The True Republican Identity

Good Evening Folks - and a special welcome to Jerry Meek our new state chair of the Democratic party in NC! I have been away for several months traveling and enjoying life and taking a bit of a breather from politics. I have not posted in a long time on MyDD and other forums to which I belong. However I write today after completing an extended conversation with a friend of mine that was recently widowed. She lost her husband after 58 years of marriage, 3 children, 8 grandchildren, 4 houses, 10 cars, etc. Far from wealthy but living very much what was thought of as the 'American Dream.' Part of the WWII generation, she was part of the 'Rosie The Riveter' female war effort while her soon-to-be husband became a decorated war hero. They were part of The Greatest Generation as its often known who provided the bulk of the manpower in WWII and were our leaders and statesmen from the 1940s to the 1980s. Today their numbers are dwindling and all but a few have long since retired from positions of power being supplanted by the Baby Boom generation and beyond. Margaret, the widower, buried her husband, and was faced with the task of living on with a small private pension and an even smaller Social Security check, a result of her husband retiring from the US Postal Service. Like many, if not most, of her generation now, living became a one necessitated routine, fixed (often limited incomes) and the inability to do many of the things that one had been accustomed to doing before.

During that 1 1/2 hour conversation with Margaret, I realized what the difference between a Democrat and Republican really was. Years of political activism and countless political debates could not prepare one for the stark reality. Always being a fairly conservative person, for a Democrat, a white southerner, and one from a fairly rural area, I was a stereotypical southern Democrat. No one paid much attention to why, for most of my life it was the natural course of things. But now as I look back at all the Republicans that I knew over the years, and especially as I see how the Republicans today - with George Bush as President and others like him the reality is really that stark.

The reality, my friends, is that as I look inward, outward, detailed or in general the basic tenant remains. Republicans ultimately believe in a concept of 'survival of the fittest,' 'each man for himself,' and 'winner take all.' The ultimate act of selfishness. For whether you look at how politics is conducted, to individual issues like Social Security, taxation, education, social issues, or whatever else it maybe, in the end it comes to really just one thing. Its not about just the haves and have nots but really the difference is about being selfish, or believing in shared responsibility. In the end, Republicans believe in the philosophy that will allow a certain number of people to do well and leave others behind.

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Winning The Peace In The Middle East

Hopefully this turn of events will move the peace process along in the Middle East. The Middle East has been in conflict since the dawn of time - it is written about in the Bible, so we may never fully resolve the issues at hand. However we can make it work. The United States has always been, and should always remain, a strong backer of Israel, the only true democracy in that region. With that said, because we back Israel, we will always be looked upon with suspicion by Arab and Islamic entities. We may never win the love and affection of the Islamic community, but in order for anything to work we need to be perceived as a fair-dealer. If we learned anything from the Carter administration in the 70s and the Clinton years in the 90s, is that fair and diplomatic negotiation can and will work.

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NC To Have Statewide Revote

First of all, hello to all that read MyDD - I have been away during most of the holidays, family obligations, traveling, personal sickness.

Second of all, in an unprecedented move, NC State Board of Elections has ordered a statewiderevote for the NC Commissioner of Agriculture's race.

The race has remained undecided because nearly 4,500 votes were 'lost' by a voting machine in one county. The current margin in the race is 2,287 votes. Incumbent Democrat Britt Cobb is being challenged by Republican Steve Troxler who is running for the second time in as many elections. This is viewed as a win of sorts for Cobb's side as they had pushed for a statewide revote from the get go. Troxler's side had argued to let the vote stand as-is, or to revote only those 4,500 voters who were disenfranchised. The Board of Elections in December had compromised by setting up a revote on January 11, to include not only the disenfranchised 4,500 voters but also anyone else that did not participate in the original vote. Cobb appealed that ruling and Troxler is expected to appeal this latest ruling.

Officials estimate that if a statewide revote were to take place, would be in mid-March. Turnout would be exceedingly low compared to November 2, 2004. State law is written as such to mandate a revote in the office's jurisdiction, in this case statewide, in any revote situation like this.

The last time a statewide revote was done in any state, to my knowledge, was in 1975 in New Hampshire for a US Senate seat.

Does Osama bin Laden Still Matter?

While it is not particularly shocking, but surprising none the less, Pakistan has recently admitted that the trail for Osama bin Laden has gone cold.

President General Pervez Musharraf, in an interview with The Washington Post, indicated that Pakistan has scaled back its efforts to find Osama bin Laden. Since 9/11, Pakistan has been at the forefront of this new terror war, sharing a border with Afghanistan which many think harbors bin Laden. Musharraf indicated that it has been some time since Pakistani intelligence operatives have had any concerete leads on bin Laden, or any of its top associates. Musharraf also indicated that he assigns some of the blame on the United States, who he believes has understaffed Afghanistan and has shifted its attention away from that country to Iraq.

In the 2004 elections, 'morality' was clearly a top issue for many voters, and the issue which gave Bush a second term. What is interesting, however, is that terrorism and the Iraq war, per se, were not particular good issues for the President. Exit polling has indicated that among those where the Iraq war and war on terror were the top issues, the President lagged behind Sen. Kerry. It is this author's personal opinion that Sen. Kerry did not go after Bush on the inconsistencies on the war on terror since 9/11, preferring to straddle the Iraq War issue. Much can be said of the 'abandonment' of Afghanistan, both as a military exercise, as well as in the effort to find Osama bin Laden. Given the fact that Osama has not been caught, and the Bush administration evidently downplaying the threat that bin Laden poses, it begs the question, does Osama bin Laden still matter?

Revote Expected In North Carolina

Election 2004 will certainly be remembered for many things, but it is not entirely over, yet. With all of the attention focused on Ohio and other states with national implications, it was easy to overlook the fact that North Carolina had some of the worst election-related problems encountered this cycle. Problems ranged from the usual miscalculations to disputes over the counting of provisional ballots to one county summarily 'losing' 4,500 votes in a software glitch. It was this last problem that will prompt the state to do what few states have ever done, conduct a statewide revote.

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The Role Of A Political Party

Democrats have begun the soul-searching that takes place with every party after they lose an election. The loss in 2004 has been especially painful, since President Bush was in the weakest position an incumbent President had been in since Jimmy Carter in 1980. At one point in history recently, it was thought that the Democratic Party was nearly unstoppable. In 1992, the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress and recently elected Bill Clinton as President to control all three bodies of power in Washington which rarely happens. However that all came crashing down with the elections of 1994 when the Democrats lost both houses of Congress and probably would have lost the White House had Clinton been on the ballot that year. While Clinton was reelected in 1996, Democrats have failed to regain the majority (officially) in either house of Congress since then. With the elections of 2000 and 2004, it has become clear that the Democrats need to rethink their Presidential strategies as well.

So as we sit here in November 2004 - we ask ourselves why this little history lesson that we so painfully already know? Well while we debate all of the very valid issues of the day, what we believe in, what it means to be a 'liberal,' and what we stand for, and the discussion of who will head the Democratic party in the future - it would be wise to reflect on the true role of any political party, especially the Democratic party - TO GET PEOPLE ELECTED!

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Big Brother On The Loose - In Your Car

Much has been talked about 'Big Brother' and specifically the intrusion into our personal lives that has become constant fear since the enactment of The Patriot Act. The Patriot Act, of course, was meant to aid the government in deterring terrorism and catching criminals. However as is usually the case, give the government an inch, and they will usually try and take a foot. The latest scare is within automotive circles - the installation of 'black boxes' in vehicles that record everything from crash data to driving habits. Of course the premise is to aid the police and insurance companies in determining the circumstances of an accident, much like is now down with airplanes. However this data is only made available to police authorities and insurance companies.

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Senate 2006

I would say at this point, the best the Democrats could hope for is enough wins to put the Senate back to the 51-49 split it was prior to the 2004 elections. If that happens, there is a chance the Democrats could retake the Senate during the open Presidential election of 2008. Of course, as always, we shall see who chooses to retire and who doesn't in 2006.

Look in the extended section for a complete, state-by-state breakdown of the races.

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Can Hillary Win in 2008?

Let's face it folks, if Hillary Clinton wants the nomination in `08 it will be hers. Why? Well since Bill can't run there are precious few other people that could even compete with Hillary. Kerry is out unless we want to relive 1956 all over again (when Adlai Stevenson was the nominee for the second time in a row). Dean likely wouldn't be able to compete as he has already ran once and lost and would be essentially competing on some of the same ground making it difficult for him to build support, Edwards is about the only other alternative that could mount anything garnering whatever support Hillary doesn't already have. However the whole discussion is almost overdoing it as soon as Hillary would announce the race would effectively be over. So shall we prepare for a Hillary in `08 campaign? 2008 will be an open seat, with President Bush as a lame duck. Cheney will not run, he really can't, so far Jeb Bush has indicated that he does not want to run, and there are precious few Democratic or Republican Governors that are in any position to do so.

I spent nearly 2 1/2 hours on the phone the other night with my friend Paul, who has seen it all in politics over the last 40 years. After discussing the unfolding NC election drama (which I will likely make a post out of in a few days when we see what will happen), topic turn to 2008. Paul's take is that unless something develops over the next two years in which someone emerges with widespread name recognition and credibility, the nomination is Hillary's for the taking. So in the spirit of moving forward with this blog, lets take a look at what a Hillary nominee would look like.

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Who Is The Anti-God?

George Bush and the Republicans have convinced a majority of Americans that in order to fight fundamentalist Muslim nations around the world that throw bombs we must build a fundamentalist Christian nation here that throws bombs.

On Wednesday morning, Nov. 3, I received a call from a longtime friend and political activist. After exchanging the usual pleasantries of course talk turned to the election results. Paul, a veteran of nearly 40 years in politics as a Democrat, Republican, and as an election official, has seen it all. So I have come to rely on his insight and take great interest in his opinions. I asked him what his thoughts were on the Presidential election. Of course he was disappointed but not entirely surprised. Why? Because Bush & Co. were able to utilize a key element that was missing in the 2000 elections - evangelical religious voters. If the exit polls are any indication the failure of Kerry to win will not be necessarily the mobilization of our own base, but that Bush & Co. were able to convince Christian evangelicals that it was morally imperative to get out and vote.

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