Keith Olbermann Has A New Worst Person: Robin Hayes (R-NC)

Olbermann is never kind to extremist lunatics. It's taken him a while but he's finally gotten around to Robin "Weepy" Hayes, a kind of feudal type who represents a sprawling district that stretches from Charlotte to Fayetteville (NC-08). Apparently he had either just lost control of himself or he was trying to compete with Michele Bachmann for the GOP crazee du jour, when he introduced John McCain to an audience in North Carolina by saying "Liberals hate real Americans that work and accomplish and believe in God." Forgetting that we're in a different kind of media age, where things are easy recorded and checked, he flatly denied saying it.

The next day witnesses came forward to say they heard him. He denied it some more. Then someone released a recording and he was caught like a rat. He first claimed he didn't remember saying it and then claimed he didn't mean to say it and later claimed he never really denied it -- and blamed the whole thing on... liberal bloggers. The funny thing is, North Carolina voters have even better reasons to get rid of Robin Hayes than just his erratic grappling with Truth and Reality.

If any member of Congress personifies a willingness to sell out his constituents' economic interests for the sake of special interests, it is Robin Hayes. Few districts anywhere have been as hard hit by unfair trade policies as NC-08. And yet Hayes was the deciding vote -- twice -- on trade agreements his party was pushing that he himself said he knew was bad for North Carolina! Once he actually voted NO and then, weeping like a little girl, changed his vote to YES when Tom Delay threatened him on the floor of the House.

Hayes' opponent, Larry Kissell, is one of the best candidates running for Congress anywhere. A laid off mill worker, Larry became a social studies teacher and later came within 325 votes of ousting Hayes from Congress in 2006. This year polls say he will complete the job. Blue America has endorsed him and I'm very nervous about this race because Hayes and his corporate allies are flooding the district with negative campaign ads -- and Larry's pretty much out of money. According to Open Secrets, on September 30 Hayes still had $1,113,272 left to spend and Larry was down to $250,134. The most recent polling shows Larry at 49% and Hayes at 41% but the NRCC is blasting away with $882,000 in television smears.

Larry deserves our support -- and not just because Hayes has been such an egregious rubber stamp for the entire Bush agenda. Larry is a committed progressive who will stand up to special interests across the board -- the kind represented by Bush Republicans and the kind, just as venal, represented by corrupt Democrats like Rahm Emanuel. Emanuel, the Tom Delay doppelganger in the Democratic caucus, favors the exact same unfair trade policies that Bush and Delay were pushing. I'd LOVE to see the little twerp try to persuade Larry Kissell to change his vote and support that kind of crap! This is what Larry told me when I asked him about Hayes' latest episode:

Unfortunately this dishonesty that my opponent has continued to show this week is part of a pattern of deceit that goes all the way back to his betrayal of our district and his last minute vote switches on fast track authority for Bush and CAFTA.

There are two ways to help Larry win this seat now. One is by donating directly to his campaign via ActBlue. Even $5 and $10 donations help. The other is to place your own ad buy in the Charlotte cable market through Just pick which ad you want to run, which network you want to run it on and what time of the day. An ad on MSNBC in the late afternoon, for example, costs $60, while a late night ad on MTV or the SciFi channel costs $31; ESPN 2 charges $60 for a spot late night or early morning. It's fun. Meanwhile, watch Keith giving Hayes his due: