Thursday, June 12, 2008

Lanier responds

Josh Lanier followed up Saxby Chambliss's attack by being considerate enough to translate what Chambliss really meant for all of us. Got to say this, Lanier doesn't shy away from a fight.

And, in another Lanier note, he was kind enough to email me and discuss some of his reasons for adhering to principle of not accepting any contribution that isn't from an individual or larger than $100, doing so because he believes in the proposed Fair Elections Now Act and said legislation has this principle in it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent lanier promo. If only the guy had some money and a chance in GA

12:28 PM  
Blogger Debra said...

I applaud Josh Lanier for not only talking the talk, but for walking the walk. It takes real courage and dedication for a candidate of the high caliber of Josh Lanier to turn down money from PACs, and accept contributions from only individuals, and no more than $100.00 from any one individual, at that.

I've often heard the saying " we need to be the change we wish to see in the world". With his "Un-campaign" Josh Lanier embodies that change, completely.

12:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, except he ain't gonna win with that strategy. I'd rather have someone whose politics I like get elected than make a stand like his and go down in flames. That's the problem w/ the left. They're afraid to engage in some good old fashioned (metaphorically-speaking) street brawling. You gotta win the election before you can be the change you want to be.

10:09 AM  
Blogger Jmac said...

That's the problem w/ the left. They're afraid to engage in some good old fashioned (metaphorically-speaking) street brawling. You gotta win the election before you can be the change you want to be.

Well, on some level, I can concede this point actually. Having just watched Recount which chronicled the Florida recount in 2000, it was clear there were two distinctly different strategies in play ...

Gore sought to employ legitimate legal challenges to ensure that votes were tallied, while the Bush team recognized that, with a narrow margin of initial victory, hand recounts would hurt him. As a result, they employed a very effective public relations and field strategy and, for the most part, established the narrative and set the pace for the remainder of the recount.

Jim Baker's even quoted as acknowledging that the recount would be a street fight, while Warren Christopher sought to pursue legal strategies.

Now, that's merely a random sidebar, but I don't think those comments are without merit. That said, I, like Debra, applaud Lanier for waging such a principled campaign. He very well may not win, but it's attempting to change the way the game is played and perhaps his efforts will pay off for both parties down the road.

10:33 AM  
Blogger Xon said...

JMac is not surprised to hear that I would blame much of this on democracy itself. But, in any case, whatever the cause, comments like "I'd rather see someone win and THEN do the good things they want to do" show a lack of imagination for the way the world can work. The electoral process always makes us think that our choice is X or Y, right now. But really we have a choice about what we are going to be offered the next time around, if we stand up for principles this time around and refuse to go with X or Y. Sure, X or Y will win with or without us, but maybe next time the parameters of choice won't be so narrow.

I say all of this as a conservative myself, but we face the same temptations. Vote McCain to keep Obama out. But that strategy only legitimates the strategy of nominating a person like McCain in the first place. If conservatives are going to support him despite their dislike, then what reason does the party establishment have to care what conservatives think?

Sometimes it is only the "crazy" person who acts like they don't care about the consequences (short term) that can get things moving long-term.

1:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you want choice then you need to change the political system -- get rid of the electoral college, for instance, get rid of the influence of big money by mandating tv stations give a certain amount of free airtime to candidates (like they do in the UK). Expecting one candidate to fall on his sword in a symbolic gesture may make you feel warm and fuzzy but still leads to you getting screwed. That was Kerry's problem with the Swift Boaters -- he wanted to play nice. What he should have said, IMHO, is "Look, I went to Vietnam and my opponent used privilege to get out of going. End of story." But he didn't. He preferred to be the "bigger man." And so, here we are now, with a war criminal enjoying a second term and leading the country into the ditch.

2:13 PM  
Blogger Josh Lanier said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3:16 PM  
Blogger Josh Lanier said...

I'm glad you're having this conversation. It forces the moral dilemna of reconciling the "need for money" with the bipartisan knowledge that "money in elections is killing democracy."

We've been saying "change the system" since Teddy Roosevelt first proposed public funding of elections in 1907. If you're waiting on someone to do it first, you're waiting on yourself.

3:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agreed. But short of a revolution, the only way to change the system by, say, getting rid of the electoral college, is to do it legislatively. In order to do that, one must get elected in whatever imperfect system we have. The key is, once elected, to not forget why one was elected. Having people who take the moral high ground in such instances but who won't ever get elecetd ensures the system never changes. That is the difference between recognizing the realities of naked political power and how to use it to change things, and simply wishing the world were different. I'd really like to see Lanier as the Senator from Georgia, as we really need people with his politics there. But the strategy he's using to go about gaining the seat will guarantee his failure and that we end up with more of the same Republican bullshit.

4:33 PM  

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