Friday, July 07, 2006

It's not funny any more........

FREDO, you're nothing to me now, you're not a brother, you're not a friend, I don't want to know you or what you do -- I don't want to see you at the hotels -- I don't want you near my house -- when you see our mother I want to know a day in advance, so I won't be there -- you understand.

- From The Godfather, Part II, 1975

I did something I can't ever remember doing before. I left a SCDP Executive Committee meeting early, and I did so because I was afraid that I would throw a punch if I didn't leave.

You will notice that the link to the SCDP website is gone. It's not coming back, either.

I have been hearing that Republicans are going around saying that this is the year that the Democrats sweep everything. Right.

If Bill Giannini had walked into the clusterfuck that was tonight's meeting, he would have smiled, left quietly, and driven to Buster's to order plenty of champagne for the night of August 3, because NO ONE in that room could agree on ANYTHING, even on what they were disagreeing about.

Matt Kuhn, bless his heart, tried to keep control, but no one showed him ANY respect whatsoever. To my friend and brother Del Gill, if I had been the chair tonight, I would have had John Bratcher throw you out on your ass. AND I LIKE YOU!

If I were Desi Franklin and I had worked as hard as she and her committee did to make the judicial recommendations and seen them tossed aside like month-old kitty litter, I would tell the SCDP to do something anatomically impossible and resign from the whole ExecCom.

To the members of the ExecCom, you acted like spoiled children, like out-and-out damn fools, and you should be ashamed of yourselves. When we get our asses kicked on August 3, it's partly your fault. Only partly, because, let's face it, the SCDP has a bunch of underfunded, WEAK candidates who only campaign on one side of town because they live under the delusion that enough African-Americans will turn out so that they don't have to get white votes. And again, they will learn (maybe) at their own peril.

AC Wharton's going to win; hell, he could campaign in a tiara and ball gown every day from here on out and still get 70% of the vote.

The Cracker is DONE with the SCDP. I will support local candidates on a candidate by candidate basis, but I'm not spending one more cent until they can show me that they give a rat's ass about anything more than their own personal agendas.

Hell yes, I've been guilty of that, too, I remember 2000 and the judicial endorsements then, and I was just guilty and just as big an asshole as every one was tonight.

You know what, though, kiddies? I've gotten older, I've gotten smarter and I have survived 6 years of Emperor Bush and I realize the stakes are higher now, and they are a hell of lot more important than the petty warring that goes on at the SCDP. You're all fighting over CRUMBS instead of trying to work together to bake a better pie.

I hate to blow another illusion to bloody bits, there's another reason that we're going to be trounced on August 3: the 9th district Congressional race. If 28 years in local politics has taught me anything, it's that the African-American community rarely turns out that heavily in August, and it's especially so when they are not of one mind. They are very much divided about the candidates in this race, and so are more likely to stay home and wait to see who wins so they can get behind them in November.

(Note: this is one reason why it is INSANE that county races and judgeships have their general elections at the same time as state primaries, it KILLS party-building. That's a state law, so, legislators, get off your collective asses and FIX THIS.)

Back to the judicial recommendations for a moment. I thought the screening committee made good recommendations and had good balance racially (if you think that's not necessary, you're really kidding yourselves) but the ExecCom, led by my brother Mr. Gill and William Larsha (who I have always liked, but had serious troubles even eexplaining HIS OWN amendments!) was having NONE of it.

When the dust settled, Carlee McCullough had replaced Arnold Goldin (???), Lee Coffee (a Cracker endorsee) saw his recommendation changed to no endorsement (apparently because he was the Republican endorsee, and we'll get to THAT in a minute) and Mark Ward only kept his recommendation because Matt Kuhn was forced to break a tie vote.

My sources tell me that this all started, innocently enough, when Gale Jones Carson sent out on her list (of which I am a member) the list of Republican endorsees. This started a chain reaction that had people on the ExecCom insisting that if they had the GOP endorsement, they sure as hell weren't getting ours.

Gee, so what if maybe they were, well, QUALIFIED????? Jesus H. Christ on a pogo stick, what the hell were you people thinking???

Somewhere in his office, I suspect Matt Kuhn is counting down the days until August 10, when either he will refuse re-nomination as SCDP Chair in disgust or be outright beaten. Then, he can go back to his business and his family, where his talents will be appreciated and the SCDP can complete its descent into irrelevance.

I don't plan to be there to watch it, it's too damned painful.

No, I have no plans to become a Republican, why? Are the Rockefellers coming back from the dead?

I will support real Democrats, like Ned Lamont, Steve Cohen, Barack Obama, John Deberry, Carol Chumney, Mike Kernell, Steve Mulroy, Deidre Malone. I'll do it on an individual basis, where it makes more of a difference. I have no intention of throwing any more time or money down the SCDP rathole; they can fight over the corpse on their own time.


Chris Davis said...

You've got a pretty mouth. And BTW, I mean it!
Go get 'em Cracker!

kibitzer said...

Sheeesh! The Cracker's on top of things. It sure sounds like the meeting I attended! Btw, Pesky, when do you sleep?

kibitzer said...

On the other hand, Thaddeus Matthews has a contrastinga view.

Formerly Considered Moderate said...

Yes LWC-F, between Del's usual interruptions, Desi's pointless posturing for no endorsements and the other crap you mentioned, the SCDP meeting was its usual disaster. It is unfortunate that the selection committee's hard work was thrown out the window in many respects, however, some of their recommendations were also unfortunate. Case in point, the recommendation of Karen Massey (a Republican) over a good Democratic sitting judge, Alexander-Best (ask your lawyer friends). Just as an example, that one made no sense. Nor did the recommendation of Lammey over Settle for the same reasons.

If everyone will look at the ultimate endorsements, they did not go along RACIAL lines, they went along PARTY lines. The only exception was the endorsement of Kenny Armstrong over Karen Tyler; the Republican Armstrong (but non-primary voter so we can't tell) over Democrat Tyler, but also highly qualified over MUCH less qualified.

It is also unfortunate that not every Democrat is more qualified than every Republican and the party has now endorsed some of the lesser qualified, lesser-known, and lesser-funded candidates. (At the risk of lecturing, not everyone of any race, sex or party affiliation is deserving of support simply on those bases. Duh?) However, the SCDP voted to support Democrats over Republicans! As stated at one point last night by D. Harris, what is their job if not that?

Make no mistake, the judicial races are partisan and the Republican party pretty much handles it that way. It is also true that some of the candidates for judge just plain don't have partisan affiliations and their endorsements by the Republican party DID NOT MEAN they were Republicans. Case in point: Mark Ward. The Republican Party just got its act together first, as usual, but they certainly excluded hard-core Democrats from their process, thereby endorsing some of the lesser qualified candidates, as our party just did.

Another unfortunate circumstance is that our party, such as it is, forces many of our county-wide office holders to make relationships with the Republican party in order to win.

It was clear to some of us who are attorneys that last night's manipulations by the folks near the windows (Desi and others), were for the purpose of trying to support Arnold Goldin and Jimmy Russell - both blatant Republicans, even if at the cost of all the good Democrats. Despite Thaddeus' opinions and the way it may have looked racially, this was about lawyers vs non-lawyers and not race. It was about maintaining lawyer status-quo and the haves vs the have-nots. I will acknowledge that James Russell is a good judge although a former head of the Republican party. I will not acknowledge the same about Goldin despite some Democratic [L]awyers' opinions. I have always seen it as the purpose of the Democratic Party to protect the have-nots.

You are entirely correct about folks campaigning in one area of the city. There are always more white voters in August than African-American voters. If our Democratic, African-American candidates want to win, they need to work something other than the African-American community. Certainly the white Republicans are working both communities. Turnout this year will be pitiful and it will hurt the Democrats. For years, the community suffered from white racism which was wrong; now it suffers from black racism which is also wrong. Democrats cannot win in this county without being part of both racial communities and without us getting together. I do not look forward to seeing our ticket go down in flames, but I am not looking forward to election day.

Steve Steffens said...

FCM, very interesting reading of the situation and well thought out, thank you.

Yellow Dog said...

You live in a delusional world, especially about African-American voters, I am a Yellow Dog Democrat not a Blue Dog, a party loyal, but as always you have those that pretend to me Democrats when it is convenient, but it appears, you would rather cut and run, when things get tough, your question to yourself should be what can I do for my party? Remember the words of Martin Luther King Jr, the measurement of a man is where he stands at a time of challenge and controversy, what is your position? Hide,run,whine or make a difference. Most African-American voters once presented with a choice or eligible candidates will get out vote, so on August 3 election day just wait and see who prevails you must also remember that this state, counties always vote republican, most white voters would rather vote republican and cut their own throats against their self-interest, check it out, observed voters at the poll, low wage earners and middle-income will always vote republican.

Steve Steffens said...

Yellow Dog, why don't you ask what I've DONE for my (old) party? Trust me, cutting and running is not something I do; why else would I even bother to write if I didn't care? I've been at this for 28 years now, fighting for Democratic candidates and the SCDP, and look what it's come to.

Nothing personal, but to quote Roger Daltrey singing the words of Pete Townshend, who the fuck are you?

SgtLarry said...

FCM ... I strongly disagree with you about Mischelle Best. She was absolutely horrible as the domestic violence judge. She was blantantly anti-male. I heard the prosecutor tell one MALE victim that he had a good case but the judge (Best) would let the woman go. He was correct. Dispite witnesses and an admission that she struck the first blow, Best set her free. In other cases that day, on less evidence against the male, she threw the book at them ... fined them and ordered them to anger management. I didn't see her order one female aggressor to anger management that day. ... Sgt Larry, former law enforcement officer.

John Harvey said...

Ahh, democracy at work. It is usually a very painful process, but worth the pain.

We had a similar situation at one of the Republican steering committee meetings lately, so don't think this is unique to the Democrats. Some were trying to run unqualified candidates in under the guise of "outreach". One such candidate had only been out of law school for a few years. We definitely don't need judges who haven't done their time in the trenches.

It all stopped when I produced the voting records of all the candidates. One had voted 14 times in a Democratic primary and none in the Republican. Yet, she was there boldly asking for our support. You have to give her high marks for the Chutzpah though. At any rate, that website is on the web for use by any certified Republican, nah just kidding, for use by anyone. If you are so inclined, Click Here Just remember that many refuse to allow facts to dissuade them from their illogic.

Blinders Off said...


The SDCP during the Dist 29 race was my eye opening experience and you obviously had yours at this meeting. When I first came to your sight out of frustration, I asked you WHY I should continue to vote the Democrat ticket. My reason for asking you the question was the SDCP did not have unity and it all boils down to race in Memphis politics. Also, because both parties have taken the black vote for granted...hence the name Blinders for the best qualified candidate regardless of political party affiliation, religion, and race as long as he/she represent all the citizens in their district equally.

MemphisPI said...

I just read the Fields letter and compared that with what another blogger states is the official SCDP endorsements. What are they thinking?

I could say I am ashamed to be a dues
paying member of the SCDP. But I won't make that mistake again. I am not joining the SCRP but I am voting for more Republicans in one election than anytime in the past. Let some
SC Democrat challege that and the reply at least I am not ethically challenged!

I agree with some of your endorsements
and disagree on others, notably the Sheriff, DA and Register. I go to the
Register's office often and Leatherwood has brought it out of the dark ages in to the computerized world. He also got the Shelby County Archives established in the old jail building and if you haven't been there
it's quite impressive for a SC office.

But the SCDP judicial endorsements are
beyond disbelief. I want a refund on my dues!

Sharon Cobb said...

Will one of you guys please explain to me why every man I've ever known, beit a working relationship, friendship, politics or romantic explains life by using "The Godfather?"

Thank you!!!