The Community Candidate Concept: What Makes a Good Candidate?

What makes a good candiate? Groups like Emily's List and Working Families Party have a tendency to look to the candidates who have money, whose skills are in fundraising. Some people seem to think only lawyers can be effective politicians. And some simply think all candidates are pretty much the same and despair of finding excitement in supporting a candidate.

I don't buy any of those. I do get excited about candidates. They do not tend to be the ones who are supported by big money interests, and they are not always lawyers, but they are the candidates who are smart, articulate, and good on the issues. But there is one thing more that really makes a candidate kick ass. Dedication to the community. In some ways this may be the thing that can break through racial, cultural and political divides, because a candidate who proves him or herself to the community can get broad support: black and white, rich and poor, liberal and moderate. I want to discuss just such candidates.

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Vlog: Patriotism for something more than War

cross-posted at daily kos: Vlog: Patriotism for something more than War

On Friday I flew from Boston to Des Moines to vlog an Edwards speech in Waukee, Iowa. I'm quickly getting addicted to the thrill of citizen journalism. Edwards is known for his domestic policy orientation, but on this Friday night Edwards chose to focus his remarks on America's role in the world.

Edwards is clearly talking about how his anti-poverty crusade, based on a new sense of American patriotism and moral values, are an essential ingredient to our foreign policy. His thinking on American leadership in the world is inextricably linked to his strong belief in community, patriotism and morality that we need to demonstrate through our actions here at home and abroad.

Follow me below the fold for the video of Edwards and the interviews I did on a warm and breezy Friday night in a small Iowa town when all of us in the school gym were thinking about the world outside, far outside.

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Bush Seeks Expanded Role For Military Tribunals

The Bush Administration's latest attempt to undermine the justice system, civil liberties and other democratic institutions has been opposed by top military lawyers. Let's make sure it is opposed successfully by everyone else, too.

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Our freedoms aren't up for a vote

Listening to the Bush administration, the president and his colleagues are the only ones standing between Americans and a terrorist-led apocalypse. In order to protect us, President Bush says, he has directed the government to spy on those who would threaten our way of life.

But his efforts, which do nothing to actually make us safer, systematically chip away at our civil liberties. Presenting their case as a false choice between survival and freedom, Republicans have used fear to subdue many Americans, silencing them when their outrage is needed most.

When polled, some people seem willing to accept our slide toward fascism. But these people, who need a refresher course on what it means to be an American, must realize that some things are too important to put to a vote. And if we willingly sacrifice our freedoms for the promise of protection, we're no better than those who would take our hard-earned liberties away.

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Jack Carter on Congressional Oversight

This week, my Dad, US Senate candidate Jack carter was invited to post at Harry Reid's blog Give `Em Hell, Harry.  Today, he wrote a great piece about oversight and the importance of the 2006 elections.

I'll try to excerpt it, but you really, really should read the whole thing.

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