Good evening, and welcome a special edition of EENR For Progress. Please welcome the newest member of our team, michaelconrad, as he provides you with more than enough reasons to join us in endorsing and actively supporting the next Senator from the great Northwest, Jeff Merkley.
Cross-posted from EENRblog.com.
Many of us have been counting down the days to this year's general election campaign since the moment we heard that President Bush had won re-election. While the presidential race is obviously critical, if we want to really turn things around, we need to get rid of the Republicans who have been not only enabled Bush, but would also do everything within their power to block a Democratic agenda. This is the year that we can reclaim our party's identity, make it clear what we stand for, and expose Senate Republicans as the clueless right-wing sycophants that they are. And perhaps no Senate race provides a better contrast of the parties' priorities than the race in Oregon.
Northwest Democrats are a very passionate bunch. It's not very easy to impress us, but we are thoroughly impressed with Oregon's Democratic nominee for the United States Senate, Jeff Merkley.
You don't have to live in the region to recognize the impact that replacing Gordon Smith with Jeff Merkley have in the Senate. Progressive champions are in short supply these days, so grassroots Democrats across the country are excited about having a chance to help elect one. This is one of the many reasons why EENRblog is endorsing Jeff Merkley.
If you spend any considerable amount of time in Oregon, you'll be struck by its beauty and the resiliency of its people. The vast majority of Oregonians are very hardworking people, yet an alarming number of them continue to struggle. Incumbent Senator Gordon Smith's solution to all of this is a whole of nothing. His campaign will rely on smoke and mirrors, and talk of phantom "bipartisanship" meant to save his political life.
Oregon's other Senator is Democrat Ron Wyden, who has been a leader on Universal Health Care and other issues grassroots Democrats are focused on. His vote is consistently canceled out by Gordon Smith. Oregonians deserves much better. They need two Senators who will go to work everyday determined to fight for them, as opposed to Smith who goes to work everyday committed to padding the profits of the special interests who bankroll his campaign.
There are many important distinctions to make between Merkley and Smith on issues like reproductive and equal rights. But one of the main reasons why Merkley is so well-positioned to defeat Smith is the huge difference between them on the issues that are most on the minds of voters in Oregon: the economy, the war in Iraq, health care, and the environment.
Jeff Merkley is unabashedly pro-worker.
Gordon Smith played a crucial role in blocking the Employee Free Choice Act.
Merkley is working-class to his core.
Smith could not be more out of touch.
Merkley opposed war in Iraq from the very beginning.
Smith only got off the Disaster Express when it became an absolute political necessity. The specious remarks he gave calling for a timetable for withdrawal were just brazen political posturing disguised as a moment of clarity.
Merkley has a deep and personal commitment to Universal Health Care (his wife is a nurse).
Smith voted with fellow right-wingers to ensure that prescription drugs remain expensive.
Merkley's record on environmental issues is second to none.
Smith is a leader of the ongoing attempt to greenwash the GOP
Jeff Merkley endorsed John Edwards early on, and served as the co-Chair of his Oregon campaign.
Gordon Smith endorsed John McCain early on, proving that his much belated remarks supporting a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq were a desperate move made by an establishment hack worried sick that his constituents would send him packing for his abysmal record. If Smith's words were anything more than lip service, he wouldn't have endorsed the candidate who has made continuing the disastrous war in Iraq indefinitely central to his campaign.
The choice voters in Oregon have to make is a dramatic one. It's a choice between a strong advocate for transformational change and a politician who would like nothing more than more of the same. It's a choice between an Edwards Democrat and a Bush-McCain Republican.
Much like the Republican presidential candidate, Gordon Smith will use every trick in the book to create an illusion of distance between himself and the worst president in our country's history, who he backed at every turn. But the candidates' actions have spoken far louder than any words could. Despite Smith's deceptive, lobbyist money-fueled advertising, the contrast between Jeff Merkley's outstanding record as Speaker of the Oregon House and Gordon Smith's Bush-enabling record in the Senate is about as stark as it gets.
Jeff Merkley will work tirelessly to get the people of Oregon a government that works for them. Gordon Smith would simply continue to be an establishment puppet. Behind his hollow "bipartisan" rhetoric lies the worst kind of politician, a man who will stab his constituents in the back with a smile on his face.
Despite Smith's efforts to muddy the waters, the choice for Oregonians could not be clearer. Merkley is a relentless advocate for working people while Smith is a corporate stooge disguising as a thoughtful "moderate."
Electing Jeff Merkley will strengthen our majority and add some much needed backbone to the Democratic caucus. This is not just an endorsement, it's a call to action. As we've seen in recent years, the netroots can give a significant boost to Democratic Senate candidates. We have every reason to apply that focus to this contest.
By sending Gordon Smith packing, we will send Congressional Republicans a powerful message... your efforts to strike a mainstream pose will fail; no amount of obfuscation will save you. Spin they will, they are on the wrong side of the demand for meaningful change that can be heard in every part of the country.
This race presents us with a great opportunity to replace a Wingnut in centrist clothing with a solid progressive.
EENRblog.com proudly and enthusiastically endorses the next Senator from the state of Oregon, Jeff Merkley.
Join us in working to send a progressive champion to Washington. This is a great race for those who live in or around Oregon to get involved in. If you want to wake up on November 5th knowing that your shoe print is on Gordon Smith's backside (right next to his "Property of K Street" tattoo) get involved and donate today.