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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

There is no representative government in the US

I complained about it four years ago, when Dick Cheney basically hand-picked Norm Coleman to be a senator from Minnesota. First, he strong-armed Republican Tim Pawlenty into dropping out of the primary race (see my 2002 archives and search for "Pawlenty" for details), basically handing Coleman the nomination without any input from Minnesota voters. Then he made sure that election favorite Paul Wellstone's plane crashed (okay, there is some controversy about that), and then had the Fox News hacks make a big deal out of Wellstone's funeral, saying that the Dems were out of bounds to politicize a funeral. One way or another, Wellstone's ancient replacement on the ticket, Walter Mondale, lost to Coleman on election day. Coleman now "serves" as the senator from Cheney.

Well, the Democrats do the same crap, although they don't have the control of Predator drones to finish the job in November like the Repugs do. The NY Times reports that popular Iraq war veteran Paul Hackett has withdrawn from the Democratic primary for the senate in Ohio under pressure from national Democratic leaders including Senators Charles Schumer (NY) and Harry Reid (NV). Schumer and Reid want Rep. Sherrod Brown to oppose Republican Senator Mike DeWine in November without having to go through a primary battle. What the people of Ohio want apparently has nothing to do with it.
For the last two weeks, he said, state and national Democratic Party leaders have urged him to drop his Senate campaign and again run for Congress.

"This is an extremely disappointing decision that I feel has been forced on me," said Mr. Hackett, whose announcement comes two days before the state's filing deadline for candidates. He said he was outraged to learn that party leaders were calling his donors and asking them to stop giving and said he would not enter the Second District Congressional race.

"For me, this is a second betrayal," Mr. Hackett said. "First, my government misused and mismanaged the military in Iraq, and now my own party is afraid to support candidates like me.
Of course, this is American politics--follow the money:
"It boils down to who we think can pull the most votes in November against DeWine," said Chris Redfern, chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party. "And in Ohio, Brown's name is golden. It's just that simple."

Mr. Fern added that Mr. Brown's fund-raising abilities made him the better Senate candidate. By the end of last year, Mr. Brown had already amassed $2.37 million, 10 times what Mr. Hackett had raised.
So, as almost always happens in American politics, Ohio voters will get to "choose" between a big-money Dem and a big-money Repug in November, and the Senate will likely remain the home of pompous gasbags who vote us into war and approve neanderthals to "serve" in the cabinet and on the Supreme Court.

I hope Hackett changes his mind and sticks it to these bastards.