Novick visits Eastern Oregon to make his case

Last week, the East Oregonian covered Senate candidate Steve Novick's visit to the Wheeler County Democrats picnic. Can a Democrat like Novick win east of the mountains?

Novick said he believes his message plays as well in Eastern Oregon as anywhere else.

"I think that rural people are at least as likely as people in the cities to be without health insurance and rural folks don't like the idea of huge tax breaks for multi-national corporations any more than urban folks do," he said.

He said a good candidate won't "get slaughtered" in any part of the state.

"You just need to get out and let people know who you are and what you have to say," he said.

Once again, Novick argued that his nontraditional background is a strength.

"Gordon Smith is a highly talented traditional politician and you aren't going to beat him with traditional politics."

Novick said voters, if presented with two similar candidates, likely would choose the one that already is in office. Instead, he points to Montana Senator Jon Tester.

"Jon Tester was not the DSCC candidate in the last election," Novick said. "He didn't look like most people's idea of a senator. Here's this 300-pound guy with a flat-top missing a few fingers."

While many partisans see the ouster of Gordon Smith as an end unto itself, Novick focuses on the issues:

"This campaign is about the future of the country and the state. The reason I'm going to the United States Senate is I want to do something about economic inequality and global warming and preventing the federal government from going bankrupt," he said. "That's what this is about. Gordon Smith needs to be replaced because he's an obstacle to those issues."

Novick favors a swift end to the Iraq War and made a point of noting that Merkley signed a 2003 Oregon House resolution praising George Bush's courage for entering Iraq.

"You start conversations now with Iraq's neighbors. If they're willing to engage, then you sit down and you work out a schedule of what a collection of nations are going to do," Novick said.

If that doesn't work, Novick said he would favor a complete withdrawal.

Read the rest. Discuss.

Comments

  • (Show?)

    Of key importance:

    "I liked it," said Dale Thompson, who helped organize the picnic. "I thought it's encouraging to get anyone to come here. He made connections. He relates to the people really well."

    Thompson said he was impressed with how Novick was able to differentiate himself from Merkley without attacking him and was impressed by how Novick presented himself.

    Steve is a Democratic candidate who can distinguish himself without attacking his primary opponent, AND who can communicate effectively with rural Oregonians. Endorsements are great, and Steve has some for sure, but Democrats don't need to be about top-down establishment-driven candidacies.

  • East Bank Thom (unverified)
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    I crossed town to see both the candidates in person. (Not together mind you. I know that Novick has been offering to do joint appearances around the state, but Merkley has yet to take up the challenge.) Before hearing Novick speak, i had heard all the banter about Novick being some super genius. He's smart, for sure. But he really connected with that crowd out in Aloha and this story from Wheeler County seems to confirm my impression too.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    What more can the people of Oregon ask for? The choice is form (Smith) over substance (Novick). An empty suit talking out of both sides of his mouth with a rubber stamp in his hand or someone who knows the meaning of words and chooses them wisely so you can believe what he says.

  • (Show?)

    one of the things i like best about Steve is that he comes off as being well informed, yet doesn't pretend to know everything about every issue.

    he's also smart without being or coming across as "Mr. Smartypants." He'll take a position but will be willing to learn more about a position from people he's talking to.

  • Scott Jorgensen (unverified)
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    I'm impressed that Novick is willing to go to Eastern Oregon to try and get some votes. That takes balls, and he seems to have them. From the tone of the article, Novick seemed genuinely concerned with the issues that the folks there had. He knows he's running an underdog campaign, but is doing it smartly. Hey Steve--if you can do Wheeler County, you can do Josephine County. I'm sure the local Democrats would be more than happy to host you in Grants Pass. And I'd be more than happy to attend...in a professional capacity, of course.

  • (Show?)

    Scott,

    Thanks for the invite! We're already in conversations with folks down there about a trip, so stay tuned. And, of course we'd be more than happy to sit down with you in a professional capacity.

    People can catch Steve this weekend at the Democratic Party of Oregon booth at the State Fair in Salem between noon and 2.

    And then he'll be at the Portland and Eugene Labor Day picnics on Monday.

    Have a great weekend everyone!

  • (Show?)

    I know that Novick has been offering to do joint appearances around the state, but Merkley has yet to take up the challenge.

    I don't know if you'd call it a joint appearance, but they appeared jointly (first Merkley, then Novick) at the MoveOn rally this week.

    I thought you were there?

  • (Show?)

    I think Thom is referring to this, posted here on BlueO, where Novick suggested joint appearances/debates between him and Merkley and Merkley welcomed the prospect.

    From that post:

    For his part, Jeff Merkley said on KPOJ this morning that he would be pleased to join Novick and looks forward to the opportunity to talk about why one of them should replace Gordon Smith.

    I think that the voters in the Democratic Primary would be best served by as many as these appearances/debates as possible, so that they can make their decisions between these two very decent candidates.

    IMHO, these debates should get underway as soon as "scheduling" allows. It will be a great way to generate publicity for the race and highlight why either Merkley or Novick would make a fine replacement for Gordo. It would be a shame to wait until January...

    I'm not sure much of the public is aware that there's an important Senate race coming up here in Oregon and we have the best opportunity we've had yet to send Smith packing. When I talk to non political junkies, they're often not aware that there's a race coming up. Joint appearances would likely raise the profile of both candidates more so than solo appearances.

  • (Show?)

    Initially I was going to put up some tongue in cheek complaint in here about Kari secretly favoring the Novick campaign, since he bumped this up out of a comment and a newspaper; he wasn't informed about it by the Novick campaign itself.

    But then the thought struck me - why didn't the Novick campaign tout this to BlueOregon? What's going on out there?

    I was glad to read some pro-Steve Novick stuff in this article, and the positivity is most welcome. Next up, maybe his staffers need to be told about the concept of "free media", like BlueOregon. Steve is going to need a lot of that to win.

  • (Show?)

    Novick favors a swift end to the Iraq War and made a point of noting that Merkley signed a 2003 Oregon House resolution praising George Bush's courage for entering Iraq.

    An equally... forthright statement would be if Merkley were to point out to a crowd that Novick has stated in no uncertain terms that he would not have voted in favor of supporting the troops going into Iraq.

    Half truths are half lies.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    An equally... forthright statement would be if Merkley were to point out to a crowd that Novick has stated in no uncertain terms that he would not have voted in favor of supporting the troops going into Iraq.

    Half truths are half lies.

    And a half truth and bald-faced distortion is exactly what the first paragraph above contains.

    Novick said, and many agree with him, that he would not have signed that phony sandbag resolution concocted by Karen Minnis and Wayne Scott that meant also praising George W. Bush's courage. Five Democrats had enough sense not to sign it. This resolution had the same ethical standards as a prosecutor demanding a "yes" or "no" answer to the question, "Have you stopped beating your wife?"

    Kevin: This resolution pinata was thoroughly flayed in previous threads. Are you so limited in ideas that you can't think of something new?

  • Scott Jorgensen (unverified)
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    Jake-

    Great. I look forward to hearing from you.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Bill, We've discussed the 2003 resolution here repeatedly, some would say ad nauseum. Sen. Webb has been pushing legislation (amendment to a bill or resolution, I'm not sure) requiring a certain amount of down time between deployments, which would have the effect of reducing troop levels, stop loss, extended deployments, etc. Sen. Warner wants the president to order a contingent (maybe 5,000) home by Christmas.

    What would be truly instructive is for Merkley and Novick to state whether either agrees with either the jr. or sr. Virginia Senators. Or any other proposal by those currently serving in the US Senate.

    And maybe someone should do the research to discover what GOP attacks were aimed at Merkley in the days right after he announced. Was it just the old chestnut "serial tax raiser"? Or was there something else?

    If one of the other attacks was "he's no different than Gordon, they both supported then opposed the war", open minded Oregonians might contend that people like Bill and Stephanie got caught in a GOP trap.

  • (Show?)

    open minded Oregonians might contend that people like Bill and Stephanie got caught in a GOP trap

    Except that we never said that "he's no different than Gordon, they both supported then opposed the war."

    We said, we think it was craven and foolish to vote for a resolution in support of a war he opposed.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    If one of the other attacks was "he's no different than Gordon, they both supported then opposed the war", open minded Oregonians might contend that people like Bill and Stephanie got caught in a GOP trap.

    I don't recall saying anything in line with the above. Nor do I recall Stephanie saying something similar. Looks to me like another case of overwrought imagination or under-utilized comprehension in reading.

    My original statement on this was that Merkley made a mistake signing on to that phony resolution and I believed Steve was right because he was more meticulous in how he regarded words. I also added that this was but one issue and it was time to move on to many other issues that were very much more important. (What are their positions on immigration, habeas corpus, pursuing war profiteers? Who cares? Merkley supports the troops and Novick doesn't. What a crock!!!)

    From the past threads dealing with this issue it became obvious that almost all commentators were locked into their respective positions and that they are not likely to change nor will they likely change others.

    On the previous threads two, three or four people made what were essentially non-partisan statements that could have put this debate in a reasoned perspective. Their statements were all ignored because most people wanted to push their particular agenda and, if possible, ram it down their perceived opponents' throats.

    The opening article in this thread has some points worthy of discussion that would be a better and more rewarding exercise than flaying this mercilessly battered resolution pinata.

    If people want to continue to bore others with rehashing their opinions using variations on the same tired theme, go ahead. It's your First Amendment right. But count me out.

  • East Bank Thom (unverified)
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    I don't know if you'd call it a joint appearance, but they appeared jointly (first Merkley, then Novick) at the MoveOn rally this week. I thought you were there?

    I could only take so much schmoozing and speachifying. My sign and i spent some time demonstrating on the bridge before the vigil finally got underway. I saw Novick take part in the vigil. (He actually stands out in a crowd.) Did Merkley have somewhere else to go?

  • (Show?)

    Steve Maurer asked... But then the thought struck me - why didn't the Novick campaign tout this to BlueOregon? What's going on out there?

    For the record, they did. It was in a phone call, while I was driving, on the day I got Rogue'd, amidst other topics. I just plain forgot about it. Jake's doing a fine job.

    Colin Maloney wrote.. When I talk to non political junkies, they're often not aware that there's a race coming up.

    Yeah, I'm hoping so too. The key will be getting in front of audiences that aren't made up of political junkies. At this stage in a campaign, it can be real hard to build an audience that isn't made up of the supporters on both sides, or political junkies that will make up their mind based on other information.

    Candidate time is the scarcest resource any campaign has; it's best used to actually move voters that wouldn't otherwise move.

  • (Show?)

    I don't know if you'd call it a joint appearance, but they appeared jointly (first Merkley, then Novick) at the MoveOn rally this week.

    Based on that description (and I wasn't there), that isn't my idea of a "joint appearance."

    Ideally, a joint appearance would be a lot more interactive (among all of the above: candidates, press, voters).

    I too hope that we can get a lot of them going on, and plan and site them so that the maximum number of ordinary Democratic voters will attend.

  • (Show?)

    Agreed. 100%.

    But let's not pretend that they've never appeared on stage together.

  • (Show?)

    Thank you, Bill, for making my point for me. Just like Merkley supporters do when challenged on the 2003 vote issue, you want to immediately bring up the full context. And you're right, the full context clearly isn't capable of supporting the assertion that Novick didn't want to support the troops. Yet his statement certainly could be construed to make it sound like opposition to the troops is what Novick is about. All it would take is stripping away context.

    Half truths are half lies, inconvenient though that fact may be.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    Let's get back to the topic in the lead article - Steve's visit to Wheeler County and his positions. This was just one of his points:

    "This campaign is about the future of the country and the state. The reason I'm going to the United States Senate is I want to do something about economic inequality and global warming and preventing the federal government from going bankrupt," he said. "That's what this is about. Gordon Smith needs to be replaced because he's an obstacle to those issues."

    Is he the kind of person you would want in the senate? Someone who won't be more concerned with maintaining the senate's tradition of taking care of corporations but might have some high-minded or basically decent idea that maybe the government should also do something for the people? I know that to Lars Larson, Bill O'Reilly and Limbaugh fans that latter part of the preceding sentence will sound a lot like socialism, but they might want to consider it also sounds like a phrase from the Pledge of Allegiance - "... one nation, ..., indivisible..." Or, do they consider the corporations are the nation and the people just cogs to be used and tossed away when they have served their purpose or to serve as the 21st Century's version of cannon fodder in global wars and dumped in moldy hospital wards if they are wounded or abandoned if they return with psychological problems?

  • (Show?)

    My concern with Novick isn't that he can't connect with the rural vote. Moreover my concern isn't really that he can't win the general election, because if he is the best candidate there is no shame in losing. My concern rather is that Novick isn't the best candidate. He might be the smartest guy in the room but he is also a divisive person. I do not believe that Novick has the disposition to sit in conference and work in the best interests of the state with someone like Senator Larry Craig. No matter any personal feelings about Sen. Craig, his vote and the vote of the person who will surely replace him are important to our state, if only to the timber counties. There comes a time in every legislator’s career where he or she must swallow his or her pride and vote for an imperfect bill or work with imperfect people to do what is in the best interests of our state, and I am unconvinced that Stave Novick is that person.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    I do not believe that Novick has the disposition to sit in conference and work in the best interests of the state with someone like Senator Larry Craig.

    I don't know what the basis is for the preceding, but I don't buy it without supporting evidence. To the contrary, Steve has shown remarkable intelligence throughout his career, and I believe we can count on him to continue to do so as Smith's replacement. Novick knows what is important for ordinary people in Oregon and he will do what is best for them. Most certainly, more so than Smith.

    One of the qualities I see in Steve that appeals to me is a likely disinclination to sit down and work with other senators (Republican and Democrat) willing to go along with the current war on Iraq and another in Iran.

    PS to another commentator who likes to try to inject "sarcasm with humor." Some sage noted a long time ago that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit. On this basis, "sarcasm with humor" would be a contradiction in terms.

  • East Bank Thom (unverified)
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    My concern with Novick isn't that he can't connect with the rural vote.

    Indeed. This belated post with the East Oregonian story "Novick Impresses" shows that Novick does connect with Oregonians of all stripes.

    I do not believe that Novick has the disposition to sit in conference and work in the best interests of the state with someone like Senator Larry Craig.

    Fortunately, nobody in the Senate will have to work with that Dirty, Nasty, Naughty boy any more. We've already seen Merkley's willingness to reach across the aisle and give the GOP a hand (job) in passing HRes 2. I wouldn't vote against Merkley based just on that. It just makes me less likely to support his promotion from local political insider to DC-DSCC Schumer-bot.

    he is also a divisive person.

    Funny. I have only seen Steve Novick speak a couple times, but i got the exact opposite impression. You must have some awfully interesting back stories?!

    [Disclaimer: I didn't see either candidate speak under the bridge before the peace vigil. Merkley's media guy said upthread: "Candidate time is the scarcest resource any campaign has; it's best used to actually move voters that wouldn't otherwise move." So why would he choose to just address the choir of move.on supporters and not take part in the actual vigil with hundreds of passersby who aren't "political junkies"? I'm just saying, i saw Novick on the bridge, all 4'9" of him. Merkley should have stood out? Did i miss him?]

  • (Show?)

    My concern with Novick isn't that he can't connect with the rural vote.

    Did you read the article?

    Steve is more than capable of connecting with "the rural vote." And he's able to do so because he realizes that a lot of the same issues that matter to "the urban vote" or "the suburban vote" also matter to "the rural vote."

    The rural/urban divide isn't nearly so wide as many make it out to be, and Steve has been spending a lot of time in Eastern, Southern, and Coastal Oregon. His support doesn't just come from us in the Willamette Valley.

    From the summary (even):

    "I think that rural people are at least as likely as people in the cities to be without health insurance and rural folks don't like the idea of huge tax breaks for multi-national corporations any more than urban folks do," he said.

  • (Show?)

    ...isn't that he can't connect...

    note to self: don't get entangled by double negatives.

    never mind.

  • (Show?)

    I am not arguing that Novick can't go to Southern Oregon and speak in a manner that appeals to the activists that might attend one of his events. (Double negative duly noted). Rather, and for example, his recent attacks of Merkley's vote in support of the troops shows me that Novick, who has never been placed in a position where voting either way will have negative repercussions, is too smart (or too naive) to do what is politically expedient.

  • (Show?)

    too smart (or too naive) to do what is politically expedient

    You say that like it's a bad thing!

    Seriously, political expediency certainly has its purposes, but I'd rather be represented by a Senator whose default is not set to "whatever is politically expedient."

    And that's Novick for sure.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    ... to do what is politically expedient.

    Unlike Hillary and Chuck and others who wrote Bush a blank check to go to war on Iraq because it was the "politically expedient" thing to do.

  • (Show?)

    "Yet his statement certainly could be construed to make it sound like opposition to the troops is what Novick is about. All it would take is stripping away context."

    What self-respecting candidate wouldn't say bring that on? Much easier than trying to defend the actual purpose of the bill. Supporting the troops is a platitude. Supporting US policy is a substantive declaration, IMO.

    As for expediency, I bring up Dr. Phil--how's that working out so far? Has it been the expedient choice the last month?

  • (Show?)

    Perhaps "politically effective" would be a better way to phrase it.

    I absolutely identify with the desire to be represented by someone whose default isn't to compromise principles upon the alter of expediency. That value is a huge reason why I remain a dedicated Independent/NAV. But making the perfect the enemy of the good often equates to ineffectiveness, and Oregon needs effective representation.

    If Senator Bernie Sanders made a stand upon principle then as the lone honest-to-god Independent in the Senate he would forge his own path. I would admire such a principled stand more than the English language allows me to express effectively. But it would leave him utterly ineffective, both for his constituents and for the nation. So he took the path of expediency/effectiveness and joined the Democratic Caucus, just as he did when he was a Congressman. And he did it as a matter of course. It was a foregone conclussion when he won election to the Senate even though nobody on the planet questions his dedication to being and remaining an Independent rather than joining the Democratic party.

    Oregon needs a principled Senator who won't make the perfect the enemy of the good.

  • East Bank Thom (unverified)
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    his recent attacks of Merkley's vote in support of the troops

    Isn't it a bit early to be forgetting recent history? It's been said time and time that we all support the troops (so much so, that it seems odd to have to vote on it). Criticisms of Jeff Merkley's vote which acknowledged "the courage of President George W. Bush" are valid. But to call such criticisms an "attack" and then to try to preemptively "swiftboat" Novick with this is wrong on several levels. I'll try to be brief.

    As part of the initial pro-Merkley threads on Blue0 since the Speaker's announcement "the voice of BlueOregon" posted Merkley News Roundup. It was supposed to work like Miracle-Gro for Mandate's candidate but it had more the effect of poison. Curiously missing from Blue0's in the "news" was OPB's article Oregon House Speaker Merkley Joins Race For U.S. Senate. Steve Novick, who was already in the race, was also interviewed for the article. I suppose a Merkley supporter might want to play down two things that came out of the article; Novick's immediate call for joint appearances (elsewhere he ups the ante, calling for debates) as well as his answer to the reporter's question on HRes 2.

    "It's a resolution that quote 'acknowledges the courage of President George W Bush.' You would not have found me saying that the war in Iraq is a reflection of the courage of President George W Bush."

    The irony of the whole thing, is that this whole debate was brought to the readers of Blue0 by a current Merkley supporter. Lestatdelc was the first to spray the August 3 Roundup with Merkley's HRes 2 problem.

    "What I find troubling is that Novick agreed with the BS GOP frame that Merkley voted 'for the Iraq war' which was pure spin. I am all for a competitive primary, but not one where either of our candidates throws GOP mud at the other."

    Novick's campaign manager was quick to post openly the context of the OPB interview, but it seems Merkley's supporters found the truth inconvenient. They kept spinning and spinning until finally, even the Willy Week (yes, warts and all) weighed in, calling out Kari for.. well... best read it for yourself.

    It's easy to make groundless attacks, Nick. I put a bit of time into this stroll down Amnesia Lane. If anyone's comeback is to simply be an insult, i hope at least it's a well researched insult and not something as tired (and bigotted) as "take your meds."

    [Disclaimer: I've been out biking and my armpits stink.]

  • (Show?)

    Torridjoe leads with his chin: Supporting the troops is a platitude.

    Tell that to a roomfull of veterans and let us know how well it went over.

    Naturally, you'll be wanting to qualify what you meant. We know what you meant, TJ. Sometimes, and even most of the time, claiming to "support the troops" is or at least can be a platitude. I agree. But we both know that there are any number of ways of "supporting the troops" which in fact are not "platitudes" by any measurement.

    But of course you didn't qualify your assertion. And you're the same guy trying to pin the "he signed a 2003 Oregon House resolution praising George Bush's courage for entering Iraq" tail on Merkley.

    A half truth is a half lie.

  • East Bank Thom (unverified)
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    "Support the troops" is a) platitude; b) a slogan; c) a faded yellow car magnet; d) some of the above; or e) none of the above.

    [Disclaimer: i looked those words in a dictionary before posting.

  • (Show?)

    EBT, my understanding is that lestatdelc is a Novick supporter. He has said so here repeatedly. He has a problem with this particular issue, but I have not seen any indication from him that he has abandoned his support of Steve.

    It bears saying that a lot of us (including you, me, lestatdelc, and others) who support Steve have significant disagreements with him over one issue or another. One of Steve's strengths as a candidate is that he engenders a level of trust that enables us to move beyond the paradigm of seeking perfect agreement with a candidate on issues - instead, we support Steve because we agree with him on MOST issues, and we are confident that his values are well aligned with our own.

    And Kevin, "supporting the troops" is a platitude. Like all platitudes, the proof of it is in the execution. And I know that Steve supports the troops in the most important way -- by wanting to get them out of harm's way as quickly as possible.

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    EBT: The irony of the whole thing, is that this whole debate was brought to the readers of Blue0 by a current Merkley supporter. Lestatdelc was the first to spray the August 3 Roundup with Merkley's HRes 2 problem.

    Lestatdelc is on record as a Novick supporter, not a Merkley supporter. Are you calling him a liar?

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    Stephanie: And Kevin, "supporting the troops" is a platitude. Like all platitudes, the proof of it is in the execution.

    So you're saying that my telling my best friend from highschool that I hoped he'd make it back from Iraq (either time) safe and sound was just a platitude? IOW, an expression of sentiment as a means of lending heartfelt moral support is a platitude?

    A half truth is a half lie.

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    Kevin, why so emotional?

    "Supporting the troops" is a platitude because everyone says they do it and only some people actually DO anything in furtherance of their expressed support.

    By providing emotional support to your friend, you transcended the platitude. If you baked brownies and mailed them to a soldier, or sent paperback books and Gold Bond powder, or even emailed with a soldier or soldiers to express that support, you transcended the platitude.

    But when people who don't know any soldiers vote Republican and drive around in 15 mpg SUVs with yellow ribbon magnets on them -- well, that yellow ribbon is expressing a PLATITUDE.

    And when politicians vote for resolutions that support sending those troops off into harm's way for insufficient reasons, but throw in a salute to their bravery, well, I consider that a platitude too.

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    East Bank Thom: You trash-talk as only an anonymous teenager on the internet could. Do you honestly believe your own statements about Merkley? How do you reconcile your belief that he is some sort of congenital appeaser with his stewardship of the House Democrats' 2006 campaign effort or of the Oregon House itself during 2007?

    I presume you are not personally effected by anti-gay discrimination, attempts to deny emergency contraception to rape victims, school funding, or any of the other issues on which Merkley led a tiny majority to aggressive victories, but could you really talk your shit to those who are with a straight face (that isn't hidden behind your super-hardcore hair)?

    That you are personally introducing so much acrimony and bullshit to what ought to be a conversation between adults speaks poorly of you. I would say it speaks poorly of your candidate as well if did I not have the feeling that he probably also thinks you're a blowhard.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    I absolutely identify with the desire to be represented by someone whose default isn't to compromise principles upon the alter of expediency. That value is a huge reason why I remain a dedicated Independent/NAV. But making the perfect the enemy of the good often equates to ineffectiveness, and Oregon needs effective representation.

    That is where good judgment comes in to play, and Novick has shown he has that quality. Good judgment is like the alcoholic's prayer: Grant the serenity to accept what can't be changed, courage to change what can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

    If Senator Bernie Sanders made a stand upon principle then as the lone honest-to-god Independent in the Senate he would forge his own path. I would admire such a principled stand more than the English language allows me to express effectively. But it would leave him utterly ineffective, both for his constituents and for the nation.

    Sometimes doing the right thing and standing on principle appears ineffective in the short term, but it can pay off in the long term. Look at the struggles throughout history for independence and civil rights. The Founding Fathers, Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. never sat down with their oppressors and cut some compromise deals.

    The great danger with abandoning principle is that it can become habit forming and preparation for going down the national sewer.

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    Kevin, why so emotional?

    Hmmm... maybe because I'm not making up the bit about my best friend from HS. Or maybe it's because Merkley's statements about that particular resolution at the time, and his vote, mirrored my understanding and sentiments at the time. But the truth is that it's a combination of the two.

    And when politicians vote for resolutions that support sending those troops off into harm's way for insufficient reasons, but throw in a salute to their bravery, well, I consider that a platitude too.

    Fair enough. Of course another way to look at that would be to say that would-be politicians who wouldn't have lent moral support to troops and their families unless it were pristinely framed just to their liking, but still want to be viewed as actually giving a damn about the lot of a soldier and his/her family, could reasonably have their alleged support for troops called into question.

    If passing an ideological litmus test is more important than lending moral support to folks who have no say in their fate, some of whom won't survive it, then it seems to me that the issue of misplaced priorities is very much an open question.

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    That is where good judgment comes in to play, and Novick has shown he has that quality.

    Ah... you appear to have the advantage over me. Could you please point me to Novick's legislative voting record so that I can assess this good judgement that you say Novick has shown he has?

    Thanks!

    PS: Half truths are half lies.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    Ah... you appear to have the advantage over me. Could you please point me to Novick's legislative voting record so that I can assess this good judgement that you say Novick has shown he has?

    Read Novick's bio. People don't build up a record like that by making dumb decisions. Good judgment on many occasions had to be a factor. If it was essential for people to have a legislative voting record before getting elected nobody would ever be able to run.

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    despite the appearance of another circular firing squad (go Dems go!), i want to say this is one primary vote i am looking forward to. Steve is my guy in this, but if he loses, damn, i'm going to have someone great to support! i am so proud of how Jeff Merkley led the House after 16 years of abject, partisan failure by a succession of lunatic Rs. like holy water drives out the demons, Merkley's application of real democracy to that body has now driven out even more of the nasties.

    Novick or Merkley, we are going to send Gordo back to his ranch so he can sit on the porch and shell peas as he stares into the sunset. we have two great options who have enough sense to use the debates & primary to demostrate why Smith has to go, and whoever prevails will have the unwavering, full-bore support of the other.

    it's rare when you have two choices you can be proud of. let's enjoy it.

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    "Tell that to a roomfull of veterans and let us know how well it went over."
    I think it would go over great. Supporting the troops is a platitude. ADVOCATING for the troops--that takes effort. Veterans know bullshit from action. Paying for flights home (ALL the way), full mental health care, equipment delivered as promised, stop losses rejected, one-on/two-off deployment schedules...I guarantee you that's what veterans care about, and I support ALL of it. My idea is actually a 100% tax exemption for households with a member in active duty overseas during at least 3 months that calendar year, and first 50K exemption for ALL other active duty, reserve and Guard personnel. And I believe high-paid Iraq mercenaries get what they signed up for. I bet they'll let me have the donuts at the VFW hall.
    Naturally, you'll be wanting to qualify what you meant. We know what you meant, TJ. Sometimes, and even most of the time, claiming to "support the troops" is or at least can be a platitude. I agree. But we both know that there are any number of ways of "supporting the troops" which in fact are not "platitudes" by any measurement.
    Actually, I was pretty clearly discussing the resolution, what was a platitude and what was substantive--given that I addressed the two articles of the resolution. It seems you (and Jeff) still believe that the first article of the resolution was a sincere, honest attempt to praise the troops like you were praising your friend...as opposed to a naked attempt to use who-could-oppose-it language to entice otherwise rational Democrats to endorse the war language. Steve sees the resolution as Republican garbage, therefore: one part bait, one part bull. Why would you endorse either? Do you really think your heartfelt wishes for your friend is what Wayne Scott and Karen Minnis were feeling when they put that in there? Really?
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    whoops. Bolloxed the blockquote!

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    Whereas the dictatorship of Iraq has continued to develop weapons of mass destruction in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441;

    and

    Whereas the dictator Saddam Hussein has demonstrated a willingness to use weapons of mass destruction against neighboring nations and the citizens of Iraq;

    and

    Whereas Saddam Hussein threatens the Middle East and the global economy with the threat to use weapons of mass destruction; now, therefore,

    Be It Resolved by the House of Representatives of the State of Oregon:

    That we, the members of the House of Representatives of the Seventy-second Legislative Assembly:

    (1) Acknowledge the courage of President George W. Bush, the President's cabinet and the men and women of the Armed Forces of the United States, and express our support for the victorious removal of Saddam Hussein from power;

    and

    (2) Praise the courage, dedication, professionalism and sacrifices of the men and women of the Armed Forces of the United States and their families in the defense of freedom.

    From here I'd have to say that it looks like three and a half parts bull, one and a half parts bait. But I'm with you, TJ.

  • Pat Malach (unverified)
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    You'll notice here that "kevin" is the person who brought up the topic of the 2003 resolution, and like previous posters he keeps it front and center by his obstinate refusal to accept any inkling of an idea that there's a better way to handle GOP Bullshit than walking into it.

    Kevin, an alleged Merkley supporter, is keeping this issue alive.

    And as long as he is, let's make a point.

    An equally... forthright statement would be if Merkley were to point out to a crowd that Novick has stated in no uncertain terms that he would not have voted in favor of supporting the troops going into Iraq.

    As has been discussed repeatedly, it takes a real scumbag to use that Republican frame -- that you must support George W. Bush in order to support the troops. I certainly don't think Merkley is a scumbag. I think he's a long MF'ing way from that.

    Some of his supporters, however, afflicted by candidate loyalty, have a problem with simple logic and honesty. And it doesn't reflect well on them or the candidate they are allegedly defending.

    If you never demand more from your representatives than hiding from, or surrendering to, GOP tactics, then your never going to get anything better. I'm hoping -- no demanding -- something better. Why the rest of you aren't just demoralizes and befuddles me.

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    Do you really think your heartfelt wishes for your friend is what Wayne Scott and Karen Minnis were feeling when they put that in there? Really?

    Do you really think my friend even knows who Wayne Scott or Karen Minnis are? Much less what their political goals were? Really?

    Your problem (and Novicks) is that you're so caught up in partisan politics that you can't even begin to relate to a soldier who doesn't give a flying rat's backside about it.

    At best... at BEST, my buddy probably heard a passing mention from one of his two brothers who still live in Oregon that the legislature had made some sort of statement of support for the troops. I'd bet my next paycheck that that's the MOST info he got and that it was very likely the extent of his brother's understanding of that resolution expressing support for their kid brother.

    While you (and Novick) get all caught up in arcane partisan political maneuvering, a HUGE swath of the population just gets sound bites. That's just reality.

    The sound bite that Dave (my buddy) would have heard about, if Novick had had his way, is that the legislature had considered and then REJECTED a statement of support for him and his fellow soldiers.

  • Pat Malach (unverified)
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    One more time for kicks: If the republicans wanted to send moral support to the troops they could have crafted a resolution saying so without including all of the loaded partisan political garbage. The fact that they didn't indicates the true nature of this resolution: It was a trap to put Democrats over a barrel and make them vote for things they did not believe in.

    There are many creative and honest ways to handle that trap. Walking into it is my least favorite.

    But people like Kevin can't seem to cross that bridge and get beyond the hollow "support the troops" rhetoric that makes magnetized ribbon-makers in China wealthy and leaves wounded veterans recovering in mold-infested hospitals.

    What you're really supporting Kevin, when you push the wisdom of voting for that resolution, is Bullshit. You're supporting the same type of Bullshit that put your friend in harm's way to begin with.

    Wake the fuck up. Half truths and lies put your friend in danger. Half truths and lies that were supported by people who didn't have the courage or smarts to fight it. I'm calling for an end to that. You're enabling it.

    Honestly, I think you're a Republican who's playing a wee game here.

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    If you never demand more from your representatives than hiding from, or surrendering to, GOP tactics, then your never going to get anything better.

    Until you figure out how to step outside of your partisan/ideological ivory tower and meet apolitical Oregonians at their own level you will continue to see a numerically inferior GOP exert a disproportionate influence upon the process.

    Merkley's handling of the 2003 resolution demonstrates, IMHO, that he knows how to relate to them. As much as I admire and respect the choices made by the 5 who voted no, their handling of it was likely utterly lost on apolitical Oregonians.

    So the real question here is do we want a Senator who is more comfortable in a partisan/ideological ivory tower or do we want a Senator who can relate to most Oregonians while still fighting for progressive change?

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    Geeze. Does anyone posting actually believe that there's any doubt about where everyone else stands?

    I'm hoping that the Novick campaign Oppo Research Team will send Torrid and Stephanie and Bill and Lestat some new material for Continuing and Relentless Sliming Effort in support of the latest Children's Crusade.

    Maybe after the Labor Day break, I guess.......

    <hr/>

    When there were no candidates out there, I came out for Steve too, but if this Gordon Smith enabling crap is to be the entire primary effort of the Novick Blog Team, color me disgusted.

    And disappointed.

    Try out some new material for God's sake.......

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    Pat Malach: Honestly, I think you're a Republican who's playing a wee game here.

    "When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser." -- Socrates

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    Bill Bodden: Read Novick's bio. People don't build up a record like that by making dumb decisions.

    I've read his bio and Googled his statements to the best of my ability.

    I'm wondering if you can explain to me why a former Justice Department lawyer's idea of Constitutional accountability for Alberto Gonzales was apparently for Oregonians to vote Gordon Smith out of office while Jeff Merkley called for Gonzales' Impeachment?

  • Pat Malach (unverified)
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    Kevin,

    My suspicions at you may be a Republican flows from your own words.

    Let me explain: The real place for your righteous indignation over this resolution should be directed at Republicans.

    Two days after the invasion began (italics for Mitch), the Republican leadership could have crafted a politics-free sentiment of sincere support for the people in the military who were about to go into harms way. Instead, they simply could not resist the temptation, they could not control the nagging urge, to make political hay of it by exploiting the service of the people in the armed forces by using them as leverage to get Democrats to vote for a carefully crafted piece of shit that made democrats put their stamp of approval on a bunch of partisan statements they did not believe.

    The Oregon GOP could not resist the temptation, while your friend was fighting for his life, to leverage his service to make political hay against opponents. That's shameful.

    That's where your anger should be directed. The fact that it's not, and instead you embrace the GOP's cynicism and use their spin on the people calling the GOP's bullshit, makes me suspect you're on their side.

    I could be wrong. But it's not a slander. It's an observation.

    Until you figure out how to step outside of your partisan/ideological ivory tower and meet apolitical Oregonians at their own level

    and what level are you implying here? ... that "apolitical Oregonians" are too stupid to understand when Bullshit is being called out.

    Talk about Ivory Towers. At least I give them the benefit of the doubt to understand the simple reasoning many here have laid out.

    In fact, I give them credit for being tired of exactly this kind of cynical gamesmanship that this episode exposes. And if more Democrats understood that, they'd do a lot better at the polls.

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    "Do you really think my friend even knows who Wayne Scott or Karen Minnis are? Much less what their political goals were? Really?"

    Huh? Why is that even relevant? The point was that your expression was heartfelt and genuine support for your friend. Minnis and Scott were doing no such thing with HJM 2, and you know that.

    "Your problem (and Novicks) is that you're so caught up in partisan politics that you can't even begin to relate to a soldier who doesn't give a flying rat's backside about it."

    First of all, if he doesn't give a rat's ass about it, why are you defending his honor by validating it in the first place? Second of all, the partisan politics belong to MERKLEY in this case. The non-partisan reaction to that bill is that it's bullshit to vote for a bad war because you're baited into it. The partisan reaction is that you can't be seen rejecting the bait, because it could make being a Democrat harder.

    "I'm hoping that the Novick campaign Oppo Research Team will send Torrid and Stephanie and Bill and Lestat some new material for Continuing and Relentless Sliming Effort in support of the latest Children's Crusade."

    Uh, none of us brought it up. That would be Kevin. And who's sliming anyone?

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    Pat, my anger is directly at the GOP. You have no idea... As an ex-Republican I am, if anything, harder on them than I am on Democrats because when I finally pulled my head out of my posterior I felt intimately betrayed by Republicans, particularly by conservative Republicans!

    That I don't dedicate very many pixels to the OGOP isn't an indication that I'm not angry with them, it's an indication that I see them as quite literally beyond redemption! I don't know how to express it any more sincerely or honestly than that.

    I dedicate far more pixels to progressive Democrats because I have common cause with them (you all) and because as an ex-GOPer, ex-Dittohead, ex-conservative I know very well how these frames play outside of the progressive community.

    In addition, I only recently came out of the closet as a progressive, kicking and screaming along the way. Which at least partially explains why I've never voted against Gordon Smith before now and why I am going to this time. But I'm not satisfied with just voting against Smith. I want to vote for someone that reflects my values and goals! I have a vested interest in the Novick/Merkley race even though as an Independent I don't get to vote for either of them until the general election.

    It may surprise you to know that I'm not a knee-jerk Merkley supporter. I simply call it the way I honestly see it and let the chips fall where they may.

    and what level are you implying here? ... that "apolitical Oregonians" are too stupid to understand when Bullshit is being called out.

    Stupidity has nothing to do with it. Apolitical Oregonians aren't even paying attention! Why do you think that voter turnout is so pathetically low compared to so many other Western nations? Scorched Earth tactics by both major parties have turned off a huge swath of the electorate. They get the sound bites from the MSM and tune the explanations out. Many of them are blissfully unaware of the distinction you and TJ and Novick have drawn on that 2003 resolution BECAUSE THEY TUNED YOU OUT LONG AGO.

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    Torridjoe: Huh? Why is that even relevant?

    With all due respect, I rest my case.

    You mean well, TJ. You really do. And I both recognize that and honor it. But you simply can't see beyond what you understand, and it seems clear to me that you just don't understand how non-progressive Oregonians view this stuff.

    IMHO, and I'm well aware that it is just my opinion... Jeff Merkley does understand. His handling of the 2003 resolution demonstrates it, IMHO.

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    "With all due respect, I rest my case."

    This makes no sense. You're not even listening or paying attention.

    Your support of troops = real Minnis' support of troops = total bullshit

    Get it now? Whether your friend has heard of Minnis is irrelevant. You are trying to conflate the two sentiments, which is ridiculous, and which is where Jeff went wrong--he took Minnis seriously. It wasn't serious. It was bullshit. You can make statements of support to your friends every day, but Jeff was never tasked to vote on that. He was voting on GOP bullshit. And he validated it.

    Non-progressives understand that Democrats have shown incredible weakness the last six years, watching as we've headed into the toilet. This was another example of why.

  • (Show?)

    "Why do you think that voter turnout is so pathetically low compared to so many other Western nations?"

    Voter turnout is very high in Oregon, and has surged the last two elections. The facts don't support you here.

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    Sadly, the facts do support me. Oregon is only high compared the the rest of the United States.

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    "Oregon is only high compared the the rest of the United States."

    Are you voting in some other state??

  • East Bank Thom (unverified)
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    Kevin: The sound bite that Dave (my buddy) would have heard about, if Novick had had his way, is that the legislature had considered and then REJECTED a statement of support for him and his fellow soldiers.

    Kevin, you should give your buddy Dave a bit more credit. Certainly our best and our brightest are smart enough to cut through the crap, especially after reading the politicians' "floor speaches."

    Patton Priceless: You trash-talk as only an anonymous teenager on the internet could. ... Merkley ... congenital appeaser ... anti-gay ... shit ... hardcore ... acrimony ... bullshit ... blowhard.

    Maybe you should spend more time honing your political prognostication skills, Paddy. And sorry... yours doesn't qualify as a "well researched insult" ... so... you fail.

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    EBT, you're filtering reality through the lenses of a political junkie. Hell, I hadn't read the text of the floor speeches until this GOP frame was floated. And I AM into politics. I guaran-friggin'-tee you that my buddy is vastly less interested in politics than I am.

    This is what lestatdelc has been trying to get you guys to see. Those of us who are into politics will readily grasp the distinction between the pro-Novick frame and the substantially similar GOP frame. Many, many Oregonians won't. And contrary to the immenently arrogant insinuation being floated here, it's NOT because they are stupid!

  • (Show?)

    Kevin, I'm not sure you're visiting this thread, so I may not get an answer... but I'm curious about one thing you said: "Scorched Earth tactics by both major parties have turned off a huge swath of the electorate."

    I see scorched Earth tactics from the Republicans, but I simply don't see that from the Democrats. In fact, the chief Progressive criticism of Democratic representatives isn't that they refuse to listen to Republicans, but rather that they're too accommodating. In fact, that's what Jeff Merkley is being accused of here.

    I'm not sure I agree with that assessment, but granting it for the sake of argument, how can you then assert that Democrats have engaged in scorched earth tactics?

  • (Show?)

    I wanted to speak to this "intelligent but divisive" um, crap. Sorry. That's my first incendiary comment on Blue Oregon.

    But seriously. After seven years of "I have capital. I intend to spend it" "Africa is a country", on and on -- Bush administration Dark Ages kind of mind numbing complete nonsense I am so incredibly eager for what Novick has to offer I can't wait to vote for him.

    In short, Novick = Intelligent Discourse. A well thought out argument. A cogent discussion. A thoughtful comment. Ag! Can we have it now? Novick could be one of the soldiers of the American Reniassance.

    As for divisive, anyone with true intelligence knows how to get the job done. I'm not worried about that at all.

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    Steve, litmus testing is one form of scorched earth politiking. And it's what I've been seeing from one side in this contrived controversy.

    I would readily agree that it's not on par with GOP litmus testing, but it is akin to it and differs largely because progressives aren't F%$#ing brainless sheep and so we handle it differently. But it would be a mistake to assume that the silent majority who almost always decline to vote view it from the same perspective as those of us who are into politics.

    Perhaps this will seem obvious but Repubs who litmus test don't see it as scorched earth politiking either.

  • (Show?)

    this contrived controversy

    You may not like it, but for whatever it is worth, I give you my word that it is not "contrived." I can speak only for myself, but it is fully authentic, at least where I'm concerned. This is something that bothers me deeply, and I'm happy to STFU about it as soon as everyone else does, because I'm developing HR2 fatigue just like the rest of us here, but it's not a "talking point" for me. It is a profoundly unsettling issue.

  • East Bank Thom (unverified)
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    I guaran-friggin'-tee you that my buddy is vastly less interested in politics than I am.

    Oh, no doubt, Kevin. I'm just sayin' that maybe, just maybe your buddy Dave's a bit smarter than you.

    Merkley stared them down, refused to sanction the BS and courageously gave moral support to men and women in uniform

    courageously? I would think that the Merkley Machine would want to steer clear of the C-word for a while given his vote to acknowledge the courage of Bush as he took us to war in Iraq. With all due respect to the Democratic Leader, his vote on HRes 2 was "not exactly a profile in courage."

    [Disclaimer: I'm multi-tasking, watching Jerry's kids and the MDA telethon.]

  • East Bank Thom (unverified)
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    This is something that bothers me deeply, and I'm happy to STFU about it as soon as everyone else does, because I'm developing HR2 fatigue just like the rest of us here, but it's not a "talking point" for me.

    I agree. This shouldn't be blown up as the apocalypse by Merkley detractors. Nor should it be played down as a simple "support the troops" vote by Merkley himself. He's told his story and he's stickin' to it, by God. I posted upthread and elsewhere my best take on the issue. Knowing how Jeff Merkley voted on HRes 2, would i be more likely or less likely to vote for him? Hmmm... So let's all just moveon.org. Ever since Kari taught me about hyperlinks, i've been mis-typing "href" as "hres" !!!

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    Two related things have gradually come to strike me about this whole debate.

    First is that, probably due to pressure of time. neither the majority of Oregon House Dems who voted for the bill, nor did the minority who voted against it, figured out any more creative way out of Republican ploy. But now, four years later, neither candidate looking back offers any ideas that would avoid what bothers some folks about Merkley's vote and others about what a straight no vote would mean to various people who might not be in a position to spend time on the nuances.

    For example, supposing the Democratic caucus had agreed to abstain on the bill, i.e. not vote against it, and then passed a clean "support the troops" resolution pointing out that the need to do so was due to Republican leadership's partisan game-playing.

    Secondly, can I suggest that it would be a better use of our time at this point to toss around ideas about how to avoid taking the bait in either sense, faced with such ploys? And call on both candidates to do the same? Whether or not Steve Novick has taken the other side of the bait, as some have suggested, BlueOregon has taken it hook, line and sinker on both sides.

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    For example, supposing the Democratic caucus had agreed to abstain on the bill, i.e. not vote against it

    Unfortunately, under Oregon law, legislators may not abstain from voting.

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    Kari: While factual, that piece of information is sure to be ignored by the reductivist mudslingers who have somehow decided that Jeff Merkley is the devil.

    Thom: So do you have an actual response to my question? Would you look a family with same-sex parents in the eye and tell them their newfound legal status was brought to be by a guy who--in your words--dishes out "handjobs" to the Republicans? I contend that you have no idea how to seperate puffy rhetoric from actal political courage, and you are demonstrating that again and again in this thread and others on this topic. Indeed, your reductivist thinking IS typical of children.

    And also, yes, Rosenbaum is now running for Senate. If you have any evidence that she had already decided to do so back when I wrote that she had not, I am sure you would love to share that. But you don't; rather, you are just trying to avoid answering my question. But I use my real name and my real reputation when I participate in the conversation here on Blue Oregon, and I am more than comfortable with that opening my words up to scrutiny. It is kind of like how some candidates have real voting records to stand on and others can just claim they would have voted the "right" way on everything.

    I understand that you support Steve Novick. Heck, I love Steve Novick and I have been a Merkley guy since before he announced. What I am interested in learning is how you extrapolate one vote in 2003 to a pathological smear of Jeff Merkley that runs entirely contrary to the opinions of anyone who actually knows the guy. I know that you weren't in the Capitol to listen to the angry protests and threats from anti-gay religious extremists, corporate lobbyists, and other shady characters, but do you really think that the Democrats' 2007 legislative agenda could have been led into action by someone who LACKS political courage?

    And finally, do you really think that Steve Novick would stand behind your screeds and insults? Do you think you are doing anything but marginalizing him as the candidate of, by and for the utter cranks?

  • Pat Malach (unverified)
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    First is that, probably due to pressure of time. neither the majority of Oregon House Dems who voted for the bill, nor did the minority who voted against it, figured out any more creative way out of Republican ploy.

    Agreed. The one thing Merkley didn't have when he made that vote is hindsight, something the rest of us have benefited from as we come up with the prefect response for that resolution.

    But by raising this issue and making a stink, maybe our next Senator will understand we're tired of this appeasement B.S., and maybe that Senator won't fall for it again, but will understand that there are ARE ways to stand up to it.

    And despite what Kevin says, believe me that "apolitical voters" are ready for somebody to stand up to the bullshit political games they constantly see their politicians playing. That is a winning move. But you've got to respect voters enough to make it happen.

    We're trying to create a new frame so that the next time this time of cynical crap is raised, we'll know how to deal with it.

    Your not going to get that result by saying "I'm fine with it. Doesn't bother me.

    This "contrived issue" is necessary. It's how democracy works.

    Kevin, as much as Republicans, and former Republican ditto-heads such as yourself, would like it to, democracy didn't end when your friend got shipped overseas. Teddy Roosevelt can tell you all about that. In fact, truth is more important than ever.

    And every time you say "apolitical voters" just won't get it, you're talking down to them. That's never a winning strategy. In fact, most would call it arrogant.

  • Pat Malach (unverified)
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    Abstaining is also not the right move. That's equivilent to running and hiding from this vote. Stand up and fight.

    Sometimes the democratic establishment is like that guy driving 55 in the fast lane and won't move over. They just don't get it.

  • East Bank Thom (unverified)
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    reductivist mudslingers who have somehow decided that Jeff Merkley is the devil. Thom: So do you have an actual response to my question?

    Patton: you seem really interested in lowjacking this thread and taking me on personally. Why don't you take it over to my own blog (unless Kari wants you to continue your spin here).

    'Cause you didn't come at me with a rhetorical question alone. You came with a lot of foul language an insult. It's good that i already know Rosenbaum (my rep!) as opposed to Merkley. So in this case, your behavior won't serve to make me think less of her. (For Rosenbaum's sake though, i really hope you won't be following her to the OR-senate.)

    [Disclaimer: No matter how hard Patton Price tries to put words in my mouth, he only speaks for himself.]

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    I agree. This shouldn't be blown up as the apocalypse by Merkley detractors.

    Oh, I'd say we're well past that point. I can practically watch the progression just in TJ's treatment of it (at LO and here) as it went from a partisan talking point to seeing it as a potential wedge issue that could benefit Novick. His treatment started out pretty damn fair, IMO, and progressed to strident and shrill.

    One massively lop-sided aspect of all this has been how the litmus testing has all been one-sided. I haven't noticed any Novick detractors who have argued that voting no would have been wrong. I have myself repeatedly stated that I actively respect the 5 Dems who voted no even though I would have handled it virtually identically to how Merkley handled it if I'd had to vote yea or nay on it. All of the attacks have been coming from one quarter - Novick partisans.

    And every time you say "apolitical voters" just won't get it, you're talking down to them. That's never a winning strategy. In fact, most would call it arrogant.

    I would respectfully suggest you crack a dictionary. "Will not" (won't) and "can not" (can't) are not synonyms.

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    So I suppose that's a "no." Believe me, I have no interest in any sort of personal argument with you. I was interested in an answer to the rather simple question of how you reconcile your personal insults (and, yes, the level of your vitriol against Merkley, especially the gay-baiting "handjob" line, is far more personal than substantive) against Merkley with his actual record of leaadership in the last legislative session, but I am not too stupid to recognize that I clearly won't be getting that answer.

    I will gladly leave this entire conversation now.

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    Oh, and one more thing: no way did I use "a lot of foul language." That was a moderate amount of foul language at most.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    Posted by Kevin:Bill Bodden: Read Novick's bio. People don't build up a record like that by making dumb decisions.

    I've read his bio and Googled his statements to the best of my ability.

    I'm wondering if you can explain to me why a former Justice Department lawyer's idea of Constitutional accountability for Alberto Gonzales was apparently for Oregonians to vote Gordon Smith out of office while Jeff Merkley called for Gonzales' Impeachment?

    Kevin: As far as I'm concerned you're a troll just out to stir up controversy. You're like a two-year old kid who keeps asking, "Why?" and no matter the answer, he keeps repeating the same "Why?" In your case, you bring up a point and when you are disabused of whatever notion was behind it, you take another tack and try to make a point out of that - usually with the same lack of success.

    Until you quit hiding behind a first name and have the guts to come up with your full name, I'll ignore whatever crap you come up with. I have much better things to do with my time. I suggest others follow suit, but it seems they are as determined to score a point or two over you and won't.

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    I don't think any counterproductive Novick/Merkley partisan (people who post opinions about other Democrats that their own candidate would likely distance themselves from), should be passing out "troll" monikers. It's one of those so-utterly-hypocritical-they-refuse-to-even-recognize-it sorts of things.

    Sure, I'd love Kevin to give us his last name. Or better, to show up at a Washington County Democratic party meeting to join our large and constantly growing ex-Republican caucus. But when he talks about ordinary people not having the same views as flaming partisans, that's just pure common sense, and anybody who doesn't realize it is a fool.

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    Oh, I'd say we're well past that point. I can practically watch the progression just in TJ's treatment of it (at LO and here) as it went from a partisan talking point to seeing it as a potential wedge issue that could benefit Novick. His treatment started out pretty damn fair, IMO, and progressed to strident and shrill.

    I beg your pardon? This is what I said the first day I addressed the issue at LO: "The Iraq vote was not a vote to 'support the troops;' it was a baiting tactic to get Democrats on the record for the whole shitbag we all now hold. And instead of thinking 'I don't want to be seen as not supporting the war,' Novick's point is that the proper response is 'This bill is a bullshit bill, and you don't vote Yes on bullshit, even if there's a lollipop hidden in the manure.'

    I'm glad you think that's fair. How have I deviated at all from that position?

    I would submit that no one is suggesting a No vote would have been wrong, because it wouldn't have been. It was a vote against the war, the proper vote for people against the war. And you're wrong about "Novick partisans;" who are Steve Duin and David Reinhard...members of his campaign team? And you're also distorting the discussion by using the phrase "litmus test;" multiple people have stated plainly that it is no such thing for them, even if they do believe it's a point against Jeff.

    Speaking of distorting the discussion--Patton, Patton. What's happening to you here? Coming on to attack people's HAIR? You've done Jeff no favors here, buddy. Look at this garbage:

    • reductivist mudslingers who have somehow decided that Jeff Merkley is the devil.
    • Find me ONE person involved in this who has honestly even called Jeff a bad guy. Mudslingers? Is that how it's going to be? Only vainglorious words, lest you be a mudslinger no matter how truthful the comment?
    • your reductivist thinking IS typical of children.
    • People who disagree with Patton or Jeff are not mature enough to speak, it appears.
    • It is kind of like how some candidates have real voting records to stand on and others can just claim they would have voted the "right" way on everything.
    • I guess Steve doesn't have the right to answer questions about how he would have voted, and one bill has now become "everything."
    • pathological smear of Jeff Merkley
    • Again with the demonization of anybody who dares review his voting record...
    • utter cranks
    • You're calling me a CRANK? I mean, really. I've had some fairly sharp disagreement with Kevin here, but even in his frustration he has kept his cool and stayed on point.
    Patton, man, I think you need to step back and re-evaluate your approach here. The point has been made, the Novick campaign has other things to talk about this week and beyond, and until I saw you going this overboard I was beginning to pull back myself. But I gotta say, the reaction from you and others in the Merkley camp has been to treat a TB tine-test as if it were a fishing knife to Jeff's throat. Jeff has made his case as to why he chose the vote he did; we can all decide whether that was the right choice in our eyes, and how important it is in the grand scheme of things. YMMV, and all that.

  • (Show?)

    Steve, et al:

    You can find my last name here

    As for the WaCo Dems... I would undoubtedly find it interesting to talk to other recovering Republicans. That's one of the things that I've found enduringly fascinating about my fellow writer at PK, Becky, who some of you may remember as Bill Sizemore's former assistant who turned State's Witness and helped convict him.

    I gotta be bluntly honest here, though, and point out that I have no interest in joining the Democratic Party. I'm quite content to remain an Independent/NAV.

  • (Show?)

    Speaking as a recovering Republican myself, I know that it is oddly stressful to change party affiliation. Like Kevin, I did not go directly into the D column. I lived in New York at the time and I briefly took roost in the Liberal Party there. But after the 1980 Javits-Holtzman-D'Amato debacle, I realized that third parties often did more harm than good, and I also realized that I cared enough about what happened within the Democratic Party that I wanted to stake out a little piece of it for myself and see what I could do there.

    Peace to you on your quest, Kevin. I hope we'll get you over here sometime. It's really quite pleasant.

  • (Show?)

    BTW, Torrid has met me in person more than once and knows a fair bit about me via a close mutual friend. I'm willing to live with his assessment of whether I'm a troll or not. Even though we clearly disagree very strongly on this HR2 issue, I don't think it would be stretching the truth to say that we have a mutual respect which transcends a mere political disagreement. For my part I would say that it definitely does.

    Speaking of which...

    Find me ONE person involved in this who has honestly even called Jeff a bad guy.

    Nobody has put it in so many words, I agree. But surely you can understand how equating him with Hillary, which you yourself have done, is tantamount to the same thing in many folk's eyes.

    If this whole HR2 thing were simply a disagreement over the most efficacious way of dealing with a GOP frame then that would be one thing and I seriously doubt anyone would have gotten ruffled feathers. But that's not how you and your pro-Novick friends have framed it. You flamed and then acted offended when flames were returned.

    Get a clue already... you are entitled to view HR2 however you like. But by insinuating the Hillaryesque frame with Merkley you are insinuating it by extension with those of us who have zero problem with how he handled that vote. In fact I can't think of a single person who spoke up against your pro-Novick frame who has expressed any support for Hillary whatsoever. Most of us are already on record as supporting other candidates.

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    TJ: Of course I'm not calling you a crank. That is why my comment was addressed to "East Bank Thom." I had hoped to stay out of this thread, but I like you and if you honestly interpreted my comments as directed at you I do think yo deserve an explanation.

    I never made any of those comments about you. It was very clear that I was addressing East Bank Thom. The guy actually said that Jeff Merkley gives "handjobs" to Republicans. I didn't make that up. Do you support that accusation or think that it bespeaks any sort of basic social maturity on behalf of the person who made it? I don't want to put words in your mouth, but my guess is that your answer would be "no."

    TJ, the broader point you are trying to make in that comment is just entirely off-base. I was very clearly not saying that anyone who disagrees with Merkley's vote is making a "pathological smear." I accused one specific person of doing so--after he made a cheesy, homophobic remark about Merkley's character. I have no doubts that I made the object of my comment clear: it was East Bank Thom. I don't want to get into some sort of weird personal argument with you (I respect you as a blogger and activist), but your comment really reads like feigned indignation. You should re-read my comments upthread and decide if you really think any of it was directed to you.

    Please answer me one question: do you think East Bank Thom's "handjob" comment about Jeff Merkley is childish? If not, then we have an honest difference of opinion. If so, you should really revisit your view of my characterization of it as such. I know you are smarter than to conflate gay-baiting personal smears with "looking into" Merkley's "record."

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    Kevin, I personally certainly don't "equate" Jeff Merkley with Hillary Clinton.

    But I have said here before, and I say again now, that his HR2 vote (and his failure to acknowledge that it was a mistake) reminds me of her Iraq war vote, and not in a good way.

    In fairness, her vote was a much higher stakes vote than his. But precisely because the stakes were so much lower for Merkley (nonbinding resolution in a state legislature 2700 miles away), and the consequences of being on the "wrong" side were basically nil for him, I would hope that he would have chosen to vote his conscience. But it appears that he didn't, since he opposed the war, but chose to vote for the stupid trap resolution anyway.

    That suggests to me that he was trying to inoculate himself against allegations of somehow failing to "support the troops," which signals to me a fundamental weakness of spine.

    It's the weakness of spine that concerns me.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    Kari/Jeff:

    I would like to make a suggestion. If any thread degenerates into an HR2-Merkley-said-Novick-said debacle, please post a warning next to the subject line on the home page. That way those of us who have had enough of this overblown issue will know to ignore it.

    I stick with my early assessment that Merkley made a mistake when he endorsed that resolution, and I have a hunch he believes it was a mistake even if he can't say so publicly, but in the grand scheme of things it was a modest error and there are many other and more important issues that commentators could have discussed this last several days.

    Like discussing the positive qualities of Novick and Merkley.

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    I see neither a mistake (HR2 and the Iraq War vote simply are not analogous) nor the slightest hint of any weakness of spine.

    Let's agree that neither of us can compel the other to see it any particular way. And let's further agree that if we could somehow climb into the other's mind and life experiences that maybe we might see it differently.

    It seems clear to me that we agree on much more than we disagree on.

  • (Show?)

    Cyber hug?

    ((( )))

    [grins}

  • Pat Malach (unverified)
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    "Will not" (won't) and "can not" (can't) are not synonyms."

    "When your basic argument is fatally flawed, turn to semantics to save some face." --Pat Malach

    Kevin, another helpful hint: When accusing someone else of speaking from the Ivory Tower, it's probably best not to quote Socrates. Just a thought.

    But when he talks about ordinary people not having the same views as flaming partisans

    ...you confuse passion for the truth with being a flaming partisan. I think that says more about you than it does about people posting here.

    You give people little credit for appreciating the truth. Typical of someone who thinks he's just a little bit better and smarter than the average voter. And that's why the only time Democrats seem to be able to win is when Republicans blow themselves up.

    Some of us want something new. others don't, and seem to think the same ol' same ol' program of slinking around calculating about how each vote will be viewed will work again. Well, the Republicans aren't going to blow themselves up forever.

  • Greg Oden (unverified)
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    Kari, do we all get a free chalupa if this thread reaches 100 comments?

  • East Bank Thom (unverified)
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    Patton Price, just spoiling for a fight, had the following conversation with himself:

    Posted by: Patton Price | Sep 3, 2007 9:53:21 AM I will gladly leave this entire conversation now.

    Posted by: Patton Price | Sep 3, 2007 9:55:59 AM Oh, and one more thing: no way did I use "a lot of foul language." That was a moderate amount of foul language at most.

    Posted by: Patton Price | Sep 3, 2007 2:02:48 PM ...Jeff Merkley gives "handjobs" to Republicans. I didn't make that up.

    Patton... Pat... P! ... What's up with the chronic priapism? Somewhere up thread you accused me of "vitriol" citing the most serious offense as my description of Speaker Merkley's bi-partisanship. I'd like to see what else you've got on your list, 'cause you swung and missed at a softball. It's just a whimsical turn of a phrase which you so willfully misquote and misconstrue. You're turning Merkley's appeasement of Minnis into some sort of homosexual affair. Methinks thou dost protest too much. Why are you so full of piss and vinegar, Patton Price? I'm assuming most of us here are just regular folk, not making a living in politics as usual... not used to being called out by professionals like you. Maybe that's the problem with political insiders such as yourself. You confuse the people's passion with salacious subversion. I'm offended by your penchant for personal attack. Mostly because you're not very good at it. As a taxpayer, i want my money's worth...

    Patton Price... this special lolcat is just for you (don't be offended... you'll have to scroll down). as always... you Fail.

    [Disclaimer: i think somebody's sexual orientation is important only if you want to date them.]

  • (Show?)

    Aww hell. You guys are ruining Kevin's and my special moment now.

  • (Show?)

    Kevin:

    I don't think it would be stretching the truth to say that we have a mutual respect which transcends a mere political disagreement. For my part I would say that it definitely does.
    Not only is it not stretching the truth, I think it's pretty accurate. We're good, Kev.

    That said, :)

    "surely you can understand how equating him with Hillary, which you yourself have done, is tantamount to the same thing in many folk's eyes."

    I equated what he did with what Hillary has done. She's not my top choice (or 2nd, or 3rd maybe), but I don't think she's evil. Some folks probably do. But I can't make a comparison using someone other people demonize? If I say Jeff's bearing is Kennedyesque (which I'm not sure if it is, just an example), am I slamming him because some people really REALLY hate the Kennedys?

    and then

    If this whole HR2 thing were simply a disagreement over the most efficacious way of dealing with a GOP frame then that would be one thing and I seriously doubt anyone would have gotten ruffled feathers. But that's not how you and your pro-Novick friends have framed it
    I submit that's EXACTLY how we've framed it. The vote was a GOP trap, and Jeff didn't handle it right. That's 100% of the argument being made, as far as I see it. If you are seeing it some other way, then let's fix that. At least I know I can speak for Steph and Colin.

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    Patton: "Please answer me one question: do you think East Bank Thom's "handjob" comment about Jeff Merkley is childish?"

    Childish might not be the word I'd use--lest "douchebag" be taken from the blogger's lexicon as well--but I have to say honestly I think it was over the top in this situation, yes.

    I can accept and understand you were directing yourself at Thom, but there are two points to make if I may:

    *if you're talking about one person, using the plural forms of "crank" and "mudslinger" is confusing. I'm sure you can see why I felt included.

    *Even if it's just about Thom--and again, I think there certainly could have been more decorum coming from him (sorry Thom)--do you want to bring yourself to that level? If the image you want is that Jeff's folks are above all that, you missed the target this time. And going after personal characteristics like hair--that's a no-no no matter what, I'd think.

    I appreciate the courtesy you're giving me in reply. I trust our personal/pseudoprofessional relationship remains undimmed overall.

  • (Show?)

    Bill & Stephanie.... Here's a question: Should I have done my usual "stay on topic" coaching on this post -- when the comments headed into HR2 territory, given that the post had nothing to do with that topic, and we've had many other threads on it?

    I'm cognizant of my dual role here, and want to avoid starting another round of meta-accusations, and yet I'd like to see the Merkley/Novick discussion head toward other issues and less-well-tilled soil.

    Thoughts?

  • (Show?)

    I equated what he did with what Hillary has done.

    Fair enough. The difference is vanishingly small to moot. By extension you're saying that he would have voted to give Dubya a blank check and that's a totally vacuous assertion. It's an intellectual house of cards, TJ!

    For the record: Hillary embodies virtually everything that I find repugnant about the Democratic Party. But that's an issue for another time.

    I submit that's EXACTLY how we've framed it. The vote was a GOP trap, and Jeff didn't handle it right.

    1. Drawing distinctions between parts one supports and parts one doesn't support is and always has been totally fair game on any non-binding resolution. It's a freaking expression of sentiment by a STATE LEGISLATURE for Christ's sake! It bears ZERO resemblence to voting to abdicate Constitutional authority to the Prez so that he can wage war when, where and why he wishes. ZERO resemblence.

    2. He handled it perfectly. I would have handled it the same way.

  • (Show?)

    Kari,

    The post did address it:

    Novick favors a swift end to the Iraq War and made a point of noting that Merkley signed a 2003 Oregon House resolution praising George Bush's courage for entering Iraq.

    The resulting thread has been on topic, if only on one part of the topic.

  • (Show?)

    If the image you want is that Jeff's folks are above all that, you missed the target this time.

    I don't in any way speak for (or work for) Merkley's campaign, formally or informally (although I have friends who do). And I was not really trying to defend Merkley either (do we really think he would need MY help?)--it was more about online political discourse itself. What Thom was doing was hiding behind anonymity (and that's where the hair comment came in--look at his blog) to launch personal attacks that no responsible person would make with their name or reputation attached. It is my belief that such actions not only cheapen the value of online political discourse broadly, but that they also undermine what are often valid and important justifications for bloggers/online activists to maintain pseudonyms (I think you can understand this one, TJ, right?).

    I do have rather strong opinions about that matter, and upon further reflection the only thing I wold retract about my comments are the spelling errors. I also believe that by wrapping his comments in gay-baiting "handjob" language Thom is very much dipping into the Republican punchbowl of loaded language and adolescent innuendo. I am simply not the type of Democrat who will countenance that sort of dishonest and destructive crap.

    I asked the guy a simple question, he refused to answer it , and I accepted that. In my quest to have a reasoned conversation with East Bank Thom, I have--as he might proudly point out--failed. And I promise I won't try again (he thinks I am boorish and ill-informed, and he is entitled to that opinion). But, TJ, I respect you too much not too think that we can find some sort of common ground. We do at least agree as progressives that our mutual interests are not served by gay-baiting personal attacks against either candidate, right?

  • East Bank Thom (unverified)
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    Zing, Kevin... You win! plus points for accuracy in media.

    [Disclaimer: we're finally getting down to celebrating the holiday, so give me the benefit of the doubt. If tongue can fit in cheek, maybe we can turn down the serious knob. I still say what we all need is more cowbell!]

  • (Show?)

    Kari, thanks for asking. I have no complaints about your relatively hands-off stance in this thread, and I'm confident that we'll be engaging in robust discussion of other things very soon.

    %^>

  • (Show?)

    Ah yes, Kevin. Sorry 'bout that. You're right. Nevermind. Back to your regularly scheduled programming.

  • (Show?)

    "gay-baiting "handjob" language"

    OK, I see where you are finding yourself offended now, and why there's a disconnect for me. I think the word handjob was used in the context of someone offering another person a supplicant's pleasuring, ie kowtowing or rather menially serving a superior. I didn't at all make any negative gay context. I'm not here to make Thom's biz public, but somehow I don't see the motivation for him to make that reference either.

    I mean, sorry to have to explain this out, but I had assumed from the jump that the implication was of Merkley doing the bidding of the Republicans, in that way that they so seem to enjoy, like it's sex for them because actually sex is too dirty. The image I had was of simple, ungendered submission. And really, how does Jeff give Karen Minnis a handjob? (Don't answer that).

    If we can put this misunderstanding to bed, then it seems as if maybe the post-Labor Day period can start fresh with everybody, eh?

  • East Bank Thom (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Patton, if you going to parse my words, please have the decency not to misquote me as you have several times in this thread: · The guy actually said that Jeff Merkley gives "handjobs" to Republicans. I didn't make that up. · your vitriol against Merkley, especially the gay-baiting "handjob" line · a guy who--in your words--dishes out "handjobs" to the Republicans? · by wrapping his comments in gay-baiting "handjob" language

    Patton, generally when people use quotation marks, it's to relate what somebody actually said. You prefer to put words in my mouth while sticking your fingers in your ears, so sorry... you won't get me dragged into your downward spiral of repetitive venom. You were so intent on insinuating gay innuendo where there was none and creating a completely contrived controversy. [Not unlike Kari's low blow, claiming i had used the "N-word."] So sad... My partner thought it was amusing at first how you came off half-cocked and got so easily flustered. But now he just finds your obsession creepy.

    I've linked back to my original quote several times, since you've been so dishonest in your characterizations of it. So for the last time - and for the record - i likened Merkley's vote to acknowledge Bush's courage as a "willingness to reach across the aisle and give the GOP a hand (job) in passing HRes 2." I think you called this analogy "vitriolic." Did you not read what immediately followed?

    "I wouldn't vote against Merkley based just on that. It just makes me less likely to support his promotion from local political insider to DC-DSCC Schumer-bot." [EBT]

    This came in response to a new "attack" (air quotes, not real quotes) against Novick from drive-by poster, "Nick" and/or "NIck." I was trying to strike a balanced tone here... Pearls before Patton. So, congratulations, Patton Price. You WIN!!! And give yourself a hand (job), or what ever else you need to do to calm down. Trolls are like obsenity, you know them when you see them (and their relative ugliness is in the eye of the beholder. No, Patton... Jeff Merkley doesn't need YOUR help. He strolled nicely into a quagmire all by himself. To put it the most kindly i can, passing House Resolution 2 did not help bring a sooner resolution of the problems created by Bush's "decision" to pre-emptively attack Iraq which was buy no means courageous. No legislature has to vote on the courage of the men and women who answer this country's call to service. It's a goddam given.

    "Merkley Fails to Impress" I'm still looking for anybody who saw the guy actually taking part in the recent peace vigil. To show up and talk about demonstrating against the war at an event expressly for that purpose, only to have the Speaker speechify and leave right after "doesn't qualify as a profile in courage." Nor did it qualify as the type of joint appearance/debate which i understand the Novick campaign has called for. You guys really don't get it. There are a lot of disaffected progressives who want nothing more than for the politicians in power to grow a spine already.

    The surge did not bring the desired results. The last 6 months were the deadliest for Americans in Iraq and the time period saw some of the most devastating civilian attacks of the entire war. Jeff Merkley wrote in his floor speech that whether or not attacking Iraq was the best strategy was [and i quote - take note, Patton] "a conversation or a debate for another day." Every day our leaders "talk" about the war, families of another 2 or 3 service members hear something a helluva lot more horrible than any locker room banter we read here. So save you insider's indignation and show a little perspective, please Patton.

    “Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger.” [Herman Göring, commander of the German Luftwaffe. Nuremberg trials.]
  • Pat Malach (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Kevin, it seems you're the last hold out of the appeasement-is-the-best-option-crowd.

    You're very steadfast and steady and courageous and all those other words George W. Bush uses to describe his stubborn ignorance.

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