Proud To Be an Oregonian

I always loathed the smarmy and oleaginous Republican Senator from Oregon, Gordon Smith, and not just because he was a Republican, a Mormon, and had hair like a 1970′s Ken doll, but because he serially posed as a “moderate” for a few months before each election, only to turn into a proto-teabagger for another five years, and thus managed to be elected twice to the Senate in an increasingly blue state.  After eight years of letting George Bush root around in his magic underpants, however, disgusted Oregonians finally tossed Smith’s rich, self-entitled ass out in 2008 in favor of the relatively untested Jeff Merkley, who, as this clip shows, has improbably emerged as one of the shining stars in the admittedly murky firmament of Senate Democrats.

I gave quite a few dollars to Merkley, which turned out to be the best money I’ve ever spent (except at the furrier) in a long time.  The former speaker of the Oregon House wasn’t nearly as well-known statewide as Smith’s previous opponent, former Secretary of State Bill Bradbury, but his working-class roots and idealism somehow made him look like a good bet, and that paid off far more richly than money tossed away on Hope and Change.  (Full disclosure: I would have voted for my crazy grandmother, Etta, to get rid of Smith, even though she wasn’t, well, alive.  As she liked to put it, “Etta is Betta.”  Better than Gordon Smith, anyway.)

But Merkley?  Let’s just say I’m chagrined he’s already married, but I’m awfully glad he’s my Senator, anyway.  When you vote for a Democrat, sometimes it’s nice to actually get one, and in Jeff Merkley, we did.  How about, say, 51 more of them?