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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Steele’

While speaking at the Georgia GOP State Convention recently, RNC Chairman Michael Steele’s statements included:  

The chairman said he had inherited leadership of a party that was “stuck in a 1980s philosophy, using a 1990s strategy to win campaigns.”

The Republican demand for orthodoxy and purity, Steele said, risks making the party irrelevant to “the changing heartbeat of this nation.”

“We can no longer be afraid that to open up, to invite someone in, diminishes us. I don’t know how that works,” Steele said. “If you are true to your convictions, to your core, why are you so afraid to share that?” 

Before he when to Savannah, Steele should have swung by southwest Georgia so we could sit on the porch, sip some sweet tea, eat a few locally produced Nether’s Pork Skins (made by a guy from my church) and I could have hooked a brother up with what’s what. 

I would have explained to Steele that the South dominates his party now and those southerners are accustom to have things their way most of the time.  If we are talking about 10 political points, they want their ranks in line on 9 points and the missing point can’t be the pro-life issue.  The faith aspect makes abortion non-negotiable. 

The GOP doesn’t need to let anyone “in;” that is not necessary.  Steele needs to help them understand that elections are won with coalitions i.e. Reagan Democrats.  Those coalitions are built on situations and circumstances of mutual benefit. 

The GOP took power in Washington in the 90s because large numbers of faith-oriented, patriotic heartland Americans (Rs and Ds) supported them on faith issues, strong defense and what seemed like their commitment to fiscal restraint.  The Democrats seem sincerely committed to addressing the kitchen table issues that current families are handling—Rs and Ds.   

I would have told brother Steele that he could win some contested races in the congress next year if the grassroots of his party understood that sometimes non-Republicans support GOP candidates who are experts or advocates for the major issue in those voters’ lives.  It is that simple.

For example, Georgia farmers agree with most of the Georgia congressional delegation on agriculture issues and USDA programs.  In southwest Georgia, Republican farmers reluctantly vote for Rep. Sanford Bishop while southeast Georgia Democrat farmers support Republican Jack Kingston.  It is all about the wallet in Georgia on agriculture, military bases, veterans, and transportation spending.

While the Democrats welcome “outside” support, Georgia GOPers are don’t understand that outsiders are there for different yet important reasons.  Could the allied forces have won World War II without Stalin and the Russians? 

I would have told Steele that my friends and I were cheering for him when he ran for the Senate in Maryland and that he will always have a home in the community if his party decides he should be elsewhere.  That’s how we roll.  Finally, I would have said that like private schools and churches, some of the grassroots people in his party join with the understand that most of the people there were….well, you know.  Hey, is that the reason I when to a Black college?  That Kumbaya Obama stuff is a sweet concept but in the meantime, you get in where you fit in down here and some of his party members join….you know..and they know too.

If moderate and centrist Democrats can coexist in a big party with the San Fran crew, then Steele’s party can do likewise or send the centrists right over.  We can call them the Red Dogs.

“Red Rover, Red Rover, send Condi, Colin and Maine’s senators over.”

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Today, Michael Steele was solid on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.  He honestly outlined how their party got off track from their core Reagan era principles and what they would need to do to get their swagger back—which does not including becoming imitation Democrats at all.

 

The good news is he has a plan but the bad news is many member of his party are not having it.  To them, conservative is not about being conservative in the role of government and spending.  To many conservatives, the effort is to go back to the future and as the Feetwood Mac song said, “Yesterday is gone….Yesterday is gone.”

 

The last few months were rough on my personal friends who are Republicans because they realized that the inside the Beltway dealers in their party were at times more interested in hooking up corporate America than executing an agenda that best serves the average American.

 

As a moderate, I am somewhat uncomfortable with the billions, trillions and zillions being tossed around in D.C. to assist in the recovery.  Reasonable Republicans can get behind Steele and use this concerns to pull the White House toward the center and make mid-term gains for their effort.  But, waiting for the White House’s policies to fail just to make political gain would be irresponsible and un-American.

 

I am starting to hear that General David Petraeus might be the next GOP Eisenhower because the 2012 GOP bench looks thin.  Interesting.

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When it comes to political agendas, east is east and west is west and never shall they me.  Different groups support candidates and incumbents for different reasons.  To avoid awkwardness and drama, the various supporters might need separate rallies and meetings.  For example, the Blue Dog Democrats in the Georgia congressional delegate enjoy traditional Democrat support and a certain amount of Republican support from individuals with particular agendas-farmers, gun owners, military families, etc.

 

In Georgia’s 12th District congressional district, Blue Dog John Barrow received the support of the NRA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over a GOP opponent.  Conservative Democrat Jim Marshall continues to get most of Black votes in the 8th District without endorsing Obama or Clinton and he does well with some Republicans.  On the other hand, Republican Rep. Jack Kingston has built a strong network in the Black community.

 

The mini-drama with Rep. Sanford Bishop’s family is evidently driven by envy in the Columbus Black community but notice that the agriculture industry and the Georgia GOP is not saying a word; they are more concerned with Bishop’s ability to keep the Obama White House from gutting the farm-support programs we need.  Remember, did you see Bishop, Scott, Barrow and Marshall actively campaigning against Senate Ag giant Saxby Chambliss last fall and Chambliss would talk about the “liberal Democrats” in Washington—differentiating them from his moderate southern colleagues and supporters.

 

 Recently, I decide to do a little political network by attending a grassroots town hall event for Georgia Senator Johnny Isakson.  While Isakson and Obama are polar opposites politically, the senator was a state official when the Democrats ran state government so he is reasonable enough to say “no” then say “why.” I appreciate that fairness for Obama because moderate Democrats did the same for Bush.  

Meeting Senator Isakson

Meeting Senator Isakson

 

 

When Isakson starts campaign for relection,  our community should think about the fact that congressional Republicans or centrist Blue Dog Democrats represent every major city in Georgia outside metro Atlanta.   In Macon, Columbus, Albany, Savannah, Augusta and Athens, our community votes for conservatives or moderates in the interest of our regional agendas.

 

 

To adapt Kipling’s ballard to Georgia congressional politics: East is East and West is West and never the two shall meet, but if my interests are a risk, them save me a seat.

 

The thought of rural Georgia without military bases and agribusiness should make any reasonable person put party bickering on the back burner.  Because the center controls American politics, Michael Steele needs to steal a play from the Blue Dog playbook and target the center.  Georgia GOP Senators and rural DNC House members might be on to something.  

 

 

 

 

The Ballard of East and West             Rudyard Kipling

 

Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the two shall meet,

 

Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God’s great Judgment Seat;

 

But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,

 

When two strong men stand face to face, tho’ they come from the ends of the earth.

 

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steele4501

http://www.essence.com/news_entertainment/news/articles/michael_steele_gop_chairman

 

There’s an article from Essence magazine regarding the Michael Steele selection.  May I just say, that Essence should be in every Black home in America.  I have been reading Essence since junior high: you learn about quality women from quality women and maybe one day you might have that type woman around you. 

 

I am calling someone out: the Sylvester/Worth County, Georgia Public Library.  A few years ago, I asking the staff why they had hair and fashion magazines but no Essence.  Logically, they said get it for them. 

 

So, I used frequent flyer miles and got them a few years.  Some people don’t know that you can give magazines for miles for multiple years and different addresses.  Giving Essence and Black Enterprise to teens in your family would serve them better in the long run than the junk they think they want.

 

While I am ranting, reading Essence and another “Black” publications would be useful for anyone in an area (the whole South) with a sizable Black population..i.e. School teachers and coaches. 

 

Reading across cultures will help build knowledge and insight.  Some people are so closed minded that they did not realize African Americans of presidential timber existed until recently—know the actors in the arena or don’t get caught sleeping like General Cluster. 

 

I study everyone and read everything.  And the older people are so willing to share.  Once on a flight to Honduras, this White vet schooled me on the real World War II, deep-sea fishing and Kansas agriculture.  Thanks for share.    

 

Again I say, Project Logic GA is about the Black political and policy experience in the South; which means that readers (all ten of them) should be Black and non-Black. 

 

Like the Indian guy in every South Georgia town who sells purple or red suits to the brothers. (The only men who should have red suits are Santa Claus, Kappas, and maybe UGA coaches.)  Anyway, that guy does not wear those ugly clothes but he knows his target market from listening and watching.

 

Michael Steele should model his actions after DNC Chair Howard Dean.  Steele should spend some time working on the product rather than intensifying the sales pitch.   

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I must say the Republicans surprised me when they selected Michael Steele as RNC Chairman.  So, Mike Tyson’s former brother-in-law heads the GOP.  I wanted Steele to win that Senate seat a few years ago and wish him well because he has worked with former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman to add some moderation and common sense to the “right.” 

 

Her book It’s My Party Too should be the blueprint for Steele but, mark my word, it won’t be.  The South runs the current GOP and the grassroots won’t hear that “we need change” stuff.   Let’s see: Steele runs the RNC, Obama runs the White House, Serena will run the Australian Open finals at 3:30a.m. and Steelers coach Mike Tomlin will win the Super Bowl Sunday.

 

Some people might think the only think left is a Black Pope of Rome but I don’t See (get it) that happening.  The time is right for each individual member of our community to be the best individual we can be. 

 

In the book Success Runs in Our Race, George C. Fraser wrote that Blacks are the only group that sought political gains in America before economic gains.  Well, we obviously needed the federal government on our side—with that whole bondage/oppression thing.  Today, we are (on some level) still in bondage and oppression by some of our own actions.

 

Let’s give Brother Steele’s conservative views respectful consideration.  That won’t be hard to do in Georgia where Rep. John Lewis is the only real liberal sent to Congress.  Blue Dogs Scott, Marshall, Barrow and Bishop are only a quick jump across the centerline of the political spectrum from Steele’s senate race position. 

 

The Blue Dogs are running things; Obama supporters must keep them on a firm leash or they might find a home in Steele’s new yard.     

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