Tuesday, October 02, 2007



3 blind mice: going the way of the dodo?

A shower of riches for the Democrats today. Last week we talked about how crooked Republican Jerry Weller (IL-11) had announced he was calling it quits and thereby avoids being dragged away in disgrace and indicted while still a congressman. He was elected from a classic swing district (Bush took 50% in 2000 and 53% in 2004; Weller beat a weak, underfunded opponent in 2006 with 55%) and without the benefit of incumbency, the Republicans are likely to chalk up another congressional loss in 2008. All the Democrats need is a strong candidate. Today they got one. With the urging of Nancy Pelosi over the weekend, Illinois Senate Majority Leader Debby Halvorson just confirmed that she’s running for the seat.

A few days before that, as the Republican cavalcade of quitters revved up, we also talked about the departure of fake-moderate Jim Ramstad in a moderate suburban district of the Twin Cities. Bush had taken MN-03 with 50% in 2000 and 51% in 2004. Last year Ramstad, more popular than his extremist party in the moderate district, took 65% against a weak opponent. This year whichever kook the Republicans try to slip into his seat, won't have a weak opponent. Well-liked and respected Democratic state Senator Terri Bonoff will officially toss her hat into the ring in 2 weeks. She's won twice in the district and will be favored to thrash the loony Republican likely to run, Erik Paulsen, a former state rep. with a reputation as a hard-right crackpot completely out of step with the district. Chalk up another win for the (sometimes) good guys.

And now we get to South Carolina. Lindsey Graham's plan of resigning to take a position in the McCain cabinet is on hold and with McCain unlikely to even have the airfare to get to the Republican Nominating Convention, Lindsey is mending fences with the GOP base in his own state, a base that has started hating him for not being extremist and xenophobic enough for their taste. In fact Lindsey has been really reviled in South Carolina after referring to anti-immigrant activists as "Know Nothings." Graham was hissed and boo-ed at his own state party's convention.

And now even Republicans joke about him being a closet queen, something more and more people in South Carolina, rather than just in DC, are becoming aware of. His hypocrisy is starting to worry people who are already predisposed towards distrusting and disliking him.

The problem was never finding an opponent to run against him, it was finding a Democratic opponent. Right wing Republicans are eager to take him on-- and if multimillionaire Republican crook Tom Ravenel hadn't been caught dealing cocaine he would have taken Lindsey on. But a Democrat? Not easy in one of the most backward, religionist, racist states in the Union (that they once tried to bust up). Anyway, the good news is that Joe Erwin, former head of the state Democratic Party, and a man greatly admired throughout the state, is probably going to run against Lindsey. Erwin is a true moderate, not a reactionary who calls himself a moderate. He's entrepreneurial, believes in equality and can appeal to the better side of folks who are starting to get a little tired of the bigots and haters always coming to them with their demagoguery.

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