Posts Tagged ‘saxby’

Who really represents you in congress could be a technicality?  On my street, a community activist has several “Sanford Bishop for Congress” signs in his yard.  I started to tell him that after the last redistricting, we can’t vote for Bishop and he doesn’t represent us anymore.  

But, the thought occurred to me: “your congressman” isn’t necessarily the one who has your geographic district.  For example, ultra-conservatives that live in Rep. Bishop’s 2nd congressional district of Georgia ignore his service because they want a far-right winger in office.  For southwest and middle Georgia, Rep. Bishop and conservative Rep. Austin Scott actually listen to more of the opposition than most members of congress.  While moderates appreciate Bishop’s listening to everyone, I think the far-right section of the conservative movement only wants GOP representatives and senators to hear from them—because they are the only people who are right.

Since junior high school, I have known that once elected an official was obligated to serve everyone but that is some theoretical middle school stuff.  In actuality, neither Bishop nor Scott will have a real competitive race before the next redistricting after the next census.  So, conservatives will fuss at Bishop then call one of the two GOP U.S. Senators’ offices.  As a moderate in conservative Austin Scott’s district, I can still dialog with him because the guy is about explaining his views in a healthy manner (rather than being as ugly as the far-Right.) 

Rep. Bishop still represents my community and that is fine because more people who sleep in my town work in Bishop’s district than work in our technical congressional district.  We work, shop, worship, study, eat and chill across that invisible congressional line.  Bishop and Scott have parts of Macon, Georgia and Columbus, Georgia, and you can believe that people constantly smudge- out that line in their minds. 

You might not be able to vote for the congressman or woman from the neighboring district but you can still make that campaign donation.  Also, our votes are becoming less impactful anyway.  As a moderate Democrat, my voting in the GOP primary was more important to selecting the next president than my coming vote for President Obama in this non-swing state.  Yes, I voted in the GOP primary because I wanted to ensure that even if my guy didn’t win, the winner would be the best from the other side.  In other words, Romney wasn’t crazy like some in the GOP primary field—just aloof.  

For the record, I would be undecided at this point if the GOP presidential candidate was Jon Huntsman, Condi Rice or Mitch Daniels.  I don’t vote for Bishop and Obama because they look like me.  I vote for them because they try to incorporate everyone’s opinions in the decision-making process. 

To my conservative friends, I say look to Austin Scott when you discover that you can’t be a national party without having a functional relationship with the political center.

I should call it like it “t.i.s. tis.”  I live in the mega-congressional district Georgia 2nd/8th which is represented by Rep. Bishop and Rep. Scott.


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I am sick and tired of national folks taking political jabs at my south Georgia congressional delegation.  The fellows need to jab back.  My rural south agenda focuses on agriculture, education/jobs, military/veterans and transportation.  If they take care of those areas, other stuff is secondary because all politics is local.

My Georgia is the area south of a line from Columbus to Macon to Savannah.  “JABS” could be Jack, Austin, Bishop and Saxby as in Rep. Jack Kingston, Rep. Austin Scott, Rep. Sanford Bishop and Sen. Saxby Chambliss.  Of course, Senator Johnny Isakson is the coolest of the cool and we appreciate his ATL-based service as well.  Party politics requires these guys to publicly act combative with each other but we know that JABS circle the wagon when Georgia issues are on the table.   

Sen. Chambliss catches heat from the far Right when he negotiates with Democratic senators but kuckleheads should know that negotiating is what leaders do.  Jack Kingston can throw policy jabs with the best of them but coastal Democrats will admit that Jack will go anywhere to explain his rationale and many African American conservatives have worked in his D.C. and district offices; the same can’t be said about most GOP congressmen.  

The Austin Scott and Sanford Bishop areas of south Georgia are interesting because the recent changes to the congressional map made Bishop’s district more Dem-friendly and Austin’s area more GOP friendly.  Does this mean Bishop is going to become more liberal?  No.  Actually, Bishop, as an appropriator, has become more of a fiscal educator during his Georgia visits.  Of course, he isn’t as fiscally conservative as Austin Scott but considering SDB’s district he does more than expected and hears it from real liberals. 

The new map will move my hometown from Bishop’s district to Austin’s district but that is fine with me because interests don’t stop on political lines.  Kingston has always protected Naval Air Station Jacksonville because many employees from that base live in southeast Georgia and a similar situation exist between the 8th district and the 2nd district.  People live in rural towns but work, dine and shop in Albany, Columbus and Macon.  So, the conditions in both areas are contingent or mutual.  

I am keeping my eyes on JABS and would love to see them use the basketball fundamental technique called the jab step to get the national haters off them.  In basketball, this moved is used to create space from the opposition before executing one’s next scoring move.  Jack, Austin, Bishop and Saxby deliver or score for south Georgia but I need them to be more vocal about their achievements.  And if an occasional misstep occurs, Georgians can weigh the good vs. the nots-so-good and decide.  For example, we heard a lot of drama about candidate Nathan Deal but he has been a decent governor who is about to overhaul the expensive criminal justice system in this state.  We spend too much money on criminals and change starts with education. 

Look, people have agendas and you can detest folks for working their hustle. But, national groups can’t tell me that JABS are wrong; those guys are fellow Georgians and we will make that determination on our own.  As a matter of fact, regular Georgians should use the web and public events like our unlikelyalliesproject.com meetups to discuss our elected officials.

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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.”)


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


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I am a good American who wants the best people governing.  While I support candidates I find competent of any party, a quagmire results from deciding if I should hope for an opponent who is easier for my guy to beat or hope for a quality person who would serve well if elected.

Obama is my guy in 2012 but I have issues with friends who gleefully want the worst GOP candidate in November.  What if that zany person actually wins?  Hillary Clinton, Mitt Romney, Mitch Daniels and Jon Huntsman are presidential material and if the economy doesn’t improve Obama himself might see the logic in letting someone else have at it.   Newt, Newt, my homeboy Newt is clearly an ideas guy whose intelligence and vision would be helpful to the nation but he likes to toss fire and that’s not cool.

In Georgia congressional politics, moderates must face the reality that Democrats help people who don’t bother voting—oh, they can go to every freaking high school football and basketball game but can’t find 10 minutes to vote.  If elections are to be decided in the primaries, we should support reasonable GOP candidates running against out of touch candidates or help out of touch candidates better understand all of the electorate.  If not, we might have elected officials who developed their points of view in a bubble…a strange angry bubble where everyone is like everyone else.   Cain vs. Obama would be cool with me because Cain would say what needs to be said to regular folks. 

I think Democrats and Black folks should spend some time listening to Herman Cain and the rest of the GOP field.  Their concerns are valid and solutions are often sensible—their methods and disposition need some work.  In a strange twist, listening to the conservative side helps President Obama because moderates better understand why he is seeking common ground with them.  I am a positive guy and if any conservative wants to talk about why their temperament is often off-putting, I am right here and eager to teach and learn.  Bottomline: constantly angry is no way to go through life. 

Columnist Cynthia Tucker wrote a nice one this week about Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss catching heat for negotiating in the Gang of Six group.  Why in the world would someone dislike an elected official for doing his job?  Tucker is correct: the ultra conservatives and the ultra liberals need to stop tripping.  We should remember that these two groups are a fraction of the American people but they are vocally involved and we all know that the squeaky wheel gets the grease.  


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There is a controversial painting of all American presidents that includes President Obama standing on the U.S. Constitution.  The guy was president of the Harvard Law Review and a University of Chicago constitutional law professor but he doesn’t respect the Constitution.  Really?

I saw the painting hanging in the district office of U.S. Rep. Austin Scott.  Readers of this blog know I appreciated GOPer Scott removing Rep. Jim Marshall because Marshall, a law scholar himself, decided that Speaker Pelosi and the White House wasn’t his cup of tea.  The two Georgia U.S. Senators, Scott and Rep. Jack Kingston are the most bearable Republicans in Georgia because they are good guys in person.  But, the ultra conservatives are busy and seemingly require that the GOP leaders limit input from Democrats.  Kingston has a well-earned reputation for going to policy-hostile events and breaking down his voting record.  That’s how you do it and Bishop, Barrow and even Marshall did the same.

If the picture is in Scott’s office, it is there because Scott feels that the White House’s policy contradict the framers intend; Scott is on a fiscal correction mission.  When Rep. Sanford Bishop was a freshman, his Washington office initially didn’t have Georgia flag outside the front door.  In an interesting twist, Bishop got the old flag (stars and bars included) but state legislator Austin Scott was (I think) the only GOPer who support changing that flag and he caught hell for it.

The artist who created “The Forgotten Man” said he knew the work was a little strong and I personally think it is too strong.  I always respect President George W. Bush and argued with those who thought he wasn’t bright—dumb people rarely graduate from Yale.  The birther junk and whatever comes next are insults and thank you to those of the other side who want to stick to the issues.  I saw the facebook video statement of Rep. Scott regarding the killing of Bin Laden and yes, he was of the few conservatives who gave President Obama credit. 

Democrats have always allowed Bishop, Barrow, Marshall and other Blue Dogs flexibility to included conservative elements in their actions because conservatives are Georgians too.  I am concerned that the far Right will not allow the same leeway to any GOP members of congress.  Of course, the views of real liberals fall on death’s ear but even moderates and centrists should keep an eye on redistricting and hope that they end up in moderate districts.   

When Jon Stewart said that Bill O’Reilly was the “thinnest kid at fat camp,” he meant that O’Reilly was the best person at Fox News and one might say the same about Sen. Saxby Chambliss (Gang of Six) and Austin Scott.    

Jon McNaughton’s The Forgotten Man is art and art is designed (like Spike Lee’s and Tyler Perry’s work) to provoke thought.  You be the judge.

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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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A Pyrrhic Victory is a victory offset by staggering losses.  King Pyrrhus’ of Epirus Army suffered tremendous casualties in the defeating the Romans in 280 BC—winning at all cost.  As a student, studying the massive loss of human life during the American Civil War was rough. 

Some observers have liken the current political battles to Pyrrhus’ situation since there are those who want to win with little regard for functioning after the election.  The GOP has been tossing out quality conservative incumbents because the likeable lawmakers have histories of attempting to serve all the people.  While it might be selfish, I have supported a Georgia senator from my area because his knowledge and leadership on agriculture and military issues helps key economic engines in rural Georgia. 

The Blue Dog Democrat who represents southwest Georgia is in a serious mid-term battle and the far Right is giddy about their chances. They should remember Pyrrhus or better, Pickett and Lee at Gettysburg.

While I am busy be selfish, I can’t understand why more voters in swing congressional districts are standing idly by as a relative small group of very involved activists, Tea Party, shape elections and policy. From President Obama down to my city block, Democrats are too freaking nice…to each other.  I have seen the enemy and it’s the complacent face in the mirror.  We should find solace in the fact that our lack of voting produced the coming results.  

A bust of Pyrrhus in a Copenhagen museum is missing it’s nose. I couldn’t help but think about wild voters in 2010 who seem eager to cut off their noses to spite their faces.  That Georgia Senator has a staffer who evidently wrote something ugly on a blog when he or she should have been protecting the farm bill provisions on crops, nutrition programs and renewable energy so our southwest Georgia troops can return home soon rather than being entangled in hostile oil-rich regions of the world.  Pyrrhus and I wouldn’t have been cool because I am selfish and hella practical.  

I am pleased to see the White House finally pushing their supporters to the polls with references to their legislative record–talk about your Pyrrhic Victories.

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