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RamboLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 08:00 PM
Original message
Wesley Clark's Patriot Act-unveils his campaign message in SC
Edited on Mon Sep-22-03 08:04 PM by rmpalmer
Moderators - if this is not LBN - please move to appropriate forum. But since speech was today thought posting here appropriate.

http://slate.msn.com/id/2088740 /

There's a Simpsons episode in which two aliens run for president and effortlessly ape the bromides used by American political candidates, to the delight of assembled crowds. Proclaims one: "We must move forward, not backward. Upward, not forward. And always twirling, twirling, twirling toward freedom!"

That's what retired Gen. Wesley Clark sounded like on the stump Monday at the first event in South Carolina for his incipient presidential campaign. Clark's campaign hasn't coalesced yet into a bona fide organization, structure, and message. It's more like a clever mimicry of what a generic Democratic presidential campaign would look like. At Manny's Restaurant in downtown Charleston, Clark mouths the standard litany of bedrock Democratic issues with a Schwarzeneggerian level of specificity.

<snip>

At the Citadel.
Clark's twin campaign themes are patriotism and public service, and he has to find a way to resolve those themes with his frontal assault on a sitting president during a time of war. He does it by appropriating the word "patriotism" and redefining it for himself. On a campus where students march and chant in lines, not in puppet-brandishing crowds, Clark declares that dissenters are the true patriots: "Patriotism doesn't consist of following ordersnot when you're not in the chain of command. For the American people, for citizens in a democracy, patriotism's highest calling isn't simply following what the administration says. It's not blind obedience. It's not unquestioned adherence. The highest form of patriotism is asking questions. Because democracies run on dialogue. Democracies run on discussion. No administration has the right to tell Americans that to dissent is disloyal, and to disagree is unpatriotic.

"We need a new spirit, a new kind of, a new American patriotism in this country. his new spirit of patriotism should be dedicated to the protection of our rights and liberties. In times of war or peace, democracy requires dialogue, disagreement, and the courage to speak out. And those who do it should not be condemned but be praised."


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kang Donating Member (254 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 08:06 PM
Response to Original message
1. You left out the best part of the article
and the one main reason some people are supporting Clark over Dean (although they might like both).

<snip>

No other Democratic candidate, not even John Kerry, could stand in front of two 75 mm howitzers on the quad of a nearly all-male military college and defend the antiwar left without looking faintly ridiculous. Wesley Clark is Howard Dean with flags.
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RamboLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 08:10 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Thanks for posting - I didn't want the moderators to
:spank: me for exceeding the 4 paragraph rule. Too early in the week for getting my DU :spank:

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Donna Zen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 08:16 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Ah_yes, that's the beauty of it!
A liberal who everyone...including many on the left think is a what? Moderate...hahahahahha And, actually the southern conservative voter agrees that speaking out is important...they just hated the Dem messangers. Josh Green called him a Truman Democrat; it will be a trip watching Wesley "give em hell." Now if only we can refrain from eating our own.
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RamboLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 08:22 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. I hope I see film of him at the Citadel
I want to see the reaction. Do they think him the enemy now? Or do the cadets admire his service? Or are they going nuts trying to figure out what to think? :evilgrin:
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Eloriel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 10:55 PM
Response to Reply #1
8. Wesley Clark is
Howard Dean with flags, and a lot of Dean's ideas. I do hope Dan has quit sharing ideas with his ole friend Wes.

Eloriel
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 03:41 AM
Response to Reply #8
14. Amazes me how many Americans long for an Il Duce, or a Caudillo
I guess many Democrats are not immune to the intoxicating appeal of militarism. I am not surprised that Clark is the preferred choice of white males, many of whom never served in the armed forces.

Clark's military record is one of callous disregard for civilian casualties. Having Clark wrap himself in the banner of peacemaking is only the latest trick from a Democratic Establishment that supports the war in Iraq, and has little intention to let go of Iraq's oil, or relinquishing auctioning off Iraq's resources to Wall Street.
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dfong63 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 11:19 PM
Response to Reply #1
10. Clark is not Howard Dean, with or without flags
first off, Howard Dean is a doctor trained to save lives, while Wesley Clark is a soldier trained to kill. Clark fought a war that left behind a radioactive battlefield. that is a war crime.

Dean has a political track record of being elected SIX TIMES as governor, while Clark has never run for office.

Dean has been a democrat for decades, while Clark only admitted he was a dem 2 weeks ago. Clark voted for Nixon, Reagan, and probably Bush I (says he was converted by Clinton). Clark fundraised for the repubs as recently as 2 years ago, and says he "would have been a republican" if Karl Rove had returned his phone calls.

Dean is a true blue democrat; Clark is a phony who is unfit to lead the party.
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fjc Donating Member (700 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 09:38 AM
Response to Reply #10
29. Bon Appetit
What was that someone said about not eating our own?
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 10:11 AM
Response to Reply #29
31. Wesley Clark, Dem come lately, is our own?
You're sure? Because your life, the life of your children, and the future of your country depends on it.

But, by all means, salute and follow.
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fjc Donating Member (700 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 10:13 AM
Response to Reply #31
32. I'll follow
if he's at the top of the ticket. Fall in love, as Clinton said, than fall in line. It's important to replace Bush.
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davidinalameda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 11:51 AM
Response to Reply #10
35. blah blah blah
he's a military man who has sworn to uphold and protect the constitution of the United States

I don't think that the military operates in the country without civilian leadership calling a lot of the shots, so to speak.

I bet a few people on here voted for Reagan and maybe even Bush.

You make him sound like Ming the Merciless or some other tyrant. He was doing his job in the Army. I bet a lot of people in the former Yugoslavia are pretty damn happy that he did his job. I think the reception that Clinton received there this week shows that the US did a good thing.
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SayitAintSo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 11:46 PM
Response to Reply #1
11. good way of putting it ....
;)
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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 04:31 AM
Response to Reply #1
17. "Wesley Clark is Howard Dean with flags."
I don't know if it's true, but oh fuck, is that righteously funny.
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msanger Donating Member (737 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 08:36 PM
Response to Original message
5. The heart of the beast...
if a dem can go to the Citadel, and talk to cadets about patriotism meaning dissent, then he has got something going.

I'm donating time and money to Dean, but I like the way Clark can wrap real patriotism in the flag.

Wouldn't it be grand if the Flag started to stand for discussion, disagreement, and democracy. Instead of standing for whatever fearless leader says!
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JohnOneillsMemory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 10:28 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. The flag did stand for dissent from tyranny. IMPEACH KING GEORGE.
On the topic of Democrats dealing with the 'defense of America' issue: The best way to deal with the hyper-nationalist modern Patriot voter is to use that energy and emotion and channel it in the right direction. That is, towards reverance for the US Constitution, Bill of Rights, Government by We the People. Soldiers take an oath to defend the Constitution from enemies foreign and domestic so indict the Bush/Cheney petro-Nazis for being enemies of the American people. Detail their constitutional transgressions. Every democrat campaign rally should have members in revolutionary costume and signs declaring 'Impeach King George.'BRING BACK THE TRICORN HAT AND DRUM AND BUGLE CORPS IF NECESSARY! This heritage and imagery shouldn't be left in the corrupt hands of Republicans and President's Day appliance sales!!
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corgigrrl Donating Member (43 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 01:14 AM
Response to Reply #5
13. Re the Flag: I like the way Dean has the courage to say
That the flag does NOT belong to Jerry Falwell or the right wing or Rush Limbuagh, the flag belongs to all of us.

I think it's pretty damn safe to wrap yourself in the flag at the Citadel.

And I'm disgusted that we're turning our party -- and all the activists who worked so hard in it this past year for various candidates and the TRUTH against George Bush -- over to a Rep. who espouses a few socially liberal ideas

It grows more putrescent to me by the day. Disgusting. What's the point of even having a Dem Party folks, if we're going to shill the whole thing this way?
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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 04:36 AM
Response to Reply #13
18. Winning is the point
We gotta win this one, corgi. Period. Waaaaaaaaaaay too much on the line. And yeah, it sucks.
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Mackay Donating Member (538 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 05:04 AM
Response to Reply #18
20. Clark is not the only Dem who can win
I find his candidature to be more potentially divisive than Dean's. Dean is not a liberal but he has succeeded in winning the hearts and minds of liberals such as myself. And until Clark came into the race, Dean was making significant gains among moderates and even disillusioned conservatives (which is why liberals are backing him).

I don't see Clark inspiring liberals who are generally politically active people. Many of us are worried that he will not be a significant improvement. Granted, he can't be worse. However, there are a lot of issues to be taken care of in 2004.

The only real strength of having Clark be the Dem candidate is that supposedly he can beat Bush. And this is only because he might appeal to the same people who liked Bush in his flight suit. I haven't seen any other arguments as to why he would be better than the rest.

Sure maybe Hulk Hogan can beat Andr the Giant... but is this WWF? Do we only care about who can win the most easily? OR are we willing to fight harder and put a better candidate in the white house?

"Dean with flags"? Sticking flags on Dean would not make him any better than he already is. Is this election going to be about who can wave the flag better?
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 05:07 AM
Response to Reply #20
21. Clark is the Democratic version of Arnold Schwarzenegger
An action figure with little substance behind the military panache.
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Mackay Donating Member (538 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 05:42 AM
Response to Reply #21
22. I feel the same way
But it looks like the packaging is going to keep a lot of people fighting for Clark until the end.

Sort of like G.I. Joe... wow, you had to have that toy for Christmas. The commercials had you all excited about the real American hero. You open up the box and play with him a few times... but then ultimately how rewarding and engaging was he? Certainly not a toy which encouraged development on any level.

Collectively, as a nation, if Clark is elected, sometime after Christmas we are going to experience a collective disillusionment once he is out of the box.
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R Hickey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 07:08 AM
Response to Reply #22
23. I disagree with the Clark bashers.
Clark looks a lot more electable than Dean. Let us not again make the 2000 mistake of over-estimating intelligence of the voters. We need a clear victory, not a squeeker, and I'm not taking any chances on Dean or Kerry as long as we have Clark.

If the Bush forces sabatoge and 'bring down' Clark's plane, or stop him with some smear, then I'd vote for Dean or Kerry.

Personally, I like the most left-leaning candidates best, but I don't want us to lose this election. Clark looks electable, the Bush people look afraid of him, and that's good enough for me.

Clark has charisma, like Arnold, and may attract a lot of ignorant backers, but Clark is no 'Arnold.'

If Clark were an 'Arnold,' then he would be espousing right-wing values instead of Democratic ones. "Benedict" Arnold is practicing a 'liberal life-style' while being backed by Bush's neo-cons. Arnold is a charismatic hypocrite, while Clark is meerly a chrismatic moderate Democrat.
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Chico Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 07:26 AM
Response to Reply #23
25. I'd have to agree with you there
My sister's boyfriend, who is normally VERY stand-offish when it comes to politics, was entranced by Clark, and all of a sudden wanted to get involved. Now that said something huge to me. What did he think about Dean? Didn't connect.
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Chico Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 07:28 AM
Response to Reply #22
26. Did you look at Clark's background?
Comparing his credentials with Arnold? clark is on a completely different plane.
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Chico Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 07:30 AM
Response to Reply #21
27. I don't recall Arnold being well educated
One candidate gets bashed for serving in the military. Another gets bashed for not. Can we make up our minds here?
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Chico Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 07:21 AM
Response to Reply #20
24. I love Howard Dean's message
But seeing him in the debates thus far has really frightened me. Does he really have what it takes? I'm not so sure.
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Mandate My Ass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 10:36 PM
Response to Original message
7. Ahem
Edited on Mon Sep-22-03 10:53 PM by Monica_L
He does it by appropriating the word "patriotism" and redefining it for himself.

No, BushCo appropriated the word and now Clark, it seems, is finally explaining (gosh I could just weep with relief) how the word and the concept has been defiled by the Bushies. :thumbsup:

Edited to add Clark's additional remarks on this topic:

democracies run on dialogue. Democracies run on discussion. No administration has the right to tell Americans that to dissent is disloyal, and to disagree is unpatriotic.

"We need a new spirit, a new kind of, a new American patriotism in this country. This new spirit of patriotism should be dedicated to the protection of our rights and liberties. In times of war or peace, democracy requires dialogue, disagreement, and the courage to speak out. And those who do it should not be condemned but be praised."

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Dhalgren Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 11:11 PM
Response to Original message
9. This is the kind of message and venue
that Clark can utilize better than any other candidate - from either party. I am not on the Clark bandwagon, but I am greatly encouraged by this effort.
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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 12:48 AM
Response to Original message
12. Well, I love Clarks comments...
I don't know what I think of Clark but he is certainly saying exactly what I want to hear with that kind of definition of partiotism.
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rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 04:06 AM
Response to Original message
15. so i guess Clark opposes the Patriot Act?
first thing in office he'll restore citizens protection against unreasonable search and seizure (4th amendment)?
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 04:14 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. There is nothing in the Slate article about Clark opposing PATRIOT Act
Edited on Tue Sep-23-03 05:03 AM by IndianaGreen
Although Clark does use the term "patriotism" ad nauseum, spinning it in ways that boggle the mind.

I think Clark should read Emma Goldman's classic essay on Patriotism (and so should we):

Patriotism, a Menace to Liberty
by Emma Goldman, 1911


WHAT is patriotism? Is it love of one's birthplace, the place of childhood's recollections and hopes, dreams and aspirations ? Is it the place where, in childlike naivete, we would watch the fleeting clouds, and wonder why we, too, could not run so swiftly? The place where we would count the milliard glittering stars, terror-stricken lest each one "an eye should be," piercing the very depths of our little souls? Is it the place where we would listen to the music of the birds, and long to have wings to fly, even as they, to distant lands? Or the place where we would sit at mother's knee, enraptured by wonderful tales of great deeds and conquests ? In short, is it love for the spot, every inch representing dear and precious recollections of a happy, joyous, and playful childhood?

If that were patriotism, few American men of today could be called upon to be patriotic, since the place of play has been turned into factory, mill, and mine, while deafening sounds of machinery have replaced the music of the birds. Nor can we longer hear the tales of great deeds, for the stories our mothers tell today are but those of sorrow, tears, and grief.

What, then, is patriotism? "Patriotism, sir, is the last resort of scoundrels," said Dr. Johnson. Leo Tolstoy, the greatest anti-patriot of our times, defines patriotism as the principle that will justify the training of wholesale murderers; a trade that requires better equipment for the exercise of man-killing than the making of such necessities of life as shoes, clothing, and houses; a trade that guarantees better returns and greater glory than that of the average workingman.

http://www.connix.com/~harry/emma.htm
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PennyLane Donating Member (240 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 05:01 AM
Response to Reply #16
19. First Read.......
Very profound and timely too!
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GCP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 07:42 AM
Response to Original message
28. The article is a complete hatchet job by someone who obviously hates Clark
"There's a Simpsons episode in which two aliens run for president and effortlessly ape the bromides used by American political candidates, to the delight of assembled crowds. Proclaims one: "We must move forward, not backward. Upward, not forward. And always twirling, twirling, twirling toward freedom!

That's what retired Gen. Wesley Clark sounded like on the stump Monday at the first event in South Carolina for his incipient presidential campaign. Clark's campaign hasn't coalesced yet into a bona fide organization, structure, and message. It's more like a clever mimicry of what a generic Democratic presidential campaign would look like. At Manny's Restaurant in downtown Charleston, Clark mouths the standard litany of bedrock Democratic issues with a Schwarzeneggerian level of specificity.


snip

" The point at which I start to believe this is actually an elaborate and inspired parody of a presidential campaign event is when Clark picks up a baby and slowly, deliberately kisses it, once on each cheek. He's subtly mocking the clich while simultaneously embracing it, and the crowd eats it up."

The guy doesn't even try to be objective. He's either a Bush ass-kisser or a Naderite.
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Merlin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 09:45 AM
Response to Reply #28
30. Clark's rhetoric undermines the author's prejudicial views.
I prefer Dean, and believe Dean will be President, and Clark will be VP.

However, nobody should dis Clark's rhetoric here. It is gutsy and extraordinary--all the more so being delivered at a bastion of right wing tutelage.
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PATRICK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 10:23 AM
Response to Reply #30
33. Looking hard for anything negative here
it must be in the ear of the beholder. His speech sounded good for a neophyte and a stump speech is different from other public speeches. And it was eloquent and intelligent compared to some smarmier rants I have heard from seasoned pols of high standing.

Redefining the military stance is absolutely important to drawing the line and offering an alternative from Clark's experience and point of view.

He's no Schwarzenegger. Thank God. None of our candidates are that dumb and artifical- or politically incompetent. If all bashes turned out to give such a good impression of their target I would say "bring 'em on!"
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 11:27 AM
Response to Reply #33
34. We have a very good crew of candidates.
There isn't one I totally favor, but any one of them would be a reasonable choice (hey, even Sharpton and Lieberman). Whoever gets in, how about appointing Braun to fix the health care mess (I liked her plan best).
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