The San Diego Democracy for America Meetup Group Message Board › Fighting Bush Extremist Court Picks

Fighting Bush Extremist Court Picks

A former member
Post #: 1
The disturbing prospect of Bush's extreme right-wing judicial appointments is beginning to sink in, as we begin to hear the names of potential high court nominees bandied about. The problem is that the Democratic Senate caucus is about to choose a man, Harry Reid, who lacks the leadership and public speaking skills necessary to communicate principled opposition to a divided country. As an anti-choice Mormon, it isn't even clear that he shares the the core principles of our party, or would be willing to fight an extremist judicial nomination with authenticity or passion. Indeed, his public record thus far indicates that he will roll over, as our Senate Democrats have done too often.

For these reasons, the San Diego County Democratic Central Committee passed a resolution at its meeting last Tuesday expressing their opposition to Harry Reid's appointment, and urging Senators Boxer and Feinstein to vote against him. It passed with only a few dissenting voices. Unfortunately, the DCC resolution followed a recent, but familiar, pattern for Democrats of not expressing any affirmative position for anyone or anything; it merely expressed opposition to Mr. Reid. This isn't good enough.

I am again circulating a petition to Sens. Boxer and Feinstein supporting the choice of Barack Obama for Senate leader. (See below.) In the petition, I have outlined the qualifications which I believe make Mr. Obama the best person for the job, and I am asking that you forward your support to me by email, and encourage others to do the same.

If, however, you feel that there is another senate Democrat who would draw broader nationwide support, convey more television appeal, or would wage a more effective and principled senate fight against extremist judicial nominees, please do everything you can to communicate this to Senators Feinstein and Boxer. The choice of Harry Reid would be a clear signal to Republicans that we Democrats do not take our core principles seriously, and are ready for a pre-emptive surrender. Notice how hard the Republicans are fighting to prevent Arlen Specter (defender of Clarence Thomas) from becoming Judiciary chairman: at least they take THEIR core principles seriously, and maybe it's time we do, too.
Jim Wade
Daytime: 858-467-6476
A Petition to Senators Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein

From a Concerned Group of California Democrats

Support Barack Obama as the New Senate Minority Leader

The position of Democratic Senate Leader is of critical importance to the future of the Democratic Party, and our hopes to rebuild it. As the most prominent and visible leader of Democrats, the next minority leader must represent to America everything that our party stands for. He (or she) must demonstrate to a skeptical nation that we are a party committed to core principles and strongly-held values that benefit ordinary Americans--and further, that we are ready to defend our core principles. The Democratic Senate leader must communicate these principles forcefully, eloquently, and with a grander vision than the next procedural vote. Plain-spoken rhetoric, rooted in the experiences of working-class Americans and spoken with authenticity, is a vital pre-requisite to the job of Democratic leader, particularly at this time where the very purpose of our party is called into question.

For these reasons, we feel that it is absolutely essential for California's senators to put aside traditional notions of seniority and select the most talented, qualified person for the job: Barack Obama. Our party does not have the time--and our nation cannot afford--to wait for him to quietly "put in time" on a plum committee prior to advancement. We need him now as the public face of the Democratic Party. His leadership in the fractious Illinois Senate in brokering a death penalty reform bill is testament to his legislative leadership skills. His ability to communicate our values forcefully and persuasively was demonstrated to the wider public at the Democratic convention. His ability to win over moderates, conservatives, and Republicans was amply demonstrated on November 2--and has been abundantly evident right from start of his career. There is even some precedent to support the selection of Mr. Obama. Both the Democratic Party, in selecting the freshman senator Lyndon Johnson as leader in 1953, and the Republican Party, in selecting Bill Frist in 2003, have chosen far less experienced senators to be their party leader--and they have done so solely on the basis of merit.

It simply isn't good enough to elevate a man to leadership because he has "done the work, put in the time." Such arguments for social promotion were long used in the business world to keep women and people of color out of management positions, and Democrats used to fight against this. Indeed, it is particularly shameful that such arguments should even be advanced at this precarious time in our party's history; it communicates weakness in our fundamental values, and the abandonment of our commitment to merit-based promotions. We need the most talented, appealing, and qualified person we can get for the job of minority leader, because that person will be the public face of our party, and will represent what it means to be a Democrat.

We desperately need Barack Obama now as the Senate Democratic leader. For the sake of your Democratic constituents, and all of the nation's Democrats, we ask that you immediately support and promote his appointment to this vital position.
A former member
Post #: 30
Too late but this might help:

You still hope for reform from within; I'm in the camp of 'reform from without'.
Pam H.
San Diego, CA
Post #: 3
I think both approaches are needed.

Too late but this might help:

You still hope for reform from within; I'm in the camp of 'reform from without'.

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