Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Not that things need to be stirred up, but...

Well, your friend and mine, that bon vivant, that Commission candidate, that shrinking violet Del R. Gill his ownself has proposed an interesting resolution for the perusal of the SCDP ExecCom.

He sent it to the party and graciously included me in the email, so here it is:

Where As, Building Loyalty for the Democratic Party name is Job One of the Executive Committee...

Where As, Our Local Party has a Covenant of Beliefs and Values...

Where As,
Our next Biennial Convention (est. April 2007) is about a year away...

Where As,
Tennessee has no State Wide Party Registration process...

Where As,
Party Identification is usually derived from Primary Vote Participations...

Be It Resolved,
The Democratic Party of Shelby County commits to adopt a rule for the 2007 Biennial Convention that will EXCLUDE any participating voter who shall have voted in a Republican Primary between August 1, 2006 and the conclusion of our 2007 County Convention.

Ok then. I forwarded the email to my list with the following observation:

You know, at the risk of having some of my favorite people hurl bricks at me Friday night when I host the Tunica trip for the TFDW Convention, I'm not so sure he's wrong here.

On the one hand, we have always bent over backwards to welcome new people, as we should. And, who's to say that people who voted R in August might not have a change of heart?

On the other hand, look at what the party has had to put up with in the last 10 months. We had to boot one ExecCom member who was actively working (and, despite his departure, still IS) against a Democratic elected official.

Then, we had two fellows (one of whom, I understand, has given his mea culpas and given the SCDP money), who had shown to have been involved with the GOP, one as late 2005! And they are running in our primary!

Folks, I don't want to be a spoilsport or someone who's exclusive. Dammit, though, we have people who are very willing to take advantage of our good natures. In the long run, that hurts us.

Now that Committeeman Gill has been good enough to offer this for the ExecCom's perusal and consideration, it's time for us to think about this, too. Mull it over and then let your reps on the ExecCom know how you feel.

Whaddaya think????

UPDATE: I have received some feedback via email, and Joe Weinberg has graciously allowed me to share this response with you, our loyal readers:

Problem is there are lots of reasons why one might vote occasionally in a Republican primary aside from the people who crossover to hurt the other side. Out east there are often no Dem primary contests to speak of & the local elections will be decided in the Republican primary. so if you want to have a say over who will represent you in the legislature, sometimes you might vote republican. Or someone might have a personal friend running in an election. I think using one ballot is unwise. I'd be more comfortable looking at a pattern of voting Republican or voting democrat.


Mike said...

You asked. I think it's an obnoxious idea.

I think the Democrats ought to focus more energy on issues and strategy and winning elections - and less on acting like the Masons with secret handshakes and loyalty oaths and the like. (With apologies and all due respect to Masons.)

Coincidentally: Today I realized (remembered) that I am actually an independent, not a Democrat. I will start describing myself correctly. Statistically, I vote for Democrats 99% of the time, but that does not make me a party animal. It just means I'm not crazy.

In a couple weeks I will probably vote in the Republican primary, but that does not make me a Republican. It makes me a loyal husband. (My wife is running for County Commission, as a Republican and I would like to vote for her.)

I went to a Republican campaign school the other day and they did not ask me for credentials. (The fools!)

Political parties are fine and all that, yadda yadda. But they do not offer refunds, exchanges, or extended warranties. If they did, I sure as hell would have turned in Harold Ford Junior and asked for treble damages. And I sure as hell won't be voting for him for Senate.

BraveCordovaDem said...

This is Dwayne and I haven't moved to Lawrence County yet but I do have some strong opinions of this measure below (and I have expressed these opinions to Dell in the past). Also, as an EX Comm member, I plan to work against this one.

I understand what you are saying Steve. I also believe that the intentions of this are good.

However, this is shortsighted and, if you believe that the Democratic Party should seek to bring new people into our fold, will hurt the Party. This is not much of an issue in Del's neighborhood. It's only a little more of an issue in your neighborhood. However, many voters who do not regard themselves as Republicans choose to vote in the primary in my neighborhood and in other Republican dominated parts of the County. In fact, I personally know Democrats who choose the Republican primary. The main reason is so they will have a choice. In the last State Democratic primary in which I voted, I had NO choices but would have had several if I had chosen the R route.

I was for expelling Richard Fields and, if they try to bring him back, I will compete with Del on who screams the loudest. But this is a different issue. I believe that signing a loyalty pledge is sufficient to allow them to come and participate in our Party and hopefully, stay working with us.

If this had been 30 years ago, I would have agreed with this. At that time, you could pretty well assume that anyone voting in the Republican primary was a dedicated "R." But times have changed and we need to adapt to grow.

LeftWingCracker said...

Exactly what I wanted to see, good solid discussion.

maybe we're just getting gunshy here....

Mike, if you're 99% Democrat, that's close enough for me. Besides, your wife is to the left of all but one of the other candidates in her district, IIRC.

We do have to find a way to bring people back into the fold, to be sure.

David Holt said...

You moving Dwayne? I don't know that we can allow that.