Profiles In Asshatery – James Hart

You may have heard that there is an admitted racist named James Hart running for the Republican nomination for House of Representatives seat in Tennessee’s 8th district. As of earlier this week he was the only candidate, thereby nearly guaranteed himself the nomination and the right to get slaughtered in the November election by the incumbent Democrat.

NASHVILLE — Republican congressional candidate James L. Hart says his support of eugenics makes him an “intellectual outlaw.”

Local GOP leaders, blind-sided and embarrassed by Hart’s 8th District race, are more blunt. They call him a racist.

Hart, whose Web site expounds on “favored races” and “less favored races,” is the only Republican on the ballot in the Aug. 5 primary.

While the odds of a Republican taking the seat are slim — incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. John Tanner has held it 15 years — local party officials are pursuing damage control by fielding a write-in candidate to oppose Hart. Here’s the part of the story you haven’t seen:

[Hart] “My ideas, other than the controversial ideas about race, are far more Democratic than Republican,” said Hart, who also ran as an independent in 2002, garnering just 2.6 percent of the vote.

Fortunatly there is now a write-in GOP candidate challenging Hart in todays primary – Dennis Bertrand.

A visit to Hart’s campaign website should convince you this is more about publicizing his beliefs and giving away his book that winning an election. The bad news is that Hart appears to want to make this an life-long campaign. From the cover page of his book:

The restrictions imposed by the Federal Election Commission do not apply after 2030, as I will no longer be running for office after that time.

This kind of asshatery affects both parties. In 1998 Democrats trotted out convicted felon Bob Kern to run against Clinton nemesis Dan Burton (R-IN). Via the power of Google:

In Indiana, Bob Kern altered a check from $15 to $515, impersonated a female judge over the phone and was accused of threatening to shoot a bank employee when his ATM card didn’t work. He was soundly thrashed in his congressional race by Republican Dan Burton, an incumbent who admitted to having an affair.

Burton admitted some of his affairs because he had called Bill Clinton a “scumbag” and got himself in the crosshairs of the “people who live in glass houses” brigade.

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  1. David Anderson August 5, 2004
  2. El Jefe August 5, 2004
  3. furious August 5, 2004
  4. McGehee August 5, 2004