Reading at the Crossroads

Reading at the Crossroads is an archive for columns and letters which appeared in the Terre Haute Tribune Star. I also blog here when my patience is exhausted by what I feel is irritating, irrational and/or ironic in life. --gary daily

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Location: Terre Haute, Indiana, United States

The material I post on this blog represents my views and mine alone. The material you post on this blog represents your views and yours alone.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Sky Over Baghdad After Five Years

Senator Evan Bayh and Senator Hillary Clinton will be in Terre Haute tomorrow. Their votes supported this five years and counting war. Like most of us they listened to lies, lies from the Bush war machine and lies they told themselves. Because we listened, and because some still listen and believe those lies, act on those lies, we can call the Iraq war a human tragedy.

Tonight, as we rededicate ourselves to peace, we also recognize those who served and are serving in the military in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some of those may have chosen to be with us tonight. Some may choose to be as far away as they can get from this determined gathering. And sadly, some may no longer have a choice. We thank them all for their service.

Every courageous man or woman wearing the uniform of the United States of America is required to take orders from the top down, regardless of how they may personally feel about the policies guiding and initiating those orders. This is how the military works.

Every courageous civilian citizen of the United States is required to speak out when their elected leaders lie to them and formulate policies that are detrimental to the welfare of the nation and its people. This is how democracy works.

The courage and the sacrifices of the civilian citizen are in no way equivalent to what our brave troops face each and every day in Iraq and Afghanistan. But citizenship does require courage and sacrifice. And the demands and necessities of true citizenship are what our military is designed to guard and support. Only another reason we have the responsibility to speak out, demonstrate, and act.

Not one marine who looked up at the sky over Baghdad today wants to be under that sky next year, or two, or five years from now. Not one of you shivering in front of this courthouse in the dark want to be here one, two or five years from now.

We are tired of shielding the small flames of our candles from a cold wind. We are tired of dreaming for, hoping for, praying for, this human-made tragedy to end.

We must rededicate ourselves and make it end. The old priority of Peace must be made new and stronger.

Remarks delivered on March 19, 2008, to the participants of the Terre Haute - New Priorities Vigil, on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.
Gary W. Daily

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Remember What This Election Is About-- Seven Point Plan for a Win in 2008

John Dickerson of Slate, along with pundits and posters, are tirelessly sounding this refrain:

"Exit polls show Obama has support for his argument. Roughly two-thirds of voters in the four contested states said that superdelegates should vote with the people and not their own priorities."

So help me with this:

Which "people" ? How do you count those who "voted" in caucuses? What about those (like me) who will be writing John Edwards' name in on their ballots? If Hillary catches up and surpasses Barak in the total popular vote (however you count it), but remains behind in delegates, have "the people" spoken?

What about Hillary and Barak supporters who are suffering from buyers remorse in June? Shouldn't superdelegates consider this factor in their "vote with the people" decisions? And I won't even bring up "the people" in the insignificant states of Michigan and Florida.

Do the Democrats want to win in 2008? If they do, Howard Dean, DNC gray beards (to be chosen by each camp), and Obama and Clinton should sit down together now. They should establish tight rules on how the campaign should proceed. At least seven points should be agreed to:

1. candidates should be encouraged to let the campaign play out to the last primary,

2. Michigan and Florida will be required to abide by the party rules already in place,

3. both candidates [and this is key to the whole shabang] will agree to run the final primaries against McCain, not each other,

4. the superdelegates will be the deciding force should neither candidate gain enough delegates through the primary process,

5. both candidates, should they prevail, agree to offer the vice-presidency to the other candidate to accept or turn down,

6. the terms of this agreement will be made fully public as the means used to enforce its terms,

7. should either Clinton or Obama refuse the terms offered, the DNC should publicize this refusal as an act that puts victory over McCain and the Republicans in great jeopardy.

This may very well leave the decision up to the superdelegates. But by following this Seven Point plan, the candidates, the voters in the remaining primaries and the inevitable polls will demonstrate to these superdelegates just who is truly most electable. It will put and keep McCain on the defensive. It will underline for the voters in November which party is ready to rise above personal ambitions for the good of the nation.

Consider the alternative. The rumors and realities of back room deals. Walk outs by irate Clinton or Obama supporters. A dead-locked convention running on and on before a dazed and then incredulous electorate. FOX and every kook with a radio talk show or a blog hammering away: “These people want to run the country?!”

Not good for the party, the candidates and especially for the country which needs to turn out of office every Republican lick-spittle to ever utter the name “Bush” with even a hint of respect.

Remember what this election is about.