Posts Tagged ‘palin’

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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At the end of this rough election cycle, we realize that the 2012 cycle starts before the freshmen members of congress can be sworn into office; it’s a never-ending process.  Some blogger friends are assessing the amount of “free time” spent online and hearing the advice of friends and grumbling family about doing for free what other get paid to do.  It’s like that free milk and the cow bride advice.  

I can’t understand while some in the political arena are eager to battle in the next election rather than positioning their guy in a manner that discourages future opponents.  In Georgia congressional politics, former Senator Sam Nunn is the gold standard because he created a situation in which his service was uniquely his; the man transcended political parties.  With the fluid nature of politics these days, tradition is a thing of the past and anything can happen.  

I will tell you what I want: a political cafeteria plan where citizens can pick and choose aspects of candidates, officeholders, parties and groups without buying the whole blue plate special.  For example, my favorite budget fast food lunch is Taco Bell’s seven layer burrito (.89 cents) on top of a Burger King side salad ($1.00).  If you toss in a bag of nacho chips from the grocery, you have a tasty balanced meal that is easy on the wallet.  To me, the best burgers are from Wendy’s and the best fries are McDonalds.  The ultimate fast food meal might involve stopping at several places but you get what you want.

We should do the same with politics and policy; one party is good at several things and the other major party is better at other issues.  If you toss in the Tea Party, the Green Movement, Progressives and Libertarians, the process gets much-needed range. 

I support politicians who make every effort to have their decisions reflect the views of all area voters.  My concern with the far Right is that they often believe they are always right about everything and ignore those who disagree.  Mind you, the far right might actually be right but ignoring folks isn’t cool in a region with our troubled history.  The endangered southern Blue Dog Democrats has a well-earned reputation of serving their Democrat base yet also serving their conservative constituents as much as possible.  So, urban liberals in Blue Dog congressional districts allowed this flexibility because it is the fair sharing of elected officials. 

With half of the House Blue Dogs gone, we will see if the same courtesy is given by freshmen GOPers or will they follow tradition by ignore those who voted for the other guy.  To form “a more perfect union,” leaders should work together and reach for common ground. I, for one, want the House and Senate freshmen to study the word comity. 

Lastly, the surviving Blue Dogs need to be more vocal in the Democrat Casus or the real liberals will take over and move the party too far left for most rural Americans.

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I have a new theory about campaigns and elections.  Of course, my new theory could be fact that everyone other than me already knows.  My theory is that for some people the business of campaigning is more important than actually governing ( i.e. Sarah Palin).  Could prepping for campaigns and campaigning be where the money is?

Roy Barnes raised and spent over $28 million dollars running for governor of Georgia but didn’t win.  Much of that money went to media buys like T.V. and radio ads.  Old school people like me just assumed a sizable old fashion Get Out the Vote effort was coming and that rallies with sweet smelling Georgia barbecue would be held from one end of the state to the other end.  It never really happened because the fancy Buckhead type consultants (who aren’t cheap themselves) pushed ads, ads and more ads.  I have never been so tired of political ads and many of the spots were negative against Nathan Deal which was nonsense because everyone knew that Barnes and Deal basically liked each other.

Few noticed that former DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones was in Nathan Deal’s corner and was standing right there during the victory party.  Good for Jones because the same fancy Democrat Buckhead crowd didn’t want him running for U.S. Senate against Saxby Chambliss. Sure, Vernon has some history but hey cast the first stone and he would have done better than Jim Martin (I voted for Saxby for regional reasons.)  But, the real winners of that election were the fancy fundraisers and political operatives who got candidates who could raise money and pay them.

We remember when Austin Scott was running for governor with the idea of raising smaller amounts of money and keeping it a people’s campaign based on his ideas and policy facts.  On the other side of the fancy streets in Buckhead, the GOP types have even fancier offices that require much money to maintain.  I think they look past the bright young man with good ideas and toward the four or five candidates who could put big money on the barrel head.  Nathan Deal is the new governor and Scott is heading to congress. 

Fairness requires that I acknowledge the effort put forward by Rep. Sanford Bishop’s opponent’s team.  They hustled hard and made that thing too close—they were a well-oiled machine.  I was ticked with the Barnes campaign and the state Democrat party because they were spending money on those freaking ads when people weren’t rallying in person, face to face like the other side was.  When we did get together, it was so cool.

The first rule of politics is save yourself and Bishop got old school with his last Get Out The Vote push.  He won that election with little help from the top of the ticket and because the people woke up at the eleventh hour. 

Looming on the horizon is the 2012 presidential election year.  While the presidential race outcome is unclear, you can bet that my community will be there for President Obama in huge numbers.  An old theory of mine is that conservative candidates could fair well during that Obama wave if they could swim.  My old friend Karen Bogans in Savannah is the only hope the GOP has in winning the 12th District race; she is smart, direct and has the political and professional credentials.  Could an African American conservative get out of the GOP primary is the question but her campaign would be hard on the Obama White House yet surprisingly usefully to the Obama presidency at the same time.  Hey, she criticizes me all the time and I would be upset if her comments weren’t true and didn’t need to be said.

I told Bogans that she could get a sizeable amount of the Black vote and win a congressional seat without raising and spending much money.  She said those fancy folks in Buckhead must get their business/coin or they will push someone else up.  I have concluded that the process of campaigning and prepping are likely more lucrative than actually serving in office.  Sarah Palin gets $800K for one speech while President Obama gets half that amount as an annual salary.  If you are going to be in the game, you must know the rules and the new golden rule is “he who has the gold..rules.”

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When Senators Barrack Obama and Hillary Clinton had that private meeting at Senator Dianne Feinstein’s house in 2008, everyone wondered about the details. My gut told me that Obama said he would be a reformer for his first term and if the country wasn’t feeling his leadership, Hillary could have it 2012.

My gut always said that Michelle Obama got the same promise from the now-president shortly before that meeting.  Like Alma Powell, she has obvious concerns about crazy people’s actions.  If not for Mrs. Powell’s concerns, Gen. Powell would have been president rather than Bush 43 and the nation would have avoid much drama.  And what would be the barometer of public opinion for the Obamas and the Clintons?  The 2010 mid-term elections would be the indicators. 

My gut didn’t see the Tea Party Movement coming nor did I see Sarah Palin’s meteoric rise to the leadership of conservative movement.  Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels or former Governor Mitt Romney are presidential material but if the mid-terms are successful for the Tea Party Republicans, Palin will get the nod from the GOP Primary.  Sarah Palin could be president of the United States of America.  I divide the T.P. Republicans from “regular” Republicans while others don’t.  

If Palin and the T.P. Movement are positioned to take the White House, the possible Hillary-Obama plan from Feinstein’s house might be employed.  He might be ready to go since the “yes we can” has become “yes he can.”  Dam, the cheering masses haven’t kept their end of the change movement but he still has me. 

Bottomline: If you want Obama to even run in 2012 get those who voted for him in 2008 to support congressional Democrats who are in his corner on Election Day 2010.  If not, he could seem like a lame duck as early as Thanksgiving and POTUS doesn’t deserve that.  Everyone except Democrat voters know the election next week is really a referendum on Obama.  The President had finally started saying that openly.


Feinstein Gives Details of Obama-Clinton Meeting

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If Sarah Palin is Mamma Grizzly, I am naming Mrs. Shirley Sherrod the Brown Thrasher because since Palin and I were college students, Mrs. Sherrod has been fighting the good fight patiently. Notice how you can’t say “Shirley” or Sherrod anymore than you can say “Rosa Parks,” “Lena Horne” or “Nancy Wilson”—that’s how we do it in the real South.  “Mrs.” and “Mr.” are signs of respect.  The lady in the cafeteria is “Mrs.” and it is “yes madam”  –a lesson one Capitol Hill intern learn the hard way from yours truly.  It was a teachable moment. 

The Thrasher is the state bird of Georgia but most people did not know that until Atlanta’s hockey team took the name.  Mrs. Sherrod and Mr. Charles Sherrod have been encouraging Georgians to want more from themselves and aim higher for years–basically transition from the plantation mentality.  Their efforts to keep Black farmland in family hands were noble but as soon as granddaddy’s body was cold, that land was sold and the greedy grands were heading to the BMW dealership.   Land: they are not making any more of it.

Mrs. Sherrod taking that position with USDA was seen as the crowning event in a long career since she had been working for “rural development” her whole life.  Why do people sleep on the USDA?  Every person needs safe, affordable food; clean water and fresh air.  While urban improvement generally falls under the Department of Housing and Urban Development, USDA covers the farmland and rural communities.  If you want to slow the flight of rural people into the bulging cities like Atlanta, it starts with Mrs. Sherrod and others (like me) who haven’t given up on small town America.  We can’t forget about the suburbs are which are blurring the line between city and country.  If you travel north on I-75, Atlanta starts about 15 miles above Macon.  There isn’t a wildcat in your backyard; you are in the wildcat’s backyard.  Watching young professionals move to rural areas, tend their own gardens and telecommute with their laptops is too cool.

Mrs. Sherrod should think Sarah Palin, Herman Cain, Dr. Howard Dean, and Mike Huckabee then passing on that USDA job.  These former candidates are doing bigger and better outside elected office or governmental employment.  Book deal, T.V. show, and the lecture circuit—it’s her turn to have a victory lap and thanks to the tape-cutting blogger who made this all possible. 

We shouldn’t forget that Mrs. Sherrod was speaking freely on the mic about race—a little too freely when you work for “the man” —even when “the man” looks like you.  You want to have a national discussion about race relations in America.  Let’s do it.  Let’s put the NACCP in the room with the Tea Party and toss in the moderates.  They will discover what wise people already know: we are all Americans with common interests who have plenty reasons to be mad.  But, blowing a gasket will not help anything…so simmer down, have some Sweet Tea and let’s get a better understanding of each other. 

Coming soon, The Sherrod Show on Fox News.  It’s fair and balanced.

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When you grow up in the diverse South, you should learn to put yourself in the other guy’s shoes, walk in his moccasins or generally imagine life and government from his perspective.  No one wanted to be slaves, current senior citizens should be barricaded in their homes from fear of young thugs and American foreign policy should respect the cultural richness and history of others around the world.  If the Native Americans had a better immigration policy…..

To me, it’s all about political options and agendas.  Elections are for selecting the leaders who will govern in a reasonable manner but the cart is in front of the horse or the tail is wagging the dog.  Today, the campaign process and year-round activism are more lucrative than serving in office.  For example, Sarah Palin status in the game reaps millions more than being governor, vice-president or president and I can’t blame her for staying paid. 

My friends and I pragmatically thought our community should explore positive political options that reflect the sizable African-American demographic that is moderate to conservative.  Our agenda grows from concern that all of our political eggs are in one basket.  In reality, the aggressive agenda of those who love fear overshadows the few efforts toward governing with bridge building and understanding.  Their facts are sound but their methods are detrimental.

During this primary and general election season, southerners should ask themselves if candidates have a good comfort level with citizens across the political spectrum.  Do you see the candidates meeting and listening in areas where few votes can be found because the actions of people there create governmental spending for everyone?  In clearly liberal or conservative areas, the direction is obvious but swing areas or statewide is different. 

On election night in November, we shouldn’t learn that a new group of leaders will govern next year and we never talked with them.  A sad fact about southern living is that we have much in common with the other side of town but never had a conversation.  National groups that relish division and conflict between Americans should be ashamed because that energy and attention should be focused on supporting our troops in two major theaters of war and completing their missions safely—remember we have troops in the field.  

While the far-left and far-right are vocal, the sensible center is larger and sways elections.  I want to see Blue Dog Democrats continue listening to conservatives in their areas and Republican challengers who are comfortable explaining their positions to centrists, moderates and even liberals.  Centrists outnumber extremists from both sides overwhelmingly.

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I am the first to dub the coming Senate race in Georgia the “Mike and Ike” election.  State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond  and U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson come from an era in Georgia politics where the first inclination was dialog and cooperation.  That period is history and these two nice guys are generals in a rough political battle.  Hot Tamales, Red Hots, Atomic Fire Balls, Jaw Busters, and Lemonheads are candies that better describe the current political climate. 

“Now or Laters” seem to be Thurmond’s favorite candy because he has a reputation of make wise, calculated political decisions.  At times, a leader must take one for the team and Georgia Democrats couldn’t let a newcomer face Isakson.  I told the Senator he should get a pass for being one of the best Republicans in congress—Jon Stewart would say that is like being the skinniest kid at fat camp.  As a moderate Democrat, I wanted to leave Isakson’s reasonable temperament and sizeable warchest out of the mix.  One can speculate that an economic turnaround would be need for the Dems to do well this year and the Labor Commissioner taking about job creation and training helps the Dem ticket overall.   

To me, the biggest problem with Isakson is his inability to convince other members of his party to embrace his logical, less bitter brand conservatism.  We remember the Georgia GOP giving Isakson and Chambliss flack for simply negotiating with Democrat colleagues.  Will the angry fringe of the southern GOP pull Isakson into their bitterness or will he introduce them to coolness.  They better bring the coolness because Thurmond, Thurbert Baker and Sanford Bishop wrote the book on staying cool under fire—never let them see you sweat.  I think both Isakson and Thurmond put Georgia’s best interest above party bickering.    

My conservative African-American friends (all both of them) think Democrats should be afraid of Palin in 2012. Rep. Paul Ryan, Senator Johnny Isakson and Mario Rubio are the policy-based conservatives who if cloned would be the real concern.  Could we please turn our attention back to Palin.  For Dems, it is fortunate that the GOP  often emulates the wrong folks.

For reading this long babble, you should treat yourself to some old school “candy” music. Is Cameo’s Candy better than LL Cool J’s?  Real candy, like political campaigns, isn’t good for you, has little nutritional value and lacks the substance of policymaking –stick with Georgia-grown fruits and vegetables.


Cameo- It’s Like Candy


LL Cool J- Candy at 5:10 from live show


Bow Wow Wow – I want Candy


How could I leave out 10,000 Maniacs’ “Candy Everyonebody Wants.”   Some of these races will be decided by 10K Maniacs. 


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