I always feel the need to preface these remarks by saying that I have a ton of respect for David Sirota’s record and committment to liberal (progressive) values. I think that’s why it is all the more disappointing when someone like that is so willing to use the worst political strategies of the Rove right—assault through innuendo, speculation, and character assassination. It’s one thing to have opposed Paul Hackett because you preferred the alternative, but it is something entirely different to attack someone’s character in a pathetic attempt to smear him.
Mr. Sirota has divined that Hackett “lacks political tenacity,” “created a ridiculous martyr story”, and is generally not strong enough to stick in the race. While I admire David’s insight into the mind of a person he doesn’t know, don’t we usually let Republicans do the work of smearing Democrats on illusory feelings about their perceived strength?
Sirota also offers this strawperson argument:
The concept that the U.S. Senate – one of the most corrupt and conservative institutions in the modern democratic world – just loves someone with Sherrod Brown’s progressive politics and that they “forced out” Brown’s opponent because of that is so stupid its hard to believe that people could even think that, much less even imply it or utter it.
I don’t think anyone has made the claim that the members of the Senate got together on a hunting trip with Dick Cheney and decided to run Hackett out of the race, but it’d be awfully naive not to think that the Democratic establishment didn’t prefer Brown. And why? Gosh, it couldn’t be the same issue of electability that Sirota goes after all the time, could it?
In the end, those people who support Brown should take a deep breath and stop going after Hackett. How smart will it have been to drive away those centrist Democrats in November who were there because of excitement about Hackett? If I were running the Brown campaign, I would be horrified at the juvenile attacks being levelled against Hackett the past few days, because I would know it was costing me votes—as some of the comments on Sirota’s blog seem to indicate.
They’re may not be ‘any crying in politics’, but there are people who win with class and grace. And those who don’t. I’d say that part of being a progressive should be about winning and losing elections about ideas, not about destroying people.
Finally, anyone want to bet that if DeWine wins the race, somehow Hackett will get the blame?