On The Road To 2008 - Commentary on issues as we countdown to the next opportunity to change the direction of America

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Sharkansky Shows Support For Rodney Tom

Rodney Tom's candidacy in the 8th Congressional District continues to fascinate the wingnuts over at Sound Politics, where all manner of "commentary" paints Tom as an "unprincipled opportunist", an "uber-liberal weasel", a "turncoat", and, oh, did I say an "unprincipled opportunist"?

But I while I think we can shrug off much of that as sour grapes, if I were Rodney Tom I would be very worried to be getting somewhat of an endorsement from none other than the ├╝ber-small-l-libertarian-wingnut-disgruntled-rabble-rouser Stefan Sharkansky himself:

But seriously, while many of Tom's current positions are silly ("begin pulling troops out of Iraq within six months"? How does preannouncing a retreat help defeat terrorists?), his record includes some conservative positions that sensible Democrats should welcome.

Tom is a proponent of school choice, and was one of the leaders behind the (ultimately defeated) charter school law. (He even once thanked me for my support!).

In one legislative newsletter, Tom expressed his opposition to the death tax and called for sensible voting reforms, e.g. photo ID at the polls and proof of citizenship for registration.
So where Rodney Tom isn't taking positions that most progressives would cringe about, he is being "silly" in Stefan's words.

Well, we all know where Stefan stands on these and other matters, but voters will be wondering where Rodney Tom stands given that most of his political experience and voting record was as a Republican. Matching that record up against right wing extremist Luke Esser was one thing, but convincing progressives that they should vote for him rather than a true progressive candidate such as Darcy Burner, will be quite another.

When I asked Mark Lotwis from Twenty-First Century Democrats why they chose to endorse Burner and not Tom, the response was that Burner was a strong progressive leader, and Rodney Tom lacked the kind of progressive credentials they look for in a candidate.

When people like Stefan Sharkansky are saying good things about Rodney Tom because they share the same viewpoint on issues that are at odds with progressive values, you sure have to wonder how that will sell with Democrats next year.

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