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Posts Tagged ‘moderates’

During primary season, the poll workers shouldn’t ask if I am a Republican or a Democrat in Georgia.  I am a realist who knows that there are very few contested elections in our divided state.  I am going to say “I will take the Republican ballot” but have that “I’m no Republican” look on my face.  Wise guys like me simply want to be where the action is or shall I say want our votes to have some meaning.

 

Democrat voters could save that little gas money by staying home in my area because Michelle Nunn will be the U.S. Senate nominee and Jason Carter will get the governor nod.  In Albany Georgia on the other hand, voters should take the Dem ballot to put professor Aaron Johnson on the school board—he is good people and smart as a whip.

 

Dems voting in the GOP primary could a) select a Republican who the Dem would have an easier time defeating in November or b) select a Republican who would respectfully debate issues across the aisle like the current two Georgia Senators.  In other words, pick the less crazy Republican because there is a strong chance the GOP will keep that seat in Congress.

 

Most Republicans in Georgia smiled and laughed when the nutty segment of their party talked about candidate Obama, President Obama, his wife, his kids, his momma, his daddy and his birthplace.  But, the same folks are surprised that the White House isn’t quickly putting funds into the deepening of the Port of Savannah, a project that means over 200,000 jobs indirectly in the South.  I am not saying the White House is in payback mode but I appreciate Senator Chambliss, Senator Isakson, and Rep. Austin Scott for keeping the debates fiscal and having some degree of respect for the office of the presidency.  Georgia’s congressional Dems generally respected the Bushes.

 

So, I am a moderate who will be voting for the coolest cat in the U.S. Senate Republican primary and the coolest cat in the Georgia state Senate primary.  Of course, there is no Democrat running for Senate District 13 so the primary winner gets the position.

 

(The following is intended for Black voters only)  When the Republicans win a position with few votes from our community, they usually ignore said community on that To the Victor The Soils style.  (Non Black voters please rejoin the post now.)

 

All kidding aside, there is a young man from my county running for state senate and people from my community have been friendly with him since high school or before.  But, I shouldn’t public say that I am voting for him because the purists in the GOP will get ticked that their selection process is tainted whose who haven’t taken the Red Team blood oath.

 

Of the other hand, Mrs. Vivian Childs is running for congress against my old boss Rep. Sanford Bishop and I wish I lived in that district because I would welcome the opportunity to vote for a GOP primary candidate who would have a robust and healthy debate on the issues with SDB.  While SDB will likely win against either GOP candidate, Childs campaign serves as a testing ground for improving the conservative approach to new demographics (People of color).  She might lose the battle but help nation win the war against partisan ignorance.

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The only Democrat state or federal elected official who represents me is President Obama.  I don’t think Georgia is overwhelmingly Republican as much as I think Dems help people who don’t take the time to vote.  With that being said, you can understand why I am a moderate Dem who often votes in the Republican primary.

In states like Michigan, voters register as member of a party and can only vote in the primary for that party.  I view the Georgia process as members of two major parties listing their candidates and voters choosing from those candidates more so than people self-identifying as R or D.  Oh, Republicans clearly function like GOP is second only to their church but Southern Dems aren’t about half that interested party politics.

If the selection of leaders take place in the GOP primary, that’s where the action is.  Michelle Nunn will be the Dem nominee for Senate and Jason Carter will be the nom for governor.  In most places, there is nothing popping for Dems in the primary except local elections (those locals need to be non-partisan but save that fight for another day.)

I voted for Newt Gingrich in the presidential primary before voting for Obama again in the general election.  Because some GOP candidates are board line zealots, I will vote for the most reasonable one.  Also, cooler candidates from the other side are the ones I want to see in constructive debates before the general election. 

In the state Senate race in my area, I will be voting in the GOP primary for a decent guy who attended my high school and there will be no Dem in the general election. 

If I lived in Georgia’s 2nd congressional district, I would vote for Vivian Childs in the GOP primary because she has a demeanor similar to Senator Johnny Isakson, Senator Saxby Chambliss and Rep. Austin Scott—less Tea Party, more sweet Iced Tea.  A contest between Rep. Sanford Bishop and Childs would actually help to explain how they are alike rather than what divides them…what divides us.  If both political parties hate cross-party voting, that makes me want to see more of it. 

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This election year is an important opportunity to change the mindset of policymakers and citizens.  Most elections aren’t contested and seem more like coronations.  But, fighters should continue to fight the good fight because the stakes are so high.  We should use the debates and campaigns as platforms to unveil new and better approaches to old problems and situations because status quo simply isn’t working.

Status quo:  To me, status quo with candidates, political parties and policymakers involves the far Right telling everyone what they should do as you would address children and the far Left trying to help everyone with their problems after the problems occur.

Solution:  We need lawmakers  and policy makers who speak clearly and frankly to the people about the role of government and about personal choices, decisions, and consequences.  We need a fresh and different mindset about how we carry ourselves.  “Carry ourselves” is old school Black heritage; it harkens back to the days when we knew who we were and whose we were; times when Black people sought the opportunities to achieve and strive without encumbrances. Today, many of our encumbrances and obstacles are self-made.

Most politicians know that their abilities to improve our nation are limited by reality and fiscal constraints but those so-called leaders are reluctant to say that.  Presidents Kennedy, Reagan and Obama basely said the same thing: ask not what this country can do for you, ask what you can do for this country; government is the problem.  Some might be surprise that I put President Obama on that list but I think he is a “do for self” person who is hamstrung by party politics.  The post-presidential Obama will be so beneficial to the spirit of this blog post.

The good fiscal news is that my solutions are free, cheap or low-cost.  It’s all about K.S.A.  Oldheads will remember that Knowledge, Skills and Abilities requirements were once part of the federal government employment application process. But, I still think in terms of young people getting knowledge from those who went before them, developing skills to function smoothly in life and understanding their God-given abilities.  Politicians and candidates always speak to youth about soaring like eagles and bla bla bla—there is plenty of that “wind beneath my wings” talk out there.

But, it’s time for some substances…some tools….some meat.  I wrote a blog post years ago called “A and B before C and D” that asked leaders to encourage if not demand that government spend more resources and energy preventing problems and life crisis than addressing the growing numbers of people with messy situations.  To be honest, most people with troubled lives walked right into their circumstances.  Did momma, daddy, school, church, friends and the police beg them to get on the right track?

(Here is the part when a moderate Democrat admits that the conservatives are right about something.) You almost want to say forget them; they made their beds when they ignore the warning and stop signs.  But, you can’t because idly watching human suffering isn’t very Christ-like.  What about 2 Thessalonians 3:10 “For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”

U.S. Congressman and Senate candidate Jack Kingston is one of my favorite lawmakers.  I kicked it with Jack at a RNC Club one night for 15 minutes alone 20 years ago and he outlined his career-long efforts to advocate for Southeast Georgia.  It blew me away to learn that Kingston wants to consider having kids who eat free school lunch clean the school or cafeteria to pay off their tab or whatever.  Come on, Jack…that’s jacked up.  I think Jack is really thinking that parents without lunch money for their kids should be shamed into going to work…. “get off your fat behinds and provide for yours.”  What ticks off reasonable people are the fact that people who need help are sometimes the same people who are too good and too proud to flip burgers or harvest vegetables.

We are approaching this wrong.  We must find a positive way to encourage personal responsibility and achievement.  To be honest again, leaders need to speak knowledge and wisdom to help replace the home training that isn’t taking place anymore.  At the same time, that old school home training needs to take place and young people should delay starting families until they have themselves together.  The writers of this blog welcome the opportunity to talk with any campaign staffers seeking to mix our thoughts and ideas into their approaches.

And the first mindset change involves video games and hip hop music.

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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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Esquire Magazine and NBC News have produced a study that states what this blog has known for years.  Americans don’t neatly fit into two political parties and the new political center outweighs a combination of the far left liberals and far right conservatives.

They also discovered that over a million more people voted for Democrats for congress but the gerrymandering of congressional districts gives elections to the GOP.  On MSNBC’s Morning Joe today, someone said that politicians are selecting their voters (with redistricting) rather than voters selecting their politicians.  Congress’s approval rating is below 10% but 90% of incumbents get reelected.

This blog has always supported groups and candidates who are about dialog and solutions rather than those who wanted to divide people for their own personal gains.  The videos and articles relating to this new study will surprise you and are worth watching.

http://video.msnbc.msn.com/morning-joe/53283365   (skip to the 2:00 mark)

http://nbcpolitics.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/10/15/20960588-the-new-american-center-why-our-nation-isnt-as-divided-as-we-think?lite

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National and state Democrats should be watching and helping in the local elections in Sylvester, Georgia, because their hope for the future starts here.  Elections on three levels are won by securing the political center and the local mayor’s contest should be the proving grounds for the 2014 U.S. Senate race and the 2016 presidential race.

The Democratic Party of Georgia and of most southern states is struggling with the lost of rural conservative voters.  The current mayor of Sylvester has had support from a cross-section of the community in a manner that is similar to Congressman Austin Scott.  If the mayor is a Dem and if he does not win reelection, he should get a visit from the new head of the DPG, Dubose Porter.  That would be a meeting of two of the last rural White Democrats and they could plan and plot how to bring people like them back to the party.

If the mayor is GOP, he should help his fellow Republicans learn to respect the office of the president as much as Democrats respected the Bushes and President Reagan.  How many folks still can’t bring themselves to say “President Obama” or “President Clinton?”  Those “Charlton Heston Is My President” bumper stickers in the 90s were downright un-American and no, it wasn’t a NRA reference.

nra

They better get use to saying President Clinton because Hillary has a date with destiny that begins with our local elections.  One of the mayoral candidates is more conservative than me and seems more conservative than the other candidate.  But here is the kicker: it’s the Black Democrat pastor.

Oh my goodness, I went to one of his political events and it was textbook what rural southern voters have been craving for decades without the hate speak.   We are talking faith-based common sense solutions for problems with every community.  See, reasonable people know that improving the South starts with addressing issues with the worst segment of the community—let’s be honest.  We can’t ignore them because eventually they will bring down the whole community like cancer in the body.  Georgia’s governor knows we spend too much money on these jokers in failing schools then more money locking them up.

The current mayor and city council provide basic public services; they do their official jobs well.  But, this new candidate in the political arena is a pastor who isn’t just preaching to the choir.  Like me, he is familiar with the streets and regular folks trust his tough love style in the pulpit.  Does that translate to the political arena?  If it does, we should watch out because like Oprah and T.D. Jakes, the whole rural community has been waiting for some political leaders who can tell the people what they must do to improve their lives with secondary consideration for governmental involvement.

But, Pastor Terrell Carter has friends in the faith community from all over rural south Georgia.  In other words, the approach he is using to reach the politically sleeping should serve as a model for U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Nunn and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.  In areas with no Dem state and congressional leadership, the local leaders are the foundations of party structure.

So, someone with the state Dem party should be helping Carter now since he has a message that might actually appeal to more southerners.  I guess the GOP should be doing the same with the current mayor because he enjoys considerable support in my community.  You know what, these two fellows are running clean races and the one who does not win has a bright future in politics on the next level.  Come to think of it, I really couldn’t tell you which party either is in and that is a wonderful thing.

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In the local elections this fall, I know and respect all of the candidates.  But, competition is actually healthy; competition like Obama vs. Hillary that elevated both of their games.  I can’t help but think that better competition might  have compel Rep. Sanford Bishop to have been hungrier legislatively and could have lead him into the U.S. Senate or a presidential cabinet postition.

 

 

Barrack Obama was defeated in a U.S. House race by Bobby Rush, who is from Albany, Georgia.  Heaven only knows who would be president today if Obama got bogged down in the morass of the House.

 

 

Local and state elected positions are building blocks for federal positions.  Actually, there are members of the state legislature who never wanted to be in the Congress.  Being a part-time lawmaker is cool but being a full-time congressman would be a pay cut for a person balling in the private sector. i.e. state Rep. Calin Smyre of Columbus.  By building blocks I mean that congressional candidates look to members of the state house and state senate for support.  Candidates for the state houses in turn look to local officials.  Of course, presidential candidates look to elected officials on all levels.

 

 

To make it plain, Hillary Clinton 2016 starts with local elections this year.

 

 

I am ticked off by the ultra conservatives who ran moderates out of the Republican Party and who are designing laws and procedures in the state capitol to limited Americans from voting.  They seem to be functioning under the Jean-Paul Sartre/Malcolm X phrase “By any means necessary.”

 

 

Gerrymandering of state legislature and U.S. Congress lines have left large sections of the South with one party leadership. In other words, candidates can win elections with little input and support from anyone who doesn’t look like them or thinking totally like them.  My friends in the conservative movement will dare elected officials to listening to and explaining matters to the other side.  I thought that was their jobs.  To give credit where credit is due, Rep. Sanford Bishop and Rep. Jack Kingston love to talk issues with anyone in their service areas—hats off to them for that.

 

 

I want paraphrase Jesus to those whom might come up short in the coming election: Let not your heart be troubled…in my father’s house are many mansions.”  The houses I have in mind are the state house and state senate.  These are the legislative bodies where laws like “stand your ground” were passed. The place where state officials and lawmakers think it is cute to make it hard for regular people of any color to vote.

 

 

Look, I didn’t like former Democrat Congressman Jim Marshall and I gladly voted for reasonable Republican candidate Austin Scott because Marshall slamming Dems was too much.  With the same strategy in mind, I hope that some of the candidates who fall short in the local elections will consider running for the state houses next year—from either major political party.   I am sure that there are enough southern moderates to sway some primaries next year.

 

 

The most important matter is massive voter turnout.  You can vote for Dora the Explorer for all I care but vote because someone is trying to reverse your rights.  “Oh, after Obama is off the ballot…those people will go back to not voting again….right?”   Wrong.

 

 

In the future, we will have some Republican sistas in the Georgia congressional delegation.  These conservative ladies will keep legislative debate civic and tell my community what wise people already know—that the government isn’t your bank.

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The Congress today is a mess and it will take dramatic changes to fix it.  I can’t believe that the multi-year Farm Bill can’t get passed.  Are you kidding me?  When I worked on the Hill, they could almost voice vote this important bill but now the hard left and hard right are basically too hard.  Compromising moderates/centrists are nowhere to be found. Hell, compromise is a dirty word in D.C. these days.                

The Farm Bill was once a seven year act that authorized most USDA programs and operations. It’s vital because everyone needs a safe and affordable food supply.  Big commodities like wheat, corn and cotton would receive “assistance” so farmland was happy and feeding assistance programs would generate support from urban legislators.  Actually, WIC, the School Lunch/Breakfast Program, supplemental commodities for seniors and the needy, and Food Stamps helped the farmland and cities at the same time because farmers could have additional markets for their products.

With the recent Farm Bill debacle, the hardline left protested $20 billion in cuts that hardline righties wanted in Food Stamps.  Don’t get me started on all the biblical references to helping the poor or the general idea that too much assistance can make people softer…weak.

My thoughts go to the old Fram oil filter ad that said “you can pay me now or you can pay me later.”  Hungry kids can’t learn at school.  Teens looking at starving siblings might turn to drug selling and really cost the public money.  Children with poor nutrition are sickly and cost billions in health care. On the other hand, the hard right argues that people shouldn’t have kids until they can afford them.  It is fascinatingly ironic to see fat kids on Food Stamps.  I have a niece who told me that she stopped by the store to get a few items on a budget near the end of the month (bread and cold cuts)…she attended college in the ACC.  A young mother in front of her in the line was buying spendy seafood with food stamps.  So, my smart mouth kin said, “you’ll welcome” under her breath. 

Congress’s approval rating is at a record low and members seem more concerned about catering to special interest groups than conferring with colleagues about improving our nation.  The best families in America are those with limited involvement with government.  Midwestern famers with Scandinavian roots simply put the seed in ground, cultivate crops and then go to market. 

The future of my community would be brighter if we trained kids to do it without the government.  We need a new crop of politicians who would say that.  When the far right is busy cutting federal spending on poor people, they should get their friends to look at governmental funds for corporate welfare.  In some ways, we are all feeding on the government.

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Our thoughts and prayers go out to those directly or indirectly affected by Hurricane Sandy—that would be every American. (It’s four a.m. and I don’t know if that should be affected or effected but during troubled time, I don’t care.)

I am proud that President Obama and Governor Romney limited their campaigns because of the storm.  To me, the Obama of the first debate didn’t see a need to campaign much more anyway.  He did what he wanted to do for the nation and if said nation didn’t like it….peace.  He saw no need for a hard sell after giving it his all. 

At the same time, I don’t think Romney recognizes the “him” that he is presenting in order to win the election.  I think he is a moderate who ran as a far Right conservative to win the GOP primary— now, he wouldn’t mine leaning back to the middle to get over the hump.

These campaigns needed suspending and any future donation money should go to storm relief families.  Oh, and get ready for some nuts to start talking about heaven’s hand in the election by way of the storm.  Heaven only knows if that is the case; but, I will say that I have never seen an incumbent candidate more at peace with the coming results.  You could say he is thinking “let the chips fall where they may” or Obama is reading 2 Timothy 4:7 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 

I have a feeling that if giving the choice between (a) being a great disaster president over the next week yet losing the election because he didn’t make a  final push or  (b) winning the election by keeping one eye on the storm recovery and one eye on the campaign—Obama would quickly pick choice A but maybe being a great disaster president wins the election.  Yes, Romney managed the disaster at the Salt Lake City Olympics but that isn’t the same thing.  

In times like these, the leader of the free world should take a minute to hit a few gospel classics on you tube after his prayers—that “Order My Steps” song and the one about “Victory is Mine.”  What about “By and By.” 

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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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Who really represents you in congress could be a technicality?  On my street, a community activist has several “Sanford Bishop for Congress” signs in his yard.  I started to tell him that after the last redistricting, we can’t vote for Bishop and he doesn’t represent us anymore.  

But, the thought occurred to me: “your congressman” isn’t necessarily the one who has your geographic district.  For example, ultra-conservatives that live in Rep. Bishop’s 2nd congressional district of Georgia ignore his service because they want a far-right winger in office.  For southwest and middle Georgia, Rep. Bishop and conservative Rep. Austin Scott actually listen to more of the opposition than most members of congress.  While moderates appreciate Bishop’s listening to everyone, I think the far-right section of the conservative movement only wants GOP representatives and senators to hear from them—because they are the only people who are right.

Since junior high school, I have known that once elected an official was obligated to serve everyone but that is some theoretical middle school stuff.  In actuality, neither Bishop nor Scott will have a real competitive race before the next redistricting after the next census.  So, conservatives will fuss at Bishop then call one of the two GOP U.S. Senators’ offices.  As a moderate in conservative Austin Scott’s district, I can still dialog with him because the guy is about explaining his views in a healthy manner (rather than being as ugly as the far-Right.) 

Rep. Bishop still represents my community and that is fine because more people who sleep in my town work in Bishop’s district than work in our technical congressional district.  We work, shop, worship, study, eat and chill across that invisible congressional line.  Bishop and Scott have parts of Macon, Georgia and Columbus, Georgia, and you can believe that people constantly smudge- out that line in their minds. 

You might not be able to vote for the congressman or woman from the neighboring district but you can still make that campaign donation.  Also, our votes are becoming less impactful anyway.  As a moderate Democrat, my voting in the GOP primary was more important to selecting the next president than my coming vote for President Obama in this non-swing state.  Yes, I voted in the GOP primary because I wanted to ensure that even if my guy didn’t win, the winner would be the best from the other side.  In other words, Romney wasn’t crazy like some in the GOP primary field—just aloof.  

For the record, I would be undecided at this point if the GOP presidential candidate was Jon Huntsman, Condi Rice or Mitch Daniels.  I don’t vote for Bishop and Obama because they look like me.  I vote for them because they try to incorporate everyone’s opinions in the decision-making process. 

To my conservative friends, I say look to Austin Scott when you discover that you can’t be a national party without having a functional relationship with the political center.

I should call it like it “t.i.s. tis.”  I live in the mega-congressional district Georgia 2nd/8th which is represented by Rep. Bishop and Rep. Scott.

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Golf tournaments in Atlanta and Memphis sometimes have paddles that put me in the mind of campaign strategies. While marshall’s paddles usually say “Quiet Please,” our southern signs state “Hush Ya’ll.”  I love it and I think candidate Barack Obama privately told certain supporters that in 2008. 

If Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rev. Al Sharpton and Minister Louis Farrakhan were at the front of Obama supporters, that support would have fuel the loyal opposition.  Actually, President Obama spent more time trying to connect with Rep. Paul Ryan and House Republicans than listening to the Congressional Black Caucus.  The CBC likely said, “We have seen that …..brother.”

If you live by the sword, you die by the sword.  Governor Mitt Romney had to stand on the stage with a cast of characters in the GOP primary who push their agenda to the far right and who said outlandish things about non-Republicans.  Well, it is hard for Romney/Ryan to secure the political center now when they failed to denounce crazy talk about Obama’s birthplace, “I want MY country back” and those who (they feel) don’t love America. 

If Obama told the far left “Hush Ya’ll,” Romney likely wishes he could do the same with the most vocal segment of the conservative movement.  But, those activists are not hearing it; they want red meat and they want plenty of it.  That same red meat will drive folks to the polls—not only to keep Obama in, but also to keep the crazies waiting in the wings out.  Again, Romney is a Trojan horse and you know who is inside said horse–the damgum Tea Party.

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Team Obama and Team Romney need to understand that we simply refuse to have this election decided without more input and involvement from the South.  Yes, North Carolina and Florida are swing states but most of the South is being bypassed because Dixie is supposedly solid red. It seems that our donations to fund swing state campaign ads are more important that our votes—hell “haw.”

Let’s do this: keep our campaign money here in the rural areas and use that money to get out the vote (GOTV).  These two campaigns might spend two billion dollars on TV ad wars and the real winners will be the professional campaign industry.  President Obama once sat weekly in Congressional Black Caucus meetings with Georgia Congressman Sanford Bishop and I think that seeing SDB’s approach to moderate service benefited candidate Obama in 2008.  In 2010, Bishop had a formable GOP opponent and they went toe to toe in a media war; I watched cable TV the last few weeks because I was sick of slick campaign ads.  In the end, Bishop won because national conservatives and the Tea Party hit so hard that we got defensive and resorted old school GOTV methods to help the incumbent. If the Tea Party and the bitter national groups had stayed out of that election, the GOP would have taken that seat so thanks. 

Looking at that 2008 congressional race would help Obama and Romney prep for rural battles.  Clearly, the current plan is to have both official presidential campaigns be nice and above the fray while outside groups do any dirty work.  The positive dirty work would be a door to door, house to house, hood to hood effort to get everyone properly prepared to vote.  It is a low down dirty shame that some on the Right want to limited voter participation—you’ll are better than that.  We should counter by making sure that everyone knows the deadlines, rules and regulations for registration and voting.

To be honest, the GOP can never reach a point where 100% of the Black vote in the South is assumed Democrats.  If they do, their attitude and policies would be even more punitive.  Peace and blessing to brothers and sistas on the conservative side because 25% or more of Black southerners are actually conservatives but won’t join a party with a section that is dam near confederate.  The black conservative blog Booker Rising has a nice questionnaire in it’s margins and if my family members took it they would discover that they are more moderate than liberal.  Of course, the rural south GOP allows talk radio to work them into a mean frenzy so their gatherings are more salt than pepper.

We should start now and maximize our voter participation.  If we put 10% of the time and interest we put into football into getting everyone voting, we will ensure that our voice are heard.  Hey, we could combine the two; GOTV rallies in the form of old school parties after high school and college football games.   Yeah, we need to say among ourselves what the national campaigns can’t or won’t say and young  Dem conservative Keith McCants from Peanut Politics should be leading the effort.

http://www.bookerrising.net/2004/08/booker-rising-quiz-are-you-black.html

http://www.bookerrising.net/2004/08/booker-rising-quiz-are-you-black_20.html

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Today, I just came across a Black conservative I called foul-mouthed Keisha. Neither sides of the political establishment knows she is a conservative nor does Keisha know herself but her f-bomb-heavy rants represent the silent majority of Blacks who actually vote. Frustrated working people grow more aggravated when they see society and the government helping those with problems before those who did what they were supposed to do.

(Warning:  one million curse words in ten minutes…NSFW.)

Of course, I am not saying that people don’t need help because hungry kids are the worst things in the world.  But, America needs to have a discussion that starts with Keisha’s frustration. 

Georgia politico Vernon Jones recently wrote a great article about race and the two major political parties.  Jones gets it and he might be one of the leaders of what’s next because our community must remember that we have no permanent friends nor permanent enemies—just permanent interests.  If the Democratic Party because all-Black in the South, we would be putting all of our eggs in one basket.  Actually, conservative beliefs are standard with many southern Black voters; we just don’t like the ugliness of the far Right.  

http://saportareport.com/blog/2011/12/southern-white-democrats-becoming-an-endangered-species/

Cool-headed conservatives like Jon Huntsman get little play from the Right but he could clean up with moderates.  Vernon Jones ran for U.S. Senate but the Dem establishment could understand a Black conservative.   

Keisha, Vernon and I would likely agree that a new form of thinking must replace the current mindset.  Oh, boy, our unlikelyalliesproject.com needs Vernon Jones’ leadership…and Keisha if she can dial down the f-bombs.

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My thoughts today turn to Genesis 4:15, the original Cain, Herman Cain, Jon Huntsman and surprisingly Charlie Ward, Jr.  From Sunday School, we remember that Cain killed his brother Abel and we joked “what did Eve do after Abel died…she raised Cain.”  Seriously, I asked the Sunday school teacher (a high school student) “who was Cain concerned about killing him if Adam, Eve and Cain were the only people on earth and who in time did Cain marry?”

Genesis 4:15 And Jehovah said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.  And Jehovah appointed a sign for Cain, lest any finding him should smite him.

Herman Cain shouldn’t feel the wrath of the GOP if this mess about him is true.  As quiet as it is kept,  they should have vetted him better and he served his purpose.  In 1988, Senator Al Gore ran for president to increase awareness on global warming.  Herman Cain’s chief reasons for entering the presidential race were to highlight problems with the arcane tax code and anti-business governmental policies.  He did that. 

If half of the allegations about Cain are true, Reverend Cain should reread Genesis 4:13 where Cain said to God “my punishment is greater than I can bear.”  Well, the original Cain should have thought about that before he killed his brother and Herman Cain should have thought about that before he stepped onto the presidential stage.  Why do you think those other fellows chose not to run? 

I see parallels between Heisman Trophy winner Charlie Ward and Jon Huntsman.  Ward was the best college football player in the nation and a Christian athlete who was undrafted by the N.F.L.  Pro scouts didn’t think he was tall enough at quarterback to see receivers over tall linemen.  Jon Huntsman could receive half of the centrist vote if his fellow conservatives could see pass their primary season.  Charlie Ward wasn’t vengeful about his slighting as he resorted to Plan B by having a successful career in the N.B.A.

Jon Huntsman should have a similar Plan B that involves using open state primaries as mini-general elections.  He could show GOP voters that he is the Republican who Democrats find most reasonable.  Of course, red meat Republicans are vengeful at Huntsman because he was patriotic enough to accept President Obama’s request for him to serve as our nation’s ambassador to China. 

Huntsman’s plan to put it all on the line in New Hampshire would be better if he spent some time courting moderate and centrist voters in South Carolina and other southern states.  If Newt Gingrich is the GOP nominee, Huntsman’s coolness could be the perfect counterbalance.  So, maybe  Huntsman’s Plan B is the vice presidency.  I know he would be better received on southern college campuses than any other GOP candidate and he could actually get more votes for non-GOPers than GOPers–that would be wild.

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Herman Cain’s presidential campaign has created a fascinating scenario for southern voters.  Since folks are digging his simple, straight-forward style, I will break it down straight, no chaser.

Romney vs. Obama:  The White House is prepping for Romney because he is the candidate, as a former moderate, who would be most attractive to centrist voters.  His downside to conservatives is that he is a traditional Chamber of Commerce establishment guy without dirt under his nails.  

Newt Gingrich vs. Obama: Newt is as smart as President Obama and fully prepared to govern but the GOP base sees him as a nerdy professor.  I like the idea of a Georgian in the W.H. to protect our regional interests.

Rick Perry vs. Obama: While the media is insinuating that Rick isn’t ready, we must remember that he governs the planet of Texas, a state that was once a republic and a state which has the world’s 14th largest GDP.  We should never sleep on a Texan with power and funding.   

Cain vs. Obama:  First, see the Georgian comment under Newt’s section.  Georgian Cain must have been raised on Coke, peaches and peanuts like me.  Cain is a real southern conservative.  In his senate race, he was to the political right of Senator Isakson.  Southern conservatives want leaders who are just like them– leaders who shoot from the hip and cast a big shadow like John Wayne.  Herman Cain and Rick Perry fit that image.  

Summary:  10,000 Maniacs isn’t a political convention but a cool band that wrote “Candy That Everyone Wants.”  The 10K maniacs who will be at the GOP National Convention will be manic for a red meat Republican like Herman Cain when Romaine lettuce Romney would be a select the Center would find more appetizing in November.  Oh yeah, the Far Right does not care what the GOP establishment or the Center wants because they think they have the numbers. 

It’s like a kid in the candy store and parents should let a kid have all the candy he wants once then watch him get sick.  As Natalie Merchant and the 10,000 Maniacs sang, “Give ‘em want they want.”  I want a Georgian to be president if not Obama; so, I am a Democrat who will be voting for Cain or Newt in the GOP primary since Jon Huntsman will be long gone by then.

Herman Cain is like candy to my Tea Party friends and they swear they have the numbers to win the general election with him.  As southern kids say, I “double dog dare” you all to put Cain up against Obama.

Centrists and moderates in the South (whose primary vote would be otherwise wasted) should vote in the GOP Primary and give them what they want.  If Cain became president, regular folks would know that they need to get their “blank” together because it will officially be survival of the fittest. Guess what, it’s survival of the fittest NOW but the Democrat leaders are too soft to admit it.  The Piss and Vinegar conservatives might actually be healthy for the nation….like a drill sergeant.   

Democrats voting for any Republican isn’t approved by the D.N.C. but my father is dead so nobody tells me what to do (except the police.)

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Okay, I finally get the House Tea Party Caucus.  From jump street, these members stated that they were there to address the spending and that they didn’t care about being long-term members of congress.  The Progressive Caucus on the far left and the T.P. Caucus on the far right aren’t team players and love that fact—rebels, renegades, revolutionaries.

It took me awhile to realize that many members of the state legislators were balling so hard in private life that being a U.S. Congress member would be a pay cut or take them from their families too much.  The state house and senate isn’t the minor leagues to congress.  With that in mind, some ballers feel that it might be cool being a congressman for a quick minute so they run, win and roll into D.C. with a creep-type attitude.  They think they know everything but the job is complex and complicated.

Speaking of jobs, I think hard hitters on both sides have realized that congress and/or a presidential bid is a quick ticket to a lucrative gigs on T.V., radio or the speaking circuit.  My friends from the Hill joke that the average Congressional Black Caucus member makes more money as a MOC than they did before congress and than they will after congress.  Oh, other southern members and their staffs know how to “parlay” a few years at the congress into big money as K Street lobbyists or governmental affairs consultants in industries they monitored as committee members.  “Do I know the Farm Bill…hell, I wrote the darn thing.”

Senator John McCain is a guy about order.  As a POW, he had an opportunity to bounce out of captivity but didn’t out of respect for his fellow prisoners.  Recently, he gave the Tea Party Caucus his behind to kiss because protest and governing is two different things.  Speaker Tom Foley use to say that a jackass could kick down a barn but it took a carpenter to build one.  Tea Party have provided some useful protest but legislating requires compromise and negotiations.   

We should hand-out cool points to young members of congress like Rep. Tom Graves and Rep. Austin Scott of Georgia who (while really conservative) didn’t let the tide push them into the Tea Party Caucus.  Sen. Saxby Chambliss gets cool points for his work with the Gang of Six and yes, that will get him a Tea Party primary opponent.   As conservatives go, some are “less worst” than others  and this moderate still can’t understand why the Tea Party movement hates centrists like Rep. Sanford Bishop who is with conservatives a surprising percentage of the time.  McCain did what Bishop should have.

It’s one thing to be a congressional creep but relishing the status just isn’t cool.  (Okay, this post was simply an excuse to rock Radiohead on my blog beause I thought about the Tea Party Caucus when dude sang, “I don’t belong here.”)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/27/john-mccain-tea-party-_n_911189.html

Update: I just saw “the social network” and found a cover of “Creep” that use in the movie’s trailer.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2knzLgNsJG8&feature=player_embedded#at=60

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On Chuck Todd’s MSNBC show recently, he had a segment asking the question “Is this the worst congress of all-time.”  While I am not sure about all-time, it might be the worst of my adult life for the reasons discussed by former Senator John Breaux and Political Scientist Norm Ornstein.

[http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/43880181#43880181]

Congress and the White House in the past started with the center (where most Americans still reside politically) and worked on the Left and Right.  Today, policy starts on the Left and Right and goes nowhere.  I think 90% of congress were decent people when elected but they get that “gang mentality” from their political parties and it’s battle battle battle.

Who wants to go through life constantly pissed off?  Senator Breaux was an endangered species as a moderate to conservative Democrat.  The segment rightfully pointed out that there is no more overlap in congress today since centrists like Breaux exited.  In the past, there were a few southern Democrats who were more conservative than California Republicans. 

Why can’t members work together?  When did compromise become a dirty word?  I personally refuse to let anyone pit me against fellow Americans.   Some of MSNBC is slowly becoming the same as Fox News.  If the negativity fostered by media continues, a center-based, anti-party centrists movement might be in order.  

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/07/19/worst_congress_ever

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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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Congressional redistricting should embrace split counties in some situations as the logical reflection of the divisions between people.  We know the cigar-chomping leaders will make the decisions behind closed doors and spin their maps as “the best interest of all Americans.”  But, a case can be made for putting like-minded people in the same districts because some of us are weary after a lifetime of constant fighting. 

Democrats and Republicans don’t understand each other and rarely communicate peacefully.  Heaven only knows how many people in south Georgia only have friends away from work who are just like them and that’s cool in a free society.  The problem is leaders of one party might make decisions that involved the entire area with limited input or knowledge of others.  From home schooling/private school to church, the only Blacks some people know are on Tyler Perry T.V. shows.  Have mercy.

During Georgia’s redistricting hearings, the usual suspects bounced up to the microphones to declare that this county or that county shouldn’t be divided because of the tremendous amounts of love and happiness inside those county or city lines.  Child, please.  Railroad tracks and highways divide most rural southern areas—east is east and west is west and never say they meet.  Oh, the Chamber of Commerce types will have you think that all is well and bless their hearts, all is well insider their worlds. 

In southwest Georgia, I wouldn’t mind seeing all strong Democrat population pockets placed in the 2nd Congressional district.  Yes, the neighboring 3rd, 8th and 1st districts would be even more GOP and that’s fine because they are “balling” down here or as the kids say, they are like “butter” because you know they are on a roll.

In Worth and Tift counties, U.S. Highway 82 neatly divides the GOP northern section from Blue areas in the south.  Some would also argue that the Red areas of Lee County deserve placement in the conservative 8th.  While I am a cosmopolitan guy with a wide variety of friends and associates across God’s green earth, it sincerely hurt my heart to hear that so many conservatives felt the centrist Democrat congressman in the 2nd didn’t listen to them at all…zero…zilch.  Really?  I know for a fact that said congressman breaks his neck to hear from everyone and while his final votes reflect the majority of his district, he tries to hear from the other side more that 99% of the southern GOP members of Congress try to hear from the Dem side.  When Georgia’s GOP senators dialog with Democrats, instant talk of primary challengers starts.

The fact that Georgia has two GOP senators is a game-changer for me anyway.  Here is the logic: everyone has two senators and one House member representing them in Washington.  Georgia’s senators are legislatively similar and also similar to most GOP House members.  If you are a non-conservative Georgian, you should hope like crazy that you have a Democrat House member to hear your concerns.  For me, that’s representation is more important that being connected with the other half of my county. 

At the redistricting hearing in Albany, Georgia, Brad Hughes, a promising young public servant from Early County, Georgia, stated that having two members of the state house serving his area was like the best of both worlds.  Well, the same logic could apply to congress for the next ten years.  Keith MacCants at Peanut Politics asked recently on his blog who should run against Rep. Bishop in 2012 since Mike Keown has decided to seek other office. Hughes, who ran against Bishop in the past, would be better than most conservatives at bridging the political divide.  Can he win?  No.  But he can position himself to be  appointed congressman by the governor if Bishop is selected by a president to be a cabinet secretary or maybe the historic next ambassador to ag nation Cuba.  You heard it here first and remember that a GOP president also would like a cool Dem or two on his team and despite the noise from last year, Bishop is one of the best peacemakers.   

I am uniquely qualified to write about peace between parties because I am a Democrat who supports Georgia’s GOP U.S. senators but please don’t tell anyone or the guys will get primary opposition.  If conservatives want out of my 2nd congressional district, I say good riddance and I hope you have the time of your life chilling with like-minded people somewhere else.  You should “get” while the getting is good because if Keown couldn’t turn the 2nd red in 2010, it can’t be done anytime soon. Green Day had it right with Good Riddance and Bill Joe was a big Obama support in 2008.

If you ask asked the people south of Hwy. 82 down here if they want to be in a Dem congressional district for the next ten years, they would look at you like you were crazy.  Heck yes, they want into the second congressional district and heck yes, the GOP people north of the Hwy. 82 would like to have a safer conservative in the 8th district for the same period of time.

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