Saturday, August 03, 2002

President Gore Speaks Out!

Sunday's New York Times features an op-ed piece written by President Gore that takes on both The Squatter (aka former Texas Governor George W. Bush) and the pink-tutu Democrats. (Are you listening, Joe L.?) Here's a taste:

"I believe Bill Clinton and I were right to maintain, during our 1992 campaign, that we should fight for 'the forgotten middle class' against the 'forces of greed.' Standing up for 'the people, not the powerful' was the right choice in 2000. And, in fact, it is the Democratic Party's meaning and mission. The suggestion from some in our party that we should no longer speak that truth, especially at a time like this, strikes me as bad politics and, worse, wrong in principle.

"This struggle between the people and the powerful was at the heart of every major domestic issue of the 2000 campaign and is still the central dynamic of politics in 2002. The choice, not just in rhetoric but in reality, was and still is between a genuine prescription drug benefit for all seniors under Medicare — or a token plan designed to trick the voters and satisfy pharmaceutical companies. The White House and its allies in Congress have just defeated legislation that would have fulfilled the promises both parties made in 2000."

Go, Al, go!

A Wise Voice in the Wilderness

I don't know whether John Dean lives in D.C., but he sure seems uninfected by Beltwaythink, a disease even some of my favorite libs (e.g., Al Hunt, Mark Shields, Josh Marshall) have contracted from time to time, to a greater or lesser extent. Symptoms include turning a blind eye toward the blatant ruthlessness and thuggishness of the right wing and blaming Democrats, especially Presidents Clinton and Gore, for the GOP Smear Machine's relentless, vicious, venomous attacks on Democrats.

Ever since he re-emerged into public life during the impeachment travesty, John Dean has been one of the few voices of reason on the cable TV shoutfests. I remember that when one of the Beltway Blowhards was trying to compare Watergate to Monicagate, Dean practically laughed in his face, then patiently, rationally and calmly explained that President Clinton's alleged lie about his private sexual conduct came nowhere near reaching the level of the high crimes Nixon committed.

Now, Dean has written a piece that patiently, rationally and calmly explains why President and Senator Clinton should receive reimbursement for at least part of their legal fees relating to the Whitewater "scandal." Also, Dean is somewhat realistic about the high hurdles the Clintons will have to clear to win their case, particularly the fact that everyone who will make a decision on this matter -- people such as John Ashcroft and Jesse Helms' buddy, Judge David Sentelle -- just happens to be a right-wing Republican.

However, Dean is a bit too Pollyanna-ish when he says the Clintons may get their reimbursement because their legal case is strong. Hasn't he learned by now that the rule of law is utterly irrelevant to right-wing Republicans? What matters to them is getting the Clintons on something, on anything.

Personally, if I was deciding the case, not only would the Clintons be reimbursed for all their fees relating to this phony scandal, but if the law allowed me to do so, I'd take the money not from the U.S. Treasury but from Ken McStarrthy's private bank account.

That said, there's no way in hell the Clintons will ever get reimbursed for their legal fees, no matter how strong their case is. Judge Sentelle, for example, has consistently demonstrated that he has contempt for the law when it gets in the way of getting the Clintons.

Will the Anthrax Killer finally be nabbed?

My antennae went up on this case as soon as I heard about Senate Majority Leader Thomas Daschle's office receiving an anthrax envelope. Sen. Daschle just happened to be #1 on the right-wing's hate list at the time -- the Republicans were actually running ads comparing him to Saddam Hussein! Then, when it was revealed that another anthrax letter went to the #2 man on the right-wing's hate list, Sen. Patrick Leahy, my eyebrows rose and I let out a "Hmmmmmmmm...."

Before the Leahy letter was revealed, I was willing to entertain the possibility that foreign terrorists were behind the anthrax attacks. Now, I was almost 100% sure that the terrorist was an American right winger.

The person whose house has been searched may just fit that profile -- New York Times columnist Nicholas Krystof described "Mr. Z" as "an American bio-defense insider who intrigues investigators and whose career has been spent in the shadowy world of counterterror and intelligence." Yet I'm still reluctant to name him, or even link to a mainstream media item that names him, because of the false charges against that security guard, Richard Jewell, who witnessed the Atlanta bombing a few years ago.

So, while I'm reluctant to jump the gun and accuse "Mr. Z" of terrorism, especially since he hasn't even been arrested, the circumstantial evidence so far leads me to the conclusion that the anthrax evil-doer is almost certainly an American right winger.

Welcome to monchieland, a weblog (or blog) devoted entirely to the interests, whims, and obsessions of Monchie B. Monchum...

...Among those obsessions are politics, music and trains, though the new weblog will most likely concentrate heavily on political issues.

Born and raised in the Philadelphia area and currently residing atop a hill in Upper Manhattan, Mr. Monchum is the founder of the IRC chat channel #politics on dalnet. While he describes himself as liberal or left-of-center politically, right wingnuts often refer to him as a leftist or a commie. Conversely, left wingnuts think he's practically a Republican, which is somewhat true, since he was actually a registered Republican as a naive youth.

While ideologically he's at the center or even a bit toward the right in the Democratic Party, Mr. Monchum has no time for those he calls "pink-tutu Democrats." "While over the past 20 years the Republican Party has increasingly been taken over by totalitarian thugs, some Democrats think the proper response to this bizarre situation is to cower in the corner and beg the right-wing bullies for forgiveness. They remind me of abused wives who constantly make excuses for their brutal husbands."

Other, more forthright Democrats, however, earn Mr. Monchum's praise. "I wish the Dems had thousands of James Carvilles and Paul Begalas." he says, referring to the current hosts of CNN's "Crossfire." "They stand up to the right-wing bullyboys and bullygirls and call them on the typical tactics of the GOP Smear Machine, like wild misrepresentations, gross distortions and outright lies. Whenever the pink tutu Dems appear on TV or radio, they just let that BS slide by."

While Mr. Monchum is highly critical of the Republican Party, he's even more tart-tongued toward what he calls "the so-called liberal media." "During the 2000 campaign," he explains, "I watched as the so-called 'liberal media' lied, and lied, and lied about things President Gore had said, in order to smear him as a liar. At the same time, the Shrub lied, and lied, and bald-faced lied about issues that were extremely important to the average American, and no one in the mainstream media called him on it, except for one columnist in the New York Times, Paul Krugman. It's interesting to note that Krugman isn't a journalist, but rather an economist who isn't part of the Beltway Blowhard gang."

Besides Krugman, Carville, and Begala, Mr. Monchum's journalistic and political heroes also include, among others: Joe Conason; Gene Lyons; Bob Somerby of The Daily Howler; the late, great Lars Erik Nelson; the anonymous genius behind; and of course Presidents Clinton and Gore. "What all my heroes have in common," he says, "is that they're fighting the good fight against the number one internal threat to the American democratic republic: the totalitarian right wing. After all, people like Tom DeLay, Dick Armey, Trent Lott, and the entire Bush Crime Family would've fit in very well in Stalin's USSR or Pinochet's Chile -- they have the same black-and-white, you're-either-with-us-or-against-us mentality that is a trademark of totalitarian regimes."

Some space in monchieland will be devoted to Mr. Monchum's other obsessions, such as his love of music and trains. "Of course sometimes I'll tie them together," he adds. "For example, in my opinion liberals generally have better taste in music than right wingnuts. After all, President Clinton was the first president in my lifetime to cite jazz guys like Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane as two of his favorite musicians, though I admit to wincing when he once favorably mentioned Kenny G. And one of my favorite left-of-center commentators, Eric Alterman, wrote a very well-regarded book about Bruce Springsteen. On the other hand, I can't think of a single right-winger who has decent taste in music -- no wonder they all listen to talk radio!"

So, let the monchieland blogging begin!

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