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Rep. Mike Honda, as you may know, is a veteran Democrat and beloved progressive stalwart seeking re-election in California's 17th Congressional District, based in Silicon Valley. He's a widely respected lawmaker and a political mentor to many in the Asian-American community. It's very hard to find anything objectionable about Honda, whether you're a liberal activist or a tech titan.

But none of that stopped another Democrat, former Commerce Department official Ro Khanna, from challenging Honda this year anyway. Khanna's running a muddled campaign and hasn't been able to articulate a clear reason why he thinks voters ought to dump Honda, except that he seems to think Honda hasn't been sufficiently lickspittle toward the tech industry. Oh, and Honda's too old:

Goal Thermometer

In the ade, Khanna's narrator makes an extremely transparent reference to Honda's age (he's 72), asking rhetorically, "Isn't it time to put the old politics aside?" The ad then cites a couple of newspapers endorsements of Khanna, including one that claimed Khanna "is ready for the Congress of tomorrow, while Honda is a politician of the past."

What's next? Charges that Mike Honda's VCR still blinks "12:00"? That he can't name all the Kardashians? This is a ridiculous line of attack, and shows how empty the premise of Khanna's entire campaign is. Khanna is running for office purely to further his personal ambition, and that's the very worst reason to turn out a trusted, proven progressive like Honda.

So please contribute $3 today to keep Mike Honda in office.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Working hard for that interpretation. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slowbutsure, sweatyb, Noodles, LinSea

    Sounds more to me like near daily recitals of GOP woes: not in step with the times.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Thu May 22, 2014 at 12:35:16 PM PDT

    •  Yeah I Would Vote for Honda in a Heartbeat (5+ / 0-)

      ....but this is extremely standard language in campaign ads.  Honda doesn't have much by way of policy positions that Khanna can attack because his record is so strong... so the rhetoric of "it's time for something new" is really all he's got.

      •  Khanna is the OFA Candidate right? (0+ / 0-)

        I looked at his campaign team bio page and there are several references to OFA.  

        I honestly don't understand that organization's motivations here, or at least the motivations of some of its members or former members who are on the campaign. Why do they want to drive out a Progressive? Explain to me how this is different from a DLC, Third Way, Blue Dog, Right Wing Democratic whatever you want to call it push of the party to the right.

        At the very least this smacks of despicable political opportunism.

        Il est dangereux d’avoir raison dans des choses où des hommes accrédités ont tort. - Voltaire
        Don't trust anyone over 84414 - BentLiberal

        by BentLiberal on Thu May 22, 2014 at 02:12:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  According to other commenters here (0+ / 0-)

          Honda is endorsed by both Obama and Howard Dean. Khanna probably has OFA references on his site because his staffers used to work in the administration.

          Don't know that that constitutes an official endorsement of Khanna by OFA. More likely a ruse to make people think OFA endorsed him.

          And as far as motivation, Obama campaign operatives need jobs- he's not running again. Khanna's very well financed by by ZuckerMayerGoogle, so I'm sure it looked like a juicy opportunity.

      •  Honda's own voting position is very progressive (0+ / 0-)

        And he was leading behind the scenes with the DNC's successful 2012 win as the vice chairman. I'd not be surprised if he had a lot to do with helping adopt the message of fairness which won us that election. He's a guy who needs more tenure and more influence in the House.

  •  Based on who is... (9+ / 0-)

    supporting him, "executives at Google, Facebook, Yahoo and other tech companies," I hope Honda wipes the floor with this presumed Silicon Valley lackey. We don't need more anti-privacy advocates in Congress.  

    "[I]n the absence of genuine leadership, they'll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone...They're so thirsty for it they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand."

    by cardboardurinal on Thu May 22, 2014 at 12:37:13 PM PDT

  •  Sounds like some of the "Charming" characters (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    from the TV show Silicon Valley

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Thu May 22, 2014 at 12:37:30 PM PDT

  •  VCR (5+ / 0-)
    What's next? Charges that Mike Honda's VCR still blinks "12:00"?
    Wouldn't the charge of still having a working VCR be damning enough?
  •  And I donated (0+ / 0-)

    Does Khanna promise to be a 'centrist?'

    Censorship is rogue government.

    by scott5js on Thu May 22, 2014 at 12:46:54 PM PDT

  •  Khanna thinks that public schools should be (5+ / 0-)

    run like for-profit businesses, but he is probably figured out not to say that anymore.

    ...Son, those Elephants always look out for themselves. If you happen to get a crumb or two from their policies, it's a complete coincidence. -Malharden's Dad

    by slowbutsure on Thu May 22, 2014 at 12:48:20 PM PDT

  •  hardly obnoxious (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    That ad's pretty standard for political neophyte going after a well entrenched incumbent.

    Honda's old and Khanna's new! Isn't new better than old?!

    I say. Meh. If all this Khonna has going for him is that he's new, Honda will wipe the floor with him.

    You want to see obnoxious ads referencing a person's age? Wait until the Republicans gear up to attack Hillary Clinton in 2016.

  •  New vs. Old (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Prognosticator, sweatyb

    In and of itself, this approach doesn't bother me.  Certainly,  "new blood" is an evergreen political desire of many.  That said, the question is what's Khanna bringing to the table.  If "Honda is old" is all he's got, his own approach is tired  and doesn't offer me anything new.  I don't think a majority of primary voters will be impressed either.  Meanwhile, I'll look for other things in politics to offend me.


    •  Khanna has articulated precisely zero (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mindful Nature, craiger

      policy differences with Honda. His platform is pretty much identical to Honda's.  This is a mystifying campaign. It only starts to make sense when you realize that Ro Khanna has raised over twice what Honda the incumbent has raised, almost exclusively in the form of maxed out contributions from the silicon valley CEOs. That alone tells you all you need to know. These silicon valley CEOs are all obsessed with ROI. They don't throw money on a dark horse on a lark. You know Khanna has promised them some sweet payback.

      •  I was approached by a signature-gatherer (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Zack from the SFV, icemilkcoffee

        A few months ago, coming out of a yogurt shop on El Camino Real in Sunnyvale, I was approached by a guy with a clipboard who wanted me to help get his professor on the ballot to challenge Mike Honda.

        I was like, why the hell do you want to primary Mike Honda? How is your candidate a better Democrat than Mike Honda?

        He didn't have a satisfactory answer and I didn't really want to sign his petition. Then I came up with my out: You know what? I live in Anna Eshoo's district up in Mountain View and I think she's great, so I'm not sure I have any business signing any petitions down here in Sunnyvale. The guy was like, "that's pretty impressive that you actually know who your representative is." Facepalm.

        "They let 'em vote, smoke, and drive -- even put 'em in pants! So what do you get? A -- a Democrat for President!" ~ Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

        by craiger on Thu May 22, 2014 at 04:08:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Ro Khanna is a bug (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Uncle Moji

    not a feature.

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Thu May 22, 2014 at 01:08:40 PM PDT

  •  "Compromise and consenus" with Republicans (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Andrew C White, betelgeux, ctami

    is how Khanna believes Democrats should govern in the US House.  Those are his words.

    I guess you can "compromise and (gain) consenus" with House Republicans if it benefits corporations (like lowering tax liability on corporations).

    He is a district shopper who promised donors he would run against a newly elected, sitting, corporate California House Democrat and took their money, and then double-crossed them by moving to Honda's district to run against a progressive Democrat.  Lots of progressive California Democrats have demanded their money back from Khanna.  

    Khanna embodies personal ambition over progressive ideals.  He talks up his campaign using "Obama style tech" to name drop and suggest he's most like Obama, but forgets to mention, Obama has Endorsed Mike Honda.  So has Howard Dean.  

    "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of these United States of America -9.75 -6.87

    by Uncle Moji on Thu May 22, 2014 at 01:09:01 PM PDT

  •  he certainly gets around (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Uncle Moji, Mindful Nature, ctami

    Ran in 2004 against Tom Lantos in the 12th Congressional District. Lost and moved along to challenge Pete Stark for the 15th Congressional District seat in 2012. Lost again and is now challenging Mike Honda in the 17th Congressional District. A true grass roots guy dedicated to understanding the needs of the people he serves and fighting for the best interests...   /snark

  •  He is no newcomer to dirty tricks (0+ / 0-)

    Looks like his campaign has recruited 2 people to join the open primary as republicans. That way, the republican vote could be split, allowing him to advance to the final round of election.

    •  And of course the Republicans will vote for him (0+ / 0-)

      in November. The bigoted anti-atheist Swallwell lost the Democratic vote but won with the Republican vote.

      "Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the president to explain to us what the exit strategy is." - George W Bush

      by jfern on Thu May 22, 2014 at 02:40:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The SF Chronicle (0+ / 0-)

    actually endorsed him because he's a pawn of the elite CEOs. And they're supposed to be one of the most liberal of the media, LOL.

    "Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the president to explain to us what the exit strategy is." - George W Bush

    by jfern on Thu May 22, 2014 at 01:31:10 PM PDT

    •  The Merc also endorsed Khanna in a nasty (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Zack from the SFV

      editorial that basically said Honda is too old.  Weird stuff.

      That said, Khanna has a great shot at being elected.  Assuming he is top two in the primary, he can collect a few D voters and the great majority of R voters.

      Open primaries -- Just another great California buzzword referendum winner, like term limits, that fucks up elected government.  (And the buzzword is always "stick it to the politicians"".  As if.)

    •  The Chron is actually (0+ / 0-)

      not as liberal as it used to be, since it was sold to the Hearst empire a few years ago. It's more like "just liberal enough for the Bay Area while serving corporate interests."

      •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

        Same for both publications really. They may have some liberal reporters and cover liberal issues, but at the end of the day bot papers are own by corporations that don't necessarily have any Progressive interests in mind.

        Il est dangereux d’avoir raison dans des choses où des hommes accrédités ont tort. - Voltaire
        Don't trust anyone over 84414 - BentLiberal

        by BentLiberal on Thu May 22, 2014 at 02:17:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I live there! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Uncle Moji

    I've fielded calls from Khanna's campaign, and the campaigner said something or other about compromise and bipartisanship, which was enough for me--I'm not voting for anyone who starts out with "compromise" as a strategy.

    But here's the thing: I've received flyers, calls, even door-to-door visits from the Khanna campaign, but nothing from Honda! What's up with that??

    As a side note, I noted with some amusement that last weekend a high school age girl wearing some sort of Japanese American society tee shirt knocked on my door, soliciting votes for Khanna. She seemed truly disappointed when I (politely) told her I wasn't interested in listening to her pitch.

    •  Quite interesting (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      that visit from the high school girl, considering that Honda was imprisoned with his family in a Japanese-American internment camp during WWII. Perhaps that high school group has a bit of studying ahead of them...

      •  Perhaps... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ctami, Zack from the SFV

        That's why I was careful to say that the girl was wearing some sort of Japanese American society tee. Who knows if she truly is of Japanese descent!

        I was left wondering if that was a deliberate tactic by Khanna's campaign. I don't know, of course.

        And I was mildly amused that I, a voter of Indian descent, plan to vote for Mike Honda while the girl (possibly) of Japanese descent, was campaigning for Khanna.

  •  I have to be honest (0+ / 0-)

    I barely knew who Mike Honda was before today. I no absolutely nothing about this race or whether Ro Khanna really should replace Mike Honda. I still really don't.

    I also just donated to Mike Honda because if this is how Ro Khanna wants to win then I think he's a tasteless coward.

    Der Weg ist das Ziel

    by duhban on Thu May 22, 2014 at 02:00:50 PM PDT

  •  It's a damn sight better.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BentLiberal, David Nir

    Years ago, very progressive Democratic State Rep. Harvey Dueholm was attacked by his GOP opponent for being old. At there last debate in a close election, GOP candidate Lester Peterson not only said Dueholm was too old, but also pointed out that Harvey had once had cancer and if he got it again then "he might not even make it through his term of office."

    Dueholm responded that "it's a damn sight better to elect someone who might not make it, but you wish they would than to elect someone who you know is gonna make it, but you'd wish they wouldn't."

    Harvey was 70 votes and lived through the term.

    an obit by a son

    Cities are good for the environment

    by citydem on Thu May 22, 2014 at 02:03:59 PM PDT

  •  And the thing is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    from what I've read (which isn't much) that Rep. Honda is more than sufficiently favorable toward Silicon Valley and its corporate overlords. Unfortunately, those billionaires think that he should be even more servile, and Mr. Khanna has been drafted to acquiesce to their whims this time around. Assuming Mr. Khanna loses, he'll just move on to another district with wealthy "left Libertarians" and the cycle will start again.

  •  Unfortunately, Honda has ignored all the largest (0+ / 0-)

    employers in his constituency. Surely a Congressional rep should be representing his community?

    •  Only if you define (0+ / 0-)

      "community" as "employers"

      Surely a Congressional rep should be representing his community?

      Il est dangereux d’avoir raison dans des choses où des hommes accrédités ont tort. - Voltaire
      Don't trust anyone over 84414 - BentLiberal

      by BentLiberal on Thu May 22, 2014 at 07:14:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I live in the 17th District... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zack from the SFV

    and I need protection from the largest employers here. Mike Honda is protecting our privacy rights and he definitely has my vote.

  •  Mike Did Time in an Internment Camp (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zack from the SFV

    Honda was interned as a babe when we, as a nation, rounded up Japanese-Americans in WWII and sent them to the 10 concentration camps located far from the Pacific coast, from WA to AZ to AR, so they couldn't assist in the dreaded Japanese assault of the US mainland. Mike was, I think, one year old at the time.

    Ro Khanna was interned in a successful Silicon Valley corporation.

    We will never have the elite, smart people on our side. - Rick Santorum

    by easong on Thu May 22, 2014 at 07:19:31 PM PDT

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