Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Oh, The Irony...

For years now, what has been the overriding argument in favor of progressives supporting Harold Ford Jr?

Surely by now, you know the words to this song. I confess, I've sung it more than a few times myself. We need the Senate back, we need subpoena power, etc. To swipe a phrase from the verbally diarrheic Don Rumsfeld, he's not the candidate we want, he's the candidate we've got.

His supporters have complained for years that progressives walk away when their candidate doesn't win. They complain that progressives go third party when their candidate doesn't win. They "take their marbles and go home" to put it in the parlance I've heard from several Ford devotees.

There's something sickeningly hypocritical about that position, though. The 9th District Congressional Primary didn't go Harold Ford's way so he's... Taking his marbles and going home. Instead of doing as he asks us to do and endorsing the Democratic candidate, he's holding out on his endorsement, ostensibly to help his unqualified younger brother in his third party bid.

This is what he had to say when he met Steve Cohen face to face:

"I can support you, but I won't endorse you."

The great Jackson Baker broke that story a little over a week ago, and Leftwing Cracker wrote a great post about it shortly thereafter.

I wanted to give it a few days. I was hoping that having his hypocrisy and craven duplicity in print might jar Harold into doing the right thing. But I've been patient long enough, and nice for far too long. It's not really in my nature, and gives me the most vicious headaches.

Of course, this isn't the only race where Harold lacks the testicular fortitude to do the right thing and back the Democratic candidate. He has disregarded the wishes of the Connecticut voters that voted against his "friend" Joe Lieberman just as he ignored the wishes of the 9th District voters.

No wonder Harold went on Imus last week and declared "Joe Lieberman is a Democrat". He has no idea what being a Democrat is. I can't even imagine how low George W. Bush's approval ratings have to get before Harold figures out that he shouldn't look like half of a conjoined twin set with him. As we speak, Republican candidates are doing more to distance themselves from Bush than Harold is. 2/3 of his Congressional district voted to fire George W. Bush in 2004--- Not that Ford would know that--- It's not like he's ever here. And when he is, he's as connected with his constituents as I am to Jessica Biel (And sadly, I'm not connected to her at all).

We're expected to ignore all of this and back him unconditionally because he's "the nominee".

But he won't do that for Steve Cohen, will he?

George W. Bush just had a fundraiser for Bob Corker. They'll be counting money for a long time; Fact is, they might be better off simply weighing it and making an educated guess based on the weight of a $100 bill. Early reports are that they may have raised as much as $1 million.

So Harold will soon be dunking for dollars himself.

So how pathetic is it that he'll soon be asking all of us to do what he's not willing to do himself--- Back the Democratic candidate for office?

Not one red cent for him. Not until he grows a pair and does the right thing. Not until he learns to practice what he preaches, both here and in Connecticut.

If he can't support Democratic candidates simply because they're the Democratic candidates (If for no other reason), then he has absolutely no right to ask the same of us.


Brassmask said...

I hope and pray you'll post this on DailyKos.

Anonymous said...

I was hoping that having his hypocrisy and craven duplicity in print might jar Harold into doing the right thing.

It never has before. Good post, Freedonian. I waffle back and forth, and I think the thing that I can't get past is that he keeps disappointing me - his votes on abortion, the bankruptcy bill, and others; his refusal to endorse Steve; and his lack of interest in responding to his critics. If we have to hold our noses and vote for him, is it really worth it?


Freedonian said...


I'm in the process right now of adapting this into a diary on Kos. Thank you for the idea, my friend.

Freedonian said...

Princess Dabness,

I could almost overlook the ridiculous dirge of right wing votes from him if he would just show that he has the sack to back a real Democrat.

I don't think it's too much to ask that he practices what he preaches. If we're to support him simply because he has the (D) next to his name, then why can he not bring himself to do the same thing? We can rule out the idea that he's holding out on the endorsement because GED Jake is such a great candidate. What else is there?

If he came out and endorsed Cohen, I would be willing to eat my words.

Freedonian said...

An adapted version (This one was designed more to play to local crowds than national crowds) is now online at The Daily Kos.

Timewalker said...

Commented at Kos. Some of them just don't get it.

Freedonian said...

Thank you, Timewalker.

Unfortunately, Kos seems to be heavily populated with people that are every bit as intolerant of people that disagree with them as the right wing sites are.

Shit man, I wasn't insulted this damn often when I went over to Red State and started posting liberal stuff.

GCantStandYa said...

I think y'all are being a bit unreasonable on this issue. The Leftwing Cracker and Pesky especially like to post all about Fredo and then implore Junior to GO AGAINST THE FAMILY? For better or worse Jake is his brother, does this mean that Jake should be Congressman? No. But Cohen and all Cohen supporters should not be so quick to throw him under the bus, becuase he doesn't want to completely stab his little brother in the back? (Throw him under the bus for other reasons) but this one is just silly. If being a democrat means fucking over your family then that is one sorry ass party.

The very idea that people should sacrafice all familial or friendships at the alter of party politics is unbelievably petty to me.

Freedonian said...

But Cohen and all Cohen supporters should not be so quick to throw him under the bus, becuase he doesn't want to completely stab his little brother in the back?

Imagine that you go to a party, and you see this friend of yours there. He's so drunk that he pissed his pants about an hour ago, yet he's still dancing obliviously.

One guy at the party is ready to kick the shit out of him to get him to go away. Another says "leave him alone", and they're on the verge of fighting.

Is the real friend the one that ignores him, or is his real friend the one that says "You've had a few too many. It's time to go. I'll drive you."?

That guy that's too drunk to know he's pissed his pants is Jake Ford. His candidacy is a source of humiliation for his family and the party, and seems like a sick parody of the outstanding legacy of his father.

Right now, Harold Ford is the guy that sees him dancing, covered in piss, and does nothing about it.

There's about to be a fight over Jake. I don't think there's any doubt who will win, but do we really need that schism?

There is one person and one person alone that can put all this to an end, and that's Harold Ford Jr.

He needs to do it for his own sake. It's not like the path between now and November is an easy one. It's even more difficult when you've split the party.

Timewalker said...

That's right. No one is saying "fuck over your brother and throw him under the bus." He's a freakin' politician. If he can't talk his way out of a sticky situation, the Senate will destroy him.

"I wish my brother all the best in all of his political ambitions. If he had won the Democratic primary, I would be campaigning with him until November. But this is a chance for our party to take back both houses of Congress, and Tennessee is key to that strategy. With me in the Senate for Tennessee and Steve Cohen in the House for our district, we will be well on the way to achieving that dream."

And that's only if he can't talk Jake into pulling out.

The comments at DKos said, "vote your heart in the primary and vote your head in November." Someone needs to tell Jr. that.