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Posts Tagged ‘moderates’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Political district lines on a map don’t reflect the reality of how people live.  Georgia Rep. Jack Kingston supports the naval mission in Jacksonville, Florida, because some employees at the base live in southeast Georgia.  The same statement can be made about Augusta, Savannah and Columbus.  suburbanites often work, eat, shop, heal, pray and play in other congressional districts. 

Georgia’s cities serve as regional hubs and elected officials know they should work together.  Because I grew up Black in the South, the scariest thing to me are groups who want decisions made with little or no input from all involved segments of the community.  It’s not rocket science: officials should maintain a line of communication and/or grow a network with everyone.  From Rep. Sanford Bishop meeting with sons of the confederacy to Rep. Jack Kingston explaining fiscal conservatism at Savannah State University, decent people respect listeners and reasonable folks understand that others live in the area.

During the last election season, naïve activists constantly complained that swing district congressmen didn’t do what the activists commanded.  Hello.  What about the majority (albeit thin) that support what the members of congress are doing.  We are in the redistricting process in Georgia and there is a strong possibility that my county will move in a GOP district.  Will my head explode? No. The Blue Dog Democrats of today are similar, in my opinion, to the traditional GOP establishment of old.  Their moderation prepped us for certain conservative elements. 

Rep. Austin Scott defeated Blue Dog Jim Marshall but Marshall was so conservative that some Dems can’t tell the difference.  If a congressman stays away from the craziest parts of his side and takes care of regional interests, I am fine.  Black moderates should be breaking bread with Black conservatives as we team up to explain to the community that it isn’t about elected officials.  It’s mostly about personal choices, decisions and consequences.  

The worst case scenario would be my community being 100% blue and the next election being a red landside.  In big cities, we have real liberals but rural Blacks are moderate to conservative.  If a Republican wins an election, you better hope he or she isn’t far, far right.  Someone should light a fire under groups Democrats help.  Al Gore knows that Democrats help people who don’t bother voting.  

To diversify our political portfolio, we should grow a new hybrid southern Black conservative. We need a bro with a goatee who was radical in college and knows all the Public Enemy lyrics or a sista with a natural who knows that we are going cuturally backwards.  Oh snap, the new southern Black conservatism could simply be based on people who remember how we once “carried ourselves” and that community once meant something.  It’s a shame that smart –sses on the right demonized Black nationalism because those cats’ primary thoughts was self-reliance and don’t depend on the government.    

Gladys and the Pips said we got to use our imagination to “keep on keeping on.”  Dominique Wilkins played well with the Georgia Bulldogs but the year after his departure for the N.B.A., the Dawgs went to the Final Four.  They had spent all of their effort trying to get Wilkins the ball.  UGA made the “best of a bad situation” and rural moderates should do the same.  Hell, rural Blacks might have more status in districts without big cities and those GOP congressmen should know that a third of the Black electorate could mean they never face opposition and won’t need to dial for dollars–think about it.  If they need a model, they can look at Rep. Bishop and Rep. Kingston.

The Pips said, “You’re too strong not to keep on keeping on.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

http://www.albanyherald.com/opinion/headlines/Black_house_districts_work_for_GOP_123141908.html?storySection=comments

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Politics and public policy are like Thai food.  For years, I wouldn’t consider eating Thai because spicy food is too much for my system (let’s not go there.)  In Tifton, Georgia, I got brave and decided to try Thai food at Coconuts Asian Bistro.  My neighbor, who is a food and fitness guy, told me that the people at Coconuts can make Thai dishes without the famous “heat.”  He was right and I am developing a tolerance for bolder dishes. 

Officials are elected to serve all of the people in their area; not just those who voted for them.  My conservative friends are as spicy as Thai food with their ideas about governing and the same can be said about the liberals I know.  Of course, moderates can see the wisdom in taking elements and concerns from everyone.

Follow me on this one: GOP congressional candidate Ray McKinney called me minutes after Obama won the presidency and I asked if he wanted me to help him grasp moderation so he could improve his chances of winning in a swing district.  Ray and real conservatives will discuss issues with others but see policy flexibility as weakness.  Anyone who flexes his positions is a professional politician.  Yes, there are professional politicians or public servants who gauge the views of the whole area and serve with secondary regard for their personal views.   

The mentality is “I know what’s best for me and also know what’s best for you.”  What happen to “all men are created equal.”  It’s an insult when some people consider themselves more American than others.  President Obama is in Ireland this week.  We know when  his father came here and his mother was a descendant of an Irishman who arrived in America 160 years ago–which would likely be 160 years after my folks were brought here against their will in the hulls of ships.  But, some people feel for whatever reasons that they have the right to make policy without input from those who pay fewer taxes or create fewer jobs.  At the same time, knuckleheads in my area have little regard for community and have developed an entitlement mentality but that is another subject for another day.

In my personal opinion, Georgia two senators and my congressman try to serve public policy that is mindful of most Georgians.  You would never know that Senator Isakson’s record is so conservative because he plates up his dishes in a cool manner.  We all know that Sanford Bishop ran for congress while his personal views were left of center but SDB has a good comfort level with most people and quickly developed the ability to serve those who voted for him and surprisingly the regional interests of those who didn’t.  A public servant in a swing district must have that ability. 

If conservatives would produce candidates who could dial down the spiciness initially, they could secure more of the center.  If you think about it, many current conservatives made the transition over time by developing a palate for the Right (former Georgia governor Sonny Purdue and current Georgian governor Nathan Deal were both Dems in the 90s.)  That hot, nasty style of politics runs people off.  I would have a better life if I was a vegan or raw foods guy but that is not happening overnight—let’s start with some carrots.  If redistricting changes the composition of a congressional district, the temperament of the congress person from that area should also change.  Some folks don’t get that and they might be the same people who spice all the food while cooking for others.  The recipe says “season to taste.”    

http://www.coconutasianbistro.com/index.htm

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I am here to tell you…mark my word: the conservative movement is about to out hustle the left and the middle again.  My friends can’t stop giving me a hard time about being on the local news for attending a meeting on redistricting with three people. 

http://www.walb.com/story/14699961/albany-hosts-redistricting-meeting?redirected=tru

Oh, but the real hard time is coming when they wake up one day to find that a focused, determined percent of the population is running everything.  We can’t find time to get involved with redistricting but we can watch all of the NBA playoffs—you know the Hawks have gone fishing already. 

The next five elections might be decided in the redrawing of the district maps but folks are sleeping. In the future, they might be seeing red…a sea of red with a blue island called Atlanta.  At the official redistricting hearing, the GOP dam near took over Albany State University. Oh, the usual Dem leaders were there but the masses need to get off their (you know.)   It’s time for some good old fashion rallies about these maps (old school D.J.s and hot fish grease) because after all the fancy nerds did their things last November, GOTV buses saved the day.

As Chuck D and Flava said, “Consider Yourselves Warned.”

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Cokie and Steve Roberts wrote a must-read column recently about President Obama events in Florida with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.  The Roberts pointed out that the president knows that moderates are vital to his success and that he feels that he leads a nation and not just a political party.

The following congressional stats in the article will surprise anyone.     

Thirty years ago, when the National Journal started keeping these records, 58 senators occupied the middle ground between the polar extremes. Last year, there were none. As Trent Lott, the former Republican leader of the Senate, told the Journal: “Over the years, there is no question that the middle in the Senate has shrunk considerably.” 

If anything, the House has seen an even more dramatic shift toward ideological purity. In 1982, 334 House members posted ratings somewhere between the most liberal Republican and most conservative Democrat. By last year, the number had shriveled to seven, and today all but one of them — Republican Walter Jones of North Carolina — has left Congress.

http://www.albanyherald.com/opinioncolumns/headlines/Power_to_the_moderate_people_117841738.html

Certain forces in politics get their bread and butter from promoting division among Americans but we need more bridge builders who seek to acknowledge the real battle of the United States vs. The World.  Haters on both sides push the fear factor but at the end of the day your coworkers or the people on the other side of town are likely decent folks.  I came across a prank video from a Spanish language  T.V. show that humorously use the image of the kid from the horror movie “the Ring” to scare people in a real hotel hallway.  As FDR said, the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.  The national debt and unemployment numbers are scary but real folks generally aren’t.   This blog is preparing a project that will be all about cultivating the next group of reasonable leaders.    

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Joe Scarborough’s Politico column “GOP gets dose of ‘Wisconsin nice’” will never be read by the average southern conservatives.  But, the more positive vibe coming from RNC chairman Reince Preibus, Rep. Paul Ryan and Gov. Scott Walker could be the blueprint for making their policies palatable to moderates and centrists.  Yes, Governor Walker is in the middle of a rough budget/union situation but compared to some, these guys are cool people.

President Obama often looks to House Budget Committee chairman Ryan as a conservative with whom the White House can negotiate.  For some strange reason, some conservatives were surprised to learn that President Obama doesn’t hate Republicans.  Hate takes up so much energy and while the good battles those they see as wrong, we should all remember “…for they know not what they do.”

I stay in trouble with other moderates for watching the GOP presidential field out of the corner of my eye.  This mess keeps me up at night because I can’t bring myself to want the GOP nominee to be a candidate who is an easier opponent for the president.  What if said candidate actually wins the White House?  I might be wrong but I say stack the deck with candidates I can see as president from both parties.  That would be nice but nice is a four letter words to those on both political extremes.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0211/50350.html      Good Article

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I want a second Obama term and a recovered economy is a must for that to happen.  But, I am smart enough to know that other possibilities might occur.  The president could reform what he wants and walk away from the game like running back Jim Brown (President Hillary?).  There is a growing chorus in my community that want him to skip a second term if the “state of the union” hasn’t improved—it hurts to see a good guy get blamed for everything.

Applying to only one college is not wise for high school seniors and only thinking about another Obama term is equally unwise. If someone other than Obama or Hillary is to be the next American president, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels is one of the most leveled-headed Republicans in the nation and therefore unlikely to emerge from a GOP primary.  AJC Columnist Cynthia Tucker wrote this week:

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels- the dream presidential candidate of many centrist Republicans – has urged the GOP to “call a truce on the so-called social issues” and concentrate on righting the economy.

Daniels impressed me with reasonable T.V. news interviews that showed he was more interested in improving the country than slamming the other sides.  A century from now political historians will likely think that the GOP blew a golden opportunity to obliterate the far Left because they let the far Right’s hostile nature run the show rather than using Daniels and cooler heads to secure the moderates/centrists who are troubled by far Left spending.

Tucker’s column was primarily about abortion legislation and as a liberal she takes issue with conservatives who are strongly anti-choice yet opposed government programs design to help children living in poor conditions.  Tucker missed one clear point regarding the WIC (Women, Infants and Children) nutrition program.  The program is helpful for our farmers also because it gives them the opportunity to grow more food and make more money.  What happen to the “soft power” concept from the Obama campaign?  By this point, our agriculture industry should be exporting more farming equipment, seeds, fertilizers, and insecticides to developing nations—sowing the seeds of love while growing Georgia’s largest industry.  Give a man a fish he eats for a day…

I hate to be pessimistic but the future will have more people than available jobs.  Will those unemployed folks turn to illegal activities and cost the government billions in prison expense.  We must seriously look into population control and at the same time, abortion rates would be lower if people didn’t get pregnant in the first place.  Ms. Tucker wrote:

It’s no mystery why abortions rates are much lower in Western Europe.  Those countries have adopted public policies that make birth control pills and other contraceptives cheap and widely available.  If we did the same, abortion rates would drop sharply here, as well.  That’s one of those common-sense solutions that social conservatives should embrace.  So far, though, they’d rather keep fighting the same old battles.       

http://blogs.ajc.com/cynthia-tucker/2011/02/11/do-pro-lifers-really-care-about-babies/

http://swampland.blogs.time.com/2011/02/12/mitch-daniels-rephrases-his-truce/

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In December of last year, President Obama quoted a variation of Voltaire’s “Don’t let prefect be the enemy of good” to Democratic Senators.   The late Senator Ted Kennedy was famous for saying it is better to get half a loaf than no loaf at all.  We need compromise, understanding and dialog in a large diverse nation but the political extremists on both ends seem to be more interesting in constantly fighting in a toxic manner.

Hell, I think I am correct but acknowledge that others feel differently on public policy. Is Voltaire’s “perfect” a drive to completely destroy or eliminate those who feel differently?  I personally avoid any members of a political party who thinks the other major party is 100% wrong.  Rural Georgia members of congress worked together on Farm Bills that aren’t prefect but are good for most involved interests. 

We have recently seen several Georgia Democrats switch the GOP.  Is the GOP more appealing or is the Democrat Party in the South no longer a place where they could be.  And what will become of those in the state of flux between the two major parties.  I agree with the new group Nolabels.org that these people (many still belonging to the D and R parties) are actually a quiet majority of Americans.  We have moderate Democrats who appall the far left and centrists Republicans who are being purged from the South GOP…take your hat and your coat and leave..as we say at southern high school sports events.

Governor Palin and Todd were on the Barbara Walters Special last night and the Governor is getting smoother.  But know this: the Tea Party Movement was fun and therapeutic but a more measure approach could have achieved better results in a healthier matter.  If Michael Steele executed his original plans, more members of the center could comfortably move into a moderate wing of the southern GOP.  Oh, my bad…there isn’t a moderate wing of the GOP.

The next step for the southern GOP shouldn’t be converting moderate Democrats into GOPers but teaching their current members that unlikely alliances with moderate Democrats are needed in some situations and on vital regional interests.  Democrats shouldn’t lump Senator Isakson in with all national Republicans nor should Republicans do the same to Representatives Barrow and Bishop.

I have all kinds of friends and associates and the ones deep into the southern GOP like their party just the way it is….thank you very much.  They want perfect or 100% of their agenda…no compromise, no 80% and no half loaves. If the Democrat Party in the south is to survive, it must get the center back while battling urban liberals who mean well but fail to grasp budgetary limitations.  

The American people must asked themselves who the political leaders are supporting—the people or interests that keep them in power. One good thing about the economic crisis is that average people are following legislative actions weekly and daily.  It’s not rocket science for Democrat members of congress to start speaking frankly about the mounting national debt and the need for every American to do their part to reduce the need for spending for public services that could have been avoided with better personal decision-making.

Voltaire had another quote that stated “It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong.” In this last election season “established men” on both sides spent a lot of time, energy and money (money they raised from who knows where) putting each other down.  Otherwise good dudes slamming each other because someone told them that was the thing to do.  Come on now.  In the South, we came out of the womb fighting during our troubled past and some folks like fighting and fussing.  For me, I am siding from now on with the cooler cats who seek to debate and create policy in a civic manner.

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Just when I was wisely ready to stop fooling with politics, Kathleen Parker shot a ray of sunshine into a dreary Monday evening.  Her column on centrists could be “what’s next” for those of us who still feel dirty from this nasty election season.  While I still need to get smart and start coaching tennis at a charter school (can I get 19K), I refuse to believe that moderates and centrists should be politically homeless because the two major parties seem to enjoy battling more than finding reasonable solutions in a positive way.  And in other breaking news, North Korea is tripping again. 

http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2010/11/29/v-print/1672366/kathleen-parker-a-rejection-of.html

Monday, Nov. 29, 2010

Kathleen Parker: A rejection of labels

NEW YORK — In a political culture where moderation is the new heresy, centrism is fast becoming the new black.

Political outliers — not quite Republican, not quite Democrat — are forming new alliances in a communal search for “Home.” Exhausted by extremism and aching for real change, more and more Americans are moving away from demagoguery and toward pragmatism.

Soon they may have options. Next month, a new political group, No Labels (www.nolabels.org), will launch in New York City. Led by Republican strategist Mark McKinnon and Democratic fundraiser Nancy Jacobson, the organization has raised more than $1 million. Backers include Andrew Tisch, co-chair of Loews Corp.; Ron Shaich, founder of Panera Bread; and Dave Morin, ex-Facebook executive.

The group hopes to attract both politicians who feel they’ve lost elections for being too moderate, and voters who feel homeless. There are plenty of each.

Congress’ historically low approval ratings, the anti-incumbency spirit of the midterm elections, and now the influx of tea-party-backed candidates — not to mention Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart’s well-attended rally for sanity — are all testament to dissatisfaction with Washington’s systemic failings.

Alas, there is little reason to hope that things will change or improve when the new Congress convenes in January. Republicans seem determined to continue their “hell no” strategy. New tea party legislators seem determined to fight establishment Republicans, thus diluting Republican power. Democrats aim to dig in their heels.

Gridlock.

As further evidence, witness recent reaction to the bipartisan fiscal reforms recommended by Erskine Bowles (Democrat) and Alan Simpson (Republican), both respected for their nonpartisan approach to problem-solving. Neither party was enthusiastic, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi objecting most strenuously. “Hell no” isn’t just for Republicans anymore.

When the porridge is either too hot or too cold, the moment for something in between is ripe. More Americans now self-identify as independent rather than Republican or Democrat, even though they may be forced by a lack of alternatives to vote in traditional ways.

But what if there were an alternative? There’s little appealing about either party dominated by a base that bears little resemblance to who we are as a nation or the way most of us live our lives.

Yet, moderate Democrats and moderate Republicans alike have been banished. Purged by any other name. Some of them have landed in the No Labels camp.

Jun Choi, a Democratic former mayor of Edison, N.J., told The Wall Street Journal he lost because he wasn’t extreme enough. Maggie Hassan, a New Hampshire state senator, thinks she lost for being too moderate.

In South Carolina, Republican Rep. Bob Inglis lost because he wouldn’t demonize Barack Obama. In a recent interview, he told me that he refused to say that Obama is a Muslim, or that he wasn’t born in the U.S., or that the president is a socialist. Inglis was warned by a Republican operative that conceding Obama’s legitimacy would cause him problems. Indeed, Inglis lost to a tea party candidate.

Inglis is otherwise one of the rational conservatives who dare to suggest that, yes, we have to make painful cuts in entitlements. And, heresy of all, he acknowledges that climate change is real and that a carbon tax, offset by tax cuts elsewhere, is a plausible approach to regulation.

Inglis’ measured, thoughtful tone corresponds to a different school of political thought than what has dominated this past political season. Rational and calm, he resisted the finger-pointing and hyperbole that tend to capture attention and votes.

Can an Inglis ever survive in such a culture? If not, what are we left with? The answer may be partially evident in the write-in election of Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. The first successful write-in candidate in a U.S. Senate race since Strom Thurmond was elected in 1954, Murkowski won the third way. Defeated in the Republican primary by Sarah Palin’s pick, Joe Miller, Murkowski refused to fade into history’s index of has-beens.

She kept her seat by promoting ideas and solutions and by rebuking partisanship.

Alaskans are by nature independent and reliably rogue, as a nation has witnessed. Thus, it may be too convenient to draw conclusions about a broader movement, but centrism has a place at the table by virtue of the sheer numbers of middle Americans, the depth of their disgust, and the magnitude of our problems.

All that’s missing from a centrist movement that could be formidable is a leader.

Anyone?

Kathleen Parker’s e-mail address is kathleenparker@washpost.com.

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It’s 5:15 a.m. on Day Lights Saving Time Sunday morning and my clock just fell back.  In American politics, it feels like we are falling back in time also.  Are we near a cultural Civil war and isn’t “civil” war the ultimate oxymoron.  The one thing that is sure is that we need to have a better understanding of other’s points of view and the governmental process under which we function and live.

The Tea Party is a good place to start.  By Tea Party, I mean the original Boston Tea Party.  We have conveniently forgotten that the British taxes at the center of the debate were to recoup funds spent on the colonies’ defense during the French and Indian War.  War and defense cost money. The Boston Tea Party wasn’t a protest inside the current form of government; it was an effort to overthrown the current form of government and some current protest today have the same thing in mind.

President Obama and most reasonable Americans know that the fundamental concerns of the Tea Party Movement are valid: federal spending and debt; size and role of government; and grow of entitlements. The nation would be better if all America “carried themselves” with a moral compass and a sense of shame as we did in the past.  The government currently addresses problems that shouldn’t be problems at all.  However, extremists on both ends of the political spectrum would ignore the U.S. Constitution and the foundation of this great nation. 

It would be socialism if the government provided a nice house for every American.  The government should provide a fair climate where every American has an opportunity to grow and prospers but if that doesn’t happen, you deal with the cards resulting from your actions or inactions.  On the other hands, extremists on the far Right would interweave church and government for better moral fiber.  Would America be better if we all followed a faith?  Yes.  But, the question becomes should the government mandate this faith and which one?  As much as we respect them, the founding fathers at times goofed. Slavery is one obvious time and some believe that Christianity should have been the official faith with tolerance for other faiths.

We shouldn’t play with the intent of the founders or the foundation of this country.  We are in a mini Civil War in the South base largely on energy policy and health care policy.  President Carter was correct in the 1970s: we need a comprehensive energy policy to end our dependence on foreign oil.  The Cap and Trade provision of the energy legislation passed by the U.S. House fueled the Tea Party protest. New York Time columnist Thomas Friedman has written several great books on our energy futures and we must make tough decisions and changes.  Of course, the agriculture community gets my deference because we all must eat the food they grow but we must figure out farming methods that use less energy.  The last Farm Bill promotes research on producing renewable energy.

I must be half asleep because I am about to type: the problem with President Obama.  Okay Tea Party people here it is: We Obama supporters and President Obama himself know that some things could have been done better or differently. The same could be said about Bush 43 who I actually liked on some level. President Obama is real…straight real…too real.  We elected him to implement big changes but the adoring crowds weren’t listening to the guy.  He constantly said, “It won’t be easy…It’s won’t happen overnight….I can’t do it alone…we must do the hard part.” 

As quiet as it is kept, Michelle Robinson Obama was raised in the model conservative family environment and if she starts speaking freely and sternly about how we are “carrying ourselves,” her importance in history might overshadow her husband.  The residual benefit Sanford Bishop’s congressional service was always his positive image for the all kids.  The Huxtables on the Cosby Show and the Obamas in the White House have the same benefit.  The Georgia GOP botched the opportunity to have Dr. Deborah Honeycutt in Congress as a conservative example from a southern family but Mario Rubio and Austin Scott will be there to provide a fact-base form of conservatism that moves the nation forward with dialog rather than fear.

Obama’s The Audacity of Hope outlined problems and solutions with healthcare.  He pointed out that preventive care that comes with having every American seeing a doctor regularly could save billions and fund changes.  Obama was half right because what was also needed was far Right teeth. I don’t mean a dental plan; I mean public policy with teeth, bite or strong consequences.  The kids in my family love their Uncle Teddy and their uninsured Uncle Teddy has made diet and exercise adjustments to stay under 240 pounds.  A doctor would tell me that 260, 280 or 300 pounds would trigger health problems that require expensive treatment. 

Wait a second; if the doctor and the healthcare plan told Uncle Teddy that buffets could lead to a certain point where expensive treatment would be self-funded or not administered, I basically dug my own grave and they should spend that money on a nice fat double-breasted suit for my funeral.  It sounds cold but that is the reality of avoiding taxing or charging some people to pay for life choices of other.  While we are working out on the tennis courts, cats drop by with triple cheese burgers in hand. “What’s up, man.”   What’s up?…your cholesterol levels and your blood pressure…that’s what’s up.

These mini Civil Wars could be avoided if good conservatives worked with moderates sincerely.  In the South, we often find those individuals who feel they are more American than others for some reason.  I am proud that I had a dorm assignment at UGA and briefly attended grad school at  UF (Go Gators) but I knew that I want to be at my HCBU to study from people who reminded us that we helped built this great nation for free while not free.  We actually toiled in southern fields for over a hundred years before America was America in 1776.  How difference is “go back to Africa” from “I want my country back.”  President Obama  likely thinks that we can all join hands and sing “This land is your land…this land is my land” but he did grow up in my dirty South so he doesn’t know that no one is giving up or shares money and power without a struggle.

Oops, I am flashing back to those revolutionary days of youth when radicals hit us with too much “knowledge and wisdom.”  That stuff could come in measured dosages.  From the Boston Tea Party to John Brown to George Wallace to the Black Panthers to the current Tea Party, Americans must remember that our opinions and plans must be coordinated within our framework of government and among all Americans.  If the people decide to move slowly, not at all or in another direction, we must respect the process.

After the ballot drama Bush v. Gore, Democrats acknowledged President Bush as leader of this nation.  When President Bush decided that military actions in Iraq rather than Afghanistan only was the course, I respected that jacked-up decision (Cheney lied to 43).  Oh, but don’t let regular people elected Obama; folks start talking about second amendment remedies and secession.    

Big corporations, unions and lobbyists are fueling these civil wars…pitting Americans against Americans.  It is shame that some politicians on both sides think the objective for the next two years is winning the White House in 2012.  The clear objective is to reduce federal spending while growing the economy and creating the climate for job creation while keeping us safe.

New members of the congress should put the best interest of the nation above partisan politics because the people in this fast internet age have no problem tossing those guys out every two years…work together.  

I need to go because it is communion Sunday at church.  Yes, Democrats and moderates go to church and try to practice what is preached during the rest of the week. During my lifetime, overhyped people killed folks while they were worshipping in church…be careful with that fun rhetoric because civil wars are nothing with which to play.  

http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/teaparty.htm

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The Albany Herald endorsed Mike Keown for congress in Georgia’s second district over Sanford Bishop.  I think that newspaper is wrong because Bishop is uniquely qualified and appropriate to represent the urban/rural; liberal/conservative and yes Black/White hodgepodge that is the 2nd District.

Keown is a conservative pastor from a very rural area and speaks with a command similar to a stern father chastising a wayward child.  That type sternness has been at the center of the far Right’s reaction to the election of President Barrack Obama.  In our system of government, most American adults have the right to elect officials and the actions of those public servants should reflect the will of the people.

That concept sounds clear in theory but we know that a more detailed explanation is that elected officials do the work of those Americans that vote, vote, vote.  President Obama and the Democrats did well in southwest Georgia in 2008 and those election results gave direction to Rep. Sanford Bishop.  For some reason, the Tea Party division of the conservative movement feels their votes count heavier that other Americans’ vote.  It must because they are smarter or something.

If Rep. Sanford Bishop did everything the Tea Party Movement wanted during the last two years, he would have been functioning in an unconstitutional manner because he would have ignored the desires of the majority that put him in office.  As a moderate, I could accept a Republican taking this swing seat if the guy was a policy wonk like Austin Scott or a conservative with a personal history of talking with various communities like Rep. Jack Kingston, Senator Johnny Iasakson or former Senator Sam Nunn.

Bishop came to congress 18 years ago after serving in a majority White state legislature seat; he prides himself on relating to and having a comfort level with everyone.  As a blogger, I watched the Keown campaign from day one and rarely saw them working to build relationships with my community.  The tone in Tea Partiers’ voice when then say “Barrack Obama,” “Sanford Bishop” and “Nancy Pelosi” is something different from regular Republicans.  You know the tone and if you have forgotten it shame on you.  Those who don’t remember history are doomed to repeat it.

Keown ran a strong race but some other congressional district or statewide position would be better for him and better for us.  Bishop won’t win this election if the people who gave him a mandate in 2008 don’t vote on November 2. 

An Albany city commissioner, who is also a Darton College professor, told the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call that Rep. Sanford Bishop was a $100 million dollar industry in south Georgia based on this position on the House Appropriations Committee.  In one of the poorest areas of the nation, the voters shouldn’t drop a congressman who secures funding for economic development, training and job creation. 

This hard campaign has served the purpose of making Rep. Bishop aware that he must be in the middle of helping President Obama shape more-moderate policy if he wants a second term.  And that’s it; the reason far right conservatives want Bishop gone from the Democrat Caucus is so the remaining Dems are so liberal that the presidency will go their way in 2012.  The Tea Party candidate for president will be Sarah Palin and keeping Palin out of the White House starts with voting for Bishop on Tuesday. 

Did the Albany Herald ever ask Mike Keown about his opinion of a possible Palin presidency?   Keown keeps bring up my old boss Rep. Charles Hatcher, who Bishop defeated in 1992.  As one of the last loyal Hatcherheads, I can say Hatcher always said you don’t get rid of committee chairs and appropriators because they deliver for home.   Hatcher knew the Farm Bill like the back of his hand and wouldn’t  jeopardize the provisions of interest to south Georgia by bouncing Bishop during tough times.

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With Rep. Bishop

Albany, Georgia City Commissioner Jon Howard is my classmate from college and one of the most dedicated public servants you will ever meet.  He put together a candidates forum this morning and I found myself talking with Bishop, Everson, Monds and Dukes. 

That list of names isn’t a law firm but speakers at the forum who represent the whole political spectrum.  Sanford Bishop is a sitting Democrat congressman and my old boss.  I had three congressmen bosses on Capitol Hill and they all took pride in listening to and serving everyone in their districts—the people who voted for them as well as the loyal opposition.  During this election season, I have heard that the Democrats don’t listen to people.  I take that personally because I know for a fact that we had hell to pay if we didn’t give full consideration to every citizen from our area. 

(Follow me because this is about to get complex.) 

When a candidate says “everyone I talk with wants the D.C. crowd gone,” that candidate is being sincere and isn’t lying.  That candidate simply has been receiving a constant diet of information from a select or limited group of voters-come to my side of town.  Albany State University is playing a college football classic game against Savannah State in Waycross, Georgia, today.  Waycross is represented by GOP Rep. Jack Kingston, who prides himself on going to political forums in every area…alone.  Jack knows he isn’t going to get any votes on that side of town but wants to stand like a man by his legislative decisions.  

Knowing the political makeup of Kingston’s district, I would not move there and badger him for not being a moderate like me.  By my logic, the same mindset applies in Bishop’s district.  However, Democrats have a tendency to take some elections off or not fully appreciate the work of elected officials like President Obama.  So, the squeaky wheel gets the grease and the other side is very loud. 

Democrats are too nice to each others.  If  you support this president, you should vote now because this election to those of the far Right is a referendum on the White House and the Democrat-controlled congress.  The vote this November is actually as important as the vote in November 2008 because Obama wasn’t going to win Georgia but we have a lot to lose this year. 

Melvin Everson was a GOP candidate for State Labor Commissioner and also a graduate of Albany State University.  I told him earlier this summer that I looked forward to voting for a fellow Golden Ram but his party’s primary voters picked someone else.  At the forum this morning, he was surprisingly classy to supported other GOPers because I am still tickled about his defeat and the defeat of GOP congressional candidate Dr. Deborah Honeycutt in the Atlanta area.  I better leave that alone but…..you know what’s up. 

Winfred Dukes is a local contractor and long-time state representative.  I never met him before today but admired his fight during the last legislative session.  Some young members of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity were sitting in front of me and clearly there to support their brother Dukes.  

With Libertarian Party Governor candidate John Monds

Before John Monds spoke as governor candidate from the Libertarian Party, I told the young men that Monds was also a member of their organization.  Speaking with Monds today was interesting because he could be the kingmaker in the governor race.  Monds, whose wife is a professor at Albany State, could get more support from the ASU family and the Omega family than his political party.  The GOP could be cruising to victory in the governor race because a woman, Karen Handel, lost in their party to former Rep. Nathan Deal.   What party wouldn’t welcome the chance to pull a sizable amount of the women voters from the other side?   Monds could get enough of the vote to force the Democrat and Republican into a runoff.  So, Roy Barnes’ campaign better not take my community for granted.  Monds and the LP have a message that some people are starting to dig.  

In politics and policy, you circle the wagon and this president isn’t the horrible leader some would have you think.  However, it’s up to us to have real talk about real issues.  I was there in 1994 when Gingrich, Kingston and company took over congress in Bill Clinton’s first mid-term.  This year is different because Newt had vision (back then) while the Tea Party Movement, which has taken over the Right, has something else in their eyes.  

In addition to Newt Gingrich and Tom Delay, the other bigwig in the 1994 revolution was Dick Armey and Armey is very good at what he does.  Where is Armey today?  He created Freedomworks—the foundation of the Tea Party Movement. 

Back in the day, the Right demonized Bill and Hillary Clinton but quietly many on the Right were surprised when they got a better look at her during her presidential bid.  Did she change?  No, they just got to see the real her rather than believing the rhetoric from the media.  

President Clinton recently said that President Obama should nationalized the mid-term election, admit that the recovery is taking longer than planned and ask for two more years to get things done.  

I am for that because I am patience and respect elected leaders. When Vice President Cheney said that the war in Iraq would be funded by money from the Iraqi oil fields if we could get to them before they set them on fire, I trusted him.  I never voted for Bush/Cheney but I respected the will of the people.  Did President Obama ever get a second of similar trust and respect?  

Georgia Democrats shouldn’t be mad at the GOP and/or the Tea Party Movement.  We should be mad at each other for not using an equal amount of energy to rally real people we help with policy.  (They must dial back that spending because I can’t stand owing China.)   

President Obama had an issue discussion in someone’s backyard this week and I love it.  We should follow his lead and take to the backyards to fire-up the grills and the voters.  If we can argue and fuss about football teams, we can do the same about these important elections.   Enough with the zillion T.V. ads for the governor race; that money could fund some serious Obama style backyard talks.  So, my fancy friends in D.C. need to stop calling me about the elections in our state and send down some Johnsonville brats and  Matchlight coals.  We will take care of the rest.

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6. Are Moderates and Minorities being overlooked by the Conservatives?

I must hand it to the GOP; they are serious about purifying their ranks.  I wish we would do a little housekeeping on the Blue Team ourselves because anyone can put on a “D” jersey then slam President Obama all day long.  With friends like you, we don’t need the other political side.  On the national level and in Georgia, GOP moderates were forced to shape up or ship out.  Quick: name a Georgia GOP moderate leader?

That situation is a shame because national parties should have a range of thoughts at the discussion table.  If they keep that hardcore mentality, their suitability to lead a diverse superpower will be jeopardized.  In other words, that angry cowboy mentality is not healthy. 

Moderates and minorities are being pushed out as the Far Right elbows their way to the front.  Will they hold their position inside the GOP, departed to become Blue Dogs or chill as Independents in the center? I am not saying you got to go home but…..

7.  Are other nations receiving too much American time and resources while the homeland struggles?

We hear this question from regular folks in church parking lots and barber shops. As one of the only superpowers, the United States is involved in a range of activities around the world.  At some point, citizens wonder why we are building infrastructure overseas as bridges, road and schools crumble here.  Should they send HUD rather than DOD? 

To be fair, President Obama ran on a soft power foreign affairs platform that focused on bread over bullets.  I say teach a man to fish by exporting their agricultural knowledge.  That idea creates new markets for our farm equipment, Ag chemicals and seeds while improving other parts of the world so people will stop trying to come here.

8. Can the political Center create a more functional form of moderation?

Centrists aren’t confused or wishy washy people in the political middle.  Some people prefer public policy that includes good ideas from all sides.  Black southerners who vote have always been moderate to conservative.  Solutions for our community start in every individual home and center on personal decision making rather than governmental involvement. With public funding scarce, we must carry ourselves in a wiser manner–like the civil rights era folks did.  We should think about what they could have done with the opportunities we squander.

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I don’t care what anyone says; President Obama is exactly the president “candidate Obama” said he would be.  The problem is people don’t know how to listen.  He isn’t big on party politics because he didn’t spend that much time in the national arena before ascending to the top.  That’s why he is constantly looking for Republicans with whom to work.  He thinks that is natural and logical in D.C. 

Of course, the GOP leadership dares their members to seriously dialog with the White House—let them fail so the Red Team can take the presidency in 2012.  Can any good American really say “let them fail”?  “I hope Hurricane Katrina kills thousands so the Democrats can win in ’08.”  “I hope BP’s oil reaches Key West, turns and goes up the East Coast so we can get the White House back.”  How sick can someone be to think those thoughts? 

I don’t know the plans of the Democrats or Republicans but we Obamacrats still believe in changing the way Washington works.  (Okay, this is just me thinking out loud.)   First, we must remember that Obama is not Superman or the second coming.  He is a very smart person and I think he is malleable.  The president would come toward the center if it produces results and keeps decent conservatives from drifting into radical ranks on the far Right  The center is mandatory to lead in America–belive that.

The situation with Mrs. Shirley Sherrod shows what I have always known: Obama is not familiar with the plight of southern Blacks because he thankfully has not been through our troubled past.  I am glad the brother grew up around sweet people and it reflects in his considerate nature but is he mean enough to scrap like Clinton—Bill and/or Hillary.  Mrs. Sherrod’s Baker County, Georgia, is similar to Hope, Arkansas so Bill knew how nasty things could get.  Speaking of nasty, we should discuss the fact that thuggish youth of all colors are more of a domestic terror threat than the Klan and the  Taliban put together.  In the public policy arena, one must have a certain amount of nasty in them. 

How can we help our community during this election season?  We should support our traditional candidates but develop a line of communication/dialog with a select group of reasonable conservatives (wrestle them from the Far Right.)  If a candidate is lock-step with the far Right’s approach of misinformation and hate-speak, they should be defeated for pitting Americans against each other and scaring folks for political gain (the same applies to the far-Left.)  

In the 90s, our community overwhelmingly supported the Democrats. When Newt Gingrich and company took the Congress, we were toast.  Conservatives vote when the only election on the ballot is a run-off for dogcatcher but our community is fickle about hitting the polls. 

Obamacrats (Republicans, Democrats, and Independents) should dialog on understanding, policy and logic. Personally, I could trade a few anti-Obama Blue Dogs for conservatives who are about dialog with the whole community.  Senator Johnny Isakson would be the best example of such a Member of Congress and moderates should have as much influence with him as the Far Right.  Those conservatives would be essential for this White House over the next two years and the people will decide in 2012. 

President Obama is one of the smartest people in American history but he can’t know everything.  We remember governing without our community’s input and must work to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.  The African American community is very diverse and our conservative brothers and sisters believe in a limited government than in many ways makes good common sense.  They should talk with their other family about the questionable methods and techniques of the recent past because maybe we can make progress or at least peacefully function. 

I still believe in the version or incarnation of Newt Gingrich that simply stated that the limited role of the federal government was to foster an opportunity for children to grow, learn and achieve if they focus, work hard patiently and keep it clean.  If not, the life they get will be the life they made.  I can live with that. 

I can’t live with people who benefit from the Obamacrats but ignore us or worst slam the White House.  Obama is a nice guy but the rest of us grew up with these scrappy Tea Party people.  Scrapping and calling someone out is nothing new to us.

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