Thursday, February 09, 2006

Fightin' Dems: THIS Is What I Like to See.

A break from personal poblems and brewing. Via Atrios, The Ohio Insurgency of Paul Hackett, a FIGHTING DEM

Paul Hackett is out for one last day of pressing the flesh.

It’s August 2, Election Day, and the lanky, blond, 43-year-old Marine has taken up position outside the polling place in Loveland, a burg on the outskirts of Cincinnati, flashing his toothy smile for the early risers. Hackett is dressed smartly in a blue shirt and striped pastel tie. His khaki pants hang loosely from his wiry, 180-pound frame.

“That’s low politics, punk!” a heavy-set man sneers as he marches toward the poll.
Hackett wheels around. “Pardon me?”
“You know, that radio ad that says, ‘You don’t know Schmidt.’” He’s talking about one of Hackett’s attack ads against Republican Jean Schmidt. The man spews a stream of epithets, and Hackett lets out a crybaby whimper: “Waaaaaaa!”
“What’s that, punk?” the big man growls.

A TV crew is setting up nearby, but Hackett doesn’t seem to care. “What’s your fuckin’ problem?” the candidate snaps. “You got something to say to me? Bring it on!” Hackett, all 6 feet 2 inches of him, is nose to nose with the heckler. “Problem?” he taunts. The man turns around and storms away.

“These guys in the Republican Party adopted this tough-guy language,” Hackett tells me, still steamed, an hour later. “They’re bullies. They’re offended when somebody takes a swing back at them.”

From the beginning of his quixotic campaign in a special election for U.S. Congress this summer, Paul Hackett relished taking swings. His rhetoric was scorched-earth: “I don’t like the sonofabitch that lives in the White House,” he told USA Today, “but I’d put my life on the line for him.” He declared in a debate that the biggest threat to America is “the man living in the White House,” and he slammed President Bush and Vice President Cheney as “chicken hawks.” He described Bush’s infamous taunt to Iraqi resistance fighters—“Bring ’em on”—as “the most incredibly stupid comment I’ve ever heard a president of the United States make. He cheered on the enemy.” The flame-throwing rhetoric belies an analytical attorney with an (often) understated persona; apologetic, however, Hackett is not.

“I said it, I meant it, I stand by it,” he said when I asked if he regretted any of his comments. “Bush is a chicken hawk, okay? Tough shit.” As for the SOB barb, Bush “talks the tough talk. He should appreciate that.”

A major in the Marine Corps Reserve fresh from a tour in Iraq, Hackett proved to be that rarest of modern political animals, a fighting Democrat.

I gave Paul Hackett a chunk of money. If the Dems are going to take back the House, the Senate, or the White House, this is the kind of Democrat we need.

Pat Murphy, I hope you're as ballsy as your colleague and give FitzPatrick a good poke in the eye. Or a kick in the ass.

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