Monday, August 6, 2007

Durbin video found

Dick Durbin's purged YouTube video—where he exhorts the Daily Kos nutroots to help re-elect him and his colleagues—has surfaced. Backyard Conservative's Anne Leary found it and has posted it here.

Here is a transcript of the first four minutes of Durbin's five minute talk. The video link above crashes my video player before the end. Note the overt political nature of much of the video. The diatribe was delivered with the U.S. Senate seal depicted on screen. As Leary points out, Senate ethics guidelines make it very clear it is against the law to use the seal for campaign purposes.

Michelle Malkin has a rundown as well.

Well, welcome to Chicago, one of the greenest big cities in the world and one of bluest states in America. We're proud to host the historic gathering of the 2007 YearlyKos convention. Wish I could be with you. Been looking forward for weeks to hearing some impassioned, progressive discussion and matching faces to some of the brave bloggers that are changing America. Unfortunately, I'm stuck in Washington tonight, headed to Iraq and Afghanistan tomorrow. So I send this video greeting instead and hope maybe next year I can get together with you in person.

Chicago is the city of broad shoulders and broad minds. Thanks to the Sun-Times, we also have Bob Novak, or as Karl Rove calls him, speed dial number three. Speaking of Novak, did you see that story last week where Novak described heaven as, quote, a place where there are no blogs. Well, you can understand why he might say that, and why others like friends at the fair and balanced Fox News are saying the same kind of thing. But millions of other Americans see it just the opposite. They're looking at what's happening in our country these last few years and saying thank heaven for the blogs. And thank heavens for progressive blogs where people can write and read the truth and organize to fight for a better America. It's obvious why. The progressive blogosphere is opening up the political discussion to new people, new ideas and new energy. You're really changing the Democratic Party and you're changing America for the better. The progressve netroots (inaudible) millions of americans who felt their views weren't just being spoken aloud, much less heard by politicians and pundits and you've been a force in nearly every positive change we've seen in American politics in recent years. You helped expose the outing of a CIA officer. When the administration claimed the US Attorneys purge was just a quote, overblown personnel matter, the progressive netroots showed that it was an attack on democracy. Because of the progressive netroots, we stopped the privatization of Social Security. John Bolton is no longer working at the United Nations. Duke Cunningham is no longer in the House.

If it weren't for the progressive netroots, I wouldn't be assistant majority leader in the United States Senate. You made a big difference. Two races that come to mind immediately. Jim Webb and Jon Tester. Close victories. Not to mention scores of House and local races. You restored checks and balances in Washington. You're helping to bring clarity and honesty to the debate on Iraq, and that's the most critical issue we face. We came a few votes short of what we needed after the all-night debate just last month to end the Republican filibuster on the Levin-Reid amendment, but believe me, that's just the start. You gave my Democratic colleagues and me the support to stand up and fight to end this war. You helped turn up the pressure on wavering senators and you even persuaded a few to cross over and join us. That's progress. And I want you to know, we are going to build on it—during the month of August and beyond. Next year, netroots activism is going to be a critical force in helping to elect a Democratic president and expand our majorities in the House and the Senate. We're fortunate to have so many terrific candidates running for the White House. I'm really proud of all the Democrats in the race and the House Democratic candidates who are coming forward. But they won't be able to win on their own. They need your help. And so will I—running for re-election to the Senate in Illinois. I know progressive candidates can count on your help and you're also going to challenge us from time to time—and you should. We need to run the best races we can, so that we can get America moving in the right direction. In the meantime, there are things we need to do right now together to keep this people powered politics growing. We need to preserve the integrity of the internet. Develop and implement a national broadband policy that works for everybody.
I wonder how Durbin avoids a Senate ethics probe.

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