Ben and Bruce
- Ben Iglar-Mobley and Bruce Samuels are both valuable assets to the progressive cause in Oak Park. It pains me to see fiery rhetoric flowing between them, although in this unseasonably cold October it warms me a bit too.
It starts because Bruce says that Paul Wellstone went along with the Afghanistan war resolution --- nothing to be angry about there. It’s true.
Wellstone must have felt it unwise to push the envelope on this issue. He would have stood alone in the Senate, and he would have been effectively vilified and marginalized by his conservative opponents. This might weaken his hand when dealing with issues where his progressive views had a chance of prevailing.
He might also have decided that on balance the use of military force in this situation was warranted. A wise and judicious use of the military threat in an overall environment of negotiation would be an alternative even for a progressive, justice based solution to the problem of eliminating the menace posed by the Mujahadeen base there.
We now know that the fellows calling the shots for our military are about as wise and judicious as a pit bull with rabies, and that permission to use the military is an invitation to mindless mass slaughter from the skies, but this is hindsight.
And who is to say what a real elected Green Senator would do? In Germany, the Greens are a voice for peace, but they make compromises. In fact, they were split on the issue of approving armed violence against “Al Qaeda”.
Come to think of it, the Green party is the progressive side of the Democrats. Where an opportunity to field a great progressive candidate exists inside the party, we should do it. When the field is clogged with Daley coat holders, we should put up one of our own and make the Democrat pay attention to his left flank. This is a viable strategy.
This is why I congratulate Bruce on his extraordinary shoe-string campaign for his wife, Julie Samuels. This is a great thing that we should all get behind. When she is down in Springfield, the Democrats are going to have to start thinking about who their supporters are. They will have to put our issues on their agenda. Sane transportation. A just legal system. More money for schools and less for prisons. These are all issues that affect our nation’s lust for war. Greed for oil and a fearful obsession with evil stoke its fires. We can put them out right here. Think of your voting machine as a fire extinguisher.
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