“TEAR GAS IN THE ANDES,” by Christian Parenti
Las Vegas, Nev.
Is the author crazy, or just stupid? The use of nonlethal weapons is good news. In the past the police or military would have simply shot the protesters. They may be unhappy about the use of nonlethal weapons, but they will all live to discuss it.
“THE LINCOLN MUSEUM AND SPRINGFIELD’S SHAME,” by Adrian Brune
Your article is insightful. I would not have known about the race riot in Springfield. However, the implication of your article is that the museum has failed to address the significance of the riot appropriately. I am wondering why you did not provide some insight as to the appropriate remedies. This is damnation through faint praise. Your article leads me to believe that the museum feels that it has addressed the matter and intends to do no more. Is that what you intended? Is that a matter of fact?
“AN OPEN LETTER TO HOWARD DEAN,” by Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich
I suggest Dennis Kucinich’s energy would have been better spent examining his own past failure to vigorously defend the democratic wing of the Democratic Party.
Throughout the 2004 primary he did well. He gained the respect of progressives everywhere by imploring us to “vote our hopes, not our fears.” But then, when the centrist juggernaut of John Kerry seemed to become unstoppable, he relaxed his antiwar pressure so as not to divide the party. If ever there was a time to do the opposite, to insist for inclusion and to stand on principle, even at risk of breaking rank and splitting the party, it was during the summer of 2004, when it became abundantly clear that progressives were “in the tent” in name only.
Yet he advocated no such boldness. He evidenced much hand-wringing and tears, but rather than play hardball with Kerry, he acquiesced to assure his continued seat at the table. In the end, in Boston, he stood side by side with John Kerry and on top of a very prowar democratic platform. Not only was this a colossal strategic mistake–his failure to effectively bring his antiwar sentiment into the platform and to the Kerry camp–it was a colossal failure of his leadership. He risked nothing on our behalf, and we got nothing in return.
He has not acknowledged his role in this, yet he now accuses Howard Dean of the same sort of timid political calculus.
While I agree with his observations regarding Dean, his position would be greatly strengthened if he were to first retreat to his glass house and acknowledge his own vulnerability to the ever-present and ever-daunting political currents. Then and only then could he begin to restore a credible commitment to the muscular defense of progressive values. Should he emerge with a such an awakening, empowered once again by the unwavering vision of the primacy of progressive values over all other values, including those of party loyalty, I would follow him once again.