Friday, February 01, 2013

Read the memo, Murphy

As a blogger I should know better than to try subtlety.

So Monday I make note that the Labour Party in the UK has a little tool called the all-women short list to increase gender equity, and suggest that maybe male candidates in the likely open Iowa congressional seats could defer some personal ambition.

But Pat Murphy clearly didn't get the memo. Thursday, the former House speaker said he's interested in the 1st CD if - and it's not really an if - Bruce Braley makes the Senate run.

So I'm dropping subtlety. No, Pat. No, Jeff Danielson, another rumored name. And while it's not my business what Republicans do, no, Kraig Paulsen and Bill Dix.

No, guys. No guys. Liz Mathis. Or Pam Jochum. Or, wouldn't this be the best story ever, Anesa Kajtazovic. Or any one of a whole bunch of really talented and experienced women of both parties in northeast Iowa.

The fact that Iowa is one of just two states that has never sent a woman to Congress or the governorship is a national embarrassment, made worse by the fact that the other one is Mississippi.(Sometimes this stat gets reported as four states that have never sent a woman to Congress. The other two, Delaware and Vermont, have one-member House delegations and have had female governors.)

Men in the possibly open 3rd CD should think twice, too. I have some sympathy for Matt McCoy, in part because he adds his own type of diversity and in part because he got screwed a decade ago when Boswell carpetbagged in on him. And my bet is Jack Hatch is more likely to take a shot at governor instead (though that's also Christie Vilsack's best shot).

As for the other team, c'mon. You guys can do better than another Brad Zaun race, can't ya? A lot of qualified women in Polk County, and even a few unqualified ones you could run. You have my full permission to nominate Kim Pearson.

(And before I get bashed by the Loebsack haters: Yes, he moved - three miles over the line - into a district that had given up just the one county. Yes, Christie wanted the seat - but she and Tom had re-registered in Des Moines, NOT back in Mt. Pleasant, as soon as Tom's term ended. By all rights it was Boswell who should have stood aside, and we all saw how that turned out. Why is it always Dave Loebsack who's treated like the Rodney Dangerfield of the delegation? I don't see anyone else in this bunch who's knocked off an "unbeatable" 30 year incumbent...)

Maybe you want to reject my premise here, and give the guys a shot. If so, is Murphy really the guy? Not that 2010 is Pat's fault. The national zeitgeist takes most of the blame, and in-state we had a weak re-elect campaign (while I'm at it: No, Chet Culver. Hell no.) But Murphy oversaw a House campaign where nearly 30 seats went uncontested, his caucus shrank to just 40 members, and he nearly lost his own seat. His 2012 rematch with the `10 opponent was a more comfortable win, in a better year and without a leadership target on his back. But it's hardly a case for a promotion.

Pat Murphy's a good guy. And sure, what I'm arguing might seem a little unfair to him personally. But this cycle is a rare opportunity, and Iowa has something to prove. Any male candidate for an open congressional seat really needs to balance his personal ambition against generations of inequity.

1 comment:

Big Grove Walker said...

That Pat Murphy would be a bad choice for the Democratic nomination for 1st CD has nothing to do with his gender.