Saturday, September 09, 2006


Congressman Harold Ford, Jr. (TN-9) wants to be the next Senator from the State of Franklin.Just a disclaimer, I haven't seen any of the campaign commercials being discussed in here. I don't watch much television except sports and ninja movies, but I read an article in the Commercial Appeal where Harold Ford stated that Bob Corker's advertisements were lies.

While I support Congressman Ford on some of his platform issues, there were several comments made by Congressman Ford relating to his voting record on the PATRIOT Act and Homeland Security that caught my attention.

(FYI, the comic book picture above is from the Jungle Media Group's March 29, 2006 article on Congressman Ford ).

The comments below are from the recent Commercial Appeal article.

Ford's voting record on the law is more complex than the ad implies: He voted for the original 2001 law, which civil libertarians decried as giving government too much power. He voted against the bill last year that renewed it because, he said Friday, "I thought it was too weak; it didn't give the president enough tools."

President George W. Bush is congratulated by Tennessee Rep. Harold Ford and Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu as he leaves the U.S. House Chamber Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2006, following his State of the Union address....Ford said, "He's lying on me like he did on his opponents in the (GOP) primary and I'm not going to let him. I have voted for more than $6 trillion in defense and homeland security spending. I voted not only for the Patriot Act, I voted to give the president the authority to go into Iraq. I'll put my record on defense and national security up against anybody in Congress."

...Ford cited a long list of votes he has cast in support of military and defense spending, and said Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld tapped him to serve on the Pentagon's Transformation Advisory Group.

If Congressman Ford was a Republican candidate, then I would understand his comments, but Congressman Ford has a "D" next to his name. Until Congressman Ford makes the inevitable party jump, he is a Democratic candidate and his positions should be more in line with the party instead of the Republican Party.

To whom is Congressman Ford making these statements? Republicans? Democrats? Neo-cons? I don't know. Based on these comments, it appears that Congressman Ford supports the Bush Administration. Defense spending is not the major issue this campaign season for Democrats as it is for Republicans. Republicans have successfully made it a campaign issue in 2002 and 2004, but it may not be as significant this year unless something happens to threaten our security. Many pro-defense/pro-war candidates have been feeling the backlash at the polls from voters this year.

What are the respective positions of the other TN Senate candidates as it relates to the homeland security/defense issue?

Despite the $6,000,000,000,000 in defense spending, does anyone in this country feel safer than they did in the year 2000? 1996? 1988? Our country is in more peril today than at any point in the last 20 years. Simply spending money does not make us safer, but it does fatten the pockets of various defense CEOs. It appears to me that Congressman Ford wants to look good in the eyes of this particular "demographic."

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Wintermute said...

And right when many of both party leanings are getting tired of that message...

Space Ninja said...

I know many people wish that there was a viable third party option in this Senate race.

English Rose said...

Something about you makes me swallow an ugly pill...

Your inference seems as clear as mud. You have posited a rhetorical question – one which seems merely (yet) another opportunistic means to undermine.

1. Re-publishing of the Bush back-slap photo, c/o the SOTU.

You wouldn’t be trying – albeit clumsily – to invoke the spirit of Lieberman, would you?

2. “Until Congressman Ford makes the inevitable party jump…”

Says who? I know you like the sound of your own voice and appear pugnacious, but I’m not particularly interested in your conjecture.

3. “demographic” I take it you mean the electorate i.e., voters, n’est pas? Excuse me, I thought we were in the full throes of a mid-term election.

4. There isn’t a viable third party option, OK? Nevertheless, sorry to disappoint but (all things being equal) Congressman will, hopefully, be changing his nameplate to Senator. Get over it!

Btw, you say loftily: “I haven’t seen any of the campaign commercials being discussed.”

As an aspiring politician – not to mention one who has recently returned to TN and, supposedly, keen to bury carpetbagger aspersions – don’t you think it prudent to keep abreast with what’s going on?

And, moreover, to be better-informed and draw conclusions, only after careful consideration and objective analysis drawn (preferably) from multiple sources of information.

You need to do some homework: “What are the respective positions of the other TN Senate candidates as it relates to the homeland security/defense issue?”

Earth to Space… The answers are out there – all in the public domain…

Oh well, I suppose it’s time for you to get back to your ninja movies…

Space Ninja said...

I am not an aspiring politician English Rose nor do I wish to be a politician. I am merely a commentator. Perhaps you have me confused with Joe Ford, Jr. who also contributes to this website from time to time. Maybe you are the one who needs to do your homework.

As for Congressman Ford changing his nameplate to Senator, we will have to wait and see what the voters decide. If you read my entire post, you would have seen that I said I support Congressman Ford on some of his platform. In fact, I hope that he wins the Senate election. I'm just asking the questions that no one else seems to want to ask.

polar donkey said...

Rule number 1 of mid-term elections. Getting your base to turnout. I think this is what Space Ninja is referring too. Is Ford talking to the same voters as Corker? Well those would be Republicans and they aren't going to vote for him anyway. The best Ford can hope for is that they don't show up at all. But this strategy doesn't help him either because talk like this doesn't energize the Democratic base. If you notice the difference in the Corker and Ford campaigns, it is that Corker is doing almost everything he can to energize his base. Ford isn't. In addition, Memphis is fundamental to a democrat winning a statewide election. What do you think turnout will be like here in Memphis in November? Especially after Herenton put that thumping on Ford last Tuesday. Lots of local Democrats are not going to shed a tear over a Ford loss. In addition, as Christian Progressive Liberal pointed out on another blog, the CBC is starting to grumble about Ford's GOTV and campaigning effort in Memphis. So it's not just locals saying these things.

English Rose said...

Sorry, Ninja sounds very much like a Joe Ford Jr alter ego to me...

Previous posts are, for the most part, indistinguishable from Ford's myspace. Whatever. But since he's supposedly posting here, perhaps this can be attributed to some form of symbiosis or such other.

So, you actually "agree" with some parts of Congressman Ford's platform ... do tell...

Space Ninja said...

No worries about the mistaken identity. It happens all the time. I'm used to it to these days. I stay completely behind the scenes, but I worked closely with young Joe Jr. on his myspace page blog, thus the similarity in the posts.

Congressman Ford actually has some well-researched and discussed issues presented on his campaign website. However, I would expect someone with his political status to have a quality website and platform. If elected, will he work to satisfy these promises?

Here are just some of the issues where I agree with Congressman Ford.

(1) Improving Education - particularly in the areas of early education, teachers and access to college education.

(2) Affordable Health Care for all

(3) Energy Independence

(4) Balanced Budget

English Rose said...

Polar, I've read divergent analyses on Congressman Ford's campaign strategy. Bottom line - it's quite a credible one, especially under the circumstances.

Corker energizing his base? Arguable. But then again, with pockets as deep as his, there is a remote possibility that he might actually buy his seat.

Yep, Herenton, alongside a considerable number of factions within Memphis, are particularly motivated to undermine Congresmman Ford. If indeed he has ignored his base to the extent that some contend - he'll pay the ultimate price, won't he? Who knows what the turn-out will be in Nov...

CPL - has her own 'personal' agenda.

CBC - I don't take them seriously, at all.

You say, "So it's not just locals saying these things."

Like me, they are merely spectators and don't get to vote! Also, my perception is that Congressman Ford is widely respected outside TN. Whatever the outcome of this particular campaign, he has a very bright future.

I've heard the following statement countless times, particularly from so-called progressives: "Lots of local Democrats are not going to shed a tear over a Ford loss."

No probs, this is not rocket science. There are only two options. So, whilst they may not shed a tear over a Ford loss, I'm fairly sure that they should shed a tear over a Corker win.

English Rose said...


Thank you for the clarification.

I agree that Joe Ford Jr had some substantive and interesting articles/links on his myspace. On the positive... I thought this did distinguish him from the pack, somewhat.

However, I was turned off by his association with Thaddeus Matthews - which, I believe, was a faux pas. Nevertheless, the extent of my 'problem' with him begins and ends with Congressman Ford.

I concur with the four issues you have stated as a plus for the Congressman. There are many others.

JSF said...

I did see Thad a couple of times while I was out on the campaign trail. I spoke with him each time and discussed my reasons for running and politics in general. Despite these conversations, I never considered myself associated with Thad.

I posted on his blog during the election, because people were on there speaking my name. I don't care about people dissing me, because it comes with the job. However, one of my weaknesses is that I love to argue, so I will bring it to anyone who disses me for no reason. That is the reason why I was all over Thad's blog earlier in the summer.

What specifically is your problem with me as it relates to Congressman Ford? I have issues with HFJ based on his conduct during my campaign, but I have refrained from discussing them publicly because I want him to win the Senate race and any such discussion will be a distraction from the Senate race. I will wait to deal with those issues until a later date after the conclusion of the race.