Saturday, March 25, 2006

Bastard of the Day

For completely misrepresenting the Democratic primary in Illinois' Sixth Congressional District, today's Bastard of the Day is CNN's John Roberts. With all she's been through, it's sad that Tammy Duckworth has to deal with crap like this interview on yesterday's American Morning program.
ROBERTS: Good to talk with you. Hey, a tough question right out of the box, here: It was a very narrow victory that you had in your Democratic primary contest. Is that an indication that maybe this idea of running Iraq war vets for the Democratic Party isn't as hot an idea as some Democrats originally thought it was?
Obviously, Roberts knows nothing about this race, except perhaps the Republican talking points. Duckworth's victory margin was relatively narrow (though 4 percent isn't bad in a three-way race) for reasons completely unrelated to the Iraq War and Roberts should be ashamed of himself for his lack of research -- unless having Karl Rove coaching you through your earpiece counts as research.

Duckworth's closest opponent, Christine Cegelis, was the Democratic candidate in the last election, and she gave old Henry Hyde a run for his money. She took 44 percent of the vote in 2004, a pretty strong showing against a powerful Republican who had held a House seat for 30 years. After Cegelis accomplished that, a lot of people felt that she deserved another chance this year since Hyde is retiring, leaving an open seat. I haven't seen much about Duckworth (it's not my district), but the only thing I have against her is that she's taking a spot on the ballot that probably should have been Cegelis'. Party leaders recruited Duckworth to run even though Cegelis seemed to have a pretty good chance, so they effectively abandoned Cegelis by showing no confidence in her. Of course, the bottom line is that Duckworth won the primary despite Cegelis' popularity, no small feat.

For Roberts to make this all about the Iraq War and imply that Democratic voters don't want to support soldiers or patriots is reprehensible. Duckworth lost limbs doing something most of us, especially the chickenhawks running the White House and Congress, don't have the guts to do. Democrats are every bit as patriotic as Republicans claim to be, if not more. But wait... Bastard Roberts wasn't finished with Duckworth:
ROBERTS: Right. Well, certainly the Democrats are looking for some credibility on this issue of national security because polls historically, and particularly over the last few years, have shown that Republicans score much better on the issue of national security than Democrats. But there are some very smart political analysts who don't think that the Iraq war veteran thing is going to work for the Democratic Party, that you're not going to win the overall race, and that you're being held out there as sacrificial lambs just to get the Democrats a little more credibility and get that antiwar message across in this election.
First of all, the only reason the Republicans "score much better on the issue of national security" is that they point it out every time they get on TV. I don't agree, but what else could they claim to be strong on? The economy? Record deficit spending is selling our country out from under us. Health care? Their only idea, health savings accounts, won't help those who can't afford insurance in the first place. Absent any programs that help the ordinary American who doesn't have access to a corporate learjet, what else can they say? Hey, we're fighting wars so that makes us strong on national security! Yeah, sure. I still can't see how stirring up trouble in Iraq helps us at home or anywhere else in the world.

As for pundits "who don't think that the Iraq war veteran thing is going to work for the Democratic Party," why is Duckworth's candidacy merely a "thing," a gimmick? She has views about important issues like health care, which she knows a lot about after spending a good deal more time at Walter Reed than the Republicans mugging for their publicity photos. She pointed out in a TV interview that she never could have received such good medical care as a private citizen without going bankrupt, and that she wants all Americans to have access to the care that she got as a veteran. Roberts dismisses all of that by claiming she's just a "sacrificial lamb" in the general election. In truth, Duckworth stands a pretty good chance of winning this open seat. After all, 44 percent of the electorate voted for a Democrat against a powerful Republican incumbent two years ago.

I give Duckworth credit for keeping her cool with Roberts' insipid questions, allusions, and allegations. I, on the other hand, will call him out for the bastard he is.

No comments: