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The Lonely Fight Against Jim McDermott

In the course of illustrating just how difficult it is to unseat incumbents these days, Seattle PI columnist Joel Connelly throws the spotlight on Steve Beren, the Republican running against "Baghdad" Jim McDermott in Washington's 7th District:

"I'm running to improve the political climate of Seattle by restoring the two-party character," said the 52-year old Beren. He is a former Democrat and Vietnam-era anti-war activist.

"Missionary work is a good analogy," Beren added. "Having been a liberal, having been where Seattle voters are now, I can speak to them."

Seattle is not just an anti-war bastion. Many of its left activists are infected with an ideology that blames America for every problem in the world except -- maybe -- wheat rust.

These activists are McDermott's core constituency. Heads nod in unison as the anti-war congressman speaks at Town Hall: Dramamine is needed if you're not a true believer.

By contrast, Beren sees "a justice, even a nobility" to the U.S. commitment in Iraq. "It is the most important issue between me and McDermott, between Republicans and Democrats," he argued.

As futile as Beren's efforts (as well as the rest of folks challenging well entrenched incumbents around the country) may be, you still have to respect those willing to take the time and effort to get out there and participate in the democratic process.