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Monday, July 9, 2007

Why you can't vote for Gordon Smith

The kids at BlueOregon can't contain themselves about getting rid of Gordon Smith. Forget the fact that they don't have a viable candidate to run against him -- they're screaming bloody murder about what a bad dude he is. He's not a moderate! He flip-flops! He supports the war! He's rich! He's hiding! He's running scared! He's a hypocrite! Tell your friends! Etc.

Way too shrill, kids. Except for the blue-tofu Democrats, who already know which way they're voting, nobody's going to buy the proposition that old smoothie Smith is a right-wing nutcase. Especially not from you guys.

Here's a better pitch: You cannot vote for Gordon Smith because he is a member of the Republican Party. Over the last six and a half years, the Republican Party has set this country back at least 50 years. They have made a mess of everything, domestically and internationally. Guys like Gordon Smith had their chance to run the country, and they botched it badly. So now it's time for someone else to get a chance.

You see how easy that was?

Comments (43)

I can't agree that Steve Novick isn't a viable candidate. He's a bit of a character, sure, but Oregonians seem open to real opposed to homogenized and pasteurized poll-driven pols.

I agree, though, that a lot of the attacks on Smith run shrill...especially re his "flip flops" on the war. Thank God the Democrats have been steadfast in their opposition to the war madness. Oh, they haven't been? Nevermind...

I can't agree that Steve Novick isn't a viable candidate.

You don't start your political career in the U.S. Senate. At least not around here. It just ain't gonna happen.

Must be great to be so sure that only Republicans have made a mess of everything, domestically and internationally.

Seems to me that Congress is full of both Dems and Repubs who are all willing, able, and have a track record of making a mess of everything, domestically and internationally.

Congress is full of both Dems and Repubs who are all willing, able, and have a track record of making a mess of everything

No. You don't get to do this. Of course there are Democrats in Congress. Hell, they even controlled the Senate (by a vote) in 2001-2002. But the miserable failures of the last six years belong squarely to the Republican party. You know, the one that, with the exception described above, controlled all three levers of government from 2001-2007.

You don't get to spend six years monopolizing state power, locking the opposition completely out of the debate, equating dissent to treason and then say "It's the other guy's fault too!" when everything goes to hell.

Can you please explain to me how the Democrats are any better? Did they bother opposing the worst of the current administration's policies in any substantial way? No.

Kick'em all out. Wipe the slate clean.

Excellent pitch, Jack.

But I'm not willing to give the Dems a pass on this one either. Many of them voted for this war, and 4 disastrous years later they still don't have the political courage to cut off funding.

So, I'm kind of with Speers on this one. Throw 'em all out. Vote for the Challenger in every race. (and vote Obama)

Now Jack, you must be a little careful, Blue Oregon gets upset when you say their behavior is outrageous. Banning is their weapon of choice.

I find it very difficult to forgive any elected representative who initially voted to authorize the Iraq war. Of course, this includes Clinton and Edwards. In this context, someone like Ron Wyden (who, like 2/3 of the Senate, isn't up for election and can't be thrown out in 2008) looks like a Profile in Courage for being among the twenty-odd senators who voted against the initial authorization. But there's a difference between members of congress supporting -- or not actively thwarting -- the administration, and the administration systematically lying, to the Congress as well as to the public, and committing war crimes, treason and other offenses against our laws and our constitution. Let's not lose sight of it.

The problem is much deeper than this.

If as the constitution stated the government's role was National Defense and Interstate Commerce, and not pork patrol, then the Senators and Congress could be judged by their votes, but it is all about money, just as it is in our own liberal city council. If Oregon which is a small state does not play ball, then we don't get our share of the pork. Even though it is questionable if the pork benefits the working class of folks as much as it does the folks you have pointed out many times in your column Jack, the Oregon Iron Works/Street Car folks. If you go on thier website you will also see the mystery boat you had in your blog several months ago.

Anyone with a base understanding of economics knows you can't suck money out of a state without putting back in investment capital. Oregon even at this point has a negative cash flow as far as taxes paid and subsidy returned.

It is reality, and the reality is if Smith hadn't played ball, we would have been worse off in the tit for tat arena.

As you stated in your post here and above, we have a lot wrong, but it is not the answer to demonize Smith or Wyden, which it appears has also become assimilated into the borg. But there needs to be a balanced of organizated voice, not a bunch of lone rangers, but a balanced organized voice of people that can agree to disagree, not get hysterical over abortion one way or another, and as Deep throat said "follow the money" and remember what Shakespeare said "The fault Dear Brutus is not in our stars but in ourselves that we are underlings"

It's amazing how uninformed some people are. Fortunately, the vast majority of voters will not vote solely on Iraq in 2008. Instead, many will vote on the how great the economy is, how they've been able to buy a house with the lowest interest rates in decades, or how much money they've made in the stock market, or how important respecting human life is to them. It's also likely many will vote on stopping illegal immigration and defending the borders (and there's not a single democrat who would enforce immigration laws). People may vote for candidates based on their willingness to defend the traditional view of marriage, or the candidate's respect for decisions voters have made at the ballot box. People may vote based on the belief that their taxes are too high, or that government is trying to control too much of their lives. They may use their vote as a proxy rejection for crazy socialist ideas like single-payer health care, or to redress what they see as wrongs committed before 2000 because they have long memories. They may vote for candidates who will support judges that interpret the law and not make it.

By 2008, the troops will be coming back from Iraq. Members of both parties supported sending them there, but only the President will get credit for bringing them home. If that's the chief issue, I like the Republicans chances.

John Fairplay,

Don't you know it's heresy to not blame Republicans for everything from terrorism to global warming around here? Oh, and didn't you hear Jack proclaim that The Constitution was fed through Darth Cheney's shredder? Get with the program. Everyone knows that once Edwards or Obama is in the Oval Office, the United States will once again be nirvana and everyone in the world will instantly love us again.

At this point in time; it really doesn't matter what the folks over at Blue Oregon say or think. The bottom line is that outside of some Democrat political junkies; all of the so-called potential candidates running against Gordon Smith are unknown to most people. I predict Smith by a healthy margin in 2008.

Good pitch, Jack, but you're really just advocating a vote against Smith. Isn't that the same thing the "kids" at Blue Oregon are doing by pushing a political neophyte?

Here's the question nobody wants to ask: Why is the Democratic party so weak (nationally and locally) that we can't offer an alternative to vote for?

How is it that even during the utter catastrophe of the Bush administration, the Democratic party hasn't rallied around economic populism and enlightened internationalism?

The blame for this morass lies squarely on the Democratic Leadership Council and its relentlessly centrist, accommodationist agenda. They're convinced this is the only way to win (despite the fact that they've consistently lost on this strategy). It alienates core constituencies, and doesn't measure up in the eyes of red meat conservatives anyway. And then they get pissy when some third-party candidate comes along and runs as a progressive populist.

Down with the extra milky, two party, old money, ivy league, electoral-college elected government.

Jack, as a guy looking down the barrel of his 40th birthday (January), I appreciate the "kids" comment.

And to the substance of your post, I believe we say variations on your paragraph regularly. What you identify is "value added" content. Or something.

I think Smith has another term all but sewed up. DeFazio could have beaten him, but he won't risk it. A couple months back on his AM radio show Bob Miller asked Vera Katz what she thought about the Smith race. Her response:

"No democrat can beat Gordon this time around."

Then they ought to stop screaming about Smith, and save the shrill stuff for something winnable. It's like when the left went nuts over Roberts for Supreme Court. They cried wolf, and when Alito came along, no one in the middle was listening any more.

Why is the Democratic party so weak (nationally and locally) that we can't offer an alternative to vote for?

Thats easy. Its because they have forgotten everything but "we hate Bush". Its the only thing they have rallied with in the last several years. And as the last election has shown, its not enough.

Then they ought to stop screaming about Smith, and save the shrill stuff for something winnable.

Well, the "they" in this case is "we." And part of that calculation has to do with who runs. Merkley is not Novick. Highlighting Smith's weakness is our way of encouragement to other candidates.

(And I'm not sure where the confidence in Smith is coming from. His poll numbers are in freefall. I admit that beating an incumbent isn't a cakewalk, but Smith is a bad candidate in '08--depending, of course, on who runs against him.)

And anyway, Jack, "screaming" is what bloggers do, right? I suspect our anti-Smith posts are dwarfed by your anti-Sten posts.

I'm not sure where the confidence in Smith is coming from.

Perhaps it's coming from the fact that the Democratic party doesn't have a viable challenger.

Sure, I know, these Senate races kind of sneak up on you...

For the record, (awareness hears, so you don't have to), LIARS Larson fooled up his LIARS best today to drive traffic here to see that "Bogdanski"(*) endorses and supports Smith. ( * LIARS forgot to say the website name.) Any of LIARS little LIAR trolls who wander in can know: LIARS lied to you, Smith is running from prosecution for war crimes and treason, not for US Senate -- who chooses can run along with him.

Jack, you're right that B.O. does not have and hold a viable candidate in their grasp. Steve Novick is going to arrest the craven coward Smith's career; and free-thinking Novick exemplifies the promise of a democratic future. That's waaay beyond the reach of B.O. DINO's, sore they aren't Dictator II, who might be fascist lite yet they assume some Party label to (as if it can -- it can't) confer them ditto power, authenticity, and authority, that controls you by their minding you, or not -- 'new formula lite' poison a distinction with no difference from the fascist Grand Old Poison, as many voices here have pointed out. 'Party' politics kills the individual, like me and you and you and you, and each of us who think to live. The technology choice in D's and R's is whether our children die by Dagger or Revolver. Doom or Rope. Done or Raw, for here or to go.

And Jack, ("it's time for someone else to get a chance"), probably when thinking politics and it's thought through to completeness, taking turns is without virtue in self-governance: What turn comes after democracy's?

Despair or Rage.

Why is the Democratic party so weak (nationally and locally) that we can't offer an alternative to vote for?

Thats easy. Its because they have forgotten everything but "we hate Bush". Its the only thing they have rallied with in the last several years. And as the last election has shown, its not enough.

Um...I'd say that too many have sold out to the same folks who bought and paid for their Repugnantcan representatives.

Follow the money, and you'll find they are all tainted. Part of what campaigns should be judged upon is not how much they can spend, but how effectively they can spend a small budget. Big warchests should be a red flag to all voters.

You don't start your political career in the U.S. Senate.

Though lots have...including Hillary. And now she's running for president.

Wayne Madsen had this note in today's news, (but tomorrow it'll be gone).

Cindy Sheehan to run against Pelosi unless House Speaker supports articles of impeachment against Bush. Pelosi, like Hillary Clinton, is fast losing support of the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party. And this rift in the Democratic Party -- between real Democrats and corporate Democrats -- is showing up our two traditional web nemeses, DailyKos and Democratic Underground, as Democratic Leadership Council/AIPAC shills.

But, but ... DailyKos and DU are heroes of BlueOregon !!

Frank Dufay,

If you think Hillary "started" her political career in the Senate, you need to familiarize yourself with her political career. Granted, that was her first elected office, but she has been a politician for most of her life. Hillary, like Libby Dole, had more political experience than most elected officials seeking higher office.

As for those that started their elected careers in the Senate, aside from Hillary, Libby Dole and Jean Carnahan come to mind (although in Jean's case - it was Mel who was elected posthumously but everyone knew who they were voting for).

Hereabouts, the last ones were probably Dick and Maureen Neuberger. And I'm not sure about Dick.

All the above is a bit too interllectuerl for me.....I just love reading about another Republican senator going to hookers and then saying he feels better after talking to God....

Republican rehab here we come(sp).


Hello? Clinton, Carnahan, and Dole had somewhat well known spouses.

Joe Spin Play,

Lowest interest rates in decades? Let's see, millions of ARMs are resetting and rates are 1-1.5% higher than just last year.

The immigration bill was defeated by Dem and GOP opposition, and if you think "not one democrat" will defend the borders than you are utterly clueless. Talk to a few union politicos in Chicago, Philly, NYC, etc.

People won't vote solely on Iraq in 2008, though millions will. Millions more will vote to get rid of the least approved administration since polling began 60 years ago.

Bush is toast, and so is the GOP.

Hereabouts, the last ones were probably Dick and Maureen Neuberger. And I'm not sure about Dick.

Both Dick Neuberger and Maurine Neuberger served in the Oregon Legislature before the U.S. Senate.

Dick was first elected to the Oregon House in 1941, then after a break for WWII, went to the Oregon Senate in 1949.

Maurine was elected to the Oregon House in 1950 and served until 1955.

It's worth noting that Dick died in office, but unlike many other spousal Senators - Maurine did NOT succeed him by appointment. Hall Lusk got the appointment, and she ran in a regular election and won the US Senate seat on her own. She served one term, and left of her own accord.

And thus ends a history lesson from one of the "kids".

Bush is toast, and so is the GOP.

Good, now if we can get rid of the Democrat party too, we could start over.

Gordon Smith - wrong for too long.

Isn't that the same thing the "kids" at Blue Oregon are doing by pushing a political neophyte?

One clarification: BlueOregon isn't "pushing" anyone. BlueOregon won't take a position on anything -- though many of our individual contributors (including me and the other editors) will certainly do so. Look back to 2006, you'll find plenty of disagreement during the primary. That's a good thing.

I hear that some reading comprehension-challenged folks on the right are interpreting this post as saying I support Smith. No way. I actually voted for him last time, but not this time. Novick, Merkley, Extremo the Clown -- anybody but Smith again.

G.Smith/ D. Cheney vote buying link to the historic Klamath Basin salmon/ fish kill a few years back gets no press in Oregon ? It destroyed the south coast fishing industry ... info recently posted at dailykos .com

Here are three (and there are many others) straight to U.S. Senate politicians. None of them had powerful politicians for spouses.

1.) Wayne Morse, Oregon.
2.) Conrad Burns, Montana.
3.) Orrin Hatch, Utah.

Saying people do not start their political careers in the Senate is simply wrong.

G.Smith/ D. Cheney vote buying link to the historic Klamath Basin salmon/ fish kill a few years back gets no press in Oregon ? It destroyed the south coast fishing industry

And taking the water away killed off Oregon farmers down there too...

(Let's try that again.)

FYI, Conrad Burns was a a local county commissioner in Montana's largest county -- and a statewide radio announcer.

"And taking the water away killed off Oregon farmers down there too..."

but of course that was the law, one which Smith was eventually able to have subverted by politics. The farmers were well compensated.

The farmers were well compensated.

BS. The few claims for compensation that went to court lost...(the courts said they were not entitled to compensation), and the remaining claims were denied altogether.
All most got was dry land and bankruptcy.

Fortunately, the vast majority of voters will not vote solely on Iraq in 2008.

If the love-in between Lieberman and Levin today on the notion of going to war in Iran is any indication, that's probably true.

The worst indication of Smith's inconsistent stance on the war is his strong support for McCain for President...shows his true colors.

Video on tells it all.


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Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
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Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
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Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
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Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
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Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
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Road Work

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