Friday, July 04, 2008

Fun with Ben and Betsy

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

Today is July 4th. To a lot of people, it’s just another day off from work, albeit with fireworks. But it’s special. Think about it, we move a lot of holidays to give us long weekends. Or to combine things. But 4th of July, it falls when it falls, and we don’t change it. It’s much too important for that.

Democracy doesn’t come easy.

New countries don’t come easy.

Change doesn’t come easy.

On July 4th, 1776, 56 brave men signed those 1,322 words that provided the gauntlet for events which would forever change the world. America dawned. Remember that in the eyes of the British Empire, then the law of the land, what these men did was treasonous.

While the Declaration was signed on July 4th, 1776 the world was different. No internet. No telephone. It was sent to the printer that afternoon (in Philadelphia), and carried the next day by men on horseback to all the other colonies for public readings. It was first read in Philadelphia on July 8th, and then throughout the colonies.

The United States is the only country in the history of the world with free, scheduled (not called) elections, with a 100% bloodless transfer of power. The Constitution gave us that, with that simple, elegant, and yet interpretable framework for government. The Declaration of Independence gave the Constitution its soul.

Everybody knows this line:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.“
But people often don’t know the lines that followed:
“That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
And with the latest news from the Cook Report, we’re looking at a lot more potential change. It appears that of 28 house races, 27 have moved to a more Democratic column, 21 of them from “Safe Republican” to “Lean Republican”.
AL-03, Mike Rogers
CA-46, Dana Rohrabacher
FL-09, Gus Bilirakis
FL-18, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
ID-01, Bill Sali
IN-03, Mark Souder
IA-04, Tom Latham
KY-02, Ron Lewis (open seat)
MN-02, John Kline
NE-02, Lee Terry
NV-02, Dean Heller
NJ-05, Scott Garrett
NC-10, Patrick McHenry
OH-07, Dave Hobson (open seat)
PA-05, John Peterson (open seat)
PA-15, Charlie Dent
TX-07, John Culberson
TX-10, Michael McCaul
VA-05, Virgil Goode
VA-10, Frank Wolf
WY-AL, Barbara Cubin (open seat)
Included on that list is the Idaho 1st. Ever since I first posted on this race, I’ve been following it. “The professionals” may think that this has to do with money, and the fact that even the Republicans dislike Sali, their candidate. (Best quote from the link: “That idiot is just an absolute idiot.”). But I’ve been following what Walt Minnick (D) is doing, and that means traversing Idaho, from Nevada to Canada. Out there, meeting and greeting folks every day, telling them how government can change, how his views are different, and how implementing his views can make a difference in their lives. Always remember, the more local the race, the more important retail politics. Elections are won one voter at a time.

The only race to move in the other direction is Paul Kanjorski (D -PA-11). This was previously noted by Dave in the DCW comments. I stand by the fact that while Lou Barletta, darling of Lou Dobbs, is well known, he still has no money , and I don’t understand how you win a Congressional race with $150,000 when your opponent has $1.8 million.

There is also a lot of good news on the Senate side, which will go up on Sunday with the Senators, and there will be more House frames tomorrow. But today is July 4th, and I’m going off to work a voter registration drive. Is there a better way to celebrate the fourth than by getting more people involved in the process? Well, maybe….last night in Philadelphia, Ben Franklin married Betsy Ross.

Happy Fourth, friends -- final round of Veepstakes will go up tonight.