Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Major Shot Across (through?) Bush's Bow

Atrios posted a photo and link to the following story at about 9AM Wednesday morning. I'm doing him one better. In addition to the neat caricature of John Kerry to the left, I'm giving you my feelings about the Philadelphia Daily News Page 1 headline from June 16th:


I'm simply stunned. In Southeastern Pa., the Daily News is one of the two major newspapers. For those of you unfamiliar with the Philly area, this is a big damn deal. It wasn't the fact that the Daily News endorsed John Kerry - it was the timing, how they endorsed him, why they endorsed him this early, and the actions they recommended to get him elected.

Here's a few paragraphs from an endorsement that ran two full pages:

...this newspaper, the first in the nation, endorses John Kerry for president. Unlike the current White House occupant, Kerry can lead America to a brighter, better future. He has shown the personal courage, compassion, intellect and skill to lead this country in a time of war abroad and economic troubles at home. He is a serious man for a serious time.

...[Bush] has failed in even the one challenge he set out for himself at the beginning of his administration - to bring the country together. His has been one of the most ideologically driven and divisive administrations in recent times.

Instead of moving forward, the country has been on the wrong track. These last four years have been wasted.

...Kerry acknowledges that his privileges left him with a responsibility to serve and an ambition to lead. And he has - from combat in the Navy, then as the cleancut (and therefore highly effective) leader of the Vietnam veterans' anti-war movement, as a prosecutor in Boston, and in four terms in the U.S. Senate.

He is not the indecisive waffler the Bush team would have you believe. Instead, he is offering a concrete, pragmatic direction for the nation.

...Because [John Kerry] respects the intelligence of the American people, he rarely talks in sound bites. He understands that sound bites aren't solutions. Kerry's positions, while sometimes complicated, are grounded in reality, not in doctrines developed in think tanks...

I urge you to read the entire endorsement, and most particularly, the action plan. If you live in one of the swing states, everything the Philadelphia Daily News recommends applies. Even if you live in a "red state", much (if not all) is applicable.

I've said before that John Kerry was not my first choice to head the Democratic Party ticket, but he was certainly my second, and I respect the man for what he has accomplished in his life. He is the play we progressives have been dealt - like it or not. The prospect of George W. Bush running the show for 4 more years beyond this one is, frankly, frightening to most of us.

Rather than the way Bush purveys fear, I ask you to harness your fear of another four years of the same type of leadership and agenda (or worse), and invest some time and money in defeating George Bush. If you have the financial ability, contribute what you can. If money's tight, volunteer with one of the groups suggested by the Daily News.

That the Editorial Board of this major newspaper felt it so important to endorse John Kerry this early should tell you a lot. Use it as a springboard for conversations and action.