As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Filibuster Friends May Be Filibustering Their Way Out Of Washington

As despondent as I am over the Democrats' tactics in this Congressional session, it's clear that the Republicans have a stated goal to shut down the government. They're already nearing the record for filibusters in one Congress, and in only half the session. And they continue to believe this obstructionism won't hurt them at the polls. We're going to find out.

There are plenty of top-tier races where Democrats have a clear edge. But take a look at these poll numbers out of Alaska, where the whole delegation is ethically compromised, and there are excellent chances to have a Democrat come out of the Great White North for the first time since Mike Gravel in the 1970s.

If 2008 election for Congress were held today, for whom would you vote for if the choices were between Ethan Berkowitz, the Democrat, and Don Young, the Republican?

Young (R) 42
Berkowitz (D) 49

If 2008 election for U.S. Senate were held today, for whom would you vote for if the choices were between Mark Begich, the Democrat, and Ted Stevens, the Republican?

Stevens (R) 41
Begich (D) 47

While it would be of course great to knock out Series of Tubes Stevens and his Hulk tie, the race in Kentucky is actually more important. Mitch McConnell is schooled in the art of the Senate and has consistently outfoxed Harry Reid this year. His knowledge and expertise is a major reason they've been so successful at obstructing legislation. Beating him would not only be a payback for the defeat of former Minority Leader Tom Daschle in 2004, but it would be as meaningful as Jim Webb's victory over presumptive Presidential nominee Macaca Allen was in 2006.

Today, Andrew Horne, an Iraq war vet, took up the challenge.

Andrew Horne, who had to step down as a Senior Advisor to to run this race, not only has a good shot to beat McConnell, he has a tremendous shot. That’s got us Iraq veterans pumped because not only will we have a voice in the Senate that comes from our own ranks, but we’re also going to take down the guy who is the single most responsible person in Congress for the war in Iraq, as well as the defeat of pro-troop, pro-veteran legislation.

Horne's campaign announcement is here, and he seems to absolutely understand the importance of McConnell in blocking a progressive agenda, and how both veterans and Kentuckians would be better served by his leadership.

"I'm running for U.S. Senate because it's time for a change and because Senator Mitch McConnell is more than part of the problem. He is THE problem. It is time for Kentuckians to take our government and country back. We should not be told to take a backseat to the wealthy and powerful. It's time to tackle the challenges facing our country instead of passing them off to our kids. It's time for leaders who'll take the right stand," Horne says in the video.

"Mitch McConnell, the Republican Leader, symbolizes everything wrong with Washington. He bows to big business, practices the worst kind of politics, and doesn't take a stand when faced with tough issues. Simply put: Mitch McConnell carries George Bush's water on Iraq; I carried a rifle in Iraq" he added.

An early poll showed Horne just 11 points off the lead and McConnell well under 50%, and nobody even knows about him yet. I'm going to try and scrutinize these Democratic challengers closely and weed out the Bush Dogs, but so far Horne seems like a good choice.

UPDATE: Horne's campaign website.

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