Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Bob Kerrey

I was a teenager when this man was last a US Senator for Nebraska.  I have no memory of whether or not he's always been this flaky.      He is a Democrat, one of the few that have ever win high office here as Nebraska was born and remained solidly Republican through all of that Party's evolutions; from post-Civil War consensus to WASP chamber of commerce to White nationalist jackass brigade.  Anyway we have a Senate seat up for election this year, and since sort of- Democrat Ben Nelson has decided to make no effort to maintain his seat.  This means that one of the two main GOP contenders, Jon Bruning or Don Stenberg, (Both of them the sort of oily machine man that an old Chicago Democrat would take for his own) will win it.  Thus giving Republicans the clean sweep of major state offices that they have been increasingly open about their sense of entitlement to as the national party has tacked to the far right and urban/rural tension has grown increasingly personal and bitter.

Unless Kerrey jumps in; in which case... well maybe not.  He's won here before, overcoming some very overt sentiment that every real Nebraskan is Republican.  He has a war hero record, losing half a leg and winning the Medal of Honor in Vietnam, and had been able to use that record to cover for his democraticness.  Whether he'd be able to do so again...  Well, his record has been clouded since his Senate days, to put it lightly.  And at any rate the Real American crowd has long ago stopped pretending to believe  that losing a limb for one's country is any pardon for the treason of voting Democrat.

He does have some generally likable qualities.  Next to George Norris he is the most openly liberalish statewide politician Nebraska has ever had.  Which is to say... nothing at all, I realize.  Still he was progressive on gay rights by the standard of the time and even dared to be pro-choice...ish.  Enough to gain the eternal enmity of the anti-women-having-sex crowd. 

Currently the main Democratic candidate is Chuck Hassebrook.  Former university regent, advocate for rural poor, and a good man.  One who is being done wrong by all this, has been unafraid to say so, and of course has every right to say so.  Still he has no chance in hell and part of him must know that. The world is a twisted place, and you can understand why we besiged Husker Democrats would prefer to pull an old proven winner out of the bullpen.   

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