Few of the rubber stamp Republican senators are as likely to be defeated in November as Oregon’s Gordon Smith, someone who just spent 5 years voting for every single item on the Bush-Cheney agenda followed by 6 months of trying to convince Oregon voters that he’s a “moderate,” an “independent voice,” and– unbelievably– kinda almost a Democrat. Back in June he was laughed off the air with a short lived ad that attempted to cash in on Barack Obama’s huge popularity in his state.
There’s no Republican in the House who has tried this exact same tactic more forcefully than Chris Shays of Connecticut. Shays is the last Republican member of the House from the 6-state New Hampshire region and his Connecticut congressional district has a PVI of D+5, the bluest district in America represented by a Republican.
Like his close ally, Joe Lieberman, Shays has managed to stay in office by persuading Democrats that he isn’t really that Republican. His voting record, however, paints a very different picture. When Bush and the Republicans needed his vote– no matter what the harebrained scheme they were pushing, he was always there for them. Take Iraq, for example. “Mr. Moderate” participated in 63 roll calls regarding Iraq since he voted 4 times on October 10, 2002 to authorize the use of force there. And “Mr. Moderate” voted against the Bush-Cheney agenda in Iraq exactly… 3 times, once to require competitive bidding on oil contracts when Cheney was caught trying to steal all of Iraq’s oil, as did more than 4 dozen other Republicans, once to turn an Iraqi reconstruction grant into a loan (which was supported by 84 Republicans), and once on an inconsequential and unsubstantive budgetary matter. This week Shays, who is co-chairman of McCain’s pointless Connecticut operation (he is polling just 36% against Obama) released an ad, very much like Gordon Smith’s, trying to capitalize on Obama’s immense popularity in Connecticut. Take a look– and then consider donating to Blue America endorsee Jim Himes’ campaign to replace him.
And Senator Obama’s response? “In this race, the good people of Connecticut should know that Barack Obama supports Jim Himes and believes Himes is the candidate who will bring the change American families need to Washington.”