Friday, March 8, 2013


When I was a registered Okie Democrat, I used to say that no one did more to make me vote Republican than my own party (I am now registered as an independent). Dim bulbs, whack jobs, sleazes on the take overtly or name it; it seemed like the party's long dominance at the polls (Oklahoma's legislature became majority GOP for the first time in the 21st century) meant party leaders felt they could nominate anyone for just about any post and expect to win.

Often, their expectations were correct. Detractors may like to point to the current GOP-run state legislature as a not-so-much-of-a-bargain bin of genuine knuckle-dragging mouth-breathers, but the accuracy of that assessment doesn't eliminate the fact that it was not entirely different under the other outfit.

And my former party has done little in the last few years to correct some of their problems: nominating people almost guaranteed to lose given the political makeup of their districts, supporting establishment candidates over those who have a chance of winning, sacrificing some of their best and brightest in races they could not hope to win and so on. The few successes they've had did little to rebuild the party infrastructure or offer reasons why "Democrat" in Oklahoma doesn't mean the same thing it means in San Francisco.

Which all means nothing used to frustrate me more than the way it seemed the party of which I was a proud member liked to take target practice on its own toes. Other states' Democratic organizations might produce more raging loons (San Francisco's home of California, for example), and still others might be unable to nominate a successful candidacy for cemetery sexton, but I thought none of them managed to combine the losing and the lunacy quite the way we did.

Then I read this about the Kentucky Democratic party paying actual attention to actress Ashley Judd's flirtation with the idea of running for Mitch McConnell's Senate seat in 2014. Maintained her actual residence in a state other than Kentucky for nearly 20 years? Prone to undergraduately-inelegant indignant statements over the injustices she sees in the world? Regularly spends winters in another country while seeking to represent a state with an average per capita income of less than $20,000?

If I were a Kentucky Democrat, I would tell my party to save its money and let McConnell run unopposed if they thought this was their best shot at ousting him. Because even if Judd wins, Kentucky loses.

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