Friday, June 27, 2008

Voting Against Gordon Smith - Jeff Merkley

If you are one of those rare birds, a moderate Republican or moderate right independent, you might find yourself in the position of wanting to vote against Gordon Smith. I'd applaud that decision, he doesn't represent your point of view, his voting record says not. He is in fact a George W Bush lap dog and exercises his "moderate" stance only when his Party knows it doesn't matter to the vote total. He is allowed by the Leadership to "backslide" for left leaning Oregonian voters if they don't need him.

Many of you are finally angry about the corporatism and wealth favoring of the (R) brand, that is the pocket Gordon lives in. He's never seen an ordinary citizen bill he was in favor of, and if you live in OR, you are overwhelmingly in the "ordinary citizen" category. This is not a State of big money interests, not in any comparison to most of the country, our median income lags the average and our business sizes considerably lag the upper end. Our interests in truly big business come mostly in the matter of purchases, we aren't employed by them. When Gordon sides with the Bush faction he ignores the interests of Oregonians.

Jeff Merkley is Oregonian in view point, that is a consequence of his political history and personal history. His business dealings have been small, his contributors small, and as Majority Leader his focus was Oregon. You don't have to think too hard about what that focus means nationally, not that Oregon will get special treatment, but that Oregonian type interests will be served. Jeff certainly is not Republican, not previous incarnations and especially not the current ones, but he is quintessentially Oregonian. He is the guy a nail banger or logger or retailer might know and be friends with, that's his personality but more to the point, his background. It is unlikely a person moves greatly beyond their background, Gordon is wealth and privilege and shows no sign of thinking past that. Unless you're a real wheel, you wouldn't socially find yourself in the same room as Gordon - now or then. I'm not proposing the faux have a beer with George kind of thing, Merkley is the real deal.

I'm a Democrat, and I'm a left Democrat and I've been paying attention to politics for a long time so I don't easily get enthused about politicians. I look at them and take a pretty cold blooded assessment, and no, Jeff isn't as left as I am. That orientation is rare in this country and I don't expect it to be much reflected in politicians with any hope of election. Sometimes I find myself voting against a politician - generally Republican - rather than voting for one; not this time. Jeff Merkley represents what is good about the Democratic Party along with a practical turn of mind that means he can get things done. A frozen ideologue who can't get anything done is useless, maybe it would make for good TV, but that isn't the object of electing people. Jeff knows how to take stands and he's taken some strong ones, but he knows how to make things work. As House Leader Jeff has demonstrated this election cycle already - in Democratic electoral leads - just how successful he has been at reflecting Oregonians.

The Republicans in this State are in disarray, they are getting pounded badly enough that a lot of possible districts aren't being contested by them and they're in trouble in the ones they are contesting. This doesn't happen by accident, it isn't really a reflection of GWB's approval ratings, it is about approval of what the Democrats have done here. Here. Jeff Merkley, House Majority Leader. He gets things done, he gets things done Oregonians approve of, ask yourself how good that is for the nation as a whole to have Jeff Merkley bringing that to national politics.

I have that Jeff Merkley ActBlue button on my sideboard and I'm proud to have it there. I'm proud that the Merkley campaign considers my respect and advocacy of value to them because I seldom give this level of support to any politician. I am a Democratic Party of Oregon functionary and I do work for Democratic politicians pretty much as a matter of course, this is more than that. This isn't a matter of a generalized our guy versus theirs, this is a matter of Jeff Merkley can be a real good Senator, bringing to the US Senate the things about Oregon that are good and right. Jeff Merkley isn't a little better than Gordon Smith with a different ( ) after his name, Jeff Merkely is better than most candidates anybody is running anywhere for any office from any Party. That's strong language - it's merited.

***Use that button - this stuff doesn't happen for free, ya know***

Merkley for Senate


Sarah Lane said...

Merkley is the real deal. Before I joined the staff, I was a huge supporter. Jeff has been able to have a direct impact on the lives of Oregonians in a very positive way. I have never encountered a legislator who has been as effective as Jeff has been.

Thanks for the wonderful blog post!

sarahlane, netroots director for Jeff Merkley

Burr Deming said...

Senator Smith provides to us a barameter of sorts, a measure of how he and others believe the Presidential election will go.

I'm inclined to think he is right.

But that would not entice me to vote for him. Sadly, that vote is impossible. I live in Missouri.

Chuck Butcher said...

KISS said...
Question of the day: How many Jeff Merkleys does it take to equal ONE Wayne Morse?
Of course Gordon doesn't enter into this equation.

6/28/2008 10:11:00 AM

I think this got into the wrong post.

Chuck Butcher said...

Well KISS,
I guess we'll have to elect him to find out. Times are different and so is the electorate, Jeff is a good candidate. I'm not going to try to measure his potential against everybody in history, particularly when you consider the rose colored lense of some histories.