Sunday, May 09, 2010

Can Brigham Young's Great Great Gay Progressive Granddaughter Oust A Blue Dog And Win A House Seat In Utah?


I'm finished bashing Utah. Over! Done! A hearty band of awesome Democrats there put their collective foot down and prevented anti-healthcare Blue Dog Jim Matheson from winning the party endorsement at yesterday's convention in Salt Lake City. No more South Park jokes for me. Matheson is one of the most reactionary Democrats in Congress, consistently crossing the aisle to vote with the Republicans on key issues. Since Obama was elected, his ProgressivePunch score-- a dismal 35.37-- has been identical to those of two of the most unsavory of the Old South Blue Dogs, John Barrow (GA) and Mike Ross (AR). And, like Barrow and Ross, he left the Democratic Party to vote for the anti-choice Stupak Amendment and against healthcare reform. Now Utah Democrats are sick enough of the ten-year incumbent to say no.

Sensing that retired school teacher Claudia Wright was making headway, Matheson put in a hysterical call begging Steny Hoyer to fly out to Salt Lake City to save him. Hoyer did fly out, and begged and cajoled delegates to vote for Matheson, but ultimately failed to secure the party endorsement for him. He came up 5% short of the 60% needed.

So what about Claudia? Well, how about this? She's Brigham Young's great great granddaughter! And she left the Mormon Church. And she's openly gay and living with her partner. And, better yet, she's a brilliant woman with a solidly Democratic platform that shows Matheson is really nothing but a tarted-up Republican in a blue jersey!

Can she beat Matheson?
Wright, a retired high school teacher and college gender-studies instructor, fought a spirited campaign at convention to assure delegates she is electable in a district that Matheson's backers said is too conservative for her. Liberal Salt Lake City Democrats had chosen her to challenge Matheson after his vote against the health care reform bill, pushed by President Barack Obama.

Wright went room-to-room in the morning caucuses at the Salt Palace Convention Center telling delegates that Republicans have become so radical in their nominating process that some of their party members will consider Democrats, including her.

"The Republican Party has moved so far right that those Republicans who are moderate are seriously considering becoming Democrats," Wright said in the morning to the Stonewall Democrats, a gay-rights caucus.

"This election belongs to whoever can get voters out to vote," she said.

..."I get it," Matheson told the crowd, not long after dozens of them had held up signs for his opponent and chanted, "Wright for Utah!"

"You're angry about some of my votes," he said, drawing some ironic applause. "But I'm a Democrat and I'm here to tell you I don't run from that label, because it's in my blood."

Wright also was battling a powerful Matheson advocate in U.S. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD). He said Matheson had invited him to Utah, and he came to help re-elect him and keep the Democratic majority in Congress.

Hoyer made a pragmatic pitch to delegates, saying that only Matheson can win in the moderately conservative 2nd Congressional District and that he is important to the majority even if he doesn't vote strictly along party lines.

"I expect members of Congress to come and represent their districts," he said in a news conference. He contrasted Democrats' "big tent" to the far-right Republicans who rejected three-term Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, and urged Democrats not to splinter in the same way.

"Jim Matheson is uniquely qualified and uniquely in touch with that district," he said.

Not everyone in the district agrees. Bush won UT-02 both times with two-thirds of the votes, but in 2008 Obama held McCain to 57%. Perhaps even more important, moderate Republicans are repulsed by what they've seen their party turn into. This isn't just a party of teabaggers; this is a full-on fascist party of crazed militia loons and separatists. If Wright wins the Democratic nomination, she can win the election-- and Democrats are ready for a real Democrat.

On the issues, there's no question who the real Democrat is. Wright supports Alan Grayson's proposal of Medicare for all, supports women's choice, plain and simple. She's an environmentalist; he voted against the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, promoting clean energy and limiting emissions of greenhouse gases, and he voted against HR2454 (cap and trade). Claudia is a strong advocate of a humane and comprehensive immigration policy; Matheson is all about building a high border fence. Claudia supports public funding for campaigns, and Matheson is another sleazy conservative, taking immense sums of money from the industries and corporations he's supposed to be overseeing. And of course he's a vicious homophobe who voted for a constitutional amendment to ban marriage equality. Claudia believes people should have the right to marry whomever they want to. It will probably come as no surprise that Blue America immediately added her to our Bad Dogs page, dedicated to replacing reactionary Blue Dogs with progressive Democrats. I hope you'll join me in supporting her there.

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At 9:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bunch of crap; the writer's prejudice, or, if you wish, departure from realty is evidenced by use of the term "tea-baggers". The Tea Party is presently forming in two camps. Palin leads the social conservatives and Ron Paul the fiscal conservatives. They are united by opposition to the Bush/Obama Ponzi schemes and the Blue Dogs will join them, along with many wavering Republicans when the more extreme positions of the social conservatives are filtered out. Whether this will be enough to recapture the GOP from the RINOs is yet to be seen. One thing is clear; this movement is struggling for the survival of the country as more and more economists, from an ever-widening pool, are recognizing the economic threat. We must throw the Chicago money changers out of DC. We must once again become a nation that saves to have, not borrows to have. We must repel the corrupt in both parties that through campaign finance reform, to prevent initial corruption, followed by term limits to make later corruption uneconomical. Agree? Email me tbeebe6535(at)yahoo(dot)com

At 10:25 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

>> "departure from realty is evidenced by use of the term "tea-baggers"."

No departure here, just the reminder - the Teabaggers first applied that phrase to themselves, use of it serves to illustrate their overwhelming reactionary bent to shoot first, investigate or learn, if ever, later.

Totally legitimate usage, with purpose.


At 1:34 PM, Blogger Cosmic Surfer said...

Michael, don't you know that these tea cozied teabaggers can't stand that they created a metaphor that they didn't catch in time but fits them like laminate on an AZ citizen ID card?

GREAT read, by the way....Utah does have one or two progressives and FINALLY they have someone for whom to vote....
Brigham Young isn't going to like his great great grand-daughter not being pregnant and popping a passel of kids...Hell - how are the planets going to stay in the skies?

I will donate to that campaign and I am a full state away...UPPITY WOMEN UNITE!

At 12:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting misuse of the term "realty" in the comment from the teabagger. "Reality" isn't a useful concept for those blinded by fear and resentment, but "realty" they've mastered at weekend conferences and strive to attain piecemeal, much as they desperately hoard what little gold they can afford from the hucksters quickly offloading for their clients. In their world being a gold-dealing slumlord sets them apart from the riff-raff and "ethnic" others to whom they rent their substandard housing. Reality bites from behind.

At 10:00 AM, Blogger Cousin Mark said...

The Tea Party is presently forming in two camps. Palin leads the social conservatives and Ron Paul the fiscal conservatives.

"Drill baby drill" and "whites only"......I think I will camp somewhere else.


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