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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.


Who would be the strongest Democratic candidate in Kentucky for 2014?

2%2 votes
24%20 votes
49%40 votes
1%1 votes
0%0 votes
11%9 votes
2%2 votes
1%1 votes
7%6 votes

| 81 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Got the poll options from Wikipedia (5+ / 0-)

    So do you think Ashley Judd is a good candidate or a bad one?

  •  I thought the same (4+ / 0-)

    about Linkin's douchitidy  in this piece.
     However, he did raise a valid point about Judd and the coal vote. She is a staunch opponent of mountain top removal.

    We all stand submissively before the global ATM machine network like trained chickens pecking the correct colored buttons to release our grains of corn. Joe Bageant

    by Zwoof on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 03:19:14 PM PST

  •  I think she'd be a great candidate, but (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mumtaznepal, cazcee

    I'd prefer she wait until 2016 and run against Rand Paul. I think her chances (and ours) would be better.

    McConnell is a cretin, but as stated already, he's establishment. Rand Paul is a lunatic.

    "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

    by JackND on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 03:32:36 PM PST

    •  I have to agree with you..................... (0+ / 0-)

      I think her chances would be much better against little Randy.  I don't know that Yertle can be beaten given the current electorate in Ketucky.

      I think the strongest candidate would be Lt. Governor, Jerry Abramson but I would only give him about a 30% chance of knocking off Mitch.

      The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation--HDT

      by cazcee on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 05:25:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  yeah, even the southern states... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        are undergoing a slow bluification, and waiting would give that process two extra years in Kentucky.

        McConnell has some political problems, but I still think the Democrat that runs against him is pretty much a sacrificial lamb. Paul is much more vulnerable.

        "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

        by JackND on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 05:38:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Ashley Judd is an intelligent, thoughtful woman (7+ / 0-)

    who would represent Kentucky well.  Her humanitarian work has made life better for thousands of people in third world countries.  She was a classmate of one of my children at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, where she earned a master's in public administration.  Ms. Judd was highly regarded by her classmates, not because of her acting career, but because of her intellect and compassion.

    Of course, possessing a keen intellect and compassion for the poor and sick probably disqualifies her from winning a Senate seat in Kentucky.

  •  Women are the dominant force in politics right (6+ / 0-)

    now. And an already famous democratic woman running in a southern state can never be a bad thing, whether she loses or not. Ashley Judd should run if she damn well wants to. It's a democracy: use it. How's that for a slogan.

    If I knew it was going to be that kind of party, I'd have stuck my ---- in the mashed potatoes! - Paul's Boutique

    by DoctorWho on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 03:33:54 PM PST

  •  If she's willing to take the heat, (4+ / 0-)

    and there's going to be an unprecedented level, I'd say go for it.

    I don't think anyone else can unseat McConnell and she just might.

    "The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice." Richard K. Morgan

    by sceptical observer on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 03:57:12 PM PST

  •  I Think She Would Be A Great Senator (4+ / 0-)

    I believe the GOP is worried that she will run.  I believe that Kentucky is ready for a democrat for senator.  I believe that women would come out and vote for her.

    "Don't Let Them Catch You With Your Eyes Closed"

    by rssrai on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 04:10:43 PM PST

  •  It does sound like a dumb article (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    But Judd is way too liberal to win statewide in Kentucky.  Probably every other candidate you mention in your poll plus quite a few others would have a better - albeit slim - chance to defeat McConnell.

    Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

    by MichaelNY on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 04:17:58 PM PST

  •  That's Linkins' style. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pistolSO, cazcee

    He's always written like that. He's a d-baggish wannabe Dana Milbank. Thinks he's clever when he's nowhere close to that. I'd take any opinion he writes with a grain of salt.

    That said, I don't think any Democrat could win in Kentucky (I think Appalachia is a lost cause, but that's a story for another day). I think it'll take a while before a Dem could take a seat--especially at the end of the Demographic Cliff the Republicans are going full speed towards.

    But if there's a group of strong Democrats who want to give McTurtle a run for his money, I say go for it.

    Gotta play to win, right? Right.

    The Grand Bargain must be stopped at all costs to protect the 99%.

    by cybrestrike on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 04:32:46 PM PST

    •  Democrats occupy every executive branch (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pistolSO, MichaelNY

      state office except one in Kentucky.  It's not impossible, it's just improbable that we'd win a senate election.

      ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

      by James Allen on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 09:25:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Beshear (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    James Allen, hilltopper, MichaelNY

    Gov. Beshear would be the strongest candidate, but he isn't going to run. Seems the other A-listers (statewide officials and Chandler) aren't up for it either, so Dems may end up with Judd.

    SSP poster. 43, new CA-6, -0.25/-3.90

    by sacman701 on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 08:20:02 PM PST

  •  Judd actually strikes me as fairly... (0+ / 0-)

    Perhaps we could hunt down more clips of her discussing issues and let them speak to her gravitas?

    I would, but I'm dead-tired.

  •  I didn't read the article but (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I have read several that are very dismissive of her. One thing they never mention though, is that she "bleeds blue". That makes her one of us, and she's likeable and smart.
    I actually think she might have a shot.

    While many minority groups are the target for discrimination, few face this hostility without the support and acceptance of their family as do many glbt youth.

    by azrefugee on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 09:47:53 PM PST

  •  Crit Luallen (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Do you think she can beat McConnell? Can she be convinced to run against him?

    28 • Gay Male • CA-35 (new) • Pragmatic • Progressive • Liberal • Democrat

    by BluntDiplomat on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 01:58:43 PM PST

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