Monday, June 12, 2006

When the Chips are Down, Leaders Lead

Leadership is the forging of a joint effort by the interaction of leaders and followers. The best leaders understand they are nothing without followers and that followers drive leadership as much as leaders do. The best leaders are not only interactionists, but also tranformational ones, who improve lives, whether in the workplace or in the broader context. Only James Webb gets it.

James Webb runs because thousands signed on in the effort to draft him. Democrats of every persuasion, from conservative to liberal, united to endorse and elect the one candidate who is fresh, insightful, courageous, a political Renaissance man for our party, state and nation. As a marine, a war hero, cabinet Secretary, literature teacher, congressional aid, lawyer, journalist, writer, speaker, statesman, this man has ably served in various leadership roles throughout his life.

James Webb runs because he wants something better for us all, not just Diebold (for whom Miller lobbied and opposed an auditable paper trail for election machines)! James Webb knows that off-shoring and outsourcing for the purpose of driving down wages is neither necessary nor good for us, as Miller claimed before Congress on behalf of Microsoft and other high-tech companies. Webb understands that call center jobs don't replace the jobs of programmers, financial analysts, and other good-paying jobs lost so CEOs can have even golder parachutes.

We must take back our country from the hacks and lobbyists, like Harris Miller, who'd enrich themselves and their cronies at our expense. Only James Webb strongly opposed Bush’s tax cuts and economic policies. Having previously supported the cuts, Harris Miller now feigns opposition.

James Webb runs to stand up to the excesses of the Bush administration -- its wrongful, misguided war (which Webb opposed from the beginning), its abuse of Constitutional power, its upending the balance of power between three branches of government, and its unbelievable war against its own citizenry, from whom the power to govern legitimately derives.

The surest test of a leader is whether he stood strong when it was risky to do so. James Webb did, even as many Democrats with longer histories in our party failed us, and even as Harris Miller self-servingly supported much of the Bush agenda, until he needed primary support.

Author Thomas Frank and others have written convincingly about how Republicans employed the so-called Southern Strategy to frighten voters into voting against their better interests. It's wrong and it's time politicians stop driving wedges between us and start working for us. Ironically, Harris Miller has sent an onslaught of brochures and robo-calls, each maliciously contorting James Webb’s positions on subjects likely to upset natural Democratic constituencies, particularly women and minorities, and each masking that, were the two stacked up on their positions side-by-side, James Webb is the populist candidate who will work the hardest for economic and civic fairness for minorities, women, and all our citizens.

Who are endorsing James Webb? They are heroes like Gen. Anthony Zinni and Gen. Joseph Hoar, both former commanders of US Central Command, and who also told the truth about Iraq. Endorsers also include former presidential nominee, Sen. John Kerry; Allied Commander Gen. Wesley Clark; Sen. Christopher Dodd; Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Sec. of the Democratic Senate Conference; Sen. Tim Johnson; Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid; former Senate Majority (and Minority) leader Tom Daschle; former Sen. Max Cleland; former Sen. Bob Kerrey; former Senator US Rep. John Murtha; former US Rep. Leslie Byrne; Virginia Sen. Phil Puckett; former Virginia Sen. Madison Marye; Del. Jim Shuler; Del. Don McEachin; former Democratic Whip in the House of Delegates, Chap Peterson, and numerous others.

George Allen is George Bush’s political clone, supporting virtually every wrongful decision Bush has made. Miller-time is just Bush-lite. Polls show that Americans want a new direction for our country. We want honesty, diplomacy as the first (not the last) resort, a government that serves us and not the other way around, economic fairness, universal health care, fair elections (with auditable vote count), and a government that stays out of our private business and homes. One June 13th there is only one candidate who will steer our course in a better direction, James Webb.

Note: Cross-posted at