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Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg for Senate?


Pamela Ray
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She should run. She's already been in the Oval Office. Well-connected. Highly-intelligent, well-educated, and urbane, like her parents. Kudos to her.

--Thomas ["Pass the burgundy you baaastard!" (LOL); I'm literally weeping for her [and for Barrak (for whom I voted) and for us as a country/people as we speak; "Yes We Can," Baby Dogs] "Jesis Maria!" (Czech)

Edited by John Simkin
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As I understand the U.S. Constitution, Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg meets all the requirements to hold a seat in the U. S. Senate. The fact that she's not a lawyer is a plus, IMHO. My interpretation of the intent of the Founding Fathers was that our government would be populated by ordinary folks who served a term or two and then went back to their home communities...NOT the league of career politicians we've descended to, and are apparently resigned to re-electing, for God-only-knows-what-reason.

She obviously can't screw it up worse than ony of the ones who've recently been indicted for corruption; and who knows, but because of the events that have occurred in her life up to this point, she might actually decide to do what's right for the country...and what a breath of fresh air THAT would be!

But she wouldn't be representing my state, so my comments carry no weight. HOWEVER, since this post was initially an attempt to dissuade Caroline from running--for all the WRONG reasons, I might add--I suppose my opinion probably doesn't carry much less weight than convicted felon Jimmy Files, either.

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As I understand the U.S. Constitution, Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg meets all the requirements to hold a seat in the U. S. Senate.

True, although she is not named Schlossberg. She kept her maiden name after her marriage.

The fact that she's not a lawyer is a plus, IMHO.

According to Wiki She earned a J.D. from Columbia Law School in 1988, graduating in the top ten percent of her class, several weeks before giving birth to her first child. Wiki does not say whether she passed any state bar exams after obtaining her law degree, but I would be surprised if she did not. Anyone in the top ten percent at Columbia Law should find the bar exam a piece of cake.

Caroline demonstrated her legal ability in Two books on the Bill of Rights IN OUR DEFENSE, and THE RIGHT TO PRIVACY, co-authored by Ellen Alderman, and she has written or edited several best-selling books that reflect her cultural tastes.

I have read IN OUR DEFENSE and recommend it highly.

But she wouldn't be representing my state, so my comments carry no weight.

Neither do mine, even though I live in New York State. The men who matter are Governor Patterson and President -Elect Obama. Obama would have given Caroline any job she wanted, but the only job she wanted was the one Obama could not give, Hillary Clinton's Senate seat. Patterson is no doubt looking forward to a good relationship with Obama, and the appointment of Caroline will earn BIG brownie points in the Obama white house.

New York State is definitely NOT overflowing with politicians who stand out as logical successors to Hillary, which makes it easy for Governor Patterson.

Congratulations, best wishes and a Happy New Year to Senator Caroline, whose appointment will be announced upon Hilary's confirmation as Secretary of State.

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  • 1 month later...
Congratulations, best wishes and a Happy New Year to Senator Caroline, whose appointment will be announced upon Hilary's confirmation as Secretary of State.

Seems my crystal ball is a bit cloudy these days, must be the Winter weather. I am glad that Caroline was rescued from the political arena. Maybe Governor Patterson saw that she deserves better.

The New York Times

February 21, 2009

Paterson Had Staff Deny Kennedy Was Top Choice

By DANNY HAKIM and NICHOLAS CONFESSORE

ALBANY — For the first time, Gov. David A. Paterson acknowledged Friday that he personally ordered his staff to contest Caroline Kennedy’s version of events in the hours after she withdrew from consideration to be United States senator.

However, Mr. Paterson said that he was bewildered when his staffers subsequently unleashed harsh personal attacks against Ms. Kennedy, saying he merely wanted them to challenge the assertion from Ms. Kennedy’s camp that she had been his first choice to replace Hillary Rodham Clinton.

“The things said about Caroline I found despicable and shocking and very painful,” the governor said in a telephone interview, adding, “I never would have imagined removing the idea that this is my first choice meant a character assassination.”

The governor’s handling of the Senate selection process and his administration’s treatment of Ms. Kennedy drew intense criticism. Ms. Kennedy withdrew her name just after midnight Jan. 22, a development that embarrassed Mr. Paterson and set off fears in his inner circle that anyone he then selected would look like a second choice.

That afternoon, members of the administration called reporters, and, under cloak of anonymity, claimed that serious tax problems and issues with a domestic worker had emerged during the vetting of Ms. Kennedy, helping to derail her candidacy. Those claims were highly exaggerated, all sides now acknowledge; no serious or disqualifying issues had arisen.

The attack bewildered Democrats across the country, and Mr. Paterson’s poll numbers suffered significant declines in the subsequent weeks.

Mr. Paterson stressed in the interview that he had been acting only out of a desire to rebut the specific point that Ms. Kennedy had been his first choice.

He said he told his staff: “Let’s try to point out that we’re not indicating that anybody is the No. 1.”

“I understood we’d be pushing back for that,” he said, adding, “How that turned into what happened is something I have to take responsibility for.”

Mr. Paterson has not previously said he had any role in the matter. A few days after Ms. Kennedy withdrew, he was asked at a public appearance whether the anonymous attacks had come from inside his administration.

“I’m denying it,” he said then, but later in the appearance equivocated, saying, “There have been leaks coming from my administration throughout this entire process of choosing a senator, of contradictory types of information.” He condemned those leaks.

Mr. Paterson would not say whether he had apologized or spoken to Ms. Kennedy since she ended her Senate bid.

“I’d rather not go into my private communications with her,” he said.

The governor also said his top communications strategist, Judith Smith, no longer worked for him.

After speaking to the governor on the morning of Jan. 22, Ms. Smith directed the attacks on Ms. Kennedy, according to advisers to the governor who were involved in the effort.

“She hasn’t formally resigned,” the governor said Friday, but added, “She will.”

In a statement, Ms. Smith confirmed that she had parted ways with Mr. Paterson, but declined to address other questions.

“Last Sunday we informed the governor that our firm would no longer be providing him with services,” Ms. Smith said.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/21/nyregion/21paterson.html

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Congratulations, best wishes and a Happy New Year to Senator Caroline, whose appointment will be announced upon Hilary's confirmation as Secretary of State.

Seems my crystal ball is a bit cloudy these days, must be the Winter weather. I am glad that Caroline was rescued from the political arena. Maybe Governor Patterson saw that she deserves better.

The New York Times

February 21, 2009

Paterson Had Staff Deny Kennedy Was Top Choice

By DANNY HAKIM and NICHOLAS CONFESSORE

ALBANY — For the first time, Gov. David A. Paterson acknowledged Friday that he personally ordered his staff to contest Caroline Kennedy’s version of events in the hours after she withdrew from consideration to be United States senator.

However, Mr. Paterson said that he was bewildered when his staffers subsequently unleashed harsh personal attacks against Ms. Kennedy, saying he merely wanted them to challenge the assertion from Ms. Kennedy’s camp that she had been his first choice to replace Hillary Rodham Clinton.

“The things said about Caroline I found despicable and shocking and very painful,” the governor said in a telephone interview, adding, “I never would have imagined removing the idea that this is my first choice meant a character assassination.”

The governor’s handling of the Senate selection process and his administration’s treatment of Ms. Kennedy drew intense criticism. Ms. Kennedy withdrew her name just after midnight Jan. 22, a development that embarrassed Mr. Paterson and set off fears in his inner circle that anyone he then selected would look like a second choice.

That afternoon, members of the administration called reporters, and, under cloak of anonymity, claimed that serious tax problems and issues with a domestic worker had emerged during the vetting of Ms. Kennedy, helping to derail her candidacy. Those claims were highly exaggerated, all sides now acknowledge; no serious or disqualifying issues had arisen.

The attack bewildered Democrats across the country, and Mr. Paterson’s poll numbers suffered significant declines in the subsequent weeks.

Mr. Paterson stressed in the interview that he had been acting only out of a desire to rebut the specific point that Ms. Kennedy had been his first choice.

He said he told his staff: “Let’s try to point out that we’re not indicating that anybody is the No. 1.”

“I understood we’d be pushing back for that,” he said, adding, “How that turned into what happened is something I have to take responsibility for.”

Mr. Paterson has not previously said he had any role in the matter. A few days after Ms. Kennedy withdrew, he was asked at a public appearance whether the anonymous attacks had come from inside his administration.

“I’m denying it,” he said then, but later in the appearance equivocated, saying, “There have been leaks coming from my administration throughout this entire process of choosing a senator, of contradictory types of information.” He condemned those leaks.

Mr. Paterson would not say whether he had apologized or spoken to Ms. Kennedy since she ended her Senate bid.

“I’d rather not go into my private communications with her,” he said.

The governor also said his top communications strategist, Judith Smith, no longer worked for him.

After speaking to the governor on the morning of Jan. 22, Ms. Smith directed the attacks on Ms. Kennedy, according to advisers to the governor who were involved in the effort.

“She hasn’t formally resigned,” the governor said Friday, but added, “She will.”

In a statement, Ms. Smith confirmed that she had parted ways with Mr. Paterson, but declined to address other questions.

“Last Sunday we informed the governor that our firm would no longer be providing him with services,” Ms. Smith said.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/21/nyregion/21paterson.html

As I live in Albany, NY let's clear some things up.

First, David Patterson was APPOINTED to the governorship of the State of New York in the wake of the Elliot Spitzer prostitute scandal. No one ever voted for David Patterson to be the governor.

Caroline Kennedy was not "rescued," from the political arena. She was attacked! She was slimed! And slimed by a Bushie. Her character was assassinated by Judith Smith, a former Bush deputy press secretary. Judith Smith was on Patterson's staff. She was more than that, look at the line, "top communications strategist." TOP! Yet, for weeks local, state, and national media for some reason would not print or even mention her name. It was like there was this secret agreement not to name her. Paterson lied, and lied, and lied about the attacks on Caroline Kennedy. And he's still lying. Many Democrats are furious wondering why Patterson treated her like this and wondering what in the hell was a Bushie doing on Patterson's staff? And how many other Republicans are on his staff?

Patterson does not like Caroline Kennedy one bit. It is reasonable to assume he felt the whole process was being usurped or taken away from him, and he was mad about it. He saw this as his decision, alone, and that no one should try to campaign for it. The information in the attacks could only have come from Paterson himself. Even a local right-wing reporter, Fred Dicker, admits this.

Patterson threw her under the bus, and then got in the bus's driver seat, and backed up and ran over her again, and again, and again.

There was a semi-popularity contest for the open senate seat between Caroline Kennedy and NY Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo ran for governor once before and lost in a primary to the then comptroller Carl McCall, who was very popular downstate, especially in the NYC area. Cuomo was then going through a rather public and messy divorce from RFK's daughter, and first cousin to Caroline, Kerry Kennedy. Cuomo, like his father, has some popularity within the Democratic party, but there is also a mean streak. McCall, the comptroller, oddly ran out of money and his campaign lost ground and basically ended before the election. He lost and George Pataki was re-elected.

There is a lot of tension between Andrew Cuomo and Gov. Patterson. Cuomo was not consulted with at all about Patterson's choice for the open senate seat. (Nor, was Hillary Clinton.) It is taken as a given that Cuomo will primary Patterson for the governorship.

Meanwhile, Paterson picks Kirsten Gillibrand. She is a largely unknown congresswoman in her second term. She won a congressional seat in a largely Republican district north of Albany. The Republican congressman, John Sweeney, turned out to be a mean drunk who beat his wife. Even with that knowledge President Bill Clinton in his few remaining days in office flew Air Force One into the district to help Gillibrand. How the Democrats will be able to retain that seat is an open question.

At the press event where Patterson announced his pick standing right next to Gillibrand was former Republican senator Alphonse D'Amato. Every Democrat is wondering what the hell was he doing there!

Now it comes out that Gillibrand has a 100% approval rating from the NRA. A congresswoman from the NYC area Rep. Carolyn McCarthy promises to primary her. McCarthy's husband was slain by deranged gunman, Colin Ferguson, who killed six and wounded 19 others on a Long Island commuter train on Dec 7, 1993. One of the wounded was McCarthy's son Kevin.

Patterson has badly damaged himself in this process. He has also damaged the state Democratic party. And he has pissed off The Kennedy's, The Cuomo's, and The Clinton's, three of the most popular and powerful families in New York.

Patterson was seen as a one termer before all of this. Now, stick a fork in him. He's done.

You should see how he's handling the state budget.

Joe

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Guest Tom Scully
As I live in Albany, NY let's clear some things up.

First, David Patterson was APPOINTED to the governorship of the State of New York in the wake of the Elliot Spitzer prostitute scandal. No one ever voted for David Patterson to be the governor.

Caroline Kennedy was not "rescued," from the political arena. She was attacked! She was slimed! And slimed by a Bushie. Her character was assassinated by Judith Smith, a former Bush deputy press secretary. Judith Smith was on Patterson's staff. She was more than that, look at the line, "top communications strategist." TOP! Yet, for weeks local, state, and national media for some reason would not print or even mention her name. It was like there was this secret agreement not to name her. Paterson lied, and lied, and lied about the attacks on Caroline Kennedy. And he's still lying. Many Democrats are furious wondering why Patterson treated her like this and wondering what in the hell was a Bushie doing on Patterson's staff? And how many other Republicans are on his staff?

Patterson does not like Caroline Kennedy one bit. It is reasonable to assume he felt the whole process was being usurped or taken away from him, and he was mad about it. He saw this as his decision, alone, and that no one should try to campaign for it. The information in the attacks could only have come from Paterson himself. Even a local right-wing reporter, Fred Dicker, admits this.

Patterson threw her under the bus, and then got in the bus's driver seat, and backed up and ran over her again, and again, and again.

There was a semi-popularity contest for the open senate seat between Caroline Kennedy and NY Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo ran for governor once before and lost in a primary to the then comptroller Carl McCall, who was very popular downstate, especially in the NYC area. Cuomo was then going through a rather public and messy divorce from RFK's daughter, and first cousin to Caroline, Kerry Kennedy. Cuomo, like his father, has some popularity within the Democratic party, but there is also a mean streak. McCall, the comptroller, oddly ran out of money and his campaign lost ground and basically ended before the election. He lost and George Pataki was re-elected.

There is a lot of tension between Andrew Cuomo and Gov. Patterson. Cuomo was not consulted with at all about Patterson's choice for the open senate seat. (Nor, was Hillary Clinton.) It is taken as a given that Cuomo will primary Patterson for the governorship.

Meanwhile, Paterson picks Kirsten Gillibrand. She is a largely unknown congresswoman in her second term. She won a congressional seat in a largely Republican district north of Albany. The Republican congressman, John Sweeney, turned out to be a mean drunk who beat his wife. Even with that knowledge President Bill Clinton in his few remaining days in office flew Air Force One into the district to help Gillibrand. How the Democrats will be able to retain that seat is an open question.

At the press event where Patterson announced his pick standing right next to Gillibrand was former Republican senator Alphonse D'Amato. Every Democrat is wondering what the hell was he doing there!

Now it comes out that Gillibrand has a 100% approval rating from the NRA. A congresswoman from the NYC area Rep. Carolyn McCarthy promises to primary her. McCarthy's husband was slain by deranged gunman, Colin Ferguson, who killed six and wounded 19 others on a Long Island commuter train on Dec 7, 1993. One of the wounded was McCarthy's son Kevin.

Patterson has badly damaged himself in this process. He has also damaged the state Democratic party. And he has pissed off The Kennedy's, The Cuomo's, and The Clinton's, three of the most popular and powerful families in New York.

Patterson was seen as a one termer before all of this. Now, stick a fork in him. He's done.

You should see how he's handling the state budget.

Joe

Joe,

I think I can clear a few things up for you. My life experience includes 35 years as a CT native, and a dozen years as a NY state resident, two thirds of that time living upstate, and the final third living in Manhattan. I've resided in a reddest of the red state, these last seven years, and I have gained a new perspective.

Twenty five years ago, I recall sitting in a friend's living room in Saratoga, listening to the laments of your Albany area brethren, yearning for secession from NYC and Long Island.

They seemed oblivious to the fact, as my red state neighbors here are, today, that they lived off of the wealth coming to them from NYC and Long Island. Those two areas, as the blue states do today, paid far more in taxes than they ever received back from the taxing authority. Upstate NY and the red states would not have the one sided flow from spending by government on prisons and on military industrial complex output and infrastructure, to offset the deficiencies in their own economies. The state and federal prison industry was the largest employer in the areas of upstate NY where I lived, and in this red state today, the money flows in from defense department spending at the forts and defense plants that are concentrated in the sourthern and western US. The blue states, NYC, and LI would not notice much, if upstate NY and the red states all dropped off the map, but if it were the other way around, massive unemployment and tax increases, even a breakdown in government provided services and infrastructure would soon be experienced.

Upstate New York is not unlike where I now reside, with the unrealistic right wing political POV. Opposing "The Kennedy's, The Cuomo's, and The Clinton's" is a gpod thing, a politically expedient thing to do, from this POV.....

IMO, it is the political strategy of Pres. Obama, Gov. Paterson, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.....and it is hard to argue with their success, isn't it?....No matter what you and I see as contrary to good democratic party policy and goals.... an opposition to republican wealth concentration, failed corporatism and crony capitalism.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirsten_Gillibrand

Born into a politically connected family, Kirsten Rutnik was born and raised in Albany, New York. Her parents are Douglas P. Rutnik, a Republican lobbyist[6] .....

......She received her Juris Doctor (J.D.) from the UCLA School of Law in 1991.[4] She interned for Senator Alfonse D'Amato (R-NY) during college, and served as a law clerk on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals for Judge Roger Miner.[2].....

......Legal career

During the Clinton administration, Gillibrand served as Special Counsel to the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Andrew Cuomo.[2] She worked on HUD's Labor Initiative and its New Markets Initiative as well as on TAP's Young Leaders Of The American Democracy, on strengthening Davis-Bacon Act enforcement, and on drafting new markets legislation for public and private investment in building infrastructure in lower income areas.[1]

As an associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell and a partner at Boies, Schiller & Flexner,[9] Gillibrand worked on a wide range of legal and policy-related issues. She handled many pro bono cases, including abused women and their children, and tenants seeking safe housing after lead paint and unsafe conditions were found in their homes.[1]

During her employment at the firm, she represented Philip Morris (now Altria) from 1995 to 1999, during major litigation including defense of civil lawsuits and FBI criminal probes. Her campaign finance records show that she had received $23,200 in contributions from some of the company's employees.[12] When it became an issue during the 2006 elections, Gillibrand freely discussed her Philip Morris work with the Albany Times-Union, stating that she had voted in favor of all three anti-tobacco bills in that session of Congress, that she did not try to hide her work for Philip Morris and had spoken about it before to other reporters. She stated that most of her work consisted of assisting the company in assembling documents in response to subpoenas, and that as an associate she had no control over which clients she worked for.[12]

She was the Chair of the Women's Leadership Forum Network and was on the Boards of the Eleanor Roosevelt Legacy Committee and the Commission on Greenway Heritage Conservancy for the Hudson River Valley. She also served on the Advisory Board for the Brennan Center for Justice.[citation needed].....

......Political career

[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives

In 2006, Gillibrand defeated four-term Republican incumbent, John E. Sweeney, in New York's 20th congressional district election by a margin of 53%-47%. She co-founded the Congressional High Tech Caucus with Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) at the beginning of the 110th Congress. She voted against the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 both times it came before the House.

Gillibrand prepares to question former Vice President Al Gore on climate change as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Gillibrand won her bid for re-election in 2008 and enjoyed a sophomore surge, defeating challenger Alexander "Sandy" Treadwell 62%-38%. During the campaign, she was criticized for hosting fundraisers in London, England, and Paris, France.[13] While the fundraisers were legal and contributions only came from American citizens living abroad, some critics claimed that her actions were hypocritical since during her first campaign, she had criticized Sweeney for hosting an out-of-state fundraiser for the 2006 election.[14]

Media reports of her relationship with colleagues in the New York congressional delegation have been contradictory. During the spectacle surrounding Gillibrand's eventual appointment to the United States Senate in January 2009, progressive commentators like Politico's Glenn Thrush and New York Times editorialist (and Caroline Kennedy proponent) Maureen Dowd claimed that Gillibrand was "unpopular" and was known within her delegation by the unflattering nickname "Tracy Flick", after the Reese Witherspoon character from the movie Election.[15][16] However, other reports suggest that while her popularity is limited geographically within her state—the majority of congressional districts in New York are concentrated "down-state", in the highly populated New York metropolitan area—Gillibrand enjoys good relationships with fellow delegates from the slightly more conservative, mostly rural and suburban "up-state" region from which she hails.[17][18]......

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Miner

Roger Jeffrey Miner (born 1934) is a federal appellate judge serving on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

After graduating from New York Law School, Miner practiced law for many years in Hudson, New York. He was corporation counsel (city attorney) for the City of Hudson from 1961 to 1964 and District Attorney of Columbia County, New York from 1968 to 1975.

Miner's judicial career began with his election in 1975 to the New York State Supreme Court, a trial court on which he served from 1976 to 1981.

In 1981, President Ronald Reagan nominated Miner to the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York.

In 1985, President Reagan promoted Miner to the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He assumed senior status on the court effective January 1, 1997.

[edit]

See also

George H. W. Bush Supreme Court candidates

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/06/19/obama/

Obama, be progressive!

........And now Obama turns around and intervenes in a Democratic primary on behalf of one of the worst Bush enablers in Congress -- not in order to help Barrow defeat an even-worse Republican, but to defeat a far better and plainly credible Democratic challenger.

For all of Obama's talk about the wicked ways of Washington, these incumbent protection schemes -- whereby Beltway power factions all help each other stay in power no matter their ideology or positions -- are among the most vital instruments for perpetuating how Washington works. Democratic leaders pretend that they are forced continuously to capitulate to the Bush administration due to their "conservative" members, yet continuously work to keep those same members in power, even when it comes to supporting them against far better Democratic primary challengers.

Obama has made himself a central part of that rancid scheme. Recall that in 2006, Obama -- who now touts his commitment to ending the war -- endorsed Joe Lieberman in his Connecticut primary race over war opponent Ned Lamont, appearing with Lieberman to say: "Joe Lieberman's a man with a good heart, with a keen intellect, who cares about the working families of America . . . . I am absolutely certain that Connecticut's going to have the good sense to send Joe Lieberman back to the United States Senate."

http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2008/...ma_progressive/

Voters want you to go big and go liberal -- and not channel Clinton-style incrementalism.

By David Sirota

Nov. 8, 2008 | "What do we do now?"

That's the question Bill McKay ponders in the classic movie “The Candidate” after he wins office promising "a better way." America will now ask Democrats the same haunting query following the historic election.

These are heady times for the party of Jefferson, Roosevelt and Obama. Only a few years ago, Democrats were almost relegated to permanent minority status by a Mission Accomplished sign and a flight suit. But since President Bush's 2004 reelection, they gained at least 50 House seats, 12 Senate seats, seven state legislatures and seven governorships. As Republicans used "socialism" attacks to make the election a referendum on conservatism, Democrats also registered their biggest presidential triumph since 1964.

So, while the president-elect talks of forming a bipartisan Cabinet, his victory wasn't the public's cry for milquetoast government by blue-ribbon commission. As Deepak Bhargava of the Center for Community Change says, Obama's win was an ideological mandate presenting "an opening for transformational, progressive change.".....

.....What the party gains in strength, it loses in a Republican scapegoat that previously justified inaction. On huge issues -- whether re-regulating Wall Street, reforming trade, solving the healthcare emergency, or ending the Iraq war -- America envisages enormous progress in the months ahead, and Democrats will have no one to blame for failure but themselves. After all, with more than 360 electoral votes, President Obama cannot credibly claim he lacks the political capital to legislatively steamroll a humiliated GOP and its remaining senators. The same goes for Democrats everywhere. Meeting expectations requires championing far-reaching -- even radical -- initiatives.

That was always 2008's theme. Amid lipsticked pigs, Joe the Plumber and Super Bowl-size candidate events, the election became a choice between continued conservative rule and a progressive agenda as far-reaching as the current crises. And as the defeated John McCain said, "The American people have spoken, and they have spoken clearly."

To meet the challenge, Democrats have to abandon their worst habits.

They must, for instance, acknowledge their progressive mandate, rather than denying it as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid did on Tuesday. "This is not a mandate for a political party or an ideology," he fearfully told reporters.

They should also retire the Innocent Bystander fable about being powerless onlookers. Democrats first cited this myth as reason the Iraq war continued during their congressional majority -- expecting the country to forget that Congress can halt war funding. Today, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said that "there's not much we can do" to amend the sputtering bank bailout. In 2009, such mendacity will metastasize from banal dishonesty into grist for scathing comedy-show punch lines.

Democrats need to discard other lies, too -- especially those about Bill Clinton. To hear the pundits tell it, Clinton's first-term pitfalls underscore why the next administration should avoid "governing in a way that is, or seems, skewed to the left," as the Washington Post's Ruth Marcus most recently asserted. History, of course, proves the opposite. Recounting Clinton's early years to Politico, a lobbyist correctly noted that the new president didn't move left -- he pushed conservative policies like NAFTA, thereby demoralizing his base and helping Republicans take Congress.

Obama rose on a promise to eschew those triangulations, and he won because America realized invertebracy and sail trimming will not solve problems. Voters rejected Clinton-style incrementalism in the primary, then scorned conservatism in the general election, meaning that the Democrats' best response to Bill McKay's "What do we do now?" question is a two-word answer: Go big.

That is not merely the better way -- it is the only way.

Joe, the dysfunction you described is a result of two things..... Obama, Paterson and Gillibrand have all achieved their political ambitions because they recognize "the one party with two right wings",is the US system, and they thrive in it's climate, and because of this example of the kind of GARBAGE, fronted as polittical "commentary" incessantly injected into the minds of the masses:

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn41...05/ai_n19442651

FROM A distance of nearly 50 years, the liberalism of 1960 is hardly recognizable. It was comfortable with the use of American power abroad, unabashedly patriotic and forward-looking. But that was before The Fall.

In his eye-opening new book "Camelot and the Cultural Revolution," Jim Piereson argues The Fall was the assassination of President Kennedy. It represented more than the tragic death of a young president, but the descent of liberalism from an optimistic creed focused on pragmatic improvements in the American condition to a darker philosophy obsessed with America's sins. Echoes of the assassination -- and the meaning attributed to it by JFK's admirers - - can still be heard in the querulous tones of contemporary liberalism.

The real John F. Kennedy wasn't the paladin of liberal purity of myth. He was friends with Joseph McCarthy. In his 1952 campaign for Senate and his 1960 presidential campaign, he got to the right of his Republican opponents on key issues.

"Kennedy did not want anyone to tag him as a liberal, which he regarded as the kiss of death in electoral politics," Piereson writes. As president, he was vigorously anti-communist, a tax- cutter and a cautious supporter of civil rights.

His kind of liberalism -- "tough and realistic," as Piereson puts it, in the tradition of FDR and Truman -- was carried away in the riptide of his death. In a crucial and counterintuitive interpretive act, the nation's opinion elite made JFK a martyr to civil rights instead of the Cold War. Kennedy had been killed by a communist, Lee Harvey Oswald, who a few years before had tried to defect to the Soviet Union. Liberals nonetheless blamed the assassination on, in the characteristic words of Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren, "the hatred and bitterness that has been injected into the life of our nation by bigots."

Thus, the assassination curdled into an indictment of American society: "Kennedy Victim of Violent Streak He Sought to Curb in Nation," read a New York Times headline. Until this point, 20th- century liberalism had tended to see history as a steady march of progress. Now, the march had been interrupted by the country's own pathologies. "Kennedy was mourned in a spirit of frustrated possibility and dashed hopes," Piereson argues, and that sense of loss came to define the new liberalism.

American history no longer appeared to be a benign process, but a twisted story of rapine and oppression. "With such a bill of indictment," Piereson writes, "the new liberals now held that Americans had no good reason to feel pride in their country's past or optimism about its future."

Their agenda took on a punitive edge, focused on compensating victim groups and expiating the country's guilt.

The left developed ambivalence about national power, in which the old liberal reformers had placed such faith. In the paranoid theories that sprang up in the wake of Kennedy's assassination -- many of them to avoid the simple, uncongenial fact that a lone communist had killed the president -- the seat of American government had been the locus of a secret plot to kill JFK. The conspiracy theories and anti-Americanism that had so appalled liberals about the far right in the 1950s had now gravitated to the left. Bizarrely, after a liberal hero was slain by a Marxist, communist icons and ideas became more fashionable on the left than ever before.

Other things were going on obviously, most importantly the Vietnam War. But the war was seen through the prism of American malignancy established by the Kennedy assassination. This downbeat and adversarial disposition is -- more than any specific policy weaknesses on, say, national security -- a drag on contemporary liberalism's long-term appeal. One day a Democratic politician will emerge who is compelling enough to vanquish the foul spirit of JFK's assassination from the left.

Until that happens, JFK has to be remembered, in Piereson's words, as "the last articulate spokesman for the now lost world of American liberalism."

Rich Lowry (comments.lowry@nationalreview.com) writes for the National Review and King Features Syndicate.

By almost every measure, it seems that our US political-economic system is "broken", and the "leftist" French system is not. The French have "model", universal healthcare, free tuition, low Gini, low poverty rate, near balanced trade, a stronger currency, early retirement with generous pension, record low infant mortality, the equivalent of a $13 per hour minimum wage, the bulk of immigrant population are not undocumented aliens, but citizens, highest per capita productivity in the world, per total annual hours worked, and lately, an unemployment rate comparable to the US rate..... workers rights including protection from sudden or unjust employment termination, generous unemployment benefits and uninterrupted health care benefits.......

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/th...os/fr.html#Econ

.....and the benefits for the everyman US voter, as a result of leaning and voting to the right.....are ??????????????????

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/th...os/us.html#Econ

Edited by Tom Scully
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