Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Now, back to our story...

Oh, by the way, no one has taken up Vibinc on his offer yet...

I want to say that I don't blame Gray Sasser for all the problems that have befallen the TDP and our legislators, but since this happened on his watch, he does have to answer for them.

He apparently attempted to do so in this podcast with LIBERADIO, which I have yet to listen to, but will as soon as I can.

Part of the problem is that the state party is usually led by a hot-shot Nashville lawyer looking to make a name for himself on the way to higher office. This leads to having Chairs who don't want to offend the elites of Nashville or Memphis or the rural areas, and as such presents no real progressive agenda.

This, of course, leads to people who barely run to the left of the Republican, or, as in Harold Ford Junior's case, to the RIGHT of the Republican. This is one reason why we've only won TWO statewide offices since 1994, twice with The Honorable Phil Governor.

Now, I'm not suggesting that we campaign on social issues; I know how that will go. However, if Obama and Congress do as they should, and lower MIDDLE and WORKING CLASS taxes, I am presuming some of these rural folks will figure out that what they call "socialism" is pretty good when it goes to them instead of some CEO who ran his financial institution or auto company into the ground.

And we have to be ready with a REAL message, a COORDINATED message that ignores all the anti-abortion, anti-gay-marriage stuff that's going to wind up being decided by the Supreme Court anyway. We have to find candidates, especially in the rural areas, who can communicate with people who are scared shitless of change, since they have not experienced POSITIVE change in a hell of a long time.

And, in order to do this, we need a Tennessee Democratic Party (as well as a Shelby County Democratic Party) that is stable enough and organized enough to lay the foundation for this to happen, whether President Obama decides to throw us money or not.

For too long, both the local and state party has waited for the national campaign and the national party to throw money at them before they were willing to do anything. Hell, battles for control of the local party were about this very thing in the 1990s (and you old-timers like me know damn good and well that was what it was about!), and where are we now?

The one exception to this was 2004, when Kathryn Bowers got several folks together, along with the ExecCom, and said, by God, we're going to do it on our own, and raised enough money for a Headquarters and a coordinated campaign that, until this year, produced the highest vote total ever in this County for a Democratic presidential campaign. Kathryn, I miss you.

We need to think about this as A) we approach the 2009 local re-org, and B) the impending race for TDP Chair.

At the state level, above all else, WE NEED A FREAKING COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR 24/7, 365, even if the Chair and Executive Director have to take a damn PAY CUT. For all the vile crap put out by Bill Hobbs, the TNGOP director of propaganda, the saddest fact of all is that it WORKED.

Yes, old Hobbsie is as responsible for this debacle as anyone at TDP HQ, because we never had a coherent response for his messages, because they were still running a 1992 playbook. We saw what that did for Hillary in the primary; what made you think that would work in a general election in 2008?

REMEMBER YOUR BASE! Most of us are, well, I don't know any other way to say it, WILD-ASS FLAMING LIBERALS! LIBERALS! LIBERALS!

There, did I say it enough times? And, remember, since this is Tennessee, a WILD-ASS FLAMING LIBERAL is just someone who doesn't believe in mandatory gun ownership, and who doesn't believe in public floggings of all non-Christians.

Really, most of us are opposed to the last eight years of neo-feudalist economic policy, we want a NEW NEW DEAL. Tell me again why the people in the rural areas would be opposed to this, since, if you've been paying attention, you know that they are hurting from job losses from exported jobs worse than anyone else. We saw this in Pennsylvania and Ohio and Michigan this year, people who told our field people that they were voting for the "N-----" because they thought he would do a better job. As the commentator said, if McCain couldn't get THOSE people, he was doomed.

Appalachia is Appalachia, and there's no reason it can't happen here. WE, (and that means ME TOO) have to MAKE IT HAPPEN. EVERY TENNESSEE DEMOCRAT NEEDS TO BE INVOLVED, and the TDP needs to get off its collective asses and go to its base and ask for their help. Most of them would be glad to oblige.

More on the local stuff later, it's time to save the TDP while we still can.


Wintermute said...

Once they get in, these legislators get even more risk-averse and become all about incumbency than leadership on anything important.

In that frame of mind, they don't care about message, let alone staying in touch with friendly bloggers.

They're too old as a rule; they don't have or maintain their own websites; and almost none of them participate in social networking sites, even.

Tennessee Republicans and hicks just flushed a critical mass of Democratic doo-doo down the toilet. Make the most of the opportunities that creates.

lilah said...

I don't have a blog; however, I have donated to the TN Dem Party in the past. I didn't get ONE single request for a donation from them this entire year. No mail, no email request (not much expense involved there), no phone calls, nada, nothing.

I don't extra money, but would have given what I could, had I been asked.

For the first time ever, I donated to a Congressional campaign outside my state - I donated money to Congressman-elect Kissell in NC...I was asked by email to donate by the DNCC, I did. Kissell defeated 10 year Republican veteran Hayes.

Democrats in TN - with exception of Obama campaigns - continue to operate like it in 1980...THAT will not will elections in ANY state, much less this one.

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