THE BLOG
08/22/2006 08:54 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

When Iraq Vets Collide

Tonight on Hardball we got a rare glimpse of what a debate between a Republican Iraq War Vet and a Democratic Iraq War Vet looks like. Or should I say the Republican Iraq War Vet, at least as far as candidates for Congress go.

It was Republican Van Taylor, who's running against Democrat Chet Edwards in TX-17. He's one of a tiny number of challengers the NRCC says they're supporting, and they're already going low against Edwards -- you'll hear Taylor accuse Edwards of not "supporting the troops" even though Edwards is beloved by the military community for work on national veterans issues and his work with the local vets community on things like PTSD. It's a big part of why he survived Tom DeLay's redistricting garbage.

Anyway, you'll see in this clip why so many Iraq vets jumped into politics as Democrats this time around while Van Taylor is the lone Iraq vet running for Congress as a Republican. The contrast between Taylor's regurgitated Ken Mehlman talking points and Paul Hackett's heartfelt, passionate outrage is just shocking. And you'll see the same kind of sincerity from Tammy Duckworth and Patrick Murphy on our side. If you've never seen Paul Hackett before, you're in for a real treat and will soon realize why he instantaneously gained so much respect in the blogosphere.

Anyway, the video of the debate is great, check it out.