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Bush End Game
George W. Bush's presidency since 2007
Bush - Second Term
George W. Bush's presidency from 2005-06
George W. Bush's presidency, 2000-04
Who Is Bob Gates?
The secret world of Defense Secretary Gates
Bush Bests Kerry
Gauging Powell's reputation.
Recounting the controversial campaign.
Is the national media a danger to democracy?
Behind President Clinton's impeachment.
Pinochet & Other Characters.
Rev. Sun Myung Moon and American politics.
Contra drug stories uncovered
America's tainted historical record
The 1980 election scandal exposed.
From free trade to the Kosovo crisis.
Will 'Clinton 44' Become Inevitable?
Editor’s Note: Though only the first votes cast in the presidential selection process, the Iowa caucuses may decide whether Hillary Clinton establishes herself as the inevitable Democratic nominee on course to become "Clinton 44" to her husband's "Clinton 42" -- or whether a wide-open Democratic race will ensue.
In this guest essay, former Democratic congressional staffer Brent Budowsky suggests that independents and young voters may tip the balance toward a wide-open race:
You read it here before Iowa and New Hampshire: The pundits will proclaim 2008 The Year Of The Political Independent that will advantage Barack Obama and John McCain, and disadvantage Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney.
First, what I advocate; then, my predictions.
The great realignment is at hand, and it is anti-Washington, anti-establishment and anti-Bush, with the potential outcome of the next FDR- and JFK-style eras —a progressive centrist alliance between progressive Democrats and political independents electing a reformist president and Congress.
If the last shall be first, Dennis Kucinich has fired the first cannon by urging his supporters in Iowa to vote with Barack Obama, and if the supporters of Biden, Dodd, Richardson and Gore, and the Democrats for Ron Paul, take this course and rock the vote for Obama or Edwards in Iowa, the revolution begins.
The proposition in Iowa is simple: The Iowa caucus is now a referendum, yes or no, on whether the Democratic nominating process is declared over, before it begins in earnest, with the insider establishment coronating its candidate, Hillary Clinton, or whether the real campaign begins with a reformist victory in Iowa that sets loose powerful forces for true change.
Jan. 3 in Iowa will be the Lexington and Concord of our times, and in this year of the political independent the issue will be decided by the most disenfranchised, disrespected and disempowered groups in American politics, who are:
Progressive Democrats who hunger for a leadership of principle and courage in the battle against the worst president in our times, and any times, and political independents, who are fed up with the demeaning negativity corruptions and gridlock of our age, and who are 70 percent united with progressives against the hallmarks of the Bush years.
To young people especially, do not let the “grown-ups” disenfranchise you by deliberately scheduling the caucus on a date they think you will be away on college break. Shame on them, power to you.
Rock the vote: Come back by plane, train, bus or foot. It is your country and your future; you can change the world. You will have a story to tell for a lifetime and historians will write about what you do.
To supporters of Biden, Richardson, Dodd, Kucinich and Gore, and Democrats in Iowa for Ron Paul: Ignore the insiders, because they are wrong. As Democrats will gather on a cold Iowa night, in a razor-thin campaign, you have the votes to light a fire that will change America, and leave the insiders commenting with awe about what you do.
Here is why I urge supporters of Biden, Dodd, Richardson, Kucinich and Gore and Democrats for Ron Paul, to walk into the Iowa caucus and cast your votes for either Edwards or Obama, which will change American history and keep hope alive for your Number One candidate.
If Hillary Clinton is formally handed the crown though achieving only a 30 percent plurality in Iowa, the election in November will be between a Republican who embodies the reactionary way of Bush 44, versus a Democratic Party that feels vindicated and victorious by a practice of surrendering, positioning, maneuvering and failing to fight for the dreams we hold dear, even when we stand with 70 percent of our country.
If Hillary comes in second, there will be an open process that continues and a debate that only then begins in earnest. If Hillary comes in third, our democratic process will break open to the skies with an explosion of energy, vitality and activism throughout the Democratic Party.
This is not about Hillary; it is about democracy, about what Democrats stand for and fight for, about whether we hear the message of the American people that business as usual in Washington must end.
Make no mistake, the objective fact is this: Hillary has alienated the vast pool of political independents and is the one major Democrat who therefore cannot possibly win a landslide and could hand to Republicans an election victory that would be another inexcusable defeat for Democrats and tragedy for America.
If we rock the vote, Hillary will get her second chance in this campaign, and let her fight for it with what she believes in, what she stands for — not sending surrogates out to demean other Democrats or campaigning on the vanities of restoration or inevitability. If she wins after a truly open contest, she will be a better candidate and leader for it.
If we rock the vote let Biden be Biden, let Richardson be Richardson, let Dodd be Dodd, let Kucinich be Kucinich, let Obama be Obama, let Edwards be Edwards, let Gore tell us where he stands, and let them ALL be heard, in a TRUE process of democracy with the REAL debate our country deserves, and demands.
Already the television insiders are planning to ban certain candidates from future debates, beginning with the shameful exclusion of Dennis Kucinich in Iowa and Ron Paul. The debates that were never serious will soon be the debates that will be entirely silenced, but this will change if the supporters of Biden, Richardson, Dodd, Kucinich and Gore, and Democrats for Paul, rock the vote in Iowa, open the process and restore democracy to a tired and decadent system.
If Obama and Edwards finish first and second in Iowa, the closed process opens, and the voice of the disenfranchised majority will be heard.
Our democracy will be replenished with the only restoration that matters, the restoration of the Democratic Party as the party of the people, and the restoration of our democratic government being of the people, for the people, and by the people.
To supporters of Biden, Richardson, Dodd, Kucinich and Gore, and Democrats for Ron Paul: On Jan. 3 you are the stars, you are the leaders, and you are the Thomas Paines of our times with the power to rock the vote, and change the world. ...
Brent Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and to Bill Alexander, then the chief deputy whip of the House. A contributing editor to Fighting Dems News Service, he can be read on The Hill Pundits Blog and reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org. [This article was first published by The Hill.]
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