May 3, 2007

I like it… but maybe I’m dreaming…

Posted in Campaign, Gore, Iraq, U.S. Attorneys at 1:30 pm by saracallow

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2003688838_snoquillman02.html

Admittedly, I look to news which supports what I want to hear… especially in this case.  And maybe it’s grasping at straws, but I’m holding on until it’s absolutely clear that it won’t come to be…  So we’ll see.  Barack, you’ll have to wait a little longer for my check…

On Attorney Firings

I’m the first person to admit to supporting the idea that we should “plant a Bush in Texas” – or whatever the latest bumper sticker says.  I’m also sure that the firings of the U.S. Attorneys were politically motivated.  What I’m not sure about is whether I agree that is the problem here.

U.S. Attorneys are part of the bureaucracy, housed in the executive branch.  Ultimately, they are responsible to the White House.  There has been an ongoing debate regarding the administrative component of our government and its professionalism vs political status almost since it has been created.  Do we want a professional bureaucracy, one that borders on technocracy – or is it meant to be a political institution?  I actually think I would argue for the later – and that leaves me with the question of whether these firings were problematic or not. 

According to the Constitution, the president “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.”  The modern bureaucracy came into being around the time of the New Deal, in part to help deal with the magnitude of this task.  It is my opinion that if we have a completely professional bureaucracy, then the election of a President doesn’t make a very big impact.  The bureaucracy should reflect the views of the President.  It is his constitutional power to see that laws are faithfully executed, and to determine what deserves highest priority.  We elected the President.  Even if we didn’t personally cast our vote for him (and not getting into the correctness of the Bush v. Gore decision) – he is the President of the U.S.  The rights and duties accorded him under the constitution are his.  And the politicization of the bureaucracy should go along with that.  I certainly want the implementation and faithful execution of the law to change and reflect the politics of our next elected leader (I guess that somewhat assumes a party change in leadership of course!).  Complete professionalism would largely prevent that.  Just because the choice of president in the election and the actions of the administration don’t reflect my politics doesn’t make it constitutionally wrong. 

That being said, I don’t understand why they don’t just own up to the truth.  This was a calculated political move.  Executed poorly.  The attorneys received no warning, and that clearly is not appropriate.  Gonzales appears to be lying.  And it all just seems like another perfect example of the willingness of the administration to hide and distort the truth.  That, in my opinion, should be the bigger story here.  The implications of the Bush presidency on  the transparency of the executive branch towards the public may outlive and prove even more troubling than the legacy of Iraq War.  Hard to imagine, but possible.  At least, that’s my opinion.  Now I just need to figure out how to put it on a bumper sticker.

March 31, 2007

Dear Gore . . .

Posted in Campaign, environment, global warming, Gore at 3:13 pm by saracallow

Dear Vice Pesident Gore,

I have a bit of a problem, and I really believe that you can help.  I’m an avid follower of politics and consumer of the news.  But I just can’t get excited about the race for 2008.  In fact, I am pretty sure that come the primaries, I still won’t feel enthusiastic about my vote.  Anyone who knows me well can tell you, this would not be right.  I am a passionate person who cares deeply about our world.  I know the issues, read about the candidates, detest the current situation, and want to see things changed.  I want to feel strongly about this race, but I don’t.  I will go to the poles and vote, to be sure – but I would like to care so much that I spend time convincing my fellow citizens to agree with my choice.  I want to help change the world, but I need your help.

The truth is, you have a moral obligation to enter this race, and until you do, I will have a hard time getting strongly behind any existing candidate.  Yes, I said moral obligation.  I know that is a pretty strong statement, laden with values…  and I’m not someone who wants to impose my value system on others.  But it’s not really my value system, it’s yours… so it seems reasonable to hold you to it.  I watched your movie, and you told us that global warming is a moral issue.  You said we had an ethical obligation to act.  Well, you have an obligation here as well.

You know what else?  You talked about your child, his accident, and your renewed perspective on life.  Well guess what?  I have children too.  I don’t want to leave them with a world on the brink of disaster – facing storms, floods, drought, famine, disease that we have never seen before.   This is the issue facing the world today – and we have you to thank for helping bring it to the forefront of America’s conscience.

You have done so much for the cause, and maybe we have 2000 to thank for that.  But think how different things could have been if you did all this from the White House?  Yes, I know, you couldn’t have done exactly this from the White House….  But maybe you could have done more.  And let’s not even get into the war in Iraq, and the War of Terror…  just think about what you could have changed as far as environmental policy…    (At least you’d have been there to help get Live Earth on the mall…  climate change is still today being called a partisan issue?  That might be the most depressing thing I’ve heard.)

The reality is, Congress only acts when the majority of congressional districts agree on something.  This doesn’t happen often, and for that I believe we should actually be thankful…  Madison’s plan was well-designed.  But when big change is necessary, there must be a public advocate… a change agent.  Someone to convince us all.  You have spent the last 7 years invigorating the citizenship, and the world, warming them to the “warmth” – and yet, every time you spoke publicly, was there a news corp around?  Were your words published nationwide, tv cameras trained on your every move?  What if you really had the bully pulpit, what could you do for this issue?  More.  You could do more.  There is no way around it.  You have been amazingly effective outside of office… but you could do more as President.  If this is truly the moral obligation you have been convincing us of…  then it is time for you to step up.  Accept your place.  You created it. 

Win or lose, even a campaign focused on this issue would get more coverage.  Win, and you have the power…  Lose, and you’re still right where you stand today.  

You owe it to us…  you convinced us of it… please remember all our children, and take the action necessary to save our planet.

Sincerely,
Sara Callow

Yes…. I mailed it.  If you agree… write him yourself.  Help make a change.

Honourable Al Gore

2100 West End Avenue
Suite 620

Nashville, TN
37203