19 October 2005

Two More Fighting Dems Run for Congress

Iraq veterans David Ashe and Bryan Lentz are running in Virginia and Philadelphia, respectively. According to DailyKos, at this point there are several "Fighting Dems" around the country but as yet no Repubs.

It remains to be seen how these races will turn out, but the Democratic Party will deserve little credit if the Fighting Dems win back some seats. The Dem Party is too pathetic; their only successes have come about from party outsiders (Howard Dean, Paul Hackett) and their failures can all be tied to beltway insiders and consultants. The Dem Party does not run like a well-oiled machine and it can't support its candidates very well. Therefore the only candidates that have a chance are those that can overcome that hurdle.

The Republican Party machine, on the other hand, is so dominant and well-established that it can't resist the temptation to be corrupt. So it can support its candidates very well. Therefore even weak candidates can get elected (Jean Schmidt).

This difference between the Parties is important because it means the Repubs will mount an initiative to seek out veterans of their own, and they'll do it better than the Dems. They'll find plenty of vets and they'll back them up with a solid Party. Soldiers are trained to follow orders; the military is perfect mining ground for Republicans.

So sorry to burst some bubbles, but I wouldn't get too excited about the Fighting Dems. The sad fact is that the Democratic Party structure is just too screwed up and stupid to take full advantage of this golden opportunity.


Anonymous said...

"I don't belong to an organized party -- I'm a Democrat." -- Will Rogers

K. said...

what's with Hackett's primary opponent? who wouldn't vote for Hackett?!?

(seriously, is this going to be an early battle for him?)

WestEnder said...

Ah, yes, you're referring to Sherrod Brown, the popular Congressional rep.

He said he wouldn't run but then he talked to beltway insiders who convinced him to run, so he changed his mind.

For some reason, the D.C. Dem Corps prefers Brown to Hackett. That is just about the best endorsement for Hackett he could get, frankly.

Anonymous said...


You asked - who wouldn't vote for Hackett?!?

The answer is roughly 400,000. That is how many registered voters in the Ohio 2nd did not vote for Mr. Hackett.

K. said...

Right - but those 400,000 were Republicans. My question was referring to the primary. And why Brown is a better candidate. I'm aware of the "redness" of his district, and i followed the race pretty closely.

Most of us Dems consider his defeat a long term victory. He made a huge impact, keeping a race that wasn't expected to be close...in fact, very close. Personally, I can't figure out how anyone could find anything appealing about Jean Schmidt. But i'm not from southern Ohio, so I'm also a bit unaware of the issues concerning the local folk.

WestEnder said...

You'll be bowled over to note that Hackett beat Schmidt in the rural counties east of Cincinnati. Schmidt won because she raked up the population-dense suburbs and exurbs around Cincinnati.

As far as why some prefer Brown over Hackett: I've heard some liberal Dems complain about Hackett's position on guns & hunting, and than combined with Brown's progressive record may make Brown more appealing to some Dems.

Anonymous said...


Let me be up front. I am not a fan of Paul Hackett. Write it off as sour grapes if you like.

Lets look at the 400,000 “republicans” and the “redness” of the district. There are 456,151 registered voters in the OH-02. Paul received 55,151, Jean 59,132 votes. There were about 60k republican and 30k democrat primary voters in 2004. That makes the district 13% republicans, 7% democrats and 80% independents. The district went Bush 60-40 and Portman (R OH-02) 70-30 in 2004. Portman’s opponent received 89,598 votes. If you factor in the power of incumbency and problems with the Kerry campaign in Ohio then you start to converge on a 50-50 district. I would need to write a dissertation to explain why looking at the demographics of the district it should be 60-40 Democrat leaning.

Here is why I consider the defeat a defeat. President Bush’s numbers were tanking from the 2004 election on. In Ohio we had the most unpopular Governor in all 50 states. Scandals were rocking the national and state republican parties. And as you point out there is not much appealing in Jean Schmidt. And the Democrat still lost. The race should not have been close; it should have been a Democrat blowout.

Why is Sherrod Brown a better candidate? I would leave that up to you to decide. For myself it comes down to his positions on the issues and his record of sticking to his positions.

WestEnder said...

Sherrod Brown's website/blog:


K. said...

points taken.
again, i'm not from southern Ohio, nor do i know much about the region other than what i've read in national papers, or the cincinnatti enquirer.

I say "redness" because the voting patterns show the Republican candidates consistently getting a higher percentage of the vote. If that's the independents voting Republican, ok, i'll take your word for it, as certainly know more than me. But as far as who comes out to vote, and the final results, bright red.

An upstart candidate with no experience on the national level, competing as well as he did...from afar, he gained lots of fans. The fact that friends of mine here in NYC, and back in my home state of Michigan, are all following pretty closely a race in a southern district of Ohio....and now are pretty excited by the fact this guy is shooting for the Senate seat....well, as a Democrat without many "victories" to look to over the past five years, I'll take this as something.

I will read about Brown and compare. I truly know very little at this point.

(oh, btw, go bengals)

Anonymous said...

Another vet worth a look is Scott Holcomb in Georgia. He's running for Secretary of State - www.scottholcomb.com.