By John W. Dean
Occasionally, during the past eight years of writing this column, I have addressed the remarkably dangerous manner in which Republican Party officials rule the nation when they control one or more of the three branches of the federal government. Over the same period, I've also made this argument, even more directly and loudly, in three books on the subject.
In this column, I will be more pointed on this subject than I have ever been, while also repeating a few key facts that I have raised earlier - because Election Day 2008 now provides the only clear remedy for the ills of Republican rule.
The Republican Approach to Government: Authoritarian Rule
Republicans rule, rather than govern, when they are in power by imposing their authoritarian conservative philosophy on everyone, as their answer for everything. This works for them because their interest is in power, and in what it can do for those who think as they do. Ruling, of course, must be distinguished from governing, which is a more nuanced process that entails give-and-take and the kind of compromises that are often necessary to find a consensus and solutions that will best serve the interests of all Americans.
Republicans' authoritarian rule can also be characterized by its striking incivility and intolerance toward those who do not view the world as Republicans do. Their insufferable attitude is not dangerous in itself, but it is employed to accomplish what they want, which is to take care of themselves and those who work to keep them in power.
Authoritarian conservatives are primarily anti-government, except where they believe the government can be useful to impose moral or social order (for example, with respect to matters like abortion, prayer in schools, or prohibiting sexually-explicit information from public view). Similarly, Republicans' limited-government attitude does not apply regarding national security, where they feel there can never be too much government activity - nor are the rights and liberties of individuals respected when national security is involved. Authoritarian Republicans do oppose the government interfering with markets and the economy, however - and generally oppose the government's doing anything to help anyone they feel should be able to help themselves....(Click for remainder).
By Alec Baldwin
In a recent issue of the New Yorker is a short compilation of cartoons, one of which, I believe, says it best for November 4th: the sign on the road points one way to victory. The other way is truth.
Whether it be victory over the Iraqis or "terrorism" or the recession or all of those un-American parts of the US, voters will hopefully set aside the need for any clear-cut victory against some of the windmills we currently tilt at and vote on Tuesday for the truth. We need it and we need it now. With the bark on, as we used to say in Boy Scout camp.
McCain was once a fairly decent choice for his party. That is no longer the case. Obama is certainly young and we face remarkably tough times. But he is smart and decent and has seemingly limitless energy. We will need all three of those things in order to move forward, wherever we are going.
Three things to do.
Now that gas is cheaper, don't let Detroit off the hook. If a major automaker goes under, that would be awful. But we must face that. Buy a hybrid car or at least a very fuel efficient car if you are in the market for a new automobile....(Click for remainder).
Posted by Bret Carbone at 9:17 AM
By Marcia G. Yerman
The countdown to Election Day is in its final hours. There have been a lot of side bar narratives to the main event. Perhaps, one of the most telling accounts will be the story of how the grinch did not steal the Jewish vote away from Obama. As of this writing, according to the latest October Gallup Poll, Obama's percentages with Jewish voters is tied with John Kerry's numbers in 2004 (74%) and just slightly lower than the numbers garnered by Al Gore and Joe Lieberman in 2000 (80%). The recent Quinnipiac Poll tallied Florida's Jewish vote at 77% for Obama.
What happened? Why was one of the most solid Democratic voting blocs, the Jews, ever in doubt? There are a number of factors. Yet one element that the purveyors of fear did not count on was the incredible push back to their actions, spearheaded by the use of new media to fight the deception and vilification.
Sources close to the Obama campaign told me that they have seen a "marked shift in the past month or so" from people who had questions about Obama. Those concerns have now been resolved. The nomination of Palin, who was perceived as holding extreme views on social issues and being connected to the Christian right, was a negative. Her strong streak of anti-intellectualism and contrast to Joe Biden - a proven friend of Israel known for his foreign policy chops -- helped to tip the scales....(Click for remainder).
Posted by Bret Carbone at 9:15 AM
By Sen. Hillary Clinton
On Tuesday, New Yorkers and Americans have a big decision to make. Do we continue to pursue the policies of the past eight years or do we chart a new course? I believe we can and we must chart a new course led by President Barack Obama.
How can it be any other way? We find ourselves in an economic crisis born and bred by the failed policies of Washington Republicans: gut regulations; cut taxes for billionaires and big corporations instead of the middle class; continue tax breaks for oil companies, drug companies, insurance companies, and companies that ship jobs overseas; deny the home mortgage crisis; ignore the energy crisis; and dismiss the health care crisis.
Businesses can't find credit. Students can't find college loans. Retirees' nest eggs are starting to crack. I've met hardworking men and women near retirement who are afraid to check their 401(k)s. Health care premiums have doubled. On Thursday, we learned that the economy actually contracted in the last three months. And the United States has lost jobs for nine straight months; President Bush has the worst job creation record of any President since the Great Depression.
And the fact is, President Bush has practiced what Sen. John McCain has preached. We know that Sen. McCain and the Republicans are only offering more of the same....(Click here for remainder).