Not when it comes to incestuous backroom political machine dealing. It seems the Democrats haven’t come very far since the days of Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley (1902-1976).
In 2004, Dem leaders dumped a promising candidate in Governor Howard Dean, who created a buzz through his straight talk and Internet website, to go with horse face Senator John Kerry just because it seemed it was his turn.
This year in Ohio, state and national Democratic leaders forced a promising candidate, Paul Hackett, an Iraq war veteran, who came a close shave in defeating Republican Jean Schmidt in last summer’s special congressional election, to drop out of a Senate race against incumbent Senator Mike Dewine.
Who do they want? Rep. Sherrod Brown, who served 2 terms as Ohio Secretary of State in the 1980’s.
Paul Hackett charged that “behind-the-scenes machinations” by Schumer, D-N.Y., and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., cut off his campaign money to avoid a potential primary faceoff with Rep. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio.
Hackett, a lieutenant colonel in the Marine Reserves, said he was quitting politics rather than take the party’s advice to run again for the House in Cincinnati’s suburbs.
“Thus ends my 11-month political career,” said Hackett, who gained a national profile with scathing attacks on President Bush as a “chicken hawk” – and by nearly defeating Republican Jean Schmidt in last summer’s special congressional election.
So the new kid on the block gets shoved aside to maintain the old boy network.
Why have primaries at all? I mean if the party bosses decide who can run then a primary vote is just a formality.
Former Senator and one time Presidential candidate Gary Hart commented:
This is simply old politics at its worst. There is a party which hand-picks its candidates, decides who can and cannot run, directs money to the favorite candidate, and dictate terms. Up till now, that party has been the Republican party.
Now, it seems, my Democratic party is once again imitating the Republican party in a desperate effort to regain power. With the McGovern democratic reforms in the early 1970s, political bosses were diminished and grassroots voters were elevated. The theme was, Let the people decide.
It is yet another reason I see no worth in participating in party politics and is yet another proof that the US political system is broken.