Loretta Sanchez & the Peace Activists: What Does This All Mean?

Apparently, everyone now has something to say about the Tuesday night “occupation” of Loretta Sanchez’s Congressional District Office and the arrest of the antiwar protesters . Digby says that this is a larger indictment of the military industrial complex, and David Dayen seems to be agreeing with her at Calitics.

 

Meanwhile, OC Blog is using this as an excuse to talk about Ward Churchill and post a sexy photo of Loretta. And now, Art Pedroza is joining in on the fun at Orange Juice by asking why out-of-town peace activists (joining up with some locals) are targeting Loretta instead of going after their own pro-war Republican Representatives. And judging by the overwhelming response to my story here at The Liberal OC, it seems like plenty of folks here want to talk about this.From what I see, it looks like we all look at this story and see it as part of a bigger picture. For some, this explains why we are so addicted to the military-industrial complex, and to the “war system”. For others, these protesters are just “crazy hippies” who are going after someone for not being “left wing” enough. And for others, this is just one huge media circus gone mad. I can see why each person sees this story as part of one’s own “big picture”, and for me I see it my own way.

For me, I see this as a larger question for the Democratic Party and for the progressive movement in Orange County. What is our primary focus here? Do we want to elect more Democrats in Orange County? Do we want to see more progressives in charge of the Democratic Party? Do we want to advance our progressive causes? And if so, how do we want to do it?

So where do we go from here? Do we support Loretta Sanchez because she mostly supports us and our causes? Do we castigate her because she’s not a “true progressive”? Do we support the local Democratic Party, and do whatever we can to elect more Democrats like Loretta Sanchez to office? Or is there a “higher calling” than the Democratic Party that we must answer to?

I think you all have a clue as to where I stand on these issues. And at a later time, I’ll discuss my own views on these matters. But in the mean time, I want to keep hearing from YOU. How are you seeing this story in terms of “the big picture”? And where do we all go from here?

Go ahead and continue to tell us your thoughts on Loretta Sanchez, the protesters, and what this all means in the end. The dialogue on this site, as well as in the larger blogosphere inside and outside Orange County, has amazed me. Let’s keep the conversation going.

  48 comments for “Loretta Sanchez & the Peace Activists: What Does This All Mean?

  1. August 11, 2007 at 11:28 am

    Andrew,

    Thanks for the link and for your continued coverage of this issue.

    If these protesters succeeded in stopping the manufacturing of military equipment they would have blood on their hands when our men and women in the military are unable to defend themselves. I don’t see how that is a good thing.

    Whether we are for or against the war in Iraq, I think we can all agree that our troops need the munitions, vehicles, etc. to do their job.

    I congratulate Congresswoman Sanchez for having the sense to vote the right way. The next time these nuts show up to her office I hope she will lock them out and call the cops.

  2. Andrew Davey
    August 11, 2007 at 11:52 am

    Art,

    No problem! I’m still amazed by how big this story has become. And yes, I see your point in equipping our troops with what they need to keep going. As we end this boondoggle in Iraq, we’ll need to fix what’s been ailing in the military ever since this war began. I just hope that Loretta keeps doing what’s right, and that ultimately this whole fiasco in Iraq can come to an end soon.

  3. David Martin
    August 11, 2007 at 12:55 pm

    Wow, it’s the antiwar protesters who will have blood on their hands as opposed to those who enabled and continue this war. How ironic. And nice name calling there, Art. Of course, it’s always easy to attempt to dehumanize and disparage those with which you disagree, as opposed to engaging in an intelligent and rational dialog. I know several of the so-called “nuts” who participated in the protest, and they include military and war veterans as well as a college professor. Many of the protestors have been directly affected by this war and occupation through personal service or family members, so to casually disregard them as nuts is juvenile and below you.

    I wasn’t able to attend as I was out of town on business, but this “nut” served in the army reserves for 13 years, and worked in the defense industry for 7 (Lockheed Martin and Boeing), so I have a bit of an insider perspective on the nature of the military-industrial-Congressional complex and it’s need to justify its own existence through the perpetuation of war without end.

  4. Andrew Davey
    August 11, 2007 at 1:10 pm

    David-

    No, you’re not a “nut”. And no, I don’t dismiss everyone who protested on Tuesday as “nuts”. On that note, I’ll disagree with Art.

    Still, as much as we may dislike the “military-industrial complex”, we also must recognize that many folks here in Orange County STILL count on companies like Boeing and Lockheed Martin for jobs. Can we just dismiss the defense and aerospace workers’ concern over their survival here? Can we just make all of this vanish instantly? I don’t think it’s as easy as cutting the budget and cutting the budget until there’s no more Pentagon and no more “complex”?

    Does all of this warmaking scare me? Yes. But is there an easy way to make all this go away? No. That’s something we all need to think about more.

  5. August 11, 2007 at 1:13 pm

    David,

    My cousin is serving in Iraq RIGHT NOW. If these protesters succeed in depriving him of the armaments and equipment he needs I will be royally pissed.

    Again, I think the war is stupid. We never should have started it. But working to take away the tools our soldiers need is MORONIC.

    Your party is in charge of Congress. If you guys can’t figure this war out it is your fault as a political party. But don’t punish the soldiers for your party’s ineptitude.

  6. Publius
    August 11, 2007 at 1:17 pm

    Let’s not forget one basic point folks-
    Loretta Sanchez, who has a record of VOTING AGAINST the war MOST of the time was protested anyway.
    What does this sort of protest tell those who are considering moving to an anti-war position?
    Short answer, IT DOESN’T HELP!!!
    But a bunch of “activists” get their names and photos in the paper and feel better about doing something.
    GREAT!

  7. David Martin
    August 11, 2007 at 1:25 pm

    Art, are you not already pissed that the Republican administration and congress denied soldiers the equipment and armament that they’ve needed since 2003? Have you not heard the stories of soldiers buying their own body armor, or hillbilly armor on their Humvees? Did you hear that the Marine Corps requested MRAPs (mine resistant vehicles) years ago, yet the Pentagon denied them because it conflicted with their idea of transformation? Or soldiers entering Iraq without the proper training, because the army believes they can be trained OTJ? Yet somehow, it is the antiwar protesters who want to end this war and bring your cousin home that pisses you off.

    “We’ve always been at war with Eastasia…”

  8. Andrew Davey
    August 11, 2007 at 2:26 pm

    Art- Best of wishes for your cousin serving in Iraq… And I hope he can come home to his family safely and soon!

    Publius- I hope not. I know many of the protesters, and I know they really believe in the cause of peace. But still, even with the best of intentions, I don’t think they served their cause well last week by earning the distrust of Loretta Sanchez and her entire office staff.

    David- Let’s remember that! Let’s remember that the REPUBLICANS who started this horrid war are the ones who have been depriving the troops of what they need to succeed in their missions. I’m glad that DEMOCRATS in Congress are fighting for what’s best for the troops. Hopefully with a DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENT AND DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS in 2009, we can finally work on both equipping our military well to prepar against future threats AND ensuring that diplomacy and peaceful relations with the rest of the world are the cornerstones of our foreign policy so that OUR MILITARY WON’T HAVE TO BE OVERUSED AND OVEREXTENDED ANY MORE.

  9. josh
    August 11, 2007 at 2:49 pm

    well, andrew, i wish you well in your quest. i’m sorry you limit your choices to, “should we elect more democrats,” or, “should we make democrats more progressive.”

    history indeed teaches that popular movements can win despite who is in power. if we could focus more of our energies popular movements and effecting elected officials i believe we could get more done than putting in energy to electing officials. case in point: if the antiwar movement haddn’t shut itself down at and put on a full-frontal assault for kerry in 2004, we could have been stronger and more organized to exact influence on whoever had won. when richard nixon got elected, the people still found a way to end the vietnam war, after all.

    take hillary. should she be elected (looking kinda likely), if she turns out to be super-progressive (pro-union, universal healthcare, ends capital punishment, etc. not likely, ok, but stay with me) and yet still pushes with this war full steam ahead (a foregone conclusion), are we who are opposed to this war to merely sit back silently and rationalize our inaction with the good she’s doing?

    lastly, many of the posters on your last post about this took umbrage at pat alviso and mfso for targetting loretta and leaving the repubs alone. i’m sure a simple google search would yeild the protests they HAVE done towards repubs. let me try… look at that. google pat alviso and look at the second post. they are not “targeting” loretta, they are putting pressure on any elected official in thier reach to end this war. and God bless them.

    i’m sorry if my post (or my previous one) sounds disrespectful. it is not intended to be. this is emotional for all of us. please look towards history as your indicators. civil disobedience and protesting DOES win popular struggles, but it cannot play favorites. i respect loretta and all the work she does for head start and heading off domestic survailence etc, but God as my witness if i did not have a newborn i would have been there in her office as well.

  10. Andrew Davey
    August 11, 2007 at 3:18 pm

    josh-

    Not really. If that were the case, then why hasn’t the war already ended by now? There have been HUGE protests in the streets. So why isn’t the war over? Bush is still President, and there are still enough Republicans to thwart the Democratic agenda. That’s why we need both a DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENT AND A DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS in 2009.

    I don’t know why some hard-core “take it to the streets” activists are willing to think the best of Republicans, but not Democrats. Sorry, but street protests are ONLY effective when combined with an electoral strategy to kick out those who are thwarting the agenda. So no matter how much you protest, the war won’t end so long as we have a Republican President AND a Republican Congress.
    How did we get the safety net and workers’ rights that we have today? Protest in the streets AND union organizing AND voting for pro-worker Democrats. How did we get civil rights? Protest in the streets AND the voting booth. How did we get the Vietnam War ended? Protest in the streets AND a Democratic Congress that denied Nixon any more funds for more war.

    So yes, street protest can work… But ONLY if it’s part of a more comprehensive strategy for success that INCLUDES an electoral element. And when we think about it, the Democratic Party is really our ONLY option for electoral success. So let’s work with the Democrats already on our side while targeting the Republicans who aren’t. That’s really the only way for us to win here.

  11. josh
    August 11, 2007 at 4:33 pm

    i fully believe the reason this war is still going on is because people are waiting around for a democrat to get elected and end it. i guess we’ll see how that works. while i do not share your optimism, i do sincerly pray that you’re right on that one.

    as to the movements you cite… they were blind to party affiliation. democrats may have been legislative allys, but i assure you they felt pressure by the movements.

    i will admit to electoral politcs being important, (i vote and have worked on the campaigns of and donated to both greens and democrats) but there is no reason you cant vote for loretta (even donate to and campaign for her) and then protest her when you think it’s right. i dare say it even gives you a bigger responsability to do so. you cant take democrats for granted once theyre in office. and, like i mentioned, mfso do target republicans. guess they think some things are bigger than parties. i find thier non-partisan approach to be genuine. sorry you don’t see it.

  12. August 11, 2007 at 5:11 pm

    David,

    I am no Republican – I quit that party earlier this year. And I won’t be back.

  13. Anonymous
    August 11, 2007 at 5:24 pm

    Damn Hippies!
    Go protest Rohrabacher or Campbell.

  14. Andrew Davey
    August 11, 2007 at 5:27 pm

    josh-

    OK, then. Why “punish” your allies? Loretta voted against the war, and she’s voted to pull the troops out. What more do you want? If you’re so mad at the “pro-war Democrats”, then TARGET THEM! Jeez, why must some “progressives” always feel obligated to eat their own?

    Art-

    And WE LOVE YOU! Thanks for speaking out against the insanity of the OC GOP Machine! And PLEASE keep up the good work at OJ! I may not always agree with you, but I always look forward to listening to what you say. ;-)

  15. Publius
    August 11, 2007 at 5:39 pm

    Andrew-
    Activists at both extremes “eat their own” because it’s easier than attempting to do something positive and productive.
    And they refuse to grasp that someone with Maxine Waters’ voting record would LOSE in Loretta’s district.

  16. josh
    August 11, 2007 at 5:41 pm

    keeping the pressure on loretta is not punishment. civil disobedience is not punishment. protesting is not punishment.

    perhaps debate needs to start there.

  17. David Martin
    August 11, 2007 at 5:45 pm

    Art, I did not ask if you were a Republican. I know that you left the party. I asked if you are outraged at the Republican administration and Congress for sending ill-equipped armed forces into war, and if you are angrier at anti-war activists who want to end the war and bring the troops home than at those who sent them there in the first place.

    Andrew, I’m glad that the Democrats have some representation in Orange County, and while I am glad that Rep. Sanchez voted against the AUMF in 2002, we want her to stop funding the war. Quite simply, the only way to end the war currently is to cut off the funding. Of course, we can hope that a Democrat gets elected President and takes office in 2009, but how many more Americans need to die needlessly before we leave Iraq? It’s not unrealistic that 1500 more soldiers, marines, sailors, and airmen will die between now and January 2009. But if the House stopped sending money to the President to support this war, we can force a withdrawal.

    I’ll be honest. I’ve gained a lot from the military-industrial-Congressional complex. They paid close to $100,000 for my college education back in the 80s — which was a lot of money then and a lot of money now. I’ve made a lot of money serving on active and reserve duty in the military. And I was directly employed by the defense industry for 7 years in the 90s. But all the money I’ve earned from the MICC isn’t worth a single life that has been wasted in this conflict, either American or Iraqi. So Rep. Sanchez’s statement that she voted for the funding to support C-17s doesn’t wash with me.

  18. Andrew Davey
    August 11, 2007 at 5:59 pm

    Publius-

    Good point. If Loretta even tried to emulate LINDA’S VOTING RECORD, she’d be in a lot of hot water. But still, Loretta manages to have a solidly liberal voting record for a “Blue Dog” from a centrist OC district. Why don’t more folks remember that?

    josh-

    Early on, you made a couple of good points. Now, you’re kinda losing me.

    David-

    I know, I know. Personally, I don’t like militarism. If I had my way, we’d start getting rid of all this military-industrial complex NOW. But alas, I can’t have my way. There are JOBS at stake with the C-17. Maybe you and I wouldn’t mind losing those jobs, but what about THE ACTUAL C-17 WORKERS? Let’s think about that, as Loretta is.

    Oh yes, and Loretta HAS NOT VOTED for any funding. This is regarding the September bill pending, and Loretta must not know yet what will exactly happen with that. Maybe if we pressure the REPUBLICANS to put an end to this war, we can get legislation to end the war ASAP AND funding for C-17 production in OC.

    Let’s start thinking productively!

  19. August 11, 2007 at 8:13 pm

    David,

    If the anti-war activists want to have an impact they ought to help Cindy Sheehan defeat Nancy Pelosi.

    And after they do so they ought to switch to the Green Party and send copies of their new voter registration cards to the DNC and the CA Democratic Party Chairman. Let them know why you went green!

    Bothering Congresswoman Sanchez does nothing for your cause.

  20. josh
    August 11, 2007 at 9:20 pm

    andrew.
    sorry to have lost you. you said you didnt understand why the protestors were punishing loretta. i retorted that protesting and civil disobedience is not punishment. if that does not stand on it’s on merit, allow me to elaborate:

    martin king was not “punishing” white people.

    to wit:
    when i marched and continue to march in la, sf and oc against the buildup to, implimentation of and continuing clusterf@@k that is this war, i was and am not “punishing” bush, nor any members of his administration. you’ve admitted to protesting this war before. was that YOUR aim? to punish republicans? i’m not being sarcastic here. when you went to anton and bristol, did you reach for a sign that said “no war,” or one with a picture of bush that said, “worst president ever?” are you advocating mfso to target republicans with the goal of “punishing” them? if so, i can see why you and pat don’t see eye to eye on this one.

    you know, when i was protesting the lead up to this war i used to engage the inevitable pro-war counter protesters and a lot of them voiced the opinion that many of the people on “my side” were only out becuase they just plain hated bush and that was that. at the time i thought it rediculous.

    how do you feel when you are accused of hurting the troops when you protest this war? i mean, that inferes that you’re “punishing” the troops. how silly is that? can you just not believe the person telling that to you can’t destinguish between protesting policy and the person that might just be going along with it for whatever thier reason(s)?

    that must be frustrating.

  21. Northcountystorm
    August 11, 2007 at 9:28 pm

    Andrew–Props for trying to keep positive through these threads. I respect the sacrifice all military families make in times of war and peace. i was part of a military family in both war and peace and understand it.
    And I understand that others may choose to oppose the war in their own way which may not be my way or the Congresswoman’s way. And no one is suggesting that if you have a problem with a vote or position of Sanchez, to not let her know.

    But whether its MFSO , Code Pink or any other group, they need to know this: if you attack Congresswoman Sanchez, if you put out misleading press releases, if you make misleading or outrageuous statements in the press about her, if you come on this blog and misrepresent something about her you will be called out on it. And the Congresswoman’s office is the people of the 47th Cd’s office, not protesters most of whom don’t even live in her district.. The office is open for business to help people in her district—you want to make a statement, a protest–go outside like you do when you protest at Republican offices. Accountability is a two way street, uncomfortable as it may seem.

    This is not Berkeley, West LA or San Francisco. This used to be Bob Dornan’s district . Its a marginal seat and only through hard work by Sanchez and local OC Dems and independents has the seat not gone over to the Republicans. Sanchez has managed to take principled stands on most issues critical to the people of her district. She’s managed even though in the minority until this year to bring home much needed federal funds to her District. You know this Andrew and you know what life would be like with a Congressman Van Tran. And you know that the attacks on Sanchez can only help the Republicans in their plans to take her out.

  22. August 11, 2007 at 9:49 pm

    Northcountystorm,

    Amen! You are absolutely right.

  23. August 11, 2007 at 9:53 pm

    Andrew,

    Thanks for the love my friend. You are doing a great job here at the Liberal OC!

    Folks, I guarantee you that Van Tran and his crooked Republican cabal are laughing their ass*s off over this protest. I am quite sickened by that!

    Sanchez may not be perfect, but thank God she is our Congresswoman instead of Van Tran.

    BTW, we still need to see a brave Democrat stand up against Van Tran next year. Please don’t let him get a free pass! Take him on and do your best to beat him in the 68th AD.

  24. Andrew Davey
    August 12, 2007 at 7:37 am

    josh- Sorry, but sometimes we need to stop looking at the hypothetical and begin looking at the real. I wish Loretta could be more progressive and more representative of my wishes and dreams, but I am not the only constituent in CA-47. She’s trying to represent EVERYONE in the district, and sometimes that means thinking of not just the “activist base” who may or may not live in the district, but ALL of the constituents in the district.

    Northcountystorm- Thanks for your kind words. I try. I know that these activists are frustrated that this occupation is continuing, and so am I. However, I don’t agree with them that Loretta is to blame for all that’s wrong. I’m glad that you see that Loretta truly IS our ally on this and most other progressive causes, and I just wish that more of the “activist base” can remember that.

    Art- Any time! You rock! Oh yes, and good point on Van Tran. Does the “activist base” of my party really want to HELP REPUBLICAN VAN TRAN WIN THE 47TH by weakening Loretta? THAT’S another reason why I agree with you that these peace activists need to rethink their strategy.

  25. josh
    August 12, 2007 at 12:18 pm

    you didnt adress my point. you lamented the protestors “punising” loretta. i explained civil disobedience and protest are not forms of punishment. this is not hypathetical.

    are you “punishing” gwb when you protest this war? is that your aim?

    was i “punishing” gray davis when i went to vigils on the nights when the state executed someone under his leadership?

    if that is how you see protest, then i think i have an understanding of your frustration with these protesters.

    you know, many of them are lifelong activist democrats. i’m sure they are very sorry you see it that way.

    and i wish everyone would stop w/the whole, “some of them arent even from her district,” line. when i protest rohrbacher, i openly welcome all opposed to the policy we’re protesting and freely invite all in agreement.

    however, should you feel compelled to join us just to punish dana, please stay home…

  26. Light Bulb
    August 12, 2007 at 3:31 pm

    If Loretta is not doing her job and “representating” you, then why doesn’t a member of the MFSO run against her? If she is so terrible, then I think you should. Federal law allows any registered voter in California to run in any Congressional District despite not living there – and there are plenty of you apparently.

    As a constituent and supporter of the Congresswoman, I think you will have a difficult road a head of you. The reason we like her is due to her moderate views. She thinks the issues through and doesn’t allow herself to be bullied by any one group, including and especially the MFSO.

    The MFSO have no idea of the amount of work she does to make central Orange County a better place. I can guarentee none of you were around in the Dornan days and what a despicable human being he is and was. Loretta turned that around. I am proud of the precincts that I walk for her and the money I donate – every cycle. Have any of you done so in the entire time she has been in office?! No, you haven’t. I do it because she is a leader. Then again, there is ABSOULTELY nothing anyone can say to change your simple little minds as you only see the world in black and white.

    Oh and the reason you were finally arrested was to make way for the constituents coming into the office the following morning. In case you forgot, it’s not all about you and your cause. Does the hard-working, blue-collar constituent that is going through a separate crises suffer less because you say so?

  27. Ed Garza
    August 12, 2007 at 6:45 pm

    i’ve read most of these articles and will try to address as much as I can without repeating what Jarret, Deseree, and Pat have stated.. I also got arrested at Nancy Pelosi’s office, along with Pat, other MFSO members and others. I am a Vietnam veteran. I served with the 173rd Airborne. I am against this war. I have a purple heart and pieces of metal still in my body.
    We had our chance in Afghanistan and Bush let Osama and the battle get away. it’s time to get out.
    I have campaigned for Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez; in her first campaign against B 1 Bob. I met and talked to her dad at one of the rallies. I still have the invitation to a victory party. I have campaigned and walked precincts for Steve Young, Christina Avalos, and Lou Correa. I am not to happy with Lou that he voted against the last health care bill. I am also a delegate to the 71st assembly district and E-Board member.
    Yes, Ms. Sanchez voted against authorization for the war, but she voted for every supplement afterwards except for the last, when the outcome was already known. She told us she would not vote for any more supplementary funding. “I voted against the last supplementary bill and once you vote against it you cant go back” There aren’t going to be anymore supplementary bills. Funding for the war is going to be in the general defense budget. That’s where the funding for the C-17 is. Which by the way, Boeing was already in the process of dismantling the plant in Long Beach that Builds them, when congressional leaders from California lobbied them and said they would allocate funding for 17 or 18 more. We already have enough transport cargo ships. Do the research. A recent pentagon study said many of these high tech jets are useless for fighting the wars that will be fought in the future and asked congress not to fund many of these. The major request was for more money for research and equipment necessary to equip and protect and arm our ground troops and support systems. Smaller defense budget and you don’t get your picture in the cockpit of a jet that just came out of the assembly line.
    How about a new shuttle system to hire all those union workers and hi tec workers? How about exploring outer space and building new space ships to hire thousands if not millions of workers all over the country not just in Long Beach?
    It’s time to stop funding the war, get our troops home and quit killing them for illegal reasons. Near four thousand American troops killed! Thousands more wounded and maimed for life. We’re working on nearly 1,000,000 Iraqi dead.
    By the way, I attended a meeting this morning at Rancho Santa Margarita. A few of us (5) in the 71st assembly district met with some of the county democratic leadership to start a democratic group to turn AD 71 Blue. all were supportive of our work to promote the Democratic Party in AD 71. Also on Sept. 22 Steve young is having a campaign organizing meeting. Those of you who have spoken out about campaigning for democrats, here is your chance. 949 640-4400
    In Peace

  28. Northcountystorm
    August 12, 2007 at 11:35 pm

    josh–Andrew probably didn’t address your comment about whether your intent or aim was to “punish” Congresswoman Sanchez because its irrelevant. No one cares what your aim is—we know your “aim” is a congressional district off–but the concern is the effect of your actions on someone who has been a supporter of Democratic and working class positions, especially given the conservative nature of her district. And yes, many of us did see the the actions and conduct as attacks on the Congresswoman. If you don’t get that from Merrick’s stupid slur comparing Sanchez to Bush then there’s little point discussing the issue with you further. Not to mention the scud sent from Code Pink or the misleading press release put out from MFSO.

    This isn’t a UCI social ecology class on CD. This is These will all be used against Sanchez by the Republicans with the aim of replacing her with a Republican. Maybe that Republican will make nice with your group, have a nice chat about the war but send you on your way knowing that he will support the war, will speak in favor of continuing our involvement and of course , all the rest of the GOP agenda, including the Patriot Act, relaxing environmental safeguards, cutting social programs, throwing immigrant families out of the country, etc.

    And sorry if you’re offended if I suggest you work your own congressional district. The Congresswoman represents the residents of her congressional district, not you. Having difficulties getting people in her district to support your group? That’s your problem, not hers. She has enough to do to with the residents of her district . So if you don’t like Sanchez, go work for someone in your own district who will vote the way MFSO wants them to. Or if you’re into CD, go get arrested in Rohrbacher’s office or Campbell’s office. Both of them support the Iraq War. Look at Ed Garza–he’s politically active in his district, maybe you should do the same.

    Ed- Are you saying its time to get out of Afghanistan or just Iraq? Will we be seeing you sit in Lou Correa’s office because you don’t agree with his position on health care? Isn’t it true that there are studies that indicate the C-17 provides some significant advantages over the alternatives and allies have sought to lease or purchase the C-17? I appreciate your desire to turn swords into plowshares/spaceships and we’d all like more peace conversion but is there any major weapons system that you’re in favor of continued funding? Did you mean to suggest that Congresswoman Sanchez’s support of the C-17 is because she wants to get her picture in a cockpit that just came out of the assembly line?

    Any of those “Democratic leaders” from the 47th CD or were they from your 71st AD? Any plans to get arrested in Congressmen Campbell or Royce’s office?

    By the way, notwithstanding the above I salute service to our country wherever it may have been. And props for your meeting on Sunday and your effort to turn the 71st blue and to help Steve Young. Good for you……

  29. Ed Garza
    August 13, 2007 at 4:36 am

    Northcountystorm-You patronize me. I’ve sat in Ed Royce’s office many times. I’ve attended his townhalls and coffee meetings. I’ve met with Ed Royce along with other MFSO members, and two military troops just returned from Iraq . He listened attentively and responded appropriately. I felt that we made some headway into his thinking about the war and he even stated that he was reconsidering his stance on the war. His district includes the Los Alamitos Reserve Center. I will continue to protest him until he stops funding the war. I’ve been in Campbell’s office and talked to his aide. I wasn’t impressed. Congressman Campbell has promised to meet with us. I’ve been an uninvited guest at Rohrbacher’s home and yelled at “You woke up my damned kids”
    I am a peace activist and have been introduced as a political activist. Civil disobedience is a tool we use. It is not used lightly and is used to have an affect. I will continue to do what I feel I need to do to stop this illegal war.
    I am a liberal and wear my badge proudly. You sound like a moderate dem or even a republican. Which are you?

  30. Andrew Davey
    August 13, 2007 at 8:19 am

    Ed- I understand your frustration, and I’m sorry that this all had to spill out the way it did last week. But still, I don’t get why some of you in the peace movement are targeting Loretta. Even when you all admit that she votes our way most of the time, why are you still getting hostile towards her? I respect all of your activism in ending the war, but I just don’t know if actions against Loretta accomplish our goal of ending the war… Or the REPUBLICAN GOAL of weakening her (and repacing her with FAR-RIGHT NUT VAN TRAN).

    Northcountystorm- Thanks again for your common sense. And thanks for reminding us that CA-47 IS a swing district. It’s amazing that Loretta has been brave enough to take many progressive positions that other Democrats in swing districts would NEVER take. Too bad she doesn’t get our thanks as often as she gets our boos.

  31. August 13, 2007 at 10:50 am

    One thing I would like to point out here: the reasoning that because Boeing, Lockheed, et al, have plants here, we need to keep them in business. That makes absolutely 0 sense. The same argument has been made of health care. We need to keep the insurance companies in business because they employ lots of people. But they employ lots of people who could be better employed in jobs that help develop the economy rather than extracting rents from it.

    This is the same thing with the military. If we continue to protect those jobs without working to move those workers into more productive fields, you get stuck in a circular logic that even the greatest philosophers couldn’t emerge from. However, we need not be stuck here forever. The Lockheed’s of this world have used their facilities as a weapon against Congressmembers that would dare vote against them. It’s time to create a more beneficial system of defense contracting. We must not be afraid to attack the current system. That’s where the problem lies, so let’s get at it.

    As for ensuring the armaments are where they need to be, that was planning that was botched in 2003, and now the GOP wants to blame that on the Democrats. THe fact is that this war was botched, through and through, by an administration with an ego larger than Texas. We didn’t have the right # of troops, we didn’t have the right equipment, we didn’t have a plan to win the peace. And heck, W didn’t even know the difference b/w Sunnis and Shiites in January 03. Had we gone in with a plan in the spring of 2003, or not at all, we would have been much better off. Yet, we have to hear this same BS about people not arming the troops. What a load of bull. Bring the troops home, and they’ll be a whole heck of a lot safer than standing in the middle of Baghdad with whatever new technology the snake oil salesman at Lockheed want to sell us.

    I’ll let you debate the wisdom of protesting Loretta, I don’t really feel like getting involved there. But, yeah, I don’t blame anybody who wants to do something to finally end this war. And if they think protesting Loretta is the way to do it, well, it’s called free expression.

  32. August 13, 2007 at 10:58 am

    Might it be that Loretta Sanchez gets a protest because everyone knows the Republicans don’t care about their constituents and are foregone conclusions on the Occupation votes while people have reason to expect more responsiveness and more responsible votes from Rep. Sanchez?

    It could be seen as respect.

  33. Andrew Davey
    August 13, 2007 at 11:14 am

    Brian-

    I wish the problem here were that simple. Do I like weapons? NO. Do I like warfare? NO. But does that mean we can simply close up shop i an instant and tell these folks who currently work in the defense industry that they need to find new jobs? NO.

    It’s not exactly that simple. Maybe over time, we can start shifting all this defense industry stuff into other, more beneficial things. We already began this after all the base closures in the 90s, and maybe over time this “demilitarization” of SoCal can continue. But still, THIS WILL TAKE SOME TIME. These people have good UNION jobs, and we need to make sure that these people don’t get left in the cold the same way tey were after the base closures.

    Loretta Sanchez understands that a LOT of folks here depend on these jobs, and that in the near term te best solution may be to keep these jobs here. Remember that Loretta’s district isn’t a “Safe Democratic District” like just about every seat in the Bay Area. She needs to work for reelecton all the time, so she’s only trying to do what’s best for constituents here.

    Lucas-

    If you saw any of the fiasco last Tuesday, I don’t think you’d still be calling it as a sign or “respect”. If you had a lot of respect for Bob Filner and Susan Davis, would you “occupy” their offices, demand that they sign some pledge, and get yourself arrested because they didn’t do what you asked? I don’t think so.

    OK, so Republicans here don’t care about our concerns now. That’s why we protest them AND embarrass them! We shouldn’t turn our allies against us. That’s why this Loretta protest disturbs me. They’re frustrating Loretta when they need to be focusing on the Republicans who are the real problem.

    That’s what’s wrong here.

  34. johnson
    August 13, 2007 at 12:43 pm

    I’m a late-comer to this discussion, though
    not to the antiwar movement. A couple of
    surprises I’ve seen so far…..

    — I last knew Art Pedroza as a right-wing
    Republican. Maybe something happened to
    you on a trip to Damascus recently, Art,
    but I doubt it. Most of your remarks still
    fit that profile. I can agree, though,
    that registering Green and supporting
    Cindy Sheehan is very much in order.

    — Andrew: It’s verging on a sick joke
    that someone purporting to be a “liberal”
    would make arguments that short-term
    defense jobs could justify continuing
    to fund an endless stream of war
    crimes.

    I also don’t understand the “embarassment”
    that you seem to think the protesters
    somehow imposed on Sanchez. She
    embarassed herself, with her surprisingly
    frank comment that she must fund war
    to please the defense industries. If
    this bit of truth slipping through to
    the media was a result of the protest,
    all hail the protesters! How this
    incident could harm Sanchez come election
    time, with the swing voters, has yet
    to be explained.

    — All:

    I hope the “Why don’t you pick on
    Republicans?” has been put to rest by
    now. The antiwar movement in this
    county has very much picked on Republicans,
    as you would know if you were involved
    in it. This particular group, on this
    occasion, made a tactical decision that
    they might accomplish something with
    the action at Sanchez’ office. If you
    recommend other targets and tactics, come
    to our meetings, or form your own affinity
    groups, and put the rest of you where
    your mouths are.

    I won’t try to address the good cop/
    bad cop nature of the Dems & Reps,
    but that’s just what it is. Sanchez
    and other Dems pretend to be something
    they are not. It’s all part of the game.
    Politicians are not elected for their
    voting inclinations. Their voting
    inclinations change as the wind changes.
    The wind has already changed, but
    sometimes politicians need to be
    told.

  35. August 13, 2007 at 12:49 pm

    Andrew-

    First of all, I think it’s ridiculous to say that any of the Bay Area Congress members are doing anything other than what’s best for their constituents. Just because they have safe seats, it does not mean that those Congress people don’t work everyday for their constituents. (Well, most of them anyway) That is flat-out insulting. You don’t think Barbara Lee works for her constituents? Or Nancy Pelosi? Or Anna Eshoo? Or SoCal Congress members that are in safe districts like Linda Sanchez or Hilda Solis? Frankly, I don’t see what the district demographics have to do with this at all.

    I think you totally missed the point of my comment. My point was that there was more than one way to support your constituents. I was saying that you could promote job re-training instead of supporting out-dated equipment like what the Defense contractors have been getting Congress to do. But earmarking is the way that it is, it is just an unhealthy system. You can either defend a system that has wasted billions of dollars, or you can work to reform it. A good member of Congress brings home the bacon for the district. A great member of Congress works to change the system so that we don’t keep playing the zero-sum game we’ve been playing for many years.

    I’m not arguing that Loretta did anything other than what was expected of her by the entrenched interests. In fact, I commended Loretta’s votes on the war on Dave’s post on Calitics. I think she’s been a pretty good ally of the anti-war movement in the past few years. Let’s not make this about north and south or coloration of districts. It’s about policy, and how we get to the optimal policy solution.

  36. Andrew Davey
    August 13, 2007 at 12:59 pm

    Brian-

    I never said that. Please REREAD what I said. I only said that Loretta’s district isn’t as “deep blue” as Barbara Lee’s distrct or Maxine Water’s district, so the local maters that constituents in CA-47 care about may NOT be the same things that voters in CA-09 and CA-35 care about. I never said that Lee or Waters or any of the other progressives don’t care about their constituents. They obviously do, and they’re doing a TERRIFIC job of doing just that. All I said is that Loretta is trying to represent the wishes of her constituents in Orange County in he best way she can, and that may not always mean that she does what progressive activists outside the district may want her to do.

    johnson-

    You obviously missed every point that I and other local Democrats have been trying to make in this thread. It’s not always an easy task to balance the needs of local constituents with the wants of progressive activists, but Loretta is trying VERY HARD to do just that. But the more you and other out-of-town activists get hostile toward her, the less she and her aides wll want to even talk to you. Way to make friends!

    No wonder why you don’t like Democrats…

  37. August 13, 2007 at 1:09 pm

    Let’s make a deal here. I wholeheartedly support Loretta defending California jobs and the C17 cargo plane being built in California helps brings a ton of jobs to California. To all those ripping Loretta for standing up for working families, what is your solution? Where will these folks get their money to feed their families? Do you have backup jobs for them that pay as much if not more than what they are making now? Hey, I have a plan, all you sit in activists and the apologists put all your money together and pay all these workers their regular yearly salary while they try to find a new job.

    Do we have a deal? Stop questioning the progressive credentials of anyone who does not agree with you all 100%. Loretta wants our troops home ASAP, but she is not going to sacrifice American jobs and compromise a person’s ability to provide for their family just to appease your ideological views. Thank you Loretta for standing up for California workers.

  38. August 13, 2007 at 1:36 pm

    Andrew-

    Yes I would. It’s the people from whom I expect better that I request better.

  39. johnson
    August 13, 2007 at 1:44 pm

    To anyone who thinks defense jobs
    couldn’t be quickly replaced with
    a simple change of spending, I have
    one word: Minneapolis. Make that
    three: Minneapolis, New Orleans.

    Not sure where Andrew’s “out of town
    activists” came from, but I’ve lived
    in the County, within a couple of
    miles of her district, for 18 years.

    So uh.. are all the ersatz liberals
    posting here residents of her district?

    When Sanchez, Royce, and Rohrabacher
    all sit down for a friendly discussion
    of how to pay off the local defense
    industries, I don’t think district lines
    bother them much. They know the
    lines will be re-gerrymandered every
    10 years, to their mutual agreement.

    Yes Andrew, if disagreeing is “missing
    your point”, so be it.

    “Why you don’t like Democrats”? You
    have no idea.

    Peace groups have had quiet, civil
    sit-downs with Sanchez and her staff
    before. When some of us visited in
    2001 and remarked that Iraq is no
    threat to the U.S., her staffer laughed
    in our faces. He used a “terrorist”
    threat as a reason to vote for
    Son of Star Wars, as if “terrorists”
    had ICBM’s.

  40. August 13, 2007 at 2:09 pm

    It’s the people from whom I expect better that I request better.

    A very fair point, Lucas. But what some people either don’t know or are forgetting is that Loretta’s district is not a particularly liberal one. It’s a working class area where people care about bread and butter issues like jobs. Loretta is a flaming moderate because she represents a flamingly moderate district.

    I think some folks believe Loretta is an Ellen Tauscher or a Jane Harmon, a moderate Dem in a solidly blue district. It simply isn’t the case.

    There are about 6% more Dems than Reeps in Loretta’s district. In the district of Jerry McNerney, the Dem who recently defeated Richard Pombo (R), there are about 6% more Reeps than Dems. So it’s a district that can easily be flipped to the Reeps just as Pombo’s district was recently flipped to the Dems.

    Think Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez is too moderate? You’re just going to love Congressman Van Tran.

    (Not.)

  41. Andrew Davey
    August 13, 2007 at 2:16 pm

    Lucas- Sorry, but I don’t see respect as mouthing off at the office staffers, demanding the Conresswoman to sin a pledge, and refuse to leave the office after being asked repeatedly to do so. I think you need to add a “dis-” to our “respect” to make the term complete. Again, as much as I usualy respect the work of these peace activists, I don’t appreciate their DISRESPECT for Loretta Sanchez, someone who’s constantly been on our side, even when it WAS the “politically risky” thing to do.

    johnson- OK, you lost me now. Loretta Sanchez is not “conservative”, ad she’s never been “pro-war”. And if you don’t like Loretta now, you’ll ABSOLUTELY HATE REP. VAN TRAN (R-CROOK)!

    Claudio- Great point. Loretta’s trying to keep jobs hre in OC. It’s not “pro-war”… Just pro-working family.

    Gila- As always, you’re totally right! I just don’t get why some “progressives” making comments here WANT TO REPLACE LORETTA WITH A REPUBLICAN. I think Loretta has more than gone out of her way to be as progressiveas she can be. This IS a moderate district, and sometime’s it’s so easy for all of us to forget that.

  42. johnson
    August 13, 2007 at 4:03 pm

    Giving Sanchez a free pass because the
    only alternative is presumably a Van Tran
    is of course the good cop/bad cop game.
    They’re all in on it. It’s her district,
    bought & paid for. The Reps know that
    and don’t put up a serious candidate
    against her.

  43. johnson
    August 14, 2007 at 10:58 pm

    I just flipped through the election
    results of November 2006. Of 53 House
    seats in California, only three had
    the candidates coming within ten percentage
    points of each other. Sanchez & Tran
    were of course not among them. That
    district was about average: 60-some
    to 30-some.

    Easily explained by:

    http://www.fairvote.org/op_eds/ladn102002.htm

    Sanchez has quite a record of giving the
    game away when she talks to the press,
    for which I suppose I should be grateful.

    The protest in her office was well worth
    it for her remarks alone.

    –GJ

  44. t for tell it like it is
    August 17, 2007 at 6:09 pm

    Most of you DO just sit and type, just talking back and forth, up and down, while the occupation you might not explicitly support rages on, mostly because none of your family members have perished in it (and Art, I really doubt you’re going to blame a group of protesters in Garden Grove if your cousin dies 13,000 miles away). And you don’t have any Iraqi friends, so you don’t care if their family members and friends in Iraq are going through hell on earth, what with internal displacement and panic-stricken firespray from US troops for lack of rigid rules of engagement.

    And the troops? They’ve been coralled into a country where they can’t go home unless “the umphteenth mission’s complete” and they search and destroy and suppression-fire just to survive. Most of them want to come home. Should we ignore them, those brave men & women, because politicians are afraid other people will be out of a job? How many 47th CD constituents work in the defense industry anyway?

    Please! Knock some sense into one another.

    The employment issue and ubiquitous campaign promise to bring more jobs to [insert state] is a perrenial one. We will forever and ever have to confront that issue for as long as capitalism exists and evolves, and industries and corporations rise and fall. But Iraq is a more urgent issue and the golden opportunity to change course is in September. Why would you pass that opp up for something we could rehash in a stand-alone legislation or amendment C-17 buliding?

    And the new argument that arose out of this discussion thread that voting for C-17 building and thereby protecting defense jobs is pro-working families and not pro-war is oh-so-convenient. If she’s really pro-working families, then consider the big picture, the long term. Troops that are returning from combat with PTSD and TBI are going to need so much care, tax money from hardworking families and their kids’ families will go to pay for that while not having sufficient health care themselves, money for a higher education, what have we.

    Also, there’s a recent report stating that veterans from other campaigns are (re-)experiencing PTSD upon seeing images of combat in Iraq. C’mon, people, get with it! Our current Iraq policy is bankrupting us, dollars and sanity! Blue collar families ARE going to suffer if we let this occupation continue. What’s more, to allow Loretta to vote yes in order to maintain defense jobs is to give a nod to the military-industrial-prison-complex, at which so many of you scrunch your faces but don’t really care what devastation lies in its wake so long as all four limbs are intact.

    Walk the talk and stop making excuses! It’s killing someone you don’t know.

    Her default vote for further funding combat ops in Iraq and Afghanistan would do more damage than voting yes to “better” equip our troops and provide defense jobs. No matter how you slice it, our troops in Iraq will almost certainly still be underequipped, because they’ve been since 2003. Hello, it’s 2007! If you think it’s all right for servicemembers to have to buy scrap metal from an Iraqi junkyard to armor their vehicles, then see if Loretta’s YEA vote will do anything to change that. Yeah, right?

    Light Bulb, do you work for Loretta? You said it’s impossible for anything “to change your simple little minds as you only see the world in black and white”… hmm, and YOU don’t? Just because you prize Loretta over Dornan and her leadership abilities, does that mean you should sit back and give her carte blanche? I wish I could get a full-time job that I could keep without periodic reviews for pay raises, even with customer complaints. Just because you have a crush on her, Light Bulb, doesn’t mean others have to take the blue pill.

    Light Bulb, you further elucidate, “Oh and the reason you were finally arrested was to make way for the constituents coming into the office the following morning. In case you forgot, it’s not all about you and your cause. Does the hard-working, blue-collar constituent that is going through a separate crises suffer less because you say so?” The only people who’d know “why” we got arrested would have to either work there or know someone who works there.

    In response to same, I love how people who don’t agree with us peace activists just put words in our mouths. Many of you here, you’re folks OK with the status quo. You might wish things were different, e.g. the war never started, but you sure as hell don’t do anything to effectively make things different. You’re badmouthing Reeps as you call them (what a cultish term by the way) has already been recorded and entered into the annals of hate-for-Other history. What’s left on the to-do list is to defend, deny, and defend–the likes of Loretta no matter how much shit’s hit the fan.

    Politics is like sports entertainment. And there’s a pathology that characterizes any hard-core fan. Once you’ve chosen your favorite player, you wear their jersey, use their name in some account password, and say you’re rooting for the underdog when the player fares poorly. Loretta is faring poorly, and we peace activists see that.

    But at the same time, we recognize she has potential that other OC reps don’t. She’s a Congresswoman whose votes affect all of OC and the entire country for that matter. So if I’m going to protest something that’s affecting everybody resulting from or that might result from her vote, she’s fair game. Accept it and get over it, you 47th CD elitists.

  45. grouchomarxist
    August 19, 2007 at 1:05 pm

    To a t you said it , right on the mark. It is apparent that “liberal” in OC means that the Reep central committee, top-down, “Kool-Aid” mentality has been transferred whole to the Democratic apparatus. Not surprising since most of the crew are ex-Reds who switched sides.

  46. Andrew Davey
    August 19, 2007 at 3:30 pm

    grouchomarxist-

    Not exactly. I don’t think it’s fair to generalize all of us as “ex-Reds” and “conservatives”. Just because we appreciate Loretta Sanchez and her good work for working families in OC doesn’t mean we agree with her 100% of the time. And no, it DEFINITELY doesn’t make us all “conservative”. I guess if you’re willing to call a far-left progressive like me “conservative”, then you don’t really know what a REAL conservative looks like.

    But keep pummeling Loretta, and maybe CONGRESSMAN VAN TRAN (R-CROOK) can show you. :-(

  47. OC Voter
    August 19, 2007 at 6:25 pm

    3,706 Americans dead
    1,012,979 Iraqis slaughtered
    $453,391,703,336 cost of U.S. war and occupation of Iraq

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info

    Respect our Mililtary!
    Defund the illegal Iraq invasion now.
    Bring the troops home now.
    Take care of them when they get here.

  48. citizen M
    August 28, 2007 at 7:10 am

    HEY BUSH AND YOUR CRONIES..AFTER READING THESE BLOGS..HEADS UP THE BRAIN WASHING IS WORKING!!!
    YOU HAVE YOUR FAUX ARMY HERE IN OC..
    YEP THEY SUPPORT THE WAR BECAUSE THEY SACRIFICE NOTHING..WHAT HAPPENED TO SHARED SACRIFICE? OH YOU RIGHT WING IDIOTS THINK IF YOU PUT YOUR 99 CENT STORE SUPPORT THE TROOPS MAGNET YOU HAVE DONE YOUR JOB..NOPE!!!
    IF YOU SUPPORT THIS WAR BY OWNING STOCK IN WAR MACHINE COMPANIES YOU ARE A WAR CRIMINAL.
    WAR CRIMINALS WILL BE FOUND..YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE.
    THOSE WHO DONT SUPPORT THE SANCHEZ SIX, EVEN IF YOU DISAGREE YOU ARE NOT A TRUE PATRIOT..YOU ARE THE FRAUD ALL THE OTHERS COUNTRIES SAY WE ARE..YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED..

    SANCHEZ SIX- YOU GUYS ARE SHOWING THE WORLD THAT LORETTA SANCHEZ IS A FRAUD, THE SIX KNOW IT AND SO DO WE
    CITIZEN M…

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