Adam Kokesh is a candidate in the Republican primary for a New Mexico Congressional seat that Republicans virtually never win. Third District GOP candidates rarely make it onto the radar screens of the Big Guns of the national political scene. To be sure, Michelle Malkin is one of those Big Guns, and the day before yesterday, she fixed her cross-hairs on Adam Kokesh.
Congratulations, Adam. When Michelle Malkin picks on you, you’ve hit big time.
Malkin calls Kokesh “an anti-war smear merchant in GOP clothing” and urges her readers who have friends and family in New Mexico to “make sure they know who the real Adam Kokesh is.”
Does Ms. Malkin, I wonder, know who “the real Adam Kokesh” is? I’m not sure, but I’d guess she doesn’t know Mr. Kokesh personally. When I see Adam at the New Mexico State GOP Convention tomorrow, I’ll ask him. Because, you see, I do know Adam Kokesh.
Michelle Malkin has no doubt read the anti-Kokesh smears circulating on Free Republic, and has seen photos of him at anti-war protests, and believes that he dishonors the U.S. Marine Corps uniform he once wore by his anti-war activism. I believe, on the other hand, that when Adam Kokesh volunteered as a Marine and then risked life and limb serving in Iraq, he earned the right to say whatever he damn well pleases about that war. I may disagree with him about whether the U.S. should immediately pull all of our troops out of Iraq, but I would never presume to call a man who fought in that war unpatriotic.
What Michelle Malkin has not seen is Adam Kokesh driving up and down the highways of New Mexico building a grassroots campaign organization that is stronger than that any other Republican has built in our 3rd district in recent memory. She has not seen him at high schools and colleges and Indian reservations and VFW meetings and Republican county meetings and candidate forums and Tea Parties and just about anyplace else New Mexicans gather. I have seen Adam at more Santa Fe political events than any other candidate who is running for state or national office this year. I can’t imagine how he keeps up the pace, but keep it up he does.
New Mexico’s 3rd Congressional District is generally considered a lost cause for Republicans, and it is difficult to get good candidates to spend their time and money running for a seat that they have historically had little hope of winning. Bill Redmond did it in the special election of 1997 due to a lucky confluence of circumstances, but he was promptly ousted the next year by Democrat Tom Udall. When Udall left the seat to run successfully for the U.S. Senate, Democrat Ben Ray Luján, who had little to recommend him as a candidate, beat Republican Dan East handily, even with liberal independent candidate Carol Miller siphoning off some of his votes.
Perhaps Michelle Malkin doesn’t mind if Ben Ray Luján, who has voted in perfect lock-step with President Obama’s leftist agenda, is re-elected to the seat this November. But I’m a New Mexican, and I do mind. For the first time since 1997, this district actually has a viable Republican candidate, a candidate who works like I’ve never seen a candidate work, and has built one of the best campaign organizations I’ve ever seen.
Malkin calls his anti-war activism unpatriotic, but it is precisely his anti-war credentials that just may win over enough liberals in this district to elect him. Northern New Mexico is dominated by Santa Fe, “the City Different,” which is as left-wing as Berkeley or Santa Monica, California. A Congressional candidate who echoes Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh on every issue doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of getting elected here. Adam Kokesh does.