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.