Please tell me why each and every one of our Democratic Senators and Representatives isn’t fighting to get in front of this one. It defies common sense.

Where are our esteemed Presidential contenders? Hillary Clinton? Barack Obama? Not a thing. No leadership. Their silence suggests complicity. Is that really so? We’re not only listening, we’re watching your every move.

Harry Reid? He’ll sell out the American people for $22,000 in Telecommunications contributions from 2001 – 2006 (I can only imagine what his take will be for 2007, now that he’s the Majority Leader). And seriously, $22,000 — is that all it takes? He could easily raise much more in an hour with a decisive stand, and motivate thousands of people to become even more intimately involved in his cause.

Jay Rockefeller? Sure, he’ll write a stern letter and talk a mean game, but folds at the first sign on conflict. Is it really this hard? Yet again, he seems perfectly content to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Not even George W. Bush is this incompetent.

It seems only Chris Dodd understands what’s at stake. And it’s clear to me that this isn’t about politics, or winning the election, it’s about standing up for what is right; it’s principled leadership, pure and simple. And just in time too. George W. Bush and his corporate cronies are hell-bent on “saving” us from our freedoms, the very way of life that is guaranteed by the Constitution.

Thus far, only one man stands in between democracy and the destruction of all we hold dear. It sounds preposterous, hysterical even, but think about it: are we all subject to the same laws, or are the President and his benefactors / beneficiaries solely above the law?

On the subject of Bill O’Reilly and his thinly-veiled, ill-conceived attempts at demonizing the vibrant community at Daily Kos, Nightprowlkitty saidbest:

I hear posters sometimes say “we’re better than that” or “we’re better than them.” I don’t agree. I think our faults, our weaknesses, as human beings, are no different than the 29%’ers. We can be just as petty and small.

But our ideas and values, those are very different indeed. We believe in giving folks a hand up, not leaving them to fend for themselves. We believe government can work for everyone, and that the people of this country, given a fair voting system, will do the right thing in electing representatives that reflect that notion. We believe that working together we can solve the problems of our country, that no one should be left behind and no one is not worth helping.

And that is what the O’Reilly’s and Coulters and Roves and Cheneys are so afraid of, why they attack us personally and try to shift the debate to that level — because they know they will lose if that debate is about ideas rather than who’s more holy and pure and without sin.

I have followed Daily Kos for as long as I can remember, well over four years (largely due to Howard Dean in fact), and I still frequent this site more than ten times a day, if not more. I read just about everything that gets front-paged and/or pushed to the top of the recommended list, but in spite of that I have never seen that picture of Bush and Lieberman. Yes, it’s tacky and tasteless (and funny too), but it’s so far removed from the typically thoughtful tone of the vast majority of posts.

Chris Dodd effectively and courageously echoed some of the same thoughts as well:

He did not apologize for engaging the Daily Kos community and neither should we for believing in it. It’s well past time for us to recognize our growing clout in the political process, and to use our power to shift the debate. We are far from perfect, but thankfully perfection is not our goal. We simply seek the opportunity to pursue policies that benefit more than the wealthy few, that support and nourish those in need, and that give life to innovation and new opportunities for all.

Is that hateful? Is that un-American? I think not, and I believe the American people will agree if we can find a way to cut through this crap. It’s demagoguery pure and simple.