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February 14, 2006

Grow Up

I just got this press release from The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Political Action Committee:

IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN VETS PAC STATEMENT
ON PAUL HACKETT LEAVING SENATE RACE:
"The Democratic Party loses credibility" on Iraq


JON SOLTZ, a 28-year old combat Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Executive Director of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America Political Action Committee (IAVA PAC), released the following statement upon news that Iraq Veteran Paul Hackett was leaving the Senate race in Ohio, due to internal pressure from the Democratic Party.

"It is an outrage that the Democratic Party has forced Paul Hackett out of the race for U.S. Senate. Hackett brought credibility on the number one issue facing the nation – the war in Iraq. The Democratic Party loses credibility on that issue because he is no longer running, and because they had a hand in his decision.

Oy. As I said below, I like Hackett and hope he'll see fit to play politics in another capacity, but this is absurd. The Democratic Party didn't lose credibility because the leadership thought Brown, an experienced politician who created Hackett's special election organization and has an actual track record winning elections, would be better for the seat. That's what party organizations do.

Hackett was going to get whomped by Brown -- the polls, the money, and the organization were all pointing in one direction. But given the tone and stance Hackett had taken in the primary, he would've bloodied Brown, and Brown's counterstrike would've likely squelched Hackett's chances permanently. Bloody primaries that lack actual competitiveness are good for nobody. That the party managed to nudge him out of the race is a good thing. That they attempted to give their rising star a congressional seat -- which he's much more suited to at this point in his nascent political career -- showed good judgment and a willingness to invest in Hackett's future. That Hackett refused it shows a certain petulance. He's brand new to politics, he doesn't get to expect party support, or even indulgence, for a Senate seat. As Lance put it:

United States Senator is not an entry level position. It would have been a very rare thing indeed, to elect a Senator whose only political achievement to date was losing a Congressional election by fewer votes than a member of his party should have.

And Brown, with his congressional experience, will be a more effective senator, which does in fact matter. I'd love to see Hackett step back up to the plate and serve the party in a different capacity, but this moon-or-nothing attitude is rather ugly.

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» Can't Hackett from August J. Pollak - xoverboard.com
Tim Fernholz of Georgetown and The New Republic covers the high-profile whining of Paul Hackett. And that's a term coming from someone who liked the guy. More from Ezra as well.... [Read More]

Tracked on Feb 15, 2006 5:53:25 PM

Comments

I think Hackett may be finding out how out of the mainstream Democratic values are.


Hackett told The New York Times for Tuesday's editions that the same Democratic leaders who urged him to run for the Senate after his sensational political debut in last year's House race had turned on him.

"This is an extremely disappointing decision that I feel has been forced on me," Hackett said, noting that Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and New York Senator Charles Schumer recently had asked him to withdraw.

.....

He (Hackett) declared his candidacy for Republican Mike DeWine's Senate seat after Democratic Rep. Sherrod Brown had declined to run.

Brown changed his mind shortly after that, however, and national Democrats privately began urging Hackett to step aside. On Sunday, some national Democrats made those requests publicly.

.....

Hackett said he told three Democratic candidates for Schmidt’s seat that he wouldn’t enter that race, the Times reported.

“The party keeps saying for me not to worry about those promises because in politics they are broken all the time. I don’t work that way. My word is my bond,” he said.

I guess the Dems don't want a somewhat honest patriot in the Senate. It is better that the Democrats found out now that Hackett may do as his constituents want him to and he might be trouble when it comes to party line votes.

Oh, and he also feels it is important to keep promises. Troublemaker!

Posted by: Captain Toke | Feb 14, 2006 2:19:18 PM

That really is pretty funny! He just wasn't sleezy enough for the Democratic party....

Posted by: Fred Jones | Feb 14, 2006 2:34:34 PM

Toke, when I was 12 I, too, believed that it was only the opposing party that engaged in unethical backstabbing and promise-breaking. Then I grew up and got a job and saw that it was par for the course among "professionals" in corporate America. You're going to constantly be confronted with the prospect of "being somebody" or being loyal to your friends and your promises.

It's not the nature of one party or another to engage in promise-breaking and cutting friends loose to "get ahead." It's just the easy way out to "make it" in this world. If we were all comfortable with making moral compromises in order to acquire fame and fortune, everyone would be investment bankers, corporate lawyers, and politicians, but most of us don't want to place ourselves in a position where the potential for being compromised is so high.

Posted by: Constantine | Feb 14, 2006 2:51:46 PM

I'd only point out that one person's "backstabbing" is another person's "expediency." And I stick with what I said in the last posting.

Posted by: weboy | Feb 14, 2006 2:57:41 PM

Constantine,

I know politicians lie. Talking about who is more knowledgable of the real world, you or I, do you still believe Gore won the 2000 election? When you learn to accept that Gore lost and not to rely on propaganda for your info, i.e. Michael Moore, then you can talk to me about the ways of the world.

This just shows the hypocrisy of the Democrats. All you hear from the Left is the Republican 'culture of corruption' and that the Bush administraton misled, covered up and lied. Then these same Democrats tell one of their own “The party keeps saying for me not to worry about those promises because in politics they are broken all the time."

Posted by: Captain Toke | Feb 14, 2006 3:05:39 PM

Hackett said he told three Democratic candidates for Schmidt’s seat that he wouldn’t enter that race, the Times reported.

“The party keeps saying for me not to worry about those promises because in politics they are broken all the time. I don’t work that way. My word is my bond,” he said.

I wonder how that attitude would go over in a military setting? "I promised the other platoon leaders that my platoon wasn't going to be the one to lead the attack. The order of battle was changed, and Command tells me not to worry about those promises because in war they are broken all the time. I don't work that way. My word is my bond."

Posted by: nolo | Feb 14, 2006 3:08:05 PM

Now we see your moral emptiness, Toke. You equate out-and-out criminal corruption created by the DeLay/Abramoff machine with the petty promise-breaking and betrayals of corporate and political expediency. Meanwhile, those less enmeshed in a crazed cult-of-personality focused around Bush are accepting that we might find some politicians dislikable or even not guys we'd want to have a beer with, but yet still consider them good enough to run the government competently and without giving themselves over to criminality. The latter issue is a huge problem among the Ohio Republican party, in particular.

Posted by: Constantine | Feb 14, 2006 3:12:18 PM

Nolo: Heh.

Posted by: Ezra | Feb 14, 2006 3:12:33 PM

Ezra: So why couldn't we have a real primary and have both candidates agree to not get viscious? I'm sorry, but I don't think I can vote for Brown now, after he pushed Hackett completely out of the primary. (Yes, I'm an Ohioan) Brown wasn't EVEN GOING TO RUN!

Before, I would have voted for Hackett in the primary and whichever Dem won in the general election.

After crap like this, I'm stuck going independant, the Dem party just reeks of more of the same. (Sorry, but the Dem party has issues. The right blogosphere at least had the courage to go for a little change and go for Shadegg.)

Posted by: Tito | Feb 14, 2006 3:16:38 PM

Constantine,

Do you know how much money Harry Reid took from Abramoff?

Over $60,000!

Get your head out of your ass.

That is some good rationalizing tho.

Democrats just tell a few little lies, but Republicans are corrupt!

Posted by: Captain Toke | Feb 14, 2006 3:26:09 PM

Sorry, Ezra, but I have to disagree about primaries. If we are a non-ideologically based party, then a primary allows the citizens of that state to select the candidate they want. It allows both sides to present their arguments and then let the citizens decide. Call me naive, but I thought that was what citizen democracy was all about.

I do think, however, that the Dem party could have some rules about viciousness and ugliness during campaigns. Of course, it appears they might need to follow that during their behind-the-scenes maneuvering.

Posted by: Ken in MS | Feb 14, 2006 3:29:34 PM

But Dems can't set rules. And no one forced Hackett out. Hackett wasn't barred from appearing on the ballot, he just decided to drop out because he felt the Party's opposition wasn't surmountable. He could've stayed and allowed the citizens to decide, but he didn't: elections are (generally) about winning, not discussing, and Hackett didn't want to stay in if he felt he couldn't win. No one passed a law throwing him out.

Posted by: Ezra | Feb 14, 2006 3:32:41 PM

Toke, not only are you immature and morally blind, you're also willfully obtuse. Spew on, and keep supporting the criminals of the Republican party, if that makes you feel better. The rest of us have a country to fix.

Posted by: Constantine | Feb 14, 2006 3:48:28 PM

Constantine,

My eyes are wide open, I know there is corruption on both sides of the aisle. Most Republican politicians aren't virtuous people (same goes for Dems), but in this time of history, Democrats are dangerous if in power. I vote for the lesser of two evils. If you were intillectually honest, you would say the same. But you say Dems tell a few little lies and Republicans are corrupt. I have yet to hear a Republican tell anyone that breaking promises is the policy, the way the Democratic leadership told Hackett this was the case. I love how you ignore facts that don't jive with your world view.

Again, who won the 2000 election? Bush or Gore?

Posted by: Captain Toke | Feb 14, 2006 4:06:26 PM

The rest of us have a country to fix.

Oh, Paleeeeze...... I wish domeone would fix *you*.

Posted by: Fred Jones | Feb 14, 2006 4:10:22 PM

United States Senator is not an entry level position. It would have been a very rare thing indeed, to elect a Senator whose only political achievement to date was losing a Congressional election by fewer votes than a member of his party should have.

Is this a joke? These same jokers had no problem with Hillary carpetbagging her way to a Senate seat. Considering that credibility on foreign policy is the #1 issue for Democrats, I'd say that Hackett is more qualified than 80% of sitting Senators of either party.

Prior to Hillary's run in 2000, her singular political achievement was setting back the cause of universal health care by 2 decades.

Posted by: space | Feb 14, 2006 4:36:31 PM

Captain Toke, if you think the Republican leaders aren't willing to throw their own under a bus when it suits them, you are one sorry fool (see Harris, Katherine).

Anyway, when Democrats complain about corruption in the GOP, they aren't talking about broken promises and bruised egos. They are talking about criminal behavior (see Libby, Scooter; Abramoff, Jack)

Posted by: space | Feb 14, 2006 4:41:10 PM

Harry Reid (D-NV) career donor list, all donors beginning with 'A': http://www.newsmeat.com/campaign_contributions_to_politicians/donor_list.php?candidate_id=S6NV00028&li=a

Funny -- no Abramoff.

John Ensign (R-NV) career donor list, all donors beginning with 'A': http://www.newsmeat.com/campaign_contributions_to_politicians/donor_list.php?candidate_id=S8NV00073&li=a

'Abraham'.. 'Abramoff'.. click! http://www.newsmeat.com/washington_political_donations/Jack_Abramoff.php

Strange -- there are no names on that list with a (D) after them.

Oh, wait, here's another link for you: http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2000/

Bush -- 50,456,169
Gore -- 50,996,116

Who do you think won that election?

I hate Republicans who can't count even more than ones who can't read, but the worst are the self-hating dope-smokers who lose the ability to think.

Posted by: wcw | Feb 14, 2006 4:49:22 PM

Space: let's take your foreign policy claim here. Let's assume that I'm not an anti-war Iraq vet, but that I'm a pro-war Iraq vet, much like Van Taylor (who's running against Chet Edwards in Bush's home district in TX).

Are you seriously stating that, by sheer dint of my merely having been there, I've got more credibility on the vast spectrum of foreign policy than someone who's been responsible for formulating it over a number of decades?

I'm just saying.

Posted by: Rafe | Feb 14, 2006 5:36:04 PM

Hey space,

"Most Republican politicians aren't virtuous people (same goes for Dems),"

Why don't you try reading, moron. I have no dillusions about politics.

wcw,

Try this link:

"Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid wrote at least four letters helpful to Indian tribes represented by Jack Abramoff, and Reid's staff had frequent contact with the disgraced lobbyist's team about legislation.
.....
Reid (D-Nev.) collected nearly $68,000 in political donations from Abramoff's firm, lobbying partners and clients."

Thanks for the election link, it also says:

Electoral Votes:
Bush - 271
Gore - 266

President-elect Bush

I can't believe you missed all that. Must be that selective reading, the liberals curse.

And this one:

"In the first full study of Florida's ballots since the election ended, The Miami Herald and USA Today reported George W. Bush would have widened his 537-vote victory to a 1,665-vote margin if the recount ordered by the Florida Supreme Court would have been allowed to continue, using standards that would have allowed even faintly dimpled "undervotes" -- ballots the voter has noticeably indented but had not punched all the way through -- to be counted."

-------

Correcting liberals with one hand wrapped around a big, fat giant doobie, just to make it fair

Posted by: Captain Toke | Feb 14, 2006 5:38:23 PM

Ezra, on the subject of IAVA and Paul Hackett:

I don't know where these guys are coming from. I'm a liberal, anti-war Iraq vet active in the Democratic Party. So Hackett got strong-armed--it happens. And for an example of this, check out what happened in Pennsylvania this past week.

Bryan Lentz, who like Hackett and myself was an Iraq vet, was running in the 7th District against Curt Weldon. Then a retired rear admiral and deputy head of the Navy, Joe Sestak got in the race. Gov. Rendell, the DCCC, and sundry other folks basically told Lentz that he had two choices: stay in, and lose to Sestak, or get out, and run for another seat.

Guess what he did? He ran for another seat (the state House). Did IAVA throw a fit? Did Lentz? Nope. You wouldn't have known it happened, for as little attention as it drew. Could you say that Lentz got the shaft? I suppose, but that's all relative.

Hackett gets essentially the same treatment, only in public, and all of a sudden it's the Apocalypse? Are you kidding me?

There were lots of things that were great about Hackett, and Lance touched on most of them. But there were things that were very wrong, and one of the biggest was this cult of personality that surrounded him and everything he did. And for every, say, Bill Winter (full disclosure: I know Bill and have worked for him on his campaign), you get a Pat Murphy, whose sole rationale for running is that he served in Iraq.

Well, guess what? I did too, and you don't see me running for Congress, or even the state House. And you know why? Because I'm not ready, even though damn near everyone I know is ready to have me run.

Running for office is something other than a cool gig, or even an ego trip. And towards the end, that's what I was getting from Hackett. I'm sorry...I can't back that.

Posted by: Rafe | Feb 14, 2006 5:50:36 PM

I guess the Dems don't want a somewhat honest patriot in the Senate.

You have 100% of the time deried any veteran who has spoken out against Bush's Iraq policy as Anti-american. What fucking nerve you have now to say otherwise.

Posted by: Adrock | Feb 14, 2006 6:12:53 PM

Italics are stupid.

Posted by: Adrock | Feb 14, 2006 6:13:34 PM

Ad: are you talking to me?

Posted by: Rafe | Feb 14, 2006 6:27:34 PM

"You have 100% of the time deried any veteran who has spoken out against Bush's Iraq policy as Anti-american."

Wrong!

I said Kerry was a political opportunist, he would say anything, to any group, to get their vote. What better example is there than Kerry's vote for the war and vote against funding the war. When he voted for the war, the American people supported the war. When he voted against the funding of the war, he knew he had to appeal to the liberal base in the Democratic primaries. Another example of Kerry's political opportunism, he took a video camera with him to Vietnam and re-enacted his supposed heroics for the camera.

Get your facts straight, Adrock.

Posted by: Captain Toke | Feb 14, 2006 6:44:20 PM

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