ChrisWeigant.com

Trump Unites Democrats

[ Posted Monday, July 15th, 2019 – 17:10 UTC ]

[Note: This is just going to be a very quick post, as I'm still recovering from Netroots Nation and spent most of today sleeping.]

Once again, Donald Trump has successfully united Democrats right when they were in danger of falling apart. The intraparty bickering between Nancy Pelosi and "the Squad" of four progressive members of the House was threatening to get rather ugly, when Trump trumped the Democratic ugliness with his own unique and virulent brand of ugly. Trump's racist "go back to where you came from" tweets over the weekend not only completely distracted everyone from the Democratic squabble, it also caused the entire Democratic Party to close ranks and denounce the president with one unified voice. What could have been a schism turned into a reason to stand shoulder to shoulder against Trump's obvious hatred. Trump was so disgusting in his comments that he's now got a schism of his own within the Republican ranks, since his comments were so completely indefensible. Republicans are now lining up to denounce him, although most are treading rather timidly while doing so. What it all means is that instead of the media running with another "Democrats In Disarray" headline, they are now pointing out the discord within the Republican Party.

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From The Archives -- 2007 Candidate Speech Series: John Edwards

[ Posted Friday, July 12th, 2019 – 12:00 UTC ]

[Program Note: While I am away this week attending Netroots Nation, I thought a blast from the past would be entertaining for my readers. In 2007, also while away on vacation, I conducted a journalistic experiment. I contacted the campaigns of all eight Democratic candidates for president and asked them for permission to reprint a transcript of the speech of their choice from their candidate. All responded, although Dennis Kucinich's campaign was unable to provide me with a transcript because he always spoke without notes (I ran one of his white papers instead).

The introduction to this series explained everything, and it is still kind of interesting to read for the inside-baseball points that it made. I should mention that as internet bandwidth improved by leaps and bounds, such an experiment was never necessary again, because by the next contested Democratic nomination, the campaign websites had not only transcripts but videos of each candidates' speeches, for everyone to see.

Anyway, this week I am reprinting five of these speeches, one each day, for your amusement. I begin with the two candidates who are also running again this year, Joe Biden and Mike Gravel. Then I'll move on to the two who lasted until the bitter end, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, as well as the candidate that I personally supported in the race, John Edwards.

What's interesting about reading these speeches again is how times have changed (all Democrats were running against George W. Bush's record, at the time) as well as how things have remained the same (the same themes used today pop up in more than one speech). So sit back and enjoy this nostalgic trip into presidential politics from 12 years ago. I may also be able to post live columns throughout the week, but make no promises on that score (time is a serious constraint during these conferences).

 

Originally published November 16, 2007

John Edwards

John Edwards

 

The Moral Test of Our Generation

Saint Anselm College, Manchester, New Hampshire
10/29/07

 

Many of you know that I am the son of a mill worker -- that I rose from modest means and have been blessed in so many ways in life. Elizabeth and I have so much to be grateful for.

And all of you know about some of the challenges we have faced in my family. But there came a time, a few months ago, when Elizabeth and I had to decide, in the quiet of a hospital room, after many hours of tests and getting pretty bad news -- what we were going to do with our lives.

And we made our decision. That we were not going to go quietly into the night -- that we were going to stand and fight for what we believe in.

As Elizabeth and I have campaigned across America, I've come to a better understanding of what that decision really meant -- and why we made it.

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From The Archives -- 2007 Candidate Speech Series: Barack Obama

[ Posted Thursday, July 11th, 2019 – 12:00 UTC ]

[Program Note: While I am away this week attending Netroots Nation, I thought a blast from the past would be entertaining for my readers. In 2007, also while away on vacation, I conducted a journalistic experiment. I contacted the campaigns of all eight Democratic candidates for president and asked them for permission to reprint a transcript of the speech of their choice from their candidate. All responded, although Dennis Kucinich's campaign was unable to provide me with a transcript because he always spoke without notes (I ran one of his white papers instead).

The introduction to this series explained everything, and it is still kind of interesting to read for the inside-baseball points that it made. I should mention that as internet bandwidth improved by leaps and bounds, such an experiment was never necessary again, because by the next contested Democratic nomination, the campaign websites had not only transcripts but videos of each candidates' speeches, for everyone to see.

Anyway, this week I am reprinting five of these speeches, one each day, for your amusement. I begin with the two candidates who are also running again this year, Joe Biden and Mike Gravel. Then I'll move on to the two who lasted until the bitter end, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, as well as the candidate that I personally supported in the race, John Edwards.

What's interesting about reading these speeches again is how times have changed (all Democrats were running against George W. Bush's record, at the time) as well as how things have remained the same (the same themes used today pop up in more than one speech). So sit back and enjoy this nostalgic trip into presidential politics from 12 years ago. I may also be able to post live columns throughout the week, but make no promises on that score (time is a serious constraint during these conferences).

 

Originally published November 19, 2007

Barack Obama

Barack Obama

 

A Change We Can Believe In

Spartanburg, South Carolina
11/3/07

 

One year from now, you will have the chance to walk into a voting booth, pull back the curtain, and choose the next President of the United States.

Here's the good news -- for the first time in a long time, the name George Bush will not appear on the ballot. The name Dick Cheney will not appear on the ballot. The era of Scooter Libby justice, and Brownie incompetence, and the Karl Rove politics of fear and cynicism will be over.

But the question you will have to ask yourselves when you pick up your ballot a year from today is, "What next?" How do we repair the enormous damage of these dismal years and recapture that sense of common purpose that has seen America through our toughest times?

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From The Archives -- 2007 Candidate Speech Series: Hillary Clinton

[ Posted Wednesday, July 10th, 2019 – 12:00 UTC ]

[Program Note: While I am away this week attending Netroots Nation, I thought a blast from the past would be entertaining for my readers. In 2007, also while away on vacation, I conducted a journalistic experiment. I contacted the campaigns of all eight Democratic candidates for president and asked them for permission to reprint a transcript of the speech of their choice from their candidate. All responded, although Dennis Kucinich's campaign was unable to provide me with a transcript because he always spoke without notes (I ran one of his white papers instead).

The introduction to this series explained everything, and it is still kind of interesting to read for the inside-baseball points that it made. I should mention that as internet bandwidth improved by leaps and bounds, such an experiment was never necessary again, because by the next contested Democratic nomination, the campaign websites had not only transcripts but videos of each candidates' speeches, for everyone to see.

Anyway, this week I am reprinting five of these speeches, one each day, for your amusement. I begin with the two candidates who are also running again this year, Joe Biden and Mike Gravel. Then I'll move on to the two who lasted until the bitter end, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, as well as the candidate that I personally supported in the race, John Edwards.

What's interesting about reading these speeches again is how times have changed (all Democrats were running against George W. Bush's record, at the time) as well as how things have remained the same (the same themes used today pop up in more than one speech). So sit back and enjoy this nostalgic trip into presidential politics from 12 years ago. I may also be able to post live columns throughout the week, but make no promises on that score (time is a serious constraint during these conferences).

 

Originally published November 21, 2007

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

 

Remarks at the Iowa Jefferson-Jackson Dinner

Des Moines, Iowa
11/10/07

 

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you Iowa Democrats. Thank you all. Thank you. What a night. What a great, great night. Thank you all. There's no better place to be than right here in Iowa with the great elected officials that you have: your governor, your lieutenant governor, your congressional delegation, our wonderful friend, Senator Tom Harkin and his wife Ruth. Isn't it a special treat to have the Speaker of the House, Madam Speaker here tonight?

You know, on January 20th, 2009, someone will stand on the steps of the Capitol and raise his or her hand to take the oath of office as the 44th President of the United States of America. And we are here tonight to make sure that that next president is a Democrat. Because, we know, after seven years of George W. Bush, seven years of incompetence, cronyism, and corruption, seven years of a government of the few by the few and for the few. We, as a nation cannot afford any other choice.

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From The Archives -- 2007 Candidate Speech Series: Mike Gravel

[ Posted Tuesday, July 9th, 2019 – 12:00 UTC ]

[Program Note: While I am away this week attending Netroots Nation, I thought a blast from the past would be entertaining for my readers. In 2007, also while away on vacation, I conducted a journalistic experiment. I contacted the campaigns of all eight Democratic candidates for president and asked them for permission to reprint a transcript of the speech of their choice from their candidate. All responded, although Dennis Kucinich's campaign was unable to provide me with a transcript because he always spoke without notes (I ran one of his white papers instead).

The introduction to this series explained everything, and it is still kind of interesting to read for the inside-baseball points that it made. I should mention that as internet bandwidth improved by leaps and bounds, such an experiment was never necessary again, because by the next contested Democratic nomination, the campaign websites had not only transcripts but videos of each candidates' speeches, for everyone to see.

Anyway, this week I am reprinting five of these speeches, one each day, for your amusement. I begin with the two candidates who are also running again this year, Joe Biden and Mike Gravel. Then I'll move on to the two who lasted until the bitter end, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, as well as the candidate that I personally supported in the race, John Edwards.

What's interesting about reading these speeches again is how times have changed (all Democrats were running against George W. Bush's record, at the time) as well as how things have remained the same (the same themes used today pop up in more than one speech). So sit back and enjoy this nostalgic trip into presidential politics from 12 years ago. I may also be able to post live columns throughout the week, but make no promises on that score (time is a serious constraint during these conferences).

 

Originally published November 23, 2007

Mike Gravel

Mike Gravel

 

Stepping Back From Imperialism:
Redirecting American Foreign Policy

St. Anselm College, Manchester, New Hampshire
11/1/06

 

The United States is the largest economic unit in the world. Responsible stewardship of our economy requires that we maintain our superpower status, not only in terms of military capability, but in equally important areas such as the strength and solvency of our economy, the educational and physical health of our population, and a firm commitment to our moral principles and spiritual values. Strength in all these areas is vital to maintain our superpower status.

Unfortunately, we fail in most areas, even though our political leadership consistently -- particularly presidential candidates -- boasts of America's exceptionalism by repeatedly declaring that we are the greatest nation on earth. "We're No. 1," they say. Such extreme boastfulness from an individual would seem aberrant; the same psychological judgment applies to nations. Aberrant behavior in an individual or in an organized group of individuals clouds their perception of reality.

No. 1? Hardly! In most important categories, the United States is not even in the top 10 anymore. Not even close. Data from 2004 shows that:

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From The Archives -- 2007 Candidate Speech Series: Joe Biden

[ Posted Monday, July 8th, 2019 – 12:00 UTC ]

[Program Note: While I am away this week attending Netroots Nation, I thought a blast from the past would be entertaining for my readers. In 2007, also while away on vacation, I conducted a journalistic experiment. I contacted the campaigns of all eight Democratic candidates for president and asked them for permission to reprint a transcript of the speech of their choice from their candidate. All responded, although Dennis Kucinich's campaign was unable to provide me with a transcript because he always spoke without notes (I ran one of his white papers instead).

The introduction to this series explained everything, and it is still kind of interesting to read for the inside-baseball points that it made. I should mention that as internet bandwidth improved by leaps and bounds, such an experiment was never necessary again, because by the next contested Democratic nomination, the campaign websites had not only transcripts but videos of each candidates' speeches, for everyone to see.

Anyway, this week I am reprinting five of these speeches, one each day, for your amusement. I begin with the two candidates who are also running again this year, Joe Biden and Mike Gravel. Then I'll move on to the two who lasted until the bitter end, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, as well as the candidate that I personally supported in the race, John Edwards.

What's interesting about reading these speeches again is how times have changed (all Democrats were running against George W. Bush's record, at the time) as well as how things have remained the same (the same themes used today pop up in more than one speech). So sit back and enjoy this nostalgic trip into presidential politics from 12 years ago. I may also be able to post live columns throughout the week, but make no promises on that score (time is a serious constraint during these conferences).

 

Originally published November 15, 2007

Joe Biden

Joe Biden

 

National Security and Civil Rights

Drake University School of Law, Des Moines, Iowa
4/3/07

 

Since before our founding, the United States has been set apart by its uncompromising commitment to the rule of law and individual rights and civil liberties.

The values embodied in our constitutional government have been the pole star by which the world has set its moral compass.

They have given us the moral authority to lead our allies, and to defeat fascism and communism.

In the aftermath of September 11, as the world mourned with us, we had an opportunity to lead again.

The world looked to us to form a new coalition to face the threat of international terrorism and defend the very values the terrorists had attacked.

Regrettably, the Bush Administration saw it differently.

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Friday Talking Points -- Tanks For The Memories (Of The Continental Army's Air Force, That Is...)

[ Posted Friday, July 5th, 2019 – 17:05 UTC ]

After all the hype, things weren't nearly as bad as they could have been in Washington D.C. for the nation's birthday. Donald Trump gave a speech in front of some stationary tanks, but he (mostly) rigorously kept to the script which had been written for him to parrot. Perhaps someone had explained that if he went off script and turned the event into a campaign rally, then his campaign would have had to foot the bill. The size of that bill is still a secret, although the National Park Service admitted it had used over $2 million for it that should have gone to regular park maintenance.

It also, quite literally, rained all over Trump's big day. No better metaphor could have existed, really. Trump tried to hijack an event which has always been strictly nonpartisan and universally welcomed in D.C. (where every other day is absolutely consumed with partisan fighting), but in the end D.C.'s Fourth of July will survive even Trump. After all, the event is bigger than he could ever hope to be. It will go down in history, in fact, as a textbook example of why America should never again elect a man-baby to the Oval Office. Speaking of babies, the Trump Baby Blimp made an appearance, and veterans handed out T-shirts with the logo of the U.S.S. John McCain, just to get under Trump's thin skin. So a fun time was had by all, in the end.

Trump did provide one bit of amusement for his detractors, when (according to him) the TelePrompTer went out (or was possibly obscured by rain) so he just went ahead and said the following:

In June of 1775, the Continental Congress created a unified army out of the revolutionary forces encamped around Boston and New York and named after the great George Washington, commander-in-chief. The Continental Army suffered a bitter winter of Valley Forge, found glory across the waters of the Delaware and seized victory from Cornwallis of Yorktown. Our army manned the air, it rammed the ramparts, it took over the airports, it did everything it had to do. And at Fort McHendry, under "the rockets red glare," it had nothing but victory. And when dawn came, their star-spangled banner waved defiant.

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From The Archives -- Celebrate The Fourth -- Pursue Some Happiness!

[ Posted Thursday, July 4th, 2019 – 18:54 UTC ]

[Originally published July 4, 2007]

 

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

-- Preamble to the Declaration of Independence

 

That line will be widely quoted across this land today, in parks and bandstands, on radio and in newsprint, from California to the New York islands, in countless big-city parades and from a myriad of small-town gazebos.

The more serious-minded of these proclaimers will go on to read the entire text of the Declaration which began the idea of the United States of America. It's an interesting text to read, and if you haven't read it since Junior High, I certainly encourage you to do so. There are obvious parallels in the deprivations of King George III which may sound uncomfortably apt today, for various reasons.

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Trump Fails To Deliver On Coal Promises

[ Posted Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019 – 16:48 UTC ]

For King Canute, it was the relentless tides that proved greater than royal decree. For Donald Trump, there are many examples of how reality has simply not matched up to his grandiose promises to personally make everything better for his base. The financial devastation hitting farmers is the most obvious, but there's a new contender for "biggest broken promise to people who overwhelmingly voted for Trump," and that is the people employed by the coal industry.

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From The Archives -- Happy Independence Day!

[ Posted Tuesday, July 2nd, 2019 – 16:22 UTC ]

Program Note:

For roughly the next two weeks, columns here at ChrisWeigant.com are going to become rather sporadic. The reason for this interruption in service is that it is Netroots Nation time, once again. This year we'll be in Philadelphia, and hopefully we'll see a whole bunch of the presidential contenders address the convention. So it should be a good one.

But what this also means is that I cannot commit to posting new columns for the entirety of next week. I may get inspired, but the real stumbling block is finding the time to write and edit, so if the past is any prologue, the whole week may go by without any new columns at all. Just to warn everyone in advance. I will try to get some column repeats ready to go before I leave, so at least there will be something to check out here while I'm gone, but I can't even 100 percent promise that, at this point.

What I am going to mightily try to do is to get together a Friday Talking Points for the end of this week. To do this, though, I'm running an old column today and will also be running a repeat on Independence Day as well. Tomorrow, I will likely comment on Trump hijacking the best Washington D.C. celebration day of the year, because it is so odious for him to do so.

In any case, my apologies for the interruption in service over the next two weeks. New columns will likely resume either Monday the 15th of July, or by Tuesday for certain. Thanks to everyone for their patience during my annual pilgrimage to the gathering of the lefty tribes.

Please enjoy the following column, which was written in 2012, long before the term "fake news" began to be bandied about. I mention this only because if I wrote the article today, I would surely be tempted to use this term several times while drafting it.

 

Originally published July 2, 2012

Happy Second of July, everyone! Happy Independence Day!

Now, you may be thinking: "Has Chris gone bonkers? Why is he jumping the gun, two days early?" The answers to these important queries are: No, Chris has not gone any more bonkers than usual; and, in fact, the rest of you are celebrating a fictitious event on a fictitious anniversary date. So there.

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