Rummy gets hammered by protesters at the National Press Club: ["Protesters disrupt Rumsfeld speech"].
Let LaRouche Debate?
Quick question: If Ralph Nader should have been allowed in the presidential debates in 2000, shouldn't Lyndon LaRouche be allowed to debate with the Democrats? ["Hecklers get out of control"] ["Audience members disrupt Democratic debate"]. Both were/are considered "fringe" candidates by the mainstream press and most voters. Sure, LaRouche would have probably gone off on the Queen dealing drugs or that stupid bridge he is trying to get built over Mongolia, but he still deserves to be on the stage. He has raised millions of dollars - legally this time - and millions more than lower tier candidates Braun, Kucinich, and Sharpton.
As well, there are thousands of Larouche supporters out there.
According to the FEC's Web site, Larouche received hundreds of thousands of votes in 1996 Democratic primaries: Including 35 percent in North Dakota, 13 in Oklahoma and West Virginia, 12 percent in Louisana, 11 percent in Nebraska, 8 percent in Pennsylvania, 7 percent in Arkansas, California [173,953 votes], Kentucky, North Carolina, Mississippi, and Ohio. Larouche didn't fare as well in 2000, receiving 29 percent in Michigan, 22 percent of the vote in Arkansas, 11 percent in Oregon, 8 percent in Idaho, and 6 percent in Alabama and Oklahoma, and low single digits in most other states. But neither did Republican Alan Keyes - or the other "serious" Republican candidates in 2000 - who were allowed to debate even though they had no chance of beating George W. Bush or John McCain.
Lastly, other LaRouche candidates have often added color to other debates. Who can forget how hilarious Bill Ferguson was during the special election for the 9th Congressional District race after Joe Moakley died in Massachusetts. Ferguson, a black man, like many of LaRouche's supporters, which is why they were probably tolerated during the Black Caucus debate last night, was included in all the TV debates and had some classic lines. At a foreign policy debate I covered in Jamaica Plain, Ferguson got a round of laughs from this line about the Star Wars missile defense system:
"How is George Bush going to knock missiles out of the sky when he can't even prevent his own daughters from getting bombed?"Any claims that the stage is too crowded now are ludicrous. If you can fit nine, you can fit 10 - or more. And why are these people being arrested? So they disrupted a debate, it isn't like they robbed a liquor store or anything.
Here are some hot quotes from the debate last night:
On Bush's Iraq plan: "$87 billion is a lot of money. I'm glad the president finally found an economic program. Too bad it's in Baghdad," Mass. Sen. John Kerry.
On gun control: "If urban states want to have lots of gun control, let them have it; but just don't impose it ... on states like Vermont that have a very low homicide rate," former Vt. Gov. Howard Dean.
On blacks and the Democratic Party: "We help take you to the dance, and you leave with right-wingers, people who are antithetical to our history and antithetical to our interests. I say, in 2004, you're going home with us, or we're not taking you to the party," the Rev. Al Sharpton.
On Osama bin Laden: "This guy's got out more videos than a rock star and Bush's intelligence agents can't find him," Sharpton.
Fla. Sen. Bob Graham called him "Osama been forgotten."
On the PATRIOT Act: "We have to repeal the PATRIOT Act, which is the basis of fear that was drummed up in this country without any rational basis for protecting this country. We're being driven by fear and I have to say that it's time for us to challenge that fear," Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich.
"If the percentage of minorities in your state has anything to do with how you connect with black voters, then Trent Lott would be Martin Luther King," Dean