Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I'm not through ranting yet...

It angers me that on the morning of the greatest victory in Democratic (hell, AMERICAN) history, we find ourselves in a horribly red state in a blue America.

So, Democrats are in the minority in the State House of Representatives for the first time since, when, Andrew Jackson? My friends, for Shelby County, this is a horrific situation, because all we've really got is Jim Coley (a terrific guy, by the way, he DOES a great job and he's not like the folks outside Shelby) standing between us and complete destruction.

Speaker Jason Mumpower? If that doesn't make your blood run cold, people, it's because you don't know what's coming. Gone are chairmanships for our local legislators, and don't think that they won't try to screw Shelby County as much as possible in redistricting if we don't get this back in two years.

Friends, as the late Branch Rickey used to say, the arrow is pointing DOWN for the Tennessee Democratic Party. What pisses me off is that the response I have heard from the TDP seems to be, well, gee whiz, Obama wrote us off and didn't send us any GOTV money.

BOO FUCKING HOO. That sure didn't stop that lovely little band of rebels over on Park Avenue from raising money ON THEIR OWN (thank you, Desi!) and creating the biggest Democratic margin in Shelby County history, did it?

Obama looked down here and saw disorganization and no chance to win, so he smartly said to hell with it. The fact is, the TDP leadership still can't figure out that 1994 happened, so they are running the campaigns of 15 years ago, and they got their asses handed to them.

ORGANIZE, TDP, it's the only way you'll get anywhere now. The good ole boys with money no longer have to pretend they like you, as their REAL loves, the Republicans, can go about the business of doing for them what the GOP Congress did for business in America from 1994-2006.

YOU HAVE TO BUILD FROM THE GROUND UP. The Clinton Model no longer works in Tennessee, and you need to figure out a way to do this. To be honest, the fact that Bob Tuke got his ass whipped shows that if we had had a real state organization in place, we would be looking at Senator Tuke and not six more years of LAMAR! Sorry, Bob, I don't mean to pile on here, but you know it's true.

Gray Sasser? It's time to walk the plank, son. Somebody has to fall on his sword for this, and you're one of them.

As for Jimmy Naifeh, well, sir, you can't continue to be in hunker down mode all the time and expect to avoid this. I feel sad that you will not be Speaker, but you need to figure out how we're going to get this back.

As for my local TDP reps, I don't blame you for this, I know how hard you work here. The folks in Nashville in leadership, though, have to go. If we don't rethink our party, and SOON, we are doomed to backwardness for the foreseeable future.

8 comments:

Andy Axel said...

Friends, as the late Branch Rickey used to say, the arrow is pointing DOWN for the Tennessee Democratic Party. What pisses me off is that the response I have heard from the TDP seems to be, well, gee whiz, Obama wrote us off and didn't send us any GOTV money.

Which is ahistorical, since Obama wasn't running for national office in 2006 as the Senate majority slipped away. Who was in charge then? As I recall it was Bob Tuke, who was running the TDP as it had been run since 2002 - as Phil Bredesen's personal re-election committee.

To be honest, the fact that Bob Tuke got his ass whipped shows that if we had had a real state organization in place, we would be looking at Senator Tuke and not six more years of LAMAR!

Again, let's not forget that Tuke was part and parcel of the ineffectual TDP leadership - one of his sole résumé credentials in politics was that he was chair of the TDP before Sasser took over. Tuke never held public office. Rather, he rode into the TDP around the same time that Randy Button took the reins (firing many of the people who helped Bredesen win, by the way).

Obama looked down here and saw disorganization and no chance to win, so he smartly said to hell with it. The fact is, the TDP leadership still can't figure out that 1994 happened, so they are running the campaigns of 15 years ago, and they got their asses handed to them.

Well, 1994, of course, was when Sasser was dog-whipped by Frist. And 2000 when the TDP got the end-around from the TNGOP and the "Gore-Free Tennessee" campaign (although in fairness, Gore should never have taken Donna Brazile's advice about not campaigning here). And in 2004 when Bredesen told Kerry and his supporters not to bother (even though TN was considered a battleground at the time). And in 2006 when the Senate majority was lost and Ford got flanked by the GOP and their demagoguery on the gay marriage amendment.

Plus, it didn't help that a sizable chunk of the DP delegation was recently frog-marched out of office by federal agents, either... many of our electeds have been either corrupt, ineffectual, or lazy. Sometimes all three.

Seems to me that all Bredesen can do is brag about how popular he is among Republicans, and then scratches his head wondering why people are leaving the DP in droves.

Desi said...

Cracker,

Here's a comment to Aunt B's post that makes some sense to me....make it happen ourselves instead of standing around being pissed.



Christian, on November 5th, 2008 at 12:48 pm Said:

Aunt B., thank you for this. I am seeing a pattern emerge here on an issue dear to my heart, so bear with me…

The work several of us (bloggers and activists) did in Virginia to get Tim Kaine elected (from where I moved in Dec. 2005) started with a small group of Progressive bloggers that communicated privately on issues (via a wiki) and then went full force, on message, online with solid framing and organized an effort that mobilized volunteers to do real work for real change. It doesn’t stop at mere blogging. That’s where it starts. Lowell Feld at RaisingKaine.com was one of those people. Several worked behind the scenes in a private group.

I’ve seen it happen in as little as 2 years, folks. I’ve been a part of it happening right next door in a state that later defeated Republican Senators, and just voted for Barack Obama after decades of voting the other way.

The environment is ripe in TN for Democratic leadership that leads instead of placeholds. From experience, I can tell you things do not change when you ask broken leadership to lead. Things change when YOU become the change you want.

When we moved to fund Progressive candidates in the 2005 Virginia elections, the old gaurd balked… but guess what happened? After hundreds of thousands of dollars raised (check VPAP.org) along with a volunteer army - all online, the party was forced to change and come along when they needed our army to help introduce Tim Kaine to new voters in Northern VA. To his credit, Kaine did not see the intraparty divide as an issue of new energy vs. the old lazy Democratic party that lost election after election. The old gaurd did, and some old Deaniacs tried to make it into a stupid battle of wills (and they evenutally shut the hell up) but not Tim Kaine. He saw it for what it is: the NEW Democratic Party. WE were the new party in the wings, and last night, we saw the new face of Virginia’s Democratic Party flexing it’s muscle… and now the old gaurd can’t be happier.

It’s our party when we make it our party.

TN Democrats can do it, but don’t ask your leaders to do it for you. Don’t ask your leaders for permission to lead. Move the ground. Move the Money. Move the army, and move this state out of the losing column and back into the winning column. It starts with Tiny Cat Pants.
#
Christian, on November 5th, 2008 at 12:55 pm Said:

I meant to note I was one of Virginia’s first paid political bloggers (if not 1st) for a progressive 13th District candidate in the 2005 elections (Bruce Roemmelt - who was Obama’s regional organizer for veterans). The Washington Post attributed Kaine’s victory to the growth of new voters in that district. Barack Obama’s last campaign speech given right in the middle of that district in the city of Manassass.

leftwingcarolinablue said...

Since Reconstruction, according to USA Today. Maybe the TDP will, as you suggest, begin to grow up.
A good place to start would be its previous sense of entitlement, its reflexive righteousness, its unthinking advocacy of dogmatic certitude and its unwillingness to understand how damn tired people are of being labelled as idiots who do not agree with every jot and tittle of junk that slithers out of Nashville and downtown Memphis. Rant over--

Sharon Cobb said...

I was very disappointed to see Sasser blame bloggers on his list of people he was blaming.

Many of us, (including you, Cracker) ran free ads on our sites for Tennessee candidates, and only Steve Cohen seems to appreciate it.


From now on, I'll only run free ads for Steve Cohen for politicians on my site. (If MK ever needs an ad, of course I'd run his as well)

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