Melanie: "I cried and cried over Senator [Barbara] Boxer's courage and over the weak spines of the other Democrats in the Senate."
Ben: "Where were they? The rest in the Senate? Hiding under their desks? Or maybe globe trotting with John Kerry?"
Erika: "The easiest thing in the world is to slam John Kerry right now. Why should he be there? If the argument is that it will not change the outcome, Kerry's presence would not have helped that argument. I do not blame people who express anger or disgust with Kerry for giving up so quickly after he promised during the campaign that every vote would be counted. But as for him being there, it would have been on Fox, it would have been the focus on Rush. The argument that was raised in the Senate was that 'we are not questioning the outcome of the presidency' and that would be hard to make if Kerry is sitting in the chamber. All eyes and all cameras would have been focused on him and any statement he made would have been the issue. If he'd spoken with Boxer, it would be 'Kerry refuses to face the truth!' and if he was silent the right wing echo chamber would have said, 'Even Kerry doesn't agree with that woman!' So it was best that he stayed out of it. And I'm sure the troops in Iraq appreciated him visiting as they appreciate anyone taking the time to visit them."
Keesha: "I was in high school in 1992 and Hillary Rodham Clinton was almost heroic then. When she wasn't able to move mountains, I noted that she moved hills and that the right wing never stopped attacking her. In November of 2000 she made history as the first former first lady to serve in the Senate. After that stolen presidential election, I took tremendous comfort in the fact that we at least had her in the Senate. There were some votes she made as a senator that I could live with and some that I really supported. But as an African-American woman I will not vote for her in 2008 should she make a run for the presidency. I will not vote her. African-Americans were disenfranchised in Florida in 2000 and in Ohio in 2004. Hillary Clinton should have voted with Barbara Boxer. She didn't. Actions have meaning and when she refused to stand up for African-Americans she fell tremendously in my eyes. There is no comeback from this."
Trevor: "If your last name is not Boxer and you are a senator, what good are you? If anyone wants to redeem themselves they can do it by insisting upon a paper ballot for all votes."
Yazz: "I'm not surprised that the Democrats caved, I'm surprised that one stood up. The party never wanted to make this an issue. They were ready to move on after the election was called. They didn't realize the passion involved on this issue for voters. And I think this will hurt them.
They're now going to have to work twice as hard to find support."
Kara: "You either stand up for democracy or you don't. Today we saw only one person support voters and no one in the Senate support her. It was telling and it was hurtful."
Dominick: "In this month's issue of The Progressive, they quote Grover Norquist saying it will be easy to have bipartisanship in Congress because 'Any farmer can tell you that certain animals run around and are unpleasant, but when they're fixed then they are happy and sedate.' I saw a lot of Democratic senators who'd been fixed and were eager to wag their tails at their GOP masters."
Elaine: "What does it take for them to wake up? Randi [Rhodes] was talking all week about the strength in a united front. If this was somehow news to them, she'd pointed it out. Did they still not understand? Is this how it will be? Each time there's a vote, they'll choose one person to stick their necks out? Or are they waiting to see if this destroys Boxer and if she lives through it, they'll grow some guts on their own? There's no excuse for it. [Ted] Kennedy is never going to lose his seat. That's a reality. It would have cost him nothing to have stood with Boxer. He speaks a great deal about his brothers. I'm having a hard time believing the Bobby Kennedy of 1968 wouldn't be standing right beside Boxer if we were lucky enough to still have him with us."
Trina: "Have you no shame? I'm not speaking to the Republicans. We know they have no shame and no ethics. I'm speaking to the Democrats in Congress who could not show the same guts and bravery that some House members and one Senator did."
Bob: "Sheila Jackson Lee deserves credit for her passion on this issue. She and House members like John Conyers Jr., Maxine Waters, Barbara Lee and Jesse Jackson Jr. are the real leaders in the House. They are the only leaders in the House, the 31 who stood up for democracy and were counted. Let's remember them and support them. The rest of them are the cousin who borrows twenty bucks and then avoids you for a few months hoping you forgot. After that, they're back trying to scam you again. Remember that when the fundraising letters start arriving."
Tammi: "Living in Barbara Lee's district, I can tell you she hasn't forgotten her constituents and she hasn't forgotten what democracy means. She's a true hero. I lost respect for the so-called leadership in the House and for all the senators with the exception of Boxer. Don't show up asking for me to donate if you didn't stand up today [Thursday]."
Clayton: "Randi Rhodes should be where the Democratic Congress members go when they're in doubt or needing a spine transplant. That is one voice of truth and it's shameful they way so many of them behaved. I feel like my child came home saying 'They teased me' and when I asked him if he stood up for himself, he said 'no.' Why should I defend you cowards when you won't even defend yourselves?"
Rob: "Can someone tell Al Franken to shut the hell up? I didn't need to be called a 'conspiracy theorist' because I do not believe that Bush won. I don't think that Laura Flanders or Janeane Garofalo or Randi Rhodes or Mike Malloy need that either. Al, you're a weak willed cry baby. Randi could destroy you with her pinky finger. Which probably means you'll be elected to the Senate in 2006 because you will fit in so well with all the Democrat Senators except for Barbara Boxer."
Joan: "My rep is Major Owens, someone who knows how to fight and when to stand up. I have no idea why the 'fraidy cats' are so eager to to reveal their yellow streak but they were sporting it prominetly."
Trey: "Don't forget Lane Evans! He's my guy and he fights for us!"
CeCe: "Am I the only one thinking Corinne Brown is ready for the Senate? Am I the only one thinking that the Senate ain't ready for her? Get ready coz she's leading and there's no stopping her. They struck her remarks from the record about Bush stealing the election and that didn't silence her. Nothing will. She carries on the legacy of Shirley Chisholm. Remember her name and get ready because she's the real deal and we're all going to be hearing from her."
Erik: "Anyone else notice that one person who wanted to be president in 2004 and ran a brave fight demonstrated that same bravery on the floor of Congress today? I'm talking about Dennis Kucinich. He didn't pull a Kerry and leave the country, he didn't pull a Lieberman and act the doofus. He was there fighting same as every other day he's served. I hope people will remember that next time when someone says he's 'unelectable.' If you'd known of only half the bravery and strength this man has, we would have all been uniting around him this summer and the election would have turned out differently. I want to also note Randi Rhodes who was our candle in the dark showing us the way. She inspired me. Not everyone at Air America did. I think it's really lousy when someone at that network thinks they are being 'reasonable' when they insult their own listeners. I won't name the person, I'll just say it wasn't anyone with a weekend show, it wasn't Mark & Marc, it wasn't Lizz & Rachel, it wasn't Janeane & Sam and it wasn't Malloy. And you know it wasn't Randi because she never backs down. Keep being our candle, Randi, in these dark times we need you so bad."
Dallas: "Redistricting was a nightmare for our state. The only bright spot for me is a personal one. I'm stuck with Kay Bailey Hutchinson and John Cornyn for senators and I was stuck with Pete Sessions for my rep. Redistricting finally gave me a Democratic voice to represent me. And it's a real Democratic voice, a true one: Eddie Bernice Johnson. I was at the redistricting hearings in Dallas and I'll never forget that though she didn't serve on the committee, she showed up, all in white and looking incredible, and stood up. I thought, 'Damn, why can't I have her as a representative?' Now it's been a hideous year and I look for small satisfactions. Having a real voice like Eddie Bernice Johnson as a voice for me in the Congress is no small satisfaction, it's an outright miracle. Seeing her stand and be counted on Thursday made me feel like after years of no representation, I finally have someone fighting for me."
Lonnie: "They said she was over and they said we'd seen the last of her. But she reclaimed her seat and she showed the Bully Boy and his fan club that she will not be hushed and she will not be stilled. Cynthia McKinney is my Congress woman and I say that bursting with pride not just because today [Thursday] she was one of the few standing and being counted but because she does that each and every day."
Julie: "Wonder why Randi [Rhodes] and the Black Caucus get along so well? Because they both believe in fighting and they both refused to be cowed. Boxer deserves our praise as does Conyers and the entire Black Caucus but don't forget Randi or Laura [Flanders] because they were there for us the whole time. It won't be forgotten."
Francisco: "Living in New Mexico, I had no one to stand up for me. Surrounded by cobardes, I hope those of you who are represented by the likes of Boxer, Conyers and Tubbs Jones will allow me to share in your pride for them."
Lynda: "Stephanie Tubbs Jones should be remembered by everyone regardless of where they live. You need to remember that she'll be up for re-election in 2006. It's easy to say 'I'm so proud of her' right now. Try remembering her bravery in 2006 with any money you can spare, even five dollars. People who stood up should be supported when they face re-election."
Gore Vidal is God: "I don't want to hear one person slam Randi [Rhodes] in the coming months. She fought this battle and she fought it hard. She didn't get a lot of support from the rest of the media, including bloggers, and she didn't seem to get a lot of support from her own network. Especially in the early days [,] when people were trying to write her off as a crack
pot [,] it would have been easy for her to back off. But she kept pushing and we might not have made history today if it weren't for her. What's the point of having a liberal radio network if you're just going to back down when the right wing media and the mainstream media says 'Keep it moving, nothing to see here?' Randi showed the power Air America can have. If I just wanted pleasant chatter, I'd listen to NPR. Randi demonstrated the difference Air America can make. Others better follow her example."
Tina: "What does it take to get Democratic leadership enraged? I thought one Florida was more than enough to learn from. But apparently that's not enough. If it weren't for David Cobb and Michael Badnarik would we have even gotten this far? It's a real shame when the party has to look for leadership from outside. That goes for Laura Flanders and Randi Rhodes too. They're not in Congress but they were willing to fight. I thank those four. I am thankful for those four."
Krista: "David Cobb and Michael Badnarik. I got Cobb's first name wrong and I feel so bad about that. But I want to repeat what I said in the 'Year in Review.'"
From the 'Year in Review' [see http://thecommonills.blogspot.com/2004/12/common-ills-year-in-review.html]:
Thanks Go To:
David Cobb & Michael Badnarik
Krista: While the Democratic Party was willing to roll over and play dead regarding the Ohio voting issue, I think we should all take a moment to thank David Cobb and Michael Badnarik, presidential nominees of the Green and Libertarian parties. They forced this issue and without them the recounts wouldn't have happened.I'd also like to note the work of Jesse Jackson, John Conyers Jr., Laura Flanders, Randi Rhodes, Common Cause, the Ohio Democratic Party and citizens in Ohio and elsewhere who were outraged by the lack of transperancy. Big media didn't want the recounts, the DNC didn't fight for them, even John Kerry has stood in the shadows. But with the work of these people and the attention they brought to the issue through a variety of forums and demonstrations, we got recounts. The recounts themselves don't inspire my trust but when you consider all the resistance to them, I'll count it as a win that we forced this issue.
???: "Randi Rhodes kept me focused on this issue. And when I was ready to slit my wrists after Congress voted, it was Randi that put me back together. We made history and we can do it again. And we will do it again. I want to also mention my representative Julia Carson because she didn't back down. Today we couldn't get forty votes in the House and we couldn't get two in the Senate. But we will keep fighting until the party realizes that we will be heard."
Bernado: "A lot of people shut their eyes and their mouths today. I will not forget the bravery or the cowardice. And I will not overlook Randi who got me through this hideous day."
Rolondo: "Face it, people like Maxine Waters and Jan Schakowsky gave a damn. The wimps didn't. They better come to realize that if you aren't going to fight for us you aren't going to stay in Congress."
Abhilasha: "I was raised to believe in proverbs such as: 'Help thy brother's boat across, and lo! Thine own has reached the shore.' Where were the Democrats in Congress willing to help Stephanie Tubbs Jones and Barbara Boxer's boats? The ones who were there for them are on the shore now. The ones who were ruled by cowardice remain in murky waters. They may find it hard to navigate those waters by themselves. So be it."
Dona: "If no one thanks Raul Grijalva then let me be the first. I'll also thank Randi Rhodes of Air America because I'm afraid she might be overlooked as well."
[Of 397 e-mails, 221 praised Randi Rhodes. If she's overlooked for her hard work, it's not by The Common Ills community.]
Tori: "You reep what you sow. Crops ain't looking good for the Democratic party right now. The party members got soul and drive, too bad the leaders don't."
Jim: "We are not defeated even if so many of our leaders rolled over on this one. And if they're thinking we're going to take this as a lesson, they don't know how much we intend to bother them with phone calls, faxes, letters and e-mails in the coming months."
Liang: "I choose to see Boxer as a lotus blooming in a furnace. When those around her see that she continues to bloom, they will not fear the heat. Boxer was a test case and she will succeed and inspire others in Congress. The time to shrink has passed, we are all blooming and we will be noticed."
Shawn: "I prefer to be hopeful and remember that history was made today and we will fight harder each time until we get a responsive Congress. I think the success of thirty-one in the House and of Boxer in the Senate will have long lasting effects in future battles. I think this was a learning experience and that even those who could not find their voice today will find it later on. We will help them find it."
[Note the above are excerpts from e-mails that arrived Thursday. 397 e-mailed the site about what they felt. The less than forty quoted above all agreed to be quoted.]
[Note II: My apologies to anyone whose quote I screwed up. Keesha, "feel" has been corrected to "fell." Dominick, "were" has been added to your statement. Clatyon, "of" has been removed. Gore Vidal is God, I added commas to your post to clairfy at Shirley's request. If you want them removed, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.]