Paul Hodes and the Coming Ad Battle
NHPR has a story on the NRCC ad buy against Paul Hodes, noting also that today, the DCCC answered with a buy of around $300,000. NHPR previews the NRCC ad, which is pretty standard-issue fare: "Liberal Paul Hodes wants to raise taxes." Well, yes, for the very very wealthiest people - those making several hundred thousand dollars a year or more. Very few families would see their taxes go up, and he supports tax credits for things like college - things that ordinary working people, rather than the wealthiest, worry about.
But it's not just about taxes, it's about the sneering tone on the word "liberal." As it happens, Paul has a ready answer for that. Though his stump speech changes from event to event, he often quotes his hero, John F. Kennedy, from his September, 1960 speech accepting the nomination of the Liberal Party:
What do our opponents mean when they apply to us the label "Liberal?" If by "Liberal" they mean, as they want people to believe, someone who is soft in his policies abroad, who is against local government, and who is unconcerned with the taxpayer's dollar, then the record of this party and its members demonstrate that we are not that kind of "Liberal." But if by a "Liberal" they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people -- their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties -- someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a "Liberal," then I'm proud to say I'm a "Liberal."Paul, too, is proud of that name and those ideals. The NRCC would have us think that's shameful, but read that passage, consider what that kind of leadership would mean, and consider too what a change it would be from our current leadership. After that, the choice for Paul Hodes shouldn't be difficult.