The bombshell announcement by Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN) that he won’t be running for re-election this year has shaken up the politicos. Many on the left are furious with Bayh because he dropped out only days before the filing deadline, making it nearly impossible for other interested Dem candidates to run for the seat. However, as it turns out this allows the state Democratic party to simply select a nominee instead of holding a primary, so the Democrats can field the best candidate they think has a shot at retaining the seat.
At Open Left, Chris Bowers goes through some of the options for the Dems, and I think unfairly dismisses one of the potentially strongest choices:
They could go with Andre Carson, but would Indiana really be the first state to put a Muslim in the Senate? Doesn’t feel like a red state in 2010 is when that barrier will be broken.
This is a disappointingly defeatist attitude, and unfairly maligns Indiana (who did vote for Obama after all, indicating a reservoir of Purple political views).
This is a surprisingly weak position for the liberal blogsphere to take. Look at what RedState is doing – staking out ground for their conservative against the party establishment line. When did the liberal netroots become so hesitant and deferent?
There is an active muslim community in Indiana, the Muslim Alliance of Indiana. They even publish a magazine called Muslim Hoosiers. It would be great to see them take up the cause of Andre Carson for Senate. And it would be great to see the liberal blogsphere support, or at least consider, Carson – one of the few liberal/progressive alternatives.
Related: Talk Islam stories on Andre Carson.