your old teachers at Punahou, who say (as you have said) you
      were a "rascal" in high school. That only makes us like you
      more, by the way, because you were an innocent, teenaged
      rascal, as opposed to the criminals about in D.C. now. Embrace,
      please, being a rascal as that would be defined now in Congress?

      (Hi John from '86. Bet I know your former teachers, too! It's a
      small, small world, but hard to post in a timely fashion from
      Hawaii--always so damned late to every thread. ARGGH. And
      forget about Cheers & Jeers, unless big-time insomnia kicks

      •  Open threads too (none)
        I'm in Cali now- unfortunately moved from Hawaii after graduation and haven't made it back since.  But I hear you on the late postings...

        I had some great teachers at Punahou- better in many instances than my college professors.  Great Punahou teachers of my time included Doc Pfeffer (biology), Mr. Kimitsuka (also biology),  Doc Berry (English), Mr Canfield (French)- many more but I can't remember them all!

        "Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win."
        -Sun-tzu, The Art of War.

        by I like Ike on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 08:05:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It means alot that you read our posts. (4.00)
    Thank You, Senator Obama and let me be the first kossack to wish you a Merry Fitzmas. Let's work together to make the future more peaceful.
  •  Thank you, Senator. (4.00)
    We are going to get our country back.  The audacity of hope.

    No American left behind - in civil rights, in health care, in the economy.

    by JLFinch on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:09:25 PM PDT

  •  Thank you too (4.00)
    for supporting Deval Patrick for Governor of Massachusetts.
  •  Back to the original issue, (4.00)
    Your original post started off defending Leahy's 'Yea' vote on Roberts.  I think there is some logic in your main point and the dissenting views offered as well.

    When it comes to Miers though, no Democrat can vote 'Yea'.  In fact, I believe every Democrat should support a filibuster on this one.  As bad as Roberts was to us, and perhaps acceptable at best to others, Miers is clearly unacceptable to us all.

    Thank you.

    Isn't a centrist just someone who doesn't have the balls to be a fanatic? -- Stephen Colbert

    by Muboshgu on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:10:36 PM PDT

  •  Thanks - glad you are here (4.00)
    It's pretty exciting to be able to dialogue with our elected officials in this manner. Thanks so much for participating. You rock, Senator!
  •  Thank you (4.00)
    As one of those who had a somewhat negative reaction to your earlier post, I want to applaud you for reading our responses and being willing to come back for constructive dialogue.

    Do your part for world peace - visit Iraqi Blog Count and interact!

    by Sharon Jumper on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:12:39 PM PDT

  •  Amen (4.00)
    people will respond to a powerfully progressive agenda when its couched in optimism, pragmatism and our shared American ideal

    You're giving a moderate some hope!

  •  Armando knew you'd be back! ;) (4.00)

    ...with night falling, and down to his last flair, can Armando keep the coyotes at bay?...

    by PhillyGal on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:14:14 PM PDT

  •  Why didn't you vote for the Coburn Amendment? (4.00)
    Thanks for stopping by Daily Kos here, but as a constituant, I'd like to know why a bridge to nowhere in Alaska is more important to the people of Illinois than helping Katrina victims.

    Is that your progressive values or your pragmatism?

  •  Courageous! (4.00)
    As Maya says, without courage none of the other virtues can be practiced.  

    May you carry the message of courageousness back to the Democratic caucus.  You certainly have been courageous in returning and um, energetically, engaging!

    Every time history repeats itself the price goes up - Anon.

    by Pithy Cherub on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:17:08 PM PDT

  •  Tell your friends (4.00)
    Seriously, I would urge you, Senator, to tell your Democratic colleagues in the Senate and Democrats in the House of your the feedback that you received here--both positive and negative--as I'm sure that they, too, would benefit from this experience.  

    Most of us here are pretty thoughtful, even if a touch raw in giving voice to those thoughts. We are, to be sure, not quite a representive sampling of the Democratic constituency--it's a pretty self-selected group here--but we do, I believe, all have the best interests of the country at heart, and we certainly have a strong interest in effective representation of our positions and ideals by those elected officials who most closely share those postions and ideals.

    For good or for bad, and certainly for now, those officials largely inhabit the Democratic Party, and so we largely look to you and your Democratic colleagues do do your part.  

    The point is that we have a voice that can be heard only so far inside the Beltway and in our state houses, and while we will continue to speak up and speak out, we cannot do it alone.  We need you--indeed, we depend upon you--to be there for us.

    Thank you for taking the time to talk and to "listen" to us; now complete the cycle and tell your friends of what you and we had to say.


    Mike D.

    The New York Times: All the news that's fixed to print

    by GOTV on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:17:25 PM PDT

  •  Thank you, Senator (4.00)
    for coming back. That you respect us enough to stay engaged says a lot about you.

    That we respect you enough to fight back says a lot about us. All in all, a pretty fair exchange, although it certainly could have been more courteous on our side at times. I hope that you will continue to stay engaged.

    I also hope that you will see that the frustration so many of us feel and that so many expressed in your last diary is genuine, and that we are just the tip of the iceberg. The tremendous growth in registered readers/users of the site in just the past six months reflects that more than anything.

    We want leaders who are willing to tell the truth to the American people. And the American people are ready to here those truths, particularly now. They know that the Iraq War is a complete debacle, they know that Tom DeLay and Bill Frist are corrupt, they know that the greatest wrong a President can do is to take his country to war on the basis of lies. You need only to look at polling numbers to see that they know this, and they want leaders who are brave enough to say these truths out loud. That's not a negative message. That's saying "Here we are different."

    The netroots is the new face of electoral politics in America, and we are here to stay. We might not change the course of the 2006 elections, and probably not 2008. But by 2012, we'll do it. And I hope we take you right along with us.

  •  Kudos (4.00)
    I for one promise to respond to a powerfully progressive agenda when its couched in optimism, pragmatism and our shared American ideals.

    Right now, those ideals seem to be lost somewhere in the couch, probably next to my lighter, a lonely sock and a tootsie roll wrapper.

  •  It takes a lot of strength to stay in the (4.00)
    discussion and not collectively give up on each other.
  •  Thanks, Senator (4.00)
    Democrats needs to present and fight for a clearly stated set of core convictions

    Very true.

    On the other hand, Republicans need to be present in court to fight convictions.

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:19:05 PM PDT

    •  Har! (none)

      I am the federal government.

      by mateosf on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:27:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh, my goodness (none)
      Big smooch for muledriver! :)
      You just won my heart!

      "Democrats needs to present and fight for a clearly stated set of core convictions."

      "On the other hand, Republicans need to be present in court to fight convictions."

    •  I Don't Know How We Can Welcome Back Sen. Obama (none)
      And not treat him to typical dKos roasting.  I've read this far down the thread, and no one has kindly pointed out the verb-tense disagreement.  "Democrats needs..."  Sheesh!  Note to Sen. Obama: Glad you are writing your own posts, but you might want to blame this small error in grammar on a staffer.  And you can use the "Edit Diary" function.

      I kid the Senator.  Thanks for posting.  It just wouldn't be dKos if no one pointed this out playfully.

      And in the spirit of your sitting on Harriet Miers' confirmation hearings, I must say:  You are the best Senator ever!!!  You and Mrs. Obama are so cool!

      Best regards.  

      "Have you no sense of decency, sir. At long last, have you left no sense of decency?" -- Boston Attorney Joe Welch, taking down Sen. Joe McCarthy.

      by BostonJoe on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 03:45:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Appreciate your reading this blog (4.00)
    to find out what Dem America is thinking all over the country. Despite the news media.

    Glad you are in the Senate!  

  •  One More Thank You! (4.00)
    And a heartfelt one, Senator.  

    I had the opportunity to hear you speak at Barnes & Noble in NYC not too long ago and for the next few days all I could say to anyone is "that guy's going to be President someday if he keeps talking like that."  And I meant every word.

    Keep up the good work.  Make us proud.

  •  Thanks for coming back. (4.00)
    Smart fella, Senator, choosing to respond during a time of DKos pre-Fitzmas giddiness.

    I'm glad you read what my fellow Kossacks had to say.  Engagement between you and this community certainly helps create greater understanding and unity.

    I am sure I speak for all Kossacks when I say how much I do appreciate you making yourself available, even if we don't agree on issues as much as either of us would like.

    I'm sure one would be hard-pressed to disagree with what you've said tonight.  We're all waiting for exactly what you're calling for both in the senate, and in the party.

    Madam, if you were my wife, I would drink it.

    by gavodotcom on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:20:48 PM PDT

  •  Hey Barack (4.00)
    Nice to see you stopping by from time to time but you know you're not a true Kossack until you get in the ring and participate in the comments right? Even the mighty Kos gets dirty and mixes it up once in a while. Don't tell me you don't have the time, what's more important than grinding out the issues with people who truly care about this democratic experiment that's gone off the rails?

    "Unless we each conform, unless we obey orders, unless we follow our leaders blindly there is no possible way we can remain free" - Frank Burns

    by Central Scrutinizer on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:21:19 PM PDT

    •  We'll know he's a true Kossack (4.00)
      when we read his first comment in Cheers & Jeers!

      But we're happy to see you here again Senator.  Thanks for not just giving up when you didn't see only the rave reviews most politicians would probably have expected.  

      We're an opinionated bunch.  But you can tell we're not Republicans, because we're also (for better or worse) not afraid of a lively debate.  

      If you think we're wrong about something, convince us why.  If you think we're right, fight for us.  

      When we're screaming about the Bankruptcy Bill, the bridge to nowhere, or even a Supreme Court Justice, I suspect that's all most of us are really asking for.  

      Of course that's just my opinion...I could be wrong...Just sayin'...

  •  have Chris Lu call me (none)
    Senator Obama,

    Have Chris Lu call me about your decision to co-sponsor the reporter shield legislation sponsored by Senator Lugar.

    It's a bad bill, but I'd like to hear your reasoning for co-sponsorship.

    Rrrrrringgg... Time to change the government.

    by Carl Nyberg on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:22:02 PM PDT

    •  While you're at it ask him about the Coburn Amd. (4.00)
      something along the lines of "How is funding a $250 million bridge to nowhere during a time of desperate budgets a part of the 'progressive' agenda"?

      Methinks we are being spun.

      I am the federal government.

      by mateosf on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 10:06:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed (none)
        I would also like to know why only four Dems voted for the amendment. The pork has to go, for both parties or we have nothing to stand on when our priniciples are tested.

        The Only Constant is Change

        by proudprogressiveCA on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 10:19:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Damn Skippy (none)
        I can't begin to tell you how pissed off I am about Obama, Clinton, Kerry and Kennedy on that one. I seriously want to slap everyone here that fought so hard to defeat that chunk of pork all day yesterday but is now kissing the ass of the one man that voted for it we should be able to count on not to.

        Outsider no more. He's one of them. Bah. Pointless to even try. This revolution needs pitchforks and torches. You can't trust anyone that stands on your shoulders to be a great man.

        "Pro and con are opposites, that fact is clearly seen. If progress means to move forward, then what does congress mean?" ~Nipsey Russell

        by RANT on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 04:48:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Good luck on getting that. (none)
      But my guess would be that it has somthing to do with personal promotion and upward mobility, and nothing if little to do with the best interests of his constituents.

      eating popcorn at the end of days

      by Fernando Poo on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 07:11:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for listening (none)
    I know I've learned a lot.  There are gems to be found, a strong and resounding pulse.
  •  You can't "lead" the Party on everything (4.00)
    But it's time to pick one issue. Might I suggest Drug Policy? Given your book, there's no need to stay closeted. Start with Mandatory Minimum Sentences.

    PS. I've noted your vote for the Agricultural Hemp bill a few years ago in the Illinois Senate, which passed with overwhelming bipartisan support. We're looking for a Senate sponsor of a companion to Cong. Ron Paul's Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2005, HR 3037

    I am not currently Licensed to Practice in this State. Or yours.

    by ben masel on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:24:33 PM PDT

  •  An Obama diary (4.00)
    is probably the only thing that will get us off the Fitzmas kick (at least for awhile...)

    "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little."

    by vawolf on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:26:09 PM PDT

  •  Senator Obama - (4.00)
    Thank you for responding to those of us in in the the blogosphere (i.e - the electorate).  Democrats.  Die-hards.  Those who sit and wait for hours at work and rush home to log on and read about our Democracy and what is becoming of it.  We must win this battle - this is the most dire threat to our democracy to date.  We will not sit idly by while the Hillary Clintons and Joe Bidens of the world play both sides of the coin.  As a life long Democrat, I can promise you this - I will not vote for a Republican-Lite in 2008.

    We need a leader.  From the moment I saw you sir, I knew.  You may very well be that person one day.

    But for now....we need you to fight.  We need to impeach and imprison these corrupt, treasonous politicians who have endangered America with their false war and their corporate policies.  We need to stand up, loudly speak the truth and win in 2006.

    And then, we need you to convince Al Gore to run for President in 2008.  As I understand it, you saw what he did in New Orleans.  I read that you tried to send planes and were rebuffed.  I read you called him to find out how he had done it when nobody else could....or would.  Those are the actions of a leader.  Those are the qualities you can expect from President Gore.

    Convince him to run Senator.  Don't get me wrong, I cannot wait for you to run one day.  I only hope it's after 8 years as Vice President to President Al Gore.

    Peace be with you.  

    Scout Finch
    Kansan - Rock Chalk Jayhawk

  •  Oh, man... (4.00)
    The footage is available.  Bobby Kennedy and  John F. Kennedy both advanced their policies in the bedrock of a moral imperative. That is to say that civil rights was a moral imperative, econimic parity was a moral imperative, justice on the international stage was a moral imperative.  Check out the footage. The Kennedy administration advanced VALUES more than any other admistration before or since.  Can it be so hard for us Democrats to understand ourselves?  Just look to the Kennedy admistration.  It's all there.  Hello, Senator!
    •  Footage? (none)
      You mean speeches? Yes, they were a lot better in those days, but Jack Kennedy wouldn't have lasted two minutes in today's media environment, sad to say---it would be all about sex and mob ties if today's reporters were covering him.
  •  What a gentleman! (4.00)
    He "appreciated all the energetic responses"?  Wow.  Sign the Senator up for leading Middle East peace talks!

    My reply-

    Dear Senator Obama:

    Yes, the Democrats need an optimistic and unified message AND they also need to work very, very hard to prove that they are willing and able to step up to the plate and go to bat for the average American.

    It will take both to turn the tide.    

    May all beings be free from fear.

    by shakti on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:27:13 PM PDT

  •  "Rather than belabor points..." (4.00)
    "Rather than belabor points..."

    ...but istn't that what this is all about?

    You wrote a piece that was roundly panned. Why? Because we expect more from you.

    It is not enought to grace us with your presence and dismiss all the thoughtful ctiticism of your position by saying you don't want to discuss it further.

    Seriously, the point of discourse is to discuss a topic. It is not simply to be acknowledged and dismissed.

    Here us... We are asking you to stand up to power!


    That is why we elected you.

    •  some of us did (none)
      Well, only the "we's" from Illinois elected him, actually.
    •  It wasn't dismissed at all. (4.00)
      He listened and he got the message.  He gets it:

      "I also agree that it is the job of Democratic elected officials to help shape public opinion, and not just respond passively to opinion thats been aggressively shaped by the Republicans PR machinery."

      This is precisely, concisely, the concept that was missing in his previous post.

      I, for one, am very encouraged that he listened and got the message.  Now if he would just follow through...

      And Senator, why did you vote against the Coburn Amendment?

      Yes, I believe in God, if I'm allowed to define God as all of the discovered and undiscovered equations of physics. God is, indeed, magnificent and beautiful.

      by power model on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 08:15:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for coming back (none)
    It's good to know someone is listening.  I wish I could swap one of my senators for you.  Heck I'll swap both of them.
  •  This is how uncorrupted power, my fellow Kossacks, (none)
    responds to truth, and how you earn loyalty and is called "cementing the base."  

    (I will work on not hitting return so quickly)

  •  Glad to see ... (4.00)
    ... you back again. I look forward to your future posts.
  •  Thank you for getting it (4.00)
    Sometimes it is so frustrating when we hear certain Democrats deride netroots, move-on as being out of the mainstream, extreme liberal or left wing nut when netroots are just asking for good government and leaders telling the truth and doing what is right.

    Now it seems what netroots have been saying since 4 years ago is now a conventional wisdom with the majority of the population according to polls.

    The lesson is the TRUTH will eventually come out, and to be principled you have to stand for the truth even if you are just a minority.

    Stop Corporate Influence; buy DEMOCRACY BONDS!!!

    by timber on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:32:53 PM PDT

    •  Perspective is different from Truth (none)
      We understand there is a conservative and liberal, republican or democratic party perspective but what this administration did is not about perspective--it is subterfuting the TRUTH and doing something to harm America like a costly Iraq war and fiscal irresponsibility, incompetence, cronyism in FEMA, and kowtowing to special interest at the expense of the people.

      We expect our leaders not to be an accessory to this but to prevent bad things from happening.  What made us angry is that Democrats know it is wrong but wouldnt want to speak out for fear of political fallout.  I hope this does not happen again.

      Stop Corporate Influence; buy DEMOCRACY BONDS!!!

      by timber on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:41:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for coming back Senator! (4.00)
    I think one of the important things here is that we all have different perspectives. kos (Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, who runs the blog) gets even more criticism than you did, and I think there's a lot in that.

    See, Sen Obama, kos, and all of the rest of us see the blog and the electorate and the country in a different way. I think kos, for instance, knows the readership and role of this blog better than the people who actually sign up to post here. And he has some understanding of what "the silent segment" is thinking that we don't understand, because, well, they never talk to us.

    Sen Obama wrote similarly when he felt we were misunderstanding the will of many here in America. After a few months on daily kos, I started to become quite radicalized...all I was hearing was intenesly polarized. And more severe opinions were celebrated more often than not. This is called "group polarization" in the literature. It's why we have two major political parties, and a set of fringe parties at the extremes.

    So suspend disbelief for a second before you decide you personally hate Sen Obama or Markos; that they are traitors or wolves in sheeps clothing. Maybe they have even more fervent a belief than you do in your ideals, only they have a mix of "optimism, pragmatism" in their approach to achieving it.

    And they just might be justified in doing so.

    The dark at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming age.

    by peeder on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:33:05 PM PDT

  •  You know something, Senator? (4.00)
    We may not always agree. Or, we may often agree.

    But the fact that you're willing to engage in this discussion is really, really cool.

    It shows a basic level of respect for Americans - loyal Democrats and liberal Americans - that I think more Senators ought to exhibit.

    I am also pleased to see your commitments to a revamped party, one that will fight and that will speak to the highest, best ideals of this country and its people.

    We're not going to always agree on how to do that, but as you may know, we don't always agree with each other here. But we are on a shared journey.

    Even if I did describe your first diary as Obama's Scold.

    One last thing - I really hope you grasped the passion and the seriousness with which we all responded to you. We are sitting out here scared, concerned, and not a little alienated. If you took nothing else from the exchange, I hope we all impressed upon you the desperateness of the situation.


    I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

    by eugene on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:33:34 PM PDT

  •  Senator Obama (4.00)
    Thanks for having enough respect and confidence in this community to actually offer some constructive criticisms and to challenge our views. Also, the fact that you wanted nothing more than to interact with the community means a lot to us, and to me. Again, thank you.

    Senator, you've got spine. Someday you could make a fine president. If you ever need campaign workers, this would be a great place to look, rest assured. I'll work for you in Maine.

    It was a cold, bright day in April and the clocks were striking thirteen.

    by Stradavus on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:34:19 PM PDT

  •  Barack Obama, simple questions - - (4.00)
    The 8 trillion dollar national debt which can be viewed at any of the three links that follow,

    The Outstanding Public Debt as of 21 Oct 2005 at 04:15:16 AM GMT is:


    Estimated National Debt Right NOW! 0:18:59 A.M.


    The Debt to the Penny and Who Holds It


    $4,625,902,844,789.39 Debt Held by the Public

    $3,373,940,507,520.88 Intragovernmental Holdings

    $7,999,843,352,310.27 Total Debt

    Any ideas as to how, when, etc. this mess is going to be corrected?

    Any thoughts about Intragovernmental Holdings being nothing but worthless IOUs according to President Bush?

    Any thoughts about Intragovernmental Holdings being a stupid form of double taxation?

    Any thoughts as to Intragovernmental Holdings being taxation without representation?

    Love seeing you online. You couldn't believe how great it would be to actually have a "voice" with someone in your position.

    Senator Barack Obama, the national debt numbers displayed hereinabove do not include spending re the energy bill, the transportation bill, all the other pork bills of late, the Iraq war, Katrina, Rita, etc, etc, etc,  And the list goes on and on......

    Above all other problems that exist in our government, the national debt gets the least attention and is the most important.

    Any ideas?

    •  re: national debt (none)
      I personally also think that the national debt is a very important issue--and it keeps getting swept under the table. We need to hilight it. Within the next four months or so, we will brush up against the debt ceiling once again. This is when Congress is forced to raise the nation's credit limit to itself or worry about defaulting on our debt. Don't let this vote get buried again, snuck into some other bit of legislation and hurriedly passed before anyone notices.  The United States has a debt problem--it is addicted to foreign credit. Borrowing $1.62 billion dollars a day (that's over a million dollars every minute) is not a "strong dollar policy" in the long term. Let's let Congress know that this must be seriously dealt with for once.
  •  Thank you sir (4.00)
    You restore a bit of faith in the Democratic party for me. That has been sorely lacking for some time.

    I hate the fact that I am moving on in years now, because I certainly would like to live to see that day that you may possibly be our banner carrier in a presidential race one day.

    I believe your convention speech was one of the best I have heard in years.

    God bless and Gods speed in moving our party in the right direction.

    A lonely Democratin the very red state of MS.

    Don't blame me, I am still trying to figure out what is on the Blue dress :) eaglecries

    by eaglecries on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:37:14 PM PDT

  •  Impressed that you've returned, Senator (4.00)
    Any elected official who willingly returns to the DKos crucible, with a wink and a nod, earns points in my book.

    Welcome back.

    I wasn't one of the energetic responders, but I was a bit put off by your previous diary.  I read it as advocating a passive response to the questionable actions of the current majority.

    Your words tonight indicate otherwise, I will hope that your actions demonstrate that same commitment.

    Please continue to engage in a dialogue here, our criticism (even when harsh) is meant to be constructive.

    Have a good evening, sir.

    When I must guard my thoughts, feelings and words, lest I be unpatriotic...then my country is lost

    by crimsonscare on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:37:15 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for the feedback (4.00)
    to the feedback.

    and it's a force of habit/ if it moves then you fuck it / if it doesn't move you stab it -- MacManus

    by BiminiCat on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:39:28 PM PDT

  •  Senator, I like you (4.00)
    I didn't really get a chance to read your diary, sorry, having to work sometimes takes precedence over debating a Senator. :-)

    But i do remember there were some harsh responses and you still came back. I admire you for that, it shows a certain mindset that you appreciate the netroots and see it as instrument of positive change. I guess if you are on MTP or talking to Blitzer and he suggests and are "fringe groups", you'll take them to task on it. :-)

    If your point is that we will get further by not calling Bush a murderer and ask for him to be tried in Belgian courts, I'm with you. But I will also say that there has to be more conviction within the Democratic party and the Deansque ability to come out with an unpopular opinion (at the time when he was against the war) and stick with it.

    Just caught Horowitz saying how the Democrats FULLY supported the Iraq war and how they are abandoning the troops and the Cause. Perception is spun into reality and we need to be better.

    You'll get our help Senator, you always remember the regular Joe and make the country a better place for us. I have high hopes of you.


  •  thank you for continuing the conversation (4.00)
    one of the greatest threats to the long-term health of our party is a lack of trust between elected officials and citizens, and a general lack of communication is a major part of that problem (serious disagreements on policy and votes, the initial source of the controvery that you responded to, is the other). your willingness to read our responses and to come back bodes well for rebuilding that trust and communication. we are rough debaters here, but like most americans we respect someone who can take the knocks in stride and continue the discussion the next day. as one who was a critic of the yes votes on roberts and who sharply disagreed with your estimation of the national mood, i appreciate your response, and i still think we have a lot of substantive discussion of major issues to hash out still. i would hope that you can find the time to come back and really hash some stuff out with us citizens. i think both sides would benefit from the exchange.

    both from reading dreams of my fathers and from listening to your speeches, i hold you in deep esteem as a fellow human being and as a democrat. i have seen the same hopelessness and grinding poverty in my own sojourns in the developing world that you spoke of in your reflections on kenya, indonesia, and the south side of chicago, and it gives me no small bit of hope that someone who has seen and experienced the things that you have is currently walking the corridors of power. a democratic party that cares as deeply about the fortunes of those forgotten people - both in america and abroad - as much as it does its own job security could be a great force for positive change in this world. we must be willing to strive for a world that does not leave those people in those hopeless predicaments, and not just be content to tinker around the edges while preserving the inequities of our flawed status quo. we need to dream bigger than the democratic party has been doing for the past 30 years of my lifetime.

    i believe that when we are past this great crisis of our democracy, that your way will be what we need to bring the country back together. my fear is that we will need to fight in a more divisive manner to save the republic before we even get to that place. i hope that it does not come to that, that you and your collegues will find a way to get us past this crisis without rancor, but i have not seen signs of it yet. i hope for all of our sakes that you are correct, and that the current path of comity will bear fruit, and soon. we cannot take too much more of the status quo out here outside the beltway.

    crimson gates reek with meat and wine/while on the streets, bones of the frozen dead -du fu (712-770)

    by wu ming on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:41:38 PM PDT

  •  Thank you for responding to our comments. (4.00)
    We need more people like you will will take time out of their days to listen to us. I wish you best of luck as you review the record of Harriet Miers and fight to preserve the ANWR from drilling.

    I agree with everything you say here and think we have to strive for all these ideals. They are not mutually exclusive, as you point out here and as you pointed out in your first post.

    Furthermore, you are an inspiration for other Afro-American leaders who want to make lives better for all.

  •  I think it took some guts (4.00)
    to come back after the blasting you took.

    It took some class not to come back defensively.

    It took confidence to come back and reinforce your basic message.

    Thanks and come back again. Let's see some more of what you've got.

    Let's see if you can find that balance between the nice, cooperative "sell-out" seen as weak and the aggressive pit-bull that shows you mean business and can protect someone when the need calls for it.

    Someday, after the forest fire of the Right has died we'll say "Whew, I'm happy that's over."

    by CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:41:56 PM PDT

  •  Barack Obama is a Kossack. (4.00)
    And that, my friend, is praise indeed.
  •  Re: Thanks for the feedback (4.00)
    Thanks, Senator.

    Strangely enough, I liked both your original post and the critical comments. Please continue to be sensitive to others and to be diplomatic. And please fight.

  •  kudos (4.00)
    im impressed senator

    i believe you can take a compliment without increasing your hat size.. and constructive criticsm so here goes

    i honestly believe you have the makings of a great man.. if you can grow into it

    i was a young man when i heard barbara jordan speak ... (back during watergate) at the time i believed she would be both the first woman president.. and the first black president.. when she spoke.. people listened.. i  get that same feeling  now

    if you ever have the time.. and opportunity.. review her videos.. not just her speeches... her videos with the audio.. she was articulate on a scale with sam ervin... these were great americans

    im not quite sure what it was... her tone?... her diction.. her pace of speaking ( it was slow and deliberate).. but it made people pause and listen..

    having said that.. i dont believe 08 is your year.. i do think you need to get some time under your belt... ive never even been to washington.. but i sense that the pace.. time.. pressure... breadth of experience necessary.. is such that a wise man... would learn it first..

    having said that... if you get drafted for veep and decide to go for it.. i couldnt blame you

    the democrat leader from boston once told the story of a woman he knew who stopped him on the street and told him.. she had not voted for him... he protested that he had known her for years and years... she responded.. he hadnt bothered to ask for her vote... (i dont think the gist of the story was going around to ask everyone fopr their vote... but more.. he had lost touch with the street)

    god bless ya.. and never forget where you came from

  •  The Honorable Senator Obama (4.00)
    It has been my observation that, in many instances, it is those in the social minority (women, African-Americans, or both, in many instances) that truly stand among the strongest Americans.  Something about their stereotypically "weak" position that provides for (or allows them) a strong personal fortitude (maybe becasue they have less, and less to lose?).

    I hope that you are among that group in a way that you have rare opportunity to draw on - to speak truth to power, to shine light in dark places, to stand against withering bluster, to truly shame those who know otherwise, because I DAMN well know that YOU truly know.  And shame on you if you pretend otherwise.

    These days are days of change.  It is in change that you find those points of leverage, those pivot points, that can, and do, tip the scales of fortune and fate.  Not only political but social as well.

    Find those oh-so-important pivot points.  Push hard for those changes that will restore that dream.


    "You! Telling me the things you're gonna do for me. I ain't blind and I don't like what I think I see." -Doobie Brothers

    by prophet on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:43:24 PM PDT

  •  Thanks Senator Obama (none)
    Just do me a favor. When you're offered the no. 2 spot on the ticket in 2008, accept it. ;)

    ==== The More You Know *

    by ZT155 on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:43:53 PM PDT

  •  Barack Obama (4.00)
    If you want to remain a good public servant, don't let comments like the following get to you.

    You are the most AWESOME politician in the entire WORLD and I want you to run for PRESIDENT in every election from now until FOREVER.


    Thanks for taking the time to respond to this community.  You've shown your mettle.  Best of luck in the future and hope to see you around these parts again soon.

  •  Props, Senator, for engaging this energetic crowd, (4.00)
    And loads of respect for reading our posts, responding respectfully, and thereby confirming the value of our input. In sum, thanks for participating in our democracy (small "d").

    And a challenge:

    The "energy" you so eloquently describe on this site is real. We do not suffer fools, we do not have patience for political weakness, and we will not tolerate more Democratic betrayals of Democratic values.

    We have the energy, the will and the drive to flex political muscle and raise the money for candidates who will advance a progressive agenda. So far, you have proven yourself most worthy; your skills as an orator, a politician and a leader are, IMO, unparalleled in the Senate.

    Nevertheless, expect the bar to remain high. When we say we are committed to progressive victories, we mean it.

    So I would add one element to your statement:

    ... based on my experience, that people will respond to a powerfully progressive agenda when its couched in optimism, pragmatism and our shared American ideals.

    And strength, Senator. Leaders who project and act from positions of strength will win the commitment of those of us who sent you there. That is our litmus test.

    Stay strong. Infect your peers with your commitment. Always stay in touch with the netroots. Use the force.

    And godspeed, Senator ...

    I am the federal government.

    by mateosf on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:44:48 PM PDT

    •  Our strength (none)
      Is to remove those that would sell America to WTO once they got enough "campaign contributions". Both parties need to be removed permanently or both agree to ban all forms of lobbying so Americans can have their government back. Until that is part of the progressive plan of Democrats, I'll vote Green or stay home. If a Republican wins, why worry? A Democrats would be bought and become one anyways.
  •  The Podcasts Are Great (4.00)
    I've really been enjoying your Podcasts.

    It is amazing that you are engaged at this level.

    •  I second that (none)

      The weekly podcast is a fine idea, and I enjoy not just their content, but also the informal tone and  delivery. It shows your willingness to engage in political dialogue at multiple levels, especially in today's "connected" society.

      I also appreciate the fact that you didn't try to 'pimp' your podcasts here at any point (if you'll pardon the expression). It showed a certain respect for your readers. A lot of people disagree with you, but you deserve full marks for continuing to behave with class.

  •  You're so right about optimism (4.00)
    One thing Clinton and Reagan had in common was an extremely positive outlook and character. People respond very strongly to positive energy. Nevertheless, there's a bumper sticker you may have seen lately: "If you're not completely outraged, you haven't been paying attention". We expect outrage. We assume you've been paying attention. Thanks for engaging us here. It means a lot. This is the frontier of Democracy and I'm glad there's someone smart enough to realize that.
  •  Thanks a lot senator (4.00)
    I actually thought your first post was pretty relevent. The worst thing I could say is it was incomplete. I feel like this second starts to bring parity.

    Yes, democrats have failed to defend their principles with more vigor.
    Yes, democrats have a responsibility to shape public opinion as much as representing the public.

    But I agree. We need to be optimistic and pragmatic. Arguing solely against the republican agenda doesn't do that. But neither does caving into it when the going gets tough.

    republicans would move heaven and earth to save a brain dead white woman, but let kids drown just for being born below the poverty line

    by danthrax on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:57:35 PM PDT

  •  Thank you for writing to us (none)

    It's good to get a little feedback ourselves on what the ratio of heat to light in our common endeavor is.

    The way you use the term 'pragmatism', or at least what it seems to mean in actions, troubles me somewhat.

    I loved your Convention speech very much, and to my thinking it was a wonderful identification and elaboration on what the Democratic side's view is of the great issue that defines American politics since the Forties.  Which is full citizenship for all, which is to say the proper and comprehensive implementation of Section 1 of the 14th Amendment.

    I have to admit to being disappointed by the 'pragmatism' I've been seeing on that.  No confidence is evident among leading Democrats that the present efforts at social and economic fairness, if not justice, are already strongly grounded in the Constitution.  Or that social and economic fairness are contingent on each other.  There is no sense expressed whatsoever that, as a great American historical pattern, major permanent increments of progress in social justice precede major permanent increments of progress in economic justice.

    I'm not arguing a particular stance.  I'm asking for more confidence in the root of the enterprise, and for seeing a unity to its various social and economic branches and flowers and fruits.

    Thank you, and all the best.

    Renewal, not mere Reform.

    by killjoy on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:57:37 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for your comments, Senator (4.00)
    You were brave to step up and speak out here on this site. Some folks loved it and some hated it. I thought it was a participation in Democracy and you were great! Thanks and keep speaking out and standing up for us!!

    "These guys are biggest bunch of lying crooks I have ever seen" John Kerry

    by alnc on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 10:01:21 PM PDT

  •  Senator Obama... (none)
    I met you briefly in Rockford IL; was one of two on stage with you as you discussed the Pell Grant program at Rock Valley College. Thank you for being so gracious that day; and thank you for being such a graceful, positive presence in the Democratic Party.

    Not a week goes by that my husband and I don't thank our lucky stars to have you and Dick Durbin as our state Senators. We admire your heart; cheer your courage; and thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your tireless and passionate work on our behalf.

    Thank you!

    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. -- Margaret Mead

    by ilona on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 10:04:01 PM PDT

  •  Yes, thanks for your receptivity. (4.00)
    You know, we dont criticize just to complain or for sport. We'd love to be able to do a group hug around each and every Dem pol. But we cant. We are not here to cheer you on. We are here to be served by you -- our best interests. The warm fuzzies are just a reflection of such behavior.

    This is very serious business. These are scarily dysfunctional times here and abroad, thanks to our govt. That is why we grow weary of temperate, moderate, lukewarm voices. Or worse, voices that dont speak to our needs at all, sometimes against them, from our own party.

    People call in to Air America all the time, various shows, complaining of the Dem party. These are mostly Democrats. Progressives. Common sense for the commonwealth people. One fiery topic is the BANKRUPTCY BILL. I heard a host who usually "gets it" (that the DLC sucks, etc, he is progressive and often calls out DLCish behavior) tell a caller, erroneously, it was "just a handful" ... because he was trying, oh-so-hard, to boost the Dem image. To sell the party.

    I like that host, but 40% voting for it is NOT a handful, and there is no spinning it.

    Or was that a 40% Dem vote for the Iraq War Resolution? Cant keep them filed lately. Too much data under "Disturbing, Disgraceful Dems."

    Oh wait, I do know. I know because I recall that a conservative advocate of the bankruptcy bill used exactly that 40% MASSIVE Dem support as a talking point in a debate against the guy on OUR side on Washington Journal or some such show this past week.

    Yup, when 18 out of 44 Democrat senators vote for the bankruptcy bill, that is much more than a handful. It's getting scary-close to half.

    Ditto for the many handfuls who voted for the war on Iraq, which was even higher, if memory serves me right.

    It's so bad that on blogs and the MSM I hear of Democrats who DID NOT vote for the IWR sloppily accused of doing just that: Maxine Waters, Ted Kennedy ... And these mistakes often go unrefuted.

    We progressive Democrats, at the grass roots level, are not only appalled at what such Dem support does for bad GOP policy (gives it an official stamp of goodness, and, in some cases, gets bad laws passed) but are at a loss to explain to others, and ourselves, why the Democrats are better ... except as a lesser of two evils. That might be a good argument for NOT going to war in Iraq, in weighing the consequences, but have we sunk so low that that is all we can sell the Dems on ... to others and to ourselves?

    That is our dilemma, Senator Obama. Please pray to or meditate on the spirit of Paul Wellstone, SOMETHING (listen to FDR's speeches) before going to do battle each day, and by battle, I dont mean just against the Republicans, but also, to get through to many of your Dem colleagues -- the ones who keep selling us out. Please do a better job, you and those we still believe in, in taking the people's case to them like we really matter. And then make it to the people. And we can help you, because helping you means helping ourselves.

    Understand, we are feeling scared, really and rightly SCARED by the state of our union. The Democrats need to reflect this deeply troubled sense of the people. (Again, just listen to callers to AAR, or Thom Hartmann, et al) It is a sane response to what is happening in these times. Not alarmist, but SANE. And so, the Democratic party has got to vastly improve in message and behavior - has got to show, loud and clear, it is for the people more than the CEOS, Wall Street barons and those who profit off the war machine, whether psychologically or monetarily.

    I hope you understand. I REALLY hope so.  

    PS - Keep tuning in and participating. We'll be the better for it.

    Should a liberal Dem blog be driven into "safe zones" by a tame party, or should it drive a tame party to break out?

    by NYCee on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 10:07:26 PM PDT

  •  Senator, You've got creds with me.... (none)
    just for reposting here. Missed the first one.
    Dkos is passionate democracy in action and we want a strong Democratic party. Some of us have been in it for a long time. I first volunteered in '68 for Gene McCarthy while in my teens.

    Carl Nyberg posted above about your co-sponsorship of the Reporter Shield Bill. I am going to check out your bill. I am a supporter of strong shield laws (even in light of the Judith Miller/NYT debacle).

    Whistleblowers aren't going to approach the press in many states without that layer of protection. It rests with the reporters, editors and publishers, in whom I have historically had great respect for, to
    separate the legitimate claimants from those that just have an axe to grind.


  •  Senator Obama, (4.00)
    It's nice to see you back. And it's nice to have a politician  "listen." I missed both you and Senator Durbin this afternoon (more on that below).

    First, allow me to  take issue with a more fundamental point: you suggest that we should not sacrifice our commitment to "intellectual honesty," and in the same breath,  that "people" "will respond to a powerfully progressive agenda when it's couched in optimism."

    I guess I wonder what "people" you have in mind and how you expect to "couch" a "progressive agenda" in "optimism" while at the same time maintaining a commitment to "intellectual honesty."

    Forgive me, but I have a difficult time reconciling the concepts: on  the eve of what we hope (and pray) are the first signs of judicial honesty we have seen in years--which, should these expressions of honesty actually be forthcoming, should they reflect the whole truth and nothing but the truth--will actually be a bitter pill to swallow; a terrible truth: On Fitzmas Day, the American people will be confronted with the grave reality of the present state of the Union; namely,  that the entire upper echelon of our government is saturated in criminal corruption which has had the devastating consequence of leading the country to war, has cost us our international reputation, nearly 2,000 soldiers' lives, an additional ca. 20,000 wounded, not to mention 2 billion dollars that might have otherwise saved a city we just lost not to "natural disaster," but to rampant corruption and incompetence at the level of federal government (and some stupid s.o.b. who couldn't skip his 30-minute dinner hour at the restaurant of his choice!).

    We have lost our honor, lost our integrity, lost billions of dollars, lost a city, many have lost their lives--either through war, abject poverty or through various failures on the part of our government to provide for their needs--and not just in times of crisis.

    So you see, I'm having difficulties reconciling any consideration of "intellectual honesty" "couched" in "optimism" here. Intellectual honesty requires that we face the brutal, brutal truth about the shape this country is in and the degree of "hard work" and "sacrifice" it is going to take to bring the slightest glimmer of optimism to the shambles the "grim reapers" have left in their wake.

    I don't know WHAT demographic (aside from the Forbes 500) is at this point prepared to accept some sugar-coated piece of couch-potato optimism about "changing the course" of this country right now, unless we start to see some serious changes in behavior in the House and Senate. The reality-based community (which I think is pretty well represented here in the Kos-osphere) sure as hell isn't buying it. I know my neighbors here in Hyde Park-Kenwood aren't, nor are my colleagues, clients and cohorts in the rest of the state and country.

    On the Senate floor today, another shameful day: the Coburn Amendment failed, with only one Democratic Senator, Russ Feingold, prepared to put his -- excuse my intellectual honesty -- political ass (i.e., his PORK) on the line and demonstrate some real evidence of committment to fiscal responsibility.

    I borrow from a line from a fellow Kossack (Irhoke): WHEN are you people going to start putting the overall good of the country over your prospects for reelection?

    As I stated in a post on that same thread, I am tired of having to crank up the keyboard here on every single issue that is of concern to me, on every single common sense measure that can and should be taken to start effecting some REAL change in the way this country is run just to get you all to get your asses in gear and do what is right for this country, regardless of whether it is the right thing for your political prospects--as individuals or as a party.

    This strategy is costing you voters: I am one of them. I will respond to a powerfully progressive agenda when I see it translated into action--brutally honest action.

    And with that I will stop here because I'm also having a difficult time couching intellectual honesty in civility here.

    Thank you for your consideration.
    Greetings from Chicago

  •  Thanks for the return engagement (none)
    I think it's important for all progressives (and heck, the larger population) to respectfully challenge one another's assumptions and preconceived notions.  In fact, it's critical to the concept of growth and evolution of the mind.  While I didn't engage in the debate attached to your last diary, it gave me much food for thought from all sides.  To me, it speaks volumes that you came back relatively quickly to post again, and demonstrated your willingness to engage.  I am another who thinks your skills will best serve the country at a different level down the line.

    Many thanks for your equanimity and persistence!  (And I'm all out of two-dollar words now.)

    "We can only reach the dream if we are all together - black and white, gay and straight, man and woman." ~ Howard Dean

    by Nancy in LA on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 10:20:40 PM PDT

  •  Senator Obama, (3.75)
    Thanks for taking the time to talk to us. I agree with the things you say in this diary. I think a lot of our frustration comes from seeing Republicans lie, cheat, and steal to win...and yet they keep winning. Sometimes it is easy to say, if they can do that, why can't we? But I think you are right in this case. We must stay positive and play fairly because if we don't, we aren't really Democrats.

    I think the fight over Social Security reflects this. I believe that the greater majority (probably around 70%, but perhaps that's my idealistic hope) of the American people believe in and agree with the principles of the Democratic party. I certainly get frustrated when we can't get those people to vote for us. I think we need our very own aggressive PR machine...but I agree that it should focus on how we can make America better for EVERYONE.

    A big thanks for taking the time out to talk with us here. I do have one tough question for you though...why was Senator Feingold the only one to vote FOR the Coburn Amendment today? I think it is incredibly important to divert pork funds to rebuilding the Gulf Coast...I live in Southern Illinois, but I have family throughout the state of ILlinois, and I would be more than willing to give up some of the pork projects that are coming here in order to help those who suffered great losses. I'm sure most Illinoisans would be willing to give up a few luxuries for the greater good. I guess I'm just wondering if there was something buried in that Amendment that wasn't good. I think the biggest reason we all get frustrated is that there is no explanation for votes. Perhaps if we knew why everyone voted for the things they do we could make an attempt to understand and empathize with the tough decisions that are being made.

    Thanks again.

  •  Damned if you do... (none)
    I'd like to thank you as well for this post. It's good to hear that you weren't run off by the storm following your last. I myself worried to some extent that you would not be returning soon.

    That being said, while I disagree with much of your original post, I would prefer to see more like it (even if it offends some,) rather than a diary entry just to let us all know you're still around. I fear in the age of netroots the elected leadership might begin to find it wise to drop a post from time to time to rally the troops without actually conveying any substative message.

    Keep up the good work, I think the whole democratic party is watching you, so good luck!

    - Chris

    by jrieth on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 10:24:20 PM PDT

  •  Thanks. Now lets fight the bad guys (4.00)
    instead of fighting each other.   Lets fight the battles that need to be won.

    _"Look up, not down, Look out, not in, Look forward, not back, And lend a hand."_ -Edward Everett Hale

    by deadinthewater on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 10:24:21 PM PDT

  •  Oh, good grief, more mental colon blow. (1.58)
    First, thanks for posting back.  I do appreciate it, but man, do you actually read back what you write?

    I read what you wrote. But, its just more colon blow for the mind.

     I do not doubt that you, I, "we" all hope the best for the nation, want good health care, economic opportunity, and justice for all.  But how in the hell are we going to do it?

    I bet we both love our moms too, but that is not going to help us out of the shitstorm coming down the road for America.

    Here is what you just wrote:

    I completely agree that the Democrats needs to present and fight for a clearly stated set of core convictions, and that we have not done so as effectively as we need to over the past several election cycles.  We can insist on being principled about the ends we are trying to achieve (e.g. educational opportunity and basic health care for all Americans, honest and accountable government, etc.), without sacrificing our commitment to open debate, intellectual honesty, and civility.  I think its the right thing to do and I also think it will help us win.

    Agreeing that "we" as Democrats need to fight for a clearly stated set of core convictions is nice and dandy.  I can assume also we all believe we should not kick puppies. But instead of stating those convictions all you did was post a litany of goals from which such convictions might flow.

    What are your convictions?  What are you personally willing to sacrifice along the way to tack to those convictions?  And what will you demand from us as citizens to live up to those convictions?

    Tell us the journey you intend for us and how you intend to get us there, and STOP, please STOP writing empty platitudes like this is some sort of God damned campaign speech.  We deserve better than that.  Have you no respect for us, to mouth such intellectual roughage?   We all know where we want to go, but it up to you politicians who we invest with the power to implement how we all get there as the rest of us go about our lives.

    And below yours is more of...the obvious, it's just warmed over rhetoric, and Ted Sorenson did it much better for JFK in January of 1961.

    I also agree that it is the job of Democratic elected officials to help shape public opinion, and not just respond passively to opinion thats been aggressively shaped by the Republicans PR machinery.  I am simply suggesting, based on my experience, that people will respond to a powerfully progressive agenda when its couched in optimism, pragmatism and our shared American ideals.

    What are you talking about?  Are you admitting that Democratic politicians need finally to take stands that make uncomfortable those in the business community who pay for their campaigns?

    Frankly, I do not quite know your personal experience, but in my 51 years on this planet, people respond to honesty instead of rhetoric and that honesty has nothing to do with incidental optimism.  In fact, rarely do honesty and optimism go hand in hand, and pragmatism admits optimism is merely tangential to the issues at hand.

    I might well be an asshole here, but if you want to do something, try this:

    There is a dramatic need for federal arrangements to create institutions of meaningful democracy that would offer our citizens the means for controlling our own lives, communities, and work and for participating in the formation of public policy in broader realms.

    Are you willing to stand on the floor of the Senate and excoriate fellow Democrats for voting for the soon-to-be implemented credit card industry driven bankruptcy legislation?  Are you, like Dr. King willing to take a bullet for your convictions?

    I am not asking you to douse yourself with gasoline and set yourself on fire like the Buddhist monks did in Saigon in 1963, but if you want a Movement, the leaders have to show clearly that they themselves are willing to put their own asses on the line for their convictions. That is called leadership. Empty rhetoric is all we have gotten from Democratic politicians for a generation, so why are we supposed to follow leaders who attempt to lead by the empty rhetoric you just posted instead of by example?

    Tell us.

    How does one do that with the vast array of business interests who control the operations and directions of government action for private profit instead of the common good?

    Tell us.

    We all recognize that the normal and proper aim of the corporate community is to make money for its managers and for the owners of business.

    However, business acts on the prevailing philosophy that claims that corporate self-interest eventually produces the general interest.  Unfortunately, this comfortable belief rests on a misinterpretation of the theory of market rationality proposed by Adam Smith.

    Smith would have found the market primitivism of the current day unrecognizable.  He saw the necessity for public intervention to create or sustain the public interest, and took for granted the existence of a government responsible to the community as a whole, providing the structure within which the economy functions.

    Address this issue.

    Tell us.

    Without addressing the corruption of our public life by this philosophy no-thing will change

    The critical national issue is how best to use the collective might of this nation to make this country a better place, and as long as corporations run the show, the little guy, the single female has almost no effect on the political process, short of violence.

    And let me say this; if nothing is done shortly, violence WILL sweep this nation. Count on it.

    One-half of the electorate does not vote in national elections.  100,000,000 Americans have given up on the American Experiment we call representative democracy.  A strong case can be made that it is because government (at all levels) is not responsive to the needs and concerns of the average citizen and caters instead to moneyed interests who do not care about any sense of community.

    Again, what is your plan?

    Tell us.

    How are you going to strive for the implimentaion of and build federal arrangements to create institutions of meaningful democracy that would offer our citizens the means for controlling our own lives, communities, and work and for participating in the formation of public policy in broader realms?

    Tell us.

    I do not need inspiration from politicians, I want answers. And until I get them, I will hold your collective feet to the fire.

    Have a nice day, and to those who would be pissed at me, ask yourself if any of you have the comfortable health insurance Senator Obama has or the pension he will get if he is elected two more times. Senator Obama is set for life. Are you?

    I am not, and I bet not one in ten here is either.

    •  Jesus dude... (4.00)
      who the heck COULD you vote for?! Yourself? The Senator has a busy f'ing job...and he took time out of his hugely busy schedule to engage us...he at least deserves a little bit of respect. I'm not saying you have to agree. And you missed the ENTIRE f'ing point of his diary...which was...(I'll dumb it down for you) you kill more flies with honey.

      I teach English Composition for a living, and I spend a great deal of time talking about the importance of AUDIENCE with my students. I'm tempted to print your comment off and ask them what they think. I'm sure it won't be positive.

      Again, I'm not saying you shouldn't disagree...I agreed and disagreed downthread. But you could at least try to be a bit polite and have some f'ing respect for a Senator!

      •  its not about respect... (none)
        Trent Lott could post on here and I wouldn't expect anyone on here to respect him regardless of his position as a Senator.

        But yes, Kuvasz's complete whiff on the point Senator Obama was trying to make sort of epitomizes why he (and I as well) wants to change the discourse, not necessarily the platform. We need to be optimistic, because gloom and doom, regardless of how "true" it is (I've fought several instances of faux outrage here on dKos) does NOT attract people. I don't want friends who are depressing all the time, why would you want to vote for a party that is always looks for the negative? That's the point the Senator was making.

        •  Well, (none)
          I wouldn't compare Obama to Lott. But even if Lott did show up. I would at least have enough respect to call him Senator Lott...I wouldn't start my post by talking about how full of shit he is. I'd get to it later...and I would sure as hell make it easier to take than he did.
      •  Killing More Flies (none)
        (I'll dumb it down for you) you kill more flies with honey.

        I do believe that the point of the honey is to attract, not to kill, flies.

        But this is precisely the point of difference coming out of the discussion: many -- perhaps most -- hunger for a standard-bearing, vanguard-leading Fly Killer ("flies" here meaning the dangerously bad ideas of the opposition as well as their votes), and they well understand that for killing flies honey is not the weapon of choice.  A set of better ideas, clearly and forcefully and repeatedly stated, is.

        Honey is, however, what a senator does need a lot of, and he/she needs a lot of skill with it, too... for the role of Senator is not "standard-bearing Fly Killer."  The role of Senator is horse-trading consensus builder: Give some on this, to get support on that.... build relationships, coalitions, gain trust and respect.

        And this is precisely why, as a matter of historical fact, senators have very rarely made it to the Oval Office, and also why they make for a rotten presidential candidate during the campaign.

        Since Obama is so good with the honey, keep him in the Senate.  Run a strong, progressive governor for president instead.

        The problem with the French is that they don't have a word for entrepreneur. -- GW Bush to PM Tony Blair

        by PJBurke on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 07:38:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree with most of what you said...except (none)
          honey does kill flies by trapping them.
          •  'Tis True, "Teach"... (none)
            ...when we're referring to real flies and real honey, that is.  

            To rejoinder (without disagreeing):

            We can both agree, I think, that Obama's pleasant approach -- which we've characterized as "honey" -- is not calculated to trap and kill anything.  Nor can he or any other senator afford to have himself be perceived as laying such traps.

            Those of us who want a standard-bearing Fly Killer to lead the party and run for president ought not flog Obama -- or any senator -- for being what he must be to survive and succeed in the Senate.  We must instead understand that the Senate is poor training ground for presidents, and shop elsewhere.

            The problem with the French is that they don't have a word for entrepreneur. -- GW Bush to PM Tony Blair

            by PJBurke on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 01:13:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I agree... (none)
              although I must admit I secretly fantasize that Harry Reid is really setting killer traps with honey for Republicans all over D.C....I mean, he supported Miers, then said so on tv? That HAD to be a well thought out plan to help persuade Republicans to vote her down.. didn't it? :)
              •  Tough to say... (none)
                But its possible.  Reid is a wily old trench-warrior who's learned a trick or two. But so are most of his opponents.

                We may never know... and there's much distance to go yet in the Miers confirmation process... to badly manglephrase Frost:

                The Senate's vexing, dark and deep.
                And many promises I must keep,
                And miles to go before I sleep,
                And miles to go before I sleep.

                The problem with the French is that they don't have a word for entrepreneur. -- GW Bush to PM Tony Blair

                by PJBurke on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 05:53:51 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  Where's the outrage, Senator? (none)
    Perhaps you've seen the bumper sticker "if you're not completely outraged, you haven't been paying attention". We assume you've been paying attention, so we expect outrage. It's difficult to trust someone who's not completely outraged.
    •  Its difficult for me to trust somebody who doesnt (4.00)
      measure his discontent. Outrage is overrated.

      Next time, maybe he'll write in all caps.

      Reigning Welterweight Female Piefighter since 1998

      by ablington on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 05:58:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hilarious! (none)
        Measured outrage is a gift.

        Not sure if you've heard the rumors but Obama is pretty blunt if he is pissed at a person.  He keeps it on the downlow though.  

        •  It IS a gift. (none)
          I prefer a behind the scenes temper. I wish my boss would learn from Obama.

          Reigning Welterweight Female Piefighter since 1998

          by ablington on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 08:59:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You're forgetting something crucial (none)
            and that politicis is largely theater. expressing outrage is important. The GOP figured that out long ago. We're too "measured" and "above that' (i.e. stupid) to figure it out.
            •  I disagree. (none)
              Dems have plenty of hotheads in Congress. Whenever I see Biden on CSPAN, for one example, he is invariably yelling at somebody.

              I agree we need demonstrative displays and we have them. But if its not Obama's style, its not his style. I respect that.

              Reigning Welterweight Female Piefighter since 1998

              by ablington on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 11:23:39 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I respectfully disagree (none)
                If Obama is the way he is, well, there's nothing we can do to change that. However, I think he came to dailykos for some feedback, and I wanted to give it to him. A whole hell of a lot of Democrats find our elected reps to be pathetically lacking in "spine". We find them unable and unwilling to lead, and instead seem to constantly be sticking their fingers in the wind and testing the political temperature (or what they think it is) before having the cojones to say what they think. People like me call this "following", not leading. Five years ago I never would have been to Dailykos or Democratic Underground or any other place like it. I was pretty complacent. Many many many of us are of the Howard Dean school, where we see evil gangsters taking over our country and looting it for their personal advantage and we are fucking PISSED OFF about it. We find it pointless, useless, and a waste of time to be "gentlemanly" to such scoundrels. To be gentlemanly to such people is to enable them. If Obama simply can't help himself and wants to be a gentleman to a gang of thieves, crooks, and war criminals, well, I'm not a resident of Illinois, so I can't even help vote him out of office, but I sure as heck am gonna tell him what I think if given the chance. And if he finds that his constituents are largely ignorant as to the levels of criminality that Bushco engages in, well, to me that means that he should go about educating his constituents as to how they're getting shafted. When we elect people to look out for us, part of what we expect is for them to INFORM US as to the threats and dangers to our liberties! I'm spoiled, perhaps, I'm from Southern California, where I have Barbara Boxer and Henry Waxman looking out for me. They're very very good at keeping me informed. Does Obama do the same? I don't know. Tell me.
  •  If you are listening (4.00)
    Today the Senate Judiciary committe increased H-1B Visas.  These are being seriously abused and used for labor arbitrage by the high tech industry especially.  This is well documented and even the conservative IEEE is speaking out and attempting to get congress to realize what is happening to American engineers and act in the best interest of the middle class.  Yet, this increase was actually co-sponsored and introduced by Senator Kennedy!

    This is the problem.  Democrats do multinational corporate bidding just as much as Republicans.  This is true especially on jobs, outsourcing and trade.

    Why should anyone vote Democratic when we have Democrats selling us, our finances down the river?

    There are other many issues but doing the corporate bidding to me covers most of them.

    by BobOak on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 10:31:42 PM PDT

    •  You know (none)
      Green Party wants to stop outsourcing, repeal NAFTA and CAFTA then remove us from WTO. Sounds great, right?

      Oh yeah, Greens want a law or Consitutional admendment to permanently ban lobbyists.

      •  good point (4.00)
        I really should just plain go with the Green party.

        I am so disgusted by today ...there are many "disgust points" to choose from but today for some reason was the camel with the straw.

        by BobOak on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 10:57:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The Green Party is now a significant force (none)
        in Germany.

        People have turned to it when the larger parties refused to provide acceptable solutions.

        I think that entering into international treaties is often a bad idea.

        America should not tie its hands when problems need to be solved.

        American trade negotiators have not been successful in reducing America's trade deficit.

        A $700 billion trade deficit represents over twenty million $30,000 a year American jobs lost.

      •  Green Party? (none)
        Is that the party of Ralph Nader?  The one that took donations from Republicans?


        •  i can't believe i'm responding to this (none)
          but you do realise that the greens wholeheartedly rejected nader during their convention in 04, right?

          and FYI, people of all parties take money from registered republicans.  WYFP with that?  i suppose we all should have just rejected kerry because lots of republicans donated to his campaign, too?

          get a grip, dude.

          "Democrats: Always standing up for what they later realise they should have believed in." -Jon Stewart, the Daily Show

          by anna on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 09:06:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I have no problem with engineers coming (none)
      to the United States as long as they are free to move to another job.

      I don't want people to be shackled to one job and one employer.

  •  Senator (none)
    Thank you. Some back and forth like this is exactly what we need between us. It is my hope that such a dialogue can continue. I appreciated your comments earlier while disagreeing with them to some degree. I very much appreciate the idea that you read the comments (and there were many) and gave them consideration. That is goodness. That is healthy for our party and our democracy.

    Keep up the good work.

    And come back often.



  •  Senator Obama... (4.00)
    In the wake of your previous posting (and related commets),  I opined that if you didn't return to this forum on the basis of a few heated responses to your diary, that would really be all we needed to know about you...

    As it turns out, the fact that you DID return is quite descriptive and informative as well...

    I remain pragmatically and cautiously optimistic about your powerfully progressive agenda... and look forward to sharing in your efforts to restore our American ideals...

    Thank you for your thoughts and your leadership.

    You don't lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case. - Ken Kesey

    by ThatSinger on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 10:39:13 PM PDT

  •  One respects that which is respectable (none)
    Your glorification of politicians is misplaced.

    And instead of defending Obama, try addressing the issues I mentioned, because I addressed the issues he mentioned.

  •  In the future... (4.00)
    the world will be blue and green.  People will not drool in delight every time a politician deigns to address them directly.  Rather, it will be commonplace for politicians to engage in dialog with their constituents.

    In the future, politicians will not spend all their time begging for money and talking themselves hoarse in small, unacknowledged cubicles.

    Because in the future, politicians will be prohibited from accepted personal donations.

    And in the future, politicians will be prohibited from funding their own races.

    Because, in the future, elections will be federally funded.

    Therefore, in the future, politicians will be prohibited from paying for political advertisements.

    And, in the future, broadcast and cable companies--and their successors--will be prohibited from charging for political ads.

    Because, in the future, it will be understood that the public good requires that each candidate vying for national office be heard equally, and in depth, across the nation; and it will be expected that in the weeks before a national election news stations shall donate time--as both a tax and a service--to the federal government.

    In the future, no one will kiss a politician's ass for stopping by to say hello.  Because, in the future, everyone will understand that the ability to meet and greet and do so with grace and apparent delight is the minimum requirement for the job.

    In the future, education will be fully funded, and people will have the fear and love for authority beaten out of them by teachers both brilliant and foolish.

    And in the future, the Socratic method will be only one of many methods familiar to young minds; whilst, in the future, multiple choice questions will be seen only in museums.

    In the future, the orphan twins, Give and Take, will finally be acknowledged by their distant grandmother, Conversation, and by their grandfather, Politics.  They will kiss and hug, and tell dismal stories of their time in the closet, when the surname Dialog was banned and perverted by those so-called talk shows and their "hosts," the one-sided mental masturbators with no true intellectual progeny of their own.  The twins will gasp and cry when introduced to their great aunt, Discussion.  And they will huddle close, and hug one another tightly, when told in excruciating detail about the death of their mother, Compromise, and the subsequent, tragic suicide of their father, whose name they carry.

    In the future, we will understand that politicians have a job to do, perhaps a little more sanitary than carrying out the trash and a little less exacting than constructing a suspension bridge, but, nevertheless, a job requiring a strong sense of purpose and a high grade steel backbone: a job essential to the well-being of the modern society.  And we will refrain from drooling on politicians' shoes, and from wetting the seats of their pants with our spittle, because, in the end, we will understand that these actions do nothing but massage egos that do not need massaging, and damage articles of clothing that will only need to be dry cleaned.

    Instead, when politicians drop by, we will politely shake their hands, ask after the health of their spouses (fine, thank you; she's doing quite well) and their children (also fine, even if prone to making poor choices at this stage); and we will ask after the state of  their consciences.

    And if the politician pauses, we will know that it's time to give them Ursula K. LeGuin's story, Beheading the Heads, to read; and we'll know that it's time to remind them that their time in office is our time.  And that their office is our office.  And that they are very lucky that we live in an old-school representative democracy, and not in a short story written by some batshit crazy 20th century science fiction writer.  

    And if the politician does not pause, we'll know that there are only two possible interpretations: either said politician is a true sociopath, and without conscience, or a good person, truly doing his or her best; and we will look to the politician's actions, rather than the casual words used in a casual setting, to judge the worth of that politician.

    "Don't want to be an American idiot..." -- Green Day

    by Black Maned Pensator on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 11:05:34 PM PDT

  •  Hmmm, where did I put those Core Convictions... (4.00)
    Of, For, and By The People, in simple, un-lawyerly language.  Uh, let's see..Ah, there you are!

    General Welfare
    Liberty Forever

    Pretty solid stuff.

    1. People: Corporations do not remotely possess human values.  Corporate law-making must end.

    2. Justice: The law one would create before one knows whether one's assignment will be "judge" or "judged."

    3. Tranquility: Stop manufacturing aggression & terror.

    4. Defense: The best "D" is not a good "O."

    5. General Welfare: Education & Health.

    6. Liberty: Repeal the Patriot Act.  Forever.

    Remotely sticking to the basics would go a long, long way. Can we return to original intent through dialogue, without scrapping the increasingly corrupt, repressive empire by corporate fiat and starting again?  A solid majority think we're heading in very wrong directions.  The world has changed, but the convictions remain solid.  Talk the talk, and walk the walk.  Simplicity itself.
    •  Well said (none)
      I hope Demcorats will get the message but I doubt it. The only thing they will understand is a Green Representative sitting among them. Until then, they'll support corporations and Republicans.
  •  Thank you. n/t (none)

    You've got a President who is not versed in international relations. And not too much interested in them either. Col. Lawrence Wilkerson

    by Caldonia on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 11:34:29 PM PDT

  •  Senator - PLEASE READ THIS (none)
    I ask that when you formulate your thoughts to consider certain connotations.  Personally, I enjoyed your post, but felt that it lacked certain things, which I will also not belabor.

    I realize your intentions, and I mean this not as a criticism, but a suggestion for a launchpad for framing the polestar by which you will help guide OUR party in the reclamation of our country.

    Please avoid the use of "shape public opinion" or "progressive agenda".  Rather than "shape" opinion, why not strive for INFORMED opinion and transparency of Government to help the public decide?

    Rather than "progressive agenda", emphasize conviction and adherence principles of equality in opportunity, access, health care, trade reform encouraging trade partners to set standards for employee wages and safety, diplomacy backed by conviction and God forbid the threat of force as a ONLY a last resort?

    Ultima Ratio Regum (inscribed on a French Cannon by order of Louis XIV "the final argument of kings") is NOT a foreign policy but a failure of foreign policy.

    Agenda and shaping opinion sound as if they spring from a well of manipulation, when your goals could NOT be further from that.  Take away the ammunition that the opposition can use against you.  Talk radio will use your words against you, don't give them a handle!

    And keep up the fight, because our country and, in this age of interconnected economies, the world depend on it!!



  •  Thanks for reading the MANY responses (none)
    And coming back to say you appreciated the postivies and negatives.
  •  Thanks for coming back (none)
    That takes guts, especially after how brutally honest some of the comments were.

    Keep up the good work.  I believe in you.

    And I'm glad you wrote your own post.

    Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 11:45:22 PM PDT

  •  You Forgot Iraq n/t (none)
  •  So I went back to the original diary.. (none)
    ...and read what you had to say, and despite the fact that I very much disagreed with you starting out... you convinced me.

    You made great points, wrote eloquently of them, and you convinced me to completely turnaround on something I'd have argued 'til I was blue in the mug.

    I don't always understand your thinking, Senator, and I don't think I'll ever feel comfortable when Democrats allow such horrific bills as the bankruptcy bill to pass without a ferocious kicking and screaming brawl, but maybe if you can get explanations such as that last diary out a little more often, a lot of us on the left who are aching for a fight can feel justified in not practicing on our own.

  •  In several posts (4.00)
    I said that we could judge you by your willingness to come back....well, you're here, huh?

    We know who we are...we know what we stand for.  If only it could be so simple.  Please keep up the good fight...we are really running out of heroes.  We're tired, you see...tired and unsure of where to turn.  We've done the right things and followed the rules, and where has that gotten us?

    Give us something to fight for and you'll have us forever.

  •  thanks for the follow-up (none)
    Your personal follow-up is very appreciated... actions always speak louder than words.

    I think I hear what you are saying.  A progressive agenda framed in a way that people can understand and accept it.  I'm for that.

    Will you be the one to do it?  Can you help take us all into 2006?

    Also - can you tell Lieberman to knock it off and act like a Democrat?  Maybe tattoo a donkey on him so he can remember it better.

    Go Sox!!

  •  These posts are historically significant (4.00)
    You, along with Louise Slaughter, Barbara Boxer, John Conyers, and the other senators and representatives posting here have opened a whole new door to the way citizens interact with their elected representatives. The key here is that you stated that you "personally read most of [the responses]" and you wrote the post yourself. Because the Internet eliminates the barriers of geography and schedule, I believe that in the long run, this will facilitate better communication of ideas, greater accountability, and increased involvement of regular people.

    With that said, I want to ask you a question. Why did you vote against the Tom Coburn's ammendment to redirect funds from the Bridge to Nowhere to rebuilding the Twin Spans? Given your recent cooperation with Senator Coburn, I would think you would be in agreement on this topic. Fiscal prudence is necessary, considering our recent history of overspending. Prioritization of expenditures is a part of this, and it's clear to me that an elective project benefitting very few people should not take precedence over the need to rebuild an interstate which connects to a major American city.

    Not only would this have been a winner in politics, but in princples too -- the effort to rebuild New Orleans will require both optimism and pragmatism.

    Regardless, I commend you on your bravery in returning here and hope you continue to enumerate and articulate our shared American values

  •  Looking forward to your ideas... (none)
    Transparency is the heart of the matter, with that we can weigh who best represents our views.

    Honesty sounds so idealistic, just give us transparency and we'll judge honesty from there!

    Much to talk about in the future, TPM is trying to bring about spheres of influence into topic related forums.

    We are approaching an era of unified theory, where foregin policy, domestic policy, are cohesive. This broad strategic vision is something Wes Clark really tried to make part of his plans with a decades long approach as part of his vision.

    Core values as a pillar, and from this erect a new inclusive overall infrastructure. One that expands opportunities and markets in terms best suited to each individual. Living wages, affordable health care, education and cultural exchange.

    As we increase purchase power at the base of society it will broaden overall markets, this done while dually seeing other places do the same to level the pay scale fields.

  •  ESA - here to stay? (none)
    Dear Senator,

    Like everyone else, I am very glad you've returned.  I've appreciated your thoughtful comments.  And like everyone else, I'd love even more discussion with you.  I have one specific question:

    A recently-passed House bill, H.R. 3824 (Pombo, R-CA) would gut the Endangered Species Act.  

    It now comes to the Senate's Fisheries, Wildlife, and Water Subcommittee.  As one of only nine members, the future of the Endangered Species Act, its crucial "critical habitat" provisions, and hundreds of species, are now in your hands.

    Are you planning to join Senators Clinton and Chafee in providing leadership on this issue? I am very concerned.  It sounds like even they are considering positions that would severely compromise the ESA.

    This a critical justice issue. Any environmental harm first hurts the most vulnerable, as Katrina revealed.  You say of Justice Roberts, "I hope that he will recognize who the weak are and who the strong are in our society."  Animals and future generations are, politically, the weakest of all.

    And environmental restoration could be a central plank to a platform of "optimism, pragmatism and our shared American ideals."  Waste not, want not.  If you make a mess, clean it up.  You reap what you sow. The harvest could be much more bountiful!

    I look forward to hearing more from you.  Thank you very much for your presence.

  •  Yo, Senator B. (none)
    As I'm sure you are aware, you've got some good mojo going for you in the charm department. I can tell by the way many of the Kossacks here, both female and male, are figuratively throwing their panties at you.

    I, personally, like the way you charmed Condi Rice at that hearing a couple of days ago. If you work your mojo on her, I think you'll be able to get more of what you and we need from her before she fades away.

    There are times when you appear more pompous than sincere to me but a lot of people eat that up. I, however, want to see some rage coming from you for the way this country has been attacked from within by its own government. 70% of the people of this country are outraged by it's current condition and I want to see that rage in those who should be representing us. If you want to be political, fine, 70% will get you a passing grade but We need more than a passing grade in our government. If you are willing to truly pursue excellence for the entire country and not for some much narrower purpose, you're guaranteed support. However, if you attempt to pursue excellence for our country in the same ways that have been recently used by other politicians, whether Democratic or Republican, you will be on the wrong track to bring this nation back to strength and world respect. You must gain  respect and support from the people of the USA before taking positive steps toward regaining the nation which has been stolen from the people, most notably, over the past five years.          

    Freedom's Angels ~Cindy/Bunny/Sibel~

    by Skylor on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 01:17:30 AM PDT

    •  70 percent outraged? (none)
      Haha, as a moderate, I'm going to laugh at your asseration that since 70 percent of the people responded in a poll that they are dissatisfied with the direction of the country right now, this 70 percent are "outraged" (calmly disagree in reality) with the Bush administration and they will welcome their new Democrat overlords.


      This is why the Democrats will never win an election. We assume that since polls say that 60 percent of America disapproves of Bush that 60 percent approves of the Democrats and therefore we should accept no compromise to those (insert generic  Republican-bashing cliche here). Guess what? I didn't "approve" of Kerry for the 2004 Presidential election, but I sure as hell wasn't going to go Republican!!!

      Wake up and smell the coffee, chief. You don't win over disaffected Republicans by swinging to the left. Your assumption that all these people hate Bush and want a change in policies is wrong, wrong , WRONG. You need to garner the support of the moderate voters and win elections before you start pressing hard-left issues, otherwise, you're going to keep finding that, even though support for Republicans is dwindling, Democrats will still be losing elections.

      •  Oh, so when did obeying (4.00)
        laws and strengthening the nation become hard left issues?

        Freedom's Angels ~Cindy/Bunny/Sibel~

        by Skylor on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 02:31:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  wtf? (none)
          You don't "strengthen the nation" by using outrageous hyperbole. I'm sorry but the majority of America, regardless of whatever polls you read, doesn't believe that every action by Bush has some sort of sinister ulterior motive to undermine your ideals.  Every mindless liberal on this site wants a freakin' conspiracy regardless of its factual correctness. This is what Senator Obama was trying to state with his attempts to re-establish "intellectual honesty". The liberal core of the Democratic party has lost touch with the reality of American political thought. The liberal blogosphere thinks that there are only two trains of thought in America, either you LOVE the Bush administation or you HATE the Bush administration. So with all these new polls saying that Bush's approval rating is slipping fast, the liberal core thinks, "GREAT! We can just sit back, continue this 'all Bush's fault, all the time' meme, and watch the supporters come rolling in." And guess what? Democrats are going to continue to lose elections because of this. I'm sorry to break this to all you Kossacks, but just because someone doesn't agree with the Bush administration doesn't mean they're jumping on the liberal/Democrat bandwagon. You can use this bullsh*t "Bushco only acts in the interests of Halliburton and corporations" hyperbole all you want, but the moderates and disaffected Republicans aren't buying it.

          I'm going to state this again, you need to appeal to the moderate and disaffected Republican voters before you adopt this "no compromise" progressive zeal. But the stubborness of the collective ideology of dKos will not allow this. I laugh at the proclamation of the liberal blogosphere as a "reality-based community".  I used to subscribe to the belief, but now I realize that it's nothing more than jargon that fosters arrogance, rather than actual "reality-based" thinking. Yea, I don't approve of the Bush administration but the "RBC" wishes to undermine all actions at any cost regardless if Bush is at fault to begin with.

          So continue with your "all or nothing" views. I, for one, would actually like to see the Democrats win.

          •  Much of your comment is outrageous (none)
            hyperbole.  This, for instance: "The liberal core of the Democratic party has lost touch with the reality of American political thought...the liberal core thinks, "GREAT! We can just sit back, continue this 'all Bush's fault, all the time' meme, and watch the supporters come rolling in."

            What an outright lie.  The liberal blogosphere, perhaps much more so than the "moderate" interests of the party, is urging the Democratic leadership to define and vocalize a broad-based agenda.  It is the liberal blogosphere which actively and successfully campaigned for a DNC chair who promised to create a message with the potential to appeal to a broader regional/cultural spectrum.

            If you still find some measure of value in the Bush administration, then simply say so.  You should not need to impugn the entire liberal movement to do so.

            It's amazing how you have cited the enormous dissatisfaction with the Bush administration as evidence of how "out of touch" liberals are.  Seems as if you have a predefined position which colors how you evaluate public sentiment.

            •  I think (4.00)
              lost in his rant is the gist of his message:

              Don't presume the majority supports Democrats because they are dissatisfied with Bush.  Disliking Bush does not equal a democratic vote in 2006 or 2008.

              The second thing, argued (as I understood it, but disagree with) is that the "compromise" that Obama spoke of is what is needed to restore the Democratic  Party back into having a say in decision making.

              I disagree with his second assertion because of the following reasons.  A centrist position is a position that often seems like you are NOT taking a stance.  Compromising over critical issues and NOT expressing extreme outrage over the war or Katrina is precisely what will lose an upcoming election.

              Remember, the Democrats wasted a golden opportunity to take out Bush who can barely put together a sentence.  Many voters will be more easily duped by someone who is smooth talker and perceived to be intelligent.  The Republican base and its more "undecided" base will focus on those candidates.  You can't undo the imprint on the pscyhe of the masses what talk radio and TV has already done in a few years.

              What you can do is state the truth, over and over, focus less on rhetoric and more on issues.  Forcing this is EXACTLY what the blogsphere can and has done for the news and what it can and MUST do for the upcoming elections.

              •  Point taken. (4.00)
                Excellent comment.

                It just angers me that a self-described moderate was so quick to malign the liberal movement, even repeating lazy caricatures (like the one I cited in my comment) to do so.  

                I think your first point, that dissatisfaction with the GOP will not translate into Democratic gains, is entirely understood by much of the liberal community.  So understood, in fact, that the liberal blogosphere launched a successful coup to shakeup the DNC and install Dean, and continues to emphasize the need for "fighting Democrats" who will take the GOP to task and effectively present a better vision.  It's unclear how this was lost on papadough.

        •  When Bush was selected? n/t (none)
  •  Thanks for Voting For The Bridge To Nowhere! (2.66)
    $223 million to an island of 50 people...
    somewhere deep inside, do you feel Illinois' projects are similarly indefensible?
  •  Your last diary made a significant point... (none)
    namely, that this community, and those like us, have a fundamentally different worldview or political narrative from those on the right and much of the middle. But you seemed to be saying there that many of our policies and principles can be supported by arguments made from within their worldview -- while those same policies argued from our own point of view come across to them as baseless or fanatical.

    I think what dismayed a lot of people here is that you seemed to take these conflicting worldviews as a fixed aspect of the political landscape, whereas we see it as a thing manufactured and actively spread by FOX and the rest of the 'Republican PR machinery'.

    It may be true that you can couch a progressive agenda in a way that appeals to their point of view. But what we're all really hoping you, or someone, can do instead is tear down the wall of unintelligibility that's been constructed around so much of America and that prevents them from comprehending what the rest of us are saying without having our to do those kinds of verbal gymnastics.

  •  Barack Obama is awesome... (none)
    ...and I say a little prayer that he will run for President in 2008, as unlikely as that is (unlikely he will run due to the reflexive Hillary-worship going on out there and unlikely that I, a fundamentalist Agnostic, would be caught praying).

    However, I gotta say that I don't feel the need to hold back in the interest of "civility" when calling these Repiglican monsters for exactly what they are each and every time: the most corrupt hypocrites since the fall of Rome, for whom all the orange prison jumpsuits on Earth wouldn't be enough.  I think that when "conservatives" run their hocus-pocus games like they do we have to be right on their ass, making sure the record shows that they aren't conservatives at all... that this Administration in particular has spent more money that a drunken sailor on Ecstasy for 5 years running--not a damn thing conservative about them, right down to the fervor with which they go at dismantling the environmental laws that protect childrens' health.  When Bush took the New Source Review provision out of the Clean Air Act in 2002, it took only 2 years for the asthma rates among kids in those counties where those coal plants are producing that mercury to go from 1 in 7 children to 1 in 6.  Conservative?  Since when did conservation diverge from being conservative?  Teddy Roosevelt is gonna rise from the grave and toss them all over the falls in Yosemite for their hubris and Goebbelsian disinformation tactics like the "Healthy Forests" and "Clear Skies" initiatives.  And that's just one policy area, but a tiny percentage of the ridiculousness they have propagated at the expense of the public good since they have held the reins of executive & legislative power.

    No, if we are gonna win we gotta be brave.  We gotta tell the truth.  When they start lathering on about "Al-Qaeda" in response to every criticism, we gotta show why there really isn't ANY SUCH THING, in any hyper-coordinated, megalithic way like they wanna portray it.  When they come on and talk about how "Al-Zarqawi" did this or did that and how he's got all these pieces moving on the chessboard, we gotta call them out and say HEY!  I got 4 separate instances in the last 3 years where y'all claimed to have KILLED this mythical "Al-Zarqawi" character, what is he Houdini or does he have 9 lives or what?  Our problem is we let them determine the playing field and the rules of the game too much, we don't use our power, maybe because we're afraid we'll be branded as "Un-American" on Fox News or whatnot.  Well the reality is that Fox News is a JOKE, a laughable comedy network without the audible laugh-track so you sometimes forget what you're watching.  We need to be supplying the hard facts about what these Leo "wise men tell noble lies" Strauss-worshipping maniacs are up to, why and how they use disinformation to trigger the emotional reactions that neutralize the power of Critical Thinking in the population to further their blatantly apocalyptic agendae.  We need to begin to use hard Truth and verifiable Information like they use Lies and Dogma, whether it's what people wanna hear or not.

    Until we do that, Senator, we are gonna be the Milwaukee Brewers of politics and we ain't gonna win NOTHIN'.

  •  Good. (4.00)
    I also agree that it is the job of Democratic elected officials to help shape public opinion, and not just respond passively to opinion that's been aggressively shaped by the Republicans PR machinery.

    Good.  I think this was the main point of the criticism he received.  I'm glad he gets it now.

  •  Thanks Seantor (none)
    what a great respons. you're really something.

    President someday?

    "So this is how liberty dies, with thunderous applause..."

    by CrazyDem on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 02:16:32 AM PDT

  •  Brains, charm and (none)
    headed for the whitehouse.

    How many in Washington would have the balls to open up dialog with a snarky nest of pitbloggers?

    Ignore the spitball throwers.  Either trolls or don't know a treasure when they see one.

  •  Senator Obama (none)
    Aside from the responses to whatever diary you write, I hope you will take the time to read some of the other issues that are of concern and that are voiced in other diaries.

    Thank you for taking the time to listen (read).  Is it hard for you to realize that there are more than many with so little faith in our government?

  •  Thank you, please keep posting... (none)'s vital that we, the people, continue to have viable means of exchanging ideas and communicating our thoughts on important issues & events.

    I, for one, appreciate the posts made here by Congressfolk, particularly when they demonstrate not only a clear ability to communicate but also a genuine interest in doing so.

    Hope to see more of your thoughts here.

    OT, but I believe an important side note: please take a look over here at, on the story relating to FEMA and the refusal to forward mail (particularly voter registration stuff) to hurricane evacuees. The link takes you directly to my comment, but scroll up to see the entry that I am addressing.

    In a nutshell: On the surface, it appears that it ties only with a combination of negligence and an intent to interfere with the political process. Barely scratching the surface, however, is a potentially huge issue pertaining to evacuee rights, freedoms, and the proper role of FEMA during and following a disaster that leads to massive evacuation.

    Hope to hear from you again soon.

  •  First (none)
    Barack Obama is the first African American senator to post on a blog.
  •  I echo those who thank you for (4.00)
    posting here and responding to the feedback, Senator. And, again, I'm glad you're my senator.

    Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? Well, come on, doesn't anybody know!?!?

    by Erik the Red on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 04:30:21 AM PDT

  •  Well stated Senator (none)
    But I think that a big issue for Kossacks is that some of the Democratic votes this year in the Senate have seemed inexplicable ... and there has been no explanation forthcoming from the party. dKos is an excellent forum for the Senate and House Democrats to explain their positions on major bills. But only a tiny percentage of the Congressional Dems have used this or any other forum to communicate with the base.

    Those PR-driven newsletters and e-mails that you guys send out don't count as real communication and engagement.

    This is something that your counterparts in the GOP understand very well. I'm not sure why the Democrats don't.

    Please come back before the next vote on a CAFTA, a bankruptcy bill, a "Bridge to Nowhere" funds realocation bill and explain your thinking and you will find a more faithful constituency. The Democrats should not think they can get away with being the "un-GOP" and leave it at that. They have to actively engage their base and show how every vote is part of a long-term strategy.

    Let's face it, with the Congressional vote history this year, you'd be hard pressed to say that the Democrats have a vision.

    "You don't lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case." - Ken Kesey

    by Glinda on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 04:33:09 AM PDT

    •  the problem there is (none)
      looking at votes to create your vision.

      if you looked at repug votes you'd be hard pressed to say they have a vision.

      so the problem is more or less looking to a set of congressional votes and trying to cobble together a vision out of a set of absolute expectations.

      dems were actually MORE unified on CAFTA than repugs.

      but dems are the ones who don't have vision???

      and it's a force of habit/ if it moves then you fuck it / if it doesn't move you stab it -- MacManus

      by BiminiCat on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 05:23:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Mr. Oboma (none)
    The fight is not for a set of core conviction.
    It is for the conscience of America

    It isn't enough to expose a lie. It is necrssary to propagate the truth. That is the duty of a free press and a free people.

    by Luetta on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 04:35:18 AM PDT

  •  Way to build a bridge Senator... (none)
    To Nowhere!

    Sorry, but am I the only one here not suffering from short term memory loss?

    The grassroots got a giant FU yesterday from OBAMA and every other Dem you can shake a stick at with that vote for the damn bridge to nowhere we were fighting.

    I've heard no explanation from anyone. We just take it?

    He shows up the next day and awwwww that's so special? Thanks for coming and voting with Republican pork and cronyism? We love you anyway because....


    "Pro and con are opposites, that fact is clearly seen. If progress means to move forward, then what does congress mean?" ~Nipsey Russell

    by RANT on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 04:40:52 AM PDT

    •  the explanation (none)
      The ONLY amendment that should be considered is one that allows a veto on ONLY the "bridge to nowhere" line item.  Maybe one or two others of the most obviously stupid earmarks.  But that would mean Stevens resigns, so Coburn doesn't have the guts to offer that kind of amendment.

      if you don't want people to overgeneralize about the grassroots.

      then don't pretend to speak for the entire grassroots in the manner that you just did.

      naive retards that we are, some of us actually support the guy.

      and it's a force of habit/ if it moves then you fuck it / if it doesn't move you stab it -- MacManus

      by BiminiCat on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 05:20:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So what you're saying is... (none)
        This community is a collasal waste of time.

        The morons that post things like support Coburn's amendment and here's the links and no dem would not support this so spend your day e-mailing people are all slacked jawed idiots.

        There is no grassroots movement. We're pointless.

        The Senate is smarter than any of us, and will do what they want anyway.

        So stop wasting your time on Kos. People like Obama know what to do.

        Do I have it now?

        "Pro and con are opposites, that fact is clearly seen. If progress means to move forward, then what does congress mean?" ~Nipsey Russell

        by RANT on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 05:34:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  perhaps (none)
          point is simply:  some who are also part of the grassroots might have a different view of the coburn amendment.

          that it was a ploy to provide cover for stevens.

          if coburn was truly interested in simply saying "no" to the bridge to nowhere, if that was his only motivation, he would have written an amendment that could be approved... and stevens could then eat cake.

          he wrote an amendment that he knew dems could not agree to and advertised it as a line item veto of the bridge to nowhere.  

          and if, at the end of the day, it alienates some grassroots dems from their elected lawmakers, he can pat himself on the back over some warm brandy.

          and it's a force of habit/ if it moves then you fuck it / if it doesn't move you stab it -- MacManus

          by BiminiCat on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 05:42:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  appreciate that perspective (none)

            Just wish we had it yesterday.

            These things hurt.

            Thanks, and sorry I'm feeling gruff today.

            "Pro and con are opposites, that fact is clearly seen. If progress means to move forward, then what does congress mean?" ~Nipsey Russell

            by RANT on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 05:45:09 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry, but I'm angry (none)
        If that's the case couldn't one of these people that run around here like they know something talk to an actual Democratic Senator and STOP these pointless movements like "stop the bridge to nowhere" before we waste any more of our lives?

        I was CRUSHED yesterday. Knowing why really doesn't help after the fact.

        "Pro and con are opposites, that fact is clearly seen. If progress means to move forward, then what does congress mean?" ~Nipsey Russell

        by RANT on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 05:42:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  maybe (none)
          getting our info from a Repug PAC wasn't the best thing to do.

          really what i'm looking for is the actual text of the amendment itself.

          i'll resist the temptation to confront obama on the vote because it simply does not make sense that if the amendment actually was an amendment that allowed one to say "no" to the bridge to nowhere without paying a price elsewhere, then i think everyone would have agreed, the bridge to nowhere is a stupid idea.

          it's a failure of the system that one would have to cast an "all or nothing" vote on something, but that's their, the repugs, game plan.  and it's obviously an effective gameplan.

          and it's a force of habit/ if it moves then you fuck it / if it doesn't move you stab it -- MacManus

          by BiminiCat on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 05:52:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Actually, the point is maybe people (none)
            need to start realizing that there is a price to pay, always.
            I'm tired of this BS. Pork is pork is pork is pork.

            I'm tired of the BS from the American people (like the guy in the Coburn thread who was so worried that his damn bike path improvements would be "sacrificed"), and the Dems.

            Sorry, but my bike path, my [fill in the blank pet pork project] does not take priority over all else.

            I find it pathetic, in fact nauseating, that this level of self-interest has so come to dominate every thread in our social fabric.

          •  gray areas (none)
            These things are rarely as black and white as we'd like them to be, I think....there seems to have been a LOT more going on with this one than we realized. I think I may go back and read some more of the floor speeches, and read the amendment and OTHERS that were made after it. I didn't follow up on the amendment that Stevens made that seemed to have been an alternative after he calmed down a little.
  •  Ok This is a little better (4.00)
    While you dont go as far as to actually act, you at least acknowledge that many here feel that the need to fight is more important right now than the need for some chamber comity.

    I am perhaps a little less fawning than some here - because i think words are cheap, the real courage comes with actions and that's what i want to see. So far - not seen too much.

    I also agree that it is the job of Democratic elected officials to help shape public opinion, and not just respond passively to opinion thats been aggressively shaped by the Republicans PR machinery.  I am simply suggesting, based on my experience, that people will respond to a powerfully progressive agenda when its couched in optimism, pragmatism and our shared American ideals.

    I agree, when we gonna start that ? because it sounds kinda neat.
  •  I honestly don't understand (none)
    Why did you vote "no" on the bridges amendment.  Yes, Illinois gets its share of pork - but the whole system is rotten and corrupt - all of it needs to stop.  Maybe you got too used to earmarking in the Illinois state system.
    •  As was explained to me a couple posts up (none)
      We're all stupid. The things we're asked to do on KOS are pointless. There is no grassroots movement. We don't matter.

      Understand now?

      "Pro and con are opposites, that fact is clearly seen. If progress means to move forward, then what does congress mean?" ~Nipsey Russell

      by RANT on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 05:38:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  does anyone have the actual text (none)
      of the amendment itself??

      and it's a force of habit/ if it moves then you fuck it / if it doesn't move you stab it -- MacManus

      by BiminiCat on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 05:44:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  messy (none)
      There has to be a system matic blog respond to all this. The usual method is just too useless. Everybody ntices too late and then we do useless whining.

      There has to be open blogs that contains:

      • early warning
      • early analysis
      • then make list of all potential negative votes

      Since nobody is an expert of all areas, it has to be a coalition of blogs
  •  thank you for the clarification (none)
    Sen. Obama that is how I interpreted your original post.

    How do you suggest that the democrats spread the positive agenda that you mention?  The press isunfriendly to democrats as a whole?

    Pardon the upper/lower case and punctuation. I am posting from a BlackBerry.

  •  Yay Obama (none)
    Thank you for the feedback and thank you for keep fighting. We love you. We hope you are going places.  


    PS. but you are still the guardian of meta bunny. :p Just kidding.

  •  At least he is listening to people.... (none)
    We as democrats have to stop the circle firing squads.  Our diversity as a party is both our strength and our weakness.  We are not the lemmings of the GOP where independent thinking is frowned upon.  Democrats have always encouraged informed critical thinking.  That is why I am proud to be a democrat.  But we have to find a way to start pulling in the same direction as a political party.  Let the republicans have their religious values.  I'll take HUMAN values.  Care for the poor, healthcare for every citizen, fair wages for a days work, equal rights for all people not just hetrosexuals, a government of the people & by the people, not Halliburton and Bechtel.  This is my democratic party.  This is the party that best represents the values of the majority of Americans.  It's time we started acting like it.  
  •  Obama's Blog (none)
    Hey Obama's Blog is going along nicely. He has a short podcast how-to too. (Ima gonna update his dkos entry)

    Check it out.

  •  Senator Obama (none)
    As a fellow Illinoian, it gives me hope that you are our representative.  I have read your work and firmly believe that you are the real deal and have the interests of ALL Americans at heart.  I do wonder where Kerry, Kennedy, Biden, and the others have been in the recent past.  Their silence is deafening. And if that haven't heard about the idea for a midterm convention, they might want to read through those posts on this site. It's time to rally the troops!!

    There are those on this site that bitch for bitching sake and then there are those of us who are willing to engage in real dialog and will offer our services when asked. So, I hope you will return and let us know how WE can be a part of the solution rather than the problem.  I heard a reporter last night say this country is in crisis.  I believe it and we need representatives, such as yourself, who are willing and able to lead us out.

  •  Obama on Plame? (4.00)
    I appreciate the willingness to engage a cyber-community.

    I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on the impending indictments of White House officials. Not just on the crimes, but on the larger frame of bogus intel, media manipulation, reckless war, passive democratic response, connections to larger issues of  Republican dishonesty and incompetance, etc.

    How do you, as a democrat, think about the implications of this? And how do you see it affecting upcoming elections?

    When will politicians feel the courage to the use the "L" (yes, I mean "Liars") word in describing the Administration?

    Again, thank you.

  •  Senator, You are Senatorial (none)
    Thank you for your service.
  •  OK, you be civil then (none)
    We can insist on being principled about the ends we are trying to achieve (e.g. educational opportunity and basic health care for all Americans, honest and accountable government, etc.), without sacrificing our commitment to open debate, intellectual honesty, and civility.  

    Don't forget your audience.  You live in an age that values irreverance, in which comedy can be quite harsh.  You can either succeed in this cultural climate, or you can become the butt of jokes.  Conservatives may pretend to lament the disappearance of civil society, but they've been thriving in this atmosphere of corruption and ridicule.  Democrats have apparently fallen for the talk and been blindsided by the walk.  

    You may not be the proper voice for our polemic, and we DO need a polemic, but you must at least coordinate with that polemic if we are to be jointly effective.  

    I also agree that it is the job of Democratic elected officials to help shape public opinion, and not just respond passively to opinion thats been aggressively shaped by the Republicans PR machinery.  I am simply suggesting, based on my experience, that people will respond to a powerfully progressive agenda when its couched in optimism, pragmatism and our shared American ideals.

    Yes, but you cannot defend progressivism against retrograde bigotries and superstitions without showing a healthy disdain for the latter.  

    You cannot be optimistic if you are not willing to show disgust for the pessimism of those who have given up on our country and our economy and are planning for a 3rd world America.

    You cannot be seen to value something if you are not seen to defend it.  

    We are not up against people who don't share our values, we are up against people who would destroy our values and who will trash the Constitution to do it.  

    So you guys in suits need to find a way to be statesmanlike while still showing spine, and leave the dirty work of polemics to people like me and the rest of the KOS community.  It will take a whole chorus of voices to be heard over the Republicans' media monopoly.  

    "Freedom Isn't Free ... but Osama Is"


    by Grand Moff Texan on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 06:31:39 AM PDT

  •  Thank you Mr Obama... (none)
    ...for your feedback of our feedback.

    It's something we in the non-DC world like to call a "Dialog".  It's a good thing.  

    Pass the word.  We need dialogs with more senators.


    The GOP Love the soldiers like they love children: Seen but not heard.

    by DawnG on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 06:45:19 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for Writing (none)
    Thanks for participating in our forum and for your insights. I look forward to more.
  •  I'm proud to have (none)
    you as my Senator!

    Keep up the great work!

  •  nyceve (none)
    nyceve , said it all for me.


  •  I Don't Expect to Agree with You on Everything. (none)
    Just most things.  I have e-mailed you several times, and have always received a thoughtful response.  There are some things however that are non-negotiable.  The war in Iraq is the proverbial quagmire.  We got into it on lies.  There is nothing there to support except for the troops themselves.  And the best way to support them is to give them an exit strategy so that they can come home.

    3 more Marines were killed in Iraq today.

  •  I didn't post during the first Obama flap (none)
    I had just started coming here regularly and thought discretion was the better part of valor. But the fact that Senator Obama came back and posted again speaks volumes to me.

    Everyone is, of course, entitled to their own reaction to what the Senator posted originally.  I was not offended by it, but I understand why others were.

     Since Sen. Obama was not dissuaded from posting again by the many angry responses he got to his first post, I suppose we can infer two things: he has a thick skin, and he really wants to know what we're thinking and saying.  Since many politicians do no more than read polls to find out what people are thinking, I give him props.  

    At the very least, it appears that Sen. Obama is a member of the reality-based community, who is interested in discernible facts.  The judgments he makes in light of them may not always be to everyone's complete satisfaction, but after five years of faith-based (or fantasy-based) policy, I find him refreshing.  

    "Our enemy is innovative and resourceful and so are we. Our enemy never stops thinking of new ways to harm us and our country, and neither do we." G.W. Bush

    by litigatormom on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 07:53:15 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for coming back. (none)
    I'm happy to see you follow up on your post.  To say it caused a bit of chaos around here would be another understatement.

    Though I'm a big supporter of yours, I'm a bit concerned by the news that's been coming down that many of our Democrats aren't willing to pass legislation to look into the "porking" of bills.  I hope one day you will be able to explain to us just why that is.  Right now, based on current votes, it seems as though we have a number of politicans that aren't aware that we are watching this VERY closely.  We all know that most politicans are in it for themselves, but not allowing this measure to  pass just underlines that.  It's making Feingold look a LOT better.

  •  Where's my PR machinery? (none)
    Where can we get some of that?
  •  Thanks. (none)
    You're a saint if you've waded through our sandbox all the way down to this comment.

    I thought your first piece was beautifully written . . . and, as Mr. Blades has noted, I also admire your diplomatic response to our energetic commentary.

    Stay strong.

  •  Thanks for working on securing my parent's future. (none)
    They live in Illinois.  I live in Colorado.  It's nice to know they have politicians concerned about the issues they'll face as they inch toward their retirements.

    "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt" ~Bertrand Russell

    by Yuggs on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 08:59:22 AM PDT

  •  Dear Mr. Obama (4.00)
    Thank you for taking the time out of your day to be here.  Whether it's really you, or a spokesperson, or a public relations person (we should all know how that goes), or the Mrs. (we should all know how that goes, too), thank you for reaching out to persons here, in cyberspace.

    The personal touch really does mean something.  I guess that's the ugly truth about Bush and his 'just one of the fellas' act.  It works.  Except he has nothing to say; and you appear sincere.

    I do wonder why so many are patting themselves on the back for asking you to accept a number 2 position for whomever decides to run in 2008.  It makes me a little queasy.... like the great number of persons who were willing to concede that fantasy number 2 spot to General Colin Powell, or Rev. Jesse Jackson back in the 1980s.  I guess there's still work to be done if so many still find the number 2 position the best a black man should hope to attain;  they still don't want to trust a black man with the number 1 position.. and it's offered with such self-congratulations, as if it's something to be proud of.  You're not worthy enough to be head man, only a spare, a placeholder, a token, the clinch vote (a la the southern strategy).

    But, for what little it's worth, I think you're worthy.  I think you're more than worthy, and that's why you won't see a real nod come 2008, or 20012, or 2016.  I hope the Mrs. is as wise as Mrs. Alma Powell, and (to draw another analogy in, if that's the proper word) as Mrs. Betty Shabazz.  That's the other reason not to take anyone trying to butter you up with 'You'd make a great number 2!' talk.  They're going to try to destroy your life, her life, and your beautiful daughters lives.  Those doing the destroying won't have to be 'from the other side'.  It will also come from the Democratic party.   I fear for you, sir.

    But I also feel hope in your presence.

    Thank you (or your intern, your spokesperson, your public relations person, your wife g) for taking the time to be here, and for taking the time to be a teacher when you were teaching, and for taking the time to give to people instead of only taking from them and returning nothing.

    You know what your plans are, what your goals are, and the proper timeline to enact those plans to reach those goals.  You're not someone who has the luxury of running off at the mouth on a website -- or a television program.  You're a United States Senator.  You have a real job, and it's not about entertaining (well, it shouldn't be) or mouth-foaming to score points with the like-minded in the choir.

    I'm beginning to babble.  Anyway, all this to say, thank you for letting us into your mind, a little.

  •  Thank you sir. (4.00)
    As an author of one the more heavily-trafficked "response diaries", I can tell that knowing that you read and assimilated various concerns is about what I had hoped to accomplish.  

    Athough the specific points in my diary are ones which I hold near and dear, it is equally as important to me to know that these concerns are in your sights as you try also to navigate complex political issues.  

    Thanks again for your willingness to address both the criticism and the praise.


    HEY - why haven't you visited my blog?

    by RenaRF on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 10:03:40 AM PDT

  •  Message to Obama: (none)
    Thank you for taking the time to read the various responses.

    It is time now for the Democratic Party to not act like timid cowards as this Nation's foreign policy and National Security agenda has been hijacked away from all reason, sense of humanity, and American principles by the "Project For The New American Century" (PNAC) cabal that has been occupied the White House for the past 5 years.

    Unprovoked Military Invasions, Detention Camps, Torture, public lies about other Nations & peoples, violations of the Geneva Conventions .... is this the kind of Country that we are and that we want to be?

    Condolezza Rice thinks so.
    Donald Rumsfeld thinks so.
    Dick Cheney thinks so.
    George and Jeb Bush think so.
    The President's entire Iraq War Group thinks so.

    This is the kind of conduct that The United States of the 1940s fought in united opposition against to purge from civilization

    The United States of the 1940s .. would no longer recognize The United States of the 2000s.

    It is time that the Democratic Party speak out and expose the PNAC members & cabal and their barbaric, criminal foreign policy agenda for what it is  -- before there is a new War with Syria -- before there is a new War with Iran -- before there is a new War with Venezuela -- and before new restrictions are made to diminish our civil liberties at home and before new monopolizations make it impossible for the truth to be heard.

    The Democratic Party will never win by trying to skip confrontation about the tragic & painful direction that our Foreign Policy has gone.

    It can only win by calling what is wrong .. wrong, by calling what is unjust .. unjust, and by calling what is untrue .. untrue -- and by doing so in public with your heads held high.

    That's what strength is.
    Not the capitulation and agreement to an immoral, barbaric, and unnecessarily murderous Foreign Policy or the support & promotion to high positions of the seekers of those policies -- but, rather, the unwavering committment to human rights, human dignity, the truth about other Nations, and the truth about ourselves.

    Only then can America be as Lincoln had once described, "Man's last best hope on earth".
    We fail that test today.

    Our Country has abandoned that course.
    John Kennedy had tried to reclaim it and take it back -- will you? ....
    will The Democratic Party?...
    That is what we are waiting for...

    What kind of peace do we seek?
    Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war! We are unwilling to impose our system on any unwilling people, but we are willing and able to engage in peaceful competition with any people on earth.
    The United States, as the world knows, will never start a war. We do not want a war. We do not now expect a war. This generation of Americans has already had enough, more than enough, of war and hate and oppression.   We are not helpless before that task or hopeless of its success. Confident and unafraid, we labor on.  Not toward a strategy of annihilation, but toward a strategy of peace."
         -John Kennedy, June 10, 1963

    This is the Country that we want back again ....

    Speak out now against the PNAC!
    Speak out now against this barbaric & murderous Foreign Policy agenda performed -- via lies -- in our Name!

  •  Adding My Thanks (none)
    Dear Senator Obama:

    In truth you're a better man than I (and not just because I'm a woman)- I'm not sure that after all the histrionics your diary resulted in the last time, I'd have bothered given the extraordinary and obvious demands on your schedule.  But that's why I'm not a politician.

    I am also pleased that you clarified that you, personally, wrote your first diary using your own words and your own thoughts.  I was distressed by the willingness some displayed to assume that you could not reduce your own thoughts to writing, but must instead be a "beard" or "shill" for someone else's words and thoughts.  Yet having listened to you for years, I knew better.  I happen to agree with what you said, then and now.

    I'm not one of your Illini constituents, but often wish I was even though at least here in California I have one Senator (Senator Boxer) who I feel "gets it."  So don't mind me being an out of state fan who will happily support and work for the larger goals you have expressed support for, particularly if someday you decide to go for it and run for higher office.  I have a great deal of respect for your measured wise voice, your willingness to engage and especially your effectiveness at communicating across difference.  For that you are to be commended.  I listen to your podcasts each week, and am routinely reassured that you are destined for even more greatness than you've already accomplished.

    Thank you again for taking time out of your busy schedule to blog here.

    My separate place for mental meanderings: Political Sapphire

    by shanikka on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 10:46:28 AM PDT

  •  I gotta say (none)
    I love this site, but there are some narcissistic individuals who post here.

    How divorced from reality do you have to be to assume a)you know what Senator Obama will do in the future and b) that he is obligated to respond specifically to every person who bitches on THIS site about him? And you wonder why stereotype of liberals are elitists seems to stick.

    Do you people still believe Santa Claus?

    It's moments like this that best illustrate the difference between BOOK smarts and COMMON SENSE. The fact that Senator has posted(more than alot of his peers) to this site shows that he has been listening to your feedback. Now instead of waiting and seeing how well he puts into practice what he says he has absorbed from this feedback, well that is not good enough.

    Look you don't kiss the Senator's ass for responding, but you don't have to 180 degrees the other way either. Just cool off, wait and see if he backs up his rhetoric action with action.

  •  Thank you (none)
    Thank you, senator, for your posts.  It's good to see a politician who's willing to communicate with the people he represents in a forum with diverse viewpoints.

    I hope to see more of you at dailykos.

  •  Senator Obama (none)
    Thank you for coming back.

    What bothered me about your first post is that you seemed to be lecturing us for criticizing Dems, while you never stated that remarks by Sens Biden, Lieberman & Pelosi were unfair attacks on fellow Democrats.

    I just want you to consider that we are Democratic activists, not a bunch of fringe radicals.  

    I sincerely hope you will inform the above named Dems that the way to really chap our hides is to see said Dems insulting us & the Dems we support.  We are an opposition party, & we need the repup apologists in our party to get in line & stop attacking Democrats!

    You're a smart man.  How hard is that to grasp?

    Tell your colleagues to stop bashing Democrats & defending Bush Repubs on TV.

    The future ain't what it used to be. Yogi Bera

    by x on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 11:06:13 AM PDT

  •  How about not voting to take back the bridge to (4.00)
    Nowhere? What was up with that? I read that Dems were afraid their own pork would be revealed and possibly recinded. So what? Dems should be against pork! Good prograqms, sure. But pork?
    I belive that the Dems, if you want to take back the power in Washington must force issues that the citizens are concerned with and try to get votes on them. Come 2006 and 2008, we can then point to the Republicans (and turncoat Dems) and expose their anti-American voting record.
    I mean, whether politician or citizen, if you're not for good environment, against the war, for fiscal sanity as well as helping those in need, then you don't belong in this country.
  •  Maybe sometime, Barack, (none)
    you will find a way to actually engage in a discussion here.  I understand that you are busy, but hey, so are we. We, & many Americans are undergoing some serious setbacks.  

    It's nice of you to read our feedback, but a little engagement would help.

    You have logged 0 comments.


    I have decided to address you by your first name, not out of disrespect, but out of the need to remind you that you are one of us.

    The future ain't what it used to be. Yogi Bera

    by x on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 11:38:30 AM PDT

  •  Three things: (4.00)
    a) I didn't agree with a lot of what Senator Obama said in his first post;

    b) I think he's the future of the Democratic party;

    c) I'm not depressed about b)

    Go figure.

    Thy hand, great Anarch! lets the curtain fall: And universal Darkness buries All.

    by Dunciad on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 11:45:19 AM PDT

  •  Questions to Senator Obama (4.00)
    When will Democrats force Lieberman to leave the party, and does the party of invertebrates have any plans to develop a spine?

    Does corporate ownership of the media so completely disarm Democrats that they can't speak out against the lies that are so obvious to the rest of us?

    Or are the Dems just plain complicit in the policies supported by those same lies?

    I love the smell of impeachment in the morning!

    by gabbardd on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 11:49:04 AM PDT

    •  While I stick by these questions, (none)
      I didn't mean them to be pointed against you, Senator.  But to be honest, there have been so many issues that Dems have just rolled over on, including Iraq.  

      Have you ever heard it discussed as to why the antrhrax was sent only to Democratic Senators and Representatives in the wake of 9-11.  Were those warning shots sent by friends of Abramoff et al, (i.e., Cheney . . . )?

      Why didn't Bush want an investigation into 9-11?

      Sorry for all the questions, but we rarely get to ask our Congresspeople anything in a forum like this.  I send tons of form letters to Eliz. Dole and Walter "Freedom Fries-oops" Jones", and  I get nothing but form letters in return, telling me basically, whatever the issue, to go "Cheney" myself.

      Thanks for replying and for come back to the Land of Kos.

      Talk hard, and keep the faith!!

      I love the smell of impeachment in the morning!

      by gabbardd on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 06:31:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If the Senator is still reading down this far.... (none)
    perhaps he'd be interested to my response to the latest begging letter I received from my state democratic party:

    I am receipt of the "survey" promulgated by the Colorado Democratic Party, which purports to solicit from me information about the "core values you and I hold dear", as "loyal Democrats".

    I'm sorry, but within your survey, and the accompanying cover letter, the Colorado Democratic Party asks for donations four times -- yet never once does the mailing use any of the words which reflect my core values.

    Throughout the entire missive, there is no mention of support for working Americans, for labor unions, for the right to unionize -- no mention of labor at all.  There is no mention of the growing wealth gap, stagnant wages, the working poor.  There is no mention of controlling the untoward influence of the monied in the electoral process and ensuring fair and open elections.  The Democratic Party has managed to ignore every single thing encompassing my core values -- economic justice and a fair shake for the working people.

    If the Democratic Party continues to ignore these vital issues, what should truly be its "core values", it will continue to lose elections.

    And it will lose the support of this nominal Democrat.

    I stuffed into the reply envelope and mailed it back -- without a check.

    Leave the cat alone, for what has the cat done, that you should so afflict it with tape? - Ian Frazier, Lamentations of the Father

    by Frankenoid on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 11:58:30 AM PDT

  •  He didn't thank me for the pie I sent. (snark) (none)
    Thank you Senator.

    Keep coming back.
    Keep reading.
    Please keep taking our suggestions to heart.

    We look forward to personalized responses to every one of our comments and letters (I sent one) in the near future. (more snark)

    We do still need to get our rowers and drummers in sync, so to speak, so that we can turn this ship or Party around.  (That's means we're still going to gripe about the votes for Chief Justice Roberts)

    What do members of the Repub. leadership say when they bump into Pres. Bush? "Pardon me."

    by mungley on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 12:07:47 PM PDT

  •  The progressive message... (none)
    ... is a complicated message.  That's part of the problem.  The world is not a simple place -- our society is not simple -- and progressives recognize that.  

    Progressives can not fall back on a simple 'belief' based (as opposed to 'reality based') catch-all like, 'trust the market - the market will decide' -- as many conservatives do.

    Clinton's greatness lay in his ability to communicate complicated answers to complext questions in a simple, straightforward manner -- to make them appear to be rooted in common sense.

    Obama, I believe, also has that ability -- but beyond that, I believe he has a gift for articulating the progressive message in an inspirational manner not seen on the Democratic side since JFK & Robert Kennedy.

    We're angry right now.  We want for our representatives to speak the truth.  We want for our representatives to expose this administration for what it manifestly is -- a corrupt, profit-driven, power-mad group of zealots who are not only pillaging our country, but who are demolishing our democracy.  It's that serious to many of us, Sen. Obama.

    That said, the reality is that you've got to pick your battles -- let's face it, a truly Quixotic approach these days is political suicide.  And, as the Senator suggests, you really do catch more flies with sugar than you do with vinegar...

  •  I do the American thing (none)
    and outsource most of my posts to China.  Anyway, thanks for all you are doing.
  •  Thanks for listening and for following up (none)


    Mitch Gore

    Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

    by Lestatdelc on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 01:01:04 PM PDT

  •  Represent me too, please (none)
    Senator Obama,

    I apologize for this, it's called a thread hijack, but I was hoping you could represent me and my family too while you're in the Senate.  See, we are taxpaying Americans but we live in the District of Columbia.  Therefore, we have no vote in the House and no representation in the Senate.  I can't write my Senator because I don't have one.

    If you're still reading this far down into the comments, I'd appreciate some love on the whole issue of taxation without representation.  Please join Senator Lieberman and Delegate Holmes-Norton in the House in pushing the Taxation Without Representation Act and shaming the Republicans and your fellow Democrats until they address this stain on our democracy.  This is a civil rights issue.  It's no coincidence that the nation's only majority-black state is not a state at all, more like a colony or a plantation, ruled by unelected (by us) overlords from distant states.

    Please lend your awesome talents to this cause, and keep DC residents in mind when you cast votes on all issues.

    My son can't grow up to be a Senator like you unless he leaves behind his hometown, his family, and his friends.  Where's the American Dream?  Fight for us too.

    Thanks for listening.

  •  This response from you is disappointing, (none)
    and it's important that you understand why some readers and many loyal Democrats find it bewildering and even insulting.

    When it looks like you're so afraid even to type the word "Iraq" that the primary issues facing the Senate can't be mentioned in your posts, let alone addressed, you seem to have abdicated your representative role.

    Comments here from readers so grateful for attention from a Senator that they become instant sycophants will not lead you any closer to facing those important issues.

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