Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Hindsight is a beautiful thing. It give us the ability, the luxury, to look back and learn from history. Campaigning in 1994, Newt Gingrich, Tom Delay and several others leading the Republican Revolution devised a brilliant plan to win the House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years. It was called The Contract with America, a document detailing the actions the GOP would take if they won. It was a promise. And it was signed by all but two of the Republican members of the House and all of the Party's non-incumbent Republican Congressional candidates. The result? A Republican landslide, with the party picking up 54 seats and their much sought-after majority.
Sen. Barack Obama and the Democrats have an opportunity this November to repeat history. Obama, the party's presumptive nominee, should waste no time in issuing his Contract with America. He and party officials should come up with their own catchy name, The Promise to America, perhaps. It would be Obama's vow, in the aftermath of eight years of Bush/Republican tyranny and corruption, to restore White House and government respect for the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights...two documents that the Busheviks have shamelessly trampled on since 2000. The Promise to America would be Obama's contract with the American voter. And Democrats, both incumbents and those running for House and Senate seats, would sign this document just as their 1994 Republican counterparts did before them.
Imagine a nationally televised primetime Obama speech before thousands of Americans, in symbolic Philadelphia perhaps, where the candidate would promise, if elected president, a nation once again governed by the Rule of Law. A government which assures Due Process. One that Separates Church and State. Operates under a system of Checks and Balances. Respects its citizens' Right to Privacy; Free Speech; Civil Liberties; Freedom to Petition; Right of Assembly; right to Free and Open Elections. A nation that protects against Unreasonable Search and Seizure. Respects Habeas Corpus. An administration that promises No Elective Wars; No Torture. Promises a return to International Diplomacy. Allows for an Independent Judiciary. Promises No Corruption and Cronyism. And a Congress that promises voters that it will fulfill its Constitutional obligation of Oversight of the Executive Branch of Government. Given Obama's gargantuan oratory skills, imagine how such a fiery, passionate, patriotic speech would resonate among Democrats, Independents and Republicans alike. To be sure, voters are starved for change, and for a return to America's greatness.
The simple truth is, the Republican "brand" is heavily damaged and cannot and will not be repaired before November. The party's presumptive nominee, Sen. John McCain, is running as a change candidate. Someone who calls himself an independent maverick who's gone against Bush on several occasions. Spend just one afternoon listening to Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and other right-wing talking heads and you'll incredulously hear them say "I'm not a Republican, I'm a conservative." Um, when Hannity and Limbaugh are afraid to call themselves Republicans, that spells shitstorm for the party come election time.
We are at a watershed moment in American history and in politics in general. The likelihood is that we are about to elect the first black president of the United States of America. How that can and will change the socio-economic landscape and racial dynamic in America is monumental . I get chills thinking about what it does for our overall progress as a nation. But politically there are tremendous ramifications as well. All points lead to a Democratic landslide in Congress. And if history is any barometer, this could usher in a new era of Democratic rule for decades to come.
Obama and the party are therefore sitting atop a potential goldmine. The political opportunity of a lifetime. The Promise to America can seal the deal.
HELP ELECT BARACK OBAMA PRESIDENT: It's now time for us to pull together as Democrats and unite behind Obama and his historic candidacy. These are exciting times. I urge you to support Obama by sending the campaign whatever you can afford. In politics, money is key. There are many swing states this year--Colorado, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri among them. With a sizeable war chest for campaigning, ground teams/staff, ads, mailings, Internet/email promotions, etc, he can win these states. I am commited to raising $25,000 for the campaign between now and November. Click here to make a contribution and help me reach this goal. Together we can change America.
And finally, Happy Birthday (June 24) to our sweetheart, the late Adrienne Shelly.