`Death match’

July 31st, 2012

Former congressman Ed Case has been appealing to independents and Republicans to vote in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate.

But in a speech last Thursday morning to Smart Business Hawaii, the conservative small business group, the moderate Case was particularly blunt. He described his primary with U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono as a “death match” against Hawaii’s Democratic political machine and predicted that his success, regardless of the result against former Gov. Linda Lingle, a Republican, in the November general election, would “drive a stake into the heart of that machine.”

Case’s comments came on the morning a new Hawaii Poll showed him trailing Hirono by double-digits. The poll found that both Hirono and Case had double-digit leads over Lingle. It also was the day of Case’s final debate with Hirono before the primary.

From Case:

Clearly, there are three candidates — apologies to (Republican) John Carroll — but there are three candidates that have possibility of winning the next United States Senate seat: Me, Hirono and Lingle.

And I would suspect strongly — and I hope I don’t get myself out on a limb, but I’m going to say it anyway  — that for some of you I’m your first choice, that for a fair number of you I’m your second choice, but for none of you am I your third choice. And I would suspect strongly that Ms. Hirono is your third choice.

So the only race I’m in right now is the primary election, the Democratic primary election. Yes, some of you, maybe most of you, don’t agree with me 100 percent on several issues.

But I know very well that I can do a better job than Hirono would. I know darn well that I strike a better ground for you. I know darn well that she is the choice of the political culture of Hawaii today and I am not. And this is your opportunity to make a difference in the primary election.

So yes you can vote in the primary election. Apologies to the Republican primary candidates in the room. I hope none of you have contested primaries. But, you know, you should all vote in the Democratic primary …

I say that very bluntly and I say it for a darn good reason. You saw the papers this morning. One poll of many. I don’t agree with the poll, but the poll says that it’s either going to be me or Hirono as your next senator. Make your choice.

If you don’t want to make that choice now, make your choice in the primary election and decide later between me and Lingle.

It’s that blunt and that honest. Strike for a better political culture in the primary. Strike for the possibility of having some of the change in Washington.

8 Responses to “`Death match’”

  1. honmani2:

    If I were a conservative Republican and if I were to pull a Dem ballot just to play games, I would vote for Hirono since, in theory, Lingle has a better chance of defeating a liberal Dem than a blue dog Dem like Case.

  2. hossana:

    Case should just shaddup. Everytime he opens his mouth, his stupid arrogance and ignorance comes out and I, AND MANY OF MY FRIENDS, HAVE concluded that he needs a swift kick in his “arse.” Case, you should just take a hike.

  3. Bart Dame:

    One of the ironies within Ed’s vision of “reform” is the lack of ethics at its core. The primary system is a means whereby the supporters of each party decide which of their members should advance as their party’s candidate, to compete with the candidates representing the other parties.

    Ed, being a half-Republican, half-Democrat hybrid, wants to gain the benefits of being formally affiliated with the Democratic Party in Hawaii, where the Democrats dominate the political system, but also wants the votes and financial backing of those among whom he grew up, the “kamaaina haole” business elite and professional class. And he has spent the last several years cultivating the “Small Business Hawaii” network, appealing to their hostility to the Democrats, trade unions, government regulation and liberalism generally.

    So he openly appeals to Republicans to cross over into the Democratic primary and interfere in OUR selection of OUR candidate. If you listen to his argument, and if you study the polling data, Ed understands there are plenty of Lingle supporters willing to enter the Democratic primary, not so much to help Ed, their “second choice” candidate, but to hurt Hirono and the Democrats generally.

    Sorry, but to this Democrat, and many others, that is a kind of political treason. Case supporters like to portray Ed as a victim of Senator Inouye’s personal animosity. Inouye is portrayed as wanting to dominate Hawaii politics and as having been offended by Ed’s “independence.” But this account of Ed’s speech makes it clear that Ed is not simply “independent” of the Democratic Party, he is explicitly out to damage the Party’s interests and openly appeals to Republicans to join the effort.

    Those who intend to vote for Lingle (or Carroll) in the general election, should stay out of the Democratic primary as their participation would be in bad faith. If Ed lacks enough support from Democratic voters to win our nomination, he does not deserve to get it. He should not appeal to Republicans to suspend their ethics in order to game the voting system. Not in order to support him. Nor to “drive a stake in the heart of the Democratic machine.”

    A final point. As a “reformer” myself, I have often found it convenient to use the phrase “Democratic machine.” But it can be a cheap rhetorical device, serving to obscure more than it clarifies. There are many networks within the Democratic Party and its periphery. Some large, some small. (I’m rooted in the smaller ones). These networks join together when their interests coincide, compete when they do not. Those of us on the losing side like to decry the “Machine” character of the more hegemonic bloc. But if Ed Case hates the Inouye “machine,” he is aligned with the emerging Abercrombie “machine.” Much of Ed’s campaign organization has been the Abercrombie gubernatorial campaign, lending a “liberal” veneer to a Blue Dog centrist.

    Ed’s appeal for Republicans to help him weaken Team Inouye (and the unions) is designed to help build the power of Team Abercrombie, with Ed as a partner.

    And, as Ed makes clear in his appeal to the Republicans, weakening the Democrats is more important than Ed winning the Senate seat. Even if Lingle were to win in November, what is more important, is defeating the Democrats in August.

    In the words of Patrick Henry, “If this be treason, make the most of it!”

  4. Goober:

    Benedict Arnold in the making.
    Also case does not have what it takes and so he is not able to
    commit Hara-kiri.


    case will lose this “death match”.

  6. galekaminari:

    I find Case’s analysis RICH ! ROFL ! Ed has the Abercrombie people and that is the Machine to the extent there is one. And I am not sure how Case qualifies as a Moderate. The litany of Case votes and positions which have been revealed in the last two debates have been very conservative. Now Case is flip flopping on raising the Social Security vesting age. His word is no good, so it makes no difference what he says, anyway.

    Case’s request is so egregious that I wonder if he can be thrown out of the Democratic Party, finally.

  7. PaiaGirl:

    Ed Case thinks Senator Inouye is the cause of all his troubles. But the fact is, every time he opens his mouth, he makes some untrue, nasty personal attack on whatever Democrat he’s running against.

    As a result he’s become universally reviled in the Democratic Party.

    He is such a dishonest person (running as a Dem) that he actually gave classes to Republicans on GOTV… There’s a difference between bipartisan and being so ambitious you’re deceptive.


  8. Fact Checker:

    Wow, he called the race a “death match” AGAIN (on the radio this morning – while again begging for Republican votes).

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