Why I support Chris Dodd for President
I would like to thank everyone at the left coaster for inviting me here to blog about the Dodd campaign. This first post is my endorsement of Senator Dodd and the only one that will be cross-posted at Connecticut Local Politics
I am proud to endorse my Senator, Chris Dodd, for President for many reasons (the major ones of which are discussed here), but one stands out above the rest. Leadership. On every issue, from Iraq, to the growing climate crisis, to the rule of law, Chris Dodd has done more than talk the talk of a Presidential candidate - He has led.
For me, the most important of these issues, the one that all of the others are based on at a fundamental level, is the restoration of the Constitution. I became a Chris Dodd supporter for certain and for good when I read these words:
The parallels with the situation we find ourselves in today are chilling -- today we see an Administration that too often uses the law and its advocates not to uphold justice but to undermine it, enlisting attorneys to weaken laws and agencies that protect citizens here at home and our men and women in uniform abroad.
Let there be no doubt that Mr. Khadr, Mr. Hamdan and their fellow detainees are accused of serious crimes -- crimes they might well be guilty of.
Yet once again, we should reject the certainty of execution and incarceration for uncertainty of the rule of law and justice.
Why? Because America has always stood for something more.
Senator Dodd has lead the fight on the primacy of the rule of law with his Restoring the Constitution Act (as I write this the Senate is debating the Dodd-Leahey Restore Habeas Corpus Amendment and Senator Dodd has taken the lead on whipping the vote):
- It restores the writ of habeas corpus for individuals held in US custody.
- It narrows the definition of unlawful enemy combatant to individuals who directly participate in a zone of active combat against the United States, and individuals who participated in attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001.
- It requires that the United States live up to its Geneva Convention obligations by deleting a prohibition in law that bars detainees from invoking Geneva Conventions as a source of rights at trial.
- It permits accused to retain qualified civilian attorneys to represent them at trial, or to choose self representation.
- It prevents the use of evidence in court gained through the unreliable and immoral practices of torture and coercion.
The first thing I will do ... is by executive order, restore Habeas Corpus, restore the Constitution of this country - there is nothing more important than that.
On the environment, he has led by proposing a corporate carbon tax.
Not to mention his call to national service:
- Promote the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNS) to Cabinet level status.
- Mandate community service as a requirement for high school graduation.
- Double the size of the Peace Corps and create a Rapid Response Reserve Corps made up of all national service alumni, as well as retired military and National Guard personnel, to respond to disasters and emergencies in America, whenever and wherever they occur.
- Dramatically increase the number of AmeriCorps members to 1,000,000 and raise the education award to reflect the skyrocketing cost of tuition.
- Build corporate-community partnerships by offering tax credits to employers who provide their workers with paid time off to perform community service.
- Create a new Senior Heroes Program that will provide older Americans with a $1,000 education award to further their own education or that of a deserving child.
On all of these (and on health care, education, economic opportunity, etc.) issues, Senator Dodd has been far out in front of the other Democratic Presidential candidates, rhetorically and practically.
When I hear the Democrats of the Boomer Generation talk about being inspired enough by John or Robert Kennedy to get out on the Presidential campaign trail to stump for a candidate for the first time, I used to think that it is a shame that my generation of Democrats hasn't had a similarly inspirational candidate. I don't any more - Chris Dodd is that candidate.
A word on primary polls: Who cares? In a primary, we have the flexibility (and the responsibility) to evaluate our party's candidates and support the candidate the candidate who we believe would make the best President - polls and media narratives (5 months before an absurdly early primary schedule!) be damned. Take a look at Senator Chris Dodd - you will like what you find.