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Smearing Deval Patrick

Plus, Ned Lamont’s Connecticut victory rewrites the rules for Democrats on Iraq
By EDITORIAL  |  August 11, 2006

CORPORATE ACCOUNTABILITY: After his experience with Ameriquest, Patrick should get out in front of coming stories about his work with Coca-Cola and Texaco
Deval Patrick, who was once seen as a long-shot — if not a marginal — challenger to Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Attorney General Thomas Reilly and is today the Democratic front-runner in the governor’s race, has been the subject of a string of daily newspaper stories that, if taken together, suggest Patrick was a tool of giant corporate interests and a hypocrite for running his once insurgent campaign under a progressive banner. It’s a compelling story line, but it’s rubbish.

We are among those who believe that Patrick, so far, has been more than a little tone deaf when discussing issues of general corporate practice, such as locally based Gillette’s sell off of itself to Proctor and Gamble. And we would still like greater clarity — or at least greater candor — about his thoughts on the predatory-lending practices of Ameriquest Mortgage. Patrick was, until earlier this year, a well-paid member of the board of directors of ACC Capital Holdings, which controlled Ameriquest. His stock response has been that he joined the board to contribute his considerable expertise as a civil-rights lawyer to reforming companies like Ameriquest. And that, no doubt, is a believable and truthful explanation. Patrick, after all, served as President Clinton’s assistant deputy attorney general for civil rights. We’re just sorry Patrick doesn’t go further in statements about his corporate ties.

While Ameriquest won’t go away, it is yesterday’s story. Tomorrow’s news is that Ray Rogers, a man described as a New York–based labor activist, is coming to town to torture the Patrick campaign with stories that Patrick was an evildoer when he served as general counsel first at Texaco and then at Coke.

It’s difficult to imagine a multinational corporation with a pristine operating record; big rarely equals nice. But that doesn’t make everyone who works for such businesses bad men or bad women. And, if Rogers’s past history is any guide, that’s how he is going to portray Patrick.

The annals of corporate history are not exactly replete with examples of business bigwigs who went on to make their marks as agents of positive and progressive change in the public arena. But let’s consider two: Felix Rohatyn, the son of French immigrants who, while a successful investment banker, brokered the financial survival of New York City during a particularly perilous municipal money squeeze in the 1970s. And then, closer to home, there was Louis Brandeis, scion of Jewish immigrants, who was a brilliant Boston corporate attorney before he was infected with the bug of political reform. Brandeis more or less invented consumer law before being appointed to the US Supreme Court. And when he was appointed, it was to the hoots and howls of those who claimed Brandeis was a traitor to his former clients.

Is Patrick a man of the same stature as Rohatyn or Brandeis? That remains to be seen.

Rather than leave half-satisfying statements on the table, as he did with Ameriquest, he should tackle the subject head on. If he signed non-disclosure statements when leaving his corporate jobs that now prevent him from discussing his actions, he should say so: their use is a fact of life. If his former capacity as corporate counsel prohibits him from discussing his advice because it would breach attorney-client privilege, he should say so: people understand what lawyers do. If, for some reason, he can’t discuss the specifics, he should at least be able to confront the generalities of corporate life, where — in the higher reaches — decisions are complicated and tough. The smear campaign targeted at Patrick is reprehensible, but it is also a test of political imagination. Is there a way he can make lemonade out of the lemons?

Hillary's Lamont factor
The defeat in Connecticut of one-time vice-presidential and three-term Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman by businessman maverick Ned Lamont is a wake-up call to New York senator Hillary Rodham Clinton as well as an intellectual challenge to the Democratic Party.

Clinton, to date, has been able to enjoy the best of two political worlds, gathering kudos from conservative voters for her support for the war, while her more liberal fans give her a pass on Iraq and focus on her generally progressive stance on a host of domestic and social issues.

Lamont’s victory, however, has changed the political dynamic.

Clinton is the Democrat’s undeclared front-runner. She has almost as many enemies as she has friends. She’s proving to be every bit as savvy a politician as her nimble husband, the former president. So it’s not surprising that she wants to continue being as many things to as many people for as long as possible. But that isn’t going to work anymore.

Clinton’s dilemma is not a solitary challenge. Any Democrat running for president is going to have to come to grips with the fact that while the war in Iraq is clearly unpopular, those opposed to it are primarily Democrats. And it’s true that a sizeable and growing number of Republicans have broken ranks with Bush over the war, which two years ago was all but unthinkable.

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Smearing Deval Patrick
Interesting article, but why is this author so uninformed about John Kerry's stance that was made many years ago. Truth one: Excepr from Tim Russert Interview... "MR. RUSSERT: No regret over your vote? SEN. KERRY: My regret is that the president of the United States didn’t do what he said he would do. Look, he told us that he was going to—that we needed to do this because they had the capacity to deploy weapons in 45 minutes. Not true now. He told us that he would go as a matter of last resort. Not true. He told us that he was going to build a real international coalition. Not true. They told us that there were unmanned vehicles that were able to fly. They even showed photographs. Not true. We haven’t found them anyway." (snip) "MR. RUSSERT: ...a nuclear threat. Those are exactly the things that you suggested in New Hampshire President Bush had lied to you about. SEN. KERRY: That’s precisely the point. That is exactly the point I’m making. We were given this information by our intelligence community. Now, either it was stretched politically in the many visits of Dick Cheney to the CIA and the way in which they created a client relationship, but the information we were given, built on top of the seven and a half years of what we knew he was doing, completely justified the notion that you had to respond to give the president the right to put inspectors in. The president said when he put them in “War is not inevitable.” Colin Powell said to us, “The only rationale for going to war was weapons of mass destruction,” and it was legitimate to hold Saddam Hussein accountable to get the inspectors in. I’m saying to you that I don’t believe this president did the job of exhausting the remedies available to make us as strong as we should have been in doing that and certainly didn’t do the planning to be able to win the peace in the way that we need to. And I still think we can do it, Tim, but we’ve got to get about the business of doing it. MR. RUSSERT: But you had access to the intelligence. You had access to the national intelligence estimate... SEN. KERRY: Absolutely. MR. RUSSERT: ...which said the CIA had a low confidence in Saddam Hussein using weapons of mass destruction or transferring the terrorists. And the State Department, which is included in the national intelligence estimate, said there was not a compelling case, that he reconstituted his nuclear program. SEN. KERRY: I didn’t base it on the nuclear, but the most important and compelling rationale were the lack of inspections and the non-compliance of Saddam Hussein. Even Hans Blix at the United Nations said he is not in compliance. MR. RUSSERT: Were you misled by the intelligence agencies? Were you duped? SEN. KERRY: No, we weren’t—I don’t know whether we were lied to, I don’t know whether they had the most colossal intelligence failure in history, I don’t know if the politics of the White House drove them to exaggerate. The bottom line is that we voted on the basis of information that was given to us, that has since then been proven to be incorrect. The bottom line is also, Tim, the president had an obligation to put the United States in the strongest position possible. I warned the president in January, “Mr. President, do not rush to war. Take the time to build the coalition. Take the time to exhaust the remedies.” And when he made the decision, I said, “I would have preferred that we took further time to do further diplomacy.” I think we should have." Truth Two: John Kerry expressed in the interview that is commonly misquoted by the Republicans that his IWR vote was not a vote to go to war but was a vote to bring forth the diplomacy necessary to hold Sadam accountable. Though the interview shows Kerry saying '"yes" what is commonly not known is that 1/2 the question got lost in the wind so John Kerry answered the question that he heard. Even so, he clearly states he wouldn't have attacked Sadam and didn't expect Bush to do so without returning to Congress for approval first. "A stiff wind was blowing across the canyon, and Kerry, whose hearing was damaged by gun blasts in Vietnam, had trouble understanding some of the questions being thrown his way. But he pressed on, coughing from the pollen blowing on the breeze. Would Kerry have voted to authorize the use of force in Iraq, one reporter asked, even if he knew then that Iraq didn't have weapons of mass destruction? "Yes, I would have voted for the authority; I believe it's the right authority for a president to have," Kerry replied, as aides stood by, dumb founded. Kerry's answer ricocheted around the political world. Faced with the revelation that almost all the prewar arguments for invading Iraq were wrong the existence of weapons of mass destruction, close links to Al Qaeda President Bush had nonetheless insisted that he would do nothing differently. And he had been challenging Kerry to do the same, hoping to catch the Democrat changing his position on the unpopular war. The senator explained to aides that part of the question had been lost in the wind; he thought he was answering a variation on the same basic query he'd been asked countless times: Was it right to give Bush the authority to go to war against Iraq? Kerry had simply given his standard "yes," with the proviso that he would have "done this very differently from the way President Bush has" yet the misunderstanding now muddied Kerry's message." (ON THE TRAIL OF KERRY'S FAILED DREAM PAIR OF WARS DOMINATED STRATEGY BEFORE ELECTION, The Boston Globe, THIRDfan, Sec. National/Foreign, p 24 11-14-2004. By Michael Kranish, Patrick Healy, Glen Johnson, Anne E. Kornblut, and Brian Mooney of the Globe staff. Written and reported by Nina J. Easton) Truth Three: On the basis of that answer, newspaper and Bush and the Republicans went on a spin rampage, twisting Kerry's words into something they weren't. "The Grand Canyon answer means Kerry "would have gone to war" They proclaimed without telling the truth. Kerry would NOT have gone to war. NOR did he expect Bush to. He expected Bush to do what ALL HONORABLE Presidents do! He expected him to follow the constitution and come back to Congress with the details of the diplomacy, the details of sanctions, the details of weapons inspectors, AND then if needed only after those things were done, he expected Bush to ask for a specific resolution to go to war. Instead, they utterly distorted the question and/or Kerry's answer. Newspapers posted headlines like "Kerry Still Would Have Voted for War" and many people took his response to mean that he would have invaded Iraq even knowing there were no WMDs. Here is one example of how confused things got in the mainstream media, and many people in the blogosphere no doubt are still just as confused: But on Aug. 9, 2004, when asked if he would still have gone to war knowing Saddam Hussein did not possess weapons of mass destruction, Kerry said: “Yes, I would have voted for the authority. I believe it was the right authority for a president to have.” Speaking to reporters at the edge of the Grand Canyon, he added: “[Although] I would have done this very differently from the way President Bush has." (emphasis added) (Distortions of Kerry's statement were taken from this Republican talking point driven article-- Even the title shows how inept and corrupt the media was on this. // (note that the reporter misquotes Kerry, in addition to the other distortions) And then there is your own articles that show you know that John Kerry regrets the IWR vote or more specifically that he regrets trusting this administration to tell the truth in 100% complete open honesty and regrets knowing how Bush and Cheney threw away diplomacy for war instead. "Senator John Kerry, who initially supported the war, has introduced a clear-cut resolution calling for troops to be out of Iraq by the end of this year. Already the GOP attack machine is trying to tar Kerry, a decorated Vietnam veteran, with the same brush it used to smear Democratic congressman John Murtha of Pennsylvania, another Vietnam vet who earlier called for an end to Bush’s Iraq adventure. Men like Kerry and Murtha, say the Republicans, are soft on terror, unlike tough guys Bush and Cheney, who avoided Vietnam service. At this moment, the question on many minds is this: when will Democratic senator Hillary Clinton of New York change her position and join the courageous members of her party willing to face down Bush?" // Truth Four: "Please read this quote from John Kerry made to a very highly respected journalist William Rivers Pitt in 2003! "The most revealing moment of the entire event came as it was breaking up. Kerry was slowly working towards the door when he was collared by Art Spiegelman. Though Kerry towered over him, Spiegelman appeared to grow with the intensity of his passion. ?Senator,? he said, ?the best thing you could do is to is to just come out and say that you were wrong to trust Bush. Say that you though he would keep his promises, but that you gave him more credit than he deserved. Say that you?re sorry, and then turn the debate towards what is best for the country in 2004.? Kerry nodded, bowed his head, and said, "You're right. I was wrong to trust him. I'm sorry I did." And then he was gone." // Truth six: "During the 2000 campaign, Bush promised to build stronger international alliances" snip "Kerry voted for the congressional resolution authorizing military action to depose Saddam Hussein, but he cautioned that all diplomatic options should be exhausted before striking Iraq" // And from Bush's own mouth: GWB said, "The vote for this IWR IS NOT A VOTE FOR WAR IT IS A VOTE FOR PEACE!" And the text of JK's IWR speech telling Bush he expected diplomacy and sanctions, not war. No link available: In giving the President this authority, I expect him to fulfill the commitments he has made to the American people in recent days--to work with the United Nations Security Council to adopt a new resolution setting out tough and immediate inspection requirements, and to act with our allies at our side if we have to disarm Saddam Hussein by force. If he fails to do so, I will be among the first to speak out. If we do wind up going to war with Iraq, it is imperative that we do so with others in the international community, unless there is a showing of a grave, imminent--and I emphasize "imminent"--threat to this country which requires the President to respond in a way that protects our immediate national security needs. Prime Minister Tony Blair has recognized a similar need to distinguish how we approach this. He has said that he believes we should move in concert with allies, and he has promised his own party that he will not do so otherwise. The administration may not be in the habit of building coalitions, but that is what they need to do. And it is what can be done. If we go it alone without reason, we risk inflaming an entire region, breeding a new generation of terrorists, a new cadre of anti-American zealots, and we will be less secure, not more secure, at the end of the day, even with Saddam Hussein disarmed. Let there be no doubt or confusion about where we stand on this. I will support a multilateral effort to disarm him by force, if we ever exhaust those other options, as the President has promised, but I will not support a unilateral U.S. war against Iraq unless that threat is imminent and the multilateral effort has not proven possible under any circumstances. In voting to grant the President the authority, I am not giving him carte blanche to run roughshod over every country that poses or may pose some kind of potential threat to the United States. Every nation has the right to act preemptively, if it faces an imminent and grave threat, for its self-defense under the standards of law. The threat we face today with Iraq does not meet that test yet. I emphasize "yet." Yes, it is grave because of the deadliness of Saddam Hussein's arsenal and the very high probability that he might use these weapons one day if not disarmed. But it is not imminent, and no one in the CIA, no intelligence briefing we have had suggests it is imminent. None of our intelligence reports suggest that he is about to launch an attack. The argument for going to war against Iraq is rooted in enforcement of the international community's demand that he disarm. It is not rooted in the doctrine of preemption. Nor is the grant of authority in this resolution an acknowledgment that Congress accepts or agrees with the President's new strategic doctrine of preemption. Just the opposite. This resolution clearly limits the authority given to the President to use force in Iraq, and Iraq only, and for the specific purpose of defending the United States against the threat posed by Iraq and enforcing relevant Security Council resolutions. The definition of purpose circumscribes the authority given to the President to the use of force to disarm Iraq because only Iraq's weapons of mass destruction meet the two criteria laid out in this resolution. Congressional action on this resolution is not the end of our national debate on how best to disarm Iraq. Nor does it mean we have exhausted all of our peaceful options to achieve this goal. There is much more to be done. The administration must continue its efforts to build support at the United Nations for a new, unfettered, unconditional weapons inspection regime. If we can eliminate the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction through inspections, whenever, wherever, and however we want them, including in palaces--and I am highly skeptical, given the full record, given their past practices, that we can necessarily achieve that--then we have an obligation to try that as the first course of action before we expend American lives in any further effort. American success in the Persian Gulf war was enhanced by the creation of an international coalition. Our coalition partners picked up the overwhelming burden of the cost of that war. It is imperative that the administration continue to work to multilateralize the current effort against Iraq. If the administration's initiatives at the United Nations are real and sincere, other nations are more likely to invest, to stand behind our efforts to force Iraq to disarm, be it through a new, rigorous, no-nonsense program of inspection, or if necessary, through the use of force. That is the best way to proceed. The United States, without question, has the military power to enter this conflict unilaterally. But we do need friends. We need logistical support such as bases, command and control centers, overflight rights from allies in the region. And most importantly, we need to be able to successfully wage the war on terror simultaneously. That war on terror depends more than anything else on the sharing of intelligence. That sharing of intelligence depends more than anything else on the cooperation of countries in the region. If we disrupt that, we could disrupt the possibilities of the capacity of that war to be most effectively waged. I believe the support from the region will come only if they are convinced of the credibility of our arguments and the legitimacy of our mission. The United Nations never has veto power over any measure the United States needs to take to protect our national security. But it is in our interest to try to act with our allies, if at all possible. And that should be because the burden of eliminating the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction should not be ours alone. It should not be the American people's alone. If in the end these efforts fail, and if in the end we are at war, we will have an obligation, ultimately, to the Iraqi people with whom we are not at war. This is a war against a regime, mostly one man. So other nations in the region and all of us will need to help create an Iraq that is a place and a force for stability and openness in the region. That effort is going to be long term, costly, and not without difficulty, given Iraq's ethnic and religious divisions and history of domestic turbulence. In Afghanistan, the administration has given more lipservice than resources to the rebuilding effort. We cannot allow that to happen in Iraq, and we must be prepared to stay the course over however many years it takes to do it right. The challenge is great: An administration which made nation building a dirty word needs to develop a comprehensive, Marshall-type plan, if it will meet the challenge. The President needs to give the American people a fairer and fuller, clearer understanding of the magnitude and long-term financial cost of that effort. The international community's support will be critical because we will not be able to rebuild Iraq singlehandedly. We will lack the credibility and the expertise and the capacity. It is clear the Senate is about to give the President the authority he has requested sometime in the next days. Whether the President will have to use that authority depends ultimately on Saddam Hussein. Saddam Hussein has a choice: He can continue to defy the international community, or he can fulfill his longstanding obligations to disarm. He is the person who has brought the world to this brink of confrontation. He is the dictator who can end the stalemate simply by following the terms of the agreement which left him in power. By standing with the President, Congress would demonstrate our Nation is united in its determination to take away that arsenal, and we are affirming the President's right and responsibility to keep the American people safe. One of the lessons I learned from fighting in a very different war, at a different time, is we need the consent of the American people for our mission to be legitimate and sustainable. I do know what it means, as does Senator Hagel, to fight in a war where that consent is lost, where allies are in short supply, where conditions are hostile, and the mission is ill-defined. That is why I believe so strongly before one American soldier steps foot on Iraqi soil, the American people must understand completely its urgency. They need to know we put our country in the position of ultimate strength and that we have no options, short of war, to eliminate a threat we could not tolerate. I believe the work we have begun in this Senate, by offering questions, and not blind acquiescence, has helped put our Nation on a responsible course. It has succeeded, certainly, in putting Saddam Hussein on notice that he will be held accountable; but it also has put the administration on notice we will hold them accountable for the means by which we do this. It is through constant questioning we will stay the course, and that is a course that will ultimately defend our troops and protect our national security. President Kennedy faced a similar difficult challenge in the days of the Cuban missile crisis. He decided not to proceed, I might add, preemptively. He decided to show the evidence and proceeded through the international institutions. He said at the time: "The path we have chosen is full of hazards, as all paths are... The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission." So I believe the Senate will make it clear, and the country will make it clear, that we will not be blackmailed or extorted by these weapons, and we will not permit the United Nations--an institution we have worked hard to nurture and create--to simply be ignored by this dictator. I yield the floor. ***END expectations***
By Truth Shall Prevail on 08/09/2006 at 9:19:43
Smearing Deval Patrick
What do you mean, John Kerry should renounce his vote for the war? Do you not even pay attention to your own Senator? He has consistenly said that the ivasion was wrong and starting in November 2005 has said that the IWR vote was a mistake. From a speech he gave in November of 2005: "I understand that as much as we might wish it, we can’t rewind the tape of history. There is, as Robert Kennedy once said, ‘enough blame to go around,’ and I accept my share of the responsibility. But the mistakes of the past, no matter who made them, are no justification for marching ahead into a future of miscalculations and misjudgments and the loss of American lives with no end in sight We each have a responsibility, to our country and our conscience, to be honest about where we should go from here. It is time for those of us who believe in a better course to say so plainly and unequivocally." At the Take Back America conference in June, he gave a speech stating that "“It is essential to acknowledge that the war itself was a mistake,” and “I was wrong to vote for that war resolution.” He was also the first Democrat to call for a deadline for withdrawing our soldiers from Iraq. RJ Eskow writes at Huffington Post of a conversation with Kerry in which Kerry said: "We know a lot more today than we did then. We know we were misled about weapons of mass destruction -- and misled by an Administration that made promises about going to war as a last resort, good diplomacy, and careful planning. That's why I regret my vote. It was a mistake. I said in 2004 that I wouldn't have gone to war knowing what I knew, and I have said that I wouldn't vote to give the President that authority knowing what I know now. In fact, I don't know anyone who would. "I accept my share of responsibility. But I don't think it's fair to question my motives. "If I had argued behind closed doors to vote against the Iraq resolution, I would've voted against it. Period. War is personal to me - and those decisions about sending soldiers to war are now and always have been far more important to me than being President. You may not believe that, and you're welcome to your own opinion - but I want you to know that the facts as you relayed them are simply wrong, and it matters to me. It's a criticism of my character that is untrue." Your article displays shoddy journalism worthy of the Herald. Kerry has been saying the vote was a mistake for nearly a year. Where have you been?
By Sam Adams on 08/09/2006 at 9:56:35
Smearing Deval Patrick
I've heard Sen. Kerry say repeatedly that he regrets his IWR vote, and was at the TBA conference to hear him say it to a cheering crowd. Sen. Kerry's vote for the IWR was clearly not a vote for Bush's war, as is obvious from his Senate speech two days before the vote. Nevertheless, he has expressed regret on numerous occasions for (trusting Colin Powell and) voting for the resolution. When a person makes a mistake, it's only right to accept responsibility and apologize. Sen. Kerry has.
By GV on 08/09/2006 at 10:20:58
Smearing Deval Patrick
Why would you want anyone to aspire to be like Felix Rohatyn? Rohatyn is a french nazi who imposed schactian austerity measures on New York city. Rohatyn is presently tearing the essence of the Republic to pieces through continuing to destroy the US auto industry. He has been involved in all the mergers and aquistions that have sucessfully destoryed the US steel industry and the aerospace sector. If the Democrats are going to take back the house and senate they must break with Nazi Felix Rohatyn and move to re-tool the US auto industry to build the large scale infrastructure this country needs. If any Deomocrat is going to have credibility they need to support the Economic Recovery Act of 2006 and move to get this introduced into Congress and passed.
By Jo on 08/10/2006 at 3:39:41
Smearing Deval Patrick
Why don't you people preserve formatting for the comments? Its not that hard to do. I guess your half assed effort at web design is in keeping with your half assed effort at writing these editorials. Have you people ever bothered to fact check before you make your points?
By msmith on 08/10/2006 at 9:12:18
Smearing Deval Patrick
by the way, for the record, Felix Rohatyn was himself an immigrant, after a harrowing two-year odyssey that took him from France to Algeria, Morocco, Italy, Portugal and Argentina before making it to America. His mother and step-father returned to live in Paris after the war. Felix stayed and, as you say, played an important role in solving New York's fiscal crisis in the 1970s and 1980s
By wdc on 08/11/2006 at 8:04:33
Smearing Deval Patrick
Joe Lieberman snared 46 percent to Ned Lamont's 41 percent in the poll, the first survey since Tuesday's historic Connecticut Democratic primary in which the three-term incumbent was ousted. Ned Lamont's brief victory didn't rewrite anything.
By Krogy on 08/13/2006 at 4:13:22
Smearing Deval Patrick
Hey Joe(Lieberman)!!! Take the blade! Make the self inflicted mortal wound (figuratively speaking, of course) in a Seppuku Ritual. Take the blade. Joe.
By Imn2paine on 08/14/2006 at 4:41:02

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