Is Keith Ellison liberal enough?
July 1, 2006 2:03 AM   Subscribe

Is Keith Ellison liberal enough? Ellison is currently the representative from Minnesota district 58B. Now, he's the DFL's candidate to replace outgoing DFLer Martin Olav Sabo as representative for Minnesota's 5th district in the US House. Ellison got the nomination pretty easily. If he wins, he'd be the first Muslim in the House of Representatives.

Some people are worried about him, though. He's apparently had links to Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, but it's mostly only conservatives pointing that out. A better question might be, Is he liberal enough for Minnesota's 5th district? The Fifth District (located in Minneapolis and the western suburbs) has traditionally been a very strong Democratic stronghold. Ellison will probably have little trouble defeating his opponents (who were they again?), so the question for liberals in his district is: Is he liberal enough? One of the few opportunities for liberals to get someone who really goes the whole nine yards -- so does he?
posted by jiawen (16 comments total)
Personally, I will vote for Ellison, unless he does something stupid or says something there's an even better Green Party candidate. Personally, I'm almost a one-issue voter, and Ellison's statements on that issue are totally in line with my views. Unless Ellison screws up or Pond (the Green Party candidate) says something I like more on that issue, Ellison has my vote. But I am curious if people won't think he doesn't go far enough.
posted by jiawen at 2:04 AM on July 1, 2006

Poor editing on that first comment. Poo.
posted by jiawen at 2:04 AM on July 1, 2006

Is anyone liberal enough for the children?
posted by sharksandwich at 3:23 AM on July 1, 2006

It looks like jiawen has mistaken the metafilter frontpage for his dailykos journal?
posted by Dreamghost at 7:02 AM on July 1, 2006

how sexist of me... "her dailykos journal"
posted by Dreamghost at 7:04 AM on July 1, 2006

He's apparently had links to Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, but it's mostly only conservatives pointing that out.

That's just great. So these links, are they real, or do they just not matter because it's conservatives making an issue out of them? I love it when the conversative pundits do just this, call someone a media liberal, to make their speech not count even when what they say is true. It's nice to see the left learning this tactic of politicizing the truth.

The beauty is that it's not as if Ellison's allies would cite links to Farakkhan, right? So of course it would be Ellison's opponents making the issue. Therefore you can always make a truthiness counterargument. You can't trust those opponents, because they are against us, therefore what they say ought not to be true.
posted by adzuki at 7:22 AM on July 1, 2006

While many pundits are assuming an easy primary victory for Ellision, I can't consider his nomination foregone conclusion. Mike Erlandson, despite a weak showing in the convention (and a rather eleventh-hour announcement that he would not abide by the party nomination), he does have Sabo's endorsement, and given the good will Sabo has in my district, this could count for something real when more of the rank and file are involved with the decision.
posted by nanojath at 8:59 AM on July 1, 2006

Broader discussion might be: how perfect do we want our political candidates to be? If we insist that candidates are utterly spotless, do we end up with candidates that have no drive or inspiration, because they've played it safe their entire lives? People at both ends of the political spectrum have to ask that question.
posted by gimonca at 10:27 AM on July 1, 2006

(Erlandson will have to get over the impression that he thinks he's entitled to the job because he's Sabo's handpicked successor. Beloved though Sabo is, nobody likes a kingmaker.)

(And, the thing that's rankling people up here, is that in a year when the DFL is smelling blood in the water, it's stupid to have to waste money fighting a primary battle in MN-5, one of the safest Democratic seats in the U.S., when that energy could be diverted to other efforts. Okay, enough KosFilter for now, I've got it out of my system...)

posted by gimonca at 10:32 AM on July 1, 2006

I don't understand this post. It begins and ends with the question of whether he's "liberal enough" (I'm a liberal, and I don't even know what that means), and in both cases the question simply links to his website.

Are you simply publicizing the candidate? Because it appears to center on asking a question that doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:53 PM on July 1, 2006

I think I'm liberal enough. Take that as you may.
posted by brundlefly at 3:03 PM on July 1, 2006

George_Spiggott: No, I'm actually interested in the question. gimonica put it very well, certainly better than I did. Does he need to be utterly perfect, given that he's from such a stronghold? Is there someone more perfect than he is? How much perfectionism is okay when choosing candidates?

I also couldn't find a much better discussion of the issue (whether he's liberal enough), thus ending and starting on the same domain (though not the same exact page).

Dreamghost: I thought politics was okay here, so long as it's not pure newsfilter or single-link posts. I don't read DailyKos, for whatever that's worth.
posted by jiawen at 3:33 PM on July 1, 2006

Looking at his web page he seems pretty liberal. He's pro choice, for example
posted by Paris Hilton at 5:22 PM on July 1, 2006

I'm confused. Is he a Muslim or member of Nation of Islam?

There's a big difference.
posted by Target Practice at 7:03 AM on July 2, 2006

Paul Ostrow - ? he's been a grea city councilman
posted by specialk420 at 9:23 AM on July 2, 2006

Echoing Target Practice Islam and the Nation of Islam are two different religions. The NOI is kind of derived from Islam, or inspired by it or something; I think a lot of younger African Americans who convert to Islam flirt around with the NOI first, since the group is very visible and militant; your average muslim would't even consider calling Farrakhan a Muslim though.

Having read the Power Line link, it seems there's a pretty transparent effort to smear Ellison by digging up tenuous links to the NOI; but what they really don't like about him is that he's a real Muslim.
posted by jackbrown at 12:08 PM on July 3, 2006

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