Posts Tagged ‘Jim Marshall’

The Democrat Party can’t be mostly Black nor should the GOP be all White.  This blog has been saying that for years.  First, I really don’t care too much for political parties because they are about power and control over good governing.  If we must have parties, the best ones look like America—they are comprised of a cross-section of peoples and groups or the leaders communicate with everyone.

The “All In With Chris Hayes” show on MSNBC is starting a new segment on race.  The promo for the segment features Georgian Julian Bond telling Hayes that Black elected officials need to give up some Black areas to neighboring districts to get White Democrats elected.  I love it because you don’t necessarily need Black politicians to serve Black folks (and a few Black Republicans might not be bad for understanding and informative purposes.)

If you take race off the table, congressional districts should be draw in a way where candidates from either major party can win—that keeps them on their toes.  The scary fact is that the GOP turned in the early 1990s into a party that often demands that its elected officials not listen to those with other points of view.  Look here, officials are paid by all taxpayers—not just the people that voted for them.  If you listen to a constant diet of vitriol from left or right zealots, you too would swear that the other side is the devil.

Let’s look that two congressional districts that makeup southwest Georgia.  For most of his time in the Georgia state house and the U.S. Congress, Sanford Bishop didn’t have a majority Black district.  He won by serving a cross section of people well.  Former Rep. Jim Marshall was one of the last southern White Democrats and his seat was important until he started slamming Obama and Speaker Pelosi to keep rural voters.  He had to go and he was replaced with a reasonable GOP candidate, Austin Scott.  Who knew that Scott would be one of the most conservative members of the House?

In theory during redistricting, members of congress don’t own districts but the General Assembly had no problem lumping more and more Blacks into Bishop’s district because that action made the three contiguous districts more and more GOP.  Bishop is a fighter and a true representative; he could represent anyone.  But, the Tea Party, Fox News and the far right talk radio has rural Georgia White twisted and negatively brainwashed so can you blame him for accepting more safety.  In southeast Georgia, Rep. Jack Kingston took all of Black Savannah to increase the GOP chances of taking Rep. John Barrow’s seat—Barrow is the last White Democrat in the U.S. House from the deep South.

Hey, Democrats would be fine if the people they helped legislatively would simply vote.  A surprisingly large number of GOP members of the state legislature have 25% or more Blacks in their districts but folks don’t vote.  The deciding factor for the elections in November might be the effectiveness of the Get Out the Voter efforts and that requires money—more cash should be put on the streets than on the airwaves.



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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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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?


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You should take one for the team.  That’s what a baseball player (like on the Bad News Bears) does when letting a pitch hit him.  In the 90s, Chelsea Clinton’s new mother-in-law did just that to help pass Bill Clinton’s budget plan by one vote.  As a congressional freshman, Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky knew the plan was good for America and that it was political suicide in her district—always try to do the right thing.

Texan J.J. Pickle voted for civil rights legislation after famously saying, “Lyndon, I can’t vote for that…that’s political suicide in Texas.”  LBJ then listed all the appropriations projects he was going to pull from Pickle’s district.  Pickle survived had a sweet suite in the Cannon House Office Building for years—his constituents could stand behind him while he sat at his desk and get a photo with the Capitol dome in the background in the window.  All politics is local at the end of the day.

On a trip back to D.C. a few years ago, I met Georgia Rep. David Scott on the corner outside Pickle’s old office.  He was nice to my friends and me.  I hate that Dr. Deborah Honeycutt and Scott are in the same congressional district because I think she could add a Black woman’s calmness to the House Republican conference and heaven knows they need it.  If given the opportunity to support less enraged Republicans, our community should take a good look. 

I had to get around to Chairman Charlie Rangel.  He was the epitome smoothness when I was a staffer.  We said he sounds like a Black Ralph Karmden from the Honeymooners.  “Norton….Norton…pal of mine.”  Today, we wonder if Rangel has any pals on Hill.  People who read his book “And I Haven’t Had A Bad Day Since” or who saw him promoting it on Cspan know he survived some of the bloodiest fighting in Korea and was hero for leading other troops out of a Chinese encirclement in freezing weather.  He should cut a deal with the House to make this situation go away and then he should gracefully retire to the Dominican Republic.  (I kicked it in Sosua, D.R. and had a fine time…muy bueno.)

Rep. Rangel should take one for the team because his minor infractions could tip the balance in November.  He was a mentor to my southwest Georgia congressman and other members of the CBC.  Let me say this in no uncertain terms: if Sanford Bishop doesn’t win in November, the CBC and the White House will gut farm programs like a fish.  Rep. Mike Espy of Mississippi and later Bishop championed these programs inside the CBC and over time members learned that farms and agricultural operations are vital to rural America’s local tax base—farms fund schools.  While the Tea Party Movement would love that seat, south Georgians should think hard before bouncing a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee. 

I think Bishop’s opponent knows that redistricting is around the corner and a strong showing in 2010 might convince his former colleagues in the statehouse to put his county in a more consevative district.  Of course, he wants to win now but the power and knowledge of SDB is important in this struggling region.  When or if the Democrats hold the House, SDB could be an appropriations subcommittee chairman—we called them cardinals.

At church yesterday, I was thinking about Abraham, Isaac and sacrifice—you know, the Ram in the brush story.  Like in a lifeboat at sea, the collective must decide who should be sacrificed so most can survive.  I am a moderate who will admit that Isakson is the Republican in the Georgia delegation with the best relationship in the Black community and Bishop is similar in our party.  Bishop has caught heat from city liberals and CBC members for supporting issues of importance to rural America.  If someone must take one for the team, lean into the pitch or be the Ram in the brush, it should be the Democrat who is the least Democrat.  That would be Rep. Jim Marshall of Macon.  This White House and the DNC should protect loyal members like David Scott, Sanford Bishop and John Barrow first. 

In 1993, a snowstorm caused the House of Representatives to have a half day and I went to the Union Station to see Schindler’s List.  My goodness, I could tell by the support from family members that a few people in the crowd were actual Holocaust survivors.  While that was one of the roughest movies of my life, one somewhat comic scene relates to this blog post.  A ruthless German officer had prisoners lined up and he shoots a man while trying to discover who stole a chicken.  A teenager step forward and reveals that he knows who the food taker is.  The teen points down at the dead man and the German believes him. 

The boy was wise enough to think that this poor fellow is already gone; let him be a sacrifice so that no one else dies over a chicken.  The Democrats aren’t crafty enough to think that if a member of the Georgia delegation must be sacrificed, it should be the one who is political gone already. 

Let me tell you what might happen: the GOP could be within a few seats of controlling the House and offer Marshall a chairmanship to switch parties.  Of course, he will take it and Democrats will come across as schmucks.  By the way: the second coolest Republican in Georgia behind Isakson is Jim Marshall’s opponent.  Is Michael Steele reading this?  Bro, this is the seat to get.  Say you want them all.  Right, and people in hell want ice water.

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In the Fall, Georgia should have a campaign visit from one or more of the Democrat Big Three: President Obama, President Bill Clinton or First Lady Michelle Obama.  Where is my ticket or can I get the hook-up.  The logical facility for this historic event would be the Macon Coliseum because Georgia is the biggest state this side of the Mississippi River and logistics can be a bear. My county, Worth County, is half the size of Rhode Island.   

Macon would mean that Georgians could drive equal distances to the venue and the congressional districts that need a little Dem star power converge in that region (the 2nd, 8th and 12th districts.)  The problem that the congressmen from the 2nd and 12th have nice relationships with the White House while Rep. Jim Marshall from Macon has chosen to go it alone. 

In the early 90s, I was worked for the Democrat congressman who represented Augusta and Athens, and a visit to the district from Energy Secretary Hazel O’Leary was on the schedule.  A reporter asked my boss if he wanted Bill Clinton to campaign with him in Georgia and the congressman said basically he would do his own campaign.  O’Leary call our office and when on about “Bill is my friend and you don’t ask me to help you and disregard my friends.” 

Secretary O’Leary is currently the president of Fisk University and is saving that historically rich Black college from the brink of closure.  Fisk alumni include W.E.B. DuBois, Nikki Giovanni, Congressman Alcee Hastings, James Weldon Johnson, Congressman John Lewis, Mrs. Alma Powell and Secretary O’Leary.  In 2005, the financial situation at Fisk was so dire that they considered selling artwork given to the school by painter Georgia O’Keeffe.  If anyone can save Fisk for future generations, O’Leary is that person. 

When the White House and the DNC consider where to dispatch the big guns, Macon should be at the top of the list.  If not, Rep. Marshall must have said “no thanks”—a move that hurts the entire Dem ticket in Georgia.  Albany State University or Fort Valley State University would host a big three event but the Georgia Dome will likely get the nod and Rep. Marshall will not think about being on that stage.  They should send Hazel O’Leary to rap with him.  “Look here…let me holler at you for a second, partner….you don’t ignore Bill nor this outstanding young couple in the White House.  Keep this up and you will find yourself by yourself.” 

Secretary Hazel O'Leary

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When Michael Steele sought the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee, he produced a glossy “Blueprint” outline for moving his party forward in a productive and positive manner.   As a Black moderate, I was hopeful that the brother would do for their team what Obama would be doing for our team.

Then, the anger started and that blueprint because a footnote.  Or did it?  In South Carolina, Republican Nikki Haley took the high ground and is on her way to joining Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal as Indian Americans in governorships.  State Rep. Tim Scott is an African-American who defeated Strom Thrumond’s son for the GOP nod for congress.  The Low County of South Carolina is evidentially Scottland. 

Georgia has two “Scottland” battles with Black Watch monitoring closely.  In military history, the Black Watch is the name of the 3rd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland.  Of course, they worn the Black and Green tartan we came to love while rocking the preppy look in the early 80s and ordering from L.L. Bean.   In Georgia’s 13th congressional district, Rep. David Scott faces a primary challenge from grassroots candidate Michael Murphy and Michael Frisbee before facing likely GOP nominee Dr. Deborah Honeycutt.  Murphy speaks about our state’s future with wisdom and concern.  Honeycutt should give Democrat leaders nightmares because she manages to go from Tea Party event to Black suburbs to the inner city without missing a beat. 

The central concern for moderates this election is finding officials who support the middle class while working with everyone for real dialog and real results.  Honeycutt could be the model for selecting African-American women with positive dispositions who firmly speak about the limited role of government rather than more programs and Band-Aids.     

 The other “Scottland” battle in Georgia pits Rep. Jim Marshall against Austin Scott.  Readers of this blog know that I questioned Marshall’s commitment to the Democrat Party and felt he should have taken the highland by attending the Democrat National Convention event that nominated Barrack Obama.  Black “watched” that occur and wondered if Dem officials were asleep on their watch.  Austin Scott is a Republican who remains conservative while connecting with young people and occasionally working across party lines.  In Georgia, the Blue Dogs have gotten us familiar with such cooperation so considering Deborah Honeycutt, Austin Scott or the GOP challenger to Rep. John Barrow seems natural. 

The other “Scottland” battle in Georgia pits Rep. Jim Marshall against Austin Scott.  Readers of this blog know that I questioned Marshall’s commitment to the Democrat Party and felt he should have taken the highland by attending the Democrat National Convention event that nominated Barrack Obama.  Black “watched” that occur and wondered if Dem officials were asleep on their watch.  Austin Scott is a Republican who remains conservative while connecting with young people and occasionally working across party lines.  In Georgia, the Blue Dogs have gotten us familiar with such cooperation so considering Deborah Honeycutt, Austin Scott or the GOP challenger to Rep. John Barrow seems natural.

The media loves the drama of the Tea Party but Colin Powell spoke of the sensible center.  If the GOP spent some time, energy and resources, Michael Steele could have candidates with a better comfort level in all communities.  It’s time to gift a few congressional seats to our GOP friends who supported Obama and the gift to the president will be a congress more like the average American.   

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Some voters are very informed this year and that is a good thing.  With the economy, foreign wars and the oil disaster, regular folks and the media are watching the White House and Congress.  The GOP has a well-earned reputation for keeping their members in line on key issues but the Democrats are starting to flex their big muscles also.  Well, alright now.

House leadership member South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn’s recent trip to Augusta, Georgia, is being analyzed. Members of congress often travel outside their districts.  For example, a member of the Ag Committee looks at farm production and research all over the nation.  Usually, they follow congressional courtesy by informing their “dear colleague” who generally joins them. 

Of course, ballers like Clyburn go everywhere as part of their duties and visiting a neighboring state is not rare.  If the spent nuclear fuel rods at the Savannah River Site go wrong, that radiation is not stopping at the GA-SC line.

One could speculate that Clyburn coming to the Augusta area without doing a fundraiser or supporting for Barrow is a sign (like a brush back pitch in baseball) that the congressman shouldn’t get too far away from his Dem roots—after that healthcare reform and several other votes.  Wild speculation could be that House leadership is openly dissing Barrow in a sly effort to help him by distancing themselves from him.   

The Augusta area real Democrats and Obama supporters have issues with Barrow’s no votes on some key national issues. Barrow might flirt with the Right but Rep. Jim Marshall is in love.  The Marshall camp must hope that voters who are more Obamacrats than Democrats don’t get “too much information.”  In the piney woods of Georgia, we say, “you got to dance with the one who brought you.”  

When I worked at the university in Albany, Georgia, I saw Rep. Bobby Rush of Illinois eating at a downtown bistro.  He was in his hometown for his father’s funeral and said that the local congressman was gracious in offering his district office if needed during this difficult time.  That’s how you do it.  Rush was a member of the Black Panthers back in the day and spoke to the Black staff organization when I was on the Hill.  He told us that power is like the might elephant and that a baby elephant is trained to walk in circles at the circus by driving a metal rod into the ground and attaching a chain.

After the elephant grows to full size, circus workers push the rod into the ground by hand because the trained elephant doesn’t realize it’s power to break free…. sometimes no chain is needed.  Regular folks don’t have the information that we are free and that political leaders work for us.  Bobby Rush is a smart guy and he was the last person to defeat Barrack Obama in an election.  If the college students who supported Obama start using social networking to sweat certain AWOL Democrats, it would be on and popping like Rush in his revolutionary youth and the Tea Party now.

Sting: Too Much Information


This post continues my little series with the Police album “Ghost in the Machine” as background.  I know that the video is from Sting without the Police and that for some strange reason dude is wearing a dress but the sista sing background is nice.  Again, Ghost Vote candidates who don’t listen.  ” Too Much Information” was the jam with my college friends.

Clyburn news story:


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Election season can be awkward because the process doesn’t always allow the flexibility for voters to express themselves.  We have primaries, party slates and candidates who make assumptions from their election results.  I voted in the Republican primary six years ago because I wanted to support innovative Senate candidate Herman Cain but I skipped most of the other candidates because I basically wasn’t feeling them. 

In 2008, my political friends could have called me a rare S.O.B. because I voted for Saxby, Obama and Bishop (B.O.S. would have had less flair.)  Centrists are constantly weighing regional interests, party loyalty and personal views when selecting candidates.  While we are months away, I have no idea what I am going to do in the Senate race between two exceptional Georgians who have both served our state well.  I do know that my party doesn’t control all of my votes and that people should follow their guts.

The other day I was thinking that I was “ghost” on the other contests in that Republican primary since I was there to “primarily” support Cain.  Since people fought some hard for the right to vote, would skipping a contest on the ballot be wrong or a gesture of “none of the above.”

In a related situation, many incumbents have no primary opposition.  In a light bulb moment, I thought not voting for an unopposed incumbent in a primary could be away of letting that candidate know that we shouldn’t be taken for granted.  Of course, the candidate still advances to the general election but he or she knows that we are weighting our options.  Those options might include “ghost” voting in November if we choose—like none of the above.  After the primary, a candidate would discover that a significant number of people who voted in other races skipped his name. 

For example, the number of new Obama voters who only voted for president is alarming; that situation was flat silly since they didn’t know the importance of other offices.  The buzz term this election season is “low information voters” and it was created to label people who get their news from one very opinionated source.  To be fair, I think people in my community who vote a straight party slate and assume that a candidate with a “D” on his jersey is 100% “down for the cause” are also “low information voters.”

For sake of full disclosure, the election of President Obama was one of the coolest events of my life; I really like the guy and hope he is successful in improving our great nation.  As quiet as it is kept, my appreciation goes out to Republicans who also voted for him and Democrat centrists will give their party’s better candidates a good and fair look this year.

In Georgia, Representative Jim Marshall has wisely balanced his membership in the Democrat Party with the conservative views of large segments of his district.  In a perfect world, Marshall would be an independent who is free to vote his mind every time but in this political world, congressmen must slide with their team more often than not.  On several key votes, Marshall was ghost for the Democrat team but low information voters don’t know it. 

Actually, we never learned if Marshall voted for Obama or McCain but his skipping the Democrat National Convention wasn’t cool with me.  In addition to formal nominating a presidential candidate, those conventions are where officials like Marshall fight to pull the control of the party platform nearer the center of America and away from the far left.  He is a smart guy and when Obama/Biden needed him, he was ghost.  I have never seen a picture of Marshall and Obama—what up with that.  But, I remember him stating in campaign ads years ago that he did this and that with President Bush. 

Voters in middle Georgia remember Marshall’s quality leadership as mayor of Macon, Georgia, but a little wake up call might be helpful to remind him that we like him but love this President.  The Democrat Party can’t control us like sleep.  Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. is considering supporting a Republican friend running for Obama’s old Senate seat. Can he do that?   

Voters in the Democrat primary should consider “ghost voting” by not automatically voting for unopposed Marshall in the primary this summer and if he skips more major votes that the White House needs November could be up in the air.  I appericate the kind statements Macon’s current mayor made about Obama during the presidential campaign; he has a bright future. (Wink) While most of our community doesn’t care for Republicans, we occasionally vote for conservatives who might add a voice of reason in their meetings; we vote for Blue Dogs we considering moderate to conservative.  Heck, President Obama put several Republicans in his cabinet but only one  Blue Dog and zero members of the Congressional Black Caucus.  If the GOP takes the Congress, the influence and views of a few reasonable Republicans could be more important to the WH than a Dem with a history of being ghost. 

In the old school, we played the Police album “Ghost In The Machine” to death and love the cut “Spirits in the Material World.”  That song had the lyric “They subjugate the meek…but it’s the rhetoric of failure.”  Today, we are subjugating ourselves by locking in with one group and not listening to valid alternatives.  I have always respected the Police because they constantly acknowledge that their music is rooted in the reggae from Jamaica.  The current base of the Georgia Democrat Party is rooted in my community and that fact should be remember when we say help the President from our party. 

Party politics often centers on political machines, those groups of people who get the vote out in large numbers.  Machines often recommend candidates but don’t monitor them once elected.  In Tifton, Georgia, two years ago, I would tell people with Obama/Biden stickers that the local Democrat congressman wasn’t really a supporter of the ticket and their mouths would drop—low information voters.  Our modern-day “Ghost In The Machine” should be ghost-voting candidates who take us for granted.  The political machines wouldn’t like that very much but everyone would be on their toes. 

To my GOP friends (all both of you), your whole party seems like a great big machine at times.  If a Democrat has listened to you on regional issues, you should ignore national groups who say he or she is not fair and attentive.  You guys have some real ghost busters in your camp.  Your machine shouldn’t tell candidates to avoid any dialog with those of different opinions. 

This ghost voting idea could really be something. 

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Georgia Rep. Jim Marshall held a town hall meeting yesterday and solidified his place as as a front-runner for governor next year.  Oh yeah, Marshall is not running for governor but his ability to please moderates and conservatives was exceptional.  The only folks who might not like Marshall’s message are liberals, national Democrats and Obama supporters.  

I have been questioning about Marshall in the past year because he never supported Obama or Clinton during the 2008 presidential campaign but after listening to him field questions for hours over the radio, I finally get him.  He is either an anachronism of the pre-1990s Democratic Party (Dixiecrats) or a bright star in the non-party American political future.  The good thing about Marshall is the fact that he represents non-Atlanta, Georgian views as well as anyone.  The bad thing about him is that he rarely works to quail the political vitriol aimed at our party and President Obama. 

Rep. Marshall did well in his fair opposition to health care reform and mentioned the bipartisan Healthy American Act that he could support.  When questioned about his vote for of the 2008 bailout, Marshall repeated his opinion that those actions were need to rescue the economy and if he could be defeat for doing what he thinks is right, defeat him and send him home.  I guess he has the same outlook about supporting Democrat initiatives in 2009 that expand the size of government or balloon the national debt.

The congressman waxed nostalgic about the good old days when most congressional districts could elect either a Democrat or Republican.  He then told the crowd that the current congressional maps create districts safe for Ds or Rs without going into details about the Voting Rights Act being the reason for redistricting.  Marshall is better suited for statewide office because the liberals’ section in the Democrat Party will want him gone over his major votes this congress; that district really is a conservative seat. 

If you read the signs, the GOP lack of opposition to Rep. Marshall could be indication that they don’t want him push into a bid for governor because he is one Democrat who might actually win (he couldn’t beat Isakson for Senate.)

Is Marshall a Dem, cloaked GOP or an undeclared Independent?  Old school R&B music fans can think of Marshall like Teena Marie—a hybrid.  Lady T didn’t look like us but everyone in the community loved the ways she “put it down” in her music.  Rep. Marshall has a D on his jersey but he evidently feels conservatism as much as anyone and too much for some Ds.  I hope Jim Marshall has Teena Marie in his Ipod or on his Blackberry because he should listened to “Out on a Limb” and “Square Biz” over and over during the coming months.  To be honest, Marshall brought that “square biz” on health care reform yesterday but some Dems wonder why he is not “out on a limb” with Rep. Barrow and Rep. Bishop in support of the White House…a Dem White House. 

We true Obama supporters are listening to Chaka Khan’s “Through the Fire.”


Healthy American Act: Summary


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Incumbents general cruise to victory in Georgia congressional politics but recently Libertarian candidates forced several elections into runoffs where two candidates duke it out without the coattails of their party’s heap in their corners.

How many Democrats voted for Rep. Jim Marshall during the Obama wave last November but could not pick him out of a lineup?  Actually, I am wrong about that because TV viewers saw the 1.3 zillion political ads he ran that never connected him to my guy Obama.  About Obama, while the president is quick to kiss and make nice we will live in this South while he is planning his presidential library on the side of an Hawaiian mountain or in a Kansas cornfield.  President Obama doesn’t have the right to tell me not to be upset that Rep. Jim Marshall never help us get Hillary or him into the White House.

I have been listening to the Libertarians and other “third” parties lately and came to realize that they are often about creating better government and deeper discussions rather than winning elections.  A non-Democrat or non-Republican candidate gets into the debates and asks the real questions about what’s what and if the people are feeling that whole truth thing a runoff is needed and all bets are off.

So Rs and Ds are forcing to make better policy and be fiscally sound now because the people will remember in November after the third party candidate constantly reminds them.  In the past, Rs and Ds could do whatever they wanted because the only other choice was other considerably different.  The Libertarian candidates I have seen in the past, who get their debates suits at Jacque C. Penne, actually thought they were going to win and it turns out they were right because their objective was to improve the accountability of officeholders.       

If a few of those Tea Party guys run for congress next year, things will be interesting for the Blue Dogs and GOPers because those cats have a double barrel shotgun of fact checking.  If you have a Blue Dog in a runoff with a decent GOP candidate because a third party candidate ran well, history has proven that the Democrat base doesn’t come back out. 

On the other hand, the GOP should be concerned about losing supporters who are discovering that our current national crisis is due in large part to Chaney, Rove and congressional Republicans leading W down the wrong path and misleading the people as they planned their cushy post-government careers with elite private sector companies and firms.  What if GOP voters start think, “Wait a second, Bush did do all of this alone..where was the congressional oversight from the Blue Dogs and the GOP.”

For sake of full disclosure, my personal problem with the establishment is that I did get my corner office….yet.  As  rapper Biggie Smalls said, “Call the crib…same number..same hood…it’s all good…and if you don’t know…now you know.”  That’s the unsettling thing about third party movements; they can’t be bought.

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Rants, raves, predictions, contradictions, finger pointing, circular firing squad, kudos. 


Remember the Music Tab at the top of the page…for your little celebration at your desk at lunch and while watching the numbers roll in tonight…of course, the Blues is there if needed.   

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Democratic Caucus Chair Rahm Emanuel

Democratic Caucus Chair Rahm Emanuel


It finally came to me that the Dem Team is much smarter than they use to be.  Don’t think that Hillary, Barrack and John Edwards did not lock the door at a Blue Dogs meeting and say “if you can’t be with us, we understand, just don’t be against us.” 


What a pretty move; like a well executed Hook and Lateral in football—a thing of beauty.  And the GOP defense got caught napping. It is hard going from “baller” status to functioning as the House and Senate minority.


The GOP ended up with John Cain, which was a blessing in disguise.  All they had to do was allow him to select Romney as a running mate and the Wall Street crisis would have sealed the deal for their team because Romney is a fixer (Salt Lake City Olympics) and a finance expert. 


But, they picked Palin (who is a bright star) to please the base but gave up on the middle. 


To the Marshall v. Goddard race in Georgia: the counter move to the Dem Pass for Marshall should have been pushing the notion that Marshall was not behind Obama to Obama supporters and that Marshall was not behind Hillary to her supporters. 


But, the RNC did Goddard a disservice by not being familiar with the mindset of all of the voters.  Georgia  Rep. Paul Broun beat Jim Whitehead by securing a few points from Black conservatives—can you believe Whitehead has a tire company with several Black managers.  I knew those guys would be appearing in an ad similar to the Obama infomercial from last night.  “Jim gave me a job after high school and I worked my way up to management….thanks for believing in me.”   Boom: 20% of the Black vote but it never happen.


I must admit that I did not follow the ball as a fan in the stands: the Dem Team cooked up this “ignore Obama and Hillary if you need” plan 22 months ago to protect the Dem control of the House. But the signs were there: the CBC would be eating Marshall up if he was really dissing Hillary and Obama. 

The whole thing must have been orchestrated by one mastermind: Congressman Rahm Emanuel.  As chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and then Democratic Caucus chair, this guy is the Vince Lombardi of politics.  He ushered his delegation mate into the White House and served up a friendly congress.  


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Prince had a song called “Style” in which he said, “Style is the face you make on a Michael Jordan dunk.”  Well, I just made that face when I realized that Obama/Biden have the support of Ron Howard, Henry Winkler and Andy Griffith—Opie, the Fonz and Sheriff Taylor. 


What optimizes Americana in the 50s and 60s more than Happy Days, and the Andy Griffith Show is synonymous with small town charm (okay, where were the Black folks.)  Do you remember the Fonz supporting Dwight Eisenhower with “I like Ike, my bike likes Ike.”  Of course, these guys are characters from T.V. shows but it says something good about “change” anyway.


Georgia Democrat Congressman Jim Marshall still does not support Obama/Biden.  I have been patiently waiting for him to come around—no October Surprise from Marshall. Obama has Senator Sam Nunn, Secretary Colin Powell and Ike’s granddaughter Republican Susan Eisenhower but no Jim Marshall. 


The October Surprise has given way to the November Empathy: let Jim Marshall lose.  His conservative voice would have been helpful to Obama or Clinton but he did not lift a finger to help. To add insult to inquiry, he still gets the benefit of thousands of new voters than the Democrats registered in his district—without his help.  As Deputy Barney Fife use to say in Mayberry, for this type behavior “nip it in the bud, nip it, nip it, nip it.”  To have loyal opposition from the Republicans is understandable, but to have the Obama White House assailed by someone the Obama supporters put in office—no.


But, don’t put it on Congressman Marshall; new and old voters need to study the whole ticket.  Herman Cain tried to tell the community “They think you are stupid.” 


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The African American community has a long history of putting all of our eggs in one basket and waking up the day after the election to broken eggs.  This blog is the net extension of our desire to provide sage political strategies at pivotal times to maximize our clout and capital.  Senator Obama keeps saying that things need to be address with a scalpel not a hatchet; Senator McCain says that we should put “country first.”  Down there in Georgia, we should put “kountry first” by making a surgical analysis of our region’s best interest.   The following points need discussion and consideration.


Let’s diversify our political portfolios to cultivate opportunities in both major parties.  Like Wall Street, we must invest in a range of enterprises so a political downturn in one sector does not leave us powerless and seeking a bailout.  Also like Wall Street, buying political stock during low periods could prove beneficial in the long run—I will take a few shares of General Motors at $4 and a few political investments in better Republican candidates with the knowledge that their national woes have not reduced their Georgia power (pun intended).  Good Cross-party Buys: Saxby Chambliss, Sanford Bishop, Paul Broun, Jack Kingston, David Scott, Rick Goddard. 


Tip: Take a loss on Jim Marshall stock. The Macon Democrat had every opportunity to boldly endorse Obama or McCain.  For some inexplicable reason, he thought he could sit out this historic presidential election.  Open message to Rep. Marshall: your job as congressman is to study the policy proposals of both parties and report to the people what will and won’t work in your opinion; you should be commenting constantly.  This weekend was the last straw.  The incendiary rhetoric on the campaign trail reached a level that might have provoked the sickest minds to contemplating something tragic.  Senator McCain dialed the rhetoric down and Congressman Lewis attempted to do the same but conservative Jim Marshall said or did nothing.  His rural and urban status could have been used for the better good but no. 


McCain Democrats, Obama Republicans, interesting times.  Why are we saying vote vote vote like there is only one contest on the ballot?  I have an idea: If you are an Obama supporter in a Republican congressional district, consider the GOP candidate if he is a decent guy just to mess with the “assumptions” about our voting patterns. If Obama wins, your area has influence with the GOP congressman because you helped him during the rough election of 2008; ask him to be fair with the new administration.  If McCain wins, you have a rare GOP congressman swayed into office by a surprising percentage of the African American vote.


Let’s not find ourselves saying “shoulda, coulda, woulda” in December.  I personally think we could look for African American opportunities to support less offensive congressmen and congresswomen in both parties.  And GOP voters in districts like Sanford Bishop’s should acknowledge his efforts to seek bipartisan cooperation.  Who would Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue select to replace Bishop if Obama picks him for his cabinet?  Imagine the “Georgia power” of Agriculture Secretary Bishop, Ranking Member of the Senate Agriculture Committee Saxby Chambliss and Secretary of State Sam Nunn.  The renewable energy provisions in the Farm Bill were design to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.  Come to think about it, McCain or Obama could make Rep. Jim Marshall Ag Secretary to show no hard feelings—what a year.

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Rep. Jim Marshall will not be at the historic Obama acceptance speech in Denver.  I want to give Marshall the benefit of the doubt because he just returned from his 15th trip to visit our troops—including middle Georgia soldiers.  But, I wondered if he asked to take the trip during this time so he could avoid being with those “liberal” Democrats in Denver.


The party welcomes the Blue Dogs and other conservatives but Marshall needs to get on the next thing smoking toward Denver or get that “Branded” treatment like Chuck Connors’ character got back in the day. 


Remember, the Democrats are looking to pickup 12 to 20 seats in the House—they could make an example of Marshall; and President Obama could use a respectful McCain-type maverick Republican in the House.


But, I learned today that Marshall is back with enough time to fly to Denver for this historic event in African-American history.  So if you put the party stuff to the side, if African Americans overwhelmingly vote for Jim Marshall shouldn’t he at least attend the Invesco Field Obama speech for the historic significance.


My friends and I have been debating the top three events in African-American history.  For me, the list goes:


1.     The Emancipation Proclamation

2.     Dr. King’s I Have A Dream Speech

3.     Obama’s Invesco Acceptance Speech


If Senator Obama were sworn in as President, that event would jump to number 2 on my list. 


When I read that Marshall was skipping, my mouth dropped open and I had a two seconds blink.  After Senator Clinton brought that fire last night and with Biden and Bill Clinton on deck, how could anyone who loves policy debate blow-off a Super delegate pass to all of this.


It wasn’t easy for Rep. Bishop and Rep. Barrow to endorse Obama from their districts. Neither for the Georgia GOP congressional delegation to get behind moderate McCain as their second or third choice.  So, why can’t Marshall decide?


I am moderate Democrat who supported Herman Cain for Senate a few years ago because his conservative voice should be heard around the African American table and his African American voice should be heard around the republican table.   Cain wrote a book titled “They Think You’re Stupid.”  Well, Marshall must think Ds in his district are stupid if they will let him skip these historic speeches without a detailed explanation. 


I could be wrong, so let’s have this discussion. 

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