Clinton-Obama Spat provokes “1789 contribution campaign,” Alan Brody makes call to action after Clintons ignite a political brawl, reflecting on damage to Party and Country, and worrying over how another Clinton presidency might use extraordinary powers Bush has gathered in the White House. Brody calls for 1 million $17.89 donations to Obama (in honor of Constitution’s adoption date) to send a message to political attack dogs Republican and Democratic alike: “We want a new politics, and a President who will return to our Government civility, the rule the of law, and the integrity of our Constitution.”
It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.---Robert Kennedy (during South African visit, 1966)
"I was a precinct captain for Obama in Iowa, and one of the most impressive things his campaign did was send me a thank you gift. It was a copy of the Constitution," says Alan Brody. This act inspired his 1789 Contribution Campaign. Read more below. ---JGR
All throughout 2007, Independents and Democrats in Iowa were saying, "We have many good candidates this year."
In this "first out of the gate" state, with its neighborhood caucuses, the most money and the dirtiest campaign can't win you a victory. You literally have to get out and meet the people. The candidates crisscrossed the state for 11 months. I'd guess that everyone in the state could have had the opportunity to meet any of the major candidates in person at a rally or meeting less than 30 minutes from their home. Here in Iowa City, we had multiple such opportunities.
After close scrutiny, Iowa (96 percent white as the pundits kept complaining) surprised the country by going for Barack Obama. The atmosphere in the Democratic caucuses was civil, even friendly. The results were not a vote against Hillary Clinton or John Edwards, both of whom in Iowa ran clean, fair campaigns. It was just that Iowans were more impressed by Barack Obama and his potentials to restore civility and the rule of law within America, and faith in the country abroad.
I stood up in my caucus for Obama, but coming home that January 3rd evening I was feeling like a "good Democrat." I know how badly eight years of George W. Bush have damaged this country, and so I felt ready to see the Democratic candidate selection process through, and then contribute my dollars and cast my vote for whichever of the three top Democratic candidates would emerge as nominee for November.
A mere three weeks later, I'm having second thoughts. I was one of those diehard supporters of Bill Clinton, through the worst days of the impeachment hearings. While viewing him as a shmuck for going for Monica Lewinsky, I also saw the impeachment for what it was: a sleazy, deeply unpatriotic political maneuver led by the Republican attack machine, by male Republicans who should have known better than to cast the first stone, and by a sensationalist media obsessed with profits at any cost. And I respected Hillary Clinton for how she handled herself. For her intelligence and commitment to public service, I could also forgive her her vaulting ambition and flashes of insincerity, and I had been impressed with how much she had learned and grown since 2000, as she mastered the role of Senator from New York.
Nothing that happened during the Iowa campaigns changed my mind about any of that. But I'm afraid that among those who place power above integrity, desperation brings out the worst. Stunned by their Iowa defeat in a clean and fair campaign, it appears the Clintons and the impressive political machine at their disposal has turned to personal attacks, lies and dirty tricks.
"That's politics," some will say, but I have to say, "Sorry, I'm not looking for four more years of that kind of politics."
I have also begun to ask myself, over the last few days, "Am I willing to entrust the Clintons with all of those massive powers that George W. Bush has accumulated in the White House, over the last eight years of depredations against the Constitution and the rule of law?"
I was a precinct captain for Obama in Iowa, and one of the most impressive things his campaign did was send me a "thank you gift." It was a copy of the Constitution. That's the kind of President I'm willing to entrust with all those powers George W. Bush accumulated to the White House, because I have full confidence in Barack Obama's integrity to dismantle those powers that go beyond the Constitution, and to use wisdom in his exercise of those which, for the genuine security of the country, he needs to retain.
Barack Obama has not approved this message, and I think would not. To do so might appear opportunistic, and I sincerely believe that opportunism was not the reason he and his wife Michelle decided to embark on his candidacy.
But I hope you approve this message, and if you do, I want to ask you to help "send a message" for a new politics. I am this morning sending a "special contribution" to the Obama campaign, in the amount of $17.89, in honor of the 1789 date of adoption of our nation's constitution.
This is an unusual figure that I think almost no one would normally give. So in effect, when you send this amount, you are sending a "1789" message not just to Barack but to the whole Democratic Party, and the Republican attack machines that are revving up their engines towards November. Let's make "1789" a kind of message to all the politicians that we are fed up with the politics of the last two decades, we've had enough... We want a new politics, and a President who will return to our Government civility, the rule of law, and the integrity of our Constitution.
And then I hope you would forward this message to many other people on your email list, and ask them similarly to forward it. I have a dream that, before this ripple dies away, a million contributions of $17.89 could pour into the Obama campaign, and catch the attention of the press, to send a message to all the candidates that our hearts and minds are looking for a new politics for this country.
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