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Posts Tagged ‘blue dogs’

sod1

If politics and public policy are like grass, the Democratic Party is all about AstroTurf.  Yes, the fake grass design for the inside of ballparks is a fitting comparison for the fake grassroots of the Blue Team and one of the primary reasons we have been hammered in elections for the last 20 years.

20 years ago, most rural whites in the Dem Party decided to bounce for the GOP. The remaining Dems lived on the two coasts and in big cities.   To me, a winning national political party has a big tent that is tolerant of diverse views.  The current GOP seeks to be a ruling class that makes decisions for everyone without everyone being at the decision-making table.  The Democrats aren’t much better because they make elitist policy directives in headquarters then spend the election season trying to convince their so-called base to fall in line.

For what it is worth, marketing expert Donald Trump listened to the people and told them he would give them what they wanted—if he can or will is another question.  At the end of the day, it’s about jobs, the economy and federal spending.

Grass is like the community in so many ways.  If you think about it, grass is one of the most common organisms on earth.  In addition to being ornamental, grass secures the top soil.  My brother and I cut an acre of lawn grass with a push mower as kids for years.  Today, I have to convince the lawn care professional with his 5K zero-turn riding mower that grass should be 3 inches.  Long grass has deep roots that stores water and blades that protect roots from the southern sun.

Southern Democrats aren’t cultivating deep, strong roots.  Strong grass will fight weeds by consuming nutrients first.  Oh, you shouldn’t think your lawn will be nice because you have a fence.  Weeds from your neighbors’ yard quickly blow into yours.  In other words, we build strong communities together; trash down the street will be your problem if not addressed.

In south Georgia, lawns are plagued by a tall “V” weed with black seeds at the top.  Newsflash: that’s not a weed.  It’s a grass from Brazil called Bahiagrass that farmers brought to the U.S. for cattle feed.  You must know Bahia to fight it and the Southern Democrats must know the community to improve it.  As the Bible says, you reap what you sow.

What shall we do?  My community should get back to basics; we must reembrace the self-determination of the 1950s.  At the end of the day, the government can’t save you from you.  In the age of Trump, we should cultivate the community with positive personal actions rather than waiting for the government (local, state or federal) to correct problems of our creation.

We should spend the next year focusing on listening to the people and having frank discussions about the limited role of government.  Oh, the liberal elites in the Democratic Party don’t want to hear that.  The DNC and those who wanted a different president-elect spent over a billion dollars and got waxed.  Van Jones pointed out that most of that money went to rich Ivy League types for media buys and T.V. ads while regular folks were expected to do grassroots for pennies or for free.

The Democrats should be cultivating sod right now.  Sod is the rolled top level of grass grown on specialist farms.  It’s often genetically engineered for that region to be pest resistant and to spread eventually.  If you paid for sod and let your grass grow tall and deep, you spent less money on grass cutting.  While strong grass might need cutting ever three weeks, weeds will popup overnight.  If you fall on Astroturf, you will get burnt because it’s not natural…not organic.  You can ask Hillary Clinton about that.  That Donald Trump had a message tailor-made for every area and his people ate it up.  You can’t design southern Democrat grassroots if you grew up in the city—the concrete jungle.   You must ask the people who they are and what they need…if you have a solution, tell them.  If you don’t have a solution, tell them.  If their actions are the root of their problems, tell them…carefully.

My organic friends and I have a southern grassroots sod crafted for over a decade and every two years the Dem elite say “no thanks…we got this.”  No, what you have is a trash-filled yard over-taken by weeds.  They put astro-turf over that mess every other November and wonder why that doesn’t work.  They shouldn’t be surprised if ignored rural Moderates start looking elsewhere.

Our sod (less government solutions) can be found at  https://bestinterestsinitiative.wordpress.com/long-term-bii/

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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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