Marine Reservist Maj. Paul Hackett, according to this article in Salon, just might have the chutzpah to fire up the Democratic party. The first Iraq veteran to enter the political arena, he's already called Dubya a "chicken hawk" and a "son of a bitch" with regard to the war.
Not that name calling (no matter how true it is) should be the sole reason in choosing a candidate for Senate, of course.
In his race for the Ohio Senate seat, Hackett comes out, guns blazing:
[...] Hackett conveys the kind of straight-shooting image that Democrats have been struggling so mightily to regain. He doesn't hesitate to endorse same-sex marriage, decry right-wing religious zealotry or, as an NRA member, disagree with other liberals about gun control. In a wide-ranging interview, Hackett spoke with Salon about withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq, rethinking the failed war on drugs, reviving the progressive side of the party, and more.Here's what he had to say about the Democratic Party and what it needs to do to inspire people and get this country moving in the right direction:
I'll be curious to see how well the DNC and Howard Dean - another spitfire - heed this advice. Should be interesting ...
What do Democrats need to do to win and get the country back on track?
Stand up and fight for what they believe in and not be afraid of it. I think [there's been] a failure of ideas, a failure of leadership and a failure of having a message to convey. I'm harshly critical of the Democratic leadership to the extent that they stood by and had no critical comment or discussion leading up to their OK'ing the war in Iraq.
Does the Democratic Party stand for progressivism anymore?
There are pockets within the party that do. The constituents and the grass roots and the people out here in Ohio stand for that. I think they've been let down by their leadership.
Do you count yourself among the party's progressives?
Sure, if "progressive" means standing up for the things that made this country great. If it means fighting for working Americans, fighting for an economy that allows working Americans to survive and provide for their families, and if it means demanding a rational discussion about how our military is used or misused ... If that's what progressive stands for, yeah, you bet I'm progressive.