Monday, July 21, 2008

When Has Even a Blue Dog Democrat Crossed the Line?

On June 24, I sent State Senator David Boswell, the Democratic candidate for retiring Rep. Ron Lewis' Second District Congressional seat, an email asking Senator Boswell his position on five issues. The last issue was this:

Publicly endorsing Barack Obama and enthusiastically campaigning for him.

On July 11, I received Senator Boswell's response. His answer to the last issue, on publicly endorsing Barack Obama and campaigning for him, is, in full:

"I am proud to be a Democrat."

Really, Senator? More than a month after Obama clinched the Democratic nomination and received Senator Hillary Clinton's strong endorsement, that's all you have to say?

"I'm proud to be a Democrat"? Really? Because Kentucky's Democrats sure as hell aren't proud to have you as a Congressional candidate.
(More after the jump.)

Kentucky's Second District may poll conservative - although that may also be an artifact of not having a real Democratic choice for the past 15 years - but does Boswell really think rejecting his own party's Presidential Nominee is going to endear him to Second District Democrats?

Boswell's fundraising has been weak since his May 20th primary victory, and public response to his candidacy indifferent, to put it politely.

A recent fundraiser in one of the more prosperous communities in the rural Second District had to be re-named a "reception" because of the reluctance of invitees to commit to making a donation. Even so, fewer than 40 of the anticipated 100 attendees actually showed.

Boswell struggled to connect with the guests, and his short speech drew barely polite applause at the end. Perhaps that's because he spent most of the time telling irrelevant stories about A.B. "Happy" Chandler and Earle Clements, two former governors who were rivals more than 50 years ago.

The closest Boswell came to discussing the issues of the campaign was to say:

"I don't have to tell you what the issues are, because you know what they are."

Yes, Senator, WE know what WE think the issues are; we want to know what YOU think the issues are.

In answer to other emailed questions, Boswell said he was

  • against the FISA amendments that "give unlimited
    unConstitutional warrantless wiretapping powers to the president, and gives amnesty to lawbreaking corporations." Easy to say now that the vote is over.
  • supported "withdraw without time line" from Iraq
  • supports "cutting taxes on wage earnings below $50,000 per year," although he failed to respond to a question about increasing taxes on those earning above $200,000 per year
  • "supports" establishing single-payer health insurance comparable to that enjoyed by members 0f Congress
  • and of course, with regard to his own party's nominee for President, Boswell is "proud to be a Democrat."

    If only he really were one.

    Cross-posted at Blue in the Bluegrass.