I'm 60 years old. In the 42 years I've been eligible to vote I've never missed an opportunity to cast my ballot, not when I've been ill, not when I've been out of the state--not even when I was serving my year in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. That year my ballot was colored by the red mud I was living in, but I cast my vote and I voted for every Democrat I could.
I'm not sure what has happened to the youth vote. It's never really turned out. Every election we hope you will show up and every election we are disappointed in your turnout.
Okay, I'll say it. I'm sick of hearing Democrats praise John McCain's service. Every time I turn the news on, there's some Democrat pundit or politician praising McCain's service and honoring his POW years. Well, this old Sarge has tired of his story, his service, his whole deal. In case the right wing in this country didn't notice. There were millions of men and women who served and fought in the Vietnam War and over 58,000 of them have their names on that wall in Washington. Those good Soldiers, Marines, Airmen, and Sailors gave their all and I'm betting every one of them would trade spots with John McCain, who came home, married a pretty rich girl and made himself famous talking about duty, honor and country.
I was reading Chris Bowers' excellent diary on the FISA vote and I kept thinking about what do politicians actually want from the lefty netroots. I read these blogs a lot more than I write, but there's something about this question that keeps coming back to me. Why would Obama at the very moment of his greatest victory roll over on the FISA bill like his very political future depended on him knocking another hole in the 4th Amendment. It's a terrible bill and it didn't take a ton a political courage to vote against the damned thing.
I don't believe for a minute there's a politician in America who really is swayed by what we write here. They come to us, hat in hand and the other hand is held out for our money. Politicians have learned one thing since the days of the the Dean run for the White House--There's Gold in Them There Netroots.
Matt Stoller, over at MyDD, has spent a couple of days talking about Mudcat Saunders. Mudcat, as we all know, came out on the Time Magazine blog and angered the progressive blogoshere by speaking harshly about the "elites" of the Democratic Party. I'm not sure he was talking about the bloggers, but that's how everyone took it, for the rest of the day and yesterday, a lot of bloggers have been taking Mudcat to task for talking about the elephant in the room.
Mudcat is not the issue here. If we're gonna talk about the real issues, let's talk about the new rural voter poll that came out with this week.
This new poll says rural voters are continuing their move back toward the Democratic party. Some of us who are concerned with rural issues have been watching this movement since 2004. The move has been slow, but as the war rolls on with no end in sight and the rural economy remains stagnant, rural Americans are leaving the Republican party.
Reading Jim Webb's powerful piece on economic fairness in the Wall Street Journal last week left me thinking thinking about my old hometown of Booneville, Kentucky.
Booneville is one of those small, centered around the courthouse towns in Eastern Kentucky. The town would be familiar to you, in the sense you know the kids drive around the town square on weekends and there's more churches than grocery stores.
Booneville is in Owsley County, one of the poorest counties in the country. But there's plenty of poor to go around in the rural areas all over the country. These days, the long shadow of economic inequity is cast over all of rural America.