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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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At the end of this rough election cycle, we realize that the 2012 cycle starts before the freshmen members of congress can be sworn into office; it’s a never-ending process.  Some blogger friends are assessing the amount of “free time” spent online and hearing the advice of friends and grumbling family about doing for free what other get paid to do.  It’s like that free milk and the cow bride advice.  

I can’t understand while some in the political arena are eager to battle in the next election rather than positioning their guy in a manner that discourages future opponents.  In Georgia congressional politics, former Senator Sam Nunn is the gold standard because he created a situation in which his service was uniquely his; the man transcended political parties.  With the fluid nature of politics these days, tradition is a thing of the past and anything can happen.  

I will tell you what I want: a political cafeteria plan where citizens can pick and choose aspects of candidates, officeholders, parties and groups without buying the whole blue plate special.  For example, my favorite budget fast food lunch is Taco Bell’s seven layer burrito (.89 cents) on top of a Burger King side salad ($1.00).  If you toss in a bag of nacho chips from the grocery, you have a tasty balanced meal that is easy on the wallet.  To me, the best burgers are from Wendy’s and the best fries are McDonalds.  The ultimate fast food meal might involve stopping at several places but you get what you want.

We should do the same with politics and policy; one party is good at several things and the other major party is better at other issues.  If you toss in the Tea Party, the Green Movement, Progressives and Libertarians, the process gets much-needed range. 

I support politicians who make every effort to have their decisions reflect the views of all area voters.  My concern with the far Right is that they often believe they are always right about everything and ignore those who disagree.  Mind you, the far right might actually be right but ignoring folks isn’t cool in a region with our troubled history.  The endangered southern Blue Dog Democrats has a well-earned reputation of serving their Democrat base yet also serving their conservative constituents as much as possible.  So, urban liberals in Blue Dog congressional districts allowed this flexibility because it is the fair sharing of elected officials. 

With half of the House Blue Dogs gone, we will see if the same courtesy is given by freshmen GOPers or will they follow tradition by ignore those who voted for the other guy.  To form “a more perfect union,” leaders should work together and reach for common ground. I, for one, want the House and Senate freshmen to study the word comity. 

Lastly, the surviving Blue Dogs need to be more vocal in the Democrat Casus or the real liberals will take over and move the party too far left for most rural Americans.

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I am moderate Democrat and understand that Blue Dogs are moderate to conservative on some level. However, the latest campaign ad from Rep. Jim Marshall might have crossed the line.  The ad slams Speaker Pelosi more than she could possible deserve. 

The same Mrs. Pelosi who engineer the Democrat takeover of the House and helped the Obama/Biden ticket.  She is from San Francisco but her leadership isn’t ultra liberal, as some would have you think.  If she is so bad, why did Rep. Marshall vote for her for speaker?  Can he ask for Democrat votes while never admitting if he voted for Obama or McCain? 

If the ad say Marshall is supported by groups that wouldn’t have anything to do with a Pelosi supporter, what will become of those who wouldn’t have anything to do with a Nancy Pelosi slammer.  How does he feel about Rep. Steny Hoyer and Rep. Jim Clyburn of Pelosi’s leadership team.

While we are fighting to support real Democrats, several Dem freshmen members of Congress recently learned that funding support for their reelection might be pulled and redirected. They must be smart with cash for the final push but those brave freshmen that supported President Obama deserve help before a veteran like Marshall who brags about “voting the same as Republican leaders 65% of the time.”   Hear that sound, it the erosion of your base.

And I approved that message.

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As quiet as it is kept, I have some close friends who are Black conservatives.  Those people have had some sleepless nights over the direction of the Republican Party.  One would think Black conservatives would be hot commodities with President Obama in the White House but that isn’t necessarily the case.

The Tea Party Movement (TPM) Republicans have pushed pass most Black conservatives and told the GOP moderates to sit in the corner.  While most conservatives agree on policy, the techniques and methods of the TPM resembles protested from our troubled past too much for some people.  Disagree, yes but don’t do it in a toxic combative manner.

In Georgia, we went from centrist Senator Sam Nunn to regular Republicans as senators without trauma or drama.  But, going from moderate Sanford Bishop to a Tea Party-type Republican would be too much.  That Tea Party candidate might fit well in a conservative district but Georgia’s 2nd is a mixture of rural and urban and includes two HBCUs.  Quick question: who around the TPM knows what a HBCU is and no it’s not an intercontinental ballistic missle..that would be ICBM.  I attended events at Albany State University’s homecoming and never saw a thing in support of Bishop’s opponent and would imagine the same was true at Fort Valley State’s homecoming last week.  With 20,000 people on “the Yard,” a second district congressional candidate should have been there gladly.  

The only time I saw TPM members at ASU was during the healthcare town hall meeting.  To be fair, we have two senators who have no problem visiting Black colleges; Isakson has a long relationship with Morehouse College and Chambliss leadership on the Senate Agriculture Committee connects him to FVSU Ag department’s research programs.  Rep. Jack Kingston maintains a friendly and functional relationship with Savannah State University.  I worked for Bishop predecessor and his post-homecoming game reception was the place to be—a tradition that Bishop continued.

Why in the world would a poor region bounce a member of the House Appropriations Committee for a TPM Republican who would be a one-termer.  The TPM wave this year is strong but the reelection Obama wave in southwest Georgia in 2012 will be even stronger.

The GOP candidate in the 2nd District might have a future in a conservative congressional district but this isn’t it—not now and not here.  In preparation for 2012, the masterminds of conservative movement really want Blue Dog congressional seats.  Let me hip you to the game: if most moderate to conservative Democrats are bounced from office in 2010, the remaining Democrat Caucus would be more liberal and easier to demonize in 2012.  Those Blue Dogs are often the voices of budgetary restraint in party meetings and the Democrats who work better with conservatives.    

My conservative friends said glowing things about the GOP moderate movement of Christie Todd Whitman and Michael Steele in the past.  Oh, they were going to create a less bitter, “stick to the fact” division of the Right that would appeal to moderates, centrists and independents.  That (blank) fell apart and most moderates were tossed out of the GOP…don’t let the doorknob hit you….

I went to hear Steele, chairman of RNC, speak recently and couldn’t help but think what could have been if they followed his blueprint for inclusion and diversity.  Steele and I talked briefly and I told him that he should have won that U.S. Senate because that was a more natural fit for him than chair of his party.  I then told him that I wouldn’t hear him speak in Albany, Georgia, because the Blue Dog Democrat in my district was a better fit.  Little did I know but the 2nd District TPM candidate rejected having Steele’s bus tour come to southwest Georgia.  They chose to have a prominent RNC member arrive on the bus the following Tuesday.  To me, that move was cold.  If you running against one of the most conservative Black members of congress, how do you turn down the Black GOP chairman who is in your area.  I am not making that racial but it is surely a sign that Steele’s moderate history rubs the TPM the wrong way.  

In south Georgia, we have grown accustom to moderate Democrats and even some Republicans but a TPM congressman representing Georgia’s 2nd District will not fly.

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I feel like Chicken Little but would perfect a little chicken—smoked with some John Boy and Billy barbeque sauce.  It’s hard for a brother to publicly admit a love for yardbird but it is time to tell the truth.  After watching a zillion campaign ads a month before the election, I wish those fellows would spend 5% of that money on some good old fashion barbeque chicken rallies so real folks can talk about the real mess we are facing.  The folks on the Right are out hustling moderates with those events this years.  

The Chicken Little thing comes from running around say that we should diversify our political portfolio by understanding moderation and some elements of conservatism.  Well, the Blue Dogs became the closest thing to Democrat conservatives and that put big Election Day targets on them.  Because political portfolios are like my nonexistent stock portfolios, we thought we should also hedge our bets my investing in some reasonable Republicans, those slightly over the political centerline.  That stock would have dropped like BP stock because the GOP got rid most of the few moderates in their ranks as they drove farther Right…scary far Right.  

Barrack Obama is Jimmy Carter and Sarah Palin is Ronald Reagan.  Like my homie Carter, Obama is the smartest guy on the planet but not smart enough to realize that our party doesn’t deserve him.  From Georgia Tech and the Naval Academy, Carter was a brainy president who campaigned telling the truth and wanted to govern the same way.  If we listened to Carter and changed our energy consumption in the 70s, our involvement in the wild Middle East could be limited to wanting peace rather than needing their oil. 

President Obama, like Carter, is too nice for the rough, sneaky world of politics.  Obama planned to help regular people and watch them show their appreciation my supporting Democrats at the polls.  Sugar, Honey, Iced Tea.  People didn’t appreciate Carter or Clinton and November 2 will be Obama’s unfortunate wake up call. 

You can’t help people who won’t help themselves.  President Obama and the congressional Democrats have done a good job during a terrible period and history will realize that fact.  Jimmy Carter has a vibe about him that seems to say, “If you would have listened to me.”

I can’t understand why the current GOP is loving on Ronald Reagan so much because everyone knows that the conservative movement has moved so far right that Reagan wouldn’t pass their purity test.  Reagan would be a Blue Dog.  But boy, ole boy, President Reagan had Hollywood style charisma; dude was a natural leader.   

Which brings me to natural leader Sarah Palin.  The GOP actual has quality presidential material sitting on the bench in Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan.  But, No…that would be too much like right.  They want Palin and she is like butter because you know she is on a roll.

Sarah Palin, who has as much business being president as I have, is using this mid-term election to take control of congress and give President Obama hell.  But checking this out: she isn’t creating an army of regular Republicans—regular Republicans wouldn’t be too much different from Blue Dogs.  Palin is taking over with the Tea Party Movement and if she were successful next month she would be the GOP candidate for the White House.  If moderates don’t vote, we are greenlighting President Palin. 

I think Reagan would reject the whole witch hunt technique of the far Right and the birthers.  When big money and power are on the table, people will resort to anything.  As President Obama often states, the TPM is primarily regular Americans concerned with the size and scope of government.  But the brains behind the movement are nasty nerds who didn’t study political science in school; they studied marketing and got really good at it.  The same ad men who design marketing plans for soap, burgers and cars also design political plans that whip people into a frenzy of hate and divide this nation.  

Before his political career, Ronald Reagan was one of the few Americans who stood up to the witchhunting red scare of  Senator Joseph McCartney.  As Gil Scott Heron sang, “When other celluloid saviors were cringing in fear from McCartneyism, Ron stood tall.” Reagan went before the congressional committee and said that as a young actor he had various friends and some had usual political affiliations.  If Reagan were alive today, what would he think about the attacks Obama took during the 2008 campaign?

Gil Scott Heron broke it down in his classic “B Movie.”  The political song was about America’s desire to have a president who rode to the rescue like John Wayne in B Movies.  “..but since John Wayne was no longer available, we settled for Ronald Reagan.” 

The first line in “B Movie” (just before the righteous bass playing started) was “And the first thing I want to say is mandate my ass.”  He went on to say, “we have been convinced that 26% of the registered voters—not 26% of American people- forms a mandate or a landslide.”

Almost thirty years later, Heron’s grasp of political numbers is still important.  How big is the Tea Party Movement.  What the hell difference does it make because the most salient statistic is this: 100% of them vote.  Do we need chicken, fried fish, and one of those kid bouncy room things to entice regular folks to vote?  If we do, we deserve the Tea Party as mean-spirited leaders of this nation.  How is this for enticement—President Palin.  Beck and Limbaugh will tell you in a minute that their jobs aren’t running the nation but generating ratings. If a cultural civic war happens as a result, ratings will be off the chart—more money. 

We listened to Gil Scott Heron vinyl and tried to understand trickle-down economics.  A rich guy needs to be richer so he can get a bigger pool and I get my money as his pool cleaner.  They get the rest of the masses with church stuff; like Democrats are godless heathens. 

Democrats help people who don’t vote or follow politics but don’t let a football game come on the box.  I came up with a little test this morning:

Ask a southern guy to name as many SEC football head coaches as possible then ask him to name the same number Supreme Court justices.  Ask him to name as many NFL starting quarterbacks then name one U.S. Senator from that player’s teams’ state. 

My point is football is important but voting and good leadership directly affects your family and your wallet.  Conservatives generally aren’t bad people but their plans for leadership center on allowing people to suffer and struggle to encourage them to prove their condition—tough love style.  Vote for those you want to govern but by all means vote. 

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5 min.Early vote

Grown folks knew what is happening was going to happen when we elected President Obama.  They said that the same people who cheered and jumped up and down would be the same people who did vote in the midterm elections. 

I can see it in the First Lady’s face; a face that looks like mine.  She is telling him, “remember when I said you can run only with the understanding that if it doesn’t work, if the nation doesn’t want or appreciate us….we walk away.”  She looks like she is thinking, “we don’t need this mess.” 

Oh, do we need them. We need her to cut loose and tough talk with regular Americans about what we can do to improve our situation with the moderation, planning, focus and deliberation that made the Robinson family successful. 

She could create a new moderation that opens the door for moderates being shown the door by the far right.  The emergence of these new moderates gives a voice to those who read Hill Harper, Bill Cosby and Joe Scarborough books. The Blue Dogs were correct all along and that’s why the crafty cats on the far Right want them gone; no moderate Democrats mean the Democrat Party is primary liberal and an easier target in 2012. 

But, first things first: vote in the midterm.  In Georgia, a 2010 vote is more important than your 2008 vote.  A very vocal and energetic segment of population has ginned up voters with a desire to take over the congress from the Democrats and even the Republicans.  Yes, the far Right section of conservative side is looking at the regular Republicans as if to say “this is how you do it” and you know what they do if you are over 40 years old.

Grown folks, we need to talk.  After we talk, we need to call, email, text, tweet or whatever whose under 30 and tell them (not ask them) to vote.  The Republicans have a few quality guys who might be president in the future—Rep. Paul Ryan and Governor Mitch Daniels come to mind.  But, this midterm election is the  next step in the Palin for president plan and her Tea Party congressional candidates will be spending the next two years graying the rest of Obama’s hair with subpoenas and impeachment efforts.

We shouldn’t hate on those who use “any means necessary” to stop an agenda they dislike because they couldn’t do it if regular folks would take 10 minutes to early vote.  By any means necessary (cookout, Sunday dinner, half-time talk at the high school football games), we should remind our community to vote.  Early vote or the Obama presidency effectively ends early–not four years but two years when he should have eight.

You might as well dust off your 70s vinyl because we are about to go back to the future next month if you we don’t vote.  I am listening to that haunting R&B flute with fond memories of the past but also clear recollections of our community being voiceless and the South being a powder keg.  By mid November, reasonable people will be saying “I want my country back”  when referring to last month.

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I caught RNC Chairman Michael Steele at two speaking events on Saturday and I couldn’t help but think what should have been.  Steele nodded in agreement when I said that his Blueprint document from his campaign for chair was the forgotten outline for their success.  In other words, they could be winning on facts, policy, and positive candidates rather than fear and loathing.

He got off the bus with the GOP candidate in Macon and smile as if to say “where did you’ll find this one.”  Austin Scott is a policy wonk and the type candidate (like Scott Brown) who centrists could take in swing districts.  Before the event started, I told someone that I was the most important person there.  The guy said wouldn’t that be the person with the news camera.  My humorous point was that I was from the center and the last month of the election is about getting our votes—not preaching to the choir by getting the same votes of the same people you had on day one. 

I came to see Michael Steele “shoot the gift” and did he delivered.  Old school rap fans know the term shoot the gift, which means using words to achieve an objective.  Like the Nas lyric “I move swift and uplift your mind, shoot the gift when I riff in rhyme..” 

Michael Steele brought the gift in Macon, Georgia, and reminded me why so many Blacks in Maryland supported him for U.S. Senate.  He represents a version of conservatism that is palatable in our community.  The guy spoke without being angry and some in the crowd seems to be hearing their views presented with sugar for the first time and grasp the concept. 

In Statesboro, Georgia, later that day, I was talking with Steele’s staff photographer in the lobby of a hotel as we watch a college football game.  Again, I said Steele really should be in the Senate and he agreed that his old friend was in his element when connecting with the people.  I have known Ray McKinney, the GOP candidate from the 12th congressional district, for years and he could win the center from a Blue Dog if he pulls blue-collar labor voters.  For example, the story was told at the event of a pallet of campaign materials arriving and the warehouse personnel looking for a forklift driver.  As a nuclear power plant worker, Ray knows equipment and jump on the forklift himself without second thought.  McKinney isn’t a country club Republican.  

We Democrats accept flexible candidates in swing districts because the other voters in the area need to have their voices heard also and policy might have elements of their concerns.  South conservatives traditionally have a “my way or the highway”  “winner take all” mentality.  I think that isn’t a healthy way to run a diverse nation and my friends and I will support GOPers like Steele, Scott and McKinney who add range to the game. 

Steele will be in my congressional district this coming week but I won’t be there.  My community likes our Blue Dog just fine–thank you very much.

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I was in a discussion this weekend about the worst-case scenarios for election night in November; the situations and outcomes that should have been debated and considered now. 

Lately, the GOP in Georgia has been taking heat in my community because African American (AA) candidates Dr. Deborah Honeycutt and Melvin Everson couldn’t make it out of their primaries; the GOP voters spoke and the message bounced from GA to DC. 

Former Governor Roy Barnes, who beat a field that included long-time Attorney General Thurbert Baker, heads the Democrat big ticket.  The Black community supported Barnes for governor over African American Baker because they thought he had the best chance of winning.  Frankly, a Black president and a Black governor at the same time just weren’t going to happen in the Deep South.

Barnes’ strategy seems to center on adding White moderates to the Dem base.  But courting the center requires running from President Obama and national Democrats.  Once again, the base gets taken for granted.  Barnes and conservative Democrat Jim  Marshall are slamming Obama’s health care reform with a risky passion but hey, what can the AA voters do since they won’t vote for the GOP candidate? The wild card in the race is Libertarian John Monds who is a Morehouse Man and Omega Psi Phi just might get enough votes to tip the election. 

The big Dem ticket includes AA candidates Michael Thurmond, U.S. Senate; Darryl Hicks, Secretary of Labor; and Georganna Sinkfield, Secretary of State.  While I think every candidate runs to win, my friends feel these candidates real value is to get out the Black vote and to help Roy Barnes secure the Governorship. 

We must read the signs…literally.  If you see a campaign yard sign for the GOP candidate for governor, you also see a cluster of other GOP signs.  The same situation is true on the Dem side in my community.  On the other side of town in areas of people who don’t look like me, you see Barnes signs and that’s it. 

In other words, the White support Barnes will receive could only be for Barnes, the White and Black congressional Blue Dogs and that’s it.  Is it every man for himself?  The Dem ticket is D.O.A. without new voters who love President Obama and we are noticing the slighting he is receiving from his team. 

That slighting seems to justify the vigorous campaign for Sanford Bishop’s seat.  Okay, let me get this right: one of the most conservative Black members of Congress gets the biggest target.  Mind you, Rep. Jim Marshall’s district was won by John McCain in 2008 and Austin Scott, the GOP candidate against Marshall, has a functional relationship with Blacks in his district and Blacks in the state legislature.  Bishop must be flattered because the GOP really wants to remove a moderate CBC member so that the CBC will be as liberal as possible as they prep for 2012.  The GOP is good at being bad. Dam good.  Marshall isn’t catching the heat that some Blue Dogs are experiencing because he remembers Polonius’ speech from Hamlet—To thy ownself be true- and he votes “no” on major Dem legislation before bragging about it back home.  They must think real Democrats won’t notice. 

The worst-case scenario would be that all of the big ticket Blacks will end up having a bad election night while Marshall and Barnes win.  If the governor’s race goes into a runoff, you can best believe my community would not come back out.  Barnes is a smart guy and has time to adjust his approach.  I am going to need President Obama himself to personal explain why we should care about Marshall. 

Another worst-case scenario would be far Right conservatives taking over the congress; people who have little involvement or past interaction with folks different than them.  On Meet the Press today, David Gregory played an old clip of Rudy Giuliani talking about the big tent that is the GOP and their numerous moderates.  When asked if that was still the case, Giuliani didn’t have much to say.  Rep. Jack Kingston under congress as a firebrand in the early 1990s but the tide as changed so much that GOP Rep. Bob Inglis of South Carolina, who lost to a Tea Party candidate, rightly points out that Kingston is now one of the only the voices of reason in South congressional politics. 

On the bright side, President Obama’s White House might be pulled toward the center after election night or maybe before.

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President Obama said, “They talk about me like a dog.”  But, who are they?  I am tired of hearing rough talk about this White House from Democrats eager to toss whomever under the bus to win reelection.  Of course, some political observers think this plan was cooked up in the House Speaker’s office, the DNC or maybe the White House itself. 

In Georgia, Rep. Jim Marshall and Governor candidate Roy Barnes aren’t mincing words about their disdain for the healthcare reform law.  No Bush or Clinton would take this from inside their party; Hillary would be on their blanks.  If the Democrats continue offending the base, they are toast.  Recent polls indicate that losing one or both Houses of Congress is a forgone conclusion so let’s have the losing ones be those who don’t understand loyalty. And if some Republicans must be elected, we should hope they aren’t the crazy ones who are hell-bent on fear and division. 

I thought a dog was man’s best friend but some of these Blue Dogs are biting the hands that feed them.  In my community, we might need to take a better look at that Que dog, Morehouse Man  and Libertarian running for governor, John Monds.  A dog can’t stop an attacking elephant or donkey but one can make them think twice and you must admire Monds’ dedication to what he believes.  

The people Democrats are trying to help are the same people who took three hours to see the movie Takers this week but they can’t take 10 minutes to early vote.  Al Gore learned this the hard way and President Obama doesn’t deserve this from his party. In my corner of Georgia, the congressional Blue Dog has earned our support.  Can you say the same about yours?

http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2010/sep/06/barnes-says-health-law-could-be-devastating-georgi/

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3.  Are some Blue Dogs sidestepping the political heat?

First, I have an original Blue Dog pin and will never sell it on Ebay.  Blue Dogs are a unique breed of moderate to conservative Democrats, but they aren’t Republicans.  If you think about it, the Democrat Party looks like America with diverse groups at the table debating issues.  President Obama has a bold policy agenda and at some point the issues are too progressive for some Blue Dogs. I was working at the Congress on the day current gubernatorial candidate Nathan Deal switched to the GOP—we liked Nathan the day before and we liked him the next day.  Deal’s departure seemed natural or organic for a person from his conservative district.

Congressmen walk a thin line between party loyalty and independence but when the GOP needs their members, those members are there.  Why can’t President Obama have that same loyalty on historic votes?  Loyal Democrats are catching “hot heat” for the healthcare reform vote while others are chilling in the shade.  The same Blue Dogs who ran campaign ads featuring their support of a GOP president will be slamming Obama and congressional Democrats on the air this fall.  These members are tossing fellow Blue Dogs under the bus.

4. Are some Republicans uncomfortable with non-GOP supporters?

Have you ever seen a candidate who doesn’t want public support?  To be honest, some Black activists took a backseat during the Obama campaign so the effort did not seem like a Black v. White situation (which it wasn’t.)  In a similar situation, some GOP candidates seem to downplay their supporters who are Democrats because their base might feel they are slipping to the left.  Say What? 

I think most candidates enjoy any sincere support, but the campaign staff often comes from the red meat selection of their party.  When the campaign event comes on the local news, I want to see a crowd that looks like Georgia.  We must highlight Georgia’s history of peaceful living as an economic development tool. Companies don’t want to bring jobs to a region if they think employees will be fight a mini Civil War in the break room.  In the era of the angry mob, GOP candidates with a range of supporters deserve respect. 

5. Are Fox News and MSNBC putting political agendas over journalism?

I love CNN because the reporting is balanced—literally.  This Georgia based operation puts pundits from the left, right and center on the stage at the same time.  Fox News and MSNBC seem to execute a political agenda that flexes the traditional rules of journalism. While I watch these channels for diversity reasons, I can’t help but think that the slant is blatantly obvious to some and not to others.  Glenn Beck was correct when he said that his job is entertainment—not running the nation.  I hope other Americans know that.

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President Obama should listen to the jam band Cameo during his Martha’s Vineyard vacation.  Of course, he must hit the Black Dog Tavern and cop a t-shirt and cap.  An old friend sent me a Black Dog hat and people in south Georgia wonder if the “Black Dog” is an African-American sub-group inside the Blue Dog Coalition.

It should be because people can’t understand how some Democrats who benefited from President Clinton and President Obama conveniently sidestep the Dem team at times.  Cameo is coming to Albany, Georgia, next month and I hope they do the slow jam “Don’t Be Lonely” in honor of President Obama since the lyrics summarize how some Dems are running from him or how the Democrat base might feel about some candidates—“Hey, long time no see.” “Don’t be lonely…you’re not the only one who feels the way you do.”  “What would you do if you were in my shoes..you insist on trying to find a way back into my heart..I was never one to take two steps back and I will never start.”  It sounds like Larry Blackmon was singing about slick candidates.

The dictionary’s definitions of “cameo” include “a brief but dramatic appearance of a prominent actor in a single scene.”  In politics, the cameo appearance of candidates in our community will be central to swaying swing elections this fall—come correct.

At black college football games, Cameo’s “Talking Out the Side of Your Neck” is another standard.  With important issues on the table, more voters are well-informed these days and candidates can’t say one thing to one group and something else to another.  Conservative Georgians in both parties have concerns about the healthcare reform law while other Georgians will back those who supported President Obama’s historic efforts. Mr. President, you shouldn’t be lonely- enjoy your vacation and come back ready. 

One day, I am going into the Black Dog Tavern and buy my own t-shirt.  If you see a brother in ATL, MIA, NYC or DC with the Black Dog logo, it is a sign of success.  I really shouldn’t rock that hat while my wealth is shorter than a midget on his knees (Ice Cube lyric.)  At the same time, candidates shouldn’t rock “Democrat” on the ballot if they can stand up for the sitting President as GOPers stood up for President George W. Bush. 

Albany State University Show Band

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I am a moderate Democrat but a young conservative brother from Atlanta who works for a South Carolina GOP member of congress sent me the short documentary “Young, Black & Republican.”  As a kid reading Black Enterprise magazine and watching Tony Brown’s Journal on PBS, I remember this pro-business, self-determination type African-American Republican.  Hell, every striding Black family could be considered conservative because “if you wait for the government to do for you, you will be waiting awhile” was the mindset.

The 2010 election season will be wild and as twisted as a mile of bad road—brace yourself for some ugliness.  The fellow in this video who loves his party’s positions but questions the tone had me saying amen to the computer. Since the best documentary series follow-up with the subjects later, we should hope that the “tone” of the Far Right doesn’t push these outstanding young people out of a major political party before Thanksgiving.  (That would be similar to moderates bailing out on the Dem Team over government spending.)

Keith with Peanut Politics blog is a young conservative Democrat who thinks the Black exodus from the GOP started in the primary and that it will kick into overdrive from the campaign rhetoric this fall. They might take my Blue Dog pin for saying this but stand your ground in the red team—be logical and cool when presenting a healthier “tone” option.

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Are things uncomfortable at home for African Americans in the South who are moderate to conservative?  Booker Rising, the premiere conservative Black political blog, has a great quiz in their margin.  The quiz would indicate that a surprising number of Black voters down here are actually moderate if not conservative.  Then, what’s the problem?

The problem could be fitting these people neatly into the two existing major political parties.  On the Left, national Democrats go a little too far with spending and the role of government—well intended but not fiscally sound.  On the Right, the methods of the Far Right segment are too much for many in my community to stomach. 

In Georgia, I can respect the efforts of Melvin Everson, Cory Ruth and Dr. Deborah Honeycutt as Black candidates in the GOP.  If Honeycutt doesn’t win the runoff, a pattern seems to be appearing because she would be the candidate best positioned to attract members of our community from strong Rep. David Scott.  Everson would have won the general election because his time at my alma mater Albany State University gave him a ready-made statewide network.  I am even concerned that other GOP candidates downplay or don’t want our support because their base view most  Blacks as liberal.

Democrat Senate candidate R.J. Hadley stomped all over Georgia—even Tea Party type events.  He is a rising star in Georgia politics.  Here’s a good question: who has more juice in the southern GOP, the Tea Party Movement or the African American community.  On Booker Rising, I read the post from Black Tea Party people with an open-mind.  But, this is Georgia and Atlanta is the best Black city on earth.  I can’t call it but thanks to the conservatives who look like me for standing by your guns while moderates are purged.  If the Blue Dogs spend time with conservatives in swing district, conservative candidate should do the same on some level…in swing districts. 

I would strongly recommend that the Red team “show the flag” in every community. While votes might be few in certain circles, elected officials in our form of government represent everyone—not just the people who vote for them.  What’s interesting is that many of the GOP candidates worked with and around various types of people in their professional backgrounds.  They get to party meetings everyone is cookie cutter of each other and fearful of any others.  Do like the Blue Dogs and insist on being the candidate you want to be.  Like R.J. Hadley and Ray McKinney, candidates should talk talk talk with anyone who will listen.

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I don’t care what anyone says; President Obama is exactly the president “candidate Obama” said he would be.  The problem is people don’t know how to listen.  He isn’t big on party politics because he didn’t spend that much time in the national arena before ascending to the top.  That’s why he is constantly looking for Republicans with whom to work.  He thinks that is natural and logical in D.C. 

Of course, the GOP leadership dares their members to seriously dialog with the White House—let them fail so the Red Team can take the presidency in 2012.  Can any good American really say “let them fail”?  “I hope Hurricane Katrina kills thousands so the Democrats can win in ’08.”  “I hope BP’s oil reaches Key West, turns and goes up the East Coast so we can get the White House back.”  How sick can someone be to think those thoughts? 

I don’t know the plans of the Democrats or Republicans but we Obamacrats still believe in changing the way Washington works.  (Okay, this is just me thinking out loud.)   First, we must remember that Obama is not Superman or the second coming.  He is a very smart person and I think he is malleable.  The president would come toward the center if it produces results and keeps decent conservatives from drifting into radical ranks on the far Right  The center is mandatory to lead in America–belive that.

The situation with Mrs. Shirley Sherrod shows what I have always known: Obama is not familiar with the plight of southern Blacks because he thankfully has not been through our troubled past.  I am glad the brother grew up around sweet people and it reflects in his considerate nature but is he mean enough to scrap like Clinton—Bill and/or Hillary.  Mrs. Sherrod’s Baker County, Georgia, is similar to Hope, Arkansas so Bill knew how nasty things could get.  Speaking of nasty, we should discuss the fact that thuggish youth of all colors are more of a domestic terror threat than the Klan and the  Taliban put together.  In the public policy arena, one must have a certain amount of nasty in them. 

How can we help our community during this election season?  We should support our traditional candidates but develop a line of communication/dialog with a select group of reasonable conservatives (wrestle them from the Far Right.)  If a candidate is lock-step with the far Right’s approach of misinformation and hate-speak, they should be defeated for pitting Americans against each other and scaring folks for political gain (the same applies to the far-Left.)  

In the 90s, our community overwhelmingly supported the Democrats. When Newt Gingrich and company took the Congress, we were toast.  Conservatives vote when the only election on the ballot is a run-off for dogcatcher but our community is fickle about hitting the polls. 

Obamacrats (Republicans, Democrats, and Independents) should dialog on understanding, policy and logic. Personally, I could trade a few anti-Obama Blue Dogs for conservatives who are about dialog with the whole community.  Senator Johnny Isakson would be the best example of such a Member of Congress and moderates should have as much influence with him as the Far Right.  Those conservatives would be essential for this White House over the next two years and the people will decide in 2012. 

President Obama is one of the smartest people in American history but he can’t know everything.  We remember governing without our community’s input and must work to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.  The African American community is very diverse and our conservative brothers and sisters believe in a limited government than in many ways makes good common sense.  They should talk with their other family about the questionable methods and techniques of the recent past because maybe we can make progress or at least peacefully function. 

I still believe in the version or incarnation of Newt Gingrich that simply stated that the limited role of the federal government was to foster an opportunity for children to grow, learn and achieve if they focus, work hard patiently and keep it clean.  If not, the life they get will be the life they made.  I can live with that. 

I can’t live with people who benefit from the Obamacrats but ignore us or worst slam the White House.  Obama is a nice guy but the rest of us grew up with these scrappy Tea Party people.  Scrapping and calling someone out is nothing new to us.

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