Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Another Good Article On Paul Hackett And His Crossover Appeal

From David Goodman of Mother Jones, as found on TomPaine.com:

Hackett is pro-choice, anti-war, pro-gay civil unions and anti-NAFTA/CAFTA—and Republicans love him for it. Guys like Dan Johns, a burly Vietnam vet, heating contractor and proud Republican. I found him volunteering to get out the vote for Hackett. Did he vote for Kerry? “God, no. I hated him. He’s too liberal. He was trying to appease the doves," Johns said. Bush, he added, “is a good president. He stands up for what he believes in.” Not unlike Hackett, he concluded. “I met him, I like him, and he’s a Marine. I go with my gut.” That gut connection won Hackett four of the seven counties that comprise the Ohio second district. These are the rural areas that Democrats long ago abandoned, and where Kerry lost by as much as 30 percent just eight months earlier. Hackett won in some of these counties by up to 30 percent. A Zogby poll in September showed Hackett beating DeWine, 44 to 36 percent—an astounding early showing for a political newcomer in Ohio politics challenging a two-term incumbent senator. Hackett’s views on the Iraq occupation pose a direct challenge to the Democratic establishment. A Marine Corps major who returned in March from a seven-month stint in Iraq, Hackett’s position during the summer was that he opposed the war, but felt American troops needed to stay until an Iraqi army could be trained. But he has tired of watching the body counts rise—and of hearing leaders of his own party, such as Sens. Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, respond by calling for more bodies to add to the hopeless conflagration. He now says the pro-war Democrats are “not grounded in reality,” and is calling for the troops to be brought home. “Iraq will steadily disintegrate—if we leave tomorrow or five years from now,” he told me. “Why not just admit that, say ‘mission accomplished’ or whatever you’re gonna say, and bring everybody home today?” It’s a courageous position that Hackett has proved can win votes—a fact that Democratic leaders politely ignore as they cheer him on.

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