Interesting Roll Call article knocking Merkley. below is a portion:
Memo to Merkley: Be Careful How You Criticize Sen. Smith
November 1, 2007
By Stuart Rothenberg, Roll Call Executive Editor
The newspaper headlines could well read “Democrat Merkley Blasts Feinstein, Dorgan and Johnson,” or possibly “Democrat Attacks Leading Democrats.”
That’s because Oregon Senate candidate Jeff Merkley (D) apparently was more concerned with scoring political points than thinking through the circumstances when he attacked incumbent GOP Sen. Gordon Smith’s vote to confirm Court of Appeals nominee Leslie Southwick.
Merkley, the Speaker of the Oregon House and Smith’s likely Democratic opponent (attorney/activist Steve Novick also is seeking the Democratic nomination), distributed a news release shortly after Southwick’s confirmation blasting the Republican Senator’s vote for confirmation.
“Gordon Smith showed his true allegiance to George Bush’s far right agenda today. Smith had a chance to take a stand for fair treatment of all Americans. Instead, he stood up for the kind of divisive politics that is tearing America apart,” Merkley said in the Oct. 24 release.
The only problem is that nine Democratic Senators also voted to confirm Southwick, including the chairman of the party’s Senate Policy Committee, North Dakota’s Byron Dorgan. Dorgan, no doubt, would be surprised to learn that he too was voting for the president’s “far right agenda” by casting a vote to confirm Southwick.
I can’t wait to see Merkley tell California Democrat Dianne Feinstein, South Dakota’s Tim Johnson, North Dakota’s Kent Conrad and West Virginia’s Robert Byrd, the President Pro Tem, that in casting their votes to confirm Southwick, those veteran Democratic Senators “stood up for the kind of divisive politics that is tearing America apart.”
Imagine what it will be like when Merkley, who was 2 years old when Byrd was first elected to the Senate, strolls up to the West Virginia Democrat and criticizes him for voting to confirm a judge “who sees no serious problem with racial slurs against employees and who puts his narrow-minded values ahead of providing a nurturing home for children.” Byrd certainly will take that criticism good-naturedly…