I was just about ready to drop the Paul Hackett thing after listening to him on Randi the other night. It's pretty clear he got shafted by the powers-that-be in the democratic party in encouraging him to run then reversing course and encouraging him to drop from the race to clear the field for Sherrod Brown. Despite Paul's obvious displeasure he encouraged us to work towards a Democratic majority and, yes, to help to elect Brown to the U.S. Senate.
Then this morning lefty radio personality Thom Hartman blundered into the debate on his local Portland show and decided to pull back the scabs and, to insult to injury, pour lemon juice onto them. Thom accused Hackett of "wrecking" the party in the way he was so vocal about the political machinations of Reid and Schumer that caused him to pull out of the race. Thom then proceeded to repeat almost verbatim the arguments made by party insiders when this issue initially exploded (Brown never said he wouldn't run, only that he was undecided and it doesn't matter because when he eventually DID decide to run he declared before Hackett.) Arguments of questionable validity weakened further by the point that they totter dangerously over the precipice of irrelevance.
If you put the general he said/ she said aspect of the debate aside you're still left with the fact that it was the Senate Democratic leadership and not the Democratic voters of Ohio that chose the party's candidate to run against DeWine. That's why so many of us went postal at the news of Hackett's exit. That's what really threatens to wreck the party Mr. Hartmann. The same-old-same-old insider politics that have been slowly destroying the Democratic party over the course of the last thirty years. That and they hurt the "Fighting Democrat" frame.
In the past few months there's been a ton of discussion about the need to frame issues and define strong narratives for our candidates. So you'll understand when so many of us were exited by the "Fighting Democrat" story line that's been evolving with the 56 (oops, 55) Iraq war veterans that are running as dems. The prospect that many of these veterans could soon be in the halls of congress, sitting on committees and getting into the grills of congressional chickenhawks sends us into spasms of almost orgasmic glee.
Hackett and the rest of these fighting Democrats are Bush & Cheney and the rest of Congress that voted for the Iraq war resolution, both Democrats and Republicans, Frankenstein Monster. They MADE these men and women. They sent them into Iraq for nebulous reasons and formed them under a crucible of fire and IEDS. Now their creation is getting set to storm the castle and rip them limb from limb. They're scared. They should be.
Can you imagine the confrontation between some chickenhawk congressman arguing for, say, an attack on Iran and one of these veterans who have friends and family in the Shia line of fire so to speak in Iraq? There'd be feathers all over the floor when it was finally finished.
The first step towards what so many of us crave; a rational foreign policy, would be to elect as many of these Democratic veterans as possible and force Dr. Frankenstein to face the monster he stiched together out of lies.
That's why we couldn't afford to lose Hackett and why Hartmann is wrong.