Asheville Drinking Liberally: Primary Hangover

What if you threw a party, and only 16% of the invited guests showed up? That's what happened Tuesday, as District 11 voters stayed home in droves, foreiting their opportunity to mark a paper ballot in Buncombe or puzzle out the electronic machines in McDowell. Have the voters been disenfranchised, or did they stay home to make a statement? Drinking Liberally, that weekly gathering of left-leaning voters, activists, conversationalists, and alcohol afficianados, will meet at Jack of the Wood in downtown Asheville to sift through the primary results like tea leaves, trying to divine meaning from the meager numbers who actually showed.

Free Market Tyranny!

As soon as I heard about the Bill Clinton-brokered agreement to keep sugar soft drinks out of schools, I knew we'd be hearing complaints from the free market crowd—even though the deal was worked out in the marketplace by market actors. Well, we didn't have to wait long. Witness this tantrum in response to a professor who thinks that the industry might have gone farther:

Your strings are showing.

In the wake of Tuesday's palace coup, serious writers and opinion leaders have traced the evil to its source, Art Pope. Even the News and Observer gets the story straight.

All right, let's put this in old-timey terms. The Democrats will be the McCoys, and the Republicans will be the Hatfields in our little story. So the fussin' was going along pretty well, as usual, and then one day in 2003 it turned out that there was a standoff, specifically when the Republicans -- our Hatfields, remember -- and the Democrats -- McCoys -- were all tied up in the state House or Representatives.

UPDATED with Hit List: An Open Letter to North Carolina Leaders

It is now apparent that Art Pope has figured out how to buy control of the North Carolina General Assembly using corporate money. His laboratory was the Republican primaries yesterday, where he picked off three intraparty enemies – Richard Morgan, Rick Eddins and Steve LaRoque. Now he is refining his playbook and setting his sights on eight or nine marginal House races this fall. Art Pope will continue to pour hundreds of thousands of dollars of corporate money from Variety Wholesale into seats he thinks he can win. His goal is to defeat incumbent Democrats and tip control of the House to Republicans he controls. It will cost him only $2 million. It will cost us democracy.


I sometimes think that Ed Cone has had a bit too much of the Blog Evangelism Kool-Aid, but I think he's absolutely right about Larry Kissell needing his own blog. Fresh content can bring people back to sites that they might not have returned to otherwise; sites with big shiny "Donate" buttons on every page. It's also a great way to get a message across and to engage with people. And as for time, I don't see why every single post would need to be by Larry.

Pearce on Pope

Over at Talking About Politics, Gary Pearce calls on Democrats to start worrying about the influence of Art Pope.

Art Pope is now Pope of the North Carolina Republican Party. By engineering the defeats of Reps. Richard Morgan and Rick Eddins, Pope made himself Supreme Pontiff, Enforcer of Orthodoxy and All-Powerful Exorcist of Heretics. I believe that bodes ill for Democrats this November.

Pope showed that he has the money – and can buy the skill – to overwhelm election opponents. And he is willing to spend the money. Some of my Republican friends didn’t think Pope could get away with calling Eddins a Democrat. Ridiculous, they scoffed. But it worked.

Springtime for Hitler

Where did this majority rules idea come from anyway. Just because the majority wants something does not mean it is the best idea. Sometimes the majority is wrong and sometimes it takes good leadership to stand up to the majority and do what is right.

My Two Cents Worth: I am Sick of Poll Numbers and this Majority Rules B.S.

Yes, we can only hope that this strong leader will put the whiny bastards in their places! The consent of the governed is so passe.


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