All along, people have been telling me, "Quit your whining and do something about it."
I haven't always known exactly what they had in mind when they said that--raise money to defeat him? throw a bucket of paint on him while shouting "Meat is murder"?--but their words have been weighing heavily on my mind for some time.
That is why, beginning today, I am doing "something."
Beginning today, I am running for Congress against Paul Ryan, seeking the 1st CD nomination for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.
Now, some of you are probably already starting to catalogue the reasons why this is a bad idea, perhaps starting with the fact that I insist on spelling catalogue with the -ue at the end. And it's true that there are a number of seemingly insurmountable barriers to my entry into this race. But let's take a closer look at them, shall we?
For one, I do not presently live in Wisconsin's 1st district. I am only a few miles away, though, and if the Doug Hoffman (I-Teabagger) campaign in upstate New York taught us anything in the past year, it's that out-of-district insurgents can still legitimately run for a seat in Congress. In addition, I spent my college years in Rock County, where Ryan was born and raised, when it was a part of the 1st CD (Beloit has since been re-districted to the 2nd CD). This is only fair, since Ryan spent his college years at Miami of Ohio, which is one county up from where I was born and raised and, ironically, the only other college I applied to besides Beloit College.
For another, I have no elected experience. Oh, come on. You know this one: If every job requires you to have experience, how can you get a job to gain that experience? Consider that Paul Ryan had not been elected to any office before he ran for Congress in 1998. Sure, he slummed around Washington, DC, working for some of the archest of arch-conservative elected officials. How is that different from me, slumming around Milwaukee, working for the Milwaukee Public Schools?
For a third, I have no money. Paul Ryan, as even a cursory glance at his financials will tell you, has more money than any likely opponent. That I have been living on a public servant's salary while Ryan's sugar-daddies in the insurance and pharmaceutical industries fed Ryan's campaign coffers should not disqualify me from running. I am also not intimidated by the fact that Ryan is willing to spend millions--he spent $2.25 million in 2008, outspending his opponent 17-1, because nothing kills like overkill!--in this election. In fact, the more money he spends now, the less he has to run for Senate in 2012.
In all, the reasons for my not running are hardly enough to stop me. That is why, beginning today, I am asking for your support. This goal--sending the GOP's golden boy packing--will not be easy, and it will not be something I can do without you. Here is my simple, five-point platform, and I hope these are all things you can believe in, too:
- No more economic policies based on the fiction of Ayn Rand
- No more social policies based on the hypocrisy of Catholic bishops
- No more international relations policies based on the movie Red Dawn
- No more education policies based on phony "miracles," be they in Houston or in Chicago
- No more environmental policies based on the philosophy of C. Montgomery Burns