Posts Tagged ‘Michael Steele’


former U.S. Rep. Allen West

NBC’s The Blacklist was sneaky to have doctored photos of former GOP Rep. Allen West and current Senator Ted Cruz on this week’s episode.  They were implying that an international spy/criminal was involved with them.  That was dirty.


If you never heard of  West, you need to google the brother with a quickness because he will be in the Albany, Georgia area tonight and in Columbus on February, 28.  Yes, the guy who seems to dislike President Obama more than anyone has, is and will always be my from Georgia Black brother and nobody tells me not to talk with other Blacks in the political/policy arena.  (Cue Willie Hutch’s “Brothers Gonna Work It Work” from the 1972 film The Mack.)

West’s current job seems to be slamming everything Obama to the delight of the far Right.  Goldie in the Mack told his brother (Walter Mosley/T.C. from Magnum P.I.) that no one was closing him out of his business and the far Right seem to feel the same way about their grind.


Some Blacks will listen to the far left Dems say that West, Herman Cain, Condi Rice, Michael Steele, Colin Powell, JC Watts and all Black Republicans should be avoided—putting them on a blacklist.  That’s not going to happen and I think that brother Clarence Thomas is the most misunderstood Georgia brother of all time—read my blog post on Thomas’s book about his grandfather before you open your Black mouth.  (That’s how we talk down here…no harm.)


I bet West gets a packed house in south Georgia this week.   When I went to hear then RNC chair Michael Steele at congressional candidate Austin Scott’s headquarters, the GOP crowd was thin.  Oh, they didn’t want to hear that smooth, less rage style.  And I will always remember that the GOP bus didn’t come to Albany until someone other than Steele was on it.  Rep. Sanford Bishop barely defeated his GOP opponent that year and heaven knows that Steele might have tipped the balance.  The opponent was smart but he didn’t dare risk upsetting the Tea Party because obviously most Blacks are naturally liberal—including the RNC chair.  Geez

There shouldn’t been a blacklist when anyone is trying to solve the problems facing this state and this nation.  Allen West needs to be at the table and sitting between Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Rev. Al Sharpton.   I have always believed that Team Obama sent a “stay away for now” message to Sharpton, Minster Farrakhan and Rev. Jesse Jackson.

Well it’s time for everyone to come together because it seems like open season on our youth. A smart sista tried to tell me last week (in her West Indian accent) that we shouldn’t teach our youth to adjust to those with a Stand Your Ground mentality.  Well, I have been a Black male for fifty years and being right on the side of a 7-11 store sometimes means that wrong people will end you.

President Obama launches an effort today called “My Brother’s Keeper” aimed at helping young men get the skills to attend college and get good jobs.  Who can be against that?

I hope GOP primary voters in Georgia’s second congressional district will select Vivian Childs as their nominee because she and Rep. Sanford Bishop would have a healthy and helpful six months dialog about building bridges.  I am sure we would learned that most southern Blacks really want the same things.  It’s going to be the summer and fall of Changing Mindsets and everyone should be there.  Helen Blocker Adams, mayoral candidate in Augusta, always promotes having everyone together; get to know every street, corner, country club, church and teen center.  Helen is wants right about our lovely state.


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Candidate Romney should have listened to the song “Pop Life” by Prince before making his 47% statement last spring.  He could have spent two days in south Georgia listening to Rep. Austin Scott and two more days learning from me on the front porch—but more about that later.

“What’s the matter with your life…is proverty bringing you down.”  Prince is actually a rather conservative music star and his patriotism and logic comes out in his lyrics.  In “Pop Life,”  Prince sang, “everybody can’t be on top…life, it ain’t real funky unless it’s got that pop.”  There it is; that is what I have been waiting to hear from some leader for three decades.  America doesn’t guarantee a great life to everyone but (as Newt Gingrich said when he was Speaker of the House) everyone should have the opportunity to learn in a quality school, train as an adult and build wealth overtime through hard work and smart living.   Yes, we should have temporary help but don’t plan on life-long government assistance.

Everyone can’t be middle class and those who find themselves in a lower-income bracket likely arrived there because of personal decisions, playing in school and simply being out hustled by the real go-getters.  I am not a real go-getter and most classmates from 16 years of formal education drove harder for the good life– congrats to them on their success.  I know who to blame for my thin wallet—the guy in the mirror.   Attending a high school football game today is difficult for me because I am concern with the fact that some of the kids in the crowd are prepping for the state penn rather than Penn State.   Their music doesn’t have the substance of Prince or early rappers.

My wallet would be crazy fat if conservatives asked me how to create a segment in their movement that would attract the sensible center but they are too busy loving on the angry far-Right.  During then congressional candidate Austin Scott’s effort to unseat Blue Dog Dem Jim Marshall, I saw Scott and RNC chair Michael Steele get off a bus together.  I knew that the Dems would be in trouble if the Scott, Steele, Jon Huntsman, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels and similar minds crafted a message high on issues and solutions and low on name calling and fear tactics.   That development never happened and President Obama has the lion share of us in the middle.

Yeah, my man Prince wrote the daylights out of Pop Life with lines like “..is the Mailman jerking you around…did he put your million dollar check in someone else’s box.”  While Prince was talking about the sweepstakes, people in my community put too much hope in the lottery and wishing that their sons will make the NBA.  Once and for all, if your son spent as much time and effort in school work as he does bouncing a ball, he could be so rich that he had money offshore like Romney.   Plus, most former NBA players are destitute six years after leaving the league.


Austin Scott seems like Barack Obama during his first congressional bid.  He played the smooth role and stayed fiscal in his concerns about Democrats–avoiding the birther nonsense.  Do you think the GOP spent much time studying his blueprint for defeating a moderate Democrat?  Nope.

Well, I am not one to want anyone to wallow in ignorance.  When they get ready to learn how to approach reasonable people reasonably, my flat wallet and I will be right here.

Pop Life  By Prince 

What’s the matter with your life
Is the poverty bringing u down?
Is the mailman jerking u round?
Did he put your million dollar check
In someone elses box?

Tell me, what’s the matter with your world
Was it a boy when u wanted a girl? (boy when u wanted a girl)
Don’t u know straight hair aint got no curl (no curl)
Life it aint real funky
Unless it’s got that pop
Dig it

Pop life
Everybody needs a thrill
Pop life
We all got a space 2 fill
Pop life
Everybody can’t be on top
But life it aint real funky
Unless it’s got that pop
Dig it

Tell me, what’s that underneath your hair?
Is there anybody living there? (anybody living there)
U can’t get over, if u say u just don’t care (don’t care)
Show me a boy who stays in school
And I’ll show u a boy aware!
Dig it

Pop life
Everybody needs a thrill
Pop life
We all got a space 2 fill
Pop life
Everybody can’t be on top
But life it aint real funky
Unless it’s got that pop
Dig it

What u putting in your nose?
Is that where all your money goes (is that where your money goes)
The river of addiction flows
U think it’s hot, but there wont be no water
When the fire blows
Dig it

Pop life
Everybody needs a thrill
Pop life
We all got a space 2 fill
Pop life
Everybody wants to be on top
But life it aint real funky
Unless it’s got that pop
Dig it

Pop life
Everybody needs a thrill
Pop life
We all got a space 2 fill
Pop life
Everybody can’t be on top
But life it aint real funky
Unless it’s got that pop
Dig it

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Hall County, Georgia, County Commissioner Ashley Bell loss his election Tuesday night– who saw that coming.  Bell is a bright Black attorney who was a college star in the Democrat Party but recently switched to the GOP.  I thought he was a shoe-in to win Tuesday night but the election should have been for a newly created congressional district.

 We can really mess some stuff up down here in the South and one of the biggest messes is politics. Governor Nathan Deal saw Bell as the future of the conservative movement but to me, there is little place for African-Americans in the current southern GOP.  Of course, the few Blacks who spew that mean-spirited talk radio crap will do well speaking to ultra-conservative groups but they will not do much to expand the conservative tent by explaining their policy positions on my side of the tracks.

Michael Steele and Ashley Bell could have changed the course of American politics because they are level-headed but the party that booted Steele and ignored Jon Huntsman isn’t about healing or serving the whole nation.  It’s about getting folks pissed off and inciting a revolution.  Those of us in the political middle needed guys like Bell to speak with his fellow conservatives about reasonable methods of approaching the rest of the country.  If they did that, a third of Blacks who vote in the South  could get their views.  But, they let anger take over and the rest is history.

I think Bell was once a Rep. Sanford Bishop intern and he would be the perfect young conservative to seek that congressional seat once Bishop retires to private life and corporate board wealth.  Ashley is still rooted in our community and could win enough of the Black vote because he is a good brother.  But, I got the call yesterday saying Ashley didn’t win in the GOP primary.  Why the hell didn’t he have a GOP opponent when he was being groomed to be the next great thing? 

Under our primary system, Blacks would not take the GOP primary ballot for Herman Cain, Ashley Bell or anyone because that ballot is associated with the ugliness of the far-right.  What kind of southerners do we have today?  The southern way is to smile and say syrupy-sweet things to get elected then do whatever once in office.   Well, the “powers that be” in the GOP will take care of Ashley but at some point they need to know that a political party in which everyone is the same isn’t good for a diverse nation.  The same principle applies to a southern all Black Democrat party. 

Someone is getting wise to the game on the GOP side because the new anti-Obama ad is too smooth.  The ad basically concedes the fact that Obama is one of the greatest people ever but questions if he is the right person for this good right now—hats off to the smooth slickness of this method.  Someone at the RNC is begging his teammates to keep it policy vs. policy rather than Obama vs. Romney—smart.  If they wanted some more similar smart ideas, I would suggest listening too and respecting Steele and Bell.   


After this ad, what’s next.  “It’s not President Obama fault that Americans suck.”  “America doesn’t deserve a great guy like Obama.   Paid for by people who are good at messing with your mind.”

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On MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Michael Steele stated that the majority of GOP primaries are open primaries.  Jon Huntsman and Herman Cain aren’t exploring Democrats as a vast pool of curious voters.  Polls indicate that Huntsman is the Republican who most non-Republicans actually would consider in the general election.  (Watch Steele on this video link from the 1:00 mark.)


I am ticked off that GOP voters automatically turn up their noses at Huntsman because he accepted President Obama’s request for him to serve as U.S. ambassador to China.  For that reason alone, Huntsman deserves some Obamacrats’ votes and his cool demeanor on the GOP debate stage creates a contrast from red-meat conservatives.  I was surprised to learn that Huntsman’s record as Utah’s governor was more conservative than Mitt Romney’s governor record in Massachusetts. 

A primary vote for President Obama is basically a “feel good” gesture because he is only person on the Dem ballot.  Democrats who vote this one time in the GOP primary would be seriously messing with their heads and their statistical research.  They flirt with Huntsman, Cain, Paul and Bachman but we could actually make one of them the winner of the South.  

Jon Huntsman and Herman Cain could pack Black college meeting facilities from Orangeburg, SC, to Dallas, TX but their handlers don’t know the potential as well Michael Steele.   Moderate Democrats could be their Hail Mary pass and mixing things up would be so much fun.

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If crystal balls were real, I would look into one and tell Georgia what will happen with congress reapportionment and the 2012 elections (no need to state the obvious in safe seats.)

Georgia 2nd District: Macon, Columbus and Albany will again be in this district and it will be Dem for the next ten years.  If Rep. Bishop decides to move into a position with the next administration (Obama or some GOP POTUS), the GOP should start grooming a likable African American candidate who is less bitter (a Black Scott Brown.)  If Bishop is unbeatable in 2012, wise guys in the GOP should discourage anyone from running just to be running because Bishop’s campaign apparatus serves as the S.W. Georgia foundation of Obama 2012. 

Georgia 8th District: This district becomes unwinnable for a Democrat with the exit of the Dem. sections of Macon.  As in the 2nd, energy and resources spent running a candidate could be better spent in truly contested congressional districts or charitable contributions.  If we free up members from raising money, they would have more time to seek solutions and would be less beholden big money donors.

Georgia 1st District: While members don’t own districts, Rep. Jack Kingston is one conservative who doesn’t deserve token Dem. opposition.  Kingston has built a strong relationship in the Black community with his work on regional interests, frequent visits to “Democratic” events and his long history of hiring minority staffers.  He covers southeast Georgia like the dew or that funny smell from the paper mills.

Georgia 12th District: With the exit of Savannah to the 1st, this congressional race will be hotter than fish grease.  A few GOP members of the state legislature will run because it’s their turn but they should dust off Michael Steele’s old diversity plans and find a woman, a minority or a minority woman.  From the political center, I will say that the GOP doesn’t understand how easy it would be for women and minorities to support a less bitter conservative who adds range to the old boys club.  Rep. Barrow could switch to the GOP now and be safer; but he will likely stay Dem and count on the GOP producing a primary winner with little appeal to the center.  

Georgia New District: Hall County based…safely conservative.

Summary: Georgia is the biggest state east of the Mississippi River and President Obama needs to win it to have a second term.  Half of Georgia lives in metro Atlanta and there are a dozen different types of Black folks and a dozen different types of White folks in the peach state.  While urban Blacks are real liberals, rural Blacks could support certain conservatives in certain situations.  In this crystal ball, I see President Obama leaving office in 2013 or 2017 (hard to make out) but the aftermath is rough on the Black community.  We put all of our political eggs in one basket and an elephant is kicking that basket across the South. 

With secondary concern with presidential politics, our community should build a functional relationship with conservatives—at least the Black ones.  My dear brother Obama thought he would find a few conservatives interested in dialog and compromise but hell no.  If I could see into the conservative strategy meetings, it seems that the plan is to beat up on the president so much that we would say, “come home, man, before the stress beats you down.”  He said he was tough (which means the ablilty to take punishment like the only Black kid in a whole school.)  But to lead in this times, he needs to be rough also (like elbows on the basketball court.)

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Cynthia Tucker’s recent column on race and redistricting is so correct.  She wrote:

If black covers think they have made substantial gains simply by having more black representatives in Congress, they’re wrong.  They’d have more influence if they were spread through several legislative districts, forcing more candidates to court them.

My county is divided between Congressmen Sanford Bishop and Austin Scott and both are likable and intelligent men fully prepare to serve a cross-section of Georgians.  But, as Ms. Tucker wrote, corralling most Blacks into a few districts make the contiguous districts areas ultra White.  Voters in ultra White districts equate congressional time spent with Blacks to time spent with liberals because they don’t understand that most rural southern Blacks are actually moderate to conservative in their mindsets on issues.  If not for the vitriol created by ultra conservative media, Michael Steele could have drawn 25% of the Black vote into a moderate section of the Right–even Bishop would have likely switched. 

Thoughts of brother Steele brings me to another Tucker point: hyper Black districts and therefore hyper White districts discourage moderation. For more on the importance of moderate, one can read almost every previous post on this blog.  

 I started work at the U.S. Congress when Rep. John Lewis was the only Black member of the Georgia delegation and most southern congress members spent a third of their time in the Black community.  Oh, Bishop and the Blue Dogs will serve conservatives on a fair level but will conservatives give an equal ear to the center and the left.  An interesting but forgotten fact is that Newt Gingrich had a Black female chief of staff in his personal office back in the day.  Ms. Tucker should have an intern count the number of Black staffers in White southern congressional offices and the number of White staffers in Black members’ offices.  As they say in sports, we can’t win for losing.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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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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Clint Eastwood’s film Grand Torino got to me last night.  Seeing a veteran and retired autoworker single-handedly protect his community from domestic terrorists (thugs and gangs) reminded me of JFK’s question about what can you do for your country.  In the last chapter of his life, Mr. Walter Kowalski was teaching negative and positive youth the wisdom of his value system.  Walter needed some lessons on anger management, control and dare I say political correction/cultural sensitivity.  We all can learn something from others. 

I jumped out of bed this Saturday (before day in the morning) to participate in “Cleanup Sylvester, Georgia.” As I look at the dark cloud on the horizon, I knew a rain delay might keep the event from starting.  The real looming dark cloud is the mindset of the youth and adults who toss trash on the streets with zero regard for community.  Where’s Mr. Kowalski when you need him?

RNC Chairman Michael Steele recently said there is no reason for African-Americans to vote for Republicans.  To me, our southern community has always been conservative and Blacks Who Actually Vote (BWAV) have little tolerance for Black ignorance or far Right fear-based rhetoric.  We have plenty Black Walter Kowalski here and there should medals for their actions or combat pay. Steele was basically saying that the efforts and vision of his party isn’t reaching us for whatever reason. 

Disenchanted Black conservatives tell me that their party doesn’t have an urban agenda.  On the other hand, I think the far left’s policies of tossing taxpayer money at problems isn’t working either. 

We need to address issues before they become problems (nip it in the bud).  I wrote on this blog a few months ago that First Lady Michelle Obama should start a Cease Corp to marshal community human resources (people) in an effort to share experience, knowledge and wisdom.  The Barrack Obama story is interesting and unique.  The Michelle Robinson Obama story is the blueprint for a healthy, achievement-oriented American family. Clint Eastwood, a former California mayor, should join the cause with the lessons from Grand Torino as a starting point.  

I have a feeling that Mrs. Obama post-White House service will make her one of the most significant Americans of all times.  You can see in her eyes that she is being restrictive or selective in her public statements but one day she is going to speak freely and the message for a community will be stern and golden.  It’s the direct straight talk that we don’t hear from current leaders.  She can put the “40 under 40” overachievers at the table with the “40 who drink 40s” and those who were 40 years old 40 years ago. 

The subplot of this movie was equally important.  What happens when your family has little use for you?  I say forget them and find a constructive outlet like church activities, a “play” family or maybe the Cease Corp.  Like Walter Kowalski, a neglected senior should get even in his will.

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Let me get this right: Michael Steele said that there is no reason for Blacks to vote for Republicans.  Chairman of the RNC Michael Steele, the brother with the nice ties–nice neckties and evidentially nice cultural ties to my community for telling speaking his mind to us. 

That’s the Michael Steele who we moderates supported as a U.S. Senate candidate and also the one who had a clear and solid message for our community as part of the moderate Republican group led by Christine Todd Whitman.  Today, the term “moderate Republican” has become as oxymoronic as the word bittersweet.  This news is bittersweet because many hopeful politicos wanted to see a cooperation-oriented division grow inside Steele’s conservative party.  We would have called them the Red Dogs but that isn’t going to happen.

I imagine an impressive group of African-American GOP congressional candidates across the nation.  Those candidates (many with nice credentials) are so busy trying to prove their far-right loyalty that they have minimized they opportunities with moderates.  In swing districts, the electorate is equally divided among the Left, the Right and the all-important Center.  New gains generated by the Tea Party Movement are counterbalanced by the Republican moderates who have been shown the door. 

I want to explain something about national leadership and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.  It’s clear that the GOP strategy for taking the House back includes labeling the Dems as a group of San Francisco-style liberals because Pelosi is Speaker.  It might work but in reality, a national leader like Pelosi got there by listening to various segments in her party’s diverse caucus.  Without question, her progressive/liberals views cannot run the national party agenda because the Blue Dogs would bolt for the GOP. 

Oh yeah, I forgot that the GOP has moved so far Right (courtesy of Fox News) that moving across the aisle isn’t that simple or comfortable.   I appreciate Chairman Steele’s honesty because truthfully looking at a situation is the first step toward real understanding and solutions.  He would be a welcome addition to the center and should likely bring Charlie Crist with him.


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In my community, we say, “If you don’t know, you better raise your hand and ask someone.”  With that sage wisdom (is that a redundant term) in mind, I ask these questions about Georgia politics.

1. Is the GOP counting on young voters and Black voters not returning to the polls this year?

2. Why won’t the political parties start with the desired result and work backwards to achieve it?

3. Is the ultimate goal a better functioning America or destruction of the other parties?

4. Why won’t Michael Steele and company consider the general election when producing primary candidates?

5. Why won’t the Democrats realize that Senator Isakson can’t be beaten, not run any candidate against him and leave his sizable war chest out of the equation?

6. Would a non-contested Isakson be free to dialog now?

7. Why didn’t the GOP help Rep. Sanford Bishop become Agriculture Secretary if they seriously wanted his congressional seat?  Did they forget that the Republican governor would have appointed his replacement?

8. When the ultra-conservatives say Bishop does not listen to people, are they saying that 158,000 voters are not really people?  

9. Would Rep. Jim Marshall have been an easier and more logical target for Bishop’s opponent or David Scott’s opponent?  Did anyone ask Newt? 

10. Would Macon, Tifton and Warner Robins see GOP candidate Dr. Deborah Honeycutt and family as southern Obamas or Huxtables?  Did I just go there?  Is there anything cooler than a successful family?

11. Does anyone in the GOP remember that Rep. Marshall dissed (on some level) the Obama and Hillary presidential campaigns?  Can’t you all see an opportunity there?

12. If any Blue Dogs gets bounced, who should it be? (Leading question…I’m just saying)

13. Would Ray McKinney or Karen Bogans do better against Rep. John Barrow than the current candidates? 

14. Will the GOP produce women candidates who can reach Democrat moderate women in the general election or will tea stains be too strong?  Did I just coin the term “tea stains” to describe those supported by the strong Tea Party movement who then try to secure enough “other” voters to win the general election?

15. Is Vernon Jones the Tiger Woods of Georgia politics?  Would Jones make a good congressman if Rep. Johnson did not feel well?  (Best Wishes to Rep. Johnson) 

16. Did I tell you that Austin Scott was a bright dude who should be running for congress?  Did anyone listen?

17. Is Florida senate candidate Mario Rubio the model for the smiling southern conservative candidate? Did he learn that watching Isakson?  Is Rubio the next Obama?


18. Did anyone read this whole list?

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“A vision without resources is a hallucination” is a good quote from Thomas L. Friedman’s book Hot, Flat and Crowded.  The quote could easily apply to the efforts of a small group to Black moderates in the South who seek to improve political and public policy relations through diversity and dialog with the conservatives.  It’s not going to happen Don Quixote. 

Better than Don Quixote and the windmills, the situation is similar to the dog movie Bolt (the kids in my family got Uncle Teddy to watch it yesterday.)  Bolt is running around thinking he has super powers and can get this and that done only to discover the whole drama is fake—everyone is an actor unbeknownst to him.  It’s all smoke and mirrors (Uncle Teddy saw Sherlock Holmes this week also.) 

After the GOP got spanked in still another election, the opportunity was there for them to foster better relations with the middle and a red version of the Blue Dogs seems imminent.  That did not happen because the vocal far-right decided to push out the remaining few GOP moderates and purify their ranks.  Expecting the true conservatives to dialog with the center or left is silly.  So, the Blue Dog section of the Democrat Party became the logical home for centrists.

Friedman’s book details his view of our energy future if we don’t act quickly and seriously.  In Georgia, political energy gets wasted in alarming amounts.  They try to defeat members of congress who can be beaten rather than working with the fellows to improve policies, laws and budgets.  After 20 years in game, I can say that Democrats will talk with dam near anyone while the power behind the GOP dares their members to listen to anyone else.  Zero.  Not a freaking syllable. 

In America, we need to produce more clean energy but also reduce our consumption with efficiency and better technology.  The same logic applies to politics and policy for me as a Black southern moderate.  I want to see the far-left and far-right limited because their extreme views are unhealthy but I also hope that they will envision a policy arena with various views working toward consensus. Let me make it plain: many southern conservatives function with the mentality that they know everything and should decide what is best for everyone—think plantation or apartheid. 

Rush and Glenn have them full of piss and vinegar and that is no way to go through life.  On the other side, the liberal part of the Democrats have people waiting for the government to fix all the problems in their lives—problems the people created.  My primary concern is pushing for a better Georgia and South, and the next step toward that goal is a few members of congress who can tell the truth in a positive way. There are current congressional members who went to D.C. to do that but the national parties talking points don’t included honesty on that level. 

Are you seriously telling me that a national party would pass on Newt, Huckabee and Romney for Palin and the same party can’t produce one Black member of congress?  Michael Steele promised improved diversity but I don’t think he had any idea who was on his team.  If he wanted historic congressional diversity, Georgia could serve it up on a platter with limited resources but you know what they say about vision without resources.

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Election night this and early analysis that is fine but my opinion of Tuesday’s results are deliberate, measured, and after deep contemplation. (Okay, my dinosaur of a computer was having hard drive issues.)

And the winner is: President Barrack Obama.  (Somebody up there really loves him.)

If the Democrats did well in the elections, the party base would push harder for more of the costly change “we can believe in” but can’t afford—financially or politically.   They would push for more traditional liberal candidates for the midterm elections next year and force actions matters that would embolden the far-right.  However, the governors races in New Jersey and Virginia confirmed that the alliance that put the president in office is big but frail, constructed of people who are new to the glacier pace of public policy and based in large part on Obama himself being one great guy (not the party but Obama—glacier-cool rock star.)  We are talking Rat Pack cool, Hemingway smooth, Sidney Poitier with a Havard Law degree.

The brain trust in Obama’s corner wants a reason to pull White House policies to the center but needed it done before the midterm election nightmare President Bill Clinton experienced—like a little nightmare during a cat nap. “We want to drive the good liberal agenda but we would lose the congress next year and the White House in 2012…to Palin.”

And the first runners-up are: Those Blue Dog Democrats. (Somebody up there really loves Obama and knows he needs them.)

As a result of the elections and the protest movement, the Blue Dogs get policies that makes better fiscal sense and they get to be the models for swing districts despite the far-left illusion that they are running America.  Democrats need to sit down and learn from Al Gore.  Clinton/Gore and the congressional Democrats broke their necks attempting to help regular folks but regular folks must turn into regular votes.  The key to the elections next year will be success from Obama White House policies and some long coattails.  They say young and minority voters don’t go to the polls for mid-term elections; those voters have never been asked by a young minority rock star.

Possible losers from Tuesday night: Michael Steele and the crew that fields GOP congressional candidates next year. 

If Steele followed the blueprint he outlined while running for chairman, he would be searching for cooler, less bitter conservatives (Red Dogs.)  But, Rush, Glenn and Fox News will pick some real firebrands who are perfect for the far-right but scary the daylights out of the moderates needed to win in certain areas.  If they listen to Newt and Steele, they would be much better off.

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Howlin' Wolf Arrives Proudly at Chess Records

Howlin' Wolf Arrives Proudly at Chess Records

The cable channel Starz is playing the movie Cadillac Records and I watched it while thinking about politics past and present.  The film, based on Chess Records, chronicles the musical careers of Leonard Chess, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Chuck Berry, Etta James and Little Walter.

Chess decided to start a blues label to get paid from the emerging sound of “race” records.  Of course, gospel produced blues and blues produced R&B, and Rock and Roll is really blue-eyed R&B.  You can’t blame Chess for making money in the Black community—the same can be said for the White corner stores from our childhood and the Asian corner stores in our communities today.  Most of the artists in the film were happy if they had liquor, women and flashy cars but Howlin’ Wolf was different.  In real life, Howlin’ Wolf, Chester Arthur Burnett, drove himself to Chicago from the Mississippi Delta with $4,000 in his pocket. 

Though functionally illiterate into his 40s, Wolf returned to school, earned a GED and later took accounting and business courses.  He married an educated woman who managed is professional finances so well that he paid his band members decent salaries and provided health insurance.  To see Muddy Waters go to Chess repeatedly for money struck a nerve with me.  I remember hearing in college that Minnesota Fats was Etta James’ father but seeming someone look for validation from someone who is not interesting in them got on my last nerve. 

The same can be said about the relationships between the Black community and the two major political parties.  In Georgia politics, Blacks are the consistent base of the Democrat Party but Black candidates for high office will usually find someone jumping in the primary race who the establishment deem more electable.  I just realized that candidate for governor of Georgia Thurbert Baker has been state attorney general since 1997.  But, some in the Democrat establishment thinks former Governor Roy Barnes is the guy to take back the governor’s mansion.  We know that the next governor will likely be GOP in this red state so let’s hope their nominee is familiar with our community on some level.

The GOP in this state can’t produce a Black congressional candidate if left to their own devices because they don’t understand the moderate to conservative nature southern Blacks.  Leonard Chess was smart enough to let the artists do their things and Michael Steele should do the same thing with Black GOP candidates or White candidates who need Black support to win.  Of course, they don’t think they need Black or moderate support.  Did Chess and later Barry Gordy at Motown follow established norms or did they put it out there and let the people decide—sounds like Obama over the Clintons.

A conservative, self-determination movement is brewing the Black community and the Democrats are poised to be the beneficiaries while the GOP battles internally with their worst elements.  You Black Republicans need to stop asking if this candidate or that candidate is acceptable to the GOP establishment and just do it like Howlin’ Wolf—without advances or approval from the boss man- just give the boss man his cut and he will smile all the way to Suntrust Bank.

A conservative, self-determination movement is brewing the Black community and the Democrats are poised to be the beneficiaries while the GOP battles internally with their worst elements.  You Black Republicans need to stop asking if this candidate or that candidate is acceptable to the GOP establishment and just do it like Howlin’ Wolf—without advances or approval from the boss man- just give the boss man his cut and he will smile all the way to Suntrust Bank.

(Cue Etta James or Beyonce crooning “At Last.”)

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After the interesting Fox News article about Black GOP candidates, conservative political consultant Raynard Jackson wrote a column that goes into details regarding his concerns.   

Black Republicans Running >From Race

Raynard Jackson 

Black Republicans running for various offices this election cycle seem to be running from race while running their race.  This is one of the most asinine things I have every seen, but not unexpected.  This is why Black Republicans have no credibility within their own community. 

Just wondering because I know they all claim to be candidates of great principles and I know they would stand up for right because they are the voice of the people, right? 

Finally, can you tell me if you have any Blacks on your paid campaign staffs with hiring or decision making authority?  Are you spending any campaign money with Black vendors (office supplies, computer services, restaurants, caterers, etc)?  Are there any Black banks in your area that you are utilizing?

I would be stunned if any of the campaigns could answer yes to these questions.  But, this is my offer to them.  I am offering 30 minutes of air time on my radios how (www.ustalknetwork.com) to each candidate to address these issues and talk about their campaigns.

So, while you are running your race, please don’t continue to forget your race!

Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a D.C.-based political consulting/government affairs firm.   You can listen to his radio show every Saturday evening from 7-9:00 p.m.  Go to www.ustalknetwork.com to register and then click on host, and then click on his photo to join his group. 

Last week I was interviewed by Kelley Beaucar Vlahos of  FOXNews.com.  The story was published this past Monday (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/10/12/carter-obama-allen-west-race-card/).   

I was appalled at the comments of these Black office seekers and their obvious lack of understanding of how their words would be interpreted by those in the Black community.  Allen West, a retired Army colonel running against Democratic Congressman Ron Klein (FL-22nd), said, “Since (Democrats) have thrown out the race card, it has made me more appealing….because it shows the contrast of our principles—how different we are even though we both have permanent tans (referring to President Obama).”  West continued, “A lot of people who don’t want to be part of Obama’s policies are being called racist….Then they say, Hey, this guy, Colonel West—he’s Black and I support him…. It has nothing to do with race…People don’t care about your color, they care about your character.”   

But, Colonel West, WAIT!  You said it was not about race, then you say you’re Black, therefore people in your district are supporting you (because you are Black).  Which is it?  So, let me make sure I understand you.  White people are supporting you because you are Black so that you can speak out against the Black president, so the white people won’t have to (because they can’t call you a racist since you are Black).  Oh, I get it now.  You know we have a term for people like that and it begins with the word UNCLE!

Ryan Frazier is a 31 year old city councilman in Colorado and is running for the U.S. Senate in the Republican primary.  Frazier said that being Black is an asset.  So when he opposes the president’s policies, no one can call him a racist.  According to Frazier, “I don’t think they will be able to use that argument against me or engage in those tactics against me.”  So, let me interpret this.  Because of the skin color that you say doesn’t matter, you are able to criticize the president because of the very skin color that you say doesn’t matter?  Ok, now I understand. 

Michael Williams has served several terms as Texas Railroad Commissioner and is currently running for the U.S. Senate seat that current senator Kay Hutchinson is vacating to run for governor.  He states that his Blackness will be an asset.  According to the article, “one of the things it allows me to do….it allows me to speak very, very frankly about what I believe, and what I feel, and nobody is going to call me a racist.”  Again, I am confused.  His Blackness is only an asset when it comes to denigrating a Black president and his policies.  According to Williams, other than giving him cover in criticizing the president, his race doesn’t exist.  Wow, either he is color blind or just blind to people of color. 

Do these guys hear themselves and how ridiculous they sound?  Have you ever heard of a Jewish candidate denying or distancing themselves from their own heritage?  Or a Latino or Asian?  These groups use their ethnicity to endear themselves to voters from their group while at the same time building coalitions to expand their base of support

Can you be against the president’s policies and not be a racist?  Without question.  But, I challenge these candidates to answer a few questions for me.   

What does describing Obama as a Nazi have to do with healthcare?  What does calling him a liar during a joint session of Congress have to do with healthcare?  How does calling him a socialist, fascist, or communist, further the healthcare debate?  So, you would think that if this debate was about healthcare, the signs at town hall meetings and rallies would read, “how will you pay for your plan, Mr. President, how will it be implemented, or what if I don’t want your plan?”  Those would be legitimate questions.   

Another question for the candidates, are there any public statements by them speaking out against the actions of Congressman Joe Wilson during the president’s speech before a joint session of Congress? 

Are there any public statements by them chastising individuals and party officials for some of the incendiary rhetoric coming from Republicans (Barak the Magic Negro, calling Michelle Obama a monkey, or the celebration by many conservatives that Chicago was eliminated from Olympic consideration)?   

Just wondering because I know they all claim to be candidates of great principles and I know they would stand up for right because they are the voice of the people, right? 

Finally, can you tell me if you have any Blacks on your paid campaign staffs with hiring or decision making authority?  Are you spending any campaign money with Black vendors (office supplies, computer services, restaurants, caterers, etc)?  Are there any Black banks in your area that you are utilizing?

I would be stunned if any of the campaigns could answer yes to these questions.  But, this is my offer to them.  I am offering 30 minutes of air time on my radios how (www.ustalknetwork.com) to each candidate to address these issues and talk about their campaigns.

So, while you are running your race, please don’t continue to forget your race!

Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a D.C.-based political consulting/government affairs firm.   You can listen to his radio show every Saturday evening from 7-9:00 p.m.  Go to www.ustalknetwork.com to register and then click on host, and then click on his photo to join his group.

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With a nod to the ladies of the Real Housewives of Atlanta, “Don’t Be Tardy For the Party” should apply to some folks in the political arena also.  First, Kim should understand that the song is as much her tune as the GOP is Michael Steele’s operation.  Kandi is the wizard behind the curtain who made that track hot and Nene came up with the idea.  Steele is a smart man but heads a party with a different mindset and demeanor than his.  To continue the analogy, Rush Limbaugh is Kandi and Glenn Beck is Nene.  

Steele, who I really wanted in the Senate, heads a party that is not remotely interested in the blueprint he outlined while running for chair.  Diversity and reaching out has given way to the “spirit” of the protest movement; moderates and centrists shouldn’t be comfortable in the new-look GOP.  Georgia is one of the best states in the nation for African Americans and Steele’s party should find a Black congressional candidate down here.  The brother is tardy for the party because he knows that what is being played is something he doesn’t want to hear—it’s back to the future with a rehashed southern strategy.  This tune sounds very familiar.  

President Obama should slow down because his plate is too full; he can’t be everywhere for everyone.  Going to Europe to support Chicago’s bid for the Olympics was too much with everything else that is popping.  I agree with Michael Steele on this one; the Chi-town crew should have given the first homie a pass on this one.   In Georgia, we had an Olympics and it is a party that is a lot of work; and things can turn tragic if the wrong people show up.  (I better leave that alone before talk turns to domestic terrorists who are fueled by reckless hate speak—“just words.”) 

The Blue Dog Democrats must be with the party on healthcare reform.  Of course, my mother used to say the only thing I must do is “stay Black and die” when I said I must be at a party or the skating rink.  Georgia Rep. Jim Marshall skipped the Democratic National Convention and likely didn’t vote for Obama/Biden—the ultimate tardy for the party but voting no on the healthcare reform would be the final indication that his district really is a red one and not blue.  I am not going to slam the guy for voting the will of his constituents but I question the supporters of the public option who allow Democrat money to flow into his war chest.   My Blue Dog congressman in southwest Georgia took heat this summer for standing strong at townhall meetings regarding his views on healthcare reform–I respect that. 

But, Georgia Democrats who will vote against healthcare reform should anticipate the erosion of their Black bases—remember, that base gives you more votes that the vocal protesters.  If you tell me you are having a party, not only am I not tardy but I will ask if you need me to bring anything, come early to prep the grill or stay late to cleanup.  I was the party police in college and would watch an inconsiderate person put down a half full can of beer or soda, go to the bathroom and then go get a new can.  First, my daddy always said never leave a drink at a party for safety reasons.  Secondly, partygoers should not waste beverages.  We called those half-finished drinks “wounded soldiers” because you never leave wounded soldiers behind. 

If we can help all those people in foreign nations, we can figure out away to provide healthcare for most Americans—America first.  With secondary regard for political parties, anyone who doesn’t want to productively participate in the healthcare debate should not only be tardy for the party; they should RSVP so they can be removed from the list. 

The tea partiers can have their own gathering then crash your party.  But will they help clean up any mess created?  The new look GOP have their own issues with the tea partiers—are these guys energetic invited guests or crashers who improved the party.  Would they leave if you asked or start a ruckus?  Would they take your friends with them to a new party?  Back in college, a fight broke out between a fraternity and the football team but what should the guy do who is a football player and a frat member?  “Hey, Blue Dog, are you conservative or Democrat?” “Protester, are you Republican or tea partier?”  Can’t they be both?

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On Meet the Press this weekend, NPR’s Michele Norris made an interesting point about Americans and the Healthcare debate.

MS. NORRIS:  But outside of the Beltway there’s an interesting data point here that people involved in the process talk about, the fact that some 90 percent of the people who voted actually have health insurance and three-quarters of them are satisfied with what they got.  And there’s different ways of looking at that.  And one way to look at that is to say that perhaps there is not the public mandate for this that would dictate this sort of rush to legislation, and that’s going to make it harder to make that point and sell that when they, when they…(unintelligible).


If that stat is correct, 90 percent of actual voters have health insurance and most of them are happy with what they have.  The debate should focus more on affordability rather than universal coverage but U.C. is important to prevention costly conditions and to stop people from using the E.R. as a doctor’s office.

The numbers of issues voters decide for people who don’t vote amazes me.  All of the good work we (Capitol Hill Democrats) did for struggling Americans during the Clinton years should have made Al Gore’s election a cakewalk.  But certain folks don’t vote; don’t vote but are busy messing up the nation. 

As they say, the squeaky wheel gets the grease and who are the squeaky wheels…voters.  And who are the most squeaky wheels—those tea partiers.  They are doing it big down here and in the court of public opinion, those voices register because they are bring stats and facts to the table. 

Here is a new stat for the discussion: what is the percentage of non-voters should we give a rat’s ____ about?  (Wow, that is a rough question and it ended in a preposition.)  Some voters would say zero percent while the compassionate might say 100%.  In the barbershops in my community, people often say it is hard helping people who won’t help themselves or vote.  In the end, reasonable people are concerned on some level because the actions of everyone ultimately impact are safely and financial well-being.  The “most real” guys in my neighborhood break it down so hard as to say that the answer for assisting poor people is to limit the number of poor people…China style.

An old friend who is a conservative sister asked me about their efforts/failure to approach the Black community seven years ago—where did the time go.  I told her then what I tell her during our weekly telephone policy debates: most members of her pachyderm party don’t want people unlike them around in the same way they sometimes use private schools and home-schooling to get away from certain elements. 

Michael Steele’s efforts to attract more minorities would drive away equal numbers of members who join to get away from those he is seeking to attract.  Not so fast; conservatives in the South are comfortable in the pachyderm party without “us” in general but they need a few percentage points of BWAV (Blacks Who Actually Vote.)  These people don’t realize that the average person you see getting arrested (Black or White) on Cops doesn’t vote and BWAVs experience the worst affects of the worst elements. 

If we consider how the Right plans to take power again, the answer doesn’t involve appealing to current moderates or centrists.  Oh no.  As quiet as it is kept, the answer is to employ the politics of fear to scare non-voting Whites into a defensive posture about losing their country…. “You better start voting Right or else.”  Being a southern, I know it could work because history has a way of repeating itself.  (I was going to type “the apple don’t fall too far from the tree” but decided against it.)

For the last time (today), our community needs better/more representation on the Right…mark my word. 


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I keeping hearing the hook from rap anthem “Self Destruction” when I think about Obama’s concerns for our community.  With elements of Kennedy’s “Ask not what this country can do for you” classic speech, President Obama and his lovely family will outline the formula for better living for those who care about themselves and how we carry ourselves.  However, that same rap hook applies to the self-destruction of the GOP.  

The GOP is working hard to marginalize themselves and doing a fine job.  Alienate Blacks with attacks on Obama, Steele and Powell…check…alienate Hispanics and women with attacks on Sotomayor….check…alienate centrists by pushing Specter away and preparing to attack McCain and the few remaining moderate GOP senators if they voted for Sotomajor’s confirmation….check and checkmate.  You just guaranteed defeat in the midterm elections.  

If the GOP purifies their rank and file, those voters pushed away will natural hang in the center or join the Blue Dog division of the Democrats.  The Blue Dog selection of the Democrat team could therefore grow large enough to counterbalance the far-left urban ultra-liberals and give President Obama the opportunity to be more corn-fed Kansas populist than Chicago rural liberal.  We must remember that Obama created his statewide appeal in Illinois by connecting with the country folks down state. 

While the GOP is counting on the big spending from the White House helping them during the mid-term elections, America might actually like Obama and the Democrats more as the White House slides toward the center.  Cover the children’s eyes because the sight of a dying elephant could traumatize them for life.     

Michael Steele has some elephant-sized EKG paddles in his hands but I don’t think he can get pass those who are in denial about what when wrong in the past or those who don’t want new congressional candidates to be more Sen. Isakson smooth and less Fox News bitter. They could pick up three House seats in Georgia just by reading this blog. 

The House Minority Leader John Boehner recently said what…I can’t believe it…no he didn’t…he told the truth.    

Boehner: ‘Digging Ourselves Out of a Deep Hole’ – George’s Bottom Line

“We’re digging ourselves out of a deep hole,” he admitted.  “We took it in the shorts with Bush-Cheney, the Iraq War, and by sacrificing fiscal responsibility to hold power.”  Boehner also acknowledged that the GOP hasn’t done a good enough to job shaking the “party of no” label. 

Rep. Boehner outlined his positive strategy turning things around but I think he needs some fresh face with encouraging vibes.  Michael Steele should consider the following a personal gift from me: in Georgia, getting Austin Scott,  Deborah Honeycutt into the correct congressional races would be your best spot at picking up seats by pulling voters from Blue Dogs.

As the Republicans taught the Democrats in the 90s, voters are reluctant to vote out incumbents from the party controlling the power in Washington.  The GOP can’t win any congressional races in Georgia without producing Obama and dare I say Palin like popular, fresh candidates.

We know that traditionally Organized Labor and the Trial Lawyers controlled the Democrats with money and the Faith community and big business did the same for the Republicans.  Obama got most of his money from the people so after all this bailout stuff he should do what the people want if he wants a second term.  (And I am not sure he actually does.  Maybe he wants to change the whole game with sweeping reforms without concern for reelection..walking away on top of the game like Jim Brown.  Is that the secret deal he cut with Hillary?)

What would happen if the faith community created a third party?  Who would be left in the GOP?  Hear me: embrace some less bitter GOP candidates now or suffer the consequences.

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