This is what Lee Fisher poll tested, rolled out, and attacked Jennifer Brunner over.
Day after day, we’d be reaching a very small but very vocal group of voters who were classified in ODP’s VoteBuilder as Democrats. The most interesting exchange occurred when the candidate was verbally assaulted, simply for identifying herself as a Democratic candidate. “Get the hell off my porch you socialist,” shouted one female voter. When the candidate’s husband took pen to clipboard to make a note to remove that house from our list, the woman pushed closer to both of them. “What the hell are you writing? Let me see that,” she screamed. “I’m making a note to remove you from our list,” he politely responded. “Good,” she snorted. “Don’t ever come back here again!”
Not to worry, madame. We won’t….
Unfortunately, this is the delayed impact of Rush Limbaugh’s absurd “Operation Chaos” nonsense in 2008. As you’ll probably recall, during the Ohio Primary, Limbaugh encouraged his listeners (generally far right of center) to jump to the Democratic ballot in the Presidential primary and vote for Hillary Clinton. Clearly, based on the responses we had in this suburban Cleveland district, a number of people did just as Limbaugh ordered…What they did to themselves (without realizing it at the time), was leave a “D” next to their names. And that “D” is going to haunt them and us for the coming months.
Those voters, essentially “today’s Tea Party voters,” were the ones who took the bait and followed Rush’s lead. Want to see it for yourself? Go canvass a few 50/50 precincts. Grab voters who voted in the 2008 primary and handpick a few other general election contests too. See if you don’t have a similar response. You don’t even need to knock. Just drive by some of the houses on the list and count the “Don’t Tread on Me” flags or the homemade, misspelled anti-Obama yard signs. These folks are out there and they risk screwing with our coordinated efforts this fall. That is, unless we dispense of them early and often.
I’m sorry, but it is very difficult for me, a dyed in the wool Democrat, who will be on the ballot September 7, reaching out to voters on this very same list, to forget that defending this practice, using precisely the same language as these totally ignorant teabaggers, language like “loyalty oaths”, was Lee Fisher’s most vigorous attack on Jennifer Brunner, our own Secretary of State, charged with enforcing the law.? Lee seemed to enjoy it.? Seemed proud of it.
This wasn’t just a repulsive way for Lee Fisher to campaign for US Senate as a Democrat.? By campaigning like this, Lee essentially tells all the other Democrats on the ballot to go pound salt.? That the problem which Rosemary Palmer encountered, and which every single other Democratic candidate will encounter this year, is not just ignored by our own US Senate candidate, but embraced as if Lee is flying the Don’t Tread on Lee flag in Shaker Hts.
Very hard to forget that, Lee.