"Fear in the Air"
Americans Against Escalation in Iraq has been organizing protests here and there in Randy Kuhl’s Upstate New York district, something I believe they’ve been doing to many Republican members around the country. Well, he got interviewed recently by the local paper, and here Jerri Kaiser reports that he seems a bit freaked out:
Kuhl said that he wasn’t at his offices when the protesters in Bath and Fairport were there. When I asked him if he had ever protested, he said “Yes, when I walked off the floor in Congress recently.” I asked if that means he thinks the protesters have a right to do so and he again said “yes, just not over the line.” He said that the types of protests have caused him to rethink security at his offices and that means securing doors. He said they are “more protective now” and that he “thought about packing.”
Kaiser herself is a typical left-wing radical — born in a small town in South Carolina, moved to Upstate New York about six years ago, mother of four, active in her local church, that sort of thing — so you can see why she asked him about this. At any rate, I think it’s pretty clear that Republican members across the country have plenty to fear from anti-war sentiment. The vast majority of GOP members are, of course, going to be re-elected one way or another. But the war’s become so unpopular that you can hardly call any of them “safe” as such — a talented Democratic challenger could win just about anywhere, much as the conditions of 1974 left the field wide open for geographically unlikely wins.