Democratic viewpoints on politics, policy and activism

Rice Campaign Draws National Attention

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State Sen. Andrew Rice’s U.S. Senate campaign against the kooky Jim Inhofe continues to draw national attention.

Rice was featured in this excellent and thorough kos blog today on Daily Kos.  Yesterday, his campaign was featured on the Congressional Quarterly site.

Also, a campaign fundraising account for Rice on ActBlue is steadily growing in donors and money.

Rice to Live Blog on DKos

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State Sen. Andrew Rice, who recently announced his U.S. Senate bid against Jim Inhofe, will live blog on Daily Kos at 3 p.m. (CST) Wednesday.

Rice decided to take on the gargantuan task of bringing down Inhofe when grassroots supporters in Oklahoma and across the nation appealed to him.  He plans to run an aggressive campaign that will point out Inhofe’s lack of integrity and the many times the kooky senator has embarrassed the state with his outrageous public comments.

Are you sick and tired of Jim Inhofe?  Here is Rice’s ActBlue account.  ActBlue helps progressive candidates throughout the country raise money through the netroots.  Please consider donating some money to help Oklahoma take a giant step forward in terms of its national image.

 

Another day, another right-wing lie

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Another day, another local, right-wing media outlet argues Democrats should be like Republicans so some Republicans can be to the right of the quasi-fascist, mission-accomplished president they so adore.

So here we are, still 14 months away from the 2008 elections, and already the editorial writers at The Daily Oklahoman feel compelled to criticize State Sen. Andrew Rice’s campaign against U.S. Senate Jim Inhofe.

Heck, Rice has not even officially announced he is running yet.  The bullies and chicken hawks at The Daily Oklahoman, the propaganda ministry for the state GOP, must be scared.

In a typical snarky, unsigned editorial (“In the mirror: That’s where to find reasons for defeat,” August 1, 2007), the writer argues, “Another day, another ambitious young Democrat fretting about how his party is being defined by Republicans.”  The young Democrat is Rice, who is 34.

This whole idea of “fretting” is the editorial’s first big lie.  Rice is not fretting.  He is preparing and organizing a major campaign that will challenge Inhofe’s lack of integrity and his close ties to the failed policies of President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. That is a serious, legitimate undertaking.

For example, as I wrote previously, Rice’s brother, David, died in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Rice believes Bush and Inhofe “took their eye off the ball” by invading Iraq while Al Qaeda continued to build its terror network.  That hardly seems like fretting to me.

The writer also mentions Rice’s political experience. But let us not forget The Daily Oklahoman supported Republican Don Nickles for U.S. Senate in 1980.  Nickles had the same amount of experience as Rice, and he was even younger.

The editorial argues Rice is “more liberal” than Brad Carson, who lost his U.S. Senate bid in 2004 against the goofy Tom Coburn, who continues to embarrass Oklahoma with his weird political stunts. (Did these Republican Senators from Oklahoma not get enough attention when they were younger?) See, the Democrats, the editorial claims, have an overall problem because they want to end the trillion-dollar Iraq occupation, and they will not support corporate lawsuit immunity.  According to the editorial’s inane logic, you are a liberal if you do not favor endless war and if you do not believe in corporate welfare.  Yet we all know plenty of Republicans, even here in Oklahoma, who want to end the Iraq occupation right now.

The editorial writer even had the audacity to actually refer to corporate lawsuit immunity (Republicans call it tort “reform”) as something that will help the “common man,” as if the Republicans in power really want to help regular Oklahomans.  People here will never have access to decent health care as long as the big insurance and pharmaceutical companies are running the show, and that is just fine with The Oklahoman.

Of course, none of this really has anything to do with Rice as an individual and candidate.  Rice is a person in flesh and blood with rational ideas and vision.  He is not an ideologue like the 72-year-old Inhofe.  Sure, Rice has views on the Iraq occupation and corporate lawsuit immunity.  Just ask him.  He will tell you.  Instead, the newspaper criticizes Rice based solely on its own distorted caricature of what Democrats supposedly stand for these days.

The logic here is from the Republican playbook:  Demonize, and push Democrats to the right.  The problem is this Republican strategy is no longer working across the country as evidenced by the 2006 elections.  Meanwhile, Democrats are poised to make huge gains in the Senate and House in the 2008 elections.

Of course, the newspaper’s editorial did not actually discuss Rice’s stance on any of the prevailing issues of our day because it only demonizes. It also did not discuss the many times Inhofe has embarrassed the state with his outrageous public comments. (Inhofe is a kook.  The newspaper allows him to get away with it.)  The editorial writer hides behind his/her anonymity and the power of the ultra-rich Gaylord family, which owns the newspaper.  You want to know why Oklahoma has so many structural problems?  Look no further than this editorial, which is a classic in terms of rhetorical subterfuge and Republican talking points.

The newspaper will never provide an informative place to discuss the issues of our time.  At the same time, it will editorialize about how we need to improve education in the state.  It is difficult to build the intellectual infrastructure of a state when its largest newspaper will not allow a reasonable debate of the issues.  But it can be done, and it must be done.

Fortunately, independent media outlets, like this one, are now challenging the corporate media.  Let The Daily Oklahoman dig its own grave through its intellectual dishonesty.  Let the Rice/Inhofe battle begin.  The state needs it.