Wednesday, October 18, 2006

How Harold Ford Lost My Vote

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Harold Ford joined the Tennessee congressional delegation in voting nearly unanimously three weeks ago in support of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, which George W. Bush signed into law today. (Only Jim Cooper voted against it; kudos to Congressman Cooper). After much thought, I have decided that I cannot in good conscience vote for a man who supports the notion of detaining American citizens without the writ of habeas corpus. My Democratic friends need not bother to tell me how important taking back Congress in November is. Taking back Congress matters little to me when we face a bleak future of omnipotent Bush-picked tribunals declaring anyone an "unlawful enemy combatant." Congress has made itself moot in such a world.

The Democrats are in worse shape than merely lacking majority power; they lack any sense of duty to protect Americans who otherwise cannot protect themselves. Harold Ford should be held responsible by voters for not embracing that duty; my only way of holding him responsible is to choose not to vote for him in November. I will not simply go with the increasingly surreal and ghastly flow.


  1. I've long advocated progressives abandoning Ford in favor of Lugo. While you haven't endorsed Lugo, I applaud your stance of no confidence in Ford.

  2. It's good to see someone outside of Memphis take a principled stand against Harold Ford Jr. I abandoned him long before you did, but had I not, this vote would have been the deal-breaker for me, too.

    Whatever you do, don't tell the people at Daily Kos, unless you enjoy being called childish names like "concern troll."

    Congratulations on making such a tough decision at a time like this.

  3. The Daily Kos lemmings can kiss my ass. If they represent the Democratic Party (win at all costs), then the Democratic Party is truly bankrupt. How could the Democratic Party nominate a candidate like Harold Ford Jr.? It is unbelievable. He has no principles, he runs AGAINST the Democratic Party, he switches positions, lies, etc.
    I am a gay activist that quit supporting HFJr after he lied to the gay community and switched his position on the anti-gay Federal Marriage Amendment. He now campaigns across the state of TN attacking gays and lesbians, supporting the anti-gay Federal Marriage Amendment, while the DNC and Howard Dean have condemnded Bush and the GOP for supporing it, and the DNC still supports Ford Jr??? I don't understand it...
    And to those Daily Kos lemmings who think electing HFJr to the Senate will help progressive Democrats take control of Congress, think again. He will be moving to the RIGHT, supporting the Republicans every chance he gets so he can campaign as a conservtive to get re-elected at least once before he tries to run for President (God Help us)

    I will never forgive Bill Clinton for supporting this lying hypocrite Democrat in Name Only! (Well, I guess clinton knows something about that too.)
    Jim Maynard
    Queer Notes

  4. Mike, I appreciate a principled stand, I really do. I'm yellow dog, basically, but I have never been so tempted to sit out an election as this time. And, I think principles only matter when they are inconveinant. That said, subpoena power baby. Unless and until we control some committees, we may never know the depth of the corruption of this admin. It's vital that it is exposed so that it does not repeat. I try to vote my heart, sometimes I am forced to vote strategically. I hope Ford can be reigned in, and I hope that much of his current rhetoric is only that, rhetoric, necessary because he is fighting a multi-million dollar candidate. The GOP is pulling out all the stops to win this one. Ask yourself why. Lastly, Cooper, who I admire, voted for that horrible bankrupcy bill, and we are starting to see the repercussions of that vote already. I'll continue to support him, at least for now.

  5. Harold Ford, Jr. is a great American who is going put an end to the racial polarization that has dominated Southern politics. Too bad that some well-intentioned progressives are too far out in left field to celebrate this important victory with us.

    I am a conservative Democrat on social and national security matters but lean labor-populist on economic matters. Many times, I have voted for Democrats that differ from my beliefs on one issue or another but did so because I was looking at the big picture. My primary concern is that we maintain a decent safety net for all Americans and protect the rights of workers.

    Do you remember how much good that the progressive votes for Nader did ? We would have been far better off with Gore than Bush II. Personally, I don't agree with Harold Jr. on every issue but he is clearly head and shoulders over a big business Republican like Corker.

  6. Jesus H. Christ, guys. Watch this come down to 2 more years (or more) of a Republican Senate, because you decided you had to support an independent with no chance. Did we learn nothing from Florida?

    Sure, the Democrats have their faults. Ford has MANY of them (as a progressive gay guy, I deplore some of his views). Still, a Democratic congress will give Democrats a chance-- and a need for-- a real agenda. They'll get to hire staff, like progressive little me. They'll be able to block Bush, and actually try to turn this mess around.

    We can stand on principle, and lose again-- for the satisfaction of not supporting "these Democrats," and when we do that, the Republicans once again get carte blanche to do whatever the fuck they want until we finally pull together...

    The crazy Christians fall in line. They win, and they now have two new friends on the Supreme Court.

    Learn a lesson.
    Hold your nose and vote for Ford.