Saturday, March 31, 2007

Meet Mitch's Nemesis

Update Below
If you heard this morning’s Democratic Response to the latest blatherings of the Usurper, remember it. You may have heard the voice of …

The Man Who Takes Down Mitch McConnell in 2008.

McConnell, Minority Leader of the U.S. Senate, has owned Kentucky since he beat two-term incumbent Dee Huddleston in 1984 with one of the original attack ads (bloodhounds searching the U.S. Capitol for Huddleston, who had a tendency to miss votes.)

But his star has been fading since his hand-picked Boy Guv, Ernie Fletcher, shat on the Governor’s Office carpet in 2004 by breaking state civil service laws to get his idiot cronies into state jobs.

Now national Democratic leaders have seen fit to reach deep into Kentucky politics to lift up Iraq War Veteran and retired Marine Lt. Col. Andrew Horne to give the Democratic response to Dear Leader’s weekly radio address today.

Horne lost the Democratic primary for Kentucky’s 3rd District Congressional seat (Louisville) last year to John Yarmuth, who went on to take down five-term incumbent Anne Northup, another McConnell protégé.

Yarmuth is now the heartthrob of Kentucky progressives, who hang on word of his Washington doings like prepubescent teens following Britney Spears.

But they also still carry a torch for Horne, whom they supported in the primary, before swallowing their pride after the primary loss and working their tails off for Yarmuth.

Horne was also endorsed in the primary by Change for Kentucky/Democracy for America, and I think I detect the brilliant hand of Democratic National Committee Chair and DFA founder Howard Dean in the selection of Horne for today’s response. Wouldn’t surprise me if Senator and Marine combat veteran Jim Webb had a hand in it too.

McConnell, who may be best known for his cast-in-stone opposition to campaign finance reform, has a reputation for campaign success second only to Karl Rove’s.

But we all know what happened to Karl in November.

And McConnell is up for re-election in 2008, at what will undoubtedly be his weakest point in 24 years.

Last week, we heard the first rumors here in Kentucky that Horne might take on McConnell next year. People leaped into action at the news, but one of his original supporters put a damper on it by saying Horne had made no decision yet.

I think we can start lining up campaign contributions now.
Update, April 1, 8:56 a.m.
Some choice excerpts from Horne's response to the Usurper:
" ... I am proud of my service, and very proud of those men and women currently in harm’s way who are doing their best in a terribly difficult situation.
"In short, the Commander-in-Chief has failed to properly lead the troops, and previous Congresses didn’t ask the tough questions, or demand accountability. The result is the mess we are in today.
"... these bills both demand something that previous Congresses did not – accountability from the administration. Both bills demand that the President continue to verify that we are moving Iraq towards stability, and that we are on track to disengage our combat troops from the Iraqi Civil War by 2008.

"Accountability is something this administration has demanded of everyone else. Go to the website of the White House, and put in a search for the word “accountability.” What comes up is a list of nearly 2,000 pages on the site that mention the word.
"It's ironic that an administration that has touted its commitment to tying accountability to funding for things like schools or social programs is so opposed to any performance evaluation itself, especially with American lives on the line.

"Both Houses of Congress have done their jobs and will soon finish a bill that will provide for the troops. When they’re done, the only person who could keep funds from reaching troops would be the President. If the President vetoes this bill because he doesn’t want to formally demonstrate progress in Iraq, never in the history of war would there be a more blatant example of a Commander-in-Chief undermining the troops. There is absolutely no excuse for the President to withhold funding for the troops, and if he does exercise a veto, Congress must side with the troops and override it.

"As a loyal Marine who loves my country and my fellow troops and veterans, I ask you, Mr. President, please do not withhold funding from our troops because you are afraid to change course and show progress in Iraq."