08 November 2006

On Frist Corker and Ford

Republican Hangs On to Frist’s Senate Seat - New York Times

Full disclosure: The Eight gave to McCaskill and Ford in very small amounts this cycle, and does not regret the choice. In both cases, the ad that drew national attention was a big part of the impetus for our donations (the Mike Fox ad in MO and subsequent Limbaugh fiasco, and the Racist anti-ford ad in TN.)

Dems and talking heads are saying that Ford ran a good campaign and his future is bright and he stayed above the fray of racist and family-oriented attacks, and they're right about all that. But look at it another way: Assume that Burns pulls it out in Montana, (actually we clearly hope he won't. Burns is the worst kind of GOP bum. But just assume for these purposes.) And that Webb holds on in VA. If that's how it shakes out, then the racist ad that Corker's backers aired, and we've all seen no matter how far away we live from TN or how vigilantly we TiVo'd through all political ads, that one nasty, racist ad may be the very thing that keeps the GOP senate. You certainly can't point to a bigger single action that held a GOP seat. And you can't deny that that ad was instrumental in the Corker win.

And that is the Southern Strategy all over again. It's playing the race card. And that's really the last card left in the GOP deck when the game gets close, which is a betrayal of their stated party principles and of what most republican citizens believe. It's why I always tell my Texan friends and family I don't hate republicans, just republican politicians.

But on the whole I think this election painted a picture of an America I can be reasonably proud of, and not just because Dems won big. Mainly because it showed that there is a point where we get fed up with bad leadership. (I'd have preferred we reached that point 2 years ago, but that's just me.) It also showed that we as a nation love our game more than we love or hate the players. That checks and balances and oversight and accountability are just as important as "strong" "charismatic" "leaders".

Clearly I need to watch my TiVo'd Gilmore Girls and go to bed. Go Tester Go Webb. Watch Friday Night Lights next week and tell your friends to watch too, especially your Nielsen family friends.

---LATE AND LAST UPDATE: With 99% reporting in Montana Tester is ahead a couple thousand. This is very good news, though nothing is sealed until 10 days after the check clears. I can sleep soundly now. ---

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