Posts Tagged ‘politics’

Have you seen the bumper sticker “Mess with me, mess with the whole trailer park”?   Well, mess with Gwen Ifill and you mess with me because she is clearly a good person.  When Don Imus called her the cleaning lady covering the White House, she personified grace and dignity with her handling of the matter.  Now, extremists eager to find any angle to influence the presidential election content that Ifill will moderate the Vice-President candidates debate in a way that will help her promote a book she is writing about Blacks in politics.


Enough.  Stop the madness. Kenny Rogers’s song “the Gambler” had a line that said, “Son, I have made a life out of reading people’s face; Knowing what their cards are by the way they hold their eyes and if you don’t mind me saying, I can see you’re out of aces.”


Country people can read eyes and faces, and I see that Gwen Ifill (like Arthur Ashe and Colin Powell) is salt of the earth.  Because her late father was an AME Church Minister, this meek woman should read the Beatitudes today because she will inherit the earth—not trampled underfoot by men.  Okay, I listened in AME Sunday School a little as a kid because the teacher was pretty. President Reagan spoke of America as a shining city upon a hill whose beacon light guides freedom-loving people everywhere—also from Matthew.  The world is watching as the swift-boating begins from both sides.


As we enter into the final stage of this election year, I read in the faces of Obama and McCain that they find the party bickering and bitterness distasteful.  One man will be president and the other one will buck his party by being a positive senator.  Like most African Americans, I am a Democrat but I support the sensible division of the Republican Party. 


I told a local Republican that voted for him and he smiled while saying, “I am unopposed.”  Let’s support GOP candidates when possible or when they are simply better, because improving both major parties reduces extremism on both ends of the political spectrum.    


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You are a political junkie if you know the name Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky.  The mother of Chelsea Clinton’s boyfriend, MMM made the deciding vote in the House for Bill Clinton’s Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993.  That five year budget plan cut taxes for fifteen million low-income families, made tax cuts available to 90% of small businesses, raised taxes on the wealthiest 1.2% of taxpayers and mandated balanced budgets. 


As Senator Joe Liberman mentioned on stage at the 2008 RNC Convention, President Clinton balanced the budget with his plan and the American economy grew stronger.  On the day of that historic budget vote, the crafty Republicans waved goodbye to MMM as she walked in the chamber to vote—like the Lynyrd Skynyrd lyric said “shaking like a left on a tree.”  Legend has it that two other Democrats were holding  MMM up.  34 Democratic incumbents were defeated in the “Republican Revolution” in 1994 in part for making that vote.


This walk down memory lane supports the concept that sometimes the community as a whole is better served by the sacrifice of one.  In one of those Star Trek movies, Spock went out like a solider—took one for the team- just like Congresswoman Margolies-Mezvinsky.  It was 1982, Sarah Palin and I were finishing high school on opposite sides of the country and my sister was finishing Georgia Tech.  I saw that movie while visiting her; walking across I-75, stopped at the Varsity for some greasy food and burped my way to the Columbia Theater—Star Trek: the Warth of Khan in doby sound. (Some movies need to be seen on the big screen.)


Remember, Spock and Jim said, “It is logical, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few…or the one.   I have been and always shall be your friend. Live long and prosper.” 

Of course, we learn in Star Trek III that Spock planted his Kattra (living spirit) in McCoy.  Movies have always been tools to me that shape or parallel stuff happening in life. Petite MMM went out like Spock saving the Enterprise; she helped the enterprise known as the American economy by doing what she felt was right. 


Senator Sam Nunn did not vote for that budget plan and Vice President Gore broke the tie in the Senate.  Nunn could do that because he is “Sam Nunn”—the staff joke on the Hill was Nunn did not want to be VP because it would be a demotion.  Nunn’s role in national defense gave him icon status—presidents came to see him.  Since this rant has developed a movie theme, Nunn and the Democrats made me think about  Colonel Jessep (Jack Nicholson’s character) in A Few Good Men:

  Col. Jessep: Son, we live in a world that has walls and those walls need to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Lieutenant Weinberg? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago and curse the Marines; you have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that Santiago’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives and that my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use then as the backbone of a life trying to defend something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said “thank you,” and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest that you pick up a weapon and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to.



You Can’t Handle the Truth…there it is; naïve people wonder why some people boldly stand up while others stand idly by.  I am puzzled by the local, state and national Democratic Party officials’ quietness on Rep. Jim Marshall party attitude.  As I have written before, Marshall would have my respect if he endorsed Obama or McCain but this no comment stuff does not fly when members of Congress have faced political peril to fight for what they believed.  Rep. Bishop and Rep. Barrows courageously put their political futures on the line by supporting Obama while many members of the Congressional Black Caucus did the same by supporting Senator Clinton. 


Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky is not a footnote in congressional history because she can hold her head up high. The Dem Team needs White male southern support and Jim Marshall is AWOL.


You Can’t Handle the Truth…Why did it take me so long to figure out that Marshall obviously has a pass from Speaker Pelosi—keeping the House is more important than getting the White House. 


You Can’t Handle the Truth…Marshall also has a pass from the African American leadership in Macon—Obama got sold down the river for earmarks and pork.  I might not be the brightest person and clearly I can write well but even I know that shortly after the election Democrats are going to plan how to marginalize Marshall and that will justify him moving to the GOP.  Yes, he would have just used Dem money to win an election, did not support Obama/Biden and might join the Republicans. 


Last movie: ice-cold Michael Corleone talking to his brother Fredo about the family and loyalty.  “Don’t ever take sides with anyone against the family again….ever.”  “I know it was you Fredo…you broke my heart.”  Michael Corleone should be head of the DNC but we really should think about Frank Sinatra, who is singing in the following Godfather video.  Sinatra is rumored to have secured the election of Kennedy by making “certain” calls to certain people who were “connected” to labor unions in Illinois and West Virginia.  He watched the back of MLK, Sammy Davis, Sugar Ray Robinson, and Joe Louis; Sinatra was all about loyalty and that was a close presidential election.



I told my friends that Cuban boy Elian Gonzalez would cost the Democrats the election and I was right.  I have a feeling that one person (I am not saying who) could cost the Democrats Georgia and therefore the Presidency is year. 

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You know I hate when family fights in public but I had to write a letter to the Editor of the Albany Herald regarding a fellow member of the Albany State University Pol Sci family and one Governor Sarah Palin.  For background, my letter responded to Dr. Konde’s op-eds stating that who you are as a person or leader is measure by your level of education and the prestige of your colleges.


My letter:    


Konde’s comments counterproductive

I voted for Obama/Biden yesterday because I real want positive change for our nation. Then, Sanford and Saxby got votes because their work in agriculture is vital to Georgia’s economy. As an ASU double grad in political science, my thoughts turned to Hollis, Rhodes, Mobley, Joshi and the elegance of Tucker when reading the on-going battle between Professor Konde and Palin supporters. Dr. Konde, your well-intended jousting regarding academic degrees is driving Clinton-type voters to the polls for Palin. You are playing into their plans. Rep. Jim Marshall is Ivy League like the Obamas, but he would never put Princeton in his ads — only old pickup trucks. Dr. Konde should reread the Art of War or read the notes on our black moderate blog Project Logic GA. Sun Tzu wrote, “Ponder and deliberate before you make a move.”

Team Obama and reasonable people stopped attacking Gov. Palin and switched focus to actual issues. There is an old story about Congressman Bishop’s father, who was college president during the Iranian hostage crisis. When the Iranian students started to protest America on campus, President Bishop promptly sent them home. The late Dr. Lois Hollis and the late President Bishop would recommend caution during these delicate days — don’t fan the flames.

 T. S. Sylvester Georgia


Dr. Konde’s Op Ed

Palin’s supporters promote mediocrity

In “Is Palin ready for office?” (SundayViews, Sept. 7), I argued that Gov. Sarah Palin is ill-qualified for the office of vice president and explained why. I was unambiguous and lucid. Some people were taken aback by my contention and felt compelled to question my pedigree: “How dare him?” Given that my detractors could not answer my fundamental argument with equal zeal and clarity, they naturally found recourse to tangential issues not even remotely related to the argument.

One respondent accused me of plagiarism (Sept. 8), a second noted that I was writing from a position of hysteria (Sept. 8), a third thought I was unfair (Sept. 10), while another directed my attention to Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe (Sept. 10). And then there was The SquawkBox (Sept. 10) where some people berated me as the “pompous professor,” teaching hate, and more. These attempts at derogation notwithstanding, none of my detractors rose to present a cogent rebuttal. I am truly the disappointed man.

The litany of invective has been dragged on into week two, with David Morey’s “Elitism ‘inspires’ mediocrity” (Sept. 17). I wonder what was so elitist about my candid perspective, or so mediocre about my contention! I will not characterize Morey’s person as elitist; but mediocre, his ideas are. Note the distinction I make between the person and his ideas. It is not normal for one with a first degree to present himself as an intellectual counterweight to me. No, Mr. Morey, I will not cower to platitudes. You come across as one with the mentality of people of by-gone years, and operate on the assumption that it is your prerogative to tell me when to inhale, exhale and when not to.

I reject your stance because I stand on a pedestal constructed by valiant men and women who came before me. I will not relent in the face of your insult packaged as erudition. You are mistaken to think that your first degree in engineering is better than a graduate degree earned from Albany State University.

I do not subscribe to the outdated notions which seem to pervade the world you inhabit — a world that time has gleefully left behind. That an engineer with a four-year degree from Mercer University would muster the audacity to challenge a historian in the realm of ideas is quite astounding.

And, yes! I know because I think. I know the contours and trajectory of your histrionics; and, I adamantly refuse to surrender an iota of intellectual ground!

The facts: Gov. Palin’s language is sophomoric. She earned a bachelor’s degree in six years attending five different institutions. If the majority of Americans were prone to that kind of erratic schooling, I would be compelled to tender my apology. But such is not the case. Gov. Palin is unique in this regard. Read: Hawaii Pacific University (one semester), North Idaho College (two semesters), University of Idaho (two semesters), Matanuska-Susitna College (one semester), and back to the University of Idaho (three semesters, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism).

Palin appears not to have made her mark on the college newspaper or campus television station at the University of Idaho. Upon returning to Alaska, however, she worked briefly as a sportscaster for KTUU in Anchorage, and thereafter began her meteoric rise to power as could be possible only in Alaska. And now some ill-advised ideologues want to foist her on America as the best the Republican Party could find? My detractors should take a deep breath and think things over. Adieu!

Emmanuel Konde is an associate professor of history at Albany State University.


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State Senator Eric Johnson gets the backbone award from me because you pretty much know where he stands—whether you like his views or not.


From my brief blogging, it is clearly I like bridgebuilding and looking for common ground and I think Lt. Governor candidate Johnson will find a sizable number of African American voters with his pro-vouchers efforts. 


My question concerns the ability of private schools to cherry-pick the best kids but I can say that public schools in many places are unacceptable because the students are not focused on learning.   Good school, good teacher, scary classmates.


Noticed that Johnson is building a coalition of strong African American women (mothers) whom he has supported at pivotal political times: 


Karen Bogans: Spelman graduate; considered run for Congress in Savannah against Rep. Barrows; Johnson was supportive.


Regina Thomas: ran for Congress in Savannah; Johnson was supportive. 


Alisha Thomas Morgan: Spelman graduate; considered run for Congress; destined for the national political arena  (in this writer’s opinion); Eric Johnson gets heat from the Cobb Co. GOP for donating to her campaign. 


Mark my word, the Dem Team needs to revisit vouchers or it’s a wedge issue to separate African American parents and the Dems in the future. 

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Vernon Jones and Hypocrisy

Vernon Jones and Hypocrisy


I voted for Vernon Jones because I felt that Jones v. Saxby was a win-win situation for rural Georgia.  Jones established his centrist legislative record, knowledge of agriculture and rural development and strong executive experience.   To me, DeKalb County is as complex a government as Alaska and just about as cold. 


So, Vernon gets tossed under the bus by the “powers that be” in the Democratic Party for supporting President Bush in the past.  But, the same powers say nothing about Macon Congressman Jim Marshall embracing Bush policies time and time again.




Vernon Jones, please tell your supporters your thoughts on these matters and if you are personally supporting Chambliss or Martin at this point.   



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The Albany Herald newspaper was as sweet as summer wine this morning.  It seems that Rush Limbaugh and the extreme right are upset that Georgia Senators Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson are part of “Gang of 10” energy proposal


Their energy plan would allow drilling 50 miles off the coasts of Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia, and the Gulf coast of Florida; while eliminating tax breaks for the oil and gas industry to generate $30 billion in revenue, with the money used to fund a new investment in alternative energy.


Other Republicans back an “all of the above” bill that would allow far more new drilling all along the East and West coasts and in restricted areas of Alaska, without the tax increase on domestic producers.


Chambliss and Isakson dismiss the criticism, arguing that voters want Congress to set aside differences and agree on something that will make a difference – even if it requires trade-offs.  “Usually if the extremes are raising cain, it means you’re doing something right,” said Chambliss.


I am still asleep and dreaming or did the two senators from Georgia just take about a third of their party behind the woodshed.  Senators represent the whole state and not just sections of people or just the people who elected them.  People act like their party can not be wrong in the same way people act like their family members are never wrong.  News flash: your party can be wrong and your brother might be nuts.


Bickering fueled by talk radio and T.V. makes for fun entertainment but is not beneficial to our nation.  I am proud of the fact that the Democrats in the Georgia congressional delegation often work across party lines to seek compromise that is in the state’s best interest and that’s why Rep. Jim Marshall should have been in Denver at DNC Convention arguing that some of our Democrat platform was extreme left. 


Then I read the Cal Thomas column about a conversation he had with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush about why the Republicans lost the majorities in both houses of Congress.  Jeb Bush said that House Minority Leader John Boehner has confessed to “mistakes” by Republicans when they held the majority.  Governor Bush believes too many Republican leaders are “in denial” about why they lost their majority.


Dialog, understanding, negotiations, analysis, reasoning, logic and compromise are elements of proper governing.  This Project Logic Ga contributor respects Isakson and Chambliss for putting governing over bickering; and any extreme supporters they might lose will be replaced by many more sensible centrists – ask Senator Nunn.

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I did not want to waste time and energy on this mess but since it is taking concentration away from the real issues, let’s do this.


I was wrong. I heard that Rep. Westmoreland called the Obamas uppity and my head dropped.  Westmoreland actually said that the Obamas are part of “an elitist-class individual that think they’re uppity.”  Honestly, the statement primarily focuses on elite and not just African American elite. 


But, the focus should be on “think” because that one word changes the statement all together.  If I am calling you uppity, that is one thing; but if I say you “think” you are uppity, I am saying you are not uppity but you have a false sense of superiority.  Like a woman saying about another woman, “she thinks she is fine.”


Lynn Westmoreland has been around actual uppity African Americans—the Obamas are salt of the earth but I hope one day to be successful enough to play 18 at that Black Enterprise Golf and Tennis Weekend and bump elbows with the uppity Black elite whom W.E.B. Dubois termed the “talented 10th.”  Westmoreland defeated Dylan Glenn, prep school and Davidson College grad and one uppity brother on the real.  Speaker Gingrich supported Glenn’s candidacy fully in an effort to expand their party.  But to me, most GOPers like their camp “as is” and are guarded about their ranks.


The Bush White House strengthened Glenn’s governmental experience with several important appointments.  In the GPTV debate, Glenn pulled a sweet move by asking Westmoreland which committee in the House would receive a tax bill.  Westmoreland said, “the Committee on Taxation” rather than Ways and Means.  Glenn pounced on the response and Westmoreland gave him a look liked he was thinking “you uppity so and so.”


But, Westmoreland got the last laugh because the people in that district must have been thinking “Newt is not going to send that young guy down here to beat up on our guy.”

The end justifies the ways and means.


Candidate Rick Goddard’s defense of Newt from an interview with an African American reporter is a different matter. Newt was in his element; Newt being Newt like Manny being Manny for baseball fans.  Newt is one of the craftiest debaters in American history and he has the magical ability to convince the people of all kind of stuff.  I watched that interview live and I could see two things in Newt’s eyes: Newt did not half believe his argument himself and that that reporter going against Newt was like going bear hunting with a switch. 


Goddard backing Newt was noble but Newt must have said to Goddard “I got this, you should moderate your vibe and win that seat.” 


Memo to Goddard: you already have like 97% of the GOP voters and Palin might help you get some PUMA/Hillary supporters; avoid the hard-line rhetoric, pick up some “Marshall dissed Obama” folks and you could win this thing.  (I must admit that two years from now a real Democrat will be running against you.)


A page and dozens of typos later let me finish with one real example of uppity.  One of the most positive people of my lifetime is positioned to become president from our party and Rep. Jim Marshall is to good to fly to Denver to listen to him speak.  That’s uppity.


One thing I have learned from Governor Palin during the hours she has been on the national stage is the importance of “thinning the herd.” P.E.’s rap anthem from the movie “Do the Right Thing” opened with the quote:  


“Yet our best trained, best educated, best equipped, best prepared troops refuse to fight! Matter of fact, it’s safe to say that they would rather switch than fight!”


Princeton grad Rep. Marshall needs to stop being truly uppity and get with Obama/Biden before talk turns to Democrat  herd thinning.  (Who in Macon or Tifton will be ready in 2010)

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U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman said it right Tuesday night when he addressed the Republican National Convention in St. Paul. “So tonight, I ask you whether you are an independent, a Reagan Democrat or a Clinton Democrat, or just a Democrat: This year, when you vote for president, vote for the person you believe is best for the country, not for the party you happen to belong to.”

I couldn’t have worded that better myself. As an Independent who leans conservative, the notion that one simply believes he/she must vote for a person because of the Political Party is antiquated. We’re in a change political climate like something we’ve never seen in our lifetime. There’s a change factor on the Democratic and Republican side. And I love it.

I believe all politics is local. The State and local races in the State of Georgia are equally, and really, in my opinion, more important than the Presidential race. Why can’t an African-American who considers himself a Democrat look at what U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss has accomplished and if satisfied, vote for him. I think it is irresponsible for someone to simply go to the polls and vote for the person just because of their Political Party. Remember in the General Election, you can vote Democrat and Republican without repercussion.

Oh, yes I forgot. Some folks feel they will be ostracized if he votes for a Republican. That is ridiculous too. But when you get in the voting booth, the only one who knows, besides you, is God.

I urge African-American voters to become more informed. Take heed to Senator Lieberman remarks and think about how logical it sounds. Logical, in politics, that’s something new, right? But serious.

And the idea of Congressman Marshall, who has Republican opposition, by the way, made a decision to stay in his district and NOT attend the Democratic Convention tells me that African-American voters need to take a look at the other candidate. But sadly many people will complain that this sitting Congressman didn’t even make a cameo appearance, almost like he is ‘dissing’ Senator Barack Obama….but then will go back to the polls again, because you’ve ‘always voted for Democrats,’ and vote for him anyway.

Now does that make any sense to you?

Become an Independent Thinker. Don’t let tradition keep you from being the change agent that both presidential camps are running on. You can become a part of the change, by changing the way you think about voting for candidates. Remember what Senator Lieberman said…..


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I can’t believe the dramatic events from the last two weeks of political conventions.  Former Republican Congressman Jim Leach gave a deep, but boring speech at the DNC convention in Denver.  To me, he is a real kind of guy who exemplifies Middle Western sensibility and I think he sees some of that in Kansas-raised Obama.  It is a shame that the Democrats beat him after 30 years (in part) because some previous supporters refuse to back him after he told the RNC not to use divisive tactics in his race. 


Leach was on the House Banking Committee with Augusta Congressman Doug Barnard who was denied a subcommittee chairmanship by Democrats until the end of his congressional career because he voted conservatively. 


Congressman Don Johnson succeeded Barnard, voted in support of Bill Clinton’s budget plan and served only one term for it. But last night, Senator Joe Lieberman stood on the podium at the RNC Convention and praised that Clinton balanced budget that stimulated the American economy. 


In politics, you have to strike a delicate balance between what you personally believe and your party.  Many Americans don’t fit neatly into the two major parties and it takes courage to stand your ground.  I worked for Don Johnson and across the hall from Maryland Republican Congresswoman Connie Morella, who constantly battled for the moderate element in her party.  It was rough hearing that she lost her seat because she truly was a servant of her constituents.     


Georgia Representative Jim Marshall clearly understands that most of his district is conservative but what about the sizeable moderate portions.  People talk about liberal this, liberal that but moderate Democrats were surprised that he did not stand with the party on the SCHIP children health program votes and he should have been in Denver with Sanford Bishop, Heath Shuler and other Blue Dogs to pull the next Democratic agenda toward what Colin Powell referred to as the sensible center.


Some people believe Marshall will not go anywhere near candidate Obama because he does want pictures that swift-boat groups can use; while others think he should also be mindful of hemorrhaging Democrat support.  I am sure Marshall will marshal the courage to tell us if he is with McCain or Obama soon and I will respect whatever decision he makes.  


When I think about courage, I am reminded of two American heroes who lived 100 years a part and stand as examples for our men and women in the armed forces.  From the Ken Burns documentary on the Civil War, we remember Major Sullivan Ballou and that  letter he wrote his wife about courage, love and country before First Bull Run. ”I question the patriotism of anyone who doesn’t get choked up from that letter.  




The second hero is Lt. Colonel Lemuel Penn, an Army Reserve officer killed by the Klan while driving through Madison County, Georgia, to return to Washington, D.C. after summer active duty at Fort Benning, on July 11, 1964.  The killers were upset that President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law nine days earlier.  It is sad that a World II Bronze Star recipient and educator would be murdered while serving our nation and that he could not use most public restrooms during that car trip.  


Lt. Colonel Lemuel Penn

Lt. Colonel Lemuel Penn






I should honor one more hero, Clete Johnson, the father of former Congressman Don Johnson.  Mr. Johnson was the prosecutor who took the two killers of Colonel Penn to trial despite a Klan warning note posted on his back door.  In his closing argument, Johnson told the jury, “Have the courage to do what’s right”.  We should all remember these heroes during this historic election year.  


Look at this picture of Lyndon Johnson and Georgia Senator Richard Russell and wonder what they would think about this political season.  

 Senator Russell and LBJ

I know this post is long but seeing that picture of LBJ trying to sweat Senator Russell (who was grand uncle of Georgia Democratic Party chairwoman Jane Kidd) made me think about Texas Congressman J.J. Pickle.  Rep. Pickle was on the same hall in the Cannon House Office Building with Don Johnson and Connie Morella and like Mrs. Morella, he could always make you smile.


Mr. Pickle came to Congress just in time to be one of seven southern representatives who voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  LBJ called him at 2 am in the morning to tell him he was proud of Pickle’s voting his conscience.  If Sullivan Ballou was right in his letter and the dead could walk among us, LBJ and his good friend J.J. need to pay a visit to Macon to tell Jim Marshall the party really needs him now or we will remember in November.     

I always remember this tragic date because this event happened one month after I was born and I was born the day after those courageous three Civil Rights workers died in Philadelphia, Mississippi. 

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


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


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


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


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


1.     The Emancipation Proclamation

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

3.     Obama’s Invesco Acceptance Speech


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


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


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


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


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

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Some people treat politics and sports like similar activities.


Georgia v. Georgia Tech

Morehouse v. Clark AU

Fort Valley v. Albany State


These are games…. friendly rivalries…

But, politics and the selection of policymakers are real.  So whether a candidate has a D or a R on his jersey, give some consideration to what that person has done or would do for your community.  This writer thinks it is ridiculous that some  Georgia congressmen break their necks to serve the whole community, catch heat for it from their national party and still face opposition.  Really.


Which Georgia congressmen get Congressional Black Caucus support for the Farm Bill? Hint: do they have a R or D on their jerseys.


Which Georgia congressmen support the Georgia ports while protecting our fragile coastline?   Again, R or D, or both.


Which ones fight to keep our state’s military bases?   


Folks can bicker all they want but smart states don’t recreationally slam responsive leaders.  Think about it, that isn’t the southern way of doing things.


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the Saxby Dilemma

Background: While Senator Chambliss is a traditional Republican on most issues, he is good for most of Georgia on the biggest three:


Agriculture: Chambliss crafted a bipartisan Farm Bill which does a lot for working families, develops alternative energy, and promotes a safe and affordable food supply.


Defense: the Senior Senator from Georgia continues Sam Nunn’s tradition of protecting our military bases and ensuring that out troops are prepared and well treated.


Veterans: Chambliss fights for the best interests of those who faced hostile fire for our freedom; particularly the recently returning personnel with medical and adjustment concerns.


As Vernon Jones pointed out frequently, Jim Martin (nice guy) is too liberal for most Georgians.  Energy wasted supporting him could be better-spent building a bipartisan relationship with Chambliss and transforming him into a Washington icon like former Senator Nunn—one whose knowledge and skills elevates him above party bickering.


Saxby is the ranking Republican on the Senate Agriculture Committee; positioned to prevent McCain from gutting the Farm Bill—a bill that is vital to the economic backbone of Georgia outside Atlanta. 


If you draw a line from Columbus to Macon to Savannah, Saxby is really the only Georgia congressman based below that line.  If he publicly agreed to be civic in the vigorous “discussions” with the possible Obama White House, he could get enough new African American support to put this race away now and Obama will hook Martin up like Clinton took care of Wyche Fowler.





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It can’t be easy being a congressman in Georgia these days when your constituency is often divided by segments across the political spectrum.  With respect to those members who find a way to successful handle this precarious situation, I don’t understand the logic of Rep. Jim Marshall ignoring his district’s support of the Democrat candidate Barrack Obama.   


Of course, Rep. Marshall has a right to support or not support anyone he chooses—remember when he almost endorsed John Edwards.  However, the African American community has been there for him since his days as mayor in Macon.  Like Congressmen Bishop, Barrow and Scott, Marshall often makes moderate/conservative votes that reflect the moderate/conservative nature of most rural Georgians—African American and White.  But, if the African American community understands those votes, Marshall should understand that this election is not just an election.  Words cannot begin to describe the residual effect the Obama candidacy has in our community.   


We all know that Obama would be president of all of America and that moderate Blacks are not 100% in love with all of his positions, but to go from Jim Crow to having this man as the possible president—my goodness.   And for the record, if General Colin Powell ran as a Republican back when, he would have done big numbers in the African community also.  


Bottomline: for all the African American votes Jim Marshall has received over the years, he should work hard for Obama’s candidacy or else.  Maybe middle Georgians should put his feet to the fire a little bit and if he is so against what we believe, let’s watch him win without our bass. (pun intended)   




Candidate Obama is always talking about having a civil debate next year—about disagreeing without being disagreeable.  Middle Georgia should consider sending a southern Republican to Congress who will at least be as respectful to Obama as Georgia Democrat congressmen have been to President Bush.  




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