Taliban Dan

Via Digby, that's how Alan Grayson refers to his opponent, Daniel Webster, in the reelection contest in his central Florida district. Are you fainting yet? Anyway, here is an interesting observation:

Grayson mobilizes and energizes his diverse base: African Americans, Latinos, Jews, gay men and lesbians, union members, pro-choice activists and younger “‘Daily Show’ Democrats,” who, like him, do not hesitate to criticize their party’s leadership for insufficient fervor and a promiscuous eagerness to compromise. Their enthusiasm and their commitment, Grayson says, can make up for their smaller numbers in the otherwise moderately conservative district. If he manages to win despite the expected GOP wave — regardless of his margin — the lesson for Democrats will be clear.

“If Grayson wins,” said Aubrey Jewett, associate professor of political science at the University of Central Florida, “and especially if many other congressional Democrats lose, the lesson for the Democratic Party will be clear: A winning strategy for Democrats in swing districts involves energetically advocating progressive positions rather than muddling policy differences for the moderate voters.”


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  • Display: Sort:
    Best line of all: (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by shoephone on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 04:30:44 PM EST
    "...a promiscuous eagerness to compromise."

    That's the most succint description of Obama, the conservadems, and their loyalists I've seen yet.

    Do you suppose (none / 0) (#1)
    by the capstan on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 03:52:16 PM EST
    I could get an absentee ballot for his district?

    I know people in his district (none / 0) (#17)
    by ruffian on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 08:59:49 AM EST
    I wish you could replace them!

    Refreshing! (none / 0) (#2)
    by Cream City on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 03:52:18 PM EST
    By the way, you may find interesting this analysis  of the voting record of another of your favorites in the Senate, front-paged today in the Sunday paper that covers most of his swing state.  

    The analysis shows that a Senator who stands apart from his president and party only 15 percent of the time still is a "maverick" and the most outlying of the outliers.  (And although he has backed down, Feingold rarely did so by muddling the differences.)

    Feingold generally votes what he thinks (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 03:57:01 PM EST
    not what the Dem Party tell him to do.

    Sometimes I like that and sometimes I don't.


    Yep, and ditto (none / 0) (#5)
    by Cream City on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 04:10:48 PM EST
    as well you know -- and as we let him know.  Yet even so, he keeps reiterating his principles, even when they are not those of his constituents, darn him.

    Feingold is good & a progressive example (none / 0) (#12)
    by christinep on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 06:48:32 PM EST
    'Sure hope he wins.  Only one question--and, since I don't live in Wisconsin and even if I did, it wouldn't be a problem for fully supporting him: What is his present position about confirming Presidential appointees to the Supreme Court and to the AG's office. (Cream City: This is a little bitty thing with me, but I was always "irritated" that he voted to confirm AG Ashcroft. Given that I do not seek anywhere near sainthood in a Dem candidate, it doesn't offset his established liberal balance. But--only to satisfy that small wah-wah in me, do you have any additional info as to his position of confirmation matters?)

    Unchanged (none / 0) (#13)
    by Cream City on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 07:06:17 PM EST
    last he was asked, not long ago, at one of his town halls that I attended.

    And yes, the Ashcroft appointment more than irritated many of us; my spouse called and let the Senator know in no uncertain terms our reaction -- and pulled our pledge for the next campaign.  There many constituent calls to Feingold's office that day.

    I have had many differences with him, but believe me, the opponents he gets from weird Wisconsin could compete with Christine O'Donnell for crazy.


    I can only imagine (none / 0) (#14)
    by christinep on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 07:33:22 PM EST
    The political mixture of Wisconsin always comes as a bit of a surprise!  

    I know, but only because (none / 0) (#15)
    by Cream City on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 07:43:05 PM EST
    a century ago, Progressives knew how to manage media -- and created one of the great myths (read: PR jobs) in American history. . . .  Of course, people today seem to forget that the Progressives were Republicans, as after all, Wisconsin is the site of the founding of the Republican Party, which historically has dominated here.  And still does.

    Wonder why that is (none / 0) (#18)
    by Yman on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 09:00:00 AM EST
    I have had many differences with him, but believe me, the opponents he gets from weird Wisconsin could compete with Christine O'Donnell for crazy.

    I've never lived in the Midwest and know little about the people or politics of the state, but I've always wondered how some of these guys manage to get their party's nomination, and even more so how they get elected.  Every state has its share of wingers of course, but (most of the time) in the East Coast/Mid-Atlantic states around here they have to tone it down and focus on fiscal/tax issues in order to get elected.  I guess O'Donnell is an exception, although I imagine she'll be trying to drive the discussion away from social issues.

    Do you think it's as simple as a difference in the tolerance level of conservative social issues?


    Feingold won the first time (none / 0) (#21)
    by Cream City on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 10:53:41 AM EST
    in 1992 owing to a few factors:

    -- it was another of those "out with the incumbent" years here, and the incumbent was just awful

    -- so it was going to be a Dem, but it was a three-way race, and Feingold finessed the way to win in one of those . . . feeding the frenzy between the other two, who killed each other off

    -- Feingold also had good ads with good humor (at least to most folks; one of those ads humiliated another Dem candidate's wife, who was a friend of mine, so I and some others did not think it was funny; btw, Feingold has a bit of a vicious streak, and that is helping in his knockdown ads now)

    As for tolerance, the Midwest is not tolerant.  It's more into avoidance, as in "Midwestern nice," avoiding points of conflict (and all too often, simply ignoring them).

    There is a long heritage here of "crazies," as defined by others -- aka the French Canadian coureur dus bois wildmen (some of my ancestors); the Irish rebels (I also am a proud descendant of the first mayor of a town founded to train troops to return to the Ould Sod to fight the Brits); the German freethinkers (marvelous intellectuals) who led to the Socialists (Debs, Berger, et al., were Midwesterners), etc., etc.

    And if that wasn't enough, the winters in much of the Midwest would drive anyone crazy.


    Well (none / 0) (#4)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 03:57:34 PM EST
    I hope Grayson wins then. Of course, then there's always the chance that the DC crowd will completely miss the message.

    If Grayson does win, (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by Zorba on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 05:14:20 PM EST
    You can absolutely count on the fact that the DC crowd will "completely miss the message."  I have not always been as enamored of Grayson as I would be if he voted much more in line with his rhetoric, but his rhetoric is certainly a breath of fresh air.

    Have you come around... (none / 0) (#6)
    by Tony on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 04:30:01 PM EST
    on Grayson, BTD?  If I recall correctly you have not always been particularly impressed with him.

    Still not (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 04:33:08 PM EST
    He talks a lot but he is not quite the tough guy on voting he plays on TV.

    But this is a narrative I would like to see. So I link to the story.


    Armando likes this Taliban labeling (none / 0) (#10)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 05:48:05 PM EST
    I don't mind it.  If the shoe doesn't fit tell us how it isn't so.

    Actually I don't (none / 0) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 06:02:57 PM EST
    I also do not like unfair and dishonest smear campaigns.

    it's the very rare (none / 0) (#16)
    by cpinva on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 04:57:49 AM EST
    democratic politician who's gonads have actually dropped. must be a genetic thing.

    an article in Orlando Sentinel (none / 0) (#19)
    by ruffian on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 09:04:25 AM EST
    print edition this morning talked about how much he turns off 'older' voters with his rhetoric. I can't find a link at the moment.

    But I hope the younger folks in his district (a growing demo in that area) get out to the polls. I'd love to see him reelected after all the hand-wringing.

    Considering that he involved himself (none / 0) (#20)
    by Harry Saxon on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 09:49:58 AM EST
    in the Terry Schiavo case by attempting to pass legislation that failed in the Florida Senate, I'd say that "Taliban Dan" is an appropriate monicker.

    I also do not like unfair and dishonest smear campaigns.

    You've just summed up the problem with Republican campaigning in one sentence.


    Taliban Dan you're my main man (none / 0) (#22)
    by tworivers on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 12:10:43 PM EST
    Not really.  He sounds awful.

    It's just that the name "Taliban Dan" fits in so well in the T. Rex song "Telegram Sam".