I am an American, a progressive and a Democrat in that order. If you are a regular reader this is old news to you and you understand I am a Democrat because as an American that is the only viable political home available to me. Today I’d like to take a look at a few of the things happening in my Party. Let’s explore.
This is being penned in the early afternoon of October 28th and I’ll begin with some sad news I just received: former North Carolina Senator Kay Hagen passed away. I met Senator Hagan on several occasions and had a few chances to chat with her. We have a plethora of mutual friends. I liked and respected her. Her post Senatorial life was going well when she was stricken with the rare disease that finally led to her demise. North Carolina has yet to replace her in the upper chamber even though someone else sits in her seat.
Recently Ohio Representative Tim Ryan wisely dropped out of the presidential contest. Like many others it was time for him to “get back in his lane”. He needs to defend his House seat in 2020.
I haven’t gotten into the Tulsi Gabbard “controversy” and am sorry to have heard Hillary Clinton make the statements she has. I doubt Gabbard is knowingly a Russian operative who will run as a third party candidate to take the place of Jill Stein; “useful idiot” could be another thing. Gabbard has announced she will not seek reelection to the House and is staying in the presidential race. The reality is that Gabbard already had a viable challenger in the Democratic primary which in Hawaii is effectively the election. I have no idea what the back story is on that challenge. Where I will get suspicious is if Gabbard launches a third party campaign. (Where will the money come from?) She will not be the nominee nor will anyone pick her as a running mate.
I will touch on the Katie Hill story which I’m sure my critics never thought I would mention. Freshman Representative Hill announced she will resign from the House but did not mention a specific date. She is caught up in two sex scandals one of which she denies. It also appears she is the victim of revenge porn. Affairs on Capitol Hill are more common than the common cold so it appears she may be the victim of some plotting. That said it still doesn’t excuse her action(s). Sexual infidelity is a bi-partisan affliction in Washington. I just find it interesting that People like Hill and former Minnesota Senator Al Franken were quick to fess up and resign when Republican hero Newt Gingrich committed the same offense as Hill is accused of and stayed in office. Franken was confronted with a photograph where he faked inappropriately touching a women and resigns while Donald Trump boasted of committing sexual assault and is in the Oval Office. Two wrongs don’t make a right but some equity would be welcome.
For the last twenty years I have lived in Florida and North Carolina; most of that time I was active in party politics. In those states the Democratic Party does not endorse in primaries which was a pleasant change from New York. How do you choose between or among often longtime friends who are running against each other? While in Florida and North Carolina I could (and often was required to) keep my preference silent I still had to make a choice in order to vote in the primary; in New York I was forced to take a public stand. Since I left the Party structure (I remain a registered Democrat) I am liberated to take a stand or keep my preference to myself. With all that as background I want to say a word on Massachusetts and explain my reasoning.
Ed Markey is the sitting Democratic Senator in deep blue Massachusetts and his seat is up in 2020. Democratic Representative Joe Kennedy has announced he will primary Markey. Unless the Massachusetts Democrats blow the general election (and they have done it before) the primary is effectively the election. I am encouraging my Massachusetts readers to vote for Markey. I understand the passing of the torch thing and but there is simply no reason to replace Markey. He is not somebody whose sell by date has passed. In fact he is a sponsor of the Green New Deal and has AOC’s endorsement.
My policy has always been to back the incumbent Democrat as long as they were doing a good job and were electable. I like Kennedy, will back him in the general if he happens to win the primary and his family name is political royalty in Massachusetts. I just think this is another “stay in your lane” situation.
I know it can be frustrating in a deep blue state. Look at California. There is a large group of well qualified Democrats “stuck” in the House (and elsewhere) waiting for Diane Feinstein or Kamala Harris to vacate their seat. Feinstein was reelected in 2018 so barring death or a serious health problem she isn’t going anywhere until at least January of 2025. If I were one of them I’d be hoping Harris is on the ticket in 2020 and it wins. Then they have to hope Governor Gavin Newsome doesn’t appoint himself to fill the vacancy. If he does he would be a significant opponent in the 2022 election. Here is a not so wildcard: Harris is appointed Attorney General in a Democratic administration.
Work together team; 2020 should be a good year but it won’t be a walk in the park!
NOTE: Good catch Jeff! I missed the second date in the editing/posting process.
This article was written well ahead of publishing in order to accommodate my travel schedule.
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