Week of August 1 – August 7, 2004

Who’s In Charge Here?


It’s absolutely mind boggling that the president would state that knowingwhat he knows now he, “still would have gone,” into Iraq…based onwhat?…no weapons, no imminent threat, no 9/11 links, no uranium fromAfrica…based on the plan for preemptive attacks that had already beenwritten and was looking for a 9/11 episode to be implemented…that thesemen knew what they were doing, ignored the intelligence data that downplayedany Iraqi involvement, and now deny, deceive, and attempt to manipulate theprocess of what really occurred when they forged ahead into Iraq, divertingprecious resources from the pursuit of Al Qaeda terrorists and sacrificingsacred lives to remove Saddam Hussein…it seems all to clear what they havedone and they shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it…


Tom Daly,
Idyllwild, California


Pro-Life, Pro-Law


I think that the likelihood that this (or any other really significantsubject) will get more than sound-bite coverage is rapidly diminishing withthe consolidation of media control. I also fear that this problem isessentially irremediable given the reluctance of the mass media to cover thestory and the inablity to reach any but activists in any other way. I wish Icould be more optimistic, but I don’t know how.


George Geddis,
Raleigh, North Carolina


The Future of the Party


I am writing in response to your profile of Young Professional Liberals onMotherJones.com, both as a liberal activist and as a young professional. Iappreciate the profile, but have come to a much different conclusion as towhere this country needs to move than that prescribed by the individuals inyour piece.


While the growth and concentration of power and wealth in a limited numberof large corporation is a problem for our society, I fail to see howtweaking corporate regulation around the corners is really going to servethe needs of everyday working Americans. Possibly its a function of thesocial class from which many “Young Professional Liberals” come:predominantly white, predominantly middle and upper-middle class families.


Regulating corporations and the executive management of these companies toact in a more transparent and honest fashion does little to create a moreequal opportunity society that is at the core of a true progressive agenda.Rather, these types of reforms tend to serve the middle class predominantly- those who work for these companies, those who have stock in their 401(k)sin these companies, those who see themselves as someday rising up thecorporate ladder in these companies. (Something, I can assure you, that theevening janitor in these companies does not.)


How does a business focused, corporate regulation agenda provide qualitypublic education for poor and working class families? How does it pay forhealth care they don’t get from their employer? How does it address theissue of a living wage, a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work? How does itpay for college for a poor family from the South Bronx or rural Appalachiaor even how access to good college is rigged in favor of kids from middleclass backgrounds?


The answer is that it doesn’t. Mr. Green states “You need a strongregulatory environment to lay the ground rules, and then let thecorporations pursue their self-interest within that.” What Mr. Green andother “professional class liberals” fail to appreciate is that it isn’tmarket ground rules that are the issue; rather, its the inability of themarket to provide answer to a multitude of social issues. There are justsome public goods that the market fundamentally cannot provide. The marketcannot provide a public park; it cannot provide universal health care; itcannot provide free public education; it cannot provide a social safety net.In short, it cannot provide all those sorely needed public goods andservices that poor and working class families cannot afford. And I am notsome “wild-eyed”, anti-globalization, patchouli-scented liberal. I’m aformer corporate lawyer and believer in the free enterprise system.


While laudatory in general, an agenda which regards corporate regulation offiduciary responsibilities as its core principle is an agenda that missedthe boat. And one that really doesn’t understand what the true meaning ofthe term “progressive” is.


David F. Dologite,
Boston, Massachusetts


Kerry’s Dangerous Mandate


Dear Sirs:


I was much impressed with Tom Engelhardt’s 7/30 piece “Kerry’sDangerous Mandate”. It reminded me of how the Democrats, saddled withVietnam, allowed Nixon to squeak into the White House. And how itmutated from Johnson’s to Nixon’s war. But make no mistake, thisAmerican fiasco in Iraq can be laid at no one’s door but George W.Bush. And for that, he deserves to be fired. The REAL war is supposedto be about terrorism; but W has done all he can to insure more armiesof fanatics rise up against us. Are we safer now than before weinvaded? Only W and his shrinking electorate think so.


Dan C Ryan
San Francisco, California