Tag Archives: Cheryl Ede

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:


Bilbray Prefers Fence over Environment, District, Effective Reform

Does anybody remember when Brian Bilbray sold himself as a moderate? I know it seems like a lifetime ago (or maybe some sort of absurd dream), but it was just 1995 that he first went to Congress.  And I’ve heard the stories from reasonable people with clear eyes about how once he was (relatively) a champion of the environment, particularly clean beaches and water.  He was (and perhaps still is) a surfer and lifeguard after all.  And yet, it’s not at all surprising that he was doing rhetorical backflips in celebration yesterday when Homeland Security decided to waive 30 federal and state environmental laws in order to more quickly build 670 miles of border fence:

“It’s great. This is the priority area where most of the illegal activity is going on and where most of the deaths are occurring,” said Rep. Brian P. Bilbray (R-Solana Beach), chairman of the Immigration Reform Caucus. “The quicker we can get the physical fence up, the sooner we’ll avoid situations like the deaths of agents. And it’s still a national security issue. You just have to stop this kind of open traffic along the border.”

DHS head Michael Chertoff opted to blatantly lie about the situation, claiming:

DHS is neither compromising its commitment to responsible environmental stewardship nor its commitment to solicit and respond to the needs of state, local and tribal governments

Right. Because not adhering to existing environmental law is the same as being commited to it.  Much closer to the truth is:

Critics, however, said the waivers were intended to sidestep growing and unexpectedly fierce opposition — especially in Arizona and in Texas, where concerns have been raised about endangered species and fragile ecosystems along the Rio Grande.

While the section of this project in East San Diego County hasn’t met with much opposition (yet?), Brian Bilbray should know- if he’s been paying any attention at all- that local opposition to the destruction of communities and habitats can be a real pain in the ass for right-wing ideologues.  And as proponents of comprehensive (read: effective) immigration reform note, just building a fence really is a simple-minded approach to securing the border.  Nevermind that impeding the cross-border flow hurts the local economy and the people that Bilbray purports to represent.  This “wall or bust” outlook from Bilbray fits nicely with his America should create more uneducated poor people economic plan and his Protect the employer (as long as they contribute to the campaign) enforcement policy.

Yesterday the Defenders of Wildlife sent around an email asking people to call their representatives in Congress.  If you’re in the 50th, where Brian Bilbray thinks it’s politically astute in 2008 to run to the right of President Bush, you may want to just skip straight to your Senators.

Cheryl Ede and Nick Leibham are Democrats running against Brian Bilbray this year.

Cross posted at San Diego Politico

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.