Wednesday, November 01, 2006



An organization I'm affiliated with endorsed Harold Ford for the U.S. Senate a few days after Harold Ford felt the need to butt into the Connecticut senate race on behalf of fellow reactionary/corporate whore Joe Lieberman. I groused. But what are you gonna do? We have to take the Senate, right? We need Harry Reid as the Majority Leader instead of that crazed right-wing closet case from Kentucky, true? So I groused. I groused that my organization had endorsed an opportunistic, power-hungry self-aggrandizing prick, one of the only Democrats to have been rated an F in the DMI survey of how House votes impact the lives of the middle class. And I groused when I thought back about Harold Ford, very Lieberman-like, always looks to score points for himself at the expense of fellow Democrats and, more important, at the expense of basic Democratic ideals and values. Yeah, but he's better than Corker, right. Yeah, yeah.

Although... someone who votes to abolish habeus corpus and to allow George W. Bush, proven fascist scum, to determine who will and will not be tortured with no judicial review whatsoever... I mean Corker, schmorker. Could I ever vote for Harold Ford. I don't think so. And then my organization started raising money for him.

That made me ill. I moved from grousing and blogging to kvetching. I spoke to some of the other Board members and to the staff, especially after Ford figured out another way to throw a group of fragile, victimized Democrats under the bus by out-homophobing Corker about the New Jersey Supreme Court decision on civil unions. "I do not support the decision today reached by the New Jersey Supreme Court regarding gay marriage. I oppose gay marriage, and have voted twice in Congress to amend the United States Constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage. This November there's a referendum on the Tennessee ballot to ban same-sex marriage-- I am voting for it."

Ain't he tough! I don't live in Tennessee so there's nothing I could do about it. Well, there was one tiny thing. I helped spark a discussion among Board members and staff if we should really be raising money for so loathsome a character as Harold Ford. One person, a former congressman-- a week after the decision was made-- came to his defense on personal grounds and insisted that Ford was a swell fella. The former congressman is a swell fella so I'll have to take his word for it, although the decision, as I said, had already been made. Harold Ford was kicked off the fundraising page. Although in the end the decision was unanimous, there was some spirited defense of keeping Ford on the list based on the "better-than-Corker" argument and "Harry-Reid-For-Majority-Leader" argument. I suggested we concentrate money-raising on equally necessary candidates who we had at least a chance of not feeling ashamed of ourself for helping to elect, like Jim Webb and Claire McCaskill.

I just took a look-see and I noticed they've added a few more worthy candidates than Ford, some who I think are perfect, like Angie Paccione, Victoria Wulsin, Bruce Braley, Mary Jo Kilroy and Jerry McNerney, and some who I feel are decent Democrats who could prove themselves to be great congressmembers, like Tammy Duckworth, Dan Seals and Harry Mitchell.

I didn't write about the Kerry slip-o-the-tongue brouhaha yesterday. It was all over TV today, the GOP talking point being repeated ad naseum: did John Kerry hand the Republicans the gift they've been waiting for? Of course he hasn't, but Bush and Rove and Santorum and the rest will do their worst to try to turn it into something, all the while reminding voters of Bush's hated war in Iraq. Are people still listening to Bush and Rove and Santorum? I don't think so.

But what about Harold Ford? Are people listening to him? He's not even elected yet and he's already showing himself a willing and eager part of Team Bush. Sounding very Liebermanlike, Ford announced that "Whatever the intent, Senator Kerry was wrong to say what he said. He needs to apologize to our troops."

Republican-inspired media members will be breathlessly asking Democratic candidates to repudiate Kerry. The way to answer is not Harold Ford's way. The way to answer is by stating that they wholeheartedly agree with Senator Kerry's statement that it was stupid for Bush to get us stuck in a quagmire in Iraq." Anything other than that is playing into Karl Rove's gaping jaws.

A real Democrat and a winner handles this the way Eric Massa just did in responding to Karl Rove's Randy Kuhl's demands that he denounce John Kerry. Read what Massa had to say:
Congressional candidate and 24-year Navy veteran Eric Massa today responded to the current flap over Senator John Kerry’s remarks about the war in Iraq, and to a request from his opponent, incumbent Randy Kuhl. The Kuhl campaign this morning called on Massa to disavow Kerry’s remarks, and to return any money donated from Kerry’s Political Action Committee.
Massa said, "Randy Kuhl's so-called challenge is nonsense. Our fighting men and women in Iraq are the finest force in the world, but they’re stuck with weak and dishonest civilian leadership. Randy Kuhl has done nothing to support the troops, and just toes the Washington line about 'staying the course.'  General John Batiste characterized Kuhl and his position as 'uninformed' and 'lacking moral courage.' Enough said."
Massa added, "George Bush and John Kerry and Randy Kuhl have had their chance and failed to bring home either victory or the troops. It's time for a change down in Washington, and change is coming on Tuesday."
Massa’s campaign manager, Mike Nolan, also attacked Kuhl’s request about the Kerry money.  “You have to give Randy Kuhl points for audacity," he said. "For a guy who’s taken thousands of dollars from pharmaceutical companies and Wall Street firms and sponsored a bill to privatize social security, he has some nerve talking about money. Kuhl took $20,000 from Tom Delay and then cast the deciding vote on CAFTA, which exported American jobs. Then Kuhl refused to return the dirty money, even after Delay was indicted. If Randy Kuhl gives back the tainted money from Delay, or from Tom Reynold’s NRCC, or from the big drug companies, then we can talk. Until then, this so-called challenge is actually kind of sad."


My friend Jane pointed out that another great answer to Republican media hacks and propagandists pushing the Rove line on Kerry's gaffe would be: "John Kerry's inability to tell a proper joke should probably disqualify him from all future appearances on Comedy Central. But I'm glad you brought up the subject of Iraq...." And then John over at Crooks and Liars sent me a video that goes in a very similar direction. Think about it:


Matt over at MyDD is eloquent in explaining what makes men like Eric Massa, Charlie Brown and Jim Webb real men and why the George Bushes and Harold Fords of the world are weak, simpering pussies unworthy of trust or support.


At 10:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I appreciate everything you have done, and look forward to further writing from you, here and over at the 'Lake.

That said, this is not primary season. If anyone will work to primary Ford next time round, it'll be you, so I can't cast too many aspersions. Ford is the Dem candidate for now.

-Primordial Ooze

At 11:13 AM, Blogger Daniel DiRito said...

See a tongue-in-cheek posting that employs the same GOP tactic used in relation to Senator Kerry to creatively interpret remarks made by the President in the most unfavorable

At 7:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kerry has a right to say that the American has a few or more dumbasses in their roster.

Check it:

“The Army also has accepted a larger number of recruits whose score on a standardized aptitude test is at the lower end of the acceptable range, and it has granted waivers to permit the enlistment of people with criminal records that otherwise would disqualify them.”

At 7:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First the good: I enjoy immensely your web site and your stands on the things that matter.
Now the Not so Good: You ask, Did John Kerry just hand the election to George Bush. You might have phrased it this way. "Would one Skull and Bonesman help another Skull and Bonesman in his time of need." I will admit to professional cynicsm; especially when I see an ex prosecutor, multiple term senator "botch" a joke in such a way as to guarantee it rebounds to the benefit of the "opposition." Kerry cannot read from a teleprompter? He can't remember a simple joke? I am not buying into either sides spin on this one.

At 6:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now is not the time for progressives to bash Ford. It's Tennessee, its the South, and somebody like Russ feingold will not get elected down there. Ford knows his state and he knows what has to be said to get elected down there. I don't know that much about the guy, but he strikes me as tough and smart, qualities that have been in short supply in the Democratic party lately.

At 8:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim Webb? A real democrat? He was a republican until a minute and a half ago. He'll switch back the second the democrats piss him off, which shouldn't take long. R2D2. He can't decide which party he likes, this week.


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