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Thursday, July 28, 2005

Fighting Liberals

So it looks like Paul Hackett actually has a chance. I can't tell you how happily surprised I am. According to Swing State Project he's within five points in a district in which the Democrat hasn't achieved more than 30% in over twenty years. it's still a long shot, but this is a very good sign.

Hackett is, of course, a particularly attractive candidate being a good looking Iraq veteran family man and all. But the fact that he's making inroads in such a conservative district is pretty amazing in this era of GOP dominance in the red states. Let's hope it's a bellweather.

I cannot help but make note of the fact that the allegedly anti-military Move-on crowd have embraced Hackett so fervently. I would hope that this is noticed by the critics who say that there is an anti-patriotic strain in the grassroots. Clearly, we of the rank and file do not actually have a problem with the military --- we love this guy.

What this points up is the fact that the DLC badly misunderstands the reasons why the grassroots reject their leadership. It's only partially to do with policy and has almost nothing to do with ideology. It's about tactics and strategy. We see their split-the-difference "third way" approach -- particularly their rhetoric --- as a form of appeasement that may have made sense in a time of shared power but that is now self-defeating and dangerous.This is particularly so in light of the demonstrable ruthlessness of the opposition and their willingness to go far beyond any normal political limits.

We like Hackett because he's a strong, tough talking Democrat who takes it to the Republicans. I would imagine that there are plenty of gun control advocates among the urban netroots who nonetheless have given money to his campaign. And I know for a fact that there are quite a few like me who did not support the Iraq war, who nonetheless are proud of brave men like Hackett who subscribe to the military ethos of service to country. We certainly don't hold the insane decisions of ivory tower neocons against him --- we know the difference between those who make the policies and those who carry them out -- it's spelled out in our constitution.

The grassroots are not united in pacifism or any other particular ideology. The grassroots are united in our belief that the Republicans are dangerous radicals who are driving this country off of a cliff. And we've concluded that accomodationist rhetoric at a time of total GOP political dominance is suicidal, particularly when the Republicans are losing the support of the American people on virtually every issue. We think that it's time for a confrontational strategy that shines a light on the Republicans' radicalism. We believe that the country is yearning for some authentic straight talk about real issues and real problems and real solutions --- including national security --- instead of half baked esoteric reworkings of Republican talking points disguised as Democratic moderation.

We believe that you can't be perceived as strong unless you are willing to fight the political fight head on. It's that simple. It's about speaking truth to power. We don't hate the military and we aren't afraid to protect the country. In fact, our entire ethos is just the opposite. The legendary "fighting liberal" image that the hawks evoke with such nostalgia --- is us.

Paul Hackett is one of us.

It's getting down to the wire. If anyone is in the vicinity and can volunteer over the next few days until the election --- or if you have another couple of bucks to send his way --- here's the info:

Paul Hackett For Congress

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