Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Hail Mary Politics

I swear, I haven't seen this many people trying to run Hail Mary plays since the last time I had a Madden Football XBox tournament at my house.

Ed Bryant is trying to pretend he's the guy to beat in the Republican primary by taking a few nasty shots at Ford over his father's trial thirteen years ago. Acting Attorney General Stuart Gerson, a holdover from the White House of Bush the Elected, ruled that it was wrong for the government to jury-shop and backed Ford Sr's play to unseat a mostly white jury out of Jackson. Of course, like all insane, frothing wingnuts, Ed Bryant has a conspiracy theory, and like the conspiracy theories of all insane, frothing wingnuts, his conspiracy theory involves Webb Hubbell, who didn'tactually play a role in the decision. That's not just Hubbell saying he played no role in it--- Gerson said it himself. This is Bryant's effort to create the illusion that he's out front while reminding Tennessee's insane, frothing wingnuts of his fifteen minutes of fame--- His tenure as the House Impeachment Manager during the Clinton years. You know, the guy whose playbook ended up being responsible for Clinton gaining about 20% in his approvals as they morphed a substance-free real estate scam investigation into a referendum on an extramarital affair. One has to wonder why Bryant isn't choosing to run on his record as cosponsor of the legislation that rendered the Constitution as meaningful as something written on a cocktail napkin, the USA Patriot Act.

The night before last, Ron Redwing took to the airwaves to proclaim that only a black man can represent Tennessee's Ninth District. Politically speaking, he has no issues, so the entire campaign strategy can be summed up with the sentence "Vote for me because I'm black". An anoymous comment here the other day complained about all this discussion of race... And I agree with him. But I can't help wondering if he notices who keeps bringing it up. Stanton and Redwing race-bait, and we're supposed to pretend it doesn't matter. If a white candidate was out there saying "Vote for me or a black guy will win the seat", I would brand him an idiot and hammer away at him every chance I got. I see no reason to show mercy for a pair of babbling idiots when the roles are reversed. The candidates that are pretending that only one skin color can represent a district dishonor Dr. King so greatly that they might as well take a big, greasy shit on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel. His dream, after all, was a simple one: "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." Click that link. Reread his words. Apparently, some people need to be reminded of them.

And finally, we come to Joe Lieberman. From his time spent as a skirt-wearing, pom pom-bearing cheerleader for the Bush White House, to his unwavering support for an immoral and unjust war, to his tenure as go-to Democrat for Sean Hannity (Joe wins the Zell Miller Award for Excellence in Democrat-Bashing), Joe has spent his term betraying the interests of the people of Connecticut. They wanted a Democrat, and they got HIM instead. Now, there's a true progressive candidate that speaks with a progressive voice running against him, and Joe's running Karl Rove's playbook--- He's accused Lamont suporters of being "Republican" (An old cliché about pots and kettles leaps to mind), as well as being "cut and run" Democrats. Much like Redwing, the general strategy is poised for backfire, reminding voters only of why they loathe him to start with.

He's in trouble this year, no doubt. General polling numbers have him 15 points ahead of Lamont, but there's a reason they can't take comfort with that--- Voter turnout in primary season is notoriously low, and the people that are truly motivated to show up for reasons such as an outright loathing for a rightwing Democrat are often, as our silver-tongued devil of a president would call them, "the deciders".

All I can say is this: Thank God the primary season is almost over. Ed Bryant can then go back to sweeping up bowling alleys or whatever his time in Congress leaves him qualified for. The Ninth District race-baiters can fall back into the pit of obscurity that they belong in. And an actual Democrat will be running for the Senate in Connecticut.

No comments: