Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Fighting Dems

Paul Hackett. Tim Walz. Now, Andrew Borene in SD 41. Why is it that a vast majority of new political candidates coming from the ranks of the military are running as Democrats? Congressional races, local legislative seats in blue-trending districts, everywhere former soldiers are running against the Republican leaders who, at least in the case of Congressional leaders, helped President Bush put them in harm's way without all the equipment they needed to be as safe as possible.

And yet, for some reason, the Republican attacks are always the same - this guy didn't really deserve his honorable discharge. He didn't really see combat. He's not really a hero.

Apparently, soldiers going into politics are fine as long as they're not running as Democrats. They're heroes until they disagree with Republican leadership on the Iraq War or anything else.

And I told myself I was going to try to cut down on the snarky, generalizing assaults on Republicans. Let me expand upon this point, and then I'll quit for the night.

I am a Democrat. I think everyone who wears a uniform, puts down their job, leaves their family behind, and goes to war for their country is a hero. Period. A vast (and I mean vast) majority of my fellow Democrats agree. I know that a vast majority of Republicans and independents agree as well. But when was the last time you heard a Democratic elected or party official, donor, or activist call into question the patriotism or military conduct of a veteran? John McCain? Attacked by Karl Rove in 2000. John Kerry? The Swift Boat Liars, led by a Republican fundraiser. Paul Hackett? The most corrupt state party organization in the country and their crony candidate, Jean Schmidt. Say what you want about their politics, but attacking their conduct in uniform without any shred of evidence to suggest they did anything but fight for their country with honor? Disgusting. It's the kind of conduct that thinking, feeling Americans, Democrats and Republicans, should all be comdemning, so that perhaps the Republican Party communications apparatus will get the hint.

As others have noted, I'm not sure that the Iraq war will or should have much effect on local legislative elections. It is nonetheless interesting to see the Fighting Dems trend extending to the local level, and especially exciting to see in Edina, where there's both money and a blue trend going on. Go Borene!

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