Monday, October 30, 2006

The Debate and Liberal Discontent with Harold Ford

Harold Ford’s best line in the Nashville debate was the one about the 'bimbo' ad. The Democrat said that if his side had put out an ad as sleazy as the 'bimbo' ad, it would have been pulled an hour after he learned about it. It was the biggest applause line of the night. The audience loved it.

Ford challenged Corker’s conservative qualifications by making the point that as mayor, Corker never ever cut taxes.

The Democrat took the time to name and stroke a number of small Tennessee towns. He was wooing right-wingers, but he also presented himself as the candidate for change. He said he could stand up to Bush, and he could work with Rick Santorum. Ugh.

Overall, the ‘debate’ was on the dull side. It was not an actual debate, of course. Questions came from the audience, and there were no really difficult questions.

Bob Corker rambled on and on about how he’s lived “a Tennessee life.” Can someone please tell me what the heck a “Tennessee life?” is? Does he mean he hasn’t traveled much? Whatever he means I fail to see how it’s a qualification for the U.S. Senate. Corker tried to rub Ford's 'nose in it' over the fact that Bob has a wife and kids, while Harold is a bachelor. Cuz it takes real brains to get married and reproduce yourself.

There was one startling and surreal moment when the audience laughed at Corker. When the Republican said he was proud of the way his campaign has been run, the audience actually broke out into a round of loud and sustained laughter. Hilarious. Pundits are calling this the nastiest campaign in the nation, and Corker’s proud of it. I guess he really hasn't 'traveled' much.

Harold Ford came to court conservatives. He dropped the names of more right-wingers - Republicans and conservative Dems - than I could count. And he dropped 'the God' name. So he’s going to represent Christians. How nice for them.

Harold Ford thinks he has the left all sewed up, but he’s losing some of us.

While his statement about gay marriage was made because he felt backed into a corner by this ad, which suggests that he supports gay marriage, he has further angered the left and lost yet more votes because of the statement.

I do not support the decision today reached by the New Jersey Supreme Court regarding gay marriage. I oppose gay marriage, and have voted twice in Congress to amend the United States Constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage. This November there's a referendum on the Tennessee ballot to ban same-sex marriage - I am voting for it.

He could have offered some small apology, some acknowledgement or show of respect for the lesbian and gay Tennesseans who he will not be representing.

Liberals in this state have been without representation for so long that many of us are decidedly pissed. When we finally do get a shot at a Democratic seat in the Senate, they give us a man who supports prayer in the schools, votes against gay rights and has the gall to brag about it. In a race this close, Harold Ford just might lose too many of us.

Some of us are so desperate to disempower the crazed and corrupted GOP that we will vote for whatever they offer us. After all, there are problems like habeas corpus, war, torture, a woman’s right to choose, and the threat of another crazed right-winger on the Supreme Court.

But still there are valid reasons aplenty to cast a protest vote. Using homophobia as campaign strategy is as low and despicable as you can go. It’s Karl Rove politics.

I have nothing but respect for my friends who have decided that they cannot in good conscience vote for the man who signs on to the demonization and persecution of gays, but in my view, taking power away from the GOP is the surest path to moving this country in the direction they want it to go.

In the big picture, Ford the individual Christian homophobic candidate is insignificant.

When I 'hold my nose' and vote for Harold Ford, I will be voting to give power to Ted Kennedy and Russ Feingold. I will be voting to move this country to the left. Ford can vote for the Hate Amendment in Tennessee, but if the Dems control Congress, he won’t have the opportunity to vote for hate in Washington.

We desperately need to find a way out of this archaic winner-take-all two-party system where 51% of voters have representation and 49% have none. But until we do, the choice is stark: it’s Harold Ford in all his blatantly intolerant conservatism, or it’s Bob Corker.

It’s a Democratic controlled Senate or a Senate possibly even worse than the one we have now.