Page One Kentucky is one of my favorite liberal Internet blogsites. It’s funny, irreverent and often on the money about Bluegrass State hustings.
The blogsite is devoting a lot of cyberspace to the hottest election in my home state, the U.S. senate showdown between Tea Bagger-tilting Republican Rand Paul and moderate Democrat Jack Conway.
Jake Payne, the guy who runs Page One Kentucky, has recently been putting up posts accusing Jack Conway of flip-flopping on extending the Bush tax cuts. “[ Conway ]…wonders why people like me are slowly jumping ship,” he wrote. “He wonders why we’re ready to stay home on election day.”
I feel Payne’s pain. I’m a union-card carrying Hubert Humphrey Democrat. Jack Conway, like almost all Kentucky Democrats, is too conservative for me.
But am I going to take a hike on election day?
No way. Conway’s got my vote. Staying home only helps Paul, who is as wacky as his daddy, GOP Rep. Ron Paul of Texas.
Payne isn’t the only liberal miffed at President Obama and some other Democrats for being less than President Franklin D. Roosevelt-like in dealing with hard times. I’m a tad disappointed myself.
FDR, one of my political heroes, battled the Depression in the 1930s with the New Deal, historic government action to fight the worst economic downturn in our history.
But Republicans like Paul want to turn back the clock to the 1920s, when their party forebears ran the White House and Congress. They preached and practiced a union-busting gospel of greed that caused the Depression. President George W. Bush and the current GOP kept the faith and triggered the worst economic times since the Depression.
Of course, the Republicans fervently hope a lot of liberals like Payne won’t vote on November 2.
If the polls are right, Democrats are less charged up about the election than Republicans are. The media calls it an “enthusiasm gap.” My guess is the gap will narrow by election day.
Payne said he is “ready to stay home.” That’s not the same as “going to stay home.”
Anyway, I’ve got to believe that my disaffected liberal brothers and sisters know, deep down inside, that if they don’t vote, they’ll just be helping the Republicans, who’d be a far-right-wing fringe party in any other Western democracy. The GOP makes even hidebound British Tories look like socialists.
Meanwhile, the liberal sniping against the president and Democrats reminds me of Pogo’s apt observation: “We have met the enemy and he is us.” Some liberals have almost been as hard on Obama as the Republicans have been.
I wish all Democrats were of the Humphrey persuasion. Few are; almost none are in Kentucky .
Republicans in the Bluegrass State and elsewhere know we’re not going to vote for Paul or any other Tea Party partisan like him. So for them, the next best thing is for us to not vote, period.
Of course, the GOP doesn’t want Democrats disappointed in Obama to think long and hard about the alternative to a Democratic-majority Congress: Tea Party time. If that prospect doesn’t galvanize liberals to vote Democratic, it ought to scare them silly enough to do so.
If the Republicans grab the House or the Senate, or both, Washington will be back to gridlock. That would be a win for the GOP, which would be able to stop anything Obama and the Democrats want.
The Republicans would be content to hold the fort until one of their own is back in the White House.
To be sure, I have no problem with Payne when he jabs Democrats when they sound like Republicans. But Payne and liberals of his persuasion need to keep their eyes on the prize: holding Congress and the White House in the Democratic column.
So what if Conway-like Democrats will only give us half a loaf. That’s 50 percent better than no-loaf-Paul.
Bottom line: It’s plain loco for liberals to punish Democrats for being insufficiently liberal by staying home on election day and letting the Obama’s-a-Kenyan-Islamo-Socialist crowd win. It happened in the special U.S. senate election in Massachusetts when Ted Kennedy was replaced by Scott Brown, another Tea Bagger-pandering Republican.
One of the responders to Payne’s criticism of Jack Conway besought the blogger to vote, adding ” … Flip Flop Jack is still WAY better than ignorant, makeup history, liar Teabagger, fearmongerer Rand Paul.” I’d have left off the gratuitous ”Flip Flop Jack” swipe. But I’ll add a Presbyterian “amen” to his characterization of Conway’s opponent.