Heath Shuler is our Democratic candidate for Congress in North Carolina's Eleventh District. We know all about his opponent, the failure Charles Taylor, but what do you know about Heath Shuler? And from what you know, what do you think?
As I stated in this Drinking Liberally announcement,
"He's for health care for all Americans, and he's against gay marriage. He's for a fully funded public education system, and he's against a woman's right to choose. He's for strong worker protections, and he's against gun control. He's for environmental protection, and he's against a liberal immigration policy."
"He's a real puzzle and problem for many Asheville liberals and single-issue voters. He's a damned pot of gold when compared to the putrescent Taylor, but he's no progressive. How will you square your liberal values with this social conservative? How can you support the policy areas you agree with, fight against the policy areas you disagree with, and still vigorously support the campaign for Democratic majority in the U.S. Congress?"
In conversations with patriotic liberals and progressives I've seen a lot of head shaking and heard a lot of teeth sucking. There's a crisis of conscience in Asheville's liberal political community.
Will I really cast my vote for an anti-abortion candidate? Will I vote for a man who's against recognizing the long-term relationships of committed couples? How can I? But how can I not? Charles Taylor is an abomination, I can't take two more years of his lies, his greed, and his incompetence, but how can I even find the motivation to vote for this non-liberal Heath Shuler?
*end melodramatic soliloquy*
The good news for all of you Progressives of two minds on Heath Shuler is that now there's a place to go. It's a place to ask questions, give suggestions, hash out your misgivings. It's The Unofficial Heath Shuler Forum, and it's open for business. Created by Asheville political blogging wunderstar, Paul V over at Brainshrub, TUHSF is easy to get to and easy to use. Paul V describes it like this,
"The purpose for this forum is very simple:
Progressives in District 11 need to start talking about Heath Shuler. Let's face it: He's no Liberal.
Shuler is a pro-choice, conservative Democrat who admits to voting for Republicans in the past.
On the other hand, there are lots of fine Democrats who do like him. For example, the North Carolina AFL-CIO and the Western North Carolina Central Labor Council have endorsed him.
Rather than sit around and complain about Shuler's lack of Liberal credentials, myself and several other activists are opening the unofficial Shuler forum.
Let's talk about Shuler. What do we like about him? What do we not like? What does Shuler need to say or do to put us at ease?
More importantly: What does Shuler need to say or do so that Progressives will donate money, time, money, time and money to his campaign?
The site is fresh off the assembly line, and the conversation is ready to begin. Please take a few minutes to go register and leave your initial impressions of Heath Shuler and your thoughts on the Congressional race for NC-11. The Unofficial Heath Shuler Forum will certainly be read by the campaign, so consider it a place not only to figure out your feelings about Shuler but also a place to sound off on issues you believe in. There's bound to be a lot of different opinions, so be civil. The Unofficial Heath Shuler Forum is a civic space intended to create conversation and debate. See you there.