Ford says no to Senate run

(Note, 3/3: Peter Beinart expands on Ford’s incoherent departure from the race. For example, the day after Ford in his New York Times op-ed said that he had decided not to run because he didn’t want to do anything that would damage the Democrats’ chances of winning, which in practical terms meant that he didn’t want to do anything to damage Senator Gillibrand’s chances of winning, he said that Gillibrand had made no positive contributions in her year as a U.S. senator. Since Ford’s attack on Gillibrand makes it clear that avoiding damage to the likely Democratic nominee was not his real reason for withdrawing, the question arises, what was his reason? Probably that he felt he lacked the money and support to win.)

Here, from his op-ed in today’s New York Times, is former Tennessee congressman Harold Ford’s reason for his surprise decision not to seek the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate in New York. Democratic Party insiders are very brutal, Ford says, and will cream him with attacks if he challenges Sen. Schumer’s sock-puppet, Sen. Kirsten (“Tweetybird”) Gillibrand (that’s the New York Post’s nickname for her). While Ford thinks that he can beat Gillibrand in the primary, the battle would be so bruising that whoever emerged as the winner would be weakened, allowing the Republican candidate to prevail in the general election. And since Ford doesn’t want to hurt the Democrats’ position in the U.S. Senate, he won’t run.

Thus: any Democratic challenge to Gillibrand will cause the brutal New York Democratic bosses to unleash such a degree of brutality against her Democratic challenger that it will lead to a Republican victory in November, and therefore Ford won’t challenge those brutal Democratic bosses. I haven’t seen such convoluted reasons for not seeking office since, oh, since Sen. Evan Bayh announced last month that he’s not running for re-election.

Also, the column contains this odd sentence:

Voting for health care legislation that imposes billions in new taxes on New Yorkers and restricts federal financing for abortions is not good for the people of this state.

Ford is against Obamacare because it will impose billions in new taxes, and because it doesn’t include funding for abortion. Meaning that he opposes Obamacare both because it’s too “liberal” (it raises taxes) and because it’s too “conservative” (it doesn’t fund abortions).

The remark becomes even more questionable when we remember that there is no federal funding for abortions and that there hasn’t been for decades, under the Hyde Amendment. So it is simply false to state that Obamacare “restricts” federal funding for abortion. You can’t “restrict” something that doesn’t exist.

Ford’s comment is untrue in an even more concrete sense: the Democrats are seeking to pass the Senate version of the health care bill, which does allow funding of abortions. Far from restricting federal financing of abortions, Obamacare would establish federal financing of abortions for the first time in decades., or perhaps ever. Yet Ford claims to oppose Obamacare because it would not fund abortions.

A man who can cram this many untruths into one sentence would have been a real doozer as a U.S. Senator.

- end of initial entry -

Garrick writes:

Her “Tweety Bird” nickname is hilarious. The primary would have been the empty black suit versus the empty female suit. For some reason Harold Ford was on Sean Hannity’s TV show all the time. Hannity liked him, for me he was dull and unoriginal. Ford is well spoken and clean in that Obama kind of way. He liked the New York City media center so much he moved there and tried to do some carpet bagging. I’ll bet he would still be running if Democrat donors and money men had committed. Same reason Newt always threatens to run for President but never follows through, he can’t get any big money transfusions

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 02, 2010 06:40 AM | Send

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