Well, criminy. I already spent all the words/time below on Madrid, so what the hey. If the extreme lack of KATIE COURIC coverage continues I'll weigh in on the global position altering importance of KATIE....but for now, less meaningful stuff....
Okay, I just saw Patricia Madrid in action at the Democracy for New Mexico monthly meeting and I gotta say I have mixed feelings. I wanted to like Madrid as much as most of the crowd, a crowd at the Unitarian Church that admittedly would have cheered a Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat as long as the Australian marsupial constantly chanted "Heather IS George W. Bush...Heather IS George W. Bush" repeatedly between munches of sedge and roots.
And don't get me wrong...Madrid said all the right things, but almost exclusively only "right things" that were national in scope. Namely, she mentioned the following (in a stump speech with rather rambling interludes in which her wispy voice would almost sound like she was crying or at least getting her heart stuck in her throat):
- Katrina response
- Other incompetence and corruption in the W Administration
- The Fourth Amendment and the need to protect it
- Other Bill of Rights amendments and how the Administration was attacking them
- Something about Trade and China and the Dubai ports deal and how it all shows that the rest of the world is trying to buy the United States
- Medicare D "deserves a D" (this got a big laugh)
- Heather/Domenici voted for the evil Energy Bill
- An understandably long attack on the Iraq Invasion, including everything from "Mission Accomplished" to "Heather is not asking the tough questions" and "Heather just voted for more money for the war"
- Bring the troops home, set timeline (Big claps and excitement)
I realize that the environmental issues aren't limited to New Mexico, but, outside of a brief mention of predatory loans, there wasn't any reference to anything in or about New Mexico directly in the whole spiel. Nothing. So it was immediately back to:
- Heather voting for the evil Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2005
- Why the Democrats must take back the House
- An interlude of sorts in which she talked about meeting Isabel Allende and Allende bringing up her uncle, the one assassinated in a CIA-sponsored coup by military thugs (great crowd groaning during the "with CIA help by the way" line), and how the same thing might happen here
- Oh, and by the way, Heather IS George W. Bush...Heather IS George W. Bush...Heather IS George W. Bush
- The maxim from the famous/infamous big-nosed Tip O'Neill that "all politics is local" is still my dominant paradigm.
- Patsy selling Bush Bashing at the Dean-influenced Democracy for New Mexico is like shooting fish in a barrel with clusterbombs.
- I still wonder how effective a purely national focus is gonna play in other constituencies and other parts of town.
- I realize that Madrid might have a very different speech for more centrist crowds. For instance, AG Madrid never mentioned once her offices' extensive work on nabbing online predators. I'm sure that's in the speech in other venues, and I plan on attending some of those in coming weeks.
- Still...I get a very queasy feeling with such a national focus. Study after study shows that voters might hate their national officeholders and national political institutions, but they still tend to disconnect their local Representative/Senator from the national institutions.
- So, in my mind, Patricia/Patsy/Madrid needs to also run against Heather as a local representative, not merely as a national symbol of a national problem.
- One part of my queasiness is the "national" focus of this race. As Madrid mentioned in her speech, the House #1 race is one of the most talked about in the nation. A disporportionate amount of press and punditry has been created already. Right now, Madrid seems to be responding to this national reaction by speaking to a national audience instead of a local one. I might be overreacting, but it was certainly the vibe I got, a vibe given some credence I think by the sheer preponderance of the national in her stump speech tonight.
- Oh, by the way, despite saying the right thing about the Iraq Invasion, Madrid didn't sound very knowledgeable about what the military situation is now or what should happen to make it better in the near future. Right now if she debated Heather on this issue, it would be almost as ugly for Patsy as is the war itself. Definite work needed here.
Still, there should have been more questions. More questions about things in Albuquerque, New Mexico. More questions about gay marriage, Green Party status and some of the other "wacky" issues that might prevent a few on the supposedly far-left from voting for Madrid. Because we all know that it will only take a few to possibly swing this race, and because Democracy for New Mexico meetings is the perfect place to clean up issues like Madrid's gay marriage stand.
You know, the stand she took about the marriage licenses in Sandoval County. You know, in New Mexico. Real close to Albuquerque, New Mexico even. Like dangerously close to NM House District #1.
Update #2: A real good add-on follows in comments from Scott Hale, another spectator last night. I'd like to hear from others who were there as well, especially as the predominant vibe seemed much more positive than I felt. Maybe as a group we were just being nice...or maybe we lefties are so deprived of political love than when a politician just shows us the merest smidge of affection we get all blubbery.
And I'm even more ticked off about only being given four questions this morning than I was when I wrote the above last night. Geez...four.