Michigan's Ninth Congressional District Race: An Outsider's Thoughts

The following is my reply to a post on Michigan Liberal about the 9th District Congressional race. In it I address a number of fallacies that I saw in the post, in replies thereto, and in campaigns and politics in general, so I decided to repost it here.

(I live in the Fighting Third - a district, which, if we win it next year, I'll eat my computer. But getting back to the point.)

There are positives and negatives with both Peters and Skinner - as there are with any candidate, politician, etc. It's called 'being human.'

Nazgul35 said that he doesn't buy the 'electability' argument anymore - and neither do I; I feel that often (not always!) that argument is used to scare people into not voting for a candidate. I'm not implying that it's being used as such here; but people do need to beware of how that argument is used.

I also disagree with the idea that we must not nominate Skinner just because ‘she’s had her chance.’ Richard Nixon ‘had his chance’ in 1960, he lost, but in 1968 he got another chance - and won. In 2002, Congressman John Thune (R-SD) lost a US Senate bid in a very red state in a Republican year. Two years later he got another chance - and defeated Tom Daschle.

Furthermore, I strongly disagree with the suggestion that Skinner shouldn’t run for Congress just because she underperformed the base. For one, it’s one thing to say she shouldn’t get the nomination for that reason; it’s another thing to say she shouldn’t run just because of that. People should have a choice.

What’s more, voters in 2002 were probably more familiar with Peters than Cox, and thus voted accordingly, in a year which saw no big-name Democrats run for any of the statewide board races. 2006 saw Debbie Dingell, wife of a Congressman (surely that name is familiar to many in the Detroit area, whether or not they live in his district), run for WSU Governor while Rochester Hills’s own Casandra Ulbrich kicked behind in the Board of Education race.

Moreover, was Skinner well-known in 2006? No. Peters in 2002? He was a State Senator. Skinner will surely be more well-known in 2008 (if she is the nominee) than she was in 2006. Why? For one, she has more name recognition. Two, the DCCC has already said that they will get involved with this race helping out our nominee, whether it be her or Peters.

Which brings me to my next point. Skinner did quite well despite having about as much support from the DNC and DCCC as Granholm has had from Nolan Finley. We will have support from them in 2008, so money will be less of a factor. In the past, I’m sure some Democrats and independents have voted for Knollenberg simply because they liked him - or they didn’t see the need to turn an incumbent out of office. (Ehlers and Camp benefit from that same "oh, but we like him, why get rid of him?’ attitude.) Yet people are learning the truth about Knollenberg - and will learn more as the campaign gets into gear.

In the strongest of terms, I urge those of you in the Ninth District to support the candidate whom you think would do the best job in Congress. To support someone based on any lesser reason rather than that would be cheating not only Oakland County, but America. (And yes, that does mean I think Americans are being cheated - a lot.) While I don’t know much about either Peters or Skinner, we surely all agree that either would make a fine Member of Congress - certainly better than Joe Knollenberg.

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