Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Koufax Finalists Posted

Wampum has posted the finalists for the 2005 Koufax Awards and I am very happy to be one of them in the Best Post category for my piece immediately following Hurricane Katrina called I Know This Little Boy in New Orleans.

As I’ve said before, the Koufax Awards are the biggies for liberal writers and to make it into the finals has me more excited than George W. Bush when Dick Cheney actually lets him “play president.”

But there’s something about the vote-for-me feeding frenzy that surrounds these awards that bothers me… By saying that, I mean no disrespect to the amazing folks at Wampum, who do everything in their power to promote a sense of community pride and selflessness in the whole endeavor.

At the risk of being an awards killjoy, I need to say that, for any award to be truly worthwhile, it needs to be about merit and not simply a contest to see who can cajole the most votes from friends and regular readers, who often do not even take the time to consider the other nominees.

So I ask you this: Please go and read all of the nominees for Best Post. It’s a talented lot and I am proud to be among them. If you read all of these posts and still choose to vote for mine, it will truly mean something to me. If you consider all of this fine writing and vote for someone else, that’s OK too – things have still worked out the way they should.

So, who gets my vote for Best Post? It’s a tough choice and, no, I will not vote for myself.

Michael Berube’s Was I ever wrong is simply outstanding writing that tugs at emotion like most great prose tends to do… Melting the Skin Off of Children by Hunter at Daily Kos, a compelling post about the U.S. use of white phosperous in Iraq, informed me, haunted me and is also a worthy contender. It Was the Best of Times; It Was the Worst of Times at The Fat Lady Sings is a wonderful narrative that you won’t be able to stop reading.

But I’m voting for Glenn Greenwald’s Bush's unchecked Executive power v. the Founding principles of the U.S.

Why? Because of why we all do this blogging thing. Because I have an eight-year-old son and one of the reasons I write and remain active in politics is that I fear for the world he is inheriting. And because, in this post – as he does with most of his writing – Glenn takes a hard look at the foundation of our Democracy, what was intended and what we are realizing under the reign of our version of King George.

“Both the Bush Administration’s theory of its own unchecked power and its indiscriminate and aggressive use of that power to violate Congressional law contradicts every constitutional principle created to ensure that we do not live under unchecked Executive tyranny,” writes Glenn. “If the President is allowed to get away with secretly decreeing that he can violate the law and then doing exactly that, then there really are no remaining checks on Executive power -- and we have, without hyperbole, arrived at the very definition of tyranny.”

How good is that?

Glenn gets my vote. But, if I Know This Little Boy in New Orleans touches you more or speaks to you in a way the other posts do not, I’m grateful for your support and thank you in advance for your vote.

But, please, read them all.