First, thanks to the Leftwing Cracker for pushing my write-in campaign against Harold Ford Jr. in the Demcocratic primary for the U.S. Senate.
Like many progressive/liberal Democrats (and I'm a gay one on top of that), I have a serious problem with supporting a centrist/conservate Democrat who sacrifices gays and lesbians to win an election. That is what Harold Ford Jr. did. Knowing he would be running for the U.S. Senate, he voted with REPUBLICANS for the anti-gay "Federal Marriage Amendment" back in 2004, just before that election, so that the Republicans would not accuse him of supporting gay marriage when he ran for the Senate. It didn't work.. they still accused him of supporting gay marriage anyway! Of course, now he can, and did, respond by calling the GOP on this and bragged about voting WITH REPUBLICANS for the REPUBLICAN anti-gay amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Keep in mind, the Democratic Party and it's Presidential candidate John Kerry, were publicly OPPOSING this Republican amendment. The DNC was courting gay voters by opposing the amendment. John Kerry even spoke against it in his acceptance speech at the DNC. But Harold Ford Jr., a "Democrat" voted with the Republicans, with the Republican Party, With Tom Delay, with the Christian Coalition, etc. and voted to write discrimination into the U.S. Constitution, for the first time in the history of the United States of America.
Now, I realize that "gay marriage" was used by the Republicans as a wedge issue, which they used very successfully to divide the "base" of the Democratic Party, pitting conservative Christian African-Americans against gays and lesbians, and forcing the Democratic Party to choose between the different legs of its base. And they are doing it AGAIN! The GOP is getting ready to bring the Federal Marriage Amendment back up for a vote in time for the 2006 election! Why should I support Harold Ford Jr., when he has already voted for this Republican amendment to write discrimination against gays and lesbians into the U.S. Constitution. Can the Ford people please explain to me why I should vote for him??
Why should gays and lesbians keep supporting the Democratic Party (next to African-Americans we may be the most loyal democratic voters!)
I don't think gays and lesbians are the only part of the "Democratic base" asking this question. The DLC conservative/centrist Democrats are more interested in appeasing the Republican base than they are the Democratic base!
I had not planned on running for the U.S. Senate. I had thought about making a serious run for the House Dist. 9 seat being vacated (abandoned) by HFJ, but I decided to wait it out and support a more experienced progressive, like Steve Cohen. Thanks to Steve Cohen, we now have a real Democrat to support for that office.
I knew I did not have a chance to run for the U.S. Senate, and like many other progressive/liberal Democrats, I had planned on voting for Rosalind Kurita, even though she was not as liberal or progressive as I am or as I wanted her to be, but she seemed more progressive than HFJ. Now she dropped out and we had no opposition candidate against HFJ in the Democratic Primary.
I heard from many progressive and gay Democrats who were dismayed about the situation, and I made a last-minute decision to run as a write-in candidate. I know I will not and cannot win this election against Harold Ford Jr., but as Leftwing Cracker and autoegocrat (see PeskyFly blog) have eloquently stated, liberal and progressive Democrats in Tennessee must stand up and make a stand.
Maybe we can send a message that our votes will NOT be taken for granted. Maybe the Democratic Party (especially in Tennessee) willl stop ignoring us.
We must get organized for the next time, so we won't be forced into this situation again. Let's gete some REAL progressive Democrats on the ballots!
Jim Maynard for Congress
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