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View Diary: An interview with California Secretary of State Debra Bowen (92 comments)

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  •  I watched Janice Hahn the other day (10+ / 0-)

    She just came off as... vapid.  Like there's nothing there.

    •  Comments like that show (1+ / 0-)
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      the worst aspects of dKos.

      This was a great interview with geat questions and answers. Bowen stayed classy. Is it too much to ask that Kossacks do the same?

      I was Rambo in the disco/ I was shootin' to the beat/ When they burned me in effigy My vacation was complete. Neil Young

      by Mike S on Sun May 08, 2011 at 02:40:08 PM PDT

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      •  don't critize high society!!!!! (1+ / 0-)
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        It is repugnant when people suggest that you aren't civil or classy for telling the truth -- that is the same dodge people like the Koch Brothers use to stop valid criticism.

        The problem isn't that somebody pointed out Hahn is vapid, the problem is that somebody has inherited office despite being dumb as a rock.

        Your values hierarchy is truly repugnant to have a bigger problem with somebody telling the truth than a dynasty empty suit trying to be gifted a seat despite being an idiot.

        •  The asshole is strong (0+ / 0-)

          and the class is weak in this one.

          But you did do a great job of proving my point. You too show all of the worst aspects of this site. What makes it even more pathetic is that you are proud of it.

          I was Rambo in the disco/ I was shootin' to the beat/ When they burned me in effigy My vacation was complete. Neil Young

          by Mike S on Sun May 08, 2011 at 03:33:16 PM PDT

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    •  Janice Hahn is a decent person (16+ / 0-)

      and would be a fine Member of Congress.  I have no ill will towards her.

      Debra Bowen, on the other hand, is one of the most intelligent, gracious, genuine, and gifted politicians I have ever seen.  It is no slam on Hahn to say that I hope that Bowen beats her -- on her way to ever-greater things including, if the country is fortunate enough, the Presidency.  I don't say that about many people, either.

      Unplug the Koch machine! It's swallowing people's money!

      by Seneca Doane on Sun May 08, 2011 at 02:45:41 PM PDT

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      •  Amen! (2+ / 0-)
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        Seneca Doane, kurt

        I wanted her to run for Governor against Brown, but she decided against it.

        She has nothing but upside, because she is such a smart and kind person.

      •  Bowen can be condescending (0+ / 0-)

        She has been a good SoS, though that tells little about how she'd approach the issues she'd face in Congress.  But in the debates she has a habit of addressing others, and others' points of view, as if they were children, as when she said that the players in the Middle East sometimes need to be disciplined as children do.  

        •  Please provide the evidence (1+ / 0-)
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          I read through the transcript of that debate several weeks ago when it happened and I did not see that.  This is the second time you have made a negative claim against Debra without citing to the evidence.  If your claim is accurate, please provide evidence from the transcript.

          •  At the Democrats for Israel debate in Hermosa (0+ / 0-)

            at which I was present, Bowen said, backpedaling in response to a challenge to the "Israel can do no wrong" pledge Hahn goaded her into signing, that Israel should be criticized, like we would our children. That trivializes the life and death struggle going on in that region, and the harm being done to all stakeholders there.  She also patted Winograd and her supporters patronizingly on the head, saying that if all people were like them, we would not need to go to war, but that the reality is that there is evil in the world.  Thank you for clarifying that subtlety, Ms. SoS.

            Of course, the problem with the pledge is that there are (at least) two sides to the I/P conflict, and the pledge only acknowledges one, which was why Bowen should be called on it.   I do not have, and could not find online, a transcript of that debate.  If you have one or a link to one, please provide it.  

            •  I was there. Bowen gave nuanced, intelligent (2+ / 0-)
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              nklein, afausser

              answers to the questions put to her,  it just happened to be answers Stuyvesant may not have wanted to hear.

            •  We talking about different pledges there. . . (1+ / 0-)
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              I/P pledge was something that I wish Debra did not do, but she did I understand the political reasons for it.  But you completely mischaracterize it when you say it is the "Israel can do no wrong" pledge.  That is hardly the tone of the I/P pledge.  As for the Afghanistan pledge, I said my piece above.  

              Neither her signing one nor her not signing another is a mark of her condenscension (sp?).  Finally, I do not have the transcript either, but I listened to the event and read various accounts and none of them have the quotes you are saying she made.

    •  problem with most legacy candidates (0+ / 0-)

      Janice is an idiot. The only reason she's even in contention to lose this seat again (she gave it to the GOP once before) is because of her family.

      She's an empty suit -- there's nothing there.

      •  Bob, that's an overstatement (5+ / 0-)
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        elfling, nklein, Mike S, PeteB2, camlbacker

        She's not an idiot.  This is not a choice between Excellent and Awful.  This is a choice between Excellent and Far Enough Behind Excellent That It Doesn't Matter Exactly How Far.  We have no need to slag Hahn here.

        Unplug the Koch machine! It's swallowing people's money!

        by Seneca Doane on Sun May 08, 2011 at 02:50:54 PM PDT

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        •  No, she really is dumb (0+ / 0-)

          With her pedigree, she'd be governor by now if she had an IQ greater than my shoe, but instead she can barely handle being a council person.

          She would be a disgrace as a member of congress. She'd be somebody to primary. Unacceptable.

          •  Then I suppose we must disagree (6+ / 0-)

            In my conversations with her, I have not fund her dumb, let alone dumb enough to be laced up and walked with.  I was happy to support her for Lt. Gov, even though I feel no inclination at all to support her here.  She hasn't had an outstanding political career largely because she lacks her father's legendary charisma.  (She'd be Lieutenant Governor right now if she did.)  She'd be a step up from Jane Harman -- but not a gigantic Superman-style leap up, as Bowen would.

            Unplug the Koch machine! It's swallowing people's money!

            by Seneca Doane on Sun May 08, 2011 at 03:05:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  her political career has been a joke (1+ / 0-)
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              If she had any other last name, she wouldn't have been elected to a condo board. She has no skills, she didn't inherit those with the name. Hell, she was the dumber candidate in a campaign against Hairboy.

              Yes, she wouldn't be as damaging as Harman as it is pretty much impossible to be as re-electing George Bush can't happen again. But Hahn wouldn't be anything more than a waste of a good seat. By pinning down a good seat with an idiot, Hahn would actually accelerate things getting worse instead of being of any value in turning things around. Her net value is less than zero.

    •  This is exactly why I'm supporting Debra (4+ / 0-)
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      jpmassar, afausser, camlbacker, kurt

      She is the most brilliant politician I have met (Disclosure: I worked for her 2006 Secretary of State campaign).

      Her knowledge of issues is not only broad, but amazingly deep.  I have heard her speak on issues as different as energy price spikes after the blackouts in the early 2000's to different voting systems and their faults.  And she was stumping the experts in these fields.

      As I stated she is perhaps the most intelligent politician I have ever met or seen.  Though, the really great thing about her is that she is a workhorse and not a showhorse as you can see from the work that she has done.  Not the politically salient issues of the day, but the most important issues.  And she did so first and her bills became models for the country.

      The election is on May 17th.  So if you can please donate to her Actblue page or volunteer for her campaign I know she will really appreciate. Please do so, she is a progressive hero of whom we can be proud.

      •  If Bowen's so deep and brilliant (0+ / 0-)

        why does she say she needs to study whether to stop funding the war in Afghanistan (which she's said in more than one debate, and in more than one public appearance)?

        •  Her position on Afghanistan is clear. . . (1+ / 0-)
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          From her website:

          "Now is the time to honor those who have sacrificed in this war. We must bring our troops home quickly and safely. We have paid enough for a war we will never “win,” and meanwhile, our domestic needs are unattended and our national debt has mushroomed."

          She may have said that the speed of the withdrawal needs to be studied.  I don't know, because I haven't read all her public statements and do not remember every single word of those speeches.  

          •  When Bowen was asked point blank (0+ / 0-)

            to sign a pledge to defund the war, she said she'd have to study the issue -- only after ducking the initial request to sign the pledge by entering through another door to the building where a candidates' forum was held.

            •  Her position on the pledge does not (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Mike S, afausser, camlbacker

              mean she is for the war.  She doesn't want to limit her options before going to Congress.  That is not a sleight against her intelligence.  That is a mark of her intelligence.  The war should end.  She is for the end the war.  I don't need her to sign a pledge saying so.

              I understand that might not be enough for you, but that is for you to decide.  The point is though the pledge is not evidence of her lack of intelligence.  Very intelligent people who I respect like President Obama support continuing the war.  That does not make them less intelligent.

              •  What more does she need to learn? (0+ / 0-)

                If she's against the war, and wants it to end, why would she continue to support funding of belligerence, as opposed to departure?  What is there to study?  Why is this, of all issues, one that she won't take a definitive stand on, while she'll state her views on so much else?  The war in Afghanistan is our longest war ever.  

                She was willing to and did sign a pledge saying that criticism of Israel was off-limits, and that she will carry on Harman's (in fact, miserable) national security policies.  

                You're right, I was not literally accusing Bowen of a lack of intelligence; I was saying, in a short-hand manner, that she was hiding behind the need to study something that as a progressive, should not be a difficult issue, except as a matter of politics, not policy.    

                •  Why do you want to constrain her with a pledge? (1+ / 0-)
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                  She's taken a position. I posted to it above.  Do you think she would be any more bound to ending the war in Afghanistan if she signed your pledge?  

                  Look at her record, her statements, her district and her position.  What more do you need to prove that she is against the war?  Maybe she doesn't want to pull the troops out immediately because she feels it is better to do it gradually in order to prevent destablizing Afghanistan.  Maybe she wants to fund and end the war through the normal budget process for which the pledge does not allow.

                  Either way, she is no more or less bound to ending the war whether she signed this pledge or not.  And she got in trouble from signing the last pledge (Winograd got into the race).  So why would she do so again?

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