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Posts Tagged ‘blue dogs’

A conservative named Vivian Childs is running for the U.S. House seat held by Rep. Sanford D. Bishop and I say great.  Her candidacy seems like that ant with the rubber tree plant but sometimes it’s about the journey.

The people of Georgia have received over three decades of quality service from SDB and I, for one, wish he would have been selfish and left a few years to bring his golf score down and his personal wealth up.. think 2 Timothy 4:7  “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

Bishop and the Blue Dogs are important targets to the GOP because without them the Dem Team would be as liberal as the far Right pretends they current are. If their silly behinds listened to me, they would have push for SDB to be Agriculture Secretary to get the seat but they wanted to play hardball.

Mrs. Childs’ candidacy seems like the type candidacies that Michael Steele wanted to create to gently approach certain areas but the Tea Party’s brassiness happened to that.  Oh, candidate Obama was so fortunate to be in the Congressional Black Caucus with Bishop because he had to model some of his moderation after him.

Childs and her family seem like wonderful, successful people and her conservatism is rooted in the Black communities of our past—when you knew who you were and whose you were.  In those days, shame still existed and you admired how someone “carried themselves.”

Here is the real talk: we need some candidates who spend their time listening to and talking with everyone rather than preaching to the choir; candidates who put a positive spin on the limited role of government and fiscal realities.  A Bishop vs. Childs race would have a healthy impact on our state and introduce conservative ideals to a new segment of the population.  Some people would discover that they are actually more conservative than liberal and that Bishop was moderate to conservative all along.

I am sure the other candidate in the GOP primary in the 2nd District is a decent fellow but Childs opens doors of possibilities than would normally be closed. Ultimately, giving the people choices and options is so beneficial.  The first Black GOP member of Congress from Georgia since reconstruction might very well be someone who was introduced to a different way of governing by VC’s running for congress….plant the seed.

On a sly note, Bishop having a solid opponent forces him to fully engage his campaign apparatus and that move helps the Dem ticket statewide.  Wink

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There is more than one way to skin a cat and the Republicans have recently taken the worst ways to address outreach.  First, their outreach reeks because policy, techniques and branding is being driven by their most vocal and most angry.

For years, I have been telling conservative friends that 20% of the Black vote was prime for the taking and that those 20% were actually the head of the snake (the political, economic, faith and social leadership of my community.)  Without the deep thinking 20% of the body, the rest would be aimless. But, talk radio and the Fox News types get paid not for creating good policy and solving problems but for keeping up drama and mess.  I am starting to believe that MSNBC does the same thing on the left.

If the GOP conservatives listened to me years ago, they would have allowed a moderate, centrist segment of their team– a segment that would outnumber the far right and would counterbalance the centrists on the Dem Team.  I wanted to call them Red Dogs like the Dems’ Blue Dogs.  Basically, the Red Dogs would be the traditional conservatives who deliberate and compromise with others.

When I staffed on the Hill, Rep. Paul Ryan staffed and was a waiter a Tortilla Coast.  The guy is old school like me and we remember the days when lawmakers knew each other; when state delegations had a weekly meal together and the dean of the delegation was respected by both sides of the aisle.

During this holiday season, there are minorities and women sitting down with family and discussing the possibility of running for office as a member of the GOP.  Of course, many conservatives don’t realize that people other than those who look like them are also moderate to conservative.

You don’t need to skin a black cat because old superstitions are silly.  Cats are cats and if the GOP spent a little more time getting to know Blakc cats and less time being ticked off, they would have a new segment of their team.  That segment would be just right to approach my community about the sensibleness of personal responsibility and life choices.

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Local elections have statewide and national consequences because they echo the word on the street to the statehouse and the White House.  To me, we are experiencing a disconnect in Georgia because the conservatives who run state government do so with little input from rural Blacks.  Yea, Atlanta and the other cities have urban legislators run down the urban agenda but who speaks for the relatively moderate to conservative rural Blacks who conservative lawmakers are forced to ignore by that far Right (Tea Party) segment of the Republican Party.

 

It’s good seeing young Black conservative Democrat (not an oxymoron) blogger Keith McCants running for local office in middle Georgia.  Folks like Keith because he is down to earth and to me improving our community will start when leaders like him explain the limit role of government in a compassionate way to the people.  His blog Peanut Politics is a must read and Keith has the right ideas for bringing some of the rural South back to the Democrat Party.  Hell, southern moderates should come back since they have been ceremoniously kicked out of the GOP by the Tea Party/”purity test” crowd.  For those who don’t know the GOP has a recent history of creating a list of 10 or so questions for their faithful and if you aren’t with them on a few, don’t let the door knob hit you….

 

http://www.peanutpolitics-keith.blogspot.com/

 

Don’t sleep, Saxby is “retiring” from the U.S. Senate because he doesn’t like the constant threats for dialoging with Obama and the Democrats.  The next target is on Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.  I am convinced that former Senator Bob Dole was right when he said that President Ronald Reagan and he wouldn’t pass the current GOP purity test.

 

What do good people do when crazy people in their organization start going off?  They get up and leave because sitting quietly is condoning the ugliness.  Keith has bunch of old political pictures and posters on his blog and I give him a hard time because we know that every pre-Jimmy Carter elected official in our state was basically a segregationist.

 

Today, we have the new segregationists who divide the South based on political parties.  But, I am puzzled by Democrats in general and Black Dems in particular who don’t question local officials about the outlandish spitefulness coming from their supporters on the other side of town.  See, a servant can’t have two masters.

 

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Edmund Burke

While looking for that quote, I came across someone’s Bible references to it.   http://www.padfield.com/1997/goodmen.html

 

Voters should ask candidates for local offices the following questions during the campaign season.

  1. When they said Barrack Obama was born in Kenya, what did you think and what did you say?
  2. When they falsely label Rep. Sanford Bishop as a crook, what did you say or think since you have dealt with him for years and know him to be good people?
  3. Do you think Georgia’s version of Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” laws should be repealed?  Was George Zimmerman profiling Trayvon Martin?
  4. Is “Stop and Frisk” a good police procedure?
  5. Is Michelle Obama a great role model?
  6. Were you against your area receiving stimulus money from the federal government?
  7. Are you bold enough to tell citizens that the government isn’t their daddy?
  8. Do you support the Tea Party movement?  Do you support the Occupy movement?

Wow, writing those questions was fun in a naughty way because some issues involve one level of government primarily.  But, I get a little squeamish when hanging with people from the far left or far right.  I love being cool with people from the entire political spectrum because dialog and communication are vital.

 

You know what, we are talking about a double standard because moderate Democrats support conservative lawmakers regarding important regional issues but conservative voters rarely give love to Blue Dog Democrats.  Be like that and maybe your Dems friends will be ghost when you need them on the legislative floor.

 

In my local elections, we have some quality candidates but I need to know what they did or didn’t when those around them privately were saying horrible things.  That s— isn’t cool because people had gotten so pumped up that they were talking about hurting the president’s family.  You never never go there…I don’t care who the president is or was.  Yea, ugliness echoes and good people can’t sit idly by.

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Moderates need to use the coming Georgia U.S. Senate race as an opportunity to flex our “king making, scale tipping” muscles. Sen. Saxby Chambliss is an old school pro-business Republican rather than a new school pro-crazy drama starter. The far Right wants him gone and they want him to take any member of congress who talks with the other side with him.  No.

The extreme radical element of the GOP shouldn’t run Georgia or America. They are small in numbers yet vocal and crafty. Well, the reasonable center is huge and somewhat homeless regarding political parties. Since Georgia is a red state because the Democratic Party is poorly organized, Saxby’s replacement will likely be decided in a July primary rather than a November general election. Rep. Sanford Bishop, Rep. John Barrow or Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed could beat a Tea Party candidate but that is too risky.

Moderate Democrats must consider the possibility of swaying the Republican primary to a Saxby-like conservative. This move keeps a zealot out Georgia’s Senate office. Personally, I would pick Rep. Austin Scott or Rep. Jack Kingston because I want one of the two Senators to come from south Georgia and have a history of serving agriculture and military areas.

Since rural Georgia Democrats are as conservative as California Republicans, we can dig the whole no labels approach to governing—voting for a less bitter conservative would be easy.  We need solutions; we need peaceful dialog.  We need someone who will join with the Blue Dogs, Jon Huntsman, Barrack Obama, Condi Rice, Jeb Bush and Colin Powell to get about the business of fixing what is broken with our government and our mindsets.

Furthermore, candidacies for this Senate seat will likely open up U.S. House seats and I want to see some variety in the Georgia congressional delegation. A minority or woman in the Georgia congressional delegation from the GOP side would be peachy keen because someone should be at the table to say “enough with the silliness…let’s do the people’s work and govern.”

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President Obama’s presidency would have been better if he had a congress interested in dialog and compromise.  Without doubt, we are looking at one of the worst congresses in modern history.  Obama plan to have a healthy line of communication with the House and Senate and central to that plan was talks with conservatives like current GOP VP selection Paul Ryan.

The ugly part of the conservative movement wouldn’t let Ryan or any GOP members of Congress debate issues and seek solutions with the president.  Oh yeah, the ugly part has grown in the body of that party like a cancer.  As a party, Democrats are weak in the South but well-intended while Republicans are strong but hell-bent on running the nation without input from anyone outside their shrinking tent.

If they had listened to former RNC chairman Michael Steele, things would be different.  Steele and reasonable conservatives (who were moderate in their temperament) wanted to court those of us in the political center.  However, the Tea Party’s nature took them in another direction.  Understand, all conservatives share the same fiscal and size of government views but temperament is the key. 

The temperament of most southern conservatives will not allow them to select congressional candidates in primaries who will appeal to moderates in the general election.  Representative John Barrow of Augusta, Georgia,  is the last White Democrat in the House of Representatives from the deep South.  The GOP has been after him for years and to be honest, a moderate conservative Black candidate would have taken that seat.  Oh, I forgot that there are no GOP moderates since the Tea Party purge their ranks.

Rep. John Barrow listening

In the 12th congressional district primary, businessman Rick Allen lost to state Rep. Lee Anderson.  Allen has civic and social connections with non-Republicans in the Augusta area but that meant nothing to primary voters.  They wanted someone just like them and they got a candidate who refuses to debate Harvard-educated Barrow.   Democrats in Georgia that are looking for some action should get involved in the Barrow campaign because we can’t become a one race party in the South; we would be bogus.  Okay, I tossed in “bogus” because I was listened to MC Hammer yesterday and thought politics when he said “your party is bogus..yo, it ain’t legit” on the rap classic “Let’s Get It Started.”  Hammer could have been talking about Romney and the post Michael Steele RNC with their 47% nonsense.  

Let’s Get It Started had a sample from Queen’s “Another One Bites The Dust” and that is what is going to happen to GOP congressional candidates until they develop a moderate wing.  Hammer can be in a blog post about Augusta politics because brother James Brown is from that area and Hammer clearly bites from the Godfather of Soul’s beats and dance moves.  When America was on fire after the MLK assassination, Brown cooled things down.

We should get “Get Out The Vote” started for Barrow and Obama in that part of Georgia.  Barrow and the Blue Dogs bring moderate to conservative views to the Democrat table.

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Political district lines on a map don’t reflect the reality of how people live.  Georgia Rep. Jack Kingston supports the naval mission in Jacksonville, Florida, because some employees at the base live in southeast Georgia.  The same statement can be made about Augusta, Savannah and Columbus.  suburbanites often work, eat, shop, heal, pray and play in other congressional districts. 

Georgia’s cities serve as regional hubs and elected officials know they should work together.  Because I grew up Black in the South, the scariest thing to me are groups who want decisions made with little or no input from all involved segments of the community.  It’s not rocket science: officials should maintain a line of communication and/or grow a network with everyone.  From Rep. Sanford Bishop meeting with sons of the confederacy to Rep. Jack Kingston explaining fiscal conservatism at Savannah State University, decent people respect listeners and reasonable folks understand that others live in the area.

During the last election season, naïve activists constantly complained that swing district congressmen didn’t do what the activists commanded.  Hello.  What about the majority (albeit thin) that support what the members of congress are doing.  We are in the redistricting process in Georgia and there is a strong possibility that my county will move in a GOP district.  Will my head explode? No. The Blue Dog Democrats of today are similar, in my opinion, to the traditional GOP establishment of old.  Their moderation prepped us for certain conservative elements. 

Rep. Austin Scott defeated Blue Dog Jim Marshall but Marshall was so conservative that some Dems can’t tell the difference.  If a congressman stays away from the craziest parts of his side and takes care of regional interests, I am fine.  Black moderates should be breaking bread with Black conservatives as we team up to explain to the community that it isn’t about elected officials.  It’s mostly about personal choices, decisions and consequences.  

The worst case scenario would be my community being 100% blue and the next election being a red landside.  In big cities, we have real liberals but rural Blacks are moderate to conservative.  If a Republican wins an election, you better hope he or she isn’t far, far right.  Someone should light a fire under groups Democrats help.  Al Gore knows that Democrats help people who don’t bother voting.  

To diversify our political portfolio, we should grow a new hybrid southern Black conservative. We need a bro with a goatee who was radical in college and knows all the Public Enemy lyrics or a sista with a natural who knows that we are going cuturally backwards.  Oh snap, the new southern Black conservatism could simply be based on people who remember how we once “carried ourselves” and that community once meant something.  It’s a shame that smart –sses on the right demonized Black nationalism because those cats’ primary thoughts was self-reliance and don’t depend on the government.    

Gladys and the Pips said we got to use our imagination to “keep on keeping on.”  Dominique Wilkins played well with the Georgia Bulldogs but the year after his departure for the N.B.A., the Dawgs went to the Final Four.  They had spent all of their effort trying to get Wilkins the ball.  UGA made the “best of a bad situation” and rural moderates should do the same.  Hell, rural Blacks might have more status in districts without big cities and those GOP congressmen should know that a third of the Black electorate could mean they never face opposition and won’t need to dial for dollars–think about it.  If they need a model, they can look at Rep. Bishop and Rep. Kingston.

The Pips said, “You’re too strong not to keep on keeping on.”

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Happy New Year bla bla bla.  In politics and policy, we need a Clear New Year.  As Nixon said, I want things to be “perfectly clear.”  2010 was a straight up mess because the Tea Party was running things on the right with small actual numbers but a big swagger.  On the left nationally, liberals were eager to get issues missed during the Bush years but with little regard for the cost or national debt (at times, it remotely resembled elements of socialism.)  We in the large political center stood idly by like a bunch of busters. 

America is a big nation and fitting all voters into two political parties is awkward; the party that flexs to accommodate the moderates should be in better shape.  If you noticed, I wrote “voters” because I still can’t believe all the apathetic non-voters who are impacted most by public policy and who are the biggest drain on the governmental wallet.

In 2010, southern Democrats broke their necks running from the national DNC that is controlled by city liberals.  However, they had no place to go because the Tea Party Movement was demanding red meat and blood oaths from anyone coming to the conservative side.   One thing is clear: the Right’s main mission during the next two years will be getting a GOP president in 2012.  President Obama can do nothing to please them and if he passed 95% of what they wanted, they would still want a GOP president behind the other 5%.  With that logic, real Democrats are correct in pushing the White House to do what they were elected to do and let the chips fall where they may—let a Democrat be a Democrat.

Southern Democrats are often similar on the political spectrum to California moderate Republicans.  I like the new group Nolabels.org that is about the sensible center from both parties working together for good policy.  Clearly, the angry folks on the far left and far right don’t want this cooperation because their mindsets have been shaped by media demonization—the goal of those in that brand of media is getting money rather than a better American government.  

If the Democratic Party in the South wants to survive outside urban areas, the surviving Blue Dogs must be proactive rather than reactive.  They must push for spending reductions and better budgets.  Here’s the new twist: rather than doing a cash grab for the regular folks back home, moderates need to explain the debt national clearly and the useful things every American must do to carry themselves in a manner that helps produce new jobs, growth the economy and get us out of this fiscal mess. 

Georgia has several great blogs with the latest information on politics; I read those blogs daily. In 2011, this blog will be about our community having a clearer understand of the policy situation, fostering a functional relationship with all policymakers, and pushing personal decision-making that reduces government involvement in our wellbeing and prosperity.

Brace yourself for this one: Thank you Tea Party Movement.  The TPM’s success is the blueprint for folks acting on what they feel and think.  While Dick Armey and corporate dollars were there, this movement was largely driven by pissed-off regular folks.  I know some other pissed-off regular folks—okay, people who are potentially pissed off are the majority of Americans in the center who don’t like bickering, name calling and pitting Americans against Americans.  The Nolabels crowd isn’t the counter-balance to the TPM or Moveon.org but the grassroots design techniques of the TPM are useful. 

Candidate Obama correctly stated that “we are who we have been waiting for.”  Politicians and those who stay paid in the political game need to know that regular folks have had it with their silliness.  From education to crime to job training to family planning to faith to good old common sense, we must have a clear and frank discussion about choices, decisions and consequences.

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