This morning, Buffalo Pundit embeds a YouTube video that attacks Jack Davis for being old and rich -- nothing said about his positions on policies.
The video is cute and well produced, but it's also offensive.
First, Jack Davis is a self-made man. He represents the historical promise of America -- that anybody with a good idea, who works hard and makes good decisions can be successful. Attacking Jack Davis for being rich is like attacking America, because you're saying it's wrong to build successful businesses and to create jobs, and that people shouldn't have the basic economic freedom to benefit from the fruits of their labor.
Second, imagine a political video that attacked a candidate for being a woman, or black, or handicapped. Who -- especially among self-described progressives -- would find such prejudice anything but outrageously bigoted? So why is ageism suddenly OK? Is it bad to grow old, to acquire experience, to have a perspective that reaches back further than "Friends"?
The question needs to be asked: Are Democrats making a mistake to throw so much support behind Jon Powers while attacking Jack Davis so voraciously?
Voter registration for the 26th District, as of April 1, 2008, is 40 percent Republican. Despite the GOP stranglehold on the mostly rural counties, Davis picked up 48 percent of the vote in 2006, and his 44 percent in 2004 (when Bush garnered 55 percent of the district vote), was pretty darn respectable when compared to the 22 percent Ayesha F. Nariman tallied for the Democrats in 2002 (which shows you to what extent Democrats in the 26th are willing to vote Republican -- there still seem to be a lot of Reagan Democrats around).
In both of Davis' loses, he was running against an incumbent. This time, the seat is open.
Setting aside his wacky anti-immigration pronouncements, Davis has a message that appeals to rust-belt conservative voters -- protectionism on jobs, cut spending and taxes, save social security and reduce the influence of special interests.
While Powers has an admirable position on job growth, he seems squishy on spending and taxes (his website addresses neither issue). He'll be vulnerable to the tried-and-true GOP "Liberal" attack.
At first glance, Republican Chris Lee looks like an urbane empty suit. He has career-politician-in-the-making written all of him. He seems to have no ties to nor affinity for a rural county like Genesee. If he wins in November, he's likely going to represent Western New York for the next five terms.
So the question Democrats attacking Davis might want to ask themselves -- are they ready to accept that outcome?
Davis may not meet any body's picture of the ideal candidate, but at most, he's going to serve two terms, then the race is wide open again and anything can happen.
Just some food for thought. Again, I'm non-partisan and have no affinity for any particular candidate.