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H2O Man

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Member since: Mon Dec 29, 2003, 08:49 PM
Number of posts: 64,769

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You say you'll change the constitution
Well, you know
We all want to change your head
You tell me it's the institution
Well, you know
You better free you mind instead
-- John Lennon; Revolution; 1968

Rhetorical Question: “Why should I vote for Barack Obama on Tuesday?”

I have stated several times over the years that I have participated on this forum that I am a Malcolm X Democrat. This is not intended to imply that Minister Malcolm, even in the last year of his life on earth, when he became more involved in politics than the Nation of Islam had previously allowed for, was a registered member of the Democratic Party. He wasn’t. However, his political activity included supporting democratic politicians, such as Adam Clayton Powell; working with the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party leaders; and advocating voter registration.

I am a registered member of the Democratic Party. Being a registered Democrat does not prevent me from breaking bread with a wide range of people belonging to the Democratic Left. And the Democratic Left, while having some overlap with the Democratic Party, is distinct.

But what, some may be asking, does all this business about rhetorical questions, and the Democratic Party, and the Democratic Left, and the late “angriest black man in America” have to do with Tuesday’s election contest, which features perhaps the least angry man in the nation versus a pseudo-human corporate entity? Is this merely the nonsensical ramblings of an increasingly out-of-touch, semi-senile, forum fool? Let’s take a closer look.

In Malcolm’s day, his opposition frequently tried to marginalize his voiced opinions by claiming that he engaged in rhetoric. As if rhetoric, per say, is a bad thing. Malcolm would, of course, point out that the word “rhetoric” comes from a word that meant the finest form of teaching. Indeed, Aristotle defined rhetoric as “the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion” necessary for the rational grasp of political issues. Indeed, rhetoric is -- in its most proper sense -- the method used to teach those who are less well-informed about a given issue, with the goal of motivating them to take the correct action needed.

The Democratic Party of current times includes a wide array of people; these include, from left to right: progressives, liberals, moderates, and conservatives. For the sake of this discussion, and because the intent of the Democratic Underground’s early membership was primarily composed of these two groups, we will consider the progressives and liberals. In using the correct definitions, “liberals” tend to view the imperfect political machinery as in need of fine-tuning, while progressives tend to advocate the major restructuring of that machine. Individuals can, of course, be a blend of these two definitions. A good example might be to consider that, while working specifically for Civil Rights, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was engaged in liberal activity: he was seeking to gain access to the American Dream for black citizens. When by 1967 King had openly tied the horrors of the war in Vietnam to the wide-spread poverty in America that degraded the lives of people of all colors, he was advocating a progressive program to restructure the nation.

When we examine the on-going debates and arguments on this forum, involving good people who fully support President Barack Obama’s re-election, and good people who do not share the same passionate feelings about the President, much of that conflict is rooted in the differences between liberal and progressive outlooks. Is Barack Obama a superior human being than Willard Romney? Yes, of course he is. But has President Obama served in a manner that deserves everyone’s unqualified support? The answer to that may well be different among good and decent individuals who participate on this forum.

I’m a progressive Democrat. Among the many things that I believe requires a deep and wide-spread structural change in this country is the current economic system of “vulture capitalism.” That does not mean that I am opposed to free enterprise. It does mean that I am opposed to the perverse form of corporate socialism, that provides comfort to the opulent rich, by crushing the middle and lower economic classes. Malcolm, by no coincidence, taught that the American economic elite were once a mighty eagle, capable of taking any and every resource it desired from around the globe -- but which had turned into a nasty vulture, that dined upon the poor of this nation.

I advocate the idea of people at the grass roots level transforming our nation into a Constitutional Democracy. This is not romantic yearning of a return to a yesterday that exists only in my imagination. Rather, it is an understanding that the basic concepts of the U.S. Constitution -- including the additions that have been made to it -- tend to be solid. All efforts to rebuild our society should rest upon that foundation.

For many, many years, as documented in Arthur Schlesinger’s important book, “The Imperial Presidency,” the majority of presidents have sought to claim more and more power for their office. They do so primarily by talking about external threats to our safety, and by engaging in warfare (declared or undeclared). Obviously, there has been cooperation lent by either sick or weak members of both parts of Congress, from Senator Joseph McCarthy’s “red scare,” to the recent spinelessness of the passing of the Patriot Act. Both, of course, intended to limit the rights of citizens in this country.

The current focus of the Republican Party, being led by Romney and Paul Ryan, is the further denial of Constitutional Rights to a wider and wider segment of our society. The best illustration I can think of is their intense interest on denying women the right to control their own bodies. It’s not only about abortion: it includes access to birth control and health care. And there are literally hundreds of other issues, all of which overlap. Thus, while I view Barack Obama as an individual who flirted with progressive views as a teenager, and who was employed as a liberal community organizer as a young man, and who now spans the liberal-moderate-conservative parts of the Democratic Party, I recognize that is represents a totally superior option than Mitt Romney. If nothing else, his nominees to the federal courts -- including but not limited to the U.S. Supreme Court -- will keep open the most essential door for providing us with a fighting chance of establishing social justice. A Romney presidency, on the other hand, would slam that door shut.

H2O Man

Hair Peace

We were talking - about the space between us all
And the people - who hide themselves behind a wall of illusion
Never glimpse the truth - then it's far too late when they pass away
We were talking - about the love we all could share
When we find it - to try our best to hold it there - with our love
With our love we could save the world - if they only knew
Try to realize it's all within yourself - no-one else can make you change
And to see you're really only very small
And life flows on within you and without you.
We were talking - about the love that's gone so cold
And the people who gain the world and lose their soul
They don't know, they can't see - are you one of them ?
When you've seen beyond yourself
Then you may find peace of mind is waiting there
And the time will come when you see we're all one
And life flows on within you and without you.
-- George Harrison

I ventured to the upstate New York community of Sidney today, for the second time in three days. Forum members may recall Sidney making the national news in the fall of 2010, when its Tea Party Town Supervisor and two rabid councilmen attempted to force a tiny Sufi settlement to “remove” all Islamic burials from a legal cemetery. Since that time, I have been helping to run the campaigns of good people who have stepped up to the plate. Two were elected in 2011, and two more may win seats on the town board on Tuesday.

Thursday afternoon, I ran into two of my Sufi friends in front of a store on the main street. They asked me to extend an invitation to Dr. Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, to visit their settlement, and discuss some social justice and reconciliation projects. As we spoke, a highly intoxicated fellow approached us on the sidewalk. Although we were not in any way blocking his path, he stopped to stare at us in a manner that conveyed his utter disgust at the mere sight of us.

After a few moments of our ignoring him, he selected me as his target: “I’d like to cut your hair” was soon followed by “you look like a fucking faggot.” We continued to ignore him, which he may have mistaken as license to become bolder. He stepped rather close to me, and again commented on his desire to cut my hair. I told him that wasn’t a good idea, and we continued to ignore him while finishing our conversation.

Now that I was alone, he became a bit bolder, getting very close to me, repeating the hair-cut and faggot nonsense, and adding in, “There are kids with cancer and bald heads, you asshole.”

I’m an older man now, then I was young and enjoyed fisticuffs. I do try to be not only non-violent, but peaceful, as well. In fact, I’m not particularly fond of the person I was when I made a name for myself internationally, as an amateur boxer. But that younger self took over for a brief moment, and it was as if I were a spectator. I turned and stepped face-to-face with this annoying shadow. “You look like the type of guy who has made a lot of mistakes in your life,” I said. “The one you are making now is going to be the most painful mistake you ever made.” He said, “Fuck you,” and headed off in a different direction.

This type of incident never bother the younger version of me. Back in the late 1960s and early ‘70s, guys with long hair were too often the target of aggressive jack-asses. And both my oldest brother (a professional boxer) and I were at times mistaken for potential victims. I viewed street- and bar-fights as recreation. But Thursday’s incident was not so entertaining …..not because I couldn’t do a fuck of a lot of damage quickly, but because I am no longer that person who mistakenly finds meaning in it.

This morning, I attended a political breakfast on the main street in that same community. A highlight for me was showing an article in the town’s newspaper, reporting that attorney Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and the Pace Environmental Law Clinic have joined the fight against the Constitution Pipeline. For over a year, I’ve told the grass roots groups in Pennsylvania and New York that I talk to that they can only stop this project by bringing legal cases -- few elected officials or appointed bureaucrats have enough of a spine to stand up to the energy corporations. (Robert’s involvement is especially significant, considering that his former brother-in-law, Governor Andrew Cuomo, appointed him to the state’s “advisory committee” on hydro racking.)

When I left the meeting, I walked through an alley to get to my vehicle. There were two guys standing at the end of the alley, who looked like “red necks.” I attempted to ignore them, but one fellow said, “Hey! How long have you been growing your hair?” I said that I had been for many years. “That’s great,” he said. “I used to have long hair, but nothing like your’s.”

I thanked him, and went on my way.

RFK, Jr: Democracy Under Assault

A Hostile Takeover of Our Country
By Robert F. Kennedy Jr., EcoWatch
29 October 12

American democracy is under assault.

In one super-PAC alone, Karl Rove and the Enron grifter Ed Gillespie, have assembled $200 million from big polluters and Wall Street moguls to buy the 2012 election.

Two of the Koch Brothers, Charles and David, pledged $130 million to elect candidates who favor unrestrained corporate profiteering.

The senators and congressmen they fund and elect are not representing the United States-they are representing Koch and its oil industry cronies, Big Pharma, and the Wall Street banksters currently mounting a hostile takeover of our government.

I have no problem characterizing these corporate-centric super-PACs as treasonous. We are now in a free fall toward old-fashioned oligarchy; noxious, thieving and tyrannical.
(More at: http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/14252-a-hostile-takeover-of-our-country)

Dear Brothers & Sisters; Friends & Acquaintances; Strangers & Sparring Partners:

Next Tuesday is an important day for our nation. Many forum participants have been investing time, money, and effort in the numerous local, state, and national campaign contests that should be decided upon Election Day. Some of us have been doing this for decades -- as the comments found here when George McGovern showed. Others are newer to politics, and bring the awesome energy that gives old folks like myself a renewed confidence in our future.

I posted the RFK Jr., article and link to illustrate a large part of the dark forces we find ourselves up against today. I do so knowing full well that some here are not inclined to like Robert -- to the extent that they sometimes react to information by or about him -- without taking the time required to actually respond to the message. However, I will respectfully submit that I have known him far longer and far better than anyone here, and I would ask that you consider reading the linked essay, for discussion here on this thread.

No one is perfect -- no presidential candidate, no senator or congressman, no state/county/city candidate. Nor are any journalists, political operatives, or citizens. But most of us share not only the imperfections that define the human condition …..we also have an interest in what happens in the next five days, on Election Day, and in the future. A common interest, and enough common causes, that we can find Common Ground. And that includes voting, and making sure everyone can vote. We can’t take that for granted.

The opposition we face includes enemies who do not have the least bit of “Good” within them. Or in their agendas, their blue-prints, and their plans for the future. They will tell any lie, sell any poison, steal without remorse, and cause suffering and death without conscience.

A “great lie” would be that our work ends on Tuesday night, with either a victory party or an Irish wake. No matter who wins the White House, the Congress, and state/local elections, we have to keep fighting the Good Fight. Our tactics will be adjusted by what the election outcomes are.

Another “great lie” is that you don’t matter …..that there is nothing you can do …….that it ain’t worth your time to keep on struggling. That isn’t a new lie for many (perhaps most) here on this forum. People have been pushing that lie in your faces since you were little. You may have learned it in school, or on the job. Indeed, the foundation for our enemies’ goals is built firmly upon repeating that lie so many times that it becomes entrenched in the social consciousness.

That’s bullshit. And we aren’t going to be stopped by the lies of shitheads in the 1% club. We aren’t looking to be viewed as acceptable by polite company. Don’t want to get ahead by crushing others and destroying the environment. We want what is our’s: democracy, a fair chance, and a fair share.

H2O Man

The Unknown Soldier

Wait until the war is over
And we're both a little older
The unknown soldier

Breakfast where the news is read
Television children fed
Unborn living, living, dead
Bullet strikes the helmet's head

And it's all over
For the unknown soldier
It's all over
For the unknown soldier

Hut ho hee up
Hut ho hee up
Hut ho hee up

Make a grave for the unknown soldier
Nestled in your hollow shoulder
The unknown soldier

Breakfast where the news is read
Television children fed
Bullet strikes the helmet's head

And, it's all over
The war is over
It's all over
The war is over
Well, all over, baby
All over, baby
Oh, over, yeah
All over, baby
Wooooo, hah-hah
All over
All over, baby
Oh, woa-yeah
All over
All over
-- The Doors; The Unknown Soldier

There is currently a bit of controversy on DU:GD over a photograph of the “tomb of the unknown soldier.” I think that good and decent people can have very different opinions on what the photo -- and the tomb -- symbolize. I also think that there are certain topics provide fertile ground for those who enjoy stirring the pot.

Of course, stirring the pot can be either a good or bad thing, depending upon one’s point of view.

Older forum members will recall that the first “famous” rock group to record an anti-war song was The Doors. The song was “The Unknown Soldier.” (Note: yes, there were both folk groups and individuals writing and performing anti-war songs before The Doors. But they were the first nationally known rock group to do so.)

Strange, the things that people argue about on this forum. Strange days have found us, so to speak.

A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall

And what did you hear, my blue-eyed son ?
And what did you hear, my darling young one ?
I heard the sound of a thunder, it roared out a warnin'
I heard the roar of a wave that could drown the whole world
I heard one hundred drummers whose hands were a-blazin'
I heard ten thousand whisperin' and nobody listenin'
I heard one person starve, I heard many people laughin'
Heard the song of a poet who died in the gutter
Heard the sound of a clown who cried in the alley
And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard
And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.
-- Bob Dylan; A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall

A storm-related story:

Last week, in Sidney, NY, there was a candidates’ debate featuring the five men who are competing for two seats on the Town Board. Forum readers may recall that Sidney made the national news in late 2010, when Supervisor Bob McCarthy and two tea party board members attempted to force a tiny Sufi farming settlement to destroy its legal cemetery.

One of the two tea party councilmen would lose his seat in the 2011 elections. However, shortly after taking office, the newly elected member (from Sidney’s bi-partisan committee) would die unexpectedly. McCarthy, in a move that underscores his bull-headedness, would “appoint” the tea party loser as “deputy town supervisor.” He is, of course, one of the five current candidates.

I travel to Sidney from time to time, because the bi-partisan committee and the town and county Democratic Committees have requested my assistance. More, one of the five candidates is my nephew. More than twenty years ago, when my nephew was a young teenager, he attended local town board meetings where Onondaga Chief Paul Waterman and I led a six year struggle to protect Sacred Ground ( an ancient Native American burial ground, which the county’s political machine eventually destroyed for gravel to cover a toxic industrial waste dump site). Paul told me that when he came of age, my nephew would be the one to take over for us. So I attended this debate primarily to watch my nephew, who has come of age.

One of the questions the moderator, who is the editor of the largest area daily newspaper, asked was, “What lessons did you learn from the floods of 2006 and 2011 ?” Both of these floods caused severe damage along the Susquehanna River basin, including doing millions of dollars in damage to Sidney. Four of the five candidates gave rational answers. Then it was tea party time.

The tea partier said (approximately): “Oh, I kind of enjoyed the floods. In fact, I’m looking forward to the next one.”

The audience did not react favorably to those words. More, since the 90-minute debate has played a couple times on the Sidney radio station since, there has been a strong response. People have actually taken out ads in which they point out the heartlessness of a local merchant who “enjoyed” the floods, and “looks forward to” the next one. And when these ads play next to the weather updates, it is helping to define the sickness of the tea party candidate.

I hope that all forum participants are safe through the storm. Stay positive. We will get through this.

I plan to hang out in my cabin, along with my herd of dogs.

Positive vibrations!
H2O Man

Mitt's Glasses: Lost & Found

{Note: The following “Breaking News!” is brought to you by the combined forces of The Glass Onion’s editorial and investigative staff. For those questioning if the entire report is accurate and true, I can say without hesitation that it is just as true as anything uttered from the mouth of Willard “Mitt” Romney during his three televised debates with President Barack Obama. Yours truly, H2O Maniac)

Los Paranois, CA: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney filed a sealed motion in Superior Court for the safe return of a pair of eye glasses that he lost in August of 1969. The glasses, which were found at the scene of a multiple-murder at 10050 Ceilo Drive, have long presented a puzzle to police who investigated the Tate homicides. An unidentified source from the court reported that Romney’s sworn affidavit read, in part, “I paid very good money for those glasses. They are mine, and I want them back.”

Sources close to the Romney campaign have confirmed that the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department had contacted Romney in the late summer. While investigating tape recordings that Charles “Tex” Watson made with his attorney before being convicted for seven homicides, there was mention that Watson’s cousin, Mitt Romney, and his wife Ann had stayed with the Manson Family in Death Valley.

The Los Angeles District Attorney’s office confirmed today that both Mitt and Ann Romney are “persons of interest” in several unsolved homicides that involved other unidentified members of the Manson Family.

The Romney campaign’s spokesperson, speaking anonymously, said that “this is much ado about nothing. It shows just how desperate the Obama campaign has become in the final two weeks of this contest.” He further noted that while Mitt Romney did have “a close relationship” with his cousin Tex Watson, and did spend “summer months with Watson in the late 1960s,” that there is “a totally innocent explanation for why his glasses were found at the alleged murder scene.”

“While Barack Obama’s pals were busy playing Weathermen, Mitt Romney was serving his country. The only reason that Mitt was at 10050 Cielo Drive that night was to baptize the unfortunate victims of the reported crime,” the spokesman told reporters.

RIP Manny Steward

Manny Steward died today. He was 68 years old. DU sports forum members know him as the trainer of Tommy Hearns, Lennox Lewis, and the Klitschko brothers. He also was HBO's best boxing commentator.

My brother used to hang out in the Kronk gym during the Hearns era. I think that I've posted some photos here, over the years, of Tommy in training, and of some of his fights, such as his 2-round knockout of Roberto Duran.

A couple of years ago, Manny actually approached me about having my boy join his training camp. Manny and D talked on the phone that day, and he gave me his card with contact information.

I'll post more later. While I am not pretending I knew him well, I really had great respect for Manny. He was one of the most honorable people in the sport.

H2Omen's DU Exclusive !!!!

(Warning: The following letter from Willard Romney was received at the editor’s office of the Glass Onion this morning. I am publishing it here on the Democratic Underground as an exclusive, even before our legal staff can authenticate it. The last such exclusive that I posted caused discomfort among a few folks that reached almost to the level that led Mitt Romney to write this very letter in the wee morning hours of his sleepless night. So be mighty careful: do not read this while operating intoxicated machinery. Hide the children. And use every opportunity possible to make Mitt Romney the butt of cruel jokes for the next two weeks. I am H2O Man, and I approve of the following message.)

Dear Patriotic Voter:

Last night, you watched me confront Barack Obama in our third presidential debate. Be assured that while I was bravely defending our nation from the dangerous foreign agenda that Obama has subjected America to, I was thinking of you and your family. I was reminded of how the trees on your lawn had grown to the perfect height. It occurred to me that you could cut those trees down, split them up, and sell them as firewood for a small fund-raiser. Won’t you help me cut Mr. Obama down?

In the hours since the debate ended, our campaign -- yours’ and mine -- has been extremely busy. I agree with you that Mr. Obama’s constant attacking not only me, but everything the country stands for, was disgraceful. Even Senator John McCain has expressed outrage on this un-American activity.

Thus, our campaign has decided on two Emergency Actions we must take. The first is to challenge Mr. Obama to a fourth debate. We believe that it should be conducted in the format of the seventh-grade book report. Under these ideal, patriotic circumstances, the American public could benefit enormously from a shallow presentation based solely upon style of delivery.

I am willing to let my challenger select the site of this debate. Mr. Obama can pick between Brigham Young University, BYU-Idaho, BYU-Hawaii, and the LDS Business School. In fact, I will allow him to select the moderator: two of my junior high school teachers are still alive.

Second, our attorneys are preparing an emergency filing for the Supreme Court. I have ordered this action, because Barack Obama is now four years closer to acquiring a nuclear weapon, than he was when he took office. We cannot afford to allow the enemies of our nation to attack us. Hence, I have contributed my favorite quote from President Ronald Reagan:

“The streets of our country are in turmoil. The universities are filled with students rebelling and rioting. Communists are seeking to destroy our country. Russia is threatening us with her might, and the Republic is in danger. Yes - danger from within and without. We need law and order! Without it our nation cannot survive.”

Based upon the potential wide-spread voter fraud and the threat of rioting, our campaign is asking the Supreme Court to take bold and patriotic action. Based upon the 2000 case 531 U.S. 98, the Supreme Court can overrule a presidential election after it happens. We believe that they must take this a bold step forward, and rule that I am the winner even before Election Day. A pur curiam decision would allow them to bravely and collectively issue an anonymous decision.

These are the two patriotic steps that we are undertaking on behalf of our campaign. You can also take two steps to prevent your Job Creator from having to fire you and your family members. First, we need your generous financial contributions to help us offset the forces of Hollywood, teachers’ unions, and Muslims seeking to destroy our country. Ask your parents for help with this, or take out a second mortgage.

Second, because I know that you were as offended as I by Mr. Osama’s “bayonets and horses” gaff last night, please call Congress. Demand that they immediately impeach Mr. Obama for his cavalier failure to provide the 7th Cavalry with the proper weapons needed to defend our shores from foreign attack at the Little Big Horn on June 25th and 26th, 1876. This was perhaps the most disgraceful failure of any democrat president to protect our interests, and the entire Obama administration remains suspiciously quiet.

Was, as UN Ambassador Rice has claimed, this simply a case of people protesting the movie “Dances With Wolves”? Or was it a terrorist attack upon all that we hold sacred? I am prepared to address this disgraceful inaction on Mr. Obama’s part tonight, on Fox News. I’ll report, and you’ll decide to contribute to our campaign.

Yours in Faith,

Mitt Romney

Willard ain't got a Soul

Podium rocks in the crowded waves.
The speaker talks of the beautiful saves
That went down long before he played this role
For the hotel queens and the magazines,
Test tube genes and slot machines

Where even Richard Nixon has got soul.
Even Richard Nixon has got it, soul.

Hospitals have made him cry,
But there`s always a free way in his eye,
Though his beach just got too crowded for his stroll.
Roads stretch out like healthy veins,
And wild gift horses strain the reins,

Where even Richard Nixon has got soul.
Even Richard Nixon has got soul.

I am a lonely visitor.
I came to late to cause a stir,
Though I campaigned all my life towards that goal.
-- Neal Young; Campaigner

Tonight’s debate between President Obama and Willard Romney can be regarded as the “rubber match,” to decide the one-to-one split thus far. Although Romney lied virtually every time he spoke in Debate #1, he was given credit for a “victory.” Barack Obama then thrashed Willard in the next contest. Because tonight’s debate is supposed to focus on “foreign policy” -- and Romney’s “experience” is limited to friendly financial dealings with the most brutal, vicious of El Salvador’s “leaders,” sending US jobs to foreign lands, and investing his profits off-shore -- we can expect him to actually lie even more tonight. In fact, it is impossible for Willard Romney to tell the truth, because he is a lie. And he doesn’t even have a soul.

Thus, I thought it might be interesting to consider two questions: (1) What can we expect from President Obama tonight ?; and (2) What do we wish President Obama would say or do? I am hoping that a wide range of forum participants will take the time to answer both of these questions today, not because I’m authoring the OP, but because I think that there might be both value and entertainment if a good discussion follows. Here is my opinion.

#1: As always, a campaign has three groups to consider. The first is its base, or those who will generally be in agreement with your campaign on most issues. The second is the opposition, which can be counted on to disagree with most things from your campaign. And third is the “undecided.”

As a general rule, a campaign should motivate the base; not stir up and energize the opposition; and appeal to the “undecided,” especially in a close election contest. A good example of this balance is found in President Obama’s performance at the second debate. Because of the wide-spread perception that Romney “won” the first debate -- no matter if we agree with that or not -- it was essential for President Obama to appeal to his base. He did. But he didn’t strike any hornets’ nests, to provide the opposition with something to use against him. And he presented solid reasons for any sincere “undecided” voters to support him.

This doesn’t imply that he can merely have a repeat performance. The Romney camp will surely be looking to reach new lows, and Obama must be fully prepared for each new lie that Willard spouts. And that brings us to question #2.

A lot of good people, both on this forum and beyond, would like President Obama to say that Willard is a liar. This includes many who want the President to use that word -- “liar.” The reason that he will not use that word are found in each of the three groups. First, it would energize the opposition; the corporate media would definitely add fuel to the fire, and fan the flames up until Election Day. Second, that would result in the “undecided” leaning towards Romney. And third, it would force the base to waste time by responding to the “controversy.”

Instead, what I hope to see is President Obama exposing Romney’s “errors” in such a way that it appeals to the entire audience to decide if Romney is a pathological liar, or just a dangerously ignorant damned fool. That energizes the base, by allowing them to exercise control over the post-debate discussions. Why is Romney saying these things? Is he purposely fronting for the neoconservative war party? Is he that stupid? Or a combination of both?

It also appeals to the undecided voters. And it does more: it forces the republican voters, especially the republican women, to evaluate if they can actually vote for Romney. I’m not concerned about what they may say in public, or how they respond to poll-takers. What matters is how they vote. And I can say that the two registered republicans that I talk to about politics the most have decided to vote for President Obama. They know that Willard Romney ain’t got a soul.

What do you think will happen tonight?

George McGovern's Garden

….and I will leave
But the birds stay, singing
And my garden will stay,
With its green trees,
With its water well.
Many afternoons the skies will be
Blue and placid, and the bells
In the belfry will chime,
As they are chimming this very afternoon.
The people who have loved me
Will pass away, and the town
Will burst anew every year.
But my spirit will always wander
Nostalgic in the same recondite
Corner of my flowery garden.
-- Juan Ramon Jimerez; El Viaje Definitive (The Definitive Journey)

George McGovern created a beautiful garden here on earth. Now, upon his death, the news media will invest a small corner of their product to the man and his garden. But these reports pale in significance, to me, to the posts on DU:GD that tell of forum participants having cast their vote -- often, their first actual vote, and other times, in a grade school “mock” election -- for Senator McGovern.

Much of the corporate coverage will center upon his 1972 run against Nixon. Although it was an important part of his political career, I would advise against separating it from that career in its entirety. Indeed, it is best to view it in the context of not only McGovern’s pre- and post-1972 career, but more, as the result of the first actual “grass roots” campaign that led to a major party nomination. And add that it was against the active, wide-spread Watergate corruption of the Nixon administration.

Watergate was not, of course, a mere example of political corruption. It involved gross violations of the law, a severe threat to the Constitution, and the decay of the social fabric. Yes, Nixon won the election. And yes, McGovern’s fall campaign involved serious errors by both the candidate and his staff. These facts were part and parcel in 1972. But there was more -- much more -- and that is exactly why the ‘72 contest is generally lost in the current study of historic presidential campaigns.

That McGovern’s grass roots campaign won the democratic primaries is as important, as it is historic. That his grass roots campaign lost in November was not shocking -- no political party or movement tends to capture the White House on its first try. And that was compounded by the lack of energetic support from the Democratic Party machine for the McGovern campaign.

I will remember George McGovern for many reasons: his honesty (rare indeed at that level of politics), his passion, his optimism, and his compassion. These were what McGovern planted in his garden. The harvest is found in the assistance to the poor and needy in our society. The hungry fed, the naked clothed.

And it is still more: that harvest includes the wonderful, though saddened, comments that our friends in the Democratic Underground are expressing today. A part of this saddness is the recognition that just as “time” moves forward, our experiences -- including many of the most meaningful -- are now becoming the more distant past.

George McGovern lived for 90 years; in that time, he made a meaningful contribution to the Good Fight. He tended his garden in an honorable way ….not only far more so than Dick Nixon, but than almost any other politician of the past 100 years. We can keep that garden alive, by taking a small sprout from George’s garden, and nurturing it in our own. And that is the most important tribute we can pay to this honorable man.

Thank you,
H2O Man
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