Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Regarding Merkley and Novick

Folks, I am not going to engage in activities that suggest either candidate is not competent as a Senator nor unable to defeat Gordon Smith. If you want to make that case, you are welcome to, I don't happen to find it true. I gave Steve an endorsement on a very narrow basis, that of edginess and innovation. The questions Steve would have to address in a General are ones of organization and money, because Gordon has lots of both, they also are questions Jeff would have to face. What the DSCC does in the General is an open question, money and other support exists once it is in hand; before that it amounts to air.

Speaker of the Oregon House does not trump US Senator as experience, it is certainly something, but it is not an end all. Neither does successful EPA lawyer and State Halls insider trump US Senator, nor is it nothing. Trying to trump Gordon on experience is a losing game, he needs to be broken on the wheel of his votes and who he supports, politically and economically. That is the game.

Gordon's voting record is a matter of public record, the Oregonian could have referenced it at any time in the last series of elections, either they liked it or ignored it. Oregonians could have looked at it at any time, they didn't or didn't care. This is the challenge, to make the Oregonian care and to make Oregonians in general care. Eastern Oregon has not done well under George II nor under the policies Gordon has supported. Oregon is not the rest of the nation, but it is not totally different and Eastern Oregon is neither the rest of Oregon nor is it totally different. This is going to be a tough row to hoe whoever is the nominee; so some things that work some places may be misplaced as advantages in this race.

Neither candidate is going to sell themselves to Eastern Oregon as native sons, they're going to have to sell themselves as dedicated champions of the people of this area. First they have to get their attention and then they have to get to their guts and then their heads. The (D) is no advantage with anyone other than (D) and being ignored is fatal; and it is quite easy to be ignored. That's the first barrier, the second is emotional and breaching that barrier takes a bit of shock and a bit of reaching the heart. Getting through those barriers allows for the appeal to reason and intellectual measure of self-advantage. At this point in time the Republicans have created emotional barricades around themselves that have to be broken down, this has been the Democratic failure across time. Reason and numbers all show that this region voting Republican is voting against self-interest, and yet it does. Trying to square this fact with a traditional campaign strategy and behavior means something different must be done.

I've said I'd support and help to the extent of my abilities whomever is the nominee and I don't back away from that. But to make those efforts something other than an exercise in futility means what I've just pointed out needs to be taken into consideration. No I don't believe we can pull off any miracles out here, but anything approaching an even split would nearly guarantee an election - and what works out here works in other parts of the state.

I am going to say it again, some Democrat is going to go up against Gordon Smith and with two such honorable good candidates in the running, offending the other's supporters is poor thinking. There is absolutely no need for it, either candidate can stand on his own merits and need not have the competition cut down for him. But Gordon Smith isn't going to suffer from that kind of competition induced stupidity, should our Democrats?


Jeff Alworth said...

Chuck, this post may have been partly in response to my question, and I appreciate it. I've been slammed lately and haven't made it onto the blogs. Thanks for the insight, though.

Chuck Butcher said...

You asked...