Enough is enough.

Some of you were at the bloggers conference and heard me booed when I suggested we would support primary opponents to BAD Democrats. I won't mention which NCDP staff member booed me, but I think the stats out today on poverty provide a good example of why enough is enough.

If you are a liberal Democrat in North Carolina, and you can't stand up and bash the conservative Republicans and Democrats that have dug us into this hole, then when will you? What will it take before Democrats stand up and take control the way they did under FDR? We were a nation of Republicans, who believed in government keeping their hands out of the till, and it drove us into a Great Depression.

Well, Republicans learned their lessons, they made sure the stock market didn't tank and that those with a lot of money ended up with more. Their New Depression was targeted to those who can't or won't stand up for themselves because they are too busy working two or three jobs to make ends meet.

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The gulf between rich and poor in the United States is yawning wider than ever, and the number of extremely impoverished is at a three-decade high, a report out Saturday found.

Based on the latest available US census data from 2005, the McClatchy Newspapers analysis found that almost 16 million Americans live in "deep or severe poverty" defined as a family of four with two children earning less than 9,903 dollars -- one half the federal poverty line figure.

For individuals the "deep poverty" threshold was an income under 5,080 dollars a year.

"The McClatchy analysis found that the number of severely poor Americans grew by 26 percent from 2000 to 2005," the US newspaper chain reported.

"That's 56 percent faster than the overall poverty population grew in the same period," it noted.

The surge in poverty comes alongside an unusual economic expansion.

"Worker productivity has increased dramatically since the brief recession of 2001, but wages and job growth have lagged behind. At the same time, the share of national income going to corporate profits has dwarfed the amount going to wages and salaries," the study found.

"That helps explain why the median household income for working-age families, adjusted for inflation, has fallen for five straight years.

Either stand up, or get out of the way, because it is time to bring some old fashioned Fire and Brimstone down on their heads. It's time to take back the mantle of Liberal, of Progressive, and it's time to make it clear that the Republican Party is immoral and it thrives on policies that are evil.

Comments

Are we supposed to sit on the sidelines

during the primaries? Don't we all in the blogosphere have the right, nay, the obligation, to speak out about what we think is right and wrong? If you were booed by an NCDP staffer for that comment, the poor soul must have confused "bloggers" with "the Democratic Party." Certainly the party should not support one Democrat against another during the primaries, but what is the point of having primaries if individual dems cannot duke it out in support of our favorites? Should we go back to making selections in smoke-filled rooms so we can present a united front to the public?

Agreed. As I said at the time,

you won't see me putting a check next to any Republicans, but that doesn't mean I have to support DINOs either. I'm lucky that everyone in my district is liberal, our most centrist representative Bill Faison is still left-of-center on most things.

Where are the candidates?

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Amen, brother.

I'm in. This is about the common good. Which is antithetical, of course, to the Party of Greed.

Fire and Brimstone.

Unfortunately, I don't see any of our current crop of state-wide candidates being this person. Maybe it is time for us to nurture someone younger, who might be this person in 6 or 10 years?

Where are the candidates?

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Exactly -

There's a big difference between blogging online, or speaking as a representative of the Democratic Party. Incumbents who haven't done a good job should be challenged in primaries. Isn't that why we have them? You con't get to be congressman for life, do you? ::Looks around::: oh. Coble. Well, maybe.

Within the Democratic party there is so much politicking, so much back room stuff that I can't see why an NCDP staff member would have the balls (or ovaries) to boo you for making such a suggestion. It's democracy folks.

Once the primary is over, then Democrats have to make a choice. Do we stand behind the chosen candidate, even if that person is not the one we would have supported? I think the party has an obligation to, unless the candidate is obviously insane or criminal. It's an obligation I'd like to see them live up to even better. But bloggers? Pssshhht. nonsense.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi

I appreciate your passion but..

Republican Party is immoral and it thrives on policies that are evil.

I appreciate your passion and share many of your concerns, but "cleaning house" and replacing them with like-minded people who think and say Republicans are immoral, evil, etc. would be about the worst thing I could think of to promote Liberal causes. Sure, there's some kind of "moral victory" I suppose, but it would come at tremendous cost.

Perhaps I'm naive, but I think compelling, positive messages will win many more over and get more done than the name-calling and conspiracy ranting. Nobody ever tries very hard to convince those evil rich conservatives they might actually be better off if we all tried to help each other more. I guess it's just easier to call them evil and do whatever one can to promote class warfare the punishment of the Bourgeoisie.

Bull.

This is the kind of wimpy, middle-of-the-road philosophy that got us here in the first place. Our opponents question our patriotism, our courage, our morality, and our right to be Americans at every turn. Yet, we're supposed to be "nice" to them, we're supposed to Go Along to Get Along.

Well, when the Republican Party once again is the party of Eisenhower, the party that sees the benefit of Medicare and the Interstate Highway System for the PEOPLE, not just the PROFITS, then I'll work with them. As long as their party says things like this...

Vice President Dick Cheney on Wednesday harshly criticized the Iraq strategy advocated by Democratic leaders in Congress, saying their approach would “validate the al-Qaida strategy.”

then I have no place in my heart for kindness towards them. You're not naive, what you are doing is called being a concern troll. You're a small businessmen, you're interested in profits, you're probably doing well under the Republican leadership. But, that doesn't mean it is the only way towards a better economy. You can recognize their policies as immoral and still want businesses to make profits - this is America after all, we are ALL about profits and capitalism.

The question is how much goes towards profits to the big guy, versus living conditions for the worker. I know from your past posts that you pay a good wage, so you've made the moral choice. The Republican Party hasn't.

Where are the candidates?

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Dude, I am with you

The problem is, we let them frame the debate, which is a real problem, because they have the megaphone (mass media) which has the most volume.

What we have is truth.

They cannot defeat the truth, it always prevails in the end.

Googled it. Maybe I am one.

Googled it. Maybe I am one. I don't know. "Troll" implies negative motives or sponsorship though.

Kos: "Concern Trolls". Marginally more clever, they pretend at being progressive Democrats, but at every turn seem to suggest the most obviously damaging or boneheaded or offensive thing they can. These are easier to catch than you might imagine: since it hardly matters whether someone is an obvious concern troll or just an unmitigated idiot, sometimes it doesn't pay to think about it too hard.

If a "concern troll" is someone who believes:
-"They did it first" is not a legitimate excuse
-We can have our beliefs and goals but attempt civil discourse
-If we're "better than them" we should act that way
-Alienating half the country instead of appealing to them is the wrong way to go
-Etc.

Then I guess I am one.

Half the country?

I seriously doubt that most republicans support what is being done, or that they would if our leader made it clear WHAT was being done in their names.

Where are the candidates?

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Not a concern troll

A concern troll is someone who pretends at being a progressive Democrat, but at every turn seems to suggest the most obviously damaging or boneheaded or offensive thing they can (paraphrased from dKosopedia).

Example: "As a progressive Democrat, I think that the very LAST thing the leadership in Congress should do is cut off funding for our fighting men and women on the battlefield. That's exactly what the terrorists want!"

The "concern troll" label requires ill intent, and the previous commenter clearly had none.

You, on the other hand, are being a purity troll (the giveaway was "wimpy"). The wisdom of such trolldom can be debated, but that's what you're doing.

Hardly purity.

I mention below that I am more than willing to support moderate Democrats when the time is right.

Perhaps concern troll was not quite right, I guess I'll have to coin a new term next time, since everyone seem fixated on that.

Where are the candidates?

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Who Highjacked the Republican Party?

That's the question I'd be asking myself if I were one.

"Republican Party is immoral and it thrives on policies that are evil."

It sure seems that way but I think the sheeple have been deceived.

I should have made this more clear.

It wasn't a heartfelt, George Bush just walked into your place of business "BOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!"

Where are the candidates?

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

He Couldn't

He couldn't walk into my business because I'd tell him to get out.

One word: Lieberman

When I read Crashing the Gate, I was convinced that we need to build a strong Democratic Party, and I couldn't understand why we used so much energy fighting Lieberman, a Democrat (albeit a pretty despicable one) rather than Republicans. I felt a great disconnect between Crashing the Gate and the actions of the netroots.

I feel that same disconnect with your proposal. I believe that having control of the legislative agenda, committee assignments, filibusters, etc., etc., is more important than any individual. Paul Krugman made the same point when he said that the "R" or "D" after the candidate's name mattered more than what the candidate believed.

Now, if the Democratic party has a large majority in some legislature and if a "better" candidate can beat an incumbent Democrat and win the general election (did I mention Lieberman?), then go ahead. Otherwise use your energy where it'll do some good.

-- ge

Besta é tu se você não viver nesse mundo

Besta é tu se você não viver nesse mundo
https://george.entenman.name

What a great example.

Lieberman was such a good Democrat, it now looks like he will actually switch his party affiliation to Republican. He is the perfect example of someone who needed primaried. As for your other point.

Now, if the Democratic party has a large majority in some legislature and if a "better" candidate can beat an incumbent Democrat and win the general election (did I mention Lieberman?), then go ahead.

Would that be like the current 70-52 lead we have in the NC House? Where the four or five "moderate" dems that have been threatening to jump ship if we didn't toe their line, COULD jump ship and we would STILL control the House? That kind of large majority?

Where are the candidates?

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Not one or the other BTW.

I supported Heath Shuler and Bob Casey, even though they are not social liberals because I support winning the House and Senate. Yet, at the same time, I can support running a primary against NC DINOs that act more like Republicans.

No conflict of interest for me whatsoever.

Where are the candidates?

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Couple of things

Bloggers arent part of the party. Bloggers are activists. The point when activists are told not to get involved in primaries is the day when this party dies.

There is also a big difference between a primary and a general. I know that people on this site support different candidates for president and for governor. But, I also know that all of you will be doing everything you can for whoever wins the nomination. Anyone who frowns on that should be shot.

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Petition

"Keep the Faith"

This is what bothers me about SPLib and NCProsecutor above.

The idea that it is "wrong" to primary Democrats who don't act like Democrats. Bull. That's why we have primaries, otherwise we could just skip it anytime we had a Democrat in any given office.

What I'm saying is not ONLY should we primary DINOs when appropriate, but that in the general we need to stop being so afraid of alienating someone by talking strongly about our ideals. Republicans have put profit over people. Uninsured children, die. Infant and child mortality increases under Republicans. Abortions, more than there would have been under the Clinton plan, which they defunded. Poverty, more and more. So, what, I'm supposed to talk nice about THAT party, the party that thinks THAT is way our country is supposed to work?

And, when Democrats gain power I'm supposed to accept it if they act like THAT? I doubt it.

Where are the candidates?

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Don't let it bother you about me...

... because I never said that it's wrong to "primary" Democrats who don't act like Democrats. I *have* said in the past that I hope that those more liberal Democrats in the 11th District who are less than pleased with some of Heath Shuler's positions will refrain from running another Democrat against him in the 2008 primary. I said that because a Democrat like Heath Shuler is the right kind of Democrat for that kind of congressional district -- and based on what you've said before about Shuler, I suspect that you agree with me there. [FWIW, I supported Lamont in CT, too, while blogging approvingly about the Casey campaign in PA.]

What you actually suggested in your original post is "primarying" Democrats NOT for their positions on actual issues but rather for failing to "bash" Republicans and fellow Democrats, and for failing to call the GOP "immoral" and their policies evil. Believe it or not, I applaud that kind of fire-breathing rhetoric when it is appropriate, and on the issues of wage inequality and economic justice that you highlight in your post, I say bring it on. But what I refuse to do, and what I will criticize in this forum and others, is suggesting primary retribution against liberal Democrats who are with us on issues but who choose language that less confrontational than you and I might like.

And if you're talking about a particular liberal Democrat in North Carolina who isn't breathing enough fire to suit you, tell us who you're talking about.

positions.

What I said:

If you are a liberal Democrat in North Carolina, and you can't stand up and bash the conservative Republicans and Democrats that have dug us into this hole, then when will you?

Liberal Democrat versus Conservative Republican.

Perhaps we got mixed up in the verbage, but I agree with you. If there are Democrats out there that vote the right way every time, but want to be quiet and moderate, fine. Joe Hackney comes to mind. It is the "liberal" who sits back and lets the Republicans frame us as unGodly, as immoral, as cowards, as unpatriotic, that boils my blood.

We can't keep sitting back and let them use these frames on us, when WE are the ones who are pushing for the morally right positions.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Bloggers

The point when activists are told not to get involved in primaries is the day when this party dies.

I agree completely. Only the Democratic Party itself should stay neutral.

-- ge

Besta é tu se você não viver nesse mundo

Besta é tu se você não viver nesse mundo
https://george.entenman.name

Where did I say that?

The idea that it is "wrong" to primary Democrats who don't act like Democrats. Bull. That's why we have primaries, otherwise we could just skip it anytime we had a Democrat in any given office.

I said no such thing. I was talkling about calling Republicans "immoral" and "evil" and specifically supporting a candidate who used thet type of rhetoric. Certainly if anyone is a *INO, they should be challenged from within that party. No problem with that here.

I must have misread this statement.

I appreciate your passion and share many of your concerns, but "cleaning house" and replacing them with like-minded people who think and say Republicans are immoral, evil, etc. would be about the worst thing I could think of to promote Liberal causes.

So you aren't against cleaning house? But, you are against cleaning house and replacing DINOs with candidates that stand up to the immorality of the current Republican regime?

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Or...

just those who are loud about it and call them immoral and evil.

Where are the candidates?

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Poor writing I guess

I'll try this again:

"I appreciate your passion and get riled up over many of the same things you do, but replacing current office holders (DINO's) with people just like you who call the Republicans "immoral," "evil," etc. would worsen an already poor political dialogue and serve only to widen the perceived idealogical chasm between everyday citizens on both "sides."

That's still too complicated:
"I agree with you except that I don't think it is in the best interests of or consistent with liberalism to replace DINO's with frothing bloggers."

Liberals are supposed the be enlightened caring ones as opposed to the simple-minded rapacious conservatives. I'm not a member of either party for a lot of different reasons, but my biggest problem with the Dems is more with their rhetoric than with their underlying philosophies. Just the simple-minded class warfare crap from the likes of Edwards and others is enough to keep me away (at least as far as official affiliations) even if I am supposedly one of those suckers solidly in the middle class being kept down by the evil rich.

The part about whoever wins the nomination is not necessarily so

for me...so if Hillary wins the nomination you had best be prepared to shoot. Only if Vlad the Impaler is the other choice would I not seriously consider it.

Stan Bozarth

I dont want her

to win the nomination, but with McCain, Rudy, Romney et al I would hope she gets our support.

Now then, if you cant look past that, feel free to concentrate on one of the 10 other races, cause she wont be spending any money here so she wont mind.

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Petition

"Keep the Faith"

Its not as simple

as you are either with us or against us. IMO this deabte centers around the larger argument throught time on how do you defeat an almost unbeatable foe without in turn becoming it?

I love your passion Rob, and your commitment to get those who are for certain agenda items to stand up for them. However SPLib isnt a concern troll or whatever. Using cute little catch phases on our own only undermines our ability to win.

And its not just abour "winning". What is truly at stake is our responsibility to get the truth on issues such as health care, education, stem cells, global warming, etc. to the masses and to change America's moral contract to its future.

Our children need to know that some people fought back, when others collaborated.

Our children need to know that some people fought back, when others collaborated.

These non-democratic dems are everywhere

Call 'em DINOs or conservative. I call them disgusting. In Buncombe, there are three dems on the county commish. A majority, right?

Two don't attend the "closed-door meetings," about a proposed polluting plant being built. So the other dem and the two Rs say it was all perfectly legal. But even the two dems who were "left out" of the private session vote with the other dem and the Rs to bring in a major polluter to a tourist region. It's disgusting. (Add to that the whopping dollar lease they're charging Progress Energy and you have to wonder about who got paid what.)

Are any of these democrats we want to support? Check out Screwy's posts. DINOs need to be dealt with. In this case, if your kid had asthma, it wouldn't be a political issue at all. It would be a life or death one.
 
“All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.”
So enjoy the drama.

I think it's safe to say...

... we can all agree on that.

What bloggers conference?

And why didn't the NCDP get the info out on that to everyone on their list?

I wasn't invited or informed

and I'm married to an NCDP staffer!

I heard about it from Screwy and Jerry at Watauga Watch.

I think your question is extremely valid one.
 
“All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.”
So enjoy the drama.

I'm going to have to be more careful in my language.

I'm getting torn apart all over this thread. It wasn't a "conference" I guess, it was more of a "meeting".

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Was this the meeting SD has been talking about?

Or, was this another meeting? Regardless, if there is a white male elitist thang going on, they need to fix that.

Same event, yes:

conference, meeting, forum. I don't know what it was since I sort of invited myself.

But I know of no effort to make sure it wasn't white-male-dominated. Maybe they wanted it small for some reason. Maybe there really were no other available blacks bloggers besides Pam Spaulding or female bloggers besides me, Pam and SD. Maybe there were other blacks and women but they were in disguise. Yes, that must be it!

I got no response to my email offering some affirmative action for the next forum/meeting/conference.

This'll teach them to take my next email more seriously. ;-)

I would bet

That a combination of lack of knowledge about blogs, added to only inviting the front pagers was the biggest part of the oversight. I doubt there was anything malicious, other than a complete lack of understanding about blogs.

But heck, even if I had to come up with a list of invitees I would be hard pressed to get people outside bluenc, since its all I read.

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Petition

"Keep the Faith"

There were about 12 invitees there

Of those, two were women and one was African-American. If you take away the BlueNCers, then there were only 4 people remaining, one of whom was Pam Spaulding.

It seems like we've been talking about this a lot lately. Does anyone have any suggestions of who the NCDP should have invited that:
1. Blogs extensively about NC state politics.
2. Is an identifiable minority (after all, cskendrick for all I knew was a black, woman until I met him).

Because I can't think of anyone off the top of my head. That doesn't mean there might not be great bloggers in NC, but are they blogging about NC state issues? I notice that Ruby is online right now, she is certainly a blog maverick, and although Orange Politics focuses on local politics her own blog covers all kinds of things.

Anyway, curious who the current bloggers are that I don't know about.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

in the other thread

ruby linked to an AA woman out of raleigh who writes some good stuff.

Obviously people are out there, but do we know about them? Just as important, do they know about us?

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Petition

"Keep the Faith"

One local blogger invited

Jerry from Watauga Watch. I know of bloggers from Orange County, and Asheville bloggers who never heard about the event. There must be some in Chapel Hill, Charlotte, other areas with active progressives.

Why invite one county blogger and not others? I think it was probably ignorance and perhaps laziness.

But for those of you unfamiliar with the party, there's more to it. In everything the state party does, there are rules about including minorities and women. Some rules actually discriminate against men. For the 2004 convention only one man could attend from WNC. Three women and one man. That came down from the state party.

So, no one can tell me that anyone in the state party is unaware that they are mandated to make a substantial effort to reach out to minorities and women.

Perhaps those of you who got the official email can tell us if that effort was made. I saw no evidence of it.
 
“All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.”
So enjoy the drama.

It's my fault

I was asked early on for some suggestions and I named the people I know. That was pretty much the whole conspiracy theory in a nutshell.

Burn him at the stake!

;)

But...it was a NCDP event so ultimately, they are responsbile for the invite list. I'm sure there are plenty of women and minority bloggers in NC that they could (and should) add to the invite lists. And, why not just make it open rather than an exclusive, private meeting? Excluding most bloggers, is in and of itself, not all that Democratic.

Probably because they were trying to provide lunch/snacks, etc

Between that and all of us fitting into the conference room.......

This was the first meeting of its kind. I know the invitation list included more than those who showed up. They had to start somewhere, but the NCDP also shouldn't spend money on events like this either. We aren't THAT special. Sen. Jim Harrell, III provided lunch and I'm sure there could have been other contributors to help with that. Getting input on a smaller scale was probably right for the first meeting. Jerry said at that meeting they would try to hold more meetups to allow them to include more people, but I for one do not believe that the NCDP should spend any money holding something like this. (ie: renting a meeting hall or catering meals)



***************************
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Agree

No need for the NCDP to spend money on such an event. They don't have to cater all meetings and they can hold them there in the larger room at the party HQ if they'd like.

I understand that smaller meetings are sometimes necessary but with all of the talk about the invite list and seating arrangements being questionable, perhaps they should give future blogger meetings a bit more thought.

I think this is much ado about nothing.

If you are going to invite a group of people, whether they be donors, journalists, or bloggers to a small meeting to discuss the future of the party - you provide sandwiches and a big bucket of coffee (which is all I really remember being there, maybe some little bags of cookies or something).

As for the seating arrangements, the Chair was at one end of the table and the Communications Director was at the other with the bloggers spread out along the edges of a rectangle between them. There were maybe 20 people there, it's crazy to think someone had a "bad seat" or that more planning should have gone into the seating arrangement.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Dismissing people's concerns

As you know, I wasn't at the event, but I would not go so far as to dismiss some people's concerns as "crazy."

It's not helpful to dismiss someone's experience as frivilous in discussions on empowering women and minorities. A critical component of legitimizing the voices of women and minorities is respect their perspectives and experiences.

The lack of women or minorities in the

netroots is a great topic discussion. To be concerned that among 20 people, in a small room, there were bad seats is not productive. It's not missing the forest for the trees, it's missing the forest and the trees. I would suggest people go back to focusing on the trees and the forest. There are real issues to be addressed, like why weren't more women invited? Who should be invited next time? Why weren't more African-Americans invited? Who should be invited next time?

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

I noted the invite list in my post

I was merely addressing some of the issues of concern I had read about and did note the invite list, but thanks for the "rules" on how I should discuss women's issues, Robert! LOL! Kind of ironic, doncha think?

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