The Fightin' DemsIssue: Jan-Feb 2007
"We're going to take that Hill", vowed Richard Klass, executive director of the Veterans' Alliance for Security and Democracy (VETPAC) on a late September morning at Washington's Phoenix Park Hotel. Klass was speaking before as many as one hundred reporters and photographers as he introduced Congressman Jack Murtha (D-PA), the outspoken critic of the Iraq War and ex-Marine, who in turn introduced a dozen of the lesser-known of this year's 57 "Fighting Dem" military-vet candidates. If "we" is understood to mean Democrats generally, Klass was prescient: Scores of aggressive Democratic campaigns around the country this year coupled with public unrest over Iraq and displeasure with Republican-dominated Washington to flip both houses of Congress in what even President Bush called a "thumpin'" of the Republican Party. The key issue, of course, was Iraq.