Monday, February 20, 2006


Kill The Beast! Spill Its Blood!

Hard on the heels of Paul Hackett's dropping out after his precinct captains county chairs (thanks, Ohio 2nd) told him the fake war-crimes smear was keeping away the big institutional donors, we find Hackett's campaign being posthumously accused of -- GASP! -- Bad Things. The Bad Things are apparently a) researching Sherrod Brown's voting record, and b) talking to somebody at a newspaper about it. How dare they! Looking up facts and then talking to reporters about what they found! Why couldn't they have stuck to honorable tactics, like falsely accusing their opponent of war crimes? Meanwhile, the guy with the best chance of taking down DeWine is out of the race, and the guy that Ted Strickland preferred over Hackett, and who Strickland convinced to forsake his safe Congressional seat to crowd out Hackett, is now nine points behind DeWine after having been essentially neck-and-neck with him for most of the past few months. Way to go, Ted! You got Hackett retired, now you're going to retire Brown, too. [UPDATE: It looks like fake war-crimes accusations aren't enough for the Hackett-haters. At least two of them are now over at DailyKos (here and here) promoting accusations that Hackett is a racist. The "evidence"? Hackett's suddenly refusing, the weekend before pulled out of the Senate race, to attend scheduled fundraisers, including a few at black churches:

On the weekend before he bowed out, aides say, he stunned his staff by refusing at the last minute to attend certain events - including appearances at several black churches - that had apparently been put on his schedule over his objections.
Of course, none of the Hackett-haters want to consider the idea that Hackett, three days before pulling out, was wondering whether he should keep up a campaign that had been strangled in its crib and was being undermined by smears and lies. And none of them will mention that Hackett was never known, before that fateful weekend, to willfully and inexplicably skip fundraisers. But why let that interfere with a good smear?]

Not precinct captains, county chairs.
We're pretty deep into silly territory.

1. It was unconscionable for any non-Ohioan to mix into a race. Sure, you can say, "I'm planning to donate to Brown," but if you're an outsider, you never say, "Don't donate to Hackett."

2. The smear of racism against Hackett was loopy. The military is one of the few places in America where it is possible to learn racial tolerance. You can't go home at the end of the day and your life is in the hands of someone who may not share your favorite skin color.

3. The "war crimes" smear is probably the only part of this woth any further attention. My guess is that it has Republican origins, but it's pure guess.

4. Politics ain't beanbag, but the Ohio Democratic Party needs a housecleaning (as do most state parties). Democrats win elections by having the best message and the best network. Republicans win elections by knocking the other guy.

There are lots of good Democrats running. So many that any money that I might have had for Sherrod is already committed. There's no value in attacking him. Hackett will be back, and when he is, he'll be even more committed to making the Democratic Party honorable.
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