Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Good news from Texas and other outposts

Another idiosyncratic news summary. First, an amazing report of GOP meltdown in Texas as the state legislature sinks under the weight of its own corruption.

Then, this story of a local Democratic club that marches each year in an upscale, conservative July 4th parade in Texas:

Last year, as we were handing out candy, a woman grabbed her child by the arm and jerked her painfully back while yelling "we don't take candy from democrats". My club has not been dismayed by the hecklers, because you often see the disgust on the faces of nearby parade watchers and even their own families at their outrageous behavior.
This year it was different! From the beginning of the Parade, everybody was waving and smiling at us. When we reached the most crowded areas, all I could see were people jumping up and down, applauding, yelling "go democrats" and several even screamed "save us democrats". I'm sure not everyone was behaving this way, but those that were had such animation that it seemed like everyone considered us to be conquering heroes or something!
Then, in Ohio, a Marine just back from Iraq runs for Congress in a district held by Republicans for three decades. He calls Bush a chickenhawk and wants to bring home the troops. His name is Paul Hackett. Ignored at first, he starts outraising his opponent, recently taking in $200,000 from the netroots. A GOP campaign toad questions his military service because he "only" served in a civil affairs unit. Says Hackett to the toad, if you support this war, "leave your wife and three kids and go sign up for the Army or Marines and go over there and fight. Otherwise, shut your mouth." And the conservative Cincinnati Post endorses him, calling him "a gust of fresh air."
Mr. Hackett, the Democratic candidate in the Aug. 2 special Congressional election, is not an ordinary politician. Until four months ago, he was serving in the Marines, commanding a civil affairs unit in Iraq. . . .
The national Democratic Party initially ignored the race. But Mr. Hackett has changed some minds, and the party has begun dispatching young staff members to the field, hoping to send a message that Mr. Bush is weak in one of his most loyal districts. . . . .
Mr. Hackett has been bluntly dismissive of Mr. Bush, saying the United States should have focused on capturing Osama bin Laden instead of invading Iraq so quickly. In a public forum, he called Mr. Bush the biggest threat facing the United States, a remark that has infuriated voters, Republicans say. . . .
Todd Schulte, a Republican, said Mr. Hackett's service had caused him to consider voting Democratic on Aug. 2. Mr. Schulte, a 40-year-old business owner, happened on Mr. Hackett's event in Blue Ash and was impressed with the candidate's decision to volunteer for Iraq. "He's got a wife, kids and a good job but he's not sitting in the back row," Mr. Schulte said. "That gives me something to think about."
All this gives me something to think about, too. It's called "hope."
UPDATE: Oh yes, and the Washington Post runs a huge front-page story on Rovegate with lots of new CIA info, and Gallup's latest poll has Americans calling Bush a liar.

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