To start with, I haven't taken a side in who should be the Democratic nominee for the Kentucky Senate seat and I will give Huffington Post's Jason Linkins credit for saying that Politico sucks as a source and that Ashley Judd's anti-mountain top removal stance will not endear her to the coal-heavy parts of Kentucky. However, his opinion piece glaringly gets a few things wrong and is quite condescending towards Ms. Judd.
And I'll start this below the Fleur-de-Kos
Jason Linkins fallacy #1: His attitude towards actors and Ashley Judd in particular.
I am not trying to criticize Judd, in any way. You know, she was pretty great in "Heat," and I'm sure she was also pretty great in lots of other movies, too,Those are weasel words because yes, he is trying to criticize her and saying she was pretty great in a movie and that he's sure she was pretty great in other movies is damning her with faint praise.
I don't have a lot of major hang-ups about actors -- even famous ones -- getting involved in politics, because it seems to me there are at least as many successful politicians who are dumb as there are actors who are dumb.Again, the tone of this is critical by implying that the actors who get involved in politics are dumb. He then gives a example that he would rather save Lindsay Lohan from a burning building than a bank lobbyist. Linkins also ignores the example of Al Franken, who is one of the most wonky Senators currently serving.
At any rate, let me just stipulate up front that I think Judd is just swell and I'll take Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Kent.) at his word when he says that she is “very, very knowledgeable on public policy issues.” I still don't think running against McConnell is a tremendously great idea.I can easily believe Yarmuth. Actors tend to be very detail-oriented when they are forming their characters, and I have no doubts that Judd has done her homework on public policy matters and on environmental policy.
Now as to Judd's candidacy, her family has very deep roots in Kentucky, she is already well-known, her favorables would start out strong, and Judd doesn't strike me as a one-issue candidate and I am sure she would have other positions that could appeal to Kentuckians. When one of the biggest struggles for a neophyte candidate is get their name out there, Judd already has that. Judd also has an outsider cred that other more established politicans wouldn't have. And let's not forget the optics of Judd running against the personification of what is wrong with the Republican Party in Mitch McConnell. So I don't think it would be a bad idea at all, it could be a good idea.
Jason Linkins fallacy #2: He thinks that nobody should run against Mitch McConnell.
Besides, what's the point of trying to take out McConnell, anyway? Right now, the GOP is suffering from a demographic problem of its own, the aftermath of the election having largely exposed the fact that it has essentially found itself the party of an elderly, white, nativist rump. Democrats love the fact that McConnell is a key member of the GOP's leadership, because every time he appears on television, he underscores this reality and compounds this problem. (He also looks vaguely like a turtle, which is good for a few laughs.)The point in taking out McConnell is that he is the leader of the Senate Republicans. He represents the Establishment, which is one reason why the Tea Party will look at primarying him. Yes, McConnell represents a white male nativist rump party but he's also a pragmatic politician and won't go as far as the Teanuts want him to go. McConnell also likely angered evangelicals by attacking Akin. So yes, the Tea Party wants to make sure that the GOP is representing by a guy they can point to as a dominionist.
Also McConnell has never had it easy in a general election. A Democrat could be competitive with him, and who better to replace McConnell than a woman? Or somebody who doesn't represent nativists and crazies? The Democrats also have a few potentially strong candidates like Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes or Ashley Judd. Having a pro-choice nominee would certainly help with that wedge issue to use against McConnell and the Congressional GOP who would ban contraception, force women to have medically-unnecessary and invasive ultrasounds and would diminish the ability for women to have early cancer detection from Planned Parenthood.