Sunday, October 22, 2006

A brief history of why we are at this point.

If you had told me ten years ago that in 2006, we would have the chance to elect a African-American to the United States Senate as a Democrat, and that I would be either ambivalent or dismissive, I would have laughed at you or punched you out.

However, here we are, and I am ready to write in someone else for the United States Senate at a time where we DESPERATELY need Democrats to control the Senate. So, why not Junior?

For those who have paid attention, since 1998, when Bill Clinton was under attack by the Goopers for his unnecessary indiscretions, I remember that Junior joined them, albeit not as intense. While I too was upset with the President, I thought it wrong to attack him, as the Goopers were doing just fine on their own. THAT was when I first suspected something was not right about the eldest son of Memphis' finest Congressman.

Then, his votes kept taking a further rightward lurch, especially on issues that affected his mostly poor-to-middle-class constituency, culminating in his vote for the giveaway to the credit-card industry, the bankruptcy bill. As his candidacy for the US Senate progressed, he seemed determined to make other Tennesseans forget he was from Memphis (or at least born here) and he stopped representing the 9th District.

In addition, moves were made behind the scenes to ensure that progressives, who were NOT enamored with his pandering to the right, would have NO chance to voice opposition to him in the Democratic primary.

While Rosalind Kurita may not exactly have been Barbara Boxer, at least she took Democratic positions on health and economic issues, and her favorable rating from the NRA would not have hurt her in a statewide race. She would have been a formidable candidate.

At least, if the DSCC had not worked behind the scenes to ensure that she could not raise money, killing her chances to run a creditable campaign. With her withdrawal, Ford, instead of reassuring his base, ran AWAY from them, sounding more like a Republican candidate than any of the three ACTUAL Goopers running for Senate.

The first rule of Politics 101 is this: SECURE YOUR BASE. He ASSUMED, that, because he was the guaranteed Democratic nominee, since we (supposedly) had nowhere to go, we would sit down, shut up, and vote for him. That was yet another mistake.

All of that could have been forgiven, maybe, if the last assault on the decency of the progressive movement in Tennessee had not been undertaken: the Jake Ford Campaign.

Jake, who at 34 did not finish either high school or college, and was a failed wrestler and had a job with his father's lobbying firm, started off sounding like he belonged in a campaign. However, once he actually faced Steve Cohen, 24 years a State Senator and 30 years in public life, his shortcomings as a candidate were exposed, and he quickly became a pitiable figure.

Then, Harold Ford Senior got involved. While no one can blame a man for supporting his sons, the fact that now Jake Ford was claiming to be an "Independent Democrat" and was attacking Steve Cohen for being too liberal provoked the progressive community into rage.

When you force an animal into a corner, it's going to fight back with everything it has. That, in essence, is what happened with the progressives and the bloggers who have emerged from that camp. It wasn't bad enough that you are trying to elect the southern version of Joe Lieberman as a Democrat, now you are attacking the best hope for Democratic progressive values, Steve Cohen, suggesting he was gay and intimating that he shouldn't be elected because he wasn't Christian???

Then, after Cohen, who has campaigned as tirelessly for Junior as he has for himself, mentioned that this was hurting Junior due to backlash, Junior attacked the Democratic nominee for his old seat, even suggesting Cohen was in league with Corker.

This strategy has backfired horribly, as the bloggers have gotten the story out all over the state and nation, and enraged the base. Harold Ford Junior is losing votes by the second, which may explain his actions on Friday with Bob Corker.

NOW he figures out that his base is not secure. With 2 1/2 weeks to go in the campaign and early voting having begun, it's too damn late to shore that up now, sir.

And so, in order to save what's left of my party and what it stands for, I am forced to not vote for the man who would have been the first elected African-American Senator from the South since Reconstruction.

No, I'm not voting for Bob Corker; frankly, NONE of the candidates on that ballot are worthy of anyone's support, and I'll write someone in.

When the post-mortem of this election is written, and Harold Ford Junior is desperate to assign responsibility for his loss, I remind you of the words of one of my political godfathers: Victory has many fathers, but when there is a loss, it is the candidate him or her self that is ultimately responsible.


Brad Watkins said...

The key is that Ford forgot..."All politics is local."

Unlisted said...

I am with you LWC. Initially, I was going to hold my nose and vote for HFJ, but I just can't bring myself to do it. His pretentious Christian commercials and clear pandering to the Fallwell/Robertson types is just sickening to me.

As for Jake, if that clown wins I don't know what to say about the City of Memphis.

Unlisted said...

By the way, for whatever it's worth, the latest Zogby poll shows HFJ down by 7%

On top of that, I can't see his crashing of Corker's press conference doing anything but hurting.

With the Lieberman and Ford types, the Democrats seem to be screwing up all over the place. I think this is going to turn out to be a disaster for Democrats (Senate-wise) across the country in that they will not win control

autoegocrat said...

If Lieberman wins and Ford loses, then Markos has some 'splaining to do.

Good job, Cracker. We have been pushed into a corner, and there was no sane reason whatsoever for Junior to do that. He had the safest Congressional seat in America.

But one question: when did Junior figure out that his base isn't secure? I see no evidence of that.

Formerly Considered Moderate said...

Bravo LWC. Have to cast a vote of some sort in the Senate race to show the protest factor - otherwise it just looks like drop-off. Who do you suggest we write in?

polar donkey said...

you know on November 7th, all of us progressive bloggers are going to get hammered for undermining Jr. Brad and I were talking about this yesterday. There should be one simple response to that charge-We didn't screw Jr, Jr screwed Jr.

mike said...

"If Lieberman wins and Ford loses, then Markos has some 'splaining to do."

Derek, Kos is something like 2 out of 20 right now. He's the Bob Shrum of the anti-Bush Left!

And LWC, it's "Victory has many fathers but failure is an orphan."

Ford's problem, as I've said before, is prematurity. He's always making his moves just a bit too soon. When he has Daddy to back him up, he can be successful. As in his taking over his father's throne. But on his own, as in challenging Pelosi for the House Democratic leadership post, he fails.

His problem with the Senate race is that Daddy's help falls somewhere in between. Daddy can work to secure the base in Shelby County, but not much else. Otherwise, Junior's on his own.

He has a reliance on his own charisma that borders on the unwarranted, as we're seeing now.

Every rock star eventually fails to hit the Top Ten, and we may be seeing that now with Harold. But don't cry for him. He'll end up just as wealthy as Daddy and snugly in the bosom of Washington's lobbying corp.

bob said...

Since you mention it, remember who else spoke righteously against Clinton's indiscretions? Holy Joe.

It's clear that Ford emulates (and loves) Joe. What I can't understand is people who vehemently want Joe outta there for the destruction he causes, but don't seem to be all that bothered by Harold's style.

I'm telling ya, Harold IS Joe, without the yamaka.

nut-meg said...

Like I said before, I've done soul searching and I'm still going to have to vote for Ford. I don't know if they'll let me take the vomit bucket into the polls, but they better.

I don't blame anyone who has decided to write in. Believe me, I am not one of those "shut up and vote how Markos tells you to vote" people. I suggest writing in Rosalind Kurita.

The main reason I have decided to go ahead and vote for Ford is Corker. I do believe I'd vote for a pile of bricks over that smarmy bastard.

I could vote for Lugo, but come on. . ,

Jim Maynard said...

People, if you want to send a real "message" vote for Chris Lugo, he is a PRROGRESSIVE, and even if for some stupid reason you don't "like" him, at least vote for the issues. You can't vote for Corker, and it would mean absolutely nothing to not vote at all.

Chris Lugo for Senate!
A REAL progressive

Freedonian said...

The key is that Ford forgot..."All politics is local."

Hell, Brad--- Has he been around here enough to know "local"? Could he even find Riverside Drive?

Excellent post, Brother Cracker.

TN420 said...

Good word, LWC.

Yeah, you know how I feel about Jr. When you run for office you run with your intended base behind you. You don't take money from Libs and Centrists then pander to the Right Wing fringe. That's what Ford has done.

Going all the way back to our first phone call to Ford's people asking about Ford's opposition the medical marijuana, they hung up on us.
And there our disdain for Ford began.

When the DLC supported Ford over Kurita I believed right then it was over for Dems. We shall see.