Tag Archives: Responsible Plan

May Day Happenings

Tomorrow is May Day, and the combination of anniversaries – the traditional holiday for workers (that started in the United States, it is most certainly NOT a Communist holiday), a day of action in the Latino community, and the 5th anniversary of “Mission Accomplished” – means that there are goings-on all over the state tomorrow.

• Latino groups will stage a May Day rally for immigrant rights tomorrow in downtown Los Angeles.  You may remember that last year’s event in Macarthur Park ended in chaos with tear gas and brutality marring a peaceful protest.  The cops have actually been practicing and preparing so that there are no such incidents this year.  Organizers expect anywhere between 25,000-100,000.

• There’s at least one budget cut/fee increase protest being planned at Cal-State Northridge, organized by students.  It should start around 12:00 on the bookstore lawn.  I believe this is part of a continuing action by students to raise awareness about the crime Arnold Schwarzenegger wants to commit on public education this fiscal year.  There’s more at The Alliance for the CSU.

• On the anniversary of “Mission Accomplished,” True Majority and CREDO Mobile are teaming up to deliver the Responsible Plan to End The War in Iraq to incumbent House members, and urge them to sign on to the bills in the plan that have already been proposed.  The House leadership is planning on cravenly offering more money in the war supplemental than even George Bush asked for, funding it through 2009 without any checks or conditions.  This is dead wrong, and there are steps Congress can take right now to rein in military contractors, aid in the humanitarian crisis, and increase regional diplomatic efforts, instead of allowing Bush to muddle through and pass off the disaster to his successor.  You can find one of the 210 events in your area by clicking this link.

• The west coast chapters of the International Longshoreman Worker’s Union (ILWU) is planning on shutting down all west coast ports on May Day to protest the ongoing occupation of Iraq.  Information on Bay Area events is here.  There’s also information at this blog.  This is the biggest general strike I can remember, and coming from longshoremen it can hardly be considered the work of dirty hippies.  This is a very important event.

• And in what may in the final analysis be the most revolutionary event, word has it that Tesla Motors will open their very first store tomorrow in West LA, on Santa Monica Boulevard just east of the 405 Freeway, which paradoxically is one of the most congested spots in the city.  Tesla has created an electric vehicle that runs like a sports car, and in future years their sedan model will be relatively affordable while getting the equivalent of 135 miles per gallon.  As this event is the closest to me, I might actually get to this one. 🙂

Courage and the Responsible Plan

(note: I work for Courage)

The Courage Campaign today became the first organization to push out the Responsible Plan to its members.  We sent out an email to our list this morning (see it on the flip) encouraging our members to endorse the Responsible Plan and almost as importantly, talk to candidates they know about endorsing the plan.

Over 50 candidates, including Debbie Cook, Ron Shepston, Cheryl Ede, Bill Hedrick and Mary Pallant here in California have endorsed the Responsible Plan.  It is key that we get your help to continue to build momentum for the plan.  That means getting as many people and candidates to endorse, so sign it and pass the link on to your friends.

This is about changing the conversation about the war.  When people ask what we are going to do about the war, this is our plan.  It is our roadmap to both ending the war and taking care of our veterans.  Rather than using the Republican frame on the war, focused mostly on the tactical, i.e. the surge as a strategy, we need to take control of the narrative.  Promoting the Responsible Plan is one way to do that.  

Framing the debate is only one site of the equation.  The movement behind the Responsible Plan also about electing Democrats who will run strongly on the war and end it when they take office.  We need more and better Democrats.

Dear Julia,

The war in Iraq will never end.

That’s right. This occupation will never end unless we change the conversation and change Washington.

Fortunately, there’s an unprecedented new movement of courageous congressional candidates, military veterans, bloggers, and activists teaming up on a plan to responsibly withdraw our troops from Iraq. Together, this unique alliance is pushing back on John “100 years” McCain and his fellow head-in-the-sand politicians and pundits.

And now, we’re bringing this movement for change to California.

It’s called the “Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq” — a comprehensive strategy endorsed by 50 congressional candidates, two generals, a former Assistant Secretary of Defense, and netroots activists across the progressive blogosphere (led by our friends at Open Left). And, as the plan gains momentum, it is provoking a predictable reaction from the right-wing, pro-war crowd and their sympathetic stenographers in the traditional media.

You can see it for yourself. In a less-than-shocking example of beltway blindness on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” Cokie Roberts dismissively rolled her eyes at the “Responsible Plan,” proudly quoting John McCain’s tired talking points.

How do we change the national conversation today? By showing Cokie Roberts and her friends in the media that the American public is fed up with Washington’s failure to end the war. You can start now by signing on to the “Responsible Plan” after you watch Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of The Nation magazine, courageously challenge Roberts and her mimicry of McCain on ABC:


What is the “Responsible Plan”?

Arianna Huffington, in a piece for the Huffington Post, does an excellent job summarizing how it got started, what it says, and what it will mean come 2009:

“(The plan was initiated by) Darcy Burner, a Democratic challenger who is running for Congress in Washington state. Working with national security experts and retired military generals such as Major Gen. Paul Eaton, the officer in charge of training the Iraqi military immediately after the invasion in 2003 and 2004, (Burner) developed “A Responsible Plan to End the War,” a comprehensive approach to Iraq based on legislation already introduced in Congress.

The (plan) doesn’t just lay out how to end the war — it also addresses the institutional failures that led to the tragic invasion and occupation of Iraq. This includes rebuilding the U.S. diplomatic apparatus, banning the use of armed military contractors like Blackwater, banning torture, promoting government transparency, and restoring accountability through the checks and balances laid out in the Constitution.”

… The idea is to band together a group of challengers running on a shared platform who, if elected, will be able to head into Congress armed with a mandate, supported by allies, and wielding a specific legislative agenda designed to end the war. Call it ‘A Contract to Restore America.'”

From the grassroots to Congress, the “Responsible Plan” is a people-powered campaign to flip the script on the right-wing cabal that started this disastrous war and continues to defend it. As you might expect, neo-conservative extremists are already waging attacks on the “Responsible Plan,” including one pro-war organization — founded by former Bush Administration officials — that called the strategy “surrender.”

The “Responsible Plan” has already been endorsed by 50 congressional candidates in just a few weeks, including five from California (click here to see who they are).

But that’s not enough. To stop the right-wing noise machine now, we need you to show your support and speak out. Please sign on, post a comment, and tell your friends — and your favorite congressional candidate — that they should support this responsible plan to end the war in Iraq:


Ending the war in Iraq does not mean just electing more Democrats. It also means electing better Democrats. The kind of Democrats who won’t cave in to the ridiculous rhetoric of neo-con extremists, Cokie Roberts, and the other shameless power-brokers and pundits populating our nation’s capital.

We have to keep up the pressure on our elected representatives as well as strongly encourage this year’s slate of congressional candidates to get behind the “Responsible Plan” now. Many of you have personal relationships with congressional candidates — both incumbents and challengers — across California. Can you reach out to them and ask them to take responsibility by endorsing the “Responsible Plan” now?

We know that we can end this war in Iraq — and prevent another war with Iran — if we build this movement together. But it’s going to take each and every one of you and your friends to make it possible.

Thank you for taking action today and making 2008 a new era for progressive politics in California. And the world.

Rick Jacobs


P.S. A few weeks ago, you helped us air “Yacht Party” TV ads about California Republicans refusing to close a multi-million dollar “yacht tax” loophole, despite facing a grim $16 billion budget deficit. Meanwhile, the federal government is diverting funds that would support housing and education in order to pay for endless war in Iraq.

Our elected leaders have their priorities out of whack. This has got to stop. You can take matters into your own hands today by signing on, speaking out, and telling your friends:


Darcy Burner: “Responsible” Plan? More like “Courageous”

(I was happy to co-host this event last night.  After a day where there was a lot of sturm und drang among the grassroots, what I remember about this week is the incredible events I’ve been fortunate enough to witness, both with Tim Goodrich and last night with Darcy Burner.  The grassroots is strong when we are all working for incredible candidates who can bring about progressive change. – promoted by David Dayen)

I met Darcy Burner for the second time last night.

It was pretty exciting, meeting a future president.  If you have to ask why I would say that, why, then, you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Darcy Burner.  

Darcy is running for Congress in Washington’s 8th District against Republican incumbent Dave Reichert.

The first time I met Darcy was at YearlyKos last summer. Kossack maeve raved to me about this woman I had to meet – maeve assured me that she was going to be president someday. I was afraid of what would happen if I ran into maeve again and hadn’t managed to meet Darcy, so I tracked her down.

Darcy and I exchanged only a few words in a crowded, noisy bar/restaurant in Chicago, where she had ventured with some other Kossacks/constituents, but I was immediately struck by her directness and complete lack of “veneer,” as some would say. She has that ability shared by the greatest politicians of putting you at ease and making you feel as if you are the only person in the room. She is approachable and engaging. And teh smart.

Even at that brief encounter, I sensed that here was a person who would do in politics whatever she put her mind to.  

That was the first time I met Darcy Burner.

I was fortunate enough last night to attend a little fundraising event organized by Dante Atkins (hekebolos), David Dayen and Courage Campaign‘s Rick Jacobs, among others, in Los Angeles. Darcy was the featured guest at the event; two other netroots congressional candidates, Ron Shepston of CA-42 and Mary Pallant of CA-24.

Darcy told the story of how she came to be involved in politics: In 2003, around the time her son was born, her brother was being shipped off to Iraq.  Darcy thought about the state of the country and the state of the world, and realized that no matter what choices she might make for her son as he grew up, unless a dramatic change took place in the direction the nation was heading – well, she did not like her choices.

So, as she likes to say, she did what any responsible American parent would do: she decided to run for Congress.

She started with zero name recognition, but ran a textbook campaign and almost toppled Republican incumbent Dave Reichert.

Although Darcy came up short in her 2006 bid – but only by a little; five voters per precinct, to be exact, as she will remind you – she put a very big scare into the Republican Party.  So much of a scare, in fact, that George Bush and Karl Rove both have visited Darcy’s district in an effort to raise money for the Republican incumbent, Dave Reichert.  (She also will remind you, with a smile, that when an online counter-fundraiser was held last fall to offset the Bush $1,000-a-plate event for Reichert, 3200 donors contributed $123,000, outraising the president himself.)


The Republicans have good reason to fear Darcy. She is truly formidable. She is smart, funny, personable, smart, down-to-earth, disarming, humble, smart, compassionate, self-effacing and smart.

Even though Darcy lost her congressional bid in 2006, she was excited by the fact that the Democrats had taken control of both houses of Congress.  She looked forward to a rapid end to the occupation of Iraq, given that so much Democratic rhetoric in the election campaign had been about the Democrats’ intention to make that happen.

But once the 110th Congress had been in session for a few months and it became evident that, in fact, the Democratic majority lacked the political will to actually bring an end to the illegal occupation, Darcy, in her customary way, decided to take matters into her own hands.

She came to realize that the Democrats, despite their good intentions, lacked an actual plan to end the occupation; none had ever put forth by the majority party. Darcy, possessing the logical mind of the computer geek that she is, correctly reasoned that the without such a plan, the likelihood of an end to the occupation was extremely remote at best.

And this is where she and the Democratic incumbents parted ways: She was thinking rationally; they were thinking politically.

Which is why the Democratic majority in Congress has never had the courage to put forth a specific, sensible plan to end the illegal occupation of Iraq.

But Darcy – a Democratic challenger to an incumbent Republican – does have the courage.

Which is why she decided to write a plan – it seemed the obvious thing to do, as obvious as her decision to run for Congress. In her usual, sensible way, she consulted with some of the top minds available regarding the occupation of Iraq, including retired General Paul Eaton.  She brainstormed and consulted and discussed and pondered.  And then she sat down to write.  

The result of her work is A Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq, a 36-page manifesto that lays out in detail the “how” of extricating the United States from the morass that it has created for itself in Iraq.

Our plan will:

1. End U.S. Military Action in Iraq

2. Use U.S. diplomatic power

3. Address humanitarian concerns

4. Restore our Constitution

5. Restore our military

6. Restore independence to the media

7. Create a new, U.S.-centered energy policy

If you haven’t read it, you should.

So far, 54 courageous Democratic congressional candidates have shown the courage to endorse The Plan, including Ron Shepston (happy birthday, Ron!) and Mary Pallant.

These people are serious about getting the United States out of Iraq.

They have the courage of their convictions.

And they have The Plan.

And we have Darcy.

I feel really good about that.

UPDATED: To reflect David’s hosting of the event! (Mea culpa, David – please forgive me!)

On the web:

Darcy Burner for Congress

Blue Majority ActBlue page

Race tracker wiki: WA-08

Ron Shepston for Congress

Mary Pallant for Congress

Cross-posted from Big Orange

Calitics Endorses The Responsible Plan To End The War In Iraq

Mary Pallant’s support of the Responsible Plan marks the fifth Congressional challenger in California to endorse.  At Calitics, we feel that this is a plan that not only makes sense for Congressional candidates but progressive organizations and grassroots groups as well.  Therefore, the editorial board of Calitics proudly endorse the Responsible Plan and urge all candidates for federal office in the state to follow suit, be they challengers or incumbents.

Given the current situation in Iraq, leaving 60,000 or 80,000 troops to babysit the Iraqis will do about as much as having 160,000 troops do the same; in other words, nothing at all (Russ Feingold understands this).  There is no military solution and the goals of the surge have not been met; indeed what meager gains have been established have now essentially vanished, as Basra, Baghdad and beyond grow more violent.  Until the fundamental question – whether a continued presence in Iraq is making us safer now and in the future – is addressed, we’re doing nothing but spinning our wheels.  Keeping troops in the region to try and put a lid on violence until George Bush is safely tucked away creates a huge moral hazard which actually increases the potential for chaos.

The Responsible Plan reflects the opinion of a significant wing of the Democratic Party which is simply not willing to wait around anymore while the leadership in Washington tries to come up with a coherent endgame strategy.  Well over 50 Congressional challengers have endorsed the plan, understanding that a comprehensive strategy to end the war and repair the broken institutions that enabled it not only makes political sense but is absolutely vital to our national security.  Ilan Goldenberg sums up the plan nicely.

For the past two years, Democrats have been offering plan after plan to end the war in Iraq. But this one is different. As opposed to the usual broad language, combined with a laundry list of policy proposals that make up traditional party platforms, the plan has a sharp focus, with a clear strategic logic focused around two fundamental principles. First, the United States must find a way to sensibly end its military mission in Iraq–and use the political, diplomatic, humanitarian, and economic tools at its disposal to mitigate the negative consequences of the war. Second, the Iraq War has done irreparable damage not just to Iraq but to our country, and the time has come to reform our institutions and put the checks and balances in place to ensure that these mistakes are not repeated […]

“A Responsible Plan” would instead serve as the congressional corollary to a Democratic presidency. It doesn’t include elements over which Congress has little control, but it does push for 15 pieces of existing legislation, which focus on issues such as improving healthcare for a new generation of veterans and phasing out our reliance on military contractors such as Blackwater. Only the president can end the war in Iraq, but Congress can do its share by focusing on institutional repair and funding the right programs.

This approach is apparent in the most creative part of the document, titled “Preventing Future Iraqs.” These policies focus on checking presidential authority and ensuring that Congress can’t easily give the president a free hand to go to war. It calls for incorporating war funding into the regular defense budget instead of using “emergency supplementals”; eliminating the president’s use of signing statements to alter the substantive meaning of a law passed by Congress; repealing parts of the Military Commissions Act that suspended habeas corpus; and ending the use of wiretapping without a FISA warrant. These are good policies for both Republican and Democratic presidents to abide by.

Without a robust Congressional counterbalance to executive power, we will not be able to stop more Iraqs.  Co-author of the plan Darcy Burner and the dozens of endorsers are not only running to enter Congress but to restore the institution itself.  

This Wednesday I’m helping host a low-dollar fundraising event for Darcy in Los Angeles, where she will be flanked by netroots activists like myself, Dante Atkins (hekebolos), Todd Beeton (MyDD), Digby, John Amato (Crooks and Liars), Arianna Huffington and Rick Jacobs, as well as at least two California candidates who have endorsed the plan, Ron Shepston (CA-42) and Mary Pallant (CA-24).  If you want to reward and recognize true leadership and courage, join me in Los Angeles on Wednesday night.  All the information is at this ActBlue page, and you can donate before the event at the link as well.  I’ll add the text of the invitation below.


Darcy Burner almost beat Dave Reichert to win the Congressional Seat from WA-08 in 2006, and she’s back for a second run! The Republicans are scared-they’ve already send both George AND Laura Bush to raise money for Reichert.

Reichert has the Bushes, but Darcy Burner has us-and she’ll be in Los Angeles on April 9th.

Darcy is a solid progressive candidate: she is not only the co-author of the Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq, but also a leader on other progressive issues like telecom immunity and net neutrality.

And she’s not just a wonderful candidate; she’s a wonderful person too. Please take this opportunity to see Darcy in person:

Date: April 9, 2008

Time: 6:00 to 8:00 pm


Home of Rick Jacobs and Shaun Kadlec

1556 Courtney Avenue

Los Angeles, California. 90046

Grassroots friend: $25.00

Blograiser: $100.00

Host: $500.00

Sponsor: $1,000

Join our growing list of hosts in supporting and contributing to Darcy Burner:

Dante Atkins (hekebolos), Rick Jacobs and Shaun Kadlec, Digby, Dave Dayen (dday),

Arianna Huffington (huffingtonpost), Ron Shepston, candidate for Congress, CA-42, Todd Beeton (MyDD.com), John Amato (crooksandliars.com), and Sal Rosselli!

To RSVP and make your contribution online, go to the bottom of the page. If you would rather contribute by check or credit card at the door, please RSVP to [email protected], and bring your contribution with you to the event.

I am endorsing the Responsible Plan

(Excellent news to hear all of these CA Congressional Candidates lining up behind the Responsible Plan. – promoted by Brian Leubitz)

As a responsible citizen and congressional candidate I have decided to endorse the Responsible Plan to end the occupation of Iraq. This plan encompasses more than withdrawal from Iraq: it addresses other imperative issues that have arisen as a result of our invasion. Iraq is one of the worst foreign policy debacles in the history of our nation and has resulted in far more devastating consequences beyond Iraq.  The Responsible Plan is a responsible course of action with steps to be taken that we as a nation must embrace in order to ensure that when we leave Iraq we restore more than Iraq.

Many of our troops may have avoided death in Samarra, but the only way we can avoid future deaths is withdraw and then follow a course that will avoid steering us down the same path that led us to pre-emptive war.  We begin to reverse the terrible fate we have inflicted on the Iraqi people, our military, and our standing in the world by leaving Iraq, instituting diplomacy, and instilling humanitarian aid for Iraqi civilians and refugees.

Our mission to accomplish is to urge our Congress to sign on to the Responsible Plan to end the occupation, replace our troops with diplomats, restore Habeas Corpus and work to restore our 4th Estate, the media, to the independent watchdog it needs to be.

I therefore heartily endorse the Responsible Plan and look forward to joining forces with other candidates who have embraced and endorsed this plan.  

I Endorse and Support A Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq

(Congrats to Mr. Hedrick for endorsing the Responsible Plan. – promoted by Brian Leubitz)

When I began my campaign last year to represent California’s 44th Congressional District, I was motivated by the many policy failures of the Bush Administration embraced by the incumbent congressman. These included the President’s failure to provide a universal health care proposal, an education program designed to undermine our public schools, and trade agreements that have killed good jobs for working families. But personally, for me and my family, the most egregious disappointment has been this Administration’s failed policy in Iraq.

Edit by Brian: See the flip.

Like hundreds of thousands of other families with loved ones in the military, we have been keenly interested in this President’s course of action. Today my son is serving a second deployment with the Army’s 3rd ID east of Baghdad. Another son and daughter-in-law have served in Iraq as well. As a military family, we support our troops 100%; however it is past time to bring all of our sons and daughters home. This mission must be brought to a close.

Our fighting men and women have performed admirably in a tremendously challenging

environment and the U.S. military has already achieved its stated goal-defeating Saddam’s Army. Our troops verified long ago there were no weapons of mass destruction. There has been no need to stay in Iraq. However, our occupation has come at an enormous cost to our military, our economy and our national prestige. This ruinous war must end so that our military may be restored before they are needed to respond to real threats that may be thrust upon us.

This unilateral and preemptory war has damaged long-term American interests. The situation in Iraq will only improve when the Iraqis take responsibility, and that will not happen as long as our military remains there.

One year of the cost of this war could have funded health care, affordable housing, port security, university scholarships, and so many other services. Instead, we have purchased ill-will, less security for our citizens, and a weakened economy.

I endorse and support “A Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq” as a blueprint for a safe and orderly end to our military occupation. I look forward to working with congressional colleagues to implement the Plan and bring our troops home!

CA-50: Cheryl Ede Endorses the Repsonsible Plan

Cheryl Ede, a Congressional candidate in CA-50 (Bilbray), just informed me that she has signed on to endorse the Responsible Plan.  This is the third Congressional candidate in California to endorse the plan, joining Ron Shepston (CA-42) and Debbie Cook (CA-46).  By the end of the weekend I expect several more.

It’s time for Nick Leibham to sign on as well.  This is a intelligent and important set of policies that will create a legitimate mandate to end this war, not a vague nod toward a “new direction” in Iraq.  Plus, it will seek to repair the broken institutions that led us into this disaster in the first place.  The candidates that have signed on nationwide seek to represent some of the reddest districts in the country, some of the bluest, and everything in between.  There is no reason for a candidate who wants to best represent the Democratic Party not to sign on.

CA-42: Proud To Support The Responsible Plan To End The War

(Disclosure – I’ve just signed on as Ron Shepston’s netroots coordinator.  And I’m proud that he’s the first California challenger to endorse the Repsonsible Plan to End the War in Iraq.  Ron is in a contested primary and needs your help to continue the leadership he’s shown in supporting this plan all the way to Congress.  Please consider making a donation to his campaign today. – promoted by David Dayen)

I was working in Brisbane, Australia on 9/11. I’d long past gotten over jet lag but something woke me in the middle of the night. When I turned on the TV to CNN International and saw the graphic “America Under Attack” my first thought was that it was simply more media over-the-top hype. As I watched, I saw that was not the case and my anger grew at whoever it was who attacked us. I’d never felt so much anger in my life and I doubt that ever will again. I called friends and family to “be” with them, but I knew that I couldn’t, not only because of the distance, but because all air travel was suspended.

Because I travel the world in my job I have friends in many countries. I was receiving calls from many who offered support and love for me and America after such a vicious attack that killed so many innocent people. Literally, the world was with us, so I was hopeful that our President would use this as an opportunity to further unite the world.

As the days passed, I was behind Bush when he ordered Afghanistan attacked.  When I came home for a few weeks, I watched and waited for the administration to begin to do something else right. Instead, I watched and listened as they went down the path of attacking Iraq. I couldn’t believe it.  As I watched the international TV coverage after I returned to Australia, I could see that the administration simply wanted to attack Iraq as a show of strength and a projection of military might.

When the war ended and the occupation began, I watched the goodwill of the world evaporate like water on a hot skillet. One by one and country by country, the Bush administration squandered an historic opportunity to unite the world in the fight against terrorism and for global peace. It would be difficult to imagine how the situation could be any worse if they tried to fail. Their incompetence is staggering; the damage equally staggering, and long-term.

To try to salvage anything by staying this long, and having even a single additional soldier or a single additional Iraqi civilian die, would not be worth it. It’s too late to have any good that would offset the damage already done. It’s time to leave in a responsible way for both America and Iraq.

George Bush or the next President must give the order to prepare a plan to leave. Generals implement orders.  From General Franks to General Petraeus, they have all attempted to plan to wage a war and occupation they didn’t want to wage. As a veteran, I know that generals have few choices – they could do their best to execute their orders, or leave the service.

Generals don’t get far by being negative so they will always look for a way to succeed. It’s no surprise that General Petraeus can sound positive in the face of such a daunting occupation. It’s part of his job.

It’s time to give him an order that he can carry out fully. That’s what The Responsible Plan to End the War does and that’s why I have signed on to it.

Our plan will

1. End U.S. Military Action in Iraq

 2. Use U.S. diplomatic power

 3. Address humanitarian concerns

 4. Restore our Constitution

 5. Restore our military

 6. Restore independence to the media

 7. Create a new, U.S.-centered energy policy

Implementing the plan will accomplish the goal of leaving quickly with responsibility to America and Iraqis.

For a very comprehensive discussion of the plan and the consequences my friend Adam has a great post with a great discussion.

Any discussion of Iraq leads to many different theories. Historians will paint a picture of the war of Iraq as having a profound and pervasively negative influence on America and American society. Indeed, this will have impact far beyond our borders and far outside my lifetime. Here’s a great comment talking about exactly this so much better than I could.

The nature of the final impact rests with us – the individual citizen. If we are to take what this administration and those who enable it to show Americans that there is a better way to govern then this generation will become the next great generation.

When Darcy Burner first asked if I wanted to be part of the effort to create the plan I immediately said “yes”. I was grateful for the opportunity to be involved in something this important to the future of America, Iraq and in fact, the world.

I support the Responsible Plan To End The War.  And with your help, I and the dozens of others who have signed on to this plan can go to Washington with a mandate to end this terrible war and change the conversation around our national security.  Please visit our Act Blue page today and make a contribution if you can to my campaign before the end of the quarter on Monday.  Together we really can change the country for the better.  Thanks.

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Open Letter To Every California Democrat Running For Congress

The Responsible Plan to end the war in Iraq is the first tangible and conprehensive strategy to not only end the war, but to reform the structures that caused this disaster in the first place.  It accords with the first principles of all Democrats, to responsibly protect our citizens while restoring our moral and political authority at home and abroad, renewing our capacity to self-determination in our national economy, and return the rights and protections of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights to the American people.  I urge you to watch the presentation and read the Responsible Plan, as I have done.  And then please understand that, speaking just for myself, the only way you can earn my support in your electoral battles in 2008 is by endorsing it.

When I say “support” I do not mean voting; I would happily vote for any California Democrat over any California Republican in a head-to-head matchup.  I mean my SUPPORT.  That means my time, my energy, my effort, my enthusiasm, and my dollars.  For five years, progressives have stood by helpless as they watched their country taken to war based on deception, and kept in an occupation based on fecklessness.  While this plan, which encompasses not just the military, humanitarian and diplomatic solutions for Iraq, but stopping torture, restoring habeas corpus, starting a new green energy economy, media consolidation reform, ending the use of signing statements, and all of the other structures that have brought us to this point, parallels in its comprehensiveness the Contract With America, there is one crucial difference.  Newt Gingrich supplied the Contract With America from the top-down, giving it to Congressional candidates as a tool to use in their campaigns (also, he didn’t do it until 6 weeks before the election and it was used mostly as a media tool).  This is a candidate-written, candidate-implemented, candidate-structured proposal from a group of progressive challengers who hold no current power in the Congress or the leadership of the party, culling from the ideas and concerns of the rank and file to put forth a full set of policy options to end the war and radically change how we view national security.  This is the FIRST plan that citizens can use to do something real and tangible to truly revolutionize the debate in Washington.  This is coming from the bottom up, and as a Congressional candidate you can catch the wave and join the commitment of the people, or sit at home.

As a California Congressional candidate, you have a unique role to play in this debate.  You can support this plan and avow that you are committed to this nation’s security, and earn my support, or you can choose not to support it, and earn nothing.  This is non-negotiable.  There are 10 candidates signed on to this plan, and plenty of others that I’m sure will welcome the support from myself and millions of others like me who are desperate to end this war and change our failed national security strategy.  We are the people who stuff envelopes and walk precincts and write about candidates and generate buzz and enthusiasm.  And we will work like hell for the candidates behind the Responsible Plan.  And they will win, and receive a mandate to implement these policies and change the conversation on national security in this country.  

Incidentally, as a California congressmember, you have the ability to co-sponsor a number of these initiatives, as they have been introduced in the House already.  Please do so immediately.  Thank you.