The Fifth Horseman: Let's hear it for the fighters...

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


Let's hear it for the fighters...

Well, Paul Hackett has lost. Barely. Hackett barely lost the election for a seat in Congress to Republican Jean Schmidt by a vote of 52% to 48%.

Now, you may ask: what is so special about this? The man lost, didn't he?

Yes, Hackett did lose. But before you jump to conclusions, let me tell you a few things about this election.

The district is a Republican stronghold: 64% of its constituents voted for Dubya in 2004.

Hackett has said some pretty inflammatory things. He has been recorded calling Dubya a "son of a bitch" and war-supporters "chickenhawks". Yet, he still almost won a Congressional seat in a heavily conservative district. How is this significant? I'll tell you how.

This means that people are sick of their congressmen pussyfooting around the issues. Hackett is a straight-shooter: he told the truth about Bush and the war-supporters.

This should serve as a lesson to all Democrats. By taking a clear stance on the Iraqi war and the competency of the President, Hackett won more votes in the district than the Democrat's 2004 Presidential candidate. If they want to have any hope of taking back some seats in the 2006 midterms, the Democratic leadership needs to follow Hackett's example.

This means taking a firm stance against the war in Iraq. This means toughening up the language and rhetoric. This means going on the verbal attack against the GOP and strengthening the grassroots. So far, I've only seen this in one powerful Democrat: Howard Dean. And every time Dean does something right, the rest of the party distances themselves from him.

That needs to stop too. We're not going to win the 2006 midterms by playing nice and complimenting the President. This is a dirty game, and we're going to have to learn to fight dirty.

Hackett wasn't afraid to attack the president and play dirty: he used these tactics in the Congressional election and it almost worked.

What the Democrats need to do more than anything else is develop a clear and unified position against the Iraq war. Only then can we finally begin to take back the reins of government and start putting this country back together.

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