Congratulations to the new Democratic party Representative from the state of Kentucky, Ben Chandler. I haven't blogged about this because, well, Kos, Eschaton, Josh Marshall and the rest of the blogosphere have been doing a massive job on it and hell, I'm just a guy in his apartment on the west coast who's supposed to be writing poetry.
But the point can't be made enough--this is the first special election a Democrat has won since the last Bush was in office (you know, the one that didn't suck by comparison with the current one), and we won this one deep in Bush country. That's got to shake up Roveco, especially considering that the current Republican senator from that state, Mitch McConnell, had stuck a lot of his personal rep on the line for Chandler's opponent, Alice Forgy Kerr. A couple of weeks ago,this race was tight, and then Dick Cheney started campaigning for Kerr and her numbers went south fast, so fast that this was a walkover at 55-43. That's a solid ass-kicking.
Part of the reason Chandler was able to compete is because of the money he raised through ads on the blogosphere, and Atrios makes a wonderful point about fundraising tactics here.
I get a reasonable amount of political junk mail. Frankly, most of it goes into the trash unread these days. But, to the extent that I do read it I have the impression that it reads something like this:
REPUBLICANS ARE GOING TO EAT YOUR BABIES UNLESS YOU GIVE US $25
There's a kind of "we're pathetic and can't do anything unless you send us a couple of bucks" vibe. Now, that may in fact be true - that they're at a financial disadvantage. But, look - nobody likes a loser.
I'd prefer direct mail which went something like:
Last week we took Tom DeLay out back and kicked the crap out of him. This week, we plan to do it again. Help support this ass-kicking! For only $25, your name can be on a bootprint on DeLay's mottled ass!
Democrats are tired of being on the defensive. We've been on the defensive since the Failed Clinton Presidency began being reported 2 hours after election day '92. It's time for those days to be over.
Now I'm not going to say that Howard Dean was solely responsible for the new attitude that the Democratic Party has been showing of late, but he's certainly a large part of it and I think he deserves better than he's gotten at the polls of late. And no, I don't know what I'll do if he endorses Edwards, like some think he will. Could I bring myself to vote for someone not Dean in the primary if it meant I didn't have to support Kerry in November? Suddenly, that answer isn't so easy anymore.