Friday, October 28, 2005

Justice Modern Esquire???

Dear President Bush:

I just wanted to let you know that I have recently passed the Ohio Bar Exam, and am now as qualified as Harriet Miers was for the position of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. At 30 years old, I would make a lasting legacy for your Administration for decades to come. Imagine, you could have the two longest serving nominees on the Supreme Court ever!

As a Bush nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, I will be a judge that applies the law, not create it. So the next time some accused terrorist is complaining about Geneva Convention violations, I will not create some new executive right out of thin air, but strictly interpret and apply the treaties and conventions that the Executive and Legislative branches have ratified.

Unlike Miss Miers, I do not present an executive privilege problem as I have never worked in your White House. In fact, since we've never met, you can avoid any sort of "Brownie" or Miers cronynism accusations. Also, since I have yet to let my Ohio law license lapse, I won't have those attention to detail problems like she did. Additionally, my classmates will tell you that I did well in constitutional law in law school, so I can handle the inevitable droning conversations with Arlen Specter about Youngtown Steel and its role in the War Against Terror (TM) for hours, much to the Chairman's delight.

Please let me know if you are interested in considering me for this position as soon as possible, so I can start creating my paper trail as to why you're "the bestest President ever." Thank you.

-The Modern Esquire

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Candidate Coleman declares victory over Mayor Coleman!!!!

Gubernatorial candidate Mike Coleman wants you to know that he's against local politicians praising the work of televangelist Rod Parsely and his Reformation Ohio project to mobilize social conservative Christians to vote and be active in politics from the pulpit.

And he's already convinced one city politician to reverse course. Sadly, that politician is Coleman himself.

After promising to give the group, which is dedicated to getting evangelicals to elect Ken Blackwell Governor, a proclamation hand-delivered by his wife, Coleman's campaign angrily denied the allegation that Mayor Coleman's office was intending to praise the conservative spiritual movement.
On Thursday, Coleman's campaign issued a statement saying, "Mayor Coleman was never scheduled to participate in any Reformation Ohio activities and his wife will not either." The statement said that "for too long, faith and values have been manipulated to push political agendas by dividing our citizens."
Indeed, records obtained from the Mayor's office showed the office wanted no part in praising this religious/political pariah using faith to divide us. In reply to the request, the Mayor's office angrily said:
"Please indicate whether you would like the certificate mailed or ready to be picked up."
Well, I'm sure it was followed by: "I said 'Good day, sir!"

But in all fairness to Mayor Coleman, that was just one mayoral assistant who may not have been aware of the gravitas of the situation. Surely, someone else in the campaign can confirm that the Mayor never intended to praise a man who once said the teaching of Islam was inspired by demons. Perhaps someone in Coleman's staff that is more politically aware?
Danni Palmore, Coleman's political director and a member of Parsley's World Harvest Church, said the proclamation was promised and that Mrs. Coleman did plan to present it.
Um, okay, but just because Coleman's office almost issued a proclamation doesn't mean that Coleman is arm-in-arm with Parsley.

In reaction to Coleman's strong rebuke, of himself, what did the Rev. Parsely think about all this? Coleman's attempts to distance himself from Parsley were "contrary to what I know the mayor and his wife, Frankie, stand for and believe," Parsley said in his statement.

In fact, Parsley continued, Coleman called the pastor the day before he announced his candidacy, seeking advice and counsel. Coleman has been a guest in Parsley's church, presented him with a flag from the city and shared his own faith experiences, Parsley said.

So you can seek spiritual guidance from someone before you announce your candidacy, can award them with a city flag, but a proclamation is where Coleman draws the line?

I think Coleman has some explaining to do about what, exactly, is his relationship with Rod Parsley and why it's only been within the past week that Coleman has distance himself from Parsley.

But even more bizarre is this story from the Akron Beacon-Journal that claims that the proclamation, that Coleman never intended on issuing, wasn't issued because the Colemans didn't want to irritate the audience by criticizing the group's goals.

Yes, the resolution that was never promised and never written, but if it had been hand-delivered by the candidate's wife at the rally, it would have criticized the group for using faith and values to push political agendas by dividing our citizens, and that's why he didn't attend.

So to recap, Mayor Coleman wants you to know that the reason he didn't attend the conservative evangelical political rally that he was never scheduled to attend is that the proclamation that he never promised to give and was never written would have said something that would have upset a group wondering why a politician would come to an event he was never scheduled to appear to deliver a proclamation that was never promised and that, although never written, would have criticized them harshly.

Got that?

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Camp Hackett in utter disarray

I was at the Warren County Democratic Party's Dinner with the Candidates last night, and besides the standing room only and larger than expected crowds, the bigger story of the night was the unfolding drama around the Hackett camp. The only thing that seems clear is that Hackett's footsoldiers still want him to run for Senate, Congressman Sherrod Brown notwithstanding, but they're faced with a relunctant candidate who may have a more realistic picture of the political landscape. Here's what we do know.

Hackett isn't going to run for Ohio Attorney General. He publicly endorsed Subdoh Chandra for Attorney General after Mr. Chandra gave a very enthusastic and well-received speech. I was somewhat bothered by Mr. Chandra's comments about unannounced candidates who may be considering the race as I thought this was kind of a pre-emptive slam against Hackett. The fact that Hackett later talked about people urging him to run for that race and his decision not to just seemed to solidify that impression.

Hackett's core supporters aren't unified as to what they want him to do. I talked to some very key supporters of Hackett's special election run, and there doesn't seem to be any consensus of what they expect Paul to decide to do. Some didn't even mention the Senate race and talked about the possibility of running for another Statewide office. Others, furious of Brown's announced enterance in the race before Hackett's, want Hackett to run against Brown in what looks to be a bloody, divisive primary battle. (The ol' blogsphere has been burning with accusations and counter-accusations by both camps. Neither have seem to be presenting themselves, or their candidates, in a respectable light.)

Hackett's supporters view him as Dean outsider, and he's presenting himself like that. Hackett's speech was very Dean-esque, minus the Iowa scream. His theme was an indictment against the D.C. party leadership, specifically, Hillary Clinton, who Hackett referred to leaderless leadership that merely walks around D.C. with their fingers in the wind and does nothing more than show up and vote.

At first, I thought maybe Hackett was trying to make a case against Brown, but on all the issues he mentioned, health care, education, Iraq, Brown was against the party leadership's position and has taken active steps to move the country in a different direction. Factually, I don't think Hackett's indictment of the D.C. leadership rings true when made against Congressman Sherrod Brown.

Hackett really isn't much of an outsider, and neither are his supporters. Of course, this is going to start a snark and flame war, but Hackett isn't an outsider at all. In fact, his speech last night acknowledged that it was the early involvement of Congressman Strickland who got the local party establishment behind Hackett that helped him do so well in the eastern part of the district (where he actually won.)

And actually, I don't know what "they in the Democratic Party" Hackett's camp is talking about given that they are the Democratic Party in this area. It's unusual to see an establishment campaign against itself.

Hackett realizes that 2006 isn't the same as a special election; some of his supporters act like they don't.
Hackett realizes he's got alot of street cred, but also knows he doesn't want to spend it foolishly cause it's hard to get back. Hackett and some of even his most diehard supporters realize that the results of the 2nd Congressional special election has limited applicability in 2006.

Taking the current 2006 Senate race for example. Unlike in the special election, Hackett isn't facing a primary of political novices in a low-key, discount retail politics campaign that will be only a few months long. Sherrod Brown has won statewide and has represented a Congressional district that is a significant chunk of the primary voting bloc. Hackett also realizes that his name-recognition is going to be a bigger challenge than it was even in the special election.

A year-long state-wide campaign requires exponentially more volunteers, resources and coordination than an eight-county campaign did that only had to go for two months.

The anger towards Brown seems rather inconsistent.
Some of the hard-core Hackett supporters are more angry at Brown than DeWine. Brown's sin used to be that he wouldn't give up his safe House seat for the good of the party. Now, his greatest sin is that he did give up his seat by changing his mind right when it looked like Hackett was going to become the anointed candidate. Hackett's coronation aside, the Hackett camp seems to forget that Hackett's nomination was becoming more the result of a process of elimination, than anything Hackett himself was doing. In fact, it's hard to criticize Brown for changing his mind when it publicly appears that Hackett himself has yet to make up his own.

Even more confusing is how the Hackett camp can blast Brown from changing his mind about running, but then give two standing ovations to Congressman Ted Strickland and enthuastically and offically endorse him last night. If Mike Coleman had been asked, I think he'd wonder what he did to get such different treatment.

This is why we have primaries Campaigns shouldn't be determined by which side flames the other the best, or who has the most support from those of us who blog. We have primaries so we don't have kingmakers. But if there is going to be a Hackett-Brown primary (which we have yet to hear from Hackett himself that is going to be the case), then both camps should start to conduct themselves in a manner that will unite us after the primary, not leaving us divided and some of us disengaged because we leave the primary unable to put our differences aside and come together behind whomever the nominee is and see that they are elected.

It's a naive hope that either camp will conduct themselves this way, but it's less naive than those who think flame wars and snarks on blogs will settle this primary battle.