Monday, November 28, 2005


Cegelis gets MORE company

It is, as they say, on. Or, it appears to be on.

In a nutshell, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC, or D-Trip), led by none other than local-boy-done-good (and Clinton hanger-on) Rahm Emmanuel, has recruited another entrant into the Dem primary for IL-06. Now remember, this is a seat once thought so safe for the GOP that previous Dem primaries used to pit animatronic squirrels against slow-witted paper boys (both usually lost to colorful but derivative oil paintings picked up at garage sales, which then went on to get clobbered by Henry Hyde). Then Christine Cegelis came along and won 44+% of the vote and all of a sudden everyone got nervous: Henry Hyde announced his retirement; the DuPage Republican establishment did everything it could to clear the way for its knight in shining armor, Peter Roskam; and the national GOP brought in Tom DeLay for a fundraiser for Roskam to end all fundraisers (or at least all fundraisers not revolving around the theme of keeping DeLay out of prison).

But apparently none was so scared as Rep. Emmanuel.

Better, I suppose, from his point of view, to find someone who fits the narrative (Dems who are veterans of Iraq and are therefore inherently more able* to speak to the masses about the single defining issue of the 2006 election) that he's trying to create. And Duckworth has one hell of a story to tell. Hell, Newsweek's buying. But it's telling that someone who came to power thanks not to the support of any kind of grassroots but rather thanks to his connections from above is so nervous about an actually viable grassroots candidate (whom he conveniently castigates for not raising enough money, no thanks to him or the rest of the Dem powers that be) that he provides an entire team for his choice. It's almost as if such grassroots-ness was antithetical to how he believes politics should work.

Regardless, it seems as if that's how it's going to be (although Duckworth hasn't announced her candidacy yet or, apparently, any positions on any issues whatsoever). Which is fine - I'm actually a proponent of primaries between candidates with personal integrity. It will certainly raise the profile of the race significantly. It will be a good challenge for Cegelis, whom I continue to support and will continue to rally the troops around. And it will certainly help prepare her for what promises to be a monster of a general election, should she survive this first round. Best of all, it will be a chance for the grassroots to prove ourselves, both with our person-power and our checkbooks, against the formidable structure that is the DCCC.

But just because I welcome the challenge doesn't mean I have to like the way the challenger is brought to the court.

It is, as I said above, on.

*Call me naive but how is it that knowing everything we know today, the apologists for this war and their ever-shifting views (this includes Republicans and Democrats) are still considered part of the mainstream, whereas those of us who called bullshit from the beginning, and now see most of the rest of the country slowly realizing that we were right all along, are somehow considered "fringe"?

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