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crispini Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:43 AM
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David Van Os on the election & future of Democratic party.
Sorry, no link, arrived via email, thought ya'll might enjoy it. Some good stuff here.

Nov.5, 2004

My Statement.

Democrats, this is what your recent nominee for the Texas Supreme Court has to say in response to a lot of caterwaling that has been going on in the email lists and in the national media.

I implore you all to wake up and realize that the theocratists now control every branch of the national government and that their plans are much worse than anything we envisioned 4 years ago. They are serious and ruthless about it. We cannot beat them by trying to appease them, placate them, or reason with them. To them all such attempts by us simply prove to them that we still under-estimate them and that we are still therefore weak and easily rolled under. We must be a resistance party, nothing less. A fierce give-no-quarter resistance party. Anything less betrays the millions of Americans who are feeling a new cold chill run up their spines today.

Tell me one way, one single way, that the Bush regime has done anything to sincerely compromise or seek common ground with us over the last 4 years and I will tell you that you are blind and deaf because there is no such example. It is just going to be worse now. In fact Bush and Cheney are both now proclaiming a mandate. C'mon folks, you cannot be bipartisan with a rattlesnake. C'mon folks, you cannot expect compromise unless you are demanding it from a position of strength. And we are not in a position of strength because they own every branch of the federal government and they intend to use their control to seek their way or the highway. We have got to embrace a resistance strategy. Meaning, that we fiercely oppose everything they want to do and use every possible maneuver and tactic to slow them down and cost them as much time and grief as possible. That is what the R's did to Bill Clinton, and look where they are now and where we are now.

We don't have the luxury of any "we're better than them" namby-pamby foolishness - they are out to gut the Constitution, folks! Wake up and smell the roses! Are we going to resist and fight them over their plan to destroy the dreams of 1776 and 1787 and 1865, or are we going to go quietly into the night with the smug satisfaction that "we are better people than them" while the Constitution dies after a too-short 217-year life span? It has got to be partisan guerilla war now, folks. We didn't choose this, but it is thrust upon us now, and no amount of wishful thinking about being able to placate them with gracious concession speeches is going to change things.

We have got to slow them down with unrelenting partisan political resistance. Haven't you learned yet folks that these people are deadly serious about running the show and doing everything their way? Haven't you learned yet that being nice and/or taking the "high road" does not get us anywhere? Give me liberty or give me death and I mean it in deadly earnest, folks. I will live under the Constitution that my daddy at age 19 fought to preserve in France and in the Ardennes and in Germany in 1944-1945 or I will not live. I will not compromise on the preservation of that Constitution just to accomodate its enemies in the hope of winning an election or two, if in order to win an election or two I must give in or pander to the enemies of the Constitution. If the Democratic Party does not have the stomach to reject compromise with this madness and stand and fight it with ferocity and a backbone of steel, then the Democratic Party will die and it will deserve to die. And I for one will be ready to replace it with whatever it takes to stand and fight for the Constitution. WHATEVER it takes.

C'mon folks, we are the national descendants of farmers and shopkeepers who stood up on Lexington Green in 1775 and got mowed down by the Redcoat ranks of the Empire, but who by damn did not flinch! And whose courage inspired the birth of a revolution and a new vision for all of humanity. We are the national descendants of numberless individuals who sacrificed in numberless ways for freedom of speech, for freedom of dissent, for democracy, for the freedom to believe and to NOT BELIEVE, for everything our fathers or grandfathers willingly bled for in order to put an end to Nazism and Fascism and totalitarianism forever.

If you don't think what is taking place in America today has happened before with ghastly consequences, go check a book out of the library and read in detail about the National Socialist Party's maneuvering of its way into unchecked power in Germany in 1933 and 1934. If you tell me that you don't see parallels in the Bush Republican Party's strategies and actions since 2000, I will tell you that you are a liar. Wake up! We need Democratic leaders who will stop worrying about their personal comfort zones and who will dammit rediscover the steel fiber that built this nation and dammit stand and fight and resist this madness. We don't need Democratic leaders whose response to the madness is to try to appease it by choosing an anti-choice Senator as the next Senate Minority Leader. Tom Daschle was such an appeaser that he made Neville Chamberlain look like Winston Churchill - but they went out and viciously brought him down anyway didn't they! Did the appeasement strategy that Gore and Daschle and Gephardt adopted in December-January 2000-2001 placate Bush? Hell no! Did the sell-out of the Congressional Black Caucus (and of hundreds of thousands of disenfranchised African-American citizens of Florida) on January 6, 2001, gain any slowdown of Bush's agenda? Hell no! Did the Daschle-Gephardt mush-mouthed strategy win us anything in the 2002 elections? Did John Kerry's calculated sellout on Iraq in the cynical construction of a scripted campaign message win the election for him? Hell no! Did John Kerry's concession-speech sellout of citizens who waited in line for hours to vote in Ohio keep Bush or Cheney from declaring a mandate for their drive for theocracy? Hell no, they did it within 24 hours! Haven't we tried appeasement enough? Folks, haven't you read your history about Chamberlain's attempts to appease Hitler? Haven't we learned over and over that hunger for power cannot be appeased, but that attempts to appease it only make it more hungry?

Wake up folks! Get out of your comfort zones. This is for real. We have got to resist, resist, resist. It will be hard, it will require sacrifice, it will require the willingness to be a target for an avalanche of right-wing hatred, but it is what the times that we find ourselves in require of us. We did not choose these times but we cannot wish them away. We did not choose these times but dammit we can rise to the challenge that is presented to us. Like it or not, we have no choice.

We need political leaders who will resist, who will fight, who know what is at stake and understand the gravity. The world has been here before. In 1933 the Christian Democrats tried to placate the new Chancellor of Germany, whose National Socialist Party still had less than a majority in the
parliament, by joining a coalition government with him. After their accomodation with him gave him the majority government that he needed, he rewarded them by easily exploiting their demonstrated weakness and ploughing them under. You know the rest of the story.

We must demand of our Democratic leaders that they resist, not roll over; the fate of not only America but the world may be hanging in the balance. We must find Democratic leaders who will resist the madness, and I don't mean Hillary Clinton, who has used her every opportunity in the Senate to give Bush everything he has demanded for his murderous and criminal war on Iraq.

In the meantime we must demand that Democratic office-holders resist, resist, and resist. And we must ourselves resist at every opportunity. Below is an email letter that I sent to a religious-right preacher who emailed me through my campaign website demanding to know if I was a Christian if I wanted his vote. A few days later I used the same response as in my email in a debate with Scott Brister on a Christian-right talk radio show, in response to the moderator's and Brister's demagoguery over my opposition to judges putting the Ten Commandments on courtroom walls. This is an example of resistance as opposed to appeasement. In the debate with Brister, this little speech of mine, the opposite of pandering, put an end to the demagoguery. It surely did not gain me any votes from the right-wing audience, but it damn sure left my enemies speechless and it damn sure cheered up some Democrats, whom I later learned had been listening to the show to see how I would perform, with the knowledge that we don't have to run and hide. This I offer you as one small example of resistance as opposed to appeasement. The subject happened to be separation of church and state this time, but it might be any subject. Regardless of the subject, the point is to use every opportunity to resist and stop the namby-pamby appeasement. We can all find opportunities to do similarly, and we must take advantage of every one.

I did this publicly on a radio show with a hostile audience, just as I spoke ferociously in opposition to the corporate takeover of our court system in interviews with hostile newspaper editors. The "Christian radio" moderator surely didn't like what I had to say, and Scott Brister surely didn't like what I had to say, and the newspaper editors who called me unqualified for judicial office because I am a "populist liberal" didn't like what I had to say, but they all went away from the respective encounters with just a little less confidence, just a little less smugness, in the knowledge that they could not intimidate me into pandering or equivocation. Guess what, I didn't melt, but to the contrary grew stronger with every such encounter. As we all will, if we will dammit stand and fight and insist that our Democratic Party and its representatives stand and fight and stop the appeasement!

By the way, the recipient of my below email responded by apologizing all over himself to try to assure me that he didn't mean to offend me. It unnerved him to get a resistant reply that he surely did not expect. In my experience that is what schoolyard bullies always did when they made fun of me for being about 3 feet tall in the first grade and I punched them in the stomach in return. They turned and ran. Extrapolate to the national scene. We are being intimidated by a gigantic schoolyard bully in the form of the Bush regime. If we try to appease him he will just keep bullying. John Kerry's response to Bush's years of lies and deceit and bullying was to stand up in front of the Democratic Convention in Boston and refuse to punch Bush in the stomach over any of it. John Kerry's response to the SwiftBoat liars was to whine and beg Bush to not be so mean. John Kerry's response to an inappropriate question about faith from the repugnant Bob Schieffer was to pander (instead of stand up for the Constitution and demand that Schieffer withdraw such an inappropriate question). John Kerry's response to the disenfranchisement of Ohio and theft of another election was to throw in the towel as quickly as possible. The Senate Democratic caucus's apparent response to the ghastly onset of theocracy in America is to select an anti-choice Senator to be of all things the leader of the Democratic Party in the U.S. Senate. Come on, folks, the above are all examples of pandering, appeasement, accomodationism, and other synonymns of the same thing - none of which equates to the spirit of resistance that is called for, and all of which did and will lead to nothing but contempt from Bush and Rove for the lily-livered weakness that they represent. All of these are examples of actions that simply feed the beast's lust for more power because they all demonstrate to the beast that its lies, deceit, tricks, bullying, and intimidation will continue to get it whatever it wants. Here's my real-life example of resistance instead of appeasement --


I decline to pander to your narrow-mindedness in exchange for a vote. How dare you presume to judge your fellow man on the basis of your own religious preference? How dare you proclaim that in the United States of America one religion (your own, naturally) is the only worthy one? How dare you proclaim that you will evaluate the candidacies of those offering themselves for public service on the basis of a religious test? How dare you flaunt the principle of our Constitution that "there shall be no religious test for public office"!

Sir, you and your kind seek to trample upon one of the cardinal reasons for the creation of the United States of America. You and your kind seek to establish a theocracy based upon, naturally, your own religious doctrine. Would you still be hostile to the concept of separation of government and religion if you found yourself living under the Taliban and required to obey
Islamic Sharia Law or die? I do not know why I ask the latter question, because your mind will be unwilling to explore what that could mean for you.

I oppose your efforts to destroy the American Constitututional republic through the establishment of theocracy. I oppose it now, tomorrow, the next day, and every day after that. How is that for the answer to your question?

David Van Os
The Constitution Forever

P.S. I am Jewish. My ancestors were God's conduit for delivery of the Ten Commandments to the world. I grew up learning about the Judaic foundations of Western moral principles and I understand those foundations, and live those moral principles, far better than you ever could. I understand religious persecution because my ancestors suffered it incessantly at the hands of your ancestors. My grandparents emigrated to this country for the precise reason of fleeing from the religious intolerance that you espouse. For my grandparents, arrival in this wonderful country of freedom of thought and opinion was the realization of a dream that many generations of their forebears had only been able to dream of with no hope of fruition. For the sake of all who have come before me and all whom I hope will come after me, I shall with my every breath oppose your efforts to destroy this freedom through the establishment of the intolerant theocracy that you seek.

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Moonbeam_Starlight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:48 AM
Response to Original message
I can see now why he was one of the Dean Dozen here in TX. I am so sad he lost.

I love this line: "you cannot be bipartisan with a rattlesnake."

I am going to start using it and attributing David van Os. I'm sure he won't mind.

God he rocks hard.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 01:38 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. Most Dean Dozen are that way....feisty....can't imagine why.
Ours here in Florida were that way as well.
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camby Donating Member (411 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:54 AM
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2. hear, hear!!!
If we don't think the Constitution is worth fighting for, then we don't deserve to be called Americans. It's about time we got angry. And yes, it's going to get a hell of a lot worse before it gets better. But it will never get better if we keep trying to hug the center of the road as the mainstream party keeps pulling further to the right.
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pop goes the weasel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 01:07 AM
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3. excellent
I hope he will run for Senate in 2006. Any idea if he will? We will need a firebrand.
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yellowdogintexas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 01:50 AM
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5. makes me proud to be a true blue Texas Democrat!
I received a certificate of appreciation from my county chairman today in the mail, along with a thank you letter.

David Van Os, I sure do hope you run again so I can vote for you!

10 years or so ago, the then minister of my church preached a sermon on the insidiousness of theocratic principles. He compared it to Nazi Germany, and I will never forget this one line:

"And don't you think for one minute it couldn't happen here in this America that we all love so much. Don't even think it, because it COULD happen here, it is up to us to NOT LET IT HAPPEN"

God I miss his sermons.

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Andromeda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 01:59 AM
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6. Great letter, really moving
and SO true! We need to fight back -- HARD!
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Selteri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 02:02 AM
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7. My letter to my Congresswoman
Dear Congresswoman Kaptur,

With the reelection of George Bush and his open disdain for human rights, women's rights and state's rights and his facetious claim of a mandate from the people originating from a 51% margin of the vote

In these times where the rights and freedoms of American Citizens are in dire peril. Compromise has only made this administration stronger. Turning the other cheek has only brought a reaction akin to a shark that smells blood in the water.

The democratic party has evolved to become the representation of the fiscal conservative, scientifically progressive and the believers in social equality. You stand as my representative to protect my rights and the rights of others.

This past election your history and stature as a protector of civil and women's rights earned my vote and my vocal support. Now I ask you to stand for my rights, do not compromise and allow this oppressive, power hungry administration to run roughshod over our rights and spend our money while blaming the democratic party for it's failings.

This regime has resurrected terms that were best left in the 1930s such as 'deviant artist' to describe anyone who's artwork does not fit into their narrow view of social acceptability. They have taken this country down a dangerous path that will lead to a slippery slope.

As a voting American citizen and a strong believer in the Constitution and the bill of rights, I beg you to stand strongly for me and my rights lest we all fall down this slippery slope that will only lead to the inevitable downfall of freedom in America.

Thomas Jefferson once said that religion and government cannot be one in the same, his warning was one that have been directly visible in example of this administration that calls for unity while forcing division, that prays for peace while starting wars and claims to wish only to protect us while eroding our freedoms while failing to secure our boarders.

I do not wish to give up my freedoms for the illusion of security.
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crispini Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:47 PM
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8. for the Sunday crowd
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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 01:11 PM
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9. WOW!
I'm glad he is on our side!
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janx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 01:25 PM
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10. kick! This is what it's about. I hope a lot of people read this. n/t
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CaptainCorc Donating Member (131 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 03:52 PM
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11. I agree with his sentiment, no doubt about that...
...but what I would love to see is someone dispassionately dismantle the fundies argument that the Founders and Framers never intended to bar "God" from influencing the government of the United States. It seems to me they interpret the Constitution as barring the government from restricting "God" and have managed to formulate arguments to support this position.

At this point I must pause and assure you that I am no expert on Constitutional law or theology or anything else for that matter. What I hope to do here is niggle some people smarter than I in a direction which I THINK could bear fruit.

Mr. Van Os quite correctly points to the "religious test" clause as proof of his (and our) position, but I think you'll agree with me that, while having this clause is a protection of sorts, it certainly cannot stop people from casting their votes based on religious convictions. There's nothing we can do about that other than explode our heads in vain arguments about the separation of church and state. I say vain because there is no way to stop people from conducting their own private religious tests for public office. I myself am increasingly convinced that one of the reasons for Gore's defeat in 2000 was that he was running with a Jew. This is a hateful thought to me, but I do believe it.

So we can't stop them from voting their religious convictions and therefore there is a de facto religious test going on in this country in spite of the Constitution and we're pretty much stuck with it.

Separation of church and state based on the establishment clause is a thorny argument too due to the precise nature of the wording. It does nothing to ward off the imposition of religion on government, it only protects religions FROM government. This, I believe, is a strict constructionist view.

BUT and here I'm finally getting to the point I really want to make and I'm sorry it's happening way down in the post after I've lost the attention of most readers--I think there is an exceptionally good argument against fundies and constructionists contained in the preamble to the Constitution. Does not the preamble describe the intent of the document? And is not intent a large component of the law? If the Founders INTENDED to incorporate this wondrous "Judeo/Christian philosophy" into our government, wouldn't they have said so in the preamble? Isn't the absence--the CAREFUL absence moreover--of any such sentiment indicative of their desire to maintain a government free of religious influence? Isn't this legal proof of their desire? I would argue that it is, but would an ACLU lawyer argue on that basis too? I would also argue that the purposes they did state: to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity--those purposes are more truly served by allowing full freedom of worship while at the same time keeping religion out of government.

If I am stating the obvious here I ask for your indulgence. As I said, I am no expert on the law--when I was young I didn't realize there would come a time when a guy would have to be a lawyer and a theologian to fend off religious zealots. I wish I had known the time was coming--I would have prepared myself better.

We need to outflank these sons of bitches with the LAW...not philosophical arguments. They don't give a rat's ass about our philosophy. They can be forced to respect the law.

In closing I wish to state that I view this religious encroachment as the most serious threat to our government since the British burned down the White House in 1812. I would dearly love to have a part in the struggle to repel these fundies. If someone can help me get into that fight, I would very much appreciate a PM. Thanks.
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