Friday, October 24, 2008
Obama for Oregon
While nationally, the pundits and campaign advocates caution that the US Presidential race is not over, one is not likely to hear the term "battleground" to describe the state of Oregon. A clear majority of Oregonians stand with Barack Obama.
The big question for Oregon, this time around, at least as far as electoral representation, is whether Oregonians will return Gordon Smith to his seat in the US Senate, or replace him with the Speaker of the Oregon State House, Jeff Merkley.
As I've pointed out at different times over the last year, Smith has proven himself to be a weak-willed back-bencher in the Republican caucus, who runs back to the political middle when he comes up for reelection.
This year, with the Republican brand in the toilet, Smith has been frantic in his efforts to obscure his record, to seem moderate. His campaign ads make no mention of his party affiliation, mention Junior Bush only as an adversary, and highlight Smith's supposed willingness to work with Barack Obama, Ted Kennedy, and John Kerry.
Of course, it's a ruse.
Oregonians who want to end the Republican malaise that has sickened our country, who want to crush the spirit of the neo-conservatives and plutocrats and right-wing religious freaks, who want progressive, populist representation in the US Senate have an excellent candidate in Jeff Merkley.
Barack Obama thinks so too.
Jeff showed his chops while debating Smith earlier this month. By sending Jeff Merkley to the US Senate, Oregonians can show that we're ready to do our part to start repairing the damage that has been done to this country by Gordon Smith's puppet-masters.