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Rock the Vote: To Iowans for Biden, Dodd, Richardson, Kucinich, Paul and Gore

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You read it here before Iowa and New Hampshire: The pundits will proclaim 2008 The Year Of The Political Independent that will advantage Barack Obama and John McCain, and disadvantage Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney.

First, what I advocate; then, my predictions.

The great realignment is at hand, and it is anti-Washington, anti-establishment and anti-Bush, with the potential outcome of the next FDR- and JFK-style eras —a progressive centrist alliance between progressive Democrats and political independents electing a reformist president and Congress.

If the last shall be first, Dennis Kucinich has fired the first cannon by urging his supporters in Iowa to vote with Barack Obama, and if the supporters of Biden, Dodd, Richardson and Gore, and the Democrats for Ron Paul, take this course and rock the vote for Obama or Edwards in Iowa, the revolution begins.

The proposition in Iowa is simple: The Iowa caucus is now a referendum, yes or no, on whether the Democratic nominating process is declared over, before it begins in earnest, with the insider establishment coronating its candidate, Hillary Clinton, or whether the real campaign begins with a reformist victory in Iowa that sets loose powerful forces for true change.

Jan. 3 in Iowa will be the Lexington and Concord of our times, and in this year of the political independent the issue will be decided by the most disenfranchised, disrespected and disempowered groups in American politics, who are:

Progressive Democrats who hunger for a leadership of principle and courage in the battle against the worst president in our times, and any times, and political independents, who are fed up with the demeaning negativity corruptions and gridlock of our age, and who are 70 percent united with progressives against the hallmarks of the Bush years.

To young people especially, do not let the “grown-ups” disenfranchise you by deliberately scheduling the caucus on a date they think you will be away on college break. Shame on them, power to you.

Rock the vote: Come back by plane, train, bus or foot. It is your country and your future; you can change the world. You will have a story to tell for a lifetime and historians will write about what you do.

To supporters of Biden, Richardson, Dodd, Kucinich and Gore, and Democrats in Iowa for Ron Paul: Ignore the insiders, because they are wrong. As Democrats will gather on a cold Iowa night, in a razor-thin campaign, you have the votes to light a fire that will change America, and leave the insiders commenting with awe about what you do.

Here is why I urge supporters of Biden, Dodd, Richardson, Kucinich and Gore and Democrats for Ron Paul, to walk into the Iowa caucus and cast your votes for either Edwards or Obama, which will change American history and keep hope alive for your Number One candidate.

If Hillary Clinton is formally handed the crown though achieving only a 30 percent plurality in Iowa, the election in November will be between a Republican who embodies the reactionary way of Bush 44, versus a Democratic Party that feels vindicated and victorious by a practice of surrendering, positioning, maneuvering and failing to fight for the dreams we hold dear, even when we stand with 70 percent of our country.

If Hillary comes in second, there will be an open process that continues and a debate that only then begins in earnest. If Hillary comes in third, our democratic process will break open to the skies with an explosion of energy, vitality and activism throughout the Democratic Party.

This is not about Hillary; it is about democracy, about what Democrats stand for and fight for, about whether we hear the message of the American people that business as usual in Washington must end.

Make no mistake, the objective fact is this: Hillary has alienated the vast pool of political independents and is the one major Democrat who therefore cannot possibly win a landslide and could hand to Republicans an election victory that would be another inexcusable defeat for Democrats and tragedy for America.

If we rock the vote, Hillary will get her second change in this campaign, and let her fight for it with what she believes in, what she stands for — not sending surrogates out to demean other Democrats or campaigning on the vanities of restoration or inevitability. If she wins after a truly open contest, she will be a better candidate and leader for it.

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Brent Budowsky is a regular columnist on He served as Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen, responsible for commerce and intelligence matters, including one of the core drafters of the CIA Identities Law. Served (more...)

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