Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Howard Dean & Richard Clarke

Highlights from Howard Dean's address this afternoon:

Our challenge today is not to re-hash what has happened, but to look forward, to make the Democratic Party a 50-state party again, and, most importantly, to win.To win the White House and a majority in Congress, yes.

But also to do the real work that will make these victories possible -- to put Democratic ideas and Democratic candidates in every office -- whether it be Secretary of State, supervisor of elections, county commissioner or school board member.

Here in Washington, it seems that after every losing election, there's a consensus reached among decision-makers in the Democratic Party is that the way to win is to be more like Republicans.I suppose you could call that philosophy: if you didn't beat 'em, join them.
[. . . ]

There are no red states or blue states, just American states. And if we can compete at all levels and in the most conservative parts of the country, we can win ... at any level and anywhere.

People will vote for Democratic candidates in Texas, and Alabama, and Utah if we knock on their door, introduce ourselves, and tell them what we believe.

There is another destination beyond strong finances, outreach, and campaigns.

That destination is a better, stronger, smarter, safer, healthier America.

An America where we don't turn our back on our own people.

That's the America we can only build with conviction.

When some people say we should change direction, in essence they are arguing that our basic or guiding principles can be altered or modified.

They can't.

On issue after issue, we are where the majority of the American people are.

What I want to know is at what point did it become a radical notion to stand up for what we believe?

[. . .]

We are what we believe. And the American people know it.

And I believe that over the next two... four... ten years...

Election by election...

State by state...

Precinct by precinct...

Door by door...

Vote by vote...

We're going to lift our Party up...

And we're going to take this country back for the people who built it.

The speech is posted at Democracy for America (
and I'm sorry that 101 of you were unable to hear it. People also e-mailed in to this site to say they couldn't listen to Unfiltered this morning (26 people).

On the plus side, it's great that Howard Dean's speech and Unfiltered had such huge web traffic. Krist Novoselic was on Unfiltered to speak with Lizz Winstead & Rachel Maddow about his book and the Nirvana boxed set. I'm sure that accounts for some of the increase.

But remember, Air America Radio shows are archived at Air America Place (

This brings me to the title of my book. I often get asked at events like this why the title of the book is Against All Enemies. It is because I fear that people are using the threat of terrorism to undermine our civil liberties. And, therefore, I think we need to remind people of the oath of office that the president has taken and that all federal officials have taken. An oath of office written in the constitutional convention in Philadelphia over 200 years ago. An oath of office that requires federal officials to say that they will preserve, protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. We all hope there will never be another terrorist attack in the United States. But there could be, since we have not eliminated the terrorist threat. Instead, we have gone off and made it worse by invading Iraq. There could be, because we are stimulating people to join terrorist organizations by our activities in Iraq. There could be because we are spending money destroying Iraq rather than creating homeland security here at home. And if there is another terrorist attack, there will be people in the Congress who will attempt to use that terrorist attack as a basis for a Patriot Act 2, which will erode our civil liberties if passed. So the one thing I ask all of you tonight, is that if that happens, if there is another terrorist attack, this time let us react differently than we did after 9/11 when we all closed ranks and all shut our mouths and shut our minds. Let us the next time remind federal officials of their oath to protect the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

That's Richard Clarke in a speech broadcast on today's Democracy Now. You can listen to or watch the segment at ( and the transcript is posted there.

Also on Democracy Now! today, a speech by Greg Palast on voting problems in Ohio, Jennifer Gonnerman on New York's partial reform of the Rockefeller drug laws, and Danny Schechter discussing his new film Weapons of Mass Deception (and to show two small segments from the film).

So I'd argue watch or listen to the entire thing at